Over 200 pilots to take wings in Himachal

Photo by Munish Sharma

Shimla: Over 200 pilots will take wings in the skies of Himachal Pradesh with a weeklong paragliding championship beginning Sunday, an official said Saturday.

“More than 200 gliders will participate in the Paragliding International Championship and Himalayan National Paragliding Championship at Bir-Billing (in Kangra district) Oct 16-22,” youth services and sports department joint director Suman Rawat told.

She said pilots from Britain, Germany, Russia, the US, Australia and France would also compete in the championship.

The Aero Club of India is providing technical support to the event.

Sheltered by mountains and surrounded by rolling tea gardens, Bir-Billing, situated at a height of 2,290 metres and about 300 km from here, is considered to be one of the finest aero-sports sites in the world.

Its name has also been included in international circuits for steady thermals.

Last year, 200 pilots took part in the Himalayan Open Para Gliding held in Bir-Billing Nov 11-14.

Local lad Arvind Paul secured the first position in the open category, while Sikander Thakur was first in the novice category.

Russian pilots hogged the limelight in the women’s category. Veranian Anstasiia and Zhuravlovya Maria were first and second, respectively.

The entire take-off range at Billing and landing site at Bir were refurbished as per international specifications two years ago.

Now at least 100 gliders can take off from Billing at any one point of time, Rawat added.


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