Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Online Paragliding Resources

By Chris Amonson


I have been collecting online resources for a number of years now.  Here is what I have been using recently.  This list is not comprehensive and online resources are continuously changing so I’m sure there will be updates to this post in the future.

Weather
Weather knowledge is very important to a successful and safe flight.  Not only being able to check the current conditions and make the call on a particular day but to recognize patterns and know the conditions that make those epic XC days possible.  Fortunately there are many online sources of weather information.
http://www.xcskies.com/
http://www.soaringpredictor.info/wash/WashingtonCentralPredictor.htm/
http://www.wunderground.com/wundermap/
http://www.intellicast.com/Local/WxMap.aspx
http://windhistory.com/map.html#9.00/47.4725/-117.2645
http://www.westcoastsoaringclub.com/links/weather.php
http://www.canadarasp.com/RASPtable.html
http://www.wrh.noaa.gov/mesowest/gmap.php?map=mtr
Tiger Mt North Launch
Tiger Mt LZ weather station
http://www.xcmeteo.net/

National Organizations

Local Clubs

Vancouver and Fraser Valley


Vancouver Island schools

Airspace

Organizations that do good
http://www.karmaflights.org/
http://thecloudbasefoundation.org/site/
http://www.ushgf.org/

Email lists, forums, and groups
Despite the rise of social media such as Facebook Twitter  and Google+, email lists and forums are still a primary way of communicating among the flying communities.

Retrieve and Safety
This is particularly useful for pilots in the Northwest US.  Local luminary pilot Dave Wheeler has put many hours into developing this site that works with the Spot device to provide a safety net and aid to those long retrieves.

Radio
Radio communication is important to our safety while flying.  Even if we don't use the ham frequencies very often I urge you to take a class and become licensed.  If nothing else the class provided information about using your radio and the rules surrounding its use.

GPS

Site and Wing research

The OZ report is hang gliding focused however the Google Earth flying site file is a great resource.

Equipment
There are many places to purchase paragliding gear online, these are just a few.  Your local instructors and dealers are also excellent sources and may have a better understanding of your personal requirements as well as firsthand experience with the gear.

Paragliding Worlds
This is competition is where national champions and teams compete.

Paragliding World Cup
This is currently the field where all the best paraglider pilots compete.

World Paragliding Series
Start by Mads Syndergaard this new international competition series will accept all wing types certified and non-certified.

Blogs and podcasts
Hardcopy

Software
Logbook

GPS download
I use gpsdump but there are many other options out there.

Paragliding simulator

Hardware
Often it is hard to find a source for Maillon Rapide quick links.  Here are a couple of places to purchase them.  Always check to make sure they have the require load certifications.  Maillon Rapide, Inox are good manufactures, beware of similar quick links made in China.

Conclusion
I hope this short list provides some resource and entertainment for those rainy stretches or boring work days sitting at your desk.

Chris Amonson