Powered Paragliding

Strap what looks like a big fan on your back, attach it to a parachute, and just like that, you have what's known as a "powered paraglider". Well, it's not quite that simple, but the emerging sport has a growing number of enthusiasts who say it's as close to flying like a bird as you're likely to get.

Click to Listen

In an open, grassy field, just off Highway 288 a few miles south of Pearland, Page has set up his make-shift runway. Unlike a regular airplane, he'll only need a few feet to get his red, powered-paraglider off the ground and into the air.

Page has been flying powered paragliders for two years and is one of about 50 pilots in the Houston area. The sport started back in the 80's in Europe, when paragliders strapped two-stroke engines to their backs, attached them to a parachute wing and invented a new way of flying.

Powered paragliders can fly at altitudes up to 10,000 feet, traveling at speeds ranging from 7-30 miles per hour, depending on wind conditions.

Page is making a movie about his paragliding adventures, called Into the Wind. The documentary will premiere at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival next year.

Bio photo of Jack Williams

Jack Williams

Director of News Programming

News Director Jack Williams has been with Houston Public Radio since August of 2000. He's also a reporter and anchor for Houston Public Radio's local All Things Considered segments...