FAI Hang Gliding and Paragliding Commission
SafePro Delta Training
The history of hang gliding has been written in a few years, where new barriers have been broken virtually every day. It has developed into a full-blooded aviation activity, meaning it is no longer simple and easy to learn, potentially more dangerous for the "self-learners", while the opposite may be true for the ones receiving proper training. In the race for more efficient gliders and new developments (fixed wings, thermal and cross country flying), one often forgets that human nature needs time to learn to perform new tasks in a safe manner. The training methods are more on the "ground skimming level", while reality calls for cross country flying. Looking at the levels of flying already reached (limited to foot launch, no power) along the history of hang gliding, we see 5 distinct stages. The following program basically keeps the safepro* philosophy, putting these stages together in a training system.
- Ground Skimming (Not flying higher than you would care to fall)
- Altitude Gliding (Altitude and space to do manoeuvres, no soaring)
- Basic Soaring (Soaring in non turbulent conditions)
- Advanced Soaring (Soaring in turbulent conditions)
- Cross Country Each stage is followed by a more complex one (a building block system) requiring new knowledge and skills.
- Tandem (non-commercial)
It is a natural "ladder", where a student should climb to progress safely in his hang gliding career. There are other steps, such as changing to another harness or learning to fly a new site or a new glider. Additional stages like Aerobatics are considered as unsafe for the general pilots until now. They should therefore only be performed by specialists using a strict expert program until safe methods are found to make them available to everyone.