What can I expect on my Starter or Elementary training course?
We will meet at a pre-arranged rendezvous point at 10am and start the day a brief introductory talk. After this you will sign you up as a member of the BHPA. This is mandatory as it provides you third party insurance. This is included in the cost of your Starter Course fee but not in the Elementary Course as there are several membership options depending on your circumstances and aspirations.
Note: The Starter Course is the first two days of a BHPA Elementary Course. As such you can use these days towards the completion your full Elementary Course.
From early on day one you will be connected to a glider learning the basics of pre-flight checking and ground control. You will then move on to simulated launches and landings before venturing onto a slope where you will first defy gravity!
Who can take part?
Most people who are in good health and fit enough to complete a day of energetic hill walking with some steep uneven paths carrying a 10 to 15kg backpack. (Please note that we will NOT be doing a days walking, this is just a comparison for the level of fitness required.) In addition you need to be able to sprint for up to 50 metres across and down uneven ground; have good mobility; be prepared and capable of taking a fall from a run without injury; and withstand a feet first impact approximately equivalent to jumping from a metre high wall; see well enough to drive a car (with or without glasses or lenses) and not be taking any medication where the effects may detrimentally affect your mental or physical ability. If you are over 50 or have a medical or mobility issue I strongly suggest that you discuss your intention to paraglide with your General Practitioner before buying a training course. If you are in any doubt about your level of fitness then please discuss with me first before you make a booking.
What can I achieve?
This is dependent on the weather, your level of fitness and general progress, but you can normally expect to be making short solo hops by the end of the day.
There is a huge sense of achievement at taking to air by yourself, much more so than flying tandem with an instructor - the sensation is as close as you can come to walking on air!
I have been flying paragliders since it all began in the 80s but the miracle of flying like a bird never fades. To be able to achieve this on your first day is part of the brilliance of paragliding.
No-one ever forgets their first taste of free-flight, you will have become an aviator!
How long is a training day?
This depends upon a number of factors e.g. group size (normally one or two people), weather conditions, your fitness and the demands of the training syllabus. I will always endeavour to make the best use of any weather opportunities, therefore start and finish times and length of training sessions are variable, be prepared to spend all day on the hill and stay out late if conditions allow.
Courses are run any day, weather and airspace restrictions permitting of course.
Age and weight criterion.
The minimum age is 14 years and weighing (dressed) between 9st 7lb (60kg) and 15st (95kg) and a minimum height of 5ft (152 cm) and a maximum of 6’3”ft (191cm).
Anyone under the age of 18 must be accompanied by a responsible adult and have written parental consent to participate.
Language and communication.
For your safety you must be able to clearly hear voice instructions person to person and relayed by radio in a breezy environment.
The school teaches in the medium of English and students need to have sufficient English language skills to converse without ambiguity.
How do I know when and where we meet on the day?
I will telephone you at approx. 8am on the morning of your training day to confirm if it will take place or if you need to reschedule if the weather doesn’t suit. So do listen for my call. I will also confirm meeting arrangements for that day. Normally we meet at 10:00 am but if weather dictates it may be slightly earlier or later. If I can’t contact you by phone then I’ll attempt to contact with whatever contact details I have for you. If you haven’t received my call by 8:15 am then please call me on 07624 267222. This is important, if I can’t confirm that you are joining me for your reservation then you will lose your opportunity to fly that day.
How do I get to the flying site?
I will give you directions to an easily found rendezvous and expect you to make your way there in your vehicle. It is not practical to use public transport unless you hire a taxi. However if you do not have your own transport on the island then please let me know and if at all possible I will endeavour to provide a free shuttle in my 4x4, but please note; space is limited and it also means that you are with me all day until I leave the flying site. Most take off sites are accessible only on foot, some are accessible with a 4X4.
Can I bring the family?
It is usually better not to bring spectators although I don’t mind a partner or friend to take photos if they have been warned that they are likely to be in a remote location and there will be a lot of waiting around.
STRICTLY NO DOGS(although I love them) they cause problems for us with landowners and graziers and can compromise safety of the flyers.
If you require a ride to the flying site then bear in mind that I only have 2 spare seats.
What do I need to bring?
1. Layered clothing that you can wear or carry to protect you from chilly breezes. Hilltops can be quite cool even in summer! Long pants, for protection from the elements and a hat to keep you warm and protect your head from the sun. Gloves for warmth of course, but also to protect your hands when handling the paraglider. (Full fingered, grippy and lightweight are best for learning.)
2. Boots with good grip and some ankle support, preferably without lacing hooks.
3. Sun protection, our air is very clean and it is really easy to get sunburn even on a hazy day.
4. Insect repellent, not always needed but I still recommend using it.
5. Food and plenty to drink.
How to book?
1. Contact me to arrange your provisional date/s. (Voucher buyers don’t need to do this).
2. Complete and sign the booking form, if you are the participant also sign the Risk Acknowledgement; then email or post the completed form to me.
3. I will send you an invoice with payment options,
4. I will confirm your booking normally within 48 hours of receiving your completed form.
Cancellations and rescheduling.
My reservation system works in a similar manner to easyJet’s. Should training be cancelled due to adverse weather conditions, you can reschedule. Due to the island’s weather this does happen frequently and you may have to reschedule more than once. You can reschedule under these circumstances as often as required within the valid period of the booking at no extra charge. But note I don’t refund for non flyable days. Also like easyJet, if you don’t turn up for your flight, then I’m sorry but you lose your reservation and any payments made.
N.B. Due to the nature of the leisure services I provide there is no statutory cooling off period under the Consumer Contracts Regulations, this includes all courses and gift vouchers. Therefore if you cancel the service (course) at any time after you have contracted to buy it from Manx Paragliding School, this includes buying a voucher and or subsequently making a reservation, you are not eligible for a refund or a credit.
All training must be booked to commence within 12 months of the date of payment after which they expire.
Elementary and Club Pilot courses should be completed within 12 months from the first day of starting your course, I stipulate this so that you keep your training days close together. Although days don’t necessarily need to be booked consecutively, they do need to be reasonably close so you make progress. Lack of student currency is one of the biggest problems within our sport and is a main cause of accidents. The Elementary course can take up to six days to complete the BHPA tasks, the average is around four to five, the Club Pilot (CP) should be around six to eight days.
If too long is allowed to elapse between training sessions you will need to revisit parts of the training syllabus and your training will take longer. If your course takes longer than a 12 month time frame, you may need to purchase extra days to complete your training.
Do you provide equipment for all of my training?
Yes, up to you gaining your novice Club Pilot Rating. The school provides you with the use of a modern training paraglider, a suitable harness and helmet to fit. After this to continue on the Red Ribbon Foundation Course and to fly with the local club you will need to buy your own. For safety reasons it is good practice to buy your own equipment part way through your Club Pilot training, this will enable you to become familiar with it under guidance from your instructor.
The school can supply you with a range of competitively priced equipment to suit your ability. Prices for new equipment typically start at approximately £4,000 for a new glider, harness and helmet.
Any questions; please do contact me.
CFI Manx Paragliding School.
Mobile: 07624 267 222