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25th April 2004


Bhramanti had organised a Paragliding cum gliding activity for the interested adventure savvy people. It was first of such activity for Bhramanti. Total particiapnt were 10 including the leader Rajan.


We started with our arrival at the Paragliding ground at Hadapsar. We touched Hadapsar at 11.00 am. But as luck would have it, the winds weren't good enough. Erik said we would need another half an hour or so for the winds go get better and steady. So we went on to have our lunch and were back by 12:15.


            We went into the grounds and saw the glider for the first time. It was an L23 glider. It is 27 feet in length. For more info with pictures of the L 23 Blanik, you can visit (

The secret of the gliders they say lies in its wings. The wings had aero dynamic shape for giving it the lift. Plus the wings had panes, that could be opened and closed for turning the plane in air. Which made sense cause as the pane of one side as opened the extra air pressure would turn the plane that side.


            They said we would be covering heights between 1000 to 2500 feet. The unoffical record is said to be about 55,000 feet wherein the pilot had to use the parachute and eject due to being stuck in a storm. (We would not be using the chute since we would not be covering the height that we would need to inorder to even operate the chute). The offical record is

said to be 50,000 feet.


            I will get go on with my experience cause that itself would be enough to write here. The L 23 is a two seater. The pilot being seated in front and the passenger behind. There are some controls that even the passenger can actually handle, which we were instructed not to. ;). The were speed indicators, height indicators and also a indicator that showed the plane tilt in mid air.

            The take off is something that is a sight. But before that you have to have a look at the winsock. It is like a huge sock or a butterfly catcher on a post, to show you the direction of the wind. You have a rope tied to the nose of the glider and then a jeep or something of that sort, gives it a pull. The pilot then manouvers the plane to gain a reasonalble height - I believe about 800 feet or so and then the rope is dropped.


            Now the plane is at the mercy of the wind. The skill of the pilot now comes into picture. The pilot has to find a suitable air current and then manuouvre the plane to stay in the air as long as possible. I was informed that some German doctor holds the record for having been air borne for about 14 hours and 20 minutes



 The view on the take off is stupendous. You can see the ground running away from you (or is it the other way round). And then once you have gained the height and then the rope is released, the plane takes a dip. Now you can feel the butterflies in your stomach. And then Erik started his magic. He could literally make the plane dance.


Twist and turns and all. You could see all the major structures of the city. I spotted a canal (everybody did), a C shaped building, some estate with a swimming pool and lots of other sights. Hopefully the photos will do justice to the view. Erik would ask do you want more twists and I was like "Cool Of course..." Since I had no problems with the butterfly effect, he decided to give me some dips to the glider. That was a great feeling.


Finally all good things have to last and Erik made the final twist and the landing. Though one pilot told me landing was quite easy, I still think it need a great amount of skill for a smooth landing. After we land, we then pull back the glider (oops a jeep does)  back to the start point.


Krishna Warrier

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