Episode 144- Jeff Longcor and (mostly) Inexpensive Mistakes

Bliss

To learn we have to make mistakes. But in aviation a mistake can be painful, or a lot worse. When we’re learning how do we balance the desire with ability? How do even recognize when we’re making poor decisions when we don’t understand the risks that we’re taking? When flying starts to click and the joy rockets our skills very often aren’t up to the task. It’s called intermediate syndrome and it’s not something that just starts and ends, it’s a spectrum that catches out nearly every pilot at some point in their career, and in my opinion lasts much, much longer than most pilots think. Navigating through this period safely is tricky. We can’t improve if we don’t push, but we’ve got to make sure we push the right amount, and that amount changes every day. Jeff Longcor has been flying only a few years and has a full time job, which makes getting hours tough, but he’s completely enamored with the sport and has been chasing it hard, sometimes too hard. Jeff has made some inexpensive mistakes, and a few expensive ones. They’ve all provided volumes of learning, and his desire for the sport is as high as it has ever been. In this show we dig into all the little things that add up to help us all become better pilots, and in the end- better people. Enjoy.

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Show Notes: 

  • The joy outpaces the ability. The need to want to launch. 
  • “I felt like I could say something because I WAS that pilot”
  • Getting critical feedback can be hard. But necessary. We have to embrace the wider world of knowledge
  • Should we ever give up on a pilot who’s making too many mistakes?
  • Screwing things up
  • Flying in wind
  • Peer Pressure
  • Evaluating conditions on each flight
  • Analytical vs feeling pilots
  • Don’t make launch a foregone conclusion
  • Throwing the reserve/ SIV
  • Confidence and respect for the sport
  • The forever of learning

Mentioned in the Show:

Niviuk, Dilan Benedeti, Bill Belcourt, Andrew Byron, Tom Truax, Logan Walters, Bruce Goldsmith, 50 ways to fly better, Greg Hammerton, Jason Lombard, Othar Lawrence, Matt Beechinor

 

Episode 143- Matt Scutter and SkySight Soaring 101

the magic of skysight…

Matt Scutter is an Australian competition sailplane pilot and software engineer who leads a team that runs the popular global soaring forecast platform SkySight. Unlike other platforms that use existing weather models to produce interactive forecasts for free flight enthusiasts like Meteoparapente and XCSkies, SkySight uses their own supercomputing systems to gather a wide range of weather data to create their own daily models. Initially designed for sailplane forecasting SkySight is now a go-to platform for paragliding and hang gliding forecasting as well. In this podcast Matt gives us a quick audio history of SkySight and how their system differs from other resources and then we switch over to a video screen recording of Matt taking us through a tutorial of how SkySight can help you achieve bigger distance with greater confidence and how to use their powerful convergence forecasting, route planning and other tools. Enjoy!

All Cloudbase Mayhem listeners! Use the promo code “CLOUDBASEMAYHEM” to receive 14 days extra for free when you sign up for their free trial. 

After the audio section please watch the video tutorial here:

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Episode 142- Urs Haari and the Sweet Spot

Urs on glide towards the Matterhorn

Urs Haari has been at this game since the game began. He got several world records early in his career in South Africa in the early 90’s, stood on the podium multiple times at World Championships, PWC’s and at the European Championships and brought home champion titles at the Swiss, AND US Nationals. This past season he won the sport class in the Swiss Cup Championship for the remarkable 5th time, and is now the permanent holder of this coveted award. Given he only gets to go XC 4 to 6 times a year because of his work- a hell of an achievement! Urs is the owner and creator of High Adventures AG, a company that makes and tests reserves. He invented the Beamer steerable rescue that many pilots have adopted and use today. In this podcast Urs discusses his early success; a couple of very scary incidents; leaving the sport and going through a very difficult period and then rediscovering flight; creating High Adventures and the art of the reserve toss and what we all need to know about reserves and their correct use; and how he’s developed some very interesting mental exercises and techniques to stay safe in flight. This episode is packed with laugh-out loud moments and incredible take-aways. Enjoy!

