The SkyHigh Paragliding Club is very keen to help new pilots in their first years of flying. The Club has a nominated Novice Pilot Representative who will organise specific events and provide all sorts of help to new pilots. Join the Club!
Please look through the Resources area of this website where you will find lots of invaluable info for new pilots. You should also join the SkyHigh Forum to read the posts and ask questions. Get in touch with the Novice Representative via the Contact page.
New Pilots are strongly encouraged to participate in Club Events where you will benefit from talking to other pilots:
- Ground handling sessions
- Club Meetings
- Licence upgrade theory nights and examinations
See the Club Calendar for details.
Developing good ground handling skills is essential to becoming a safe and competent pilot. You can never do too much ground handling and even the most experienced pilots continue to practise their ground handling on a regular basis.
One of the most popular ground handling sites is Moran Reserve, Elwood just next to St Kilda Marina which takes a wind direction from NW to SW. There are also various other potential ground handling sites around Melbourne.
Use the Incident Report system on the HGFA website to report incidents. Incidents are reviewed by safety committees to identify incidents trends so that training courses can be modified and safety notices issued as appropriate. For this reason pilots are encouraged to log any incidents.
Flying Hints and Tips for PG2 (Supervised) Pilots
- DON’T get despondent if you go to a site but are not able to fly. Recognise that as a new pilot it can be difficult to clock up hours initially.
- DO get to sites early and speak to other more experienced pilots on the ground.
- DO request a site briefing if you are unfamiliar with the site.
- Do learn by watching and talking to other pilots - but always be conscious of their skill level and the type of wing they are flying.
- DON’T assume that because an experienced pilot is able to launch, or there are other pilots in the air that it is necessarily safe for a novice pilot to fly.
- DO ask others about what type of wing they are flying and understand the differences between their wings and yours. Speed-wings or mini-wings are becoming increasingly popular. At first glance they can look almost the same as a paraglider wing, but they are smaller and are specifically designed to fly in stronger conditions than a paraglider. If a speedwing/miniwing is in the air then it's a good indication that the conditions are too strong for normal paragliders.
- DO practise your groundhandling regularly. Groundhandling is essential to building up your skills and being able to fly safely (refer below).
- DO observe, as a general rule for novices, that when the wind forecast is for 20-25 km/h and the actual wind is around 20 km/h, it is OK to fly, but if it's much more than that then flying is not recommended.
- DO always post intentions to go flying on the SkyHigh Forum and try to car pool if possible.
- DO remember that as a licensed pilot it is ultimately up to YOU to assess whether it is appropriate for YOU to fly, based on your assessment of your experience, the site and the prevailing conditions.
- FLY SAFE AND HAVE FUN!