Originally written by Mike Meier, and first published in 1991, the Training Manual has sold more than thirteen thousand copies. Following the release of the greatly expanded seventh edition in 2004, Paragliding – A Pilot’s Training Manual has become the complete resource of choice for both new students of paragliding and experienced pilots looking to expand their knowledge and understanding of this dynamic sport. The book covers all of the basic essentials of aerodynamics and principles of flight, along with pilot techniques from the beginner through expert level. The focus is on presenting technical subject matter in a manner that is easy for the average pilot to comprehend without the need for complex theory or equations.
The authors emphasize safety throughout with techniques for risk management and dealing with common emergency scenarios. Master pilot and paragliding instructor Rob McKenzie of High Adventure Hang Gliding and Paragliding has characterized it as “Probably about the simplest layout of the concepts of gliding flight ever written. A terrific reference book and training supplement for the beginner through intermediate pilot.”
While the Training Manual has been updated over the years to reflect changes in the sport, the 7th edition represented a major expansion in the scope and content of the manual. Wills Wing brought onboard paraglider pilots Mark Stucky and Tim Meehan to create a complete revision with an entirely new look, additional subject matter and new illustrations. The 8th edition has been further enhanced, especially the DVD.
Mark Stucky, who began his aviation career in hang gliding, is a professional military and NASA test pilot and member of the Society of Experimental Test Pilots, whose flight test experience ranges from sub 20 mph speeds in paragliders to beyond Mach 3 in the SR 71 Blackbird. He is best known in the foot-launched soaring community for his informative technical articles and flight reviews in Hang Gliding magazine. Mark has updated the technical content of the manual and greatly expanded the scope of the subjects covered.
Tim Meehan is the art director of Hang Gliding & Paragliding magazine and an author of several books on computer illustrating. He is the creative force responsible for the new layout and professional illustrations.
Newly covered subjects include specialized soaring topics such as convergence, dynamic, and microlift soaring techniques; speed-to-fly theory, and soarcasting.
New chapters now cover towing, competition basics, and an introduction to paramotoring. The focus is on presenting technical subject matter in a manner that is easy for the average pilot to comprehend without the need for complex theory or equations.
The authors emphasize safety throughout with techniques for risk management and dealing with common emergency scenarios.
The companion DVD allows the pilot to see the specific techniques described in the manual actually being demonstrated, and to review the demonstrations as often as desired to enhance the learning process. The introductory section of the DVD is also a great way to introduce your friends and family to the great sport of paragliding.
It doesn’t pull any punches on the potential danger of the sport. The DVD even shows that famous crash footage of a pilot launching in high winds, jamming the speed bar, getting a violent and huge asymmetric with 180 rotation and surge to impact, plus the footage of the time that the pilot had the huge asymmetric, near stall, then massive surge where he was slung over the top of the wing and flew on.
This book is how a training manual should be… Full of information, not boring and not an insult to instructors.