PLEASE watch Urs’ reserve testing videos on any of these pages, you’ll learn a ton!

https://www.youtube.com/user/flyhighadventure

https://www.instagram.com/highadventure.ch/

https://www.facebook.com/HighAdventure/

https://twitter.com/High_Adventure

 

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Show Notes: 

From Urs Haari:

In March I will be 56 years old and live in Switzerland. I spent my childhood and adolescence in Matten, a small mountain village of 700 souls in the Bernese Oberland. I had the privilege of growing up in the great outdoors. In winter we made the ski slopes unsafe and in summer we were otherwise incredibly creative. You can take my word for that 😉

My father was a model airplane pilot and co-founder of the local gliding group. We spent countless weekends somewhere on a soaring slope or at the airfield.

At the age of 17 I had enough savings to afford the training to become a glider pilot. In the first year I was not allowed to leave the airfield within a radius of 50 km. Shortly thereafter, I was retrained to fly my first composite glider, and I found out quickly how to loop it quite nicely. The high alpine terrain offered enough side valleys to avoid being caught by the club’s umpires. The glider fleet was limited and four years later I had had enough of having to share the gliders with my club mates part time.

At 20 I was drafted into the military, completed a career in the army due to lack of career prospects and inbetween I hitchhiked through South America for several months.

In 1988 I grabbed my older brother’s paraglider and did a few jumps with it. It felt like proximity flying but in slow motion. In the following spring, I made my license and trimmed the newly acquired Condor HP9 (9 cells) right away. At a competition in Verbier I met the manufacturer, two months later he offered me a job. In addition to working in the atelier and sales department, I was also a test pilot.

In 1990, the pre-World Cup took place in St. André les Alps. I wanted to go there at all costs. I didn’t have enough results to qualify for the Swiss team. At that time, we were producing in Israel and a good friend of mine was the president of the paragliding association there. So, I started under the Israeli flag and finished the pre-World Cup as the best Swiss. That was the time of the flashy full-body preservatives, the hot gliders, and the all-night parties ;-). We were rock stars!

My successes continued, followed by several world records in South Africa, podiums at World Championships, PWC’s and at the European Championships as well as several champion titles at the Swiss- and the US-Nationals. What a time! I enjoyed the competition groove, the many trips and especially the friendships around the globe.

However, my medals also had their downsides. One month before the World Championships in Verbier in ’93, I had a near-death experience. After a small incident with a prototype, I landed in a lake a hundred meters from the shore. I was not prepared for it and there was no boat on the water. Ten minutes later I was tied up by my own lines and gave up. A fisherman had been watching the scenario from shore and pulled me back out by my paraglider. A month later, in the first run in Verbier, I bombed in on a grassy ledge in a rock face on the reserve. Fortunately, all this did not leave deep scars in my soul. In the mid-nineties I ended my career as a competition pilot. The serious accidents on the competitions increased and I lost a few good friends.

After the turn of the millennium, I was in a deep crisis and was hardly in the air. I had to find myself again. I found support in nature, hugged trees, dealt with my spirituality and shamanism, traveled alone on foot and horseback through Mongolia and hopped around on broken glass in Indonesia.

In 2008, I rediscovered cross-country flying. Since then, I enjoy the freedom in the air, the play with nature, the cocktail of experience, intuition, and adventure.
It all started a good 30 years ago and I’m still in the thick of it. We work with the same suppliers as back then, develop our own products (accessories and rescue parachutes) and employ 6 people.

My time budget is limited, and I can free myself for 4 to 6 days for cross country flights per year.

Before each take-off I get in touch with my power animals and other spirit helpers, thank them for everything and do my protection exercises. I visualize my flight plan once again and ask for my wish to come true. During the flight I influence wind and weather, chant in difficult situations, ask my power animals for help and enjoy the incredible privilege of free flight. Yes, I really can do this, but have no idea if it does anything. But believe me, it feels incredibly good. No negative thoughts and lots of confidence in what is.

