A Tribute to David Barish, Father of Paragliding

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History

Paragliding has been giving wings to enthusiasts long before Red bull came up with the tagline “Red Bull Gives you Wings”. It was much later than the advent of the sport, when David Barish was discovered by Xavier Murillo as he was researching for his book, ‘The History of Paragliding’.

Contrary to popular belief, paragliding took birth in the United States of America.

According to a report by New York Times, paragliding and hang-gliding came into being as a result of the work of three aeronautical engineers who competed in the 1960s to design a parachute like device that could lower the Apollo space capsule to Earth gently on an angle. However, in 1964 NASA chose a primitive version of the parachute that ultimately resulted in the Apollo crashing in the ocean, thus ending the space race.

 

Paraglider
Photo credits: Tristan Shu/ Nikon India

 

David Barish’s Paraglider

Barish’s original single surface airfoil was made from one sheet, sewn from a boat’s spinnaker sail. His paraglider was 90 feet long and 27 feet wide and was tested by air-towing armoured personnel carriers. Eventual versions of the paraglider were improved to be much smaller in size that is now used by innumerable enthusiasts and professionals, Barish being one of them.

Barish breathed his last in 2009 due to multiple myeloma at the age of 88. And his last flight was only the previous year.

 

David Barish Father of Paragliding
Davis Barish(Left) Image Credits: boston.com

 

Paragliding Enthusiasts Say

We asked people ‘What would you say to David Barish, if you had the chance to meet him?’

 

Avi Malik (Founder of TemplePilots Paragliding)

Thank you with all our hearts David Barish sir for giving us such exquisite wings. God bless David Barish and his winged soul.

 

Sachin Pathare  (Instructor at TemplePilots Paragliding)

We humans are never meant to fly naturally, but people like you David Barish sir, took responsibility of million dreams who always wanted to fly freely and wanted to be like a free bird. Thank you very much for creating this master piece called Paraglider.

Today, many people throughout the world are living their dream and following their passion to fly. Hat’s off to your courage, vision and innovative abilities. Thank you for giving us gifts of wings to fly higher, beyond human limits.

 

Kaustubh Khade (National Kayaking Athlete and Trained paraglider)

When he was paragliding down ski-ing slopes in his on make-shift glider he said of it –

“We just pushed the sport as being a fun way to race downhill.”

I think that sums up adventure and pushing the limits of human imagination. And that’s bloody brilliant.

 

Nagendra Singh (Paragliding enthusiast)

David Barish is one of the finest men born, who attached wings to my life much before even I was born. It is a joy to soar like a bird in his invention even today. His invention, paragliders are amazing equipment to romance with skies.

 

What would you have said to the Legendary David Barish if you ever met him?

 

Quotes about Flying

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Amol Gawde

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