Paragliding is a safe, easy to learn sport and the closest way there is to fly like a bird in the most thrilling nature. Those based out of Pune, can take up basic pilot courses in one or two weekend trips!
First thing you need to know about Paragliding is that its awesome and safe. You can rest assured that once you hurl yourself off the cliff, its the most thrilling experience you will have.
Paragliding is considered to be the easiest form of light aviation and the paraglider can be soared effortlessly on windward slopes and across an open country. In Paragliding, there is no need to be fearful of heights as can be faced in Skydiving where you need to jump off cliffs or from a high altitude. All you would need to do to launch is jog down a slope and you can abort the launch whenever you feel uncomfortable. Anyone above 16 years with a reasonable level of fitness can learn paragliding with some effort and determination.There are several paragliding operators in South India that offer you the option of tandem flights where an instructor flies for you and you can sit back and enjoy the rush.
The closest paragliding course from Pune is in a small township called Kamshet. There are over 4 operators in Kamshet that can offer you this experience. Kamshet is located about 45 kms away from Pune and can be accessed by rail or road, the expressway making it convenient. It is considered to be ones of the top and better destinations for learning to fly. With its immense beauty and scenic nature, Kamshet is an equipped and great place to give paragliding a shot. The Sahayadri range' topography is very compatible for flying and offers easy take off at flying sites. For beginners, the quality of landing areas is important. However, Kamshet comprises of a great deal of good landing areas.
Pawana is located near the Pawana Dam, a distance of about 50 kms from Pune. It offers great take off sites and a magnificent experiencing gliding over the humongous Pavana Lake. It is considered to be a great place to master advance skills with optimum conditions and resources present.
Virar is located North of Mumbai and is about a 4 hour drive from Pune. Virar being a coastal area, offers a paraglider predictable winds and a formidable experience. Early morning and evening winds are optimal for a beginner while early to mid afternoon winds can be tackled by more advance flyers.
You can enroll for a four-day elementary pilot course (can be done at a stretch or over two weekends) that will teach you the various basic aspects of the sport as well as give you about ten to twelve supervised solo flights. On completing the elementary course, you can take the Club Pilot course where you will learn about the advanced techniques of flying and longer flight duration flying skills.
Instructor experience, Affiliations/certifications and safety record of the school should be the most important criteria while choosing a school. Ensure the school follow international paragliding associations procedure of operations. Also note the Instructor to student ratio and if training flights are supervised by radio instructions from the trainer. Ensure that the institution has a valid certification and also check the level of certification. The highest possible level is "Advanced Tandem Instructor"