Wearable Aircraft and Dancing With the Wind10:31 PM
Both of these kites are tremendous fun to fly, but are as unpredictable as they are astonishing. One minute they are rocketing through my airspace, and the next minute when the gust dies down or when I'm trying a three-sixty at maybe 50 feet AGL, they come crashing to Earth. I can't EVEN imagine what it would be like to actually use one of these wings for human flight, but then again, I am not a Paraglider pilot. Yes, people get great pleasure flying a much large equivalent of my kites, and the thrill they get when doing so must be ridiculous!
"The exhilaration of leaving the Earth is common to all forms of flying. Leaving the earth under your own power, however, sets paragliding apart by touching humanity's ancient dream of spreading our arms and floating on the wind. On the ground, you learn to dance with the wing as it kites, beginning with clumsy, sudden, and exaggerated movements. In time, this erratic dance becomes a fine waltz with the finesse of a martial arts kata. A few steps into the wind, and you're flying.
But the paraglider is an aircraft that you wear, and in the air, it becomes a part of your body and mind and embeds itself in your psyche. Leaving the ground, you sit back in the harness, the wing is above you, and you're flying like you fly in your dreams with a full view of the ground below you and the horizon ahead of you. The wind in the lines is the only sound apart from the occasional beep on the vario to let you know you've found rising air.
Each flight is an experience with infinitude, and each carries the power of the first. Even the short flights down the training hill remain exhilarating."