How I came to be a Paragliding Pilot

How I came to be a Paragliding Pilot

I always had my own theory.

Since we were born, we have the need to move. It is simply vital. With very few months of life we begin to creep, then we crawl. One day we learn to walk, and when you least expect it... We are capable of running and jumping!

This you learn in a short period of time; in a stage of life where the limit does not exist in our mind. One day we looked at the sky and thought: "I want to move in the air ... I want to fly." Then this idea becomes a dream full of stories and children's tales; You start to believe that it's real. I was very young when the Greek myth “Daedalus and Icarus” was first told to me.

I belong to a generation where playing with a paper airplane was ingenious and full of emotions. My childhood is full of memories where there were elements of flight. I even remember that my father safeguarded from "my young destructive hands" a model of a yellow airplane made of wood and paper. It was magical, today he still has it. My childhood was a real cocktail of emotions and stimuli. The truth is that while I was beginning to feel curious about flying, my parents always taught me to connect with nature, to listen to the wind and to feel the mountains. All of these ingredients were building the identity of who I am today. In short: my values.

So far, with my story, it may seem that I started flying from a very young age but this is not the case. Perhaps because in my family no one was dedicated to the world of flight. But there was a moment that completely changed my life:

Until that moment my experience in flight was simple; I traveled several times in a commercial plane (I always reserved the window to see the world from above). But there was a key day for me. The same day that Felix Baumgartner broke three historical records by free-falling from 38,969.3 meters, my girlfriend prepared a surprise for me: she was going to fly paragliding with a friend: Oscar Cela. I had that experience in San Cristobal de Valdueza, in El Bierzo (Spain). It was the best sunset of my life, and since that day I have carried the “poison” in my body. I remember the date as an important day: October 14, 2012.

From that day on I began to discover free flight. First through reading I became interested in aeronautics, I started looking for information on meteorology. Later I watched many documentaries about flight, I read magazines with the exploits of professional pilots, even normally I flew in two-seater flight. Not to mention the amount of hours I spent sitting in the landing zones watching the pilots in my area fall from the sky. It was a matter of time before I made the decision to become a paragliding pilot.

Paragliding is the simplest way to fly, but it requires a lot of sensitivity and patience. You have to feel the air and make good decisions. For me it is the pure state of freedom connected to responsibility. It is a perfect fusion between pilot and nature. Play with gravity and play with time.

It is not enough to learn to feel the wing, or the wind. It is important to feel the moment and appreciate every second. This is the charm of free flight.​

I took my pilot validation course in Castejón de Sos (Spain) and in Val Louron (France), both places are a paradise for this type of paragliding flight. There I learned the basics to be able to make my first autonomous flights, only with the radio assistance of my instructor.

Now, although I still consider myself a novice in this world where you never stop learning, I am having more experience. Although it is my hobby, I fly very regularly and have adventures with my companions. I don't understand my life without the ability to fly. I want to keep progressing and share stories for the rest of my life. For the immediate, I want to have challenges and be able to specialize; I love the adventure of walking and flying. Although I have always made flights locally, this year I want to specialize in the discipline of Hike & Fly, compete, but above all I want to be able to tell and share my adventures and trips.I would love to have my story inspired you and encourage you to make yours come true.

If you want to know more about me, or want to ask me something, I am delighted to be able to help you through my Instagram profile @andreu.skywalk.

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