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3.B. Do pilots need to be of a certain age, gender, weight or size range ?




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This article is from the Hanggliding and Paragliding FAQ, by Joao Geada with numerous contributions by others.

3.B. Do pilots need to be of a certain age, gender, weight or size range ?

Hangglider pilots range in age from teens to octagenarians. The
limits are more mental than physical. If someone is sufficiently
mature to make decisions significantly affecting their safety and has
sufficiently good reflexes to make such decisions promptly, then they
probably are of a reasonable age for flying.

Since flying depends more on balance and endurance than on brute
strength, woman and men make equally good pilots. While the fraction
varies regionally, about 10 - 15 % of the hangglider pilots in the US
are women.

While pilots of virtually any size can fly, the limits here are mostly
dictated by available equipment. Heavier and lighter pilots require
commensurately bigger and smaller gliders. Since most hangglider
pilots weigh between 90 and 250 lbs, however, it may be difficult to
find equipment appropriate for pilots beyond this range. Specially
designed tandem gliders are available, however, and may be used for
extra heavy pilots. While height per se does not determine who can
fly, again, equipment tends to be most available for those between
about 5 and 6.5 feet tall. Harness and glider modifications may be
necessary for individuals outside this range.

 

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