Flying in Indian Himalayas is an exhilarating experience with many challenges, having a highly experianced and competant local guide to fly with you keeps you out of trouble no matter what your experience level is. Join me whether you are a low airtime pilot wanting to learn thermalling, do a cross country course or an intermediate level pilot wanting to go distance or a seasoned veteran wanting to explore new routes or just want a flying buddy.
Get in touch also if you are a guide/instructor bringing a group, I will be glad to help.
Sometimes it is not possible to fly together if I am engaged already, in that case I would be happy to do theory sessions on thermalling and XC.
Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced
Spot guidance over radio
Flying Style: Cross Country
Billing launch is 2400M ASL(~1000M AGL), with almost nil wind, be sure to practice launching in nil wind before you get here. Landing is a big enough ground with gently sloping down terrain, your landing approach should be perfect or you will find yourself flying away down the valley.
There are two great flying seasons, Autumn: October - November and Spring: March - May. Autumn is good for pilots who are coming here for the first time or with low airtime wanting to learn/practice thermalling and XC, . Conditions are gentle and relatively safe. This is the season for easy out and return 100KM flights, setting your personal best altitude. Experienced pilots would fly in very high mountains, going to Manali, or Vol-Bivouacking. There are hundreds of pilots from all over the world, including paragliding Gods, at launch during this season. Clouldbase on front ridge is about 3000M ASL, and touching heavens over in the back mountains. This is the season with many more consistently good flying days in a week than in spring.
Spring is for pilots with at least 100 hours of flying and SIV under their belt. this is the time to set your personal best distance, enjoy high altitude flying and sometime 10+M/s thermals. Couldbase is 3000M - 4500M on front ridge. If you think you can handle little rough air then this is the season for you.
EN B glider, comfortable harness, reserve parachute, live tracker, vario/GPS, insurance and Search and Rescue membership, warm gloves and clothing suitable for high altitude is must to fly here.
Typical Pickup: Bir, Himachal Pradesh, India
Languages: English Gujarati Hindi
Experience Type: Fun, informative, adventurous
Suitable for: Solo pilot, 3 Max.
Ambience: Wilderness, Village life, Relaxed
Fitness level: Capable of carrying and walking with full kit
Bir, Himachal Pradesh is a place where Paragliding, Tibetan and Indian Culture create a perfect Shangri-La. Weather is as beautiful as people here. Forests with pine, cedar and rhododendron cover the snow caped mountains.
There are also other great paragliding destinations that work during seasons when flying at Bir is not possible, do let me know if you wish to go to Kamshet, Panchgani or elsewhere, I may be able to join you there or put you in touch with local instructors who fly there.
Best way to explore the awe inspiring mountains and seemingly easy flying conditions safely is to fly with an experienced guide who will show you the routes, places you can/cannot go and fly with you so you do not have to worry about any unwelcome surprises.
I will help you arrange pickup from airport, if needed, find accommodation that suit your budget(high/med/low), will arrange for ride to launch and retrieve when you land out.
We will be doing full site briefing, daily weather briefings, flight plan and post-flight analysis. We will jointly explore flying in these amazing mountains. We can also arrange for camping out on the mountain or on a non-flying day visit hot springs, waterfalls, beautiful Buddhist monasteries or go trout fishing.
Do note that our sport is heavily dependent on many conditions, weather and pilot aptitude being the important ones. There will be no charge on the days no guiding is not provided, and half charge on the days we can only do very little flying due to weather conditions.
Thermalling is an art and science of finding and using invisible columns of raising air. In this course of minimum 3 days, I will break it down to easily understable concepts, walk you through techniques you can use to narrow down your search and optimize climb in a thermal when you find one. This is the beginning, the foundation of the whole new world of flying cross country. Albedo, source, trigger, core, climb rate etc. and the practically using all that knowledge by doing it are the stuff this course is made of. Once you master thermalling you can spread your wing and go as far as the day and terrain allows. After this course you are now ready for the next big adventure, the XC flying. At the end of this course you will be able to climb all the way to the cloud base/top of the lift and stay up in air for as long as conditions allow.
How to read and utilize the elements of nature to go distance with nothing but a piece fabric over your head is the world of XC flying. Flying over different terrains brings with it it's own challenges and opportunities. After mastering thermals, we delve into glides, speed to fly and look at all the components that make up tools we can use to fly far. Climbs, lines, maps and terrains etc. are the stuff this 3 day course is made of. At the end of the course you will be much more confident in exploring the surroundings away from launch.
You are always a first timer here at Bir, it could be your first time to Red Temple, or the Big Face, or the Hobbiton, Dharamshala, Camp 360, Mandi or the Big Mountains Over The Back and Manali. Whatever your skill level, we will fly together, with me marking thermals along the way or sometimes you leading and learning by doing. Make the most of your flying trip here, let me help you discover the awesome unknown with minimal risk of putting yourself in a situation without anyone watching your back. Shared experience is always the best kind of experiences, let us share the joy of free flight together.
Services and Fees
Standard included services
XC Guiding/Thermalling Course/XC Course
Daily weather briefing
Your Host: Jigish Gohil
Bir has been my home for almost a decade. Having clocked over a thousand hours all over India, in all flying seasons, I am very familiar with the terrain in all the directions from launch: towards Manali, Dharamshala/Dalhousie, Mandi and Jwalamukhi. I am one of the few pilots to fly 200KM triangles multiple times at Bir and the only pilot to have flown 100KM FAI triangle covering South of the launch. I am also among the handful of P-5 rated pilots in India. I am your host for this tour and will take care of everything during your trip. Keeping you safe and enjoying your stay here will be my pleasure.Contact me for availability