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Updated: January 14, 2012 09:42 IST

Paragliders thrill visitors

Raviprasad Kamila
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A paraglider of Wings and Flights, Pune, taking off from Tannirbavi Beach on Friday.
The Hindu A paraglider of Wings and Flights, Pune, taking off from Tannirbavi Beach on Friday.

Paragliders of Wings and Flights, Pune, who gave a breathtaking performance during the inauguration of the 17th National Youth Festival, entertain the visitors on Friday also.

Three paragliders flew over Mangala Stadium and other parts of the city in the morning and evening. They took off from Tannirbavi beach.

Of the four members, Eric Menezes has his family roots in Shankarapura in Udupi district. Others who flew on Thursday and Friday were Mangesh Dighe and Govind Yewale. The team has Prakash Chive as a standby paraglider.

Mr. Menezes told The Hindu that the three single-seat paragliders were powered by petrol motors. The tank could store 12.5 litres of petrol which was enough for a two-hour flight. The motor with small propeller weighed about 25 kg and the glider about seven kg.

A paraglider would have to carry about 80 kg on his shoulder. It included fuel, motor, glider, and wind force, he said.

Mr. Menezes said once a person took off he would have to balance and adjust the glider so that it would not tilt to any side. Once that was done, weight on the shoulder would be transferred to the seat. Paragliders used wireless equipment attached to their helmets to communicate. In Mangalore, they got in touch with the Air Traffic Control (ATC) of the Mangalore Airport. “The airport authorities allowed flying up to 1,000 ft. in the city,” he said.

Normally, one could climb up to 3,000 ft., he said. “When flying over the Mangala Stadium on Thursday, I thought of touching the ground and taking off. But I could not as the ground was full,” Mr. Menezes said.

He said October to February was ideal for paragliding. During summer, it was not possible because of high temperature. “But along the coast, one can fly in the mornings during summer,” he said.

“One has to be on light diet before flying and should not be under medication. A flyer should not feel giddiness. Any one who has passed matriculation could get training in paragliding,” he said.

Mr. Menezes said he was into paragliding for 20 years as he was inspired by his father who was with the gliding club of the Directorate General of Civil Aviation. “I grew up seeing paragliding,” he added.

Mr. Dighe had 18 years of experience, and Mr. Yewale and Mr. Chive had eight years of experience, he said.

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