I fly a High EN B. And of course, I am jealous when the competition orchids pass me by. I would love to fly something like that. But I do not have the routine. Maybe in the next life…

Mentioned in the Show:

Cross Country Magazine, Kevin Brooker, Urs Haari, High Adventure, Beamer Rescue, Nik Hawks, Till Gottbrath, Nate Scales, Nova Paragliders

 

Niviuk Klimber 2P First Impressions

Groundhandling the Klimber 2P with the Kortel Kolibri Pro. Photo Ben Horton

In all my years of flying I’ve never been so excited for a new wing to arrive. With the 2021 Red Bull X-Alps getting close I’ve been thrilled with what I’ve heard from Niviuk’s test pilots and their lead designer Olivier Nef; and the photos I’ve seen on social media have displayed an extraordinarily profile, but you never know until you have it in your hands and take her for a spin.

Mine arrived a few days ago and I wasted no time to take her out in really gusty winds to see how she felt on the ground. At 2.67 kg the first thing you notice is just how incredibly light this wing is. I didn’t think it was possible to come in below the Zeolite (2.9 kg in the same size range), but a fantastically mesmerizing internal construction combined with even thinner Niviuk trademark nitinol rods in the leading edge and canopy and a combo of skytex 27g and dokdo 25g fabric (which also makes it SUPER small to pack) and it feels very close bundled to a single surface wing. For more info on the construction visit here.

 

Happy. Photo Ben Horton

But after unpacking this beauty she begins to really come to life. The first thing I noticed was the proper B-toggles just like Niviuk puts on their high-aspect EN D Peak 5 and CCC X-One. Score! Then I noticed the long bar travel. Somehow I knew before even letting her fly this was going to be a very fast and capable cross country machine!

With very unsteady gusty winds cranking I was a little worried about getting plucked when I first brought her up on the A’s with one hand and the B’s in the other. I needn’t have feared. She responds beautifully to inputs on the b’s to dampen or change the trajectory. You can learn a lot about how a wing flies through some kiting on the ground, and I really liked what I saw and felt.

I spent a lot of time admiring the construction of the new Klimber 2P. Photo Ben Horton

Tim Rochas, the lead test pilot for Niviuk promised me months ago that according to their tests the Klimber 2P was faster on bar and had a better glide than the Zeolite, but had better “Niviuk” feel. I’ve been a Niviuk pilot for over a decade, but I flew the Zeolite in the 2019 race as it was so ground-breaking and shaving a half a kilo on other light EN D wings in it’s category just couldn’t be ignored. If it had Niviuk feel (which I adore), better performance, AND its lighter? Well well!! The next evening I got to take my new toy out for a proper flight to see how she felt off the ground and how she felt compared to the Zeolite.

In one word- ENERGY. If Niviuk got one thing wrong about the Klimber 2P it’s possibly the name. I’ve been flying the original Klimber now for three years. It’s a really fun and capable hike and fly wing. But it’s not the XC hungry animal that this new wing is, and it’s bar performance isn’t close to the new Klimber 2P. My instant read on how much energy a wing has it to take them out and do BIG wingovers. In a few wingovers you can tell how a wing turns, how stable the tips are, how much energy it carries, how it dives, and how it responds to inputs. In other words- how fun they are and how well they perform. There is actually almost nothing similar between the two wings. The Klimber 2P isn’t just a few small improvements to the original. This is a completely new wing, built entirely new from the ground up. Risers, B-Toggles, fabric, nitinol, internal construction, optimized leading and trailing edge, completely different profile (which you can see in the pics below)- all new.

Big energy in this new EN D hike and fly wing by Niviuk. Photo Ben Horton

Toplanding and launching? Simple. She’s featherweight, precise and responsive. Bar performance? Boom baby! B riser handling? Gorgeous, pinpoint, and excellent feedback. Speed? I got to try that the next day in slightly thermic air on a couple vertical training sessions. Without someone flying next to me it was hard to get an exact read on trim and bar speed, but the acceleration felt similar to what I experience on the Peak 5, which is at the top of the EN D class. So…I think we’re going to be very good friends.

