Essential PG Glossary  









































































A french certification agency. Beginner pilots usually fly AFNOR STANDARD wings. Advance pilots may fly AFNOR Performance wings or Competition wings.

Above Ground Level ... as in 'I'm 200m AGL'.

Big Ears - A technique to increse one's descent rate by folding in the wing tips.

Core -
The center of a thermal where the stongest lift is found. To center a thermal.

Check list - A routine safety check that a pilot performs before commiting to the air. For example: reserve pin, leg straps, chest straps, helmet, radio, vario, wind, traffic.

Cross Country (XC)
An advanced skill where pilots take advantage of air currents to cover the greatest distance possible over the ground. XC may involve flying over unlandable areas and landing in new LZs.

The German certification agency. Wings get a rating of DHV 1, DHV 1-2, DHV 2, DHV 2-3 or DHV 3. The higher the rating, the more demanding the glider and the less safe. Most pilots fly within the DHV 1-2 category. Beginner pilots are enouraged to fly a DHV 1 wing to maximize their safety and enjoyment. [top]

Drag - An aerodynamic force that is opposite the direction of flight. Drag can be either parasitic or induced.

- A groupe of pilots flying together in a thermal.

Glide - A ratio that describe how far the wing will travel for every unit altitude that is lost. L/D (Lift/Drag) is a pure number that is one of the characteristics of a wing. In real life, the glide can vary considerably depending on the wind/lift conditions.

GPS - Global Positioning System - A sattelite-based navigation unit that can be accurate to 10m. Pilot use a hand-hald GPS unit to measure their speed over the ground and to report their landing position following XC flights.

- Acronym for Hand Gliding

Hook Knife - A paragliding accessory. A knife with a special, proteted blade that allows the pilot to cut the wing loose (risers) in an emergency.

- The act of brining a glider overhead and inflating it with air. Every good launch starts with a solid inflation.

Inversion - An inversed temperture profile with altitude. The temperature rises (rather than falls) with altitude gain -Indicates a very stable day (High Pressure) and that you might be better off going to work after all.

sraeli Paragliding Assocation - The body governing all paragliding activity in Israel. IPA membership pays for flying sites maintainance, insurance and daily PG weather/conditions report.

Kiting -
The art of flying a paraglider while on the ground. Good kiting skills are essential for a good launch technique. A good pilot can kite for a long time without looking over-head.

Lapse Rate
- The rate at which the temperature falls with altitude gain. A healthy lapse rate indicates an unstable day with good potential for soaring flights. [top]

Lift - Rising air. Either due to thermals, ridge (mechanicl lift) or converging air masses.

Landing Zone

Mean Sea Level - Designates altitude above sea level as in "I'm at 14,500' MSL - Upee"

Panties -
What hang glider pilots call paragliders affectionately. ("Bags" in Israel).

- Acronym for Paragliding

Polar curve - A graph showing the peformance of a wing based on it's airspeed and sink rate. The tanget from the origin to the curve shows the speed for best glide. The best glide speed varies with changes in lift/sink and wind conditions (head/tail wind).

Risers - A set of 3-4 webbings that collect all the cascading lines from the wing to a single hang point by which the harness is suspended. [Known also as V-bridle]

Rotor - Mechanical turbulence on the lee side of ridges. Must be avoided at all cost.

- You don't want to know yet.

Scratching - Flying low, close to the ground in hope of hooking a thermal. Can be dangerous.

Sink - A sinking air mass. Commonly found outside thermals, between lift sources or in rotors.

SIV - Simulations of Incidents en Vol (in flight). A paragliding safety clinic where pilots intentionally deflate their wing and learn to re-inflate it. The flights start at 4000' AGL over a body of water and the pilots carry a series of meneuvers for which they briefed specifically before each flight. The greatest advantage of taking a SIV clinic is that you learn what your wing can do and how not to over-react when things go wrong. A must for every serious pilot.

Sledder (Sled Ride) - A straight glide out in the absense of lift.

Speed System - A foot-operated system that increases a paraglider's airspeed and decreases its stability. Normally, never applied fully unless the conditions are calm.

Tandem - A bi-place wing for a pilot and a passenger. The wing size is almost double that of a solo wing. A tandem wing must be specifically certified as bi-place. The pilot and passenger are suspended from spreader bars (spreaders) which ensure leg room for the pilot who sits behind.

Thermal -
A mass of rising air. That's where we go to fuel and gain altitude. The best place is to be right in the center. Pilots obey rules of the road when flying in a thermal together.

Vario -
An electronic instument that displays the altitude + the rate of climb/sink. A vario produes variable audio sounds to indicate whether the pilot is going up or down. [top]

Wall - A preliminary step before every inflation where the pilot inflate the wing's leading edge and builds tension on the lines. A wall allows the pilot to determine that none of the lines are tangled and that the wing tips are not tucked in (cravatted).

Wing Over - A seemingly simple maneuver that takes lots of practive to master on a paraglider and is very good for developing rythem and coordination in fight - should be first practiced under supervision with plenty of altitude - For instance, during SIV training.

- Something hang glider pilots shout when they see a friend digging in the glider's nose on landing. Or... what happens to a paraglider flying the lee side in rotor as in "I just got whacked hard..."

- Acronym for Cross Country flying