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Weather

The level of risk increases with poor weather.

iStockphoto/Thinkstock

Weather can be the bane of any athlete, but since air sports have such high stakes, it can easily heighten risk and hasten injury.

Some of the more obvious examples of this include rain and snow storms, which can cause issues with visibility and landing. No matter which air sport you're undertaking, lightning and thunderstorms can be threatening. Storms can result in direct lightning strikes or electronic malfunctions in your craft. Even fog can seriously endanger landing, as the ground is obscured or not visible at all.

Before takeoff, you need to check with the Federal Aviation Administration weather-briefing center to make sure you're clear to operate at the elevations you're interested in [source: FAA].

There is also the issue of landing. If you're landing on your feet, a slippery surface can make it impossible to do.

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