Birthday Gift turned into Passion

Birthday Gift turned into Passion

My name is Igor Ladyko. I was born and grew up in a small resort town in the South of Russia, on the Black Sea coast, called Gelendzhik. Our town is located at the foot of the mountains of the Main Caucasus Range. One of the frequent childhood amusements of me and my yard friends was hiking to the tops of our mountains. Our nearest mountains are not very high (500-600 meters above the sea), so the walk to the top did not require much effort and time.

Every time I climbed to the very top of the mountain, I experienced an emotional lift, I enjoyed the beauty, the views of our city that opened from this height. It was nice and comfortable to feel that I was at a high altitude, it gave me a sense of calm and peace. I could look at the panorama around me for a long time, and looking at the nearest, steep gorges and peaks of the neighboring mountains, I thought how great it would be to run faster, push harder off the ground and go to meet those distant mountains. And in those moments, it seemed quite real to me, even though I knew that it was just my imagination. I thought that to do this, you need to have some kind of super-ability, but in my heart, even then, I dreamed of being able to fly like birds. At that time, I could not even think that my dreams would become reality.

Growing up, I learned that there are ultralight aircraft that do not require any fuel or a special airfield to fly. I started looking for information on the Internet and found out that our region, thanks to its terrain and weather conditions, is great for flying on such devices. After reviewing dozens of videos with paragliding flights, I was very impressed with what I saw. I was struck by the ease with which the paraglider pilots took off from small glades and went high into the sky. This is how my acquaintance with the fascinating world of paragliding began, it was at this moment that I had a dream - to become a paraglider pilot.

During my time at the university, I had to forget my idea of paragliding, but whenever I saw the pilots in the sky above our mountains, on their bright, colorful wings - I watched them for a long time, with great admiration. I believed that one day I would join these brave people.

And then one day, quite by accident, I came across an advertisement on the Internet for an open lesson on paragliding, which was held in my city. I signed up for this master class, thinking that it was time to realize my old dream and try what it is - paragliding. Many people came to this lesson, just like me, who were passionate about the sky. We were told about the device of the paraglider and how and why it flies, and also gave a try to fasten the suspension and lift the wing of the paraglider into the air. The lesson was fun and interesting for me and at the end of it I firmly decided that I would learn this craft.

I signed up for a flight training course with an instructor, on the eve of my birthday, and when I went to him for the first lesson in ground training, I wanted to discuss with him the installment payment for the course, due to the considerable price for me. What was my surprise when the instructor said that I did not need to pay anything, because my girlfriend had already paid for the entire course of training, as a gift for me on my birthday. This was my best birthday present ever! My girlfriend gave me the embodiment of my dream, I am infinitely grateful to her for this!

I started training hard. At first, I was not good at it, I could not lift the paraglider properly, I did not understand how to move correctly and what to pull. But I did not give up, and persevered in training. And over time, I started to get better and better. I began to understand the wing and feel the wind. After about a month of training, I made my first, independent flight. There was no limit to my joy. I was overwhelmed with emotions, I was happy that I realized my long-standing dream by taking off on my own, flying a little along the cliff and landing safely on the ground. This was my first flight and the first step on the long and exciting path of becoming a paraglider pilot.

Now I try not to miss the opportunity to take to the sky on my paraglider and fly every weekend when the weather allows. I fly in different places and different conditions and always try to learn something new and develop in paragliding control and in understanding the surrounding, natural processes.

I really like paragliding! Doing it-I get a lot. This includes trips to the beautiful places of our region, with a diverse and picturesque nature, with which the paraglider allows you to get acquainted from a new angle.

Cool and friendly company of like-minded people, just like me, infected with the sky people who are never boring!⠀

Intoxicating feeling of free flight, serenity and detachment from extraneous thoughts.

Breathtaking-speeds and overloads on bends. Excitement and sports interest in fulfilling your tactical goals in flight.

All this and much more gives me our favorite sport - Paragliding!

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