Aircraft stability
Aircraft stability

Stability is the ability of an aircraft to correct for conditions that act on it, like turbulence or flight control inputs.

Most aircraft are built with stability in mind, but that’s not always the case. Some aircraft, like training airplanes, are built to be very stable. But others, like fighter jets, tend to be very unstable, and can even be unflyable without the help of computer-controlled fly-by-wire systems.

Paraglider pendular stability
Pendular stability

When you fly your paraglider, you sit in your harness at least seven meters below the wing – maybe as much as ten. This means that you are the weight of a huge pendulum. A large part of becoming a good pilot is learning to use this pendulum to your advantage and not allowing yourself to be thrown around by your own inertia or your glider.

Pendular stability is the effect of gravity returning a mass ( you ) to the point of minimum potential energy ( hanging directly below the wing ).