Home ยป Thermalling Course

Welcome to the world of thermal flying. To learn to find rising air & the skill to go right up to the cloud base is pure addiction. Then to combine more thermals and go further is awe inspiring & exhilarating. You learn the art of Thermalling which is pretty much the key to Cross Country flying - your First Solo Flight.
- Avi Malik


Duration: 4 days
Rating: Thermalling Pilot

This course is conducted by APPI Qualified SIV/XC Instructor Avi Malik. Avi is the only APPI Master Instructor in India and also part of prestigious APPI pedagogical committee which is dominated by French and Swiss pilots.

One must be at least APPI Pilot rated pilot or equivalent for attending this course.

This Course is designed for any pilot desirous of learning the art of Thermalling or wishes to improve his thermalling skills and fly cross country. The thrill of finding invisible thermals and then climbing in them will make you feel particularly fortunate. Playing with these powerful forces of nature will give you a new freedom to fly long distances. This will open new possibilities to get higher than ever before, taking your addiction to fly to the next level.

The course covers:

Understanding the science of Thermals
Thermal Indicators and triggers
Thermal Formations & Development
Thermal safety and Practical Considerations
Thermal Rules and Etiquettes
Canopy control in thermals
Thermalling and coring techniques
Clouds and associated dangers
Reserve deployments and emergency landings procedures briefing
Extensive briefs and debriefs

The Instructors will fly alongside you marking the thermals for you and guiding you inside the thermals by guiding you, using their radios while flying with you. You will be provided with a Training Manual for the course and there would be extensive briefs and debriefs to maximise your learning along with film screenings on the subject.

Where do I reach at the end of the course... What Next?

Once you have mastered thermal flying the transition to cross country flying is relatively easy. Depending on level and progress we will then be doing a guided XC flying tour.

Visualize the course:
We arrive at the site in the morning or afternoon depending on the weather conditions. We begin your first session in paragliding by introducing you to the equipment and the paragliding flying site. Your first training lesson is on flat ground where we explain and demonstrate the paragliding basics - canopy inspection, canopy layout, how to connect oneself to the paraglider and most importantly the paragliding pre-flight checks. We will then determine if there is any wind, and lay the canopy out on the ground facing the direction the wind is coming. Once we attach the harness to the risers and put our helmets on, we will hook ourselves into the harness and do a pre-flight check. The next step is to inflate the canopy and familiarize oneself with the canopy and controls. Running along the ground with the wing above you, you will see how to control the wing's direction with the brakes (also used for steering). You will also learn to bring down the glider by using the brakes. We will then demonstrate how to gather the paraglider into a mushroom-shaped ball, ready for carrying. This is how we walk with the glider so we don't drag the wing on the ground. After brief explanations and demonstrations, it's time to get started! Don't expect anything on the first go, just follow the instructions and see what happens. After the first attempt, things will begin to make some sense and your patient instructor will help and assist you to understand what's going wrong and why. It's like learning any other sport, playing around with the wing and a few more attempts will familiarize you with the wing and the controls. Soon you will be able to inflate the glider with ease and be able to correlate its behavior with the wind conditions.
Now that you have an idea of the forward inflation technique, we are going to make it easier for you. We are going to go up a nursery slope and let you run down the gentle slope. The slopes will allow you to start to feel the lift created by the wing as you run with it. Next, you learn the takeoff and landing techniques by a simple use of brakes that will help you during your small lift offs. You are now doing what is called as 'hops' (no it's not a joke, they are really called hops!). All along your instructor will keep giving you tips and tricks to improve your skills. Once you have mastered your takeoffs and landings, you will be ready for your first epic flight popularly known as your "FIRST SOLO" flight.
You are cleared for your first flight after your Instructors are fully convinced about your ability to fly solo and so are you. This is where the magic begins. You will be assisted for takeoff from a 200 ft hill and your flight will be radio supervised by your instructor and there will also be an Instructor down below as a landing marshal. There is nothing quite your first solo. You are filled with a feeling of exhilaration, fear and excitement before take off and your Instructor will guide you how to overcome all this. And of course, on landing, you will have the largest smile ever! Be sure to get a camera as your first paragliding flight happens only once!