Episode 52- Pal Takats X-Alps, Acro, and what you can do to stay safe

Pal Takats began flying 16 years ago in the flatlands of Hungary and has since created a career any pilot would envy. One of the first Red Bull acro pilots and the man responsible for many of the current and modern acro combinations (the Joker, Cowboy, Esfera, etc.) Pal does paramotor demos for Red Bull at air races around the world, base jumps in his free time, flies speed wings, has twice competed in the Red Bull X-Alps (he was 8th in 2009 and 7th in 2017), is an exceptional cross country and world cup competition pilot but it hasn’t all been a walk in the park to get there.

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Episode 51- Sailplane radness, the Perlan Project, Imagining the Possibilities

Imagine an engineless airplane reaching the edge of space. Crazy? Impossible? In this episode of the Cloudbase Mayhem Kevin Brooker, a passionate sailplane pilot takes us through the long history of sailplanes to the stuff that is at the far edge of what the imagination can even grasp. Just recently the altitude record was broken (52,000 feet!)- without an engine flying in wave in the Andes.

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Episode 50- Dave Snowden and turning talent into Wins

Episode 50 is all about competitions. From flying psychology to training David Snowden has taken 25 years of flying passion into figuring out to take a country (Australia) with plenty of talent but with few of the resources that France, Germany, and Switzerland (for example) have to be a serious player on the world stage. In this podcast Dave sheds light on their journey from not even having a team in 2015 and being ranked in 38th place in the world to breaking the top 15 and sending a strong, competive team to the Worlds this summer in Italy.

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Episode 49- Honza Rejmanek and Understanding the Invisible

Honza Rejmanek competed in the Red Bull X-Alps five times. He finished in 3rd place in 2009 and made goal in Monaco in his last campaign in 2015. Many of our listeners will also know Honza from his regular meteo column in Cross Country Magazine. Honza makes a living as a meteorologist and in this episode we tap into his vast knowledge of the invisible world we operate in and how to understand how it works and how to use this knowledge to fly farther and safer. Honza’s passion for flying and for weather are obvious from the first word- consider this a masters class in understanding the sky!

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Episode 47- Max Fanderl and a lifetime of flight

Max Fanderl began flying paragliders and then hang gliders in the late 80’s. A few months after his first flight he quit his job to become an instructor and has made a life of flying. He was a test pilot in the 90’s, moved to Canada after going there on a vacation and never returning home where he opened a school and eventually competed in the Red Bull X-Alps four times. In this episode we explore how Max learned how to fly into the wind and why all flying should be approached with mindful training; where most new pilots make mistakes; why getting into flying too fast leads to many people getting scared and leaving the sport…

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Episode 46- Reavis Sutphin-Gray and increasing your toolkit

Reavis learned to fly a decade ago and had a pretty unusual experience with being in the air- he doesn’t experience fear. But he had a very firm understanding of the risks and wanted to be a safe pilot and took his progression and learning seriously and conservatively. This approach has given Reavis, who is now one of the pilots who regularly sends huge lines in North America a unique flying toolbox to help decipher the weather and more. Reavis is a software engineer and lives on the road chasing flying hours year-round (and BTW he answers the most common question I get from our listeners- how do you change your life so you can fly more?). His analytical mind and passion for flight will help you develop a totally different set of skills that will increase your potential as an XC pilot. 

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Episode 45- Chrigel Maurer and becoming an Eagle

Chrigel Maurer is the undisputed king of paragliding and after his 5th straight X-Alps win I get the feeling that he’s just getting started. Chrigel was the world champion 3 times, is an acro champion, test pilot for Advance, two times winner of the X-Pyr, regularly dominates the Swiss League and just simply wins- over, and over and over again. Everyone has heard of Chrigel’s famous training (ground handling in VERY strong wind, flying in the lee of cornices…) but most don’t know the extent of how hard and specifically he trains. How much is talent versus persistence?

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Episode 44- Caroline Paul and Overcoming Fear

“Gutsy girls skateboard, climb trees, clamber around, fall down, scrape their knees, get right back up — and grow up to be brave women. Learn how to spark a little productive risk-taking and raise confident girls with stories and advice from firefighter, luger, author, paraglider and all-around adventurer Caroline Paul.”- TED

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Episode 43- Matt Wilkes and Emergency Medicine, Hypoxia, and Extreme Physiology for Pilots

This is the most critical podcast episode we’ve made available to date on the show. As human flight junkies we participate in activities that let’s face it- are dangerous. In this episode we sit down with Matt Wilkes, an anaesthesia and intensive care doctor based in Edinburgh, Scotland who specializes in extreme physiology and remote medicine to walk us through best practices when things go wrong. Matt takes us through what we need to be carrying in our first aid kit; how to operate in a wilderness environment; how to assess a casualty and make a scene safe; how to care for a victim including the use of narcotics and pain killers; how having a lack of equipment and difficult access to medicine can be overcome; the affects of cold and altitude on pilots (hypoxia); how an accident scene needs to be managed; best practices for trauma management (including splinting, binding the pelvis, the lethal triad and keeping people warm, pain relief, head injuries, tourniquets…); controversies about spinal immobilization and a lot more.

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Episode 42- Benjamin Jordan and taking the Leap

Benjamin Jordan made history in 2016 flying a 1,000 km bivvy line solo from Vancouver to Calgary across the Coast Range and Rocky Mountains of BC and Alberta, an expedition that took 39 days to complete. To some bold pilots maybe an obvious and tempting line, but there were plenty of reasons it had never been flown, which are in part the subject of Benjamin’s new documentary “Strong the Wind Blows”. In this episode we talk about the ultimate question- if life isn’t worth dying for, is it worth living?

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