Paragliding in Virar


I found out about paragliding courses in Virar during monsoons last year but didn’t give it much thought until last month
I met Pinkesh on last month’s Lohgar trek who told me about his experiences with which were good
Path and iwikiwi agreed to join along with wiki coming in from Vizag

Day 1
Path and Wiki woke up when I reached their place at 6.30, ultimately reaching Virar by 9 (late by an hour)
We met Samson at his place, completed the formalities of signing the indemnity bond, weight check to decide on wings and listing out physical problems/phobias

We drove out to some barren paddy fields for our first day of ‘Ground handling training’
The main objective was to get used to the wing and learn about how to run in a straight line
Lucky us the winds were low, wouldn’t want to go floating away on the first day

Samson had 2 assistants along so everyone was under supervision
We were shown how to wear the harness and how to walk and control the glider over us

PhotobucketNice day to fly

Looked easy enough :s

The harness weighs about 10kgs and bites around the abdomen *ouch*, the glider is about 6 kgs
Starting position is to have the glider behind you, leaning forwards, arms back with brake lines and A-risers in hand
Path and Vamsi were wobbly piles of jelly after a couple of runs as each ‘takeoff’ is like running with a ton pulling you back
Morning session was about 2 hours long with Vishnu dozing off randomly

Returned to Samson’s place, ordered a homecooked lunch and slept till 3PM
Back out to repeat the whole thing a few more hours after which we were dropped to the station

We nommed thukpas, lamb curry and noodles at Sernyaa
I got back home around 1am

Ground Training>Trying to look machoBut about to fall over

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Ground Training Wiki trying to look macho While trying hard to breathe
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Others fell Rose from the ashes To fly again

Day 2
Scheduled meeting time was 7.15 and started a half hour late
Met Samson at the station with our gear
Plan was to do some winched flights in the morning to get a feel for takeoff and landing, then goto the beach and take 5 second flights running off a sandbar in the evening


Nothing got done today till 5PM because of high winds
Even the instructors were thrown around while trying to ground handle
We met people from the aeromodlling club who were practicing with a 3 foot big helpcopter

Vishnu still didn’t feel up to it so Vamsi and me nommed at Beatle with a boatoad of sushim sashimi and noodles

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Glider check Strong winds Geared up
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Aeromodelling club Fuel pump Dusk
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Winched flight Warrior returns Gloats over the spoils

Day 3
Plan was similar to previous day’s
Morning was too gusty for winched flights so we did more ground handling
Evenings were calmer so time for winched flights
The jeep was used to pull us forwards and gain height for flights
I had 2 flights getting me to 50 and 100ft but not lasting more than 10 seconds
It was enough for takeoff and landing training
We got another day since day 2 was a wipeout

The three of us went all the way to Churchgate and nommed at Cafe Basilico after Vanmi chould not stop talking bout the ‘Steak’ place
Got back home at 2

Bonus day 4
Evening session only, time to fly off a hill
Reached there around 4PM and took 20 minutes to climb
Checked out the other instructors take their flights first to check wind conditions
Luckily they were stable so I suited up for my first ill-omened flight

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Takeoff happened as expected, then I found I kept going to the left whatever I did
Samson was pretty concerned on the radio and kept giving instructions to keep my right brake down
The glider somehow ended up going straight but with minimal maneuverability but I was already on wrong side of the hill descending much faster than normal
Managed to safely land in a bush and gave an all-ok sign (Lucky it wasnt the super-thorny plants I had seen around the area)
Villagers from the area came to check out my crashlanding
I unclipped and started back up the hill for a 2nd run while one of the instructors would pack up my wing and bring it up

Turns out during takeoff, a cable had snagged the wing edge making the wing unbalanced :s
Vamsi had a good flight despite having a fever
My 2nd flight was great, lotsa fun, easy turns, slow descent, except the brake line detached from the handle as I was flaring for landing :s

We packed up and the paragliding course was over
Nommed at Sammy Sosa till midnight with Vishnu turning up at 10.30

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Ready for takeoff Starting straferun Manta fly
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Wildly careening to one side Notice the snag in the wing Finally a good flight

About nukeu666

Adventurer Otaku Photography bum Geek Gamer Metalhead Jazzhead SF/F head Foodie Broke
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3 Responses to Paragliding in Virar

  1. minoo says:

    a big WoW….. :)

  2. xandox says:

    Woooooooooooowsome! :D

  3. papa says:

    great pics, u look macho

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