Will Gadd doing what he does. Photo Christian Pondella
Accidents are ubiquitous in free flight but recently there’s been a huge spike in fatalities in our sport and in this podcast with Jeff Shapiro and Will Gadd we aim to take on the subject of risk and where we get it wrong sometimes- and why. We take on a lot in this show, but here’s a little teaser: How well do you understand your own head? Is pushing the limits necessary to learn? What can go wrong and how much margin do we need so we can play another day? Mistakes are necessary to learn, but the ground is hard and unforgiving, so how do we fly with that knowledge and still excel safely? How to have appropriate goals at appropriate times. What’s the end game? Why aviation is unique compared to other high risk sports because of gravity and the ground. The dangers of forcing your will on the day, rather than just flying what the day provides (“Fly the day, not your desire”- Nick Greece). The three stages of combat veterans and how it applies to free flight. And a ton more. This is one of the most important shows we’ve ever produced, I hope you’ll share it with everyone you know who flies or participates in high risk activities. Be safe everyone.
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How well do you understand your own head?- Expect error.
Thinking of and understanding the consequences tends to allow you to live longer
The importance of having a visceral connection
Understanding the difference between someone being negative and someone giving good advice and how not to misinterpret the two
Flying is a high consequence sport with a lot of complexities- so you better understand that up front
Gravity and speed
Fly like the pilot you ARE, not the pilot you want to be
Every flight we make is a very personal decision for each of us. Fly the day, not your desire.
Combat veterans go through 3 stages. The first stage with novices haven’t seen much and assume nothing will happen to them. The second stage is when a more experienced veteran realizes the dangers and will train hard to try to avoid getting hurt. The third stage is simply realizing that no matter how hard you train and how good you are still means you might not come home. So it’s recognizing that these sports are just dangerous. It’s not resignation, it’s just being real about the risks.
Operating from a place of fear is not a good place to be
The line between fear and doubt isn’t always very clear.
Most aviation events happen in a chain. They are rarely just one thing.
“You gotta be stupid enough to launch and smart enough to get it back to the ground.”- Nate Scales
Keeping track of the (typically 3) things that are likely going to kill you. Respect the relationship of the stuff that will kill you.
How to create a culture of safety.
Mentioned in this episode:
Will Gadd, Jeff Shapiro, Cody Tuttle, Casey Bedell, Cross Country Magazine, Nick Greece, Josh Cohn, Nate Scales
Episode 109- Reducing the Carnage with Will Gadd and Jeff Shapiro
00:00:17 - 00:05:02
Hi everybody. Welcome to the cloud base may coming into from Mexico on. I apologize that I'm a little bit late with this one. We put up a bonus episode last week with Ken. JORISSEN OUT IN UTAH. that it was terrific. Encourage you all to grab that remember that you do not need to be a subscriber to get that content and there's also an RSS feed you don't have to just listen to it from the website site you can get it on your phones through whatever platform you listen to podcasts on Itunes stitcher whenever that speed is on the website and I'll be sending that out in a newsletter here very quickly but this episode pretty serious subject but we took a an approach that I think you're gonNA enjoy but there's a lot of carnage certainly in North America and some of you may see my article about maintaining margin in recent Cross Country of publication. But it's not the carnage is something that's just beckwith in this sport and so we don't really take on the subject of new trying to eliminate innate human error not clipping in. You know we're human humans make mistakes. This is more about just trying to be smarter. About how how you fly to reduce the carnage. This was instigated certainly by the accident. That cody tuttle had the summer and sears and then more recently by the accident Casey Adele had two good friends and But these actions just keep happening and they're of course frustrating frustrating and they will keep happening but the temperature was to reach out to guys who I think. Speak About articulate as possible about this subject abject the Jeff Shapiro and we'll get these guys are both top level. Athletes in a lot of different disciplines will ice climbing kayaking certainly flying Linux paraglider with Jeff. He's been finding ladders for the twenty-five years more recently got into paragliding wing suitor also really super skilled old climber Falconer. These guys certainly have lived a lot of their lives and participating in pursuing dangerous activities but they have very good understanding of those of the realities and the consequences. And I just thought it'd be good for us to hear from them and kind of have a back beginning kind of fireside chat. He's guys I don't really interview 'em in this one. We talk about risk and what we can do collectively as a community to fly saver and make better decisions and understand how little bit how our brains work and understand you know things like the five hazardous this attitudes of aviation. That's what we kicked off with. Jeff has recently gotten into find small airplanes. And there's a lot of things in commercial aviation that don't seem to cross sober very well into our sport of aviation and they should. So you're gonNA love this and I encourage you to share and two. I hope that instructors who listen to this will share it with their students. It is very hard. We'd withdraw a lot of analogies to things like backcountry through skiing and climbing and stuff. But it's really hard to learn without making mistakes