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Air Sports

There are many air sports you can get involved in throughout Wales including:

  • Flying
  • Gliding
  • Hang gliding
  • Paragliding
  • Parachuting
  • Kite flying

There are many risks associated with flying. It can be a dangerous sport, so it's important you are in good health and that you join a club with fully qualified instructors.

Training for each type of air sport may be slightly different but the law says you must be 16 in order to fly on your own. And if you're under 18, you still must have permission from your parents or guardian.

If you have high blood pressure, weak joints or a back injury, it's advised you see your doctor before attempting any air sport.


If you've already decided that you want to learn to fly, you will need to complete a Private Pilot's Licence (PPL) course. You must be 17 and pass a medical examination to obtain this license.

Some clubs offer a trial flight, where you can have a go at piloting an aircraft with your instructor. This can be a great way to find out if you enjoy flying and whether you want to learn.


Most gliders don't have engines and use a similar technique to birds to glide through the air.

If you're interested in learning to glide, it is recommended you are at least 14 before you begin. This ensures you are big enough to be held in safely and reach the pedals.

Hang gliding

Hang gliding involves being strapped to a glider - a lightweight frame with a triangular wing to enable you to fly. In order to take off, the hang glider runs down a hill and launches into the air.

If you're interested in learning to hang glide, there are courses available throughout Wales


Paragliding is similar to hang gliding, but without the lightweight frame - it has only a canopy of fabric, like a parachute. Paragliders take off by jumping off high points and gently descending through the air.

Parachuting / Skydiving

Parachutists and skydivers jump from an aircraft with an unopened parachute strapped to their back. The parachute is opened before you get near to the ground to ensure a controlled and safe landing.

There is a range of different jumps you can experience. Inexperienced parachutists and skydivers will be strapped to an instructor, who will manage the jump and open the parachute. Much more training is needed to do a solo jump.

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