India’s First Blind Paragliding Pilot – Divyanshu Ganatra

FLIGHT OF A HERO
Divyanshu met Avi and Anita from templepilots at their home a month back with a simple request – he wanted to fly. The only challenge was that he was blind. Avi said ‘yes’ with all his heart. Now, the task of the mind began.
After 5 days of training, ground school, one on one intense session with Avi Malik (CFI Templepilots) & the team, many hours at the flying site – we have a hero. Divyanshu completed his historic successful Solo flight yesterday. It is no less a feat than the first climber on Mt. Everest. He is the first one to do this in India. It is an achievement we are cherishing deep in our hearts. Never to forget… He has made us all fly, very high.

Relive the History

Diu – as we call Divyanshu, learning about the parts of the glider and how they are connected on a model.
Diu walking around getting a feel of the ground on which he will be running with his glider. Also avi giving voice commands and Diu perfectly gauging avi’s location and distance. 
practicing hand positions for launch, inflation and flare.
feeling the risers and how to get connected.
Diu feeling the power of the glider through avi’s hand movements for the first time.
Diu feeling the power of the glider through avi’s hand movements for the first time.
getting ready for the runs on his flying glider.
Familiarising him with the forces of the glider. What to expect n anticipate and how to play with the forces.
He would have help for Inflation but he would be on his own in the air. Familiarising and simulating steering on control toggles.
He was clearly an above average student Pilot. From Day-1, he would put on his Harness all by himself with no help whatsoever.
He was clearly an above average student Pilot. From Day-1, he would put on his Harness all by himself with no help whatsoever.
Can you believe that – There, he is on his own with the wing, ground handling n managing good runs
Avi made his hand as the Aerofoil to teach him the basics of Aerodynamics. It was very interesting, new and enjoyable
We were depending on the Simulator Training a lot. We practiced, practiced n let him practice on his own.
There is immense joy in all this, there is an invisible hand that supports all this.
Diu with the controls in an instructional tandem with avi…following radio instructions perfectly! Can’t imagine what his mind is going through processing all the information it’s getting through feelings n sensations.
final practice of hops before going for his solo! AVi’s confidence also came from the fact that Diu was very prompt with following Instructions. He was precise and prompt.

Avi had briefed Senior Instructor Ganpat Newale also my Mr. Reliable 🙂 to be super thorough with clearing lines n tangles etc. Avi could trust and wanted Ganpat’s calm energy around Diu for launch. The best conditions would be awaited. I had to be the Landing Marshal…Game On..
off into the blue skies!…that last step off the ground when everything turns magical.
A picture that has so much to tell….divinity must smile . The Hero into the sunset….
A beautiful pic, it’s a pity Diu can’t see this but I guess he sees more..
He gained some height and I had time to give him some turns which he executed perfectly, precisely. Kudos
Avi was confident about his responses in the air
Here he comes now and those of you know Pavana landing, I had to get him on to a clean green grassy patch
Ease up on d brakes n glide…smoothly…
following instructions perfectly, a perfect flare! Avi was telling him how high he was from the ground and Avi has also described the landscape in detail. So he knew his whereabouts somehow..
A precious moment of my life when he extended his hands for me for a heart warming deep hug – Avi
it was as pure as the joy of a child enjoying his first few steps on his own feet. He loved the sensation of getting airborne
Picture time and smiles…everyone got blessed. This team truly rocks
Everyone wanted pics with the Hero.
Celebrations

Divyanshu Ganatra
When you come to the edge of light, and are about to take off into the unknown: Trust and faith is knowing that Temple Pilots will give you something solid to stand on, and wings to fly! Thank you for helping break all stereotypes, limits and barriers and opening the loving blue skies to me forever. You guys make flying so easy and safe that anyone can do it with their eyes closed! We just proved it!
Divyanshu Ganatra
Clinical Psychologist, Behavioural facilitator, Sports Enthusiast,
Founder Yellow Brick Road , Founder Adventure beyond Barrier.

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