Paragliding Bright 4 2013 & 2014

Home Site Telluride, Colorado, USA

October 10, 2014 update: 36 flights from Gold Hill and 130 flights total since May 2013. About 450 flights since my first flight in Lhasa, Tibet in 1988, using a Salewa 928 parapente, a.k.a. "the rock" .

July 30, 2014 update: 111 flights since May, 2013. All good fun and experiences. Winter I flew 11 times from Gold Hill, using skis and chairlifts to launch.  Eleven summer 2014 hike n' fly from Gold Hill. I'm the founding and sole member of the 7am Club. Take the gondola to San Sofia station and then a walk up See Forever ski run to 12,200 foot launch. Then a fly about. Nice flight 7/22/14, hike n' fly to Ophir

November 30, 2013 update: 76 flights in 2013, from mid May to mid October, 2013. Majority were sled runs from Milkrun, 1700 vertical, on the Telluride ski/gondola. 12 flights from Gold Hill, 12,000 feet. Majority forward launch. Nothing epic, lots of nice flights, all good landings. Good learning for set up, launch, landing. Not so much for thermals, but when thermic, very nice. Replaced 2003 pull down apex reserve with a Beamer 3 Rollago reserve with front mount container in October, 2013, repacked 1st time May 2014. I resurrected my lightweight Thin Red Line harness, reinforced with a SupAir foam bag and a lexan sheet, for day hikes. 


Launch is at the upper right, on the ridge below snow. My home is in the middle, behind the tan, tall building (Peaks) in the center. The paragliding landing is on the valley floor, on the photo snow, in the shadows. Click to enlarge.

Keith kiting Bright 4, Torrey Pines, CA May 2013

 flying over Ophir pass



I am in the preparation for several years of paragliding in Telluride CO, hopefully flying several days each week. 

  • I want to fly...
  • living in Telluride, beautiful, big time (USA) mountain flying
  • Will paraglide mostly from Telluride, launching from the ski area at 12,000 feet. Flights of 1-6 hours, altitudes of<18,000 and 100 km distance are possible.  
Dreams to realize
  • 17,500 height

  • fly from various launches

  • Flights from Telluride to Silverton, Telluride to Lizard Head Pass, Telluride to Ridgway

  • New paraglider wing, a Gradient Bright 4, being manufactured in the Chezh Republic (Jan-Feb, 2013)

  • Repair, renovation of my Perche harness and reserve, including: reserve repack, minor sewing repairs, addition of Lexan sheets and improved attachment to foam back and side protectors, addition of an O2 bottle and line housing, chest buckle, additional reserve velcro, suit modification for a neck protector

  • new purchases of a radio (Baofeng UV5R), Spot GPS, flight bag, concertina bag, steel caribeiners, Beemer 3 reserve.

  • renew USHPA membership

  • practice PLF and reserve throws

  • SIV (emergency maneuvers) training 

My new glider, manufactured Feb 13, received March, 2013

Gradient Bright 4. The below photos are stock pics from Gradient, from sites in South Africa that I have flown, Portersville and Wilderness...

The Bright 4 is a 2009 design, Dhv-1, a beginner's wing, which means the reaction to instability is dampened and recovery from collapse is relatively easy. The modern DHV-1 designs have big performance improvements from a decade ago. My current and some past wings owned  +-2000 ie., Perche Ecco Dhv 1-2, Maxx Dhv-2, Vector Dhv-2, Firebird Z1 Dhv-1 had less speed and glide than the Bright 4. Facing facts of low current air time, turbulent Telluride air and the good price ($1900), I purchased a Gradient Bright 4, a Dhv-1 wing rather than a more performance intermediate 1-2 or 2 wing. Still, the Bright 4 has a 50 KPH accelerated speed and 8:1 glide and tests very well in collapse recovery

October 2014 Bright 4 comments
LAUNCH is generally no/low wind, using center A risers only, front launch steep slopes at 12,000 ft altitude. Quick launch, wing does not overshoot. 
STABILITY has not been much tested. Generally the wing is centered with light brake for control. 
GLIDE is noticeably less than contemporary EN-B gliders
SPEEDBAR is often used at half bar, noticeably faster, some glide deterioration
SPIRAL is easy to enter, control, exit. Strong G forces. 
BIG EARS used with speedbar, spontaneous recovery
LANDING in Telluride, 8,500 feet landing means a fast glide, double brake line wrap, generally precise and gentle landing with little running. Often pump the brake lines in the last few feet off the ground. 

Technical Data
Flat aream229.68
Projected aream225.20
Projected spanm9.70
Aspect ratio
Projected aspect ratio
Max. chordm3.06
Min. chordm0.68
Number of cells
Line consumptionm342.4
Weight of the gliderkg5.6
Min. take-off weightkg90
Max. take-off weightkg110
Basic speed*km/h36
Max. speed*km/h48
Min. sink rate*m/s1.15
Gliding ratio*
Certification EN / LTF