If you do not fully understand the following description of one days flying, you are not an experienced Paralinguist and you may find it helpful to study this little short course before going to the flying site.
Though not all terms are used on a regular basis, it is still good to be “educated” in case they suddenly pop up in conversation.
“Hey Sam, did you hear Inspo was poppin yesterday? Jack went big over the back at 14. Tom was the wind dummy in boomers and had 30 wuffos (3 of them had major ground suck capabilities) gawking as he laid out his panty. Five lemmings followed him into the rodeo just before he ragged out at 2000 over. Jay skyed out about I hr. later when he cored some great cloud suck. Just before glass off we had magic air that was so good I got about the worst case of toxic flight syndrome I’ve ever had.”
What you are called if you are new to the sport of Paragliding. Derived from the constant questions like ” What for you do that?” Condensed to “What for” and then to “Wa fo”, thus “Wuffo”. It’s a stretch but then so are most things in paragliding.
Maintaining or gaining altitude for a significant period of time (this came from the fact that if one does this for more than 3 hrs. one gets very sore).
Any pilot who has enough time on their hands to fly both hangliders and paragliders.
Anything that pulls your attention from the sky to the ground such as work or scantily clad good lookers standing near launch.
Stable, solid glider
A significant major altitude or distance flight.
Buoyant, lifty, smooth air
The wind is too strong to fly safely.
Way blown out! When you drive to launch to check the wind speed and you can’t open the car door.
JELLYFISH, RAGS, PARAPANTIES, NYLON PYLONS:
All more or less (depending on the attitude of the speaker) endearing terms referring to Paragliders.
HANG DRIVERS, DIVER DRIVERS, LAUNCH POTATOES:
These three terms refer to hangliders, the latter one referring to those who stand at ready in the launch area for 2 or more hrs., which usually happens to be the place where the best lift is.
LAND LUBBERS, R.C’ers, R.C. PILOTS, BLIMP POACHERS:
Remote control model airplane pilots. Blimp Poacher refers to the story about one R.C.’er who inadvertently (we hope) flew too close to a passing blimp, punctured it and caused an unscheduled emergency landing.
A somewhat flat area on the lower parts of a hill or Mt. used as a launching or landing sight.
Launching from the bench and flying up to the top of the Mt. or hill.
Flying in stronger wind conditions at the top of the Mt. and being blown behind into potentially dangerous conditions such as rotors, turbulence, trees, etc …
Highest velocity of wind at top front part of hill
RIDING OR SURFING THE WAVE:
Flying playfully with the wind at its compression point.
SHADOW OR GRADIENT:
Sheltered low wind area behind an object such as behind a stand of trees where wind velocity drops.
2 wind patterns meeting at one point creating updrafts or wind shear.
2 air masses moving in different directions that meet and don’t mix but create a dangerous point where half the canopy could be in south wind and the other half in north wind, or other similarly uncomfortable and dramatic wind direction differences.
F U N Buoyant, comfortable wind conditions that are not always explainable. You wonder why it’s so good (unusual), like magic!
Turbulent, rocky wind conditions. Only the craziest of the crazies fly in this air. Also called rock ‘n roll.
Great buoyant lift sought after by some, avoided by all.
overdeveloped conditions. Winds too strong to fly
Thermals in blue sky (no clouds)
Ground surface areas such as black top parking lots or any surface areas that heat up and produce thermals.
Updrafts produced directly beneath clouds that can suck you up into them (sometimes a sought after experience)
The wind velocity is at one mile, kilometer or knot per hour. “It’s up a click.”
Someone flying so high they have become a speck in the sky. Something over 17,999 ft.. This is definitely not legal and is therefore reported over radio as flying at 17,999 ft..
Flying much higher than anyone else. Under 17,999 ft..
Down wind conditions.
Found the middle of the thermal and rode it up. This is the best spot to ride a thermal.
All around great flying conditions.
Even and steady conditions.
Over developed, Wind too strong to fly safely.
CHASE THE WIND:
Driving around in a vehicle from site to site looking for good flying conditions, not usually successful.
