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All You Need To Know About Paragliding Norms In San Francisco

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Have you ever wondered how safe paragliding is? Do you think you can hang glide from a kite?

All You Need To Know About Paragliding Norms In San Francisco

Paragliding is a thrilling adventure sport that can take you to the heart of nature. If you want to attempt paragliding in San Francisco, it is not something that you should try without proper training.

You may be in for more thrill than you can handle if you are a newbie, even though you’re in for a splendid and spectacular view of San Francisco!

If you’re thinking of Bay area paragliding and getting the best aerial views, you’ve come to the right place.

To help answer these questions and more, we’ve compiled a list of some basic paragliding norms in San Francisco.

1. Regulations for inspection

All You Need To Know About Paragliding Norms In San Francisco
  • Before every flight, a pilot must ensure their gear is in good shape. Even experienced pilots sometimes neglect to close a leg strap, so it’s essential to have a solid routine for getting ready. Try and locate a Look for weak spots on the wing and lines. They shouldn’t fly; instead, have the wing checked if something seems out of the ordinary.
  • Set up regular inspections of equipment to make sure it is safe. It is your job to ensure your gear is in good enough shape to fly. The glider needs checking every year or 100 hours. At least once every six months or once a year, the reserve should be repacked.

2. Flights Take Off And Land

  • Never fly when the weather will make it hard to see. Only fly when the weather is clear and the wind is not too strong for your skill level. This means you can’t fly at night.
  • Your landing page should be easy to find and easy to understand. Also, it should be straightforward to land on to prevent getting hurt. During rough landings, many accidents happen, like foot injuries and leg fractures.
  • No matter what, you should never fly while drunk. You can’t smoke or drink before a flight because it can affect your judgment and cause you and others to get hurt.

3. Rules Against Collision

All You Need To Know About Paragliding Norms In San Francisco
  • There is no rule against passing another flyer, as your wing could travel at a different speed than theirs. And always give yourself plenty of room to the right before passing. If you can’t get through, you need to get back.
  • If there is a chance of a collision between two gliders because they are traveling in the same direction and could collide, then both gliders should steer to the right.
  • To avoid collisions, avoid flying directly above or below any nearby gliders. In any case, the glider below should move over since they have the right of way because they can’t see you due to their wings. So if they ascend more quickly than you, you must allow them to pass.
  • To prevent a collision during ridge soaring, move away from the ridge and toward the wind.
  • Always move in the same direction as the heat source. In the event that there is already another pilot orbiting in the thermal, that individual will select the direction, and you will be required to turn in the same direction.
  • Never approach or land near an outdoor gathering, a school, a no-fly zone, or an airport.

4. Locale-Specific Regulations

We rarely fly solo when paragliding over the San Francisco Bay Area. At Mussel Rock, up to 40 additional paragliders may fly in the sky on a busy day.

To ensure your safety and the safety of others, it is essential to obey some additional guidelines in certain situations.

Pilots flying anywhere in the United States, including the Bay Area, are subject to these regulations. There may be minor differences in the laws in various nations.

On the Ridge

The right of way belongs to the paraglider pilot flying with the ridge on their right. These three letters rhyme, making it very easy to recall this information.

You can pass a slower paraglider on the ridge side if you fly at the same altitude. Still, it’s a good idea to make sure the pilot of the slower glider knows what you’re doing.

The slow pilot could drift toward the ridge and leave you with few choices.

Most pilots will do this on purpose before turning in the opposite direction if the lift band is narrow.

In the Clear

All You Need To Know About Paragliding Norms In San Francisco

The rules are different when flying in clear air far from a ridge. If two pilots are on courses that converge, the pilot on the right has priority.

It’s much like the rules about who has the right of way when two cars simultaneously come to a stop sign. What happens if the two pilots are flying right at each other?

Both pilots need to execute a turn to the right in this particular circumstance.

In a Thermal

When you’re coring a thermal with your vario making pleasant noises, concentrating on staying in the lift, and planning your next move, avoiding other gliders is the last thing you want to be concerned with.

If you want to join other flight crews in a thermal, you must turn in their direction.

If you locate a thermal and are the only person in it, you are the thermal’s leader, and all other participants will follow your lead.

However, this rule is routinely disregarded in contests because organizers instruct competitors on which way to turn in all thermals.


If you’re looking to fly with your paraglider on your own in San Francisco, you have some rules to follow.

And if you’re planning on flying off of one of the peaks to the east of San Francisco, like Mount Diablo or Mount Tamalpais, you’ll need to abide by the FAA’s LOS requirements.

This means you can legally glide in San Francisco as long as you follow FFA regulations, which are enforced nationally.

Hopefully, we’ve given you everything you need to know about San Francisco’s paragliding norms so you can enjoy this sport in the bay area and beyond.

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