unfortunately in our sport you know if you push it. Then the mistake his always hitting the ground and the ground is hard man The ground is very unforgiving and so you know unlike a lot of other sports where you can push it take whipper like and climbing and get away with it You're not going to do so. Well you hit the ground so this these are the things we talk about We've talked about you know the being inconvenienced and we talk about complacency and we talk about mental attitude. Talk about a lot of things that hopefully will they have an impact and and reduce the carnage. That's what this was all about so enjoy this I apologize. The connection was pretty rough. Miles will do his typical magic and make sounds good as he can and of course. I'm sitting here in Mexico. You can hear the crickets in the background but we did this. We recorded this in a laundry room. I'm for myself and on my end and didn't have reconnection in the courses just Mexico. There's lots of noises down here inviting Bravo but Important subject you'll enjoy joy and again please. Share cheers guys. I really appreciate this. I know this is hard to connect the dots Willie Canal and I are sitting here in in a laundry room and Mexico will.
00:05:02 - 00:10:01
I know you're Kenmore home and Jeff. You're at home and I want to jump right into this because I know guests on time constraints but thanks is always for contributing and coming on the mayhem and this is a pretty serious subject. But I'm really excited to talk about it. We're GONNA talk about risk and how we can possibly probably reduce the carnage in our various passions especially obviously preflight. But I wanted specifically to talk to you guys because I know it's been a really hard year as well in climbing and I thought it'd be really interesting to talk about the similarities and some of the non similarities. And what you're both seeing being. And Yeah see if we can reduce the carnage will the other night. We weren't able to connect with you but Jeff I had a good chat in Jeff. I thought a really good place. Nice to maybe start would be. You know you're you're just getting into fly in superclubs small airplanes and you came across some stuff in your recent tests. Getting all license seasons up there called the five hazardous attitudes of aviation and we've all been an aviation a long time. This was new totally new to me. I thought that'd be a great place to start. It was used to have fireside Jabbai risk. Yes your Your I recently was Going through the process of getting my the pilots license Actually come across this these terms or you know the the five hazardous attitudes in a previous aviation book. I think it was a sailplane line book but would I was surprised to see in in every textbook that I've that I studied from airman knowledged and the aircraft craft training handbook Referenced what it they sort of referred to as the five hazardous attitudes in aviation and what surprised me most was that I had had never seen it in a gliding or paragliding text But it was. It made me laugh when I read it. Because you know certainly I recognized it in my own behavior. You're in past years and it is something that I see on a regular basis in in patterns after participating in sports that involve risk management for a lot of years. I think something that that each one of us should sort of self reflect and ask ourselves as certainly I try and do this this Relative to the decisions that I make when I'm flying any type of aircraft but those those five hazardous attitudes is really funny The first one is anti authority right. don't tell me what to do. The second is macho a you know I got. This is the third his invulnerability You know is not going to happen to me. The fourth is impulsivity. I'm going for it. And the and the fifth his resignation. You know there's nothing I can do about it now and you know. How often do we you hear that? Or how often do we say that. When we're flying paragliders you know like you're on lodge in and someone says something about whether or about conditions or whatever and you know my first reaction is to sort of believe in myself right and I think that that's a good thing especially really when you know you're getting advice that that might give you information and be helpful but contradicts what you think is right for you? But I think it's important to to sort of figure out the difference between You know advice and whether or not you're you're sort of pushing back against and someone someone else's advice you know. Don't tell me what to do. I got it. There's the I two right there you know and then the other one I see a lot is in an almost every sport. Is this man that that's a bummer. That that happened so and so and there's a reason why it happened so there's some justification for the accident in that justification seems was to somehow rule out. That has ever GonNa Happen to me because I know it happened in. I'm never going to do that right but it can. It can happen to all of us and it is always a different thing right. And then the impulsivity. You know I'm going for it sometimes. Even are logical brains before we fly or after a fly or whatever you know you learn a pretty valuable lesson might might be pretty heavy. You know you say a man. I'm going to be more conservative. But in the heat of the moment when you're emotional on your flying You know we're all sort of guilty saying I'm going forward anyways you know and that that obviously Create a pretty hazard situation the times and then you know the fifth resignation. I had to think about this one. But but it's true you know when you are in the air you're totally committed mid right you you launch. You're trying to squeeze one in Before the storm hits or you know you you're trying to fly a little closer to the storm cell for that. Just a few more KS or whatever. Are you know by the time you've made a decision and that decision has You know proven to be cut of a poor relatives risk You know the idea. There's nothing I can do about it.
