Air sports is not a single sport but quite a vast sporting domain containing a range of aerial activities. The sports which combine to make up the ‘Air sports’ include Air Racing, Aerobatics, Aeromodelling, Hang gliding, Human powered aircraft, Parachuting, Paragliding and Skydiving and many more.
Many Air Sports are also termed as extreme sports with only one rule of pushing the envelope as far as one can. These include air racing, hang gliding, paragliding, and wingsuit flying. Be it a small air craft or parachute on your back, the stakes are extremely high when you take part in Air Sports.
All the disciplines counted in air sports are internationally governed by the non-profit organization Federation Aeronautique Internationale (FAI) founded in 1905. On the national level, different aero clubs govern Air Sports.
Motorized Air Sports
- Air Racing — involves airplanes competing over a fixed course low to the ground.
- Aerobatics — sport aerobatics involves aircraft maneuvers such as rolls, loops, stall turns (hammerheads), and tailslides.
- Ultralight Aviation — events with lightweight aircraft which have 1 or 2 seat fixed-wings.
- Aeromodeling — sport using flying model aircraft (not a sport).
- Drone Racing — competitors race with specially built multi-rotor drones around a natural or specifically designed course (not a sport).
Wind / Gliding Air Sports
- Hang Gliding — a type of air sport in which the rider flies a non-motorized aircraft which is called a hang glider.
- Kitesurfing — a board and kite are used on the water utilizing different styles consisting of freeride, speed, down winders and racing.
- Paragliding — riders using para-gliders perform cross country or acrobatic maneuvers.
- Ballooning — competitive hot air ballooning is a test of accuracy, not speed. The aim is to fly as close as possible to a target and drop a weighted marker.
- Gliding — an air sport in which pilots use an unpowered aircraft.
- Canopy Piloting — a parachute skydiver performs aerial feats above a small body of water.
Gravity Air Sports
- Skysurfing — a skydiver attaches a board to his feet during freefall.
- BASE Jumping — involves parachuting from a structure or cliff, with competitions based on landing accuracy.
- Parachuting / Skydiving — a involves jumping from an aircraft with just a parachute.
- Banzai Skydiving — a form of skydiving in which the diver throws their parachute out the airplane door, waits and then jumps after it.
- Wingsuit Flying — a variety of skydiving, where a person will fly in the air using a special jumpsuit called the wingsuit.
- Bodyflight — an acrobatic sport involving skydiving or a vertical tunnel to perform maneuvers while in the air.