The Niviuk Klimber 2P. Look at that blade! Photo Ben Horton

Episode 141- Robbie Whittall- Creating Connections and Changing Perceptions

Robbie competing in the Isle of Man Race. Photo Keith Fothergill

Where do you start with Robbie Whittall? He’s one of only three pilots in history to have won the world championships in BOTH hang gliding and paragliding. He co-founded Ozone. He’s considered the “godfather of the Serial class.” He raced superbikes for several years in what is considered the most dangerous motor sports event in the world, the Isle of Man race. We begin this podcast with a couple of crazy stories (getting plucked in Foehn off a flat field clipped in backwards, and winning the 89′ Hang Gliding worlds after tumbling- TWICE), then dig into Robbie’s remarkable life journey, much of lived with the throttle pegged, but it’s also been one with plenty of instrospection. Robbie discusses the importance of connection; the difference and importance of flying in “Flow” vs trying; how to “let it happen”; finding your potential; why the British have been so successful in free flight; being tenacious and the value of practicing in poor conditions; how to get the best results by going against yourself rather than the competition; the learning process; the Open Class carnage that lead to the Serial Class; why we’ve lost so much of the purity of flight by removing the human element and relying on increased instrumentation; what “unleashed fun” means, and how to find peace with the inevitable. Get comfortable and tuck in, this is a masterclass from a genuine master. 

Watch the 2019 trailer for the Isle of Man race. CRAZY!

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Show Notes: 

  • The marionette!
  • Winning the World Championships in 89- AFTER tumbling twice
  • The addiction begins out a frustration with school
  • The importance of connection- to people, to nature
  • Flow vs Try
  • Finding your potential
  • The Brits- why so good?
  • Tenacity
  • Poor conditions? Good!
  • Compete against yourself, not others and you’ll learn to win
  • The learning process
  • NOW
  • The Open Class Carnage
  • Leaving the comp scene
  • Unleashed fun
  • Coming to terms with death

Mentioned in the Show:

Jon Pendry, Thomas Theurillat, Bill Belcourt, Bruce goldsmith, Russ Ogden, Pepe López, Colin Rider

 

Robbie gets plucked in Como. Photo Giorgio Sabbioni

Episode 140- Michael Witschi and Experiencing the Amazing through Competition

Michael (SUI 3), Gavin (USA 2) and Gaspard (FRA 4) discuss options at the Aschau turnpoint, day 2 of the 2015 Red Bull X-Alps

Legendary Swiss pilot Michael Witschi has an extremely impressive flying resumé. He has over 20 years of World Cup and Swiss League experience, was 4th in the Europeans, has several  world cup task wins, competed in the 2015 Red Bull X-Alps; is a current coach of the X-Alps Academy; and is the mastermind, founder and organizer of the incredible EigerTour, a 4-day hike and fly race in the Bernese Oberalps. Michael is the father of two adorable children and is a very successful businessman and eloquently shares his vast competition experience with us in this engaging, very fun talk.

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Show Notes: 

  • Michael discusses his 2015 Red Bull X-Alps campaign and his reserve landing in a lake during the race
  • The catalyst for the Eigertour and all about the hike and fly race
  • The model for the race and the Eigertour academy
  • Thoughts for setting up a hike and fly race and the future of live tracking
  • Michael discusses his long history of world cup racing
  • The downwind, uphill landing
  • What does the X-Alps Academy teach?
  • Creating guidelines for managing risk
  • Engineering in flight
  • Paragliding isn’t dangerous if…
  • Groundhandling again!

Mentioned in the Show:

Paul Guschlbauer, Aaron Durogati, Chrigel Maurer, Yael Margolich, Toma Coconea, Tom De Dorlodot, Ștefan Gruber, Tarquin Cooper, Thomas Theirillat, Honza Rejmanek, VercoFly

 

Michael Witschi (SUI3) lands on the Float in Monaco during the Red Bull X-Alps, Monaco on July 17th 2015

Episode 139- Rico Chandra and developing Superpowers

Rico enjoying a magic day in the Alps

Rico Chandra is a Swiss pilot and musician who started flying 28 years ago. He’s recently popped up at the top of XContest and this past August he completed a 1,000 km solo vol biv across the Alps from Zurich to Slovenia. Rico has developed some really fantastic ground rules for keeping it between the lines when flying in his long accident-free history. In this episode we talk about his “superpower” that we should all develop ourselves; appropriate (and inappropriate) gear for a bivvy; preventing procedural mistakes by developing good processes; managing resources; necessary preparation before departure; his “hierarchy of 5 types of bad outcomes”; how we can develop skills to remove peer pressure; and his “rules of thumb” that help define the line when it comes to making decisions. I really enjoyed this conversation and hope you do too!

