Parasail Safety Council

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HOME THE HISTORY OF PARASAILING GLOSSARY OF TERMS FOR PARASAILING CONSUMER SAFETY GUIDELINES CONTACT US
1962, A French engineer by the name of Pierre-Marcel Lemoigne , developed the Ascending- Gliding Parachute.   Lemoigne’s concept was achieved by modifying a "ParaCommander" parachute.  The ParaCommander design was based on the 24-gore 'suspension line’ parachute that incorporated steering slots making it very maneuverable on descent and the parachute of choice for most skydivers and the military.  Lemoigne sealed the top steering slots then added stabilizer and exhaust vents allowing on oncoming air flow to be redirected to provide lift.   Lemoigne established the Aeronautical Training Service to introduce his new ParaCommander ascending parachute and establishing the sport of Parascending.  He displayed his new product at various jump centers around Europe to train new parachutists in a more concentrated form by towing the parachutist to a suitable altitude behind a vehicle then releasing them to practice landings.  This training method proved much more cost effective  than an airplane.       
Being Towed
Free Fall Descent
1963,  in preparation for the Gemini 6 mission,  The US Air Force conducted water survival training exercises for the crew in cooperation with Pioneer Parasail who provided the parasail gear and technical support. The purpose of the water survival training program was to familiarize and develop confidence in flight crews with techniques and procedures proven successful in sea survival following an emergency ditching or bailout over open water while wearing and strapped to a standard military parachute.   
1960’s 1970's 1980-1984 1985 1986-1987 1988-1989 1990-1994 1995-1999 A STUNNING Parasail 40 year HISTORY Timeline 1960’s 1970's 1980-1984 1985 1986-1987 1988-1989 1990-1994 1995-1999
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About Us    1961 - Introduction of the Modified Parachute aka "Parasail" About Us     How the "Ascending-Gliding Parachute” Works About Us     1961 - How the "Ascending-Gliding Parachute” Works
1962, Lemoigne sold his modified ParaCommander 'towable'  24-gore parachute canopy design to Pioneer Parachute Company. Pioneer Parachute began production of the new ascending Parachute in Manchester Connecticut and marketed it under the trade name "Parasail". The Parasail was initially sold for training of sport parachute enthusiast and military pilot training on land.  Today Pioneer Aerospace is one of the largest suppliers of skydiving and military parachutes in the world.  Their  product designs include state of the art aerodynamic deceleration systems that support specialized tactical, personnel, cargo, humanitarian, weapons, and space exploration programs.
PIONEER PARACHUTE CO.
About Us     1963 - Water Survival Training Astronauts
1965, "Astronaut Thomas Stafford" parasail’s over Galveston Bay wearing a parasail harnessed space suit, helmet and carrying water survival gear hanging below him as shown in the picture below.  
About Us     1965 - Astronaut Thomas Stafford Trains for mission using a Pioneer Parasail About Us     1969 - Recreational use of Parasails
In early 1969, Parasailing took another in popularity when vehicle were used to tow parasailors over land for recreational entertainment use parachute training.   In late 1969, Parasailing for hire emerged off of the beaches in high tourist beach resort areas like Mexico and the Caribbean.  Parasailing attracted thrill seekers to  a new high flying aerial adventure charging $5 for a 50 foot tow up in the air.  The willing participant was strapped into a body harness attached to the parasail while a tow boat lifted them aloft from the beach.  When the ride is over, the parasailor was instructed by the ground crew using flags to pull down on the riser lines to position the Parasail over the beach while the tow boats slowed for landing.  Today, beach parasailing is viewed as a crude and dangerous method and as such is banned from most beachs.
Water Survival Training for the military began in earnest in Germany during WWII where paratroopers using regular parachutes, were trained to survive water landings 
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