High Intermediate: General Reading Package – b – 2 – A2
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Read the text below and answer Questions 8-14.
Paragliding in Australia
What is paragliding?
Paragliding is a kind of flying, but instead of the wing being made of metal, wood or plastic, it is made of nylon or polyester. The wing (known as a canopy) is attached to a harness by lines, not dissimilar to a parachute. The harness is where the pilots sit – and they report that it outperforms a parachute in terms of comfort.
Is it safe?
Like sailing and deep-sea diving, paragliding is as safe as the person doing it. The big advantage is that it’s probably the slowest form of aviation, so if you do crash you’ll hit the ground quite gently!
Where do I learn?
There are lots of schools, mainly based inland by appropriate hills or mountains, and there are also schools on the coast near spectacular cliffs. These are very attractive, though the prospect of landing in the sea seems to dissuade beginners! All schools will show you within a couple of days how to inflate the canopy, launch and land. They use radio instruction, tandem flying practice and schoolroom theory sessions to help you get the most from paragliding. It takes about seven days to get your basic licence; then you’re free to fly independently at sites across Australia.
What do I need?
Pilots normally wear warm clothes, in case they get very high up, and a helmet in case they stumble on landing. In terms of gear, schools supply basic training, canopies, harnesses, etc. However, you’ll probably want to buy your own more sophisticated equipment, which you’ll be able to choose much better once you’ve tried some out on your course.
Who can do it?
There’s no upper age limit provided your instructor deems you capable, but the youngest anybody can paraglide is 14. Anybody with good eyesight and good balance is a potential paraglider pilot. It’s a very relaxed sport as you’re mostly sitting down. You’ll probably experience pain in some muscles you didn’t know you had whilst learning, but many of those will be due to the walk up the training hill to launch. Flying a paraglider is a great sport. We hope to see you in the air with us this season!
Do the following statements agree with the information given in the text above?
Correct 7 / 7 PointsIncorrect / 7 Points
8. – A paraglider is more comfortable than a parachute.
9. – Most paragliding schools are situated by the sea.
10. – Learners must pass a theory test in order to get their licence.
11. – Learners are able to paraglide unaccompanied after a week’s course.
12. – It is advisable to purchase some equipment before you do your training.
13. – Fit people of any age can take up paragliding.
14. – The preliminary uphill walk may strain some of your muscles.