Some fun links:

  • Vlog of Rico’s trip:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC1uNcwwg4W5j4wlAB8KaMpg/videos

The journal entries include links to the xcontest tracks & descriptions of each day’s the route

  • Rico’s blog is hosted on paraworld’s website

https://www.paraworld.ch/de/news/reiserueckblicke/rico-abenteuer/

Includes packing list (including the weight of each item)

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Show Notes: 

From Rico:

I did some serious analyzing during and after my volbiv trip in August (1000 km to Slovenia) that might be of interest to your audience, for example:

Mistakes I made: A lot of them were procedural and can be prevented by good processes. For example, pedantically checking I didn’t leave anything behind every time I set down my pack, no exceptions. Or managing water & power resources. Or installing maps before running out of cell phone coverage.

Also learned from mistakes in equipment choice.

I also set up a hierarchy for 5 types of outcomes of bad decisions, ranging from getting hurt (avoidance has highest priority) to looking bad (committed to not giving this any weight at all).

Also, and this relates not just to vol biv but free flying in general, I work with a set of “rules of thumb” that help me assess where to draw the line in my decision making. I’ve been keeping these “rules of thumb” as hypotheses and keep vetting them with every new experience. I have a rule of thumb how far to hike up before launching on a volbiv trip. I’ve also decided to discard some earlier hypotheses in the past, like “you’ll always find some place to land somehow.”

 

Mentioned in the Show:

Matt Scutter, SkySight, Eric Bader, Tim Pentreath, Josh Cohn

 

Episode 138- Nik Hawks and Expectations

Matt Beechinor during the shooting of 500 Miles to Nowhere. Photo Jody MacDonald

Nik Hawks returns to the Mayhem in response to the pilot survey we put out a couple months ago to take on a whole bunch of topics you, our listeners asked for. We broke this wide-ranging show into four main parts- Nik’s answers a bunch of questions about his own sometimes frustrating progression and how he’s had to adjust his own expectations in the sport in order to avoid being a “dangerous pilot”; I answer questions from Nik about a recent interesting discussion he had with a new pilot on launch; we revisit some of the takeaways from the Kiwi SAR effort in Nevada; and finally Nik interviews me about the upcoming Red Bull X-Alps, my own progression choices over the years, what makes a “dangerous” vs a “safe” pilot, gear choices for hike and fly and a lot more. We had a ton of fun with this show and hope you enjoy it!

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Show Notes: 

  • Survey results:
  • 60% of our listeners fly less than 100 hours a year & almost 80% identify as intermediate or beginner.
  • Most listeners into XC

Questions for Nik

  • How many hours do you have now?
  • Why hasn’t your progression been faster?
  • why don’t you fly more?
  • why don’t you do more SIV?
  • What’s your longest XC?
  • Do you consider yourself a dangerous pilot?
  • What “needs to change” in the world of free flight, if anything?
  • If you had 8 weeks over the spring and summer to do any flights anywhere in the world, what would they be?
  • What would you tell your 50 hour self?
  • What do you wish the new pilots on the hill would do more?
  • How have you handled reckless pilots on your hill?
  • Biggest eye opener/change of approach or attitude from when you first got into flying vs now. IE – what were the early misconceptions (“I’d like to race in the 2019 RBXA vs the reality”)
  • Tips for finding a good mentor? And…what makes a good mentor?
  • Top three frustrations in your progression

(local P3 new pilot w/100 hours, questions)

