It is important for you to be a part of your local flying community. The other pilots in your area are an integral part of your learning process. They will help you determine safe flying conditions for the sites you will be using, provide pointers and valuable experience, and be there for you if you get into trouble. Remember, flying alone is not only “un-fun”, it’s risky!
One of the great parts of paragliding is being able to travel, fly other sites and meet other pilots. When traveling it is especially important to at least contact a member of the local club and let them know you plan to be flying their site. They may ask you for a small fee to help with maintenance costs . Most club fees are extremely cheap and well worth the cost. In some cases you must to be a club member to fly their sites When you contact them it would be a good opportunity to ask for a site briefing when you arrive. They may ask you to pitch in a few dollars for the briefing etc. especially if they showed up specifically to give you a briefing.
“Renegading” on sites without permission or contact with a local is considered bad form and could lead to the site being shut down if you violate local rules or landowner agreements. News spreads fast and you will quickly find yourself unwelcome at other sites.
Local on-line discussion boards are great places to post your flight reports, plan trips, or ask questions. Please participate! Everyone enjoys reading about who has been flying while they were stuck in the office. It will also help you and others create a weather profile for the area. Sometimes days that looked mediocre on paper turn out to be epic. Did you miss out on one or were you the only one who knew it was going to be good? Post it!
If you are unsure who to contact for local or non-local club info ask your instructor! It’s a small community in the U.S. and almost everyone is either a friend, or a friend of a friend. Chances are your instructor at least knows of someone reputable in the area where you plan to be traveling.
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