Working to maintain flight using ridge lift close to the ground, sometimes within inches or scraping.
Flying while dragging feet along the ground
Same as above, great fun in 2 ft. of powder.
Using the available air space in a way that is inconsiderate of other pilots. Also used affectionately referring to someone who spends a lot of time in the air i.e. lands long after everyone else and in the dark.
Inconsiderately using the air space along the ridge making it difficult (or more challenging if you like) for others to fly. Also sometimes used affectionately.
Turbulent flow of air that comes off of (above and behind) neighboring “flying wings” such as other paragliders, hang gliders, airplanes and any other miscellaneous airborne particles. You can expect no vortices problems from R.C. Planes and birds, however extreme caution should be used around large flying objects.
Feeling your canopy flutter or collapse from the vortices of another glider in front or below you. Spooky feeling at first, switches to being only mildly inconsiderate after you get used to it. If accompanied by laughter from the offending glider, the dusting was probably done on purpose.
A no or low wind flight down to the bottom with no lifting conditions.
2 people flying in one glider.
Slamming into the ground at an unsafe speed. (an automatic 10 points)
First person to fly at a particular site and time so others can tell if they should fly.
Those who fly right after the wind dummy in questionable conditions
Hanging motionless in the sky
PARKING A THERMAL:
Hanging in the middle of a thermal and riding it to it’s top.
Flying up and down in a wave-like or marine porpoise fashion.
WINGOVER or PENDULUM:
Consecutive opposite turns at an extreme angle so that the pilot swings widely from side to side.
Girl friend who drives vehicle to retrieve or deliver boy friend pilot. Sorry ladies but I haven’t heard you use any such term to refer to your guys.
TOXIC FLIGHT SYNDROME:
Flying is so good that you don’t want to land and relieve yourself thus you suffer the consequences.
A landing that is so hard that you bounce back up.
TOUCH AND GO:
Touching down on the ground briefly and then flying right back up again keeping the canopy inflated.
Using the lift of the canopy to take giant steps along the ground.
Launching with back to wind and facing canopy. A little bit confusing at first.
DUDED TO SCRATCH:
A paraglider dressed in protective or combat gear from head to toe for very necessary body protection while semi-flying and skimming and scraping along the ground.
BEING A DRAG:
Getting blown back by high winds and dragged along the ground. Not usually done intentionally and happens when one attempts to launch or land in high winds or during paragliding training maneuvers. Is normally exciting and uncomfortable.
Landing in sitting position (sometimes done on purpose).
Launching from sitting position almost always done on purpose)
Landing on back (hopefully always done on purpose and very gently).
Launching from position of lying on back (I have never seen this done accidentally.).
A collapse of the canopy or airfoil, it looks like a crumpled up rag.
Waiting around, no wind days.
Pilots choose not to fly and instead drink alcohol and stay on the ground. I don’t know why this is called a safety meeting as I have been to a few and there was no discussion of safety. Alcohol is not safe and neither is the ground. All the accidents I have seen or have heard of have happened while in contact with the ground. Even if you’re falling through the air, you don’t get hurt until you hit the ground.
Unseen dangers for pilots, such as rotors, turbulence, wind shear, etc …
Winds become very smooth and even
Yes, exactly, very accurate.
CRANK AND BANK:
Making a very sharp turn.
SHIT AND GRIN:
super strong lift that is scary and fun at the same time.
Thermal activity is edgy and abrupt
Small and strong.
(Don’t get too excited. This does not mean you can go soaring in your house!) A thermal that tends to be in the same spot consistently.
Tucking the end cells or tips of the wing under by pulling down on any combination of the front lines at the ends of the canopy. Purpose: to lose altitude or increase ability to penetrate in higher winds.
Mildly turbulent air caused by uneven cooling of surfaces after the sun has set.
Call it a day, quit flying (pack the glider up in its bag) …
Thinking of which, it’s time to BAG UP this article. Happy, good, exciting and safe flying to all of you.
This article was written in 1995.
If you have any suggestions, corrections, additions or subtractions please