  • self taught, started flying at beginning of lockdown
  • kited solo for a month
  • flybubble, GoPro everything then ask another pilot for feedback, read the Art of Paragliding and other books, researched online stuff
  • launching lee side into 18 mph wind thinking it was fine, got lucky
  • “I’m often the lowest pilot, and lately I’ve been sinking out without warning.  If the wind shuts off, I’m fucked.”
  • tips on sidehill landings, because that’s where I get hurt
  • is it better to pick a safe spot and aim for that, or is it better to figure out the wind and land into the wind?
  • wind direction without indicators, how do you figure it out?
  • multiple intermediate syndromes
  • there’s not just one time that you realize you don’t know shit. It happens over and over.
  • I hurt myself on a launch after 60 launches and realized I got lucky 60 times
  • I’m psyched out on landing; every landing is an event now and it used to be something I looked forward to
  • I only get one shot at the “tricky” landings, which makes them even more nerve-wracking.
  • I have at least 50 landings “on the carpet”, but I missed twice and now I’m psyched out about it
  • I can stick 5 out of 10 landings on the box at Torrey. I don’t want to practice those at Torrey because then people will think I’m incompetent.
  • breaking hours up to ridge soaring (10 hours) & mountain hours (90 hours)

KiwiSAR

  • Should we have seen him?
  • What were our lessons learned?
  • gear (having a tertiary location backup)- 2 min tracking
  • comms, command, control (Telegram was amazing)
  • community really rallied. Was Kiwi that special, or can we expect that every time? USE US FIRST!
  • What was the best part of the SAR for you?
  • Other than Kiwi crashing, if you could change anything, what would it be? : Awesome Glass, SLOW Scans, SLOW down.

Questions for Gavin

  • Are you still doing your kite surfing business?
  • X-Alps: How will this one be different for you?
  • Thomas Theurillat
  • Operating mindset: “Everything to Gain, Nothing to Lose”- seeing opportunities instead of risks
  • It’s a GAME, treat it as one
  • Mastery approach vs external achievement
  • Process goals- eg packing/unpacking, food, recovery, mobility, visualizing, etc.
  • Whats the best possible outcome right now?
  • Bode Miller
  • Having different gears- climbing, gliding, surviving, decision making…
  • I know you’re not a gearhead, but…what are you flying & using both daily and for X-Alps?
  • wing- Klimber 2
  • harness Kolibri Pro, Kortel pack (260gr), Independence reserve (280 gr)
  • flight deck- XCTracer Mini (solar), InReach Mini, iPhone (they make us bring the FlyMaster Live)
  • misc- SHOES, SOCKS, z-poles, gloves, goggles, speed sleeves.
  • You jumped into 2 liners quickly but tell most people not to. What makes you different?
  • What piece of kit would you love to see that doesn’t exist yet?
  • Safety- location, and back ups in flight (cut away for XC pilots)
  • Three words to describe the safest pilots you know.
  • Confident, Fly the good days, Jedi’s with their wings on the ground
  • Three words to describe the most dangerous pilots you know.
  • Overconfident, Ignore the 5 hazardous attitudes of Aviation, don’t fly with enough margin for their ability, Flying a wing beyond their capability, using a rating to rationalize their ability
  • Describe to me what it feels like when you hook into a thermal. Be as descriptive as possible, and (as odd as it sounds) don’t worry if the words don’t make sense.
  • Let’s imagine you hiked up to launch and you meet a CBM supporter who’s a newer (50 hour) pilot. You can clearly see that both of you have arrived too early to fly, and no one else is there yet. The pilot asks you, “What are you seeing out there?” How do you respond?
  • “On The Hill” Segment: What’s one thing an intermediate pilot can practice the very next time they fly? (just thought of this, would be a cool way to end the show or include each time)

 

Mentioned in the Show:

Will Gadd, Flow, Cedar Wright, Malin Lobb, Maxime Pinot, Thomas Theurillat, Chrigel Maurer, Marko Hrgetic Hrga, USHPA, Jeff Shapiro, JK Smith, Kirsten Seeto, Arthur Markowitz, Bruce Goldsmith, Armin Harich, Theo De Blic, Ozone, Cross Country Magazine, Kiwi, Bill Belcourt, Reavis Sutphin-Gray, David Hunt, Kurt Niznick, Meshtastic, Keith Cockrum, Ben Abruzzo, Kortel, XCTracer, inReach, Garmin, Vespa, Matt Beechinor, Sebastien Kayrouz, Ken Hudonjorgensen

 

