Mała Kopa is a very comfortable, grassy take-off on the main Karkonosze range, 1310 m above the sea level. It's just next to the top chairlift station, at the beginning of a ski trail. The official, easy landing field is 700 m below, east of the 'Skalny' Hotel, and it's pretty far. The ideal wind directions for take-off are 330-030 degrees. Experienced pilots will manage to take off in more westerly wind though.
Since spring 2011 Kopa has been an official launch site in the Karkonosze National Park. However, to take off legally from here you need a valid paragliding licence (issued in Poland or another country), a Third Party Insurance policy and, what's VERY IMPORTANT, you must apply for the Park's Director's written permission. Application submission procedure can be found in the Regulations provided on the KPN website (Polish version only):
Some aspects have also been clarified in this article (Polish version only):
(If you need some help, please call Zbig. My phone number: 0048 501 666 945)
As to your presence and taking off from the ski trail you need to remember about one of the KPN Director's rules stating that no more than 5 pilots are allowed on the take-off spot at one time. Prepare your equipment on a concrete square nearby the chairlift (among tourists) and when you're ready to fly, walk on the ski slope with the paraglider on your shoulder. Spend as little time as possible on the take-of spot (on the trail). No private picnics behind the mountain pines, please! It encourages tourists to do the same. A good habit is to avoid flying just over the chairlift. The workers operating it can get the feeling you're going to land on their heads.
Mała Kopa is an excellent place to begin a nice flight along the main Karkonosze range or over Snieżka.
In 2006 launching from here pilots covered distances over 150 km more than a dozen times and the distance record was set at 212 km.
When the NE wind is blowing and you're on your way to the landing field you will be flying into the wind all the time - take it into account if you want to reach it. In an emergency you will find some small landing spots in Wilcza Poręba (a district of Karpacz).
Pilots who want to fly over Sniezka for the first time shouldn't do it until they gain enough altitude over Kopa first. Don't search for thermals and don't fly at low altitude in the nearby cirque (Kocioł Łomniczki), either.
Original version by: Grzegorz Olejnik
Pictures from Mała Kopa can be found in the following galleries:
Mała Kopa (season 2011),