Is paragliding safe? Was first message I received after posting a photo of me in paragliding harness. I replied Totally? No, but it it sure does have the best view of this side of the planet!
Paragliding is the recreational and competitive adventure sport of flying a paraglider: that lightweight, free-flying, foot-launched glider aircraft with no rigid primary structure.
Paragliding is the recreational and competitive adventure sport of flying a paraglider: that lightweight, free-flying, foot-launched glider aircraft with no rigid primary structure. The pilot sits in a harness suspended below a fabric wing comprising a large number of interconnected baffled cells. Wing shape is maintained by the suspension lines, the pressure of air entering vents in the front of the wing, and the aerodynamic forces of the air flowing over the outside.(Wikipedia)
A paraglider can have a “passenger” using a tandem harness and “wing” or canopy that allows it. So when AKFIG Paragliders invited us to try tandem paragliding at Sitio AKFIG, Brgy. Maligo Polomolok fly site, I readily said “yes!” Why? just look at this astounding view!
The paragliders of Sitio Akfig, Brgy. Maligo in Polomolok are the same pilots flying in Maitum, Saranggani fly site. The Sitio Akfig fly site was first spotted and explored by paraglider Mr. Edilberto Banaag. When weather and winds in Saranggani fly site makes it impossible for them to paraglide there, they head out to the Akfig Polomolok fly site. Accordingly, Akfig’s micro climate and wind patterns are different but more conducive to all day flying most of the time. This site is presently being developed by the group for recreation and competitive paragliding activities.
In this tandem paragliding try out, we were met by Mr. Banaag and his wife Mary Ann, Sarah Cartagenas- Akfig Paragliders Facebook site admin and pro paragliders Christopher “Titoy” Romano, Carlos Montero and Darvin Villanueva. The fly site is some 20 minutes ride from Polomolok town proper, to Dole pineapple plantation then to the top of Akfig hill. So you need a 4 x 4 vehicle if you wanna go up to the jump off site.
Here are videos and photos to tell you my experience at tandem paragliding.
Frequently Ask Questions:
- Is this safe? Paragliding like any extreme sport is a potentially dangerous activity . US data says 2 pilot dies from paragliding for every 10,000 paragliders. Ironically many more dies of motorcycle accidents here in the Philippines. The harness, carabiners and wing lines are all pro rated gears. One wing line can carry weights of up to 180kg. Ultimately safety is a function of pilots skill training and risks management.
- Any medical condition that should prohibit you from paragliding? If you are just a passenger, fear of the heights is a big thing. If you have cardiac problems, this sport is adventure poses a risk for you. Age? I read it somewhere that the oldest paraglider was 104 years old.
- How much is a tandem paragliding at Akfig fly site? Regular rate is 3,500 Php for 15 minutes. That includes your transpo from Polomolok town proper to and from flysite and all the gears usage plus a video. Akfig do offer promos now in time for Polomolok Festival.
- Is the Akfig Polomolok Paragliding fly site assures a daily tandem paragliding activity? Usually depends on the weather and wind patterns but most of the time yes. We had a window in the morning so went flying. In the afternoon it rained! Thats how micro climate change! But pilots are always ready so long as you are booked for that day.
- I’m interested in a tandem paragliding, who are we going to contact? Visit Akfig Polomolok Paragliding fly site facebook page and contact them thru that page. You may also call the following Akfig Paragliders Edil Banaag (0917) 712 1868 or Sarah Jane Cartagenas (0915) 8962494.
Disclaimer: As a medical professional, my advices here does not constitute any medical recommendation. If you have a medical condition consult your personal physicians first before tandem paragliding.