Pakistan Hang Gliding & Paragliding Association (PHPA), is a company not for profit registered under Section 42 of Companies Act 2017, to promote hang gliding and paragliding in Pakistan.NOTE : PHPA IS NOT A PARAGLIDING/HANG GLIDING TRAINING INSTITUTE
History of Paragliding in Pakistan
History of Paragliding in Pakistan begins in early 1980s when foreign pilots started coming to Northern Areas of Pakistan. An uncharted frontier of paragliding, Northern Areas of Pakistan had a lure about it like no other place in the world and it attracted pilots from everywhere, and they came to test their skills and satisfy their adrenalin addiction or twitch for adventure, in its unique and challenging environment.
Syed Sajjad Hussain Shah was Pakistan’s first paraglider pilot. He learnt this sport from Patrick and Manu two French enthusiasts. They are no longer in this world. Later on other Pakistanis took up this sport namely Jabbar Bhatti, Khawaja Bilal, Abbas Hussain Naqvi and many others.
Foreign pilots have been coming to Pakistan mainly for possibilities of epic flights in Northern Areas. A French pilot took off from Broad Peak and safely landed at its base camp. John Sylvester flew from Hunza Valley to Shigar Valley. In 2008 Brad Sanders flew from Booni, Chitral to Hunza in a ten hour flight and reached an altitude of 7800 meters during this flight. Ramon Morillas and his team flew over Nanga Parbat in PPGs. Thomas de Dorlodot, Hernan Pitocco and Horacio Llorens flew 225 KM from Booni, Chitral to Gilgit. There are so many others and their stories have been told the world over. A separate page would be dedicated to our guest pilots from abroad who have visited our country and told its stories.
This brief story of paragliding in Pakistan wouldn’t be complete without mentioning Mr. Pierre and Mariska, they made annual sojourns to Pakistan from mid 1990s to 2006, they ran numerous basic and advance paragliding courses for Pakistanis, many pilots trained by the duo are still flying.
Paragliding in Pakistan has come a long way in terms of challenges, had its ups and downs, the growth is slow due to myriad reasons like security concerns of the state, cultural barriers, for at some places paraglider pilots are warmly and enthusiastically welcomed by the local communities at other destinations they are viewed with suspicion and coldness, but hopefully one day these trivial obstacles shall be no more and this aviation sport will become popular all over Pakistan.