Episode 64- Till Gottbrath and Rethinking Performance and Risk

Till and his perennial smile

Several years ago Nova Paragliders changed the way we think about performance when they put some of their top pilots on the Mentor, an EN B wing and the world watched as they ticked off some of the biggest flights that had ever been done in the Alps, including the vaunted 300 FAI triangle. By flying wings that were less mentally and physically demanding pilots could stay in the air for 10+ hours and make less mistakes. Till Gottbrath began flying when a paraglider had a glide ratio worse than a Rogallo reserve in 1986 and has never had an accident. In this episode we discuss the arc of design and increased safety and performance in paragliders, the birth of the Nova Juniors team, Nova’s approach to their team pilots and decision to avoid building competition wings, the risk of competitions and the pointlessness of “fame”, why the sport isn’t growing, how to become a Nova team pilot, and the importance of not being a hero. This is a super engaging talk with a TON of takeaways. Enjoy and please share!

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Show Notes:

First if you’re looking for the “Pilot needs ride to car” sign I mention in the episode go here.

  • Till recounts learning to fly in 1986 and what has happened in the sport in the last 35+ years
  • How Till became involved in Nova and the birth of the Nova team and the Nova Juniors team
  • Wing performance and risk. By flying a less-demanding wing we can fly longer and make less mistakes
  • The pointlessness of fame in our sport
  • The ego and and our sport
  • How to fly the best line
  • How Till has avoided an accident in 35+ years of sport- how did he do it?
  • How to become an “autonomous” pilot
  • How to be the world champion of having fun!
  • How can we standardize instruction and create better instructors across the board?

Mentioned in this episode:

Josh Heater, Adel Honti, Berni Pessl, Nate Scales, Toni Bender, Chrigel Maurer, Ozone, Gin, Skywalk, Aaron Durogati, Paul Gushlbauer, Simon Oberauner, Theo De Blic, Jean-Baptiste Chandelier, Michael Gebhardt, Michael Witchi, Tom De Dorlodot, Chris Bessi, Fabien Blanco



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