Saturday, November 2, 2013

Paragliders


Today I took a hike up Lookout Mountain.  I ran out of energy at the Windy Saddle overlook and headed back down the trail, reaching the bottom just in time to see the paragliders landing. 

A paraglider consists of a harness for the pilot to sit on, a set of thin but immensely strong suspension lines, and a fabric canopy.  Here is a paraglider I saw at close range today.


The canopy is rather like a down sleeping bag that is thirty feet long.  (Children, do not get ideas.)  The paraglider is the offspring of the parachute and has no fixed structure, in contrast with the hang glider, which is the offspring of an aircraft and has a fixed wing.  Here is a hang glider picture stolen from the internet.


One after another the paragliders came in for a landing.  The pilot's goal was to touch down close to the orange cone in the middle of the landing area.



One paraglider gave me a start.  It appeared to be coming right at me as it made its final approach.  But then the pilot pulled on the reins and veered away from me.





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