Автор: Jamal Kashkay, Azerbaijan
About paragliding in Azerbaijan
Azerbaijan is the country that fits ideally Mountaineering and Paragliding needs. We are leaving at area of Small and Big Caucasus next to the Caspian Sea. South climate and this location creates an ideal condition for XC flying, as well as high altitude flights.
However paragliding in Azerbaijan is very young sport. First steps towards the flights were done by FAIREX (Federation of Air and extreme sports) members in 2012. Three years ago federation called for an experienced trainer from Russia in order to teach volunteers and build up air sport society. It’s obviously, the first enthusiasts were climbers, whose dream was to fly from one of the highest picks of Caucasus. However, this movement could get full development till one of the FAIREX club – ROCKSTONE invited Holland trainer for more advanced and programmed training.
With Stephen Charton (Holland Instructor) help ROCKSTONE transformed from Climbing and Mountaineering club to Extreme club with more than 20 paragliding pilots.
That’s the time when basic dream might come true. So in mid-2014 four pilots made the first high altitude flights near the Shakhdah National Park, with starting point about to 2000m. That was the first step toward the real high altitude flights in Big Caucasus Mountains from peaks like Ilham (more than 4000m). Sometime earlier other eight pilots made their first starts from Qicky Mountain for XC flights preparation. Qicky spot was tested already by foreign pilots and confirmed as the best paragliding site in Azerbaijan for XC flights.
These achievements are agreed to record as memorable and announce 30th of May as Azerbaijan Paragliding Day.
This year our community is planning to organize air sport festival at the day and invite pilots from Georgia, Turkey, Ukraine, Russia, Saudi Arabia and Iran.