Common Questions

Don't you jump off cliffs?

To begin with, we don't jump off anything. Paragliders are usually launched by running off of moderate slopes with the glider inflated until you are lifted off your feet.

Do you need a lot of wind? 

No. We can fly in little or no wind. First day students fly in 0-10 MPH wind speeds.

How long do you fly?

We descend at about 3 minutes per 1000 feet of altitude. However, if the air is rising faster than we are descending (as often happens), flights of 1-3 hours are not uncommon. Paragliders are designed for soaring flight. Parachutes are designed to descend. Paragliders have stayed aloft over 11 hours and achieved over 200 miles in distance records.

How high do you fly?

In training you will start out just skimming the ground. As you progress and become more skilled and confident you will probably want to go higher. Our training syllabus is designed to allow students to proceed at their own pace. Paragliders have reached over 18,000 feet above sea level.

What are the age limits?

There are no age limits. In Europe we have seen pilots as young as 10 years. In Oregon there are active pilots up to age 70.

What are the physical requirements?

Nothing special is required. Paragliding is an active sport so you should be in good health and reasonably good shape.

Do I need a license to fly?

Paragliders are regulated by the Federal Aviation Administration under Part 103 and are classified as ultralights. An FAA private pilot's license is not required. However, the vast majority of paragliding pilots and instructors in the U.S. are members of the United States Hang Gliding & Paragliding Association. USHPA membership provides rating cards, a national magazine, and a liability insurance policy for its members. You'll need a certification to purchase equipment from a reputable dealer and some regulated flying sites will require you to have a rating issued by a certified USHPA instructor.

If it is so simple why do I need instruction and can I teach myself?

It is true that paragliders are the most simple of aircraft. Most people can learn to launch, turn, and land in about an hour and a half of instruction. This is partly possible because we control the situation, assess the conditions and make safety decisions for our students. What cannot be taught in this period of time, however, are all the things necessary to make flight decisions on your own. In order to do this safely, it is necessary to have a comprehensive knowledge of weather, equipment and safety procedures. The pilot certification program encompasses these things. Self teaching has been shown to be a key factor in the accident data compiled by the USHPA IT HAS PROVEN TO BE VERY DANGEROUS TO TEACH YOURSELF!

Is paragliding safe?

Paragliding, like any other adventure sport, has its associated risks. To operate safely in any kind of aviation environment one must strive at all times to minimize those risks. The most important pre-requisites to learning to fly safely are: pilot attitude, competent instruction, and safe equipment. If these conditions are met the slow speeds and inherent stability of paragliders can provide a safe and easy way to experience the realization of one of humankind's oldest and greatest dreams: personal flight.

What kind of safety measures can be taken?

Paragliding equipment includes many safety items such as reserve parachutes, back protector plates, kneepads, helmets and radios. These items are supplied when appropriate.

Do you need a lot of wind?

No. We can fly in little or no wind. First day students fly in 0-10 MPH wind speeds.

How much does it cost?

Because most of our suppliers are multi-national in nature, and the cost of doing business can be subject to change, we do not advertise prices on courses or gear. OTHP is competitive with the other certified schools in the area. Course prices include all equipment, except for footwear. Transportation is provided as well... when available. We will be happy to quote you prices in person or on the phone if you're interested in what we have to offer. Paragliding is still one of the least expensive ways to participate in aviation. Currently you can expect to pay $2,500.00-$4,000.00 for top of the line equipment and accessories. On the other hand, we have seen perfectly serviceable gliders sold used for as little as $350.00.

What kind of equipment is available?

We have accounts with most of the major international manufacturers and importers that do business in the USA. In our school we use and sell only certified gliders and equipment that have passed the AFNOR/ACPULS (French) or DHV (German) tests for safety and user-friendliness. All of our school equipment meets this criteria and is maintained to the highest safety standards. We provide complete inspection, service and repair on all of our products.

503.667.4557 Fax 503.666.6979