On this planet of journey sports activities, maybe the preferred one is paragliding. The act of strapping a light-weight, free-flying glider plane in your again and launching off the sting of a cliff could be fairly an expertise. And the quaint village of Bir in Himachal Pradesh is a hotspot for this sport.
Paraglider flights don’t use an engine however can nonetheless final within the air for a lot of hours and canopy extensive distances. In April 2022, Austrian pilot Philipp Zellner coated a distance of 272 kilometres from Bir, and the flight lasted over eight hours.
Yearly, The Paragliding World Cup Affiliation (PWCA), a Paris-based company, organises international journey sporting occasions. The Paragliding World Cup (PWC) is one such cross-country flying competitors that’s organised in solely 5 to 6 completely different places worldwide.
In 2015, India hosted the PWC for the primary time in Bir, and this 12 months, they’re all set to host a pre-world cup occasion — the Cross Nation World Cup Paragliding Worldwide Championship — from October 26 to November 2.
A complete of 33 international locations have registered over 180 pilots. The variety of individuals is capped at 150 and alternatives are based mostly on registrations, visa necessities, accreditations, and participation in earlier tournaments and championships. This 12 months’s pre-event in Bir would be the largest it has ever hosted.
The aim is to fly round a predetermined course that has a place to begin, 4 to 6 flip factors, and a end line. Pilots carry a GPS receiver to file their flight monitor, which is used to confirm that they appropriately comply with the course and decide timings.
There are six take-off websites at Billing (a peak overlooking Bir) and in line with climate situations, the paragliders will fly an areal distance of 100-200 kms. Since paragliding is a excessive threat journey sport that has the next fatality price than skydiving, the rescue and retrieval group for this 12 months’s competitors in Bir is without doubt one of the greatest on this planet.The Indian Military may have helicopters on standby at Palampur, Dehradun, and Dharamshala — areas from the place they’ll get to the paragliders’ rescue in beneath 15 minutes. A complete of six ambulances with totally geared up medical first help kits and docs can be stationed across the take-off and touchdown websites.
“We even have a collaboration with the Himalayan Mountaineering Institute, Manali, who can be stationing 16 skilled instructors and rescuers in eight to 10 autos for rescue and retrieval. Geared up with radio for simple communication, these autos can be spaced out by the flying zone,” says Anurag Sharma, the president of the Bir Billing Paragliding Affiliation.
A complete of 24 Indian pilots have been confirmed for participation for the occasion — together with Vijay Soni, who’s India’s primary Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (FAI) Ranked Paraglider, and Sunith Rao, who presently holds the file for the longest flight by an Indian pilot.
Observers from Aero Membership of India (ACI) and Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (FAI) Switzerland will draw up a report after the occasion and gauge the general efficiency of the host nation. In accordance with components together with rescue price, the host nation will be capable of bid on their probabilities to host the world cup.
For particulars, go online to billingparaglidingassociation.com.