Episode 137- Kirsten Seeto and Making the Jump

Kirsten assisting a launch off Mystic in Bright, Australia

Australian pilot Kirsten Seeto has turned her dreams into her reality. By simplifying her life, making some calculated bold decisions, and focusing on airtime over a paycheck and on lifestyle over work she’s carved out what many seek but few achieve. In this wide-ranging inspiring podcast Kirsten shares how we can make flying a lot more inclusive; how to get mentors; the power of being vulnerable; how to behave and interact on launch; finding a mentor; why the sport is so dominated by men; creating events that appeal to more pilots rather than just racing for speed; when (and how) to give advice and empowering who you’re giving it to; the importance of role models in the sport; how to find help especially when you’re new; the infamous “Bikini-gate” from 2015; how to “be brave” in our community; creating a free-flight oriented lifestyle; the tiny house movement; simplifying life; what paragliding teaches us about life; the complexities of fear; unlocking “freezing”; listening…well to your gut and a lot more. Enjoy!

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Show Notes: 

  • Altitude with attitude, Kirsten’s website and her fly-ins (https://www.altitudewithattitude.info/)
  • Kirsten gets her aviation license when she was 16
  • The Tiny House movement (https://www.lilliputliving.com/)
  • The “Waypoint Challenge” in Australia- a different way (FUN!) to run comps: https://www.turnpointchallenge.com.au/
  • Travel and paragliding
  • How we can make paragliding more inclusive
  • Why the male domination in flying?
  • How to give advice to pilots on launch
  • Role models
  • How to get help, especially when you’re new
  • Lifestyle over work
  • The complexities of fear

 

Mentioned in the Show:

Advanced Paragliding, Cross Country Magazine, Rico Chandra, Jason Lauritzen, Brian Webb, Cedar Wright, John Brassil, Isabella Messenger, Adel Honti, Marko Hrgetic Hrga, Bruce Goldsmith, Ed Ewing, Reavis Sutphin-Gray

 

Kirsten getting a pilot dialed

Episode 136- Rene Falquier and the ABC’s of Glider Design

 

Many of our listeners have been requesting more shows on gear and especially what goes into wing design. Here you go! Rene Falquier recently completed a year-long aeronautics and engineering thesis with BGD in France. In this episode we dive into how a wing comes to fruition. How much is science vs craft? How much is wing development driven by design philosophy? How does the design process work? And critically- does knowing anything about wing design help us become better pilots? You be the judge! Rene and I had a blast with this show, and I learned a ton. We’re trying something new out starting with this show after getting all the great podcast survey responses by dropping in a tip at the top of every show- let us know what you think and enjoy!

Here are the links to Rene’s thesis if you want to take a deep dive!:

http://www.diva-portal.org/smash/record.jsf?pid=diva2%3A1359785&dswid=-4304

https://www.flybgd.com/en/paragliders/rene-falquier–pilot-142-1503-0.html

Here is the Base 2 tech video we discuss in the show from 1:01:37 to 1:02:37:

 

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Show Notes: 

  • A review of travel and medevac (repatriation) insurance best practices with Bianca Heinrich
  • The thesis, sailplanes, aeronautics
  • Design tools manufacturers use
  • Technology in wings
  • Changing the degrees of freedom
  • Paragliding design and surfboard design
  • The design loop and possibly eliminating prototypes
  • How do gliders improve and is something as radical as the Sharknose in our future?
  • What about test pilots?
  • Objective vs human criteria of a glider
  • The “black art” of design
  • The certification process and the cost involved in bringing a wing to market
  • The roadblocks to wing progression
  • The fluid structure interaction- lift and drag and aerodynamics
  • Does understanding design help us pilot better? Analysis vs feel
  • Confidence in design
  • Risk and attitude
  • Flying polars- get off the brakes! How much bar?

 

Mentioned in the Show:

Nik Hawks, Bruce Goldsmith, Bianca Heinrich, Eduardo Garza, InReach, Garmin, SPOT, GEOS, IMG Signature, Global Rescue, World Nomads, DogTag, JD Castile, BGD Designs, Felipe Rezende, Gin Gliders, PWC, Tom Lalise, Niviuk, Ozone, Torrey Pines, Kari Castle, Malin Lobb, FlyEO, Chrigel, Aaron Durogati