Pune: Nagendra Pratap Singh’s penchant for moving objects attracted him towards paramotoring some three years ago and after having done paragliding for 12 years this Raymond Mills executive was quick to take up the challenge.
In just three years, this Mumbai-based adventurist has become world bronze medallist when he led Team India at the 10th FAI World Paramotoring Championship 2018 in Thailand.
Paramotoring as the name suggests, is the name given to powered paragliding, which enables the flyer to fly a paraglider with an engine, a propeller in a cage, and a harness with a seat.
The equipment is light and minimal, perfect for a flying experience! Apart from this, powered paragliding is used in military activities, but to a limited extent. It is also used by civilians in terrains where walking or driving is almost impossible. A lot of enthusiasts use it for photography.
Probably one of the cheapest forms of flying in the world of aviation, the sport enjoys international recognition and has gained a lot of popularity in India over the years.
“Our ranks are too low as compared to the competitors from around the world, but the sport has caught up in the last few years and I intend to continue achieve greater heights,” Nagendra Singh told Sakal Times in an interview.
“Though this is a very new sport, we as Team India are working towards achieving the world standards. When I started my world ranking was 52 and now I am ranked 44th,” said Nagendra Singh.
The World Paramotor Championship happens every two years and is the biggest Paramotor competition sanctioned by Federation Aeronautique Internationale (FAI), the world governing body for the sport.
What made this year’s championship special is that a team of 10 Indian flyers participated for the very first time. They were chosen by the Aero Club of India to represent the country at WPC wherein a total of 150 pilots from 16 countries took part.
Q&A with Nagendra Pratap Singh
What inspired you to take up Paramotoring?
It is my free spirit and lover for extreme adventure that pushed me into active sport of going up in the air. In the year 2000, I saw a video on youtube where a paramotor pilot was flying dragging his foot on the surface of beautiful swiss lake water... the image stuck to my mind. I had been doing paragliding for 12 years actively and 3 years back found my passion into Paramotoring.
What motivated you to take it from a passionate hobby to representing the country itself?
This sport requires a pilot to be sharp and reactive to dynamic weather in every second lapsed while in air. I love speed, risk and thrill of Paramotoring. Realized my potential to represent India in 2017 Asia-Oceanic championship and then World Paramotoring Championship 2018 with sheer will and determination.
Could you list some important achievements in Paramotoring?
I have won accolades in first National Paramotoring Championship 2017 held in Nagpur and then at 2017 Asia Oceanic Championship and 10th FAI World Championship.
What life lessons has this sport taught you?
Value of freeing on self from petty things and problems and solving any risks and problems without any panic.
Your next goal in the world of paramotoring?
Individial gold in next world championship scheduled in 2020 in Egypt.