Build Up to XC - Paraglider Flying Exercises
This list supplements the BHPA Pilot Task Book by listing, in a fairly logical sequence, exercises that build up XC skills i.e. control your airspeed and direction
in order to safely and efficiently use dynamic and thermal lift to gain height and minimise height loss in sink. Those marked in bold with * are BHPA Pilot tasks
No Exercise Benefit Description Tips / Safety Ideal Date(s) Carried Out Notes / Debrief
Conditions 1. Ground Safe and Any safe ; Pre-flight checks
Handling and efficient ground conditions WGHHCAT
Launch handling, take strong or light ; Forward Launch
off and landing ; Reverse Launch ; Walk glider in figure
; Walk glider up hill
; Collapsing wing on
2. Efficient Safe and Plenty of height ; Clear turns
Turns efficient turns and clear of ; Control only (no
that minimise other gliders weight shift)
height loss ; Weight shift only turn
; Combined (weight
3. Speed Safe, efficient Plenty of ; Fly at min sink
Control* and height and ; Fly at trim
appropriate clear of other ; Speed transition speed control gliders
for lift, sink,
4. Speed Bar As above. Feel for any Stable ; ? bar
loss of conditions with ; ? bar
pressure, plenty of height ; ? bar possible and clear of ; Use of full speed bar onset of other gliders range frontal
5. Canopy Safe and Light thermic or ; Assess whether Control efficient flight in slightly gusty conditions gusty or (Active strong thermic or both?
Flying) conditions. ; Focus on keeping
; Use of constant
6. Rapid Safe exit from Ears one at Stable ; Small ears / weight Descent excessive lift a time. conditions shift turn
- Big Ears* and or getting with plenty of ; Release ears one at
blown back. height and a time.
clear of other ; Ears and bar (ears gliders first)
; Land with ears in.
Spot Safe and Stable 7. ; Assessment of wind Landing* efficient conditions strength and
landing with plenty of direction.
avoiding height and ; Approaching from
injury to self, clear of other upwind leg.
others or gliders ; Turning into wind damage to ; Excess height – equipment figure of 8
; Go around
8. Slope Safe and Practice Light non- ; Land on upwind leg!
Landing efficient landing during light thermic winds. ; Keep up speed for
avoiding injury winds. the flare
to self, others,
damage to ; Turn into wind then
equipment and flare?
landing / walk
9. Gaining More Enables pilot to Good dynamic ; Fly further from the Space / connect with lift / lift band hill
Explore Lift thermals earlier ; Find strongest part of Band and free of the lift band
other gliders ; Pick a spot and fly
out and back
360 Turns* Safe and Practice Stable 10. ; Gentle turns.
efficient turns, forward, conditions ; 360s
vital skill for high and with plenty of ; Assess distance using clear of height and /height change. thermals other traffic. clear of other ; Practice with especially gliders another glider? with other
Using Lift* Getting to 11. ; Count to 4
(Thermals) cloudbase, ; S turn if low near
finding and ridge and other
using lift traffic
during XC ; 360 if higher and downwind. clear
; Finding and staying
with the core!
; Flying upwind to
connect with core?
; Note position on the
; Leave upwind sink
using bar and 45
degree off wind
12. Scratching Safe and Light winds ; Fly faster
efficient flight to with stable / ; Don’t fly too far out
maintain height non thermic ; Turn quick flat and in light conditions efficient. conditions
Asymmetric Safe recovery Should be Stable 13. ; Pull a riser on one Collapse* from tuck. with conditions side
Instructor! with plenty of ; Weight shift away
height and from collapse
clear of other ; Counter turn not too gliders much (stall)
; Pump out with long
14. Wingovers More advanced Stable ; Altitude and space
canopy control conditions with ; Fly at normal to full
plenty of height speed
and clear of ; Pull hard on one other gliders brake
; Roll into turn and
ease off on brake
; Let glider dive to
build up speed.
; Apply opposite brake
and weight shift
; Careful canopy does
not deflate at top,
apply both brakes
15. Watch And Always ; Clouds
Listen ; Thermals
; The Site
; Other Pilots