All pilots have asked themselves this question.
Perhaps you already know the answer?

There are different ways to answer it. The first is given by the aviation regulations and the second by the resistance of our body.

Indeed, all flying machines are subject to airspace regulations. 

The first rule to know is that we are flying under VFR (Visual Flight Rules) and that we must see and be seen! This prohibits us from flying at night or in the clouds. ☁ 🌘

When driving, roads are dedicated to cars and bicycles have cycle lanes, yet it is possible to share certain lanes. But a bike will never be allowed on a motorway lane just as a car will not be allowed on narrow cycle paths.

For airspaces, the logic is the same.

Some areas, especially those near airports and airfields, are strictly forbidden to paragliders.

Here, the CTR (Control Traffic Region) and the TMA (Terminal Manoeuvring Area) define a 3-dimensional space around the runways that is inaccessible to us. If the height of the TMA ends at 2800m, for example, paragliders are allowed to pass over it with the certainty of being able to reach the other side of the area with room to spare. On the other hand, for a TMA that starts at 2500m, the pilot will be free to fly at the altitude he wishes below this limit.

ffvl schéma espaces aérien

Credits: FFVL

schéma ffvl altitude de vol

Credits: FFVL

Fortunately in France, some areas are far from these restriction zones and pilots are free to fly at the altitude they want. Yes, but with certain conditions.

As you can see on this picture, the limit suggested in France is 3450 m. This limit was established to prevent the risk of hypoxia (oxygen concentration decreasing with altitude) which occurs above 3750 m.

This limit given by our body imposes to the expirienced pilots to fly with oxygen beyond 4000 m. Once equipped, the records are impressive!

It is currently Antoine Girard who holds the world record at 8407 m altitude! This flight was carried out in Pakistan (over the summit of Broad Peak) on 18 July 2021.

Have fun asking the altitude reached during your first flight!

See you soon!


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