Jane’s first PG flight!

Well, it’s been another successful weekend’s training in Scotland! This time, my partner Jane came up with me. Setting off at 11pm on Friday night, we arrived at Murray’s soon after 5am. Who needs sleep anyway?? Saturday proved to be another full day, with lots of tandem work and a couple more solo’s for me, plus some extended ridge soaring at Arbroath, but the real high point was Jane deciding that she wanted to find out exactly why we do what we do. It’s worth bearing in mind, we’re not youngsters. I’m 51 and Jane’s 46! Here’s her part of the story:

After watching my partner (Paul) having paragliding tuition from Murray Hay, I decided, after some encouragement, to ‘give it a go’.  I accompanied them both to a hillside near Dundee and after watching Paul and Murray, I suddenly found myself saying to Murray I was ready for a tandem flight.  I felt quite excited but did not give it too much thought – otherwise I might have talked myself out of it!

 A very short while later, Murray was getting me into the harness and Paul was doing up the straps; I was then anxious to ‘get up there’.  Basically all I had to do was relax and let Murray do all the work, which was quite reassuring.  After waiting for the wind to come right, we took a few steps and suddenly we were in the air and Murray called out: “Launching!”  It was a wonderful weightless feeling – I felt so calm and relaxed and in a way ‘free’.  I remember thinking so this is how the birds in the sky must feel.  We flew all the way down to the bottom of the hill and had a very smooth landing.  My partner came down the hill towards me and I had a big cheesy grin on my face, which said it all. 

 I did a further two flights before we changed location to Arbroath, where I experienced an extended ridge flight, soaring backwards and forwards along the coast, which was a faster pace and quite exhilarating.  We did lots of turns with Murray instructing me to ‘lean to the left, or right’.  It felt surreal to be flying over so many people and Murray encouraged me to give them a wave as we passed over them.  This flight lasted approximately 20 minutes, by which time I had lost my initial nerves and thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience.

 This experience helped me understand why paragliding holds so much appeal.  I am scared of heights and I really don’t think I could have done this had I not been so confident in Murray Hay’s ability.  I would highly recommend this tandem flying experience as if you don’t do it, you will never know what you are missing. I can’t wait to do it all again!

 Jane (& Strutty)

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