My dream to be a pilot comes true!

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“When I grown up, I want to be a pilot. I will fly you to Hong Kong", I would say these words to everyone when I was a kid! And guess what I did this Christmas vacations? I went for a Paragliding camp to Nirvana Adventures, Kamshet near Lonavala for five days.

On the first day, I started of with ground handling where I learnt to handle the glider on the ground. On the second day I was doing bunny hops which are small low flights with radio instruction for ten to fifteen seconds from the training hill. The exciting part was that you go solo right from the start!

At Nirvana Adventures there were people from all over the world. I interacted with pilots from Luxemburg, Germany, England and Norway and people across India. I learnt various types of knots from Daniel, the German pilot who is also into climbing.

On the third day, I had bigger flights with radio supervision, which lasted about a minute. I'm flying already! As I landed I heard my instructor tell me, "Welcome to the fraternity of paragliding pilots!!" On the fourth day, I was making my own approaches to the landing spot! Wow, I can fly on my own now! Nirvana Adventures is where I discovered the joy of flying just like a bird, free, up in the air. It was truly amazing! Just my glider and me, high up there! I was a solo pilot fulfilling my dreams!

The fifth day, my last day after five hours of para-waiting, (waiting for good wind conditions for flying) I had a fantastic fifteen minute solo flight, top to bottom from the Tower hill!

Alas! I completed my P1 (1st level course) and I'm desperately waiting for my P2 (2nd level course) to begin. P2 is where I can expect at least one hour flights each day!

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Heena Shah

Heena Shah is a student from Mumbai.

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