00:10:01 - 00:15:15
I'm I'm just going to go with it. You know that can be that can happen. You don't based on necessity but but the stakes been made already. The mistake was made a Five months ago so yeah. I just thought that those those has executives are pretty interesting After reading it and sort of studying it for this this ballots. Licensed thing I I definitely try and check in with myself now about each of those things and relative risk. You know. I've I've always said it's important to try and mm make decisions for myself based on logic and not emotion I try and I try and think about all five of those terms discover whether or not not mind. Decisions are being influenced by any one of the five. You know. Yeah we were. We were talking you will I wanted you so you know we touched on this podcast with you a couple of years ago and I wanted to just reflect back on that and talk about it more maybe dig into it more but you have this great saying you you talk about it in your talks all the time the positive power of negative thinking and we jeff and I talked about the at the other night and said you know that's the thing it's so positive there's nothing negative negative about the pasta power negative thinking. So can you talk about that. Because I know I mean. This is such a timely thing you know you're dealing with An avalanche death breath happened today. I understand there's so many parallels to me with backcountry. Skiing is like when you go into avalanche terrain. You know you could make a bad decision and get back to the car and have no idea. You've made a bad decision and you go man. I killed it today. I crushed it and the next guy that skis. That exact ZAC. Same line gets buried. Yeah I mean it's the positive power of negative thinking idea works really well especially for dealing with the biggest hazard in aviation which of any kind or any kind of high risk activity and it's the same stuff as as Jeff's five hazardous activities. It's is how well do you understand your own head. I all the knowledge and all the technical skill and best equipment and all all that stuff is is certainly good but if you wanNA survive you have to understand your own head and expect error and then you can use all those tools like if you're coming into a reg you can either you know push it in income in right on the boundary layer. Where the where the Reuters starts or you can give it an extra hundred meters three hundred feet and give yourself margin because you know what you get it wrong. Sometimes you give yourself an extra three hundred feet you can fold it up and walk away. I feel like I'm GonNa come right on the boundary layer with the rotor. And I'm GonNa just scattered in perfectly eh inevitably that's not gonNA work out and speaking from personal experience. I think a lot of times I have played that not lion Mike. I'M GONNA take it right in the lair. Go into that Ridge as low as I can and then I got the shit kicked out of the dozens of times and I was like well. Let's give it an extra extra one hundred fifty three hundred feet and a live longer. And that's where that both expectation of your own error and you're GONNA get it wrong and if you've built enough margin in you might live through it and then also you're going. Wow what can happen here. That's the positive power of Vegas thinking like you know I can fold it up and then do I have enough time to toss you know that. Three hundred feet becomes really critical when when things get really western and and you're like oh I'm so stoked that I have enough time to make like one good effort and then the laundry out so I think I've gotten older and all these sports the thing I've seen over and over again it's like people do think about the consequences of what they're doing in the moment and then also try to add margin tend to live longer again. We're we're all walking the line you know it's like I've had some really good luck when I needed a couple times. I'm very appreciative of that. And nobody sets out be like today's a great day to have the accident so nobody starts the day like that but being aware of those ideas you know. How do I understand? My own mind will actually want to do today. You WanNa live or don't WanNa like go as hard as Canon and kick ass and both of those in my view are actually pretty valid viewpoints. But you have to understand where you're operating from. How much margin you half and then decide where you want that kind of spider to be the budget things in there but that hazardous his attitudes means you gotta understand your own mind and in the positive power negative thinking what could go wrong and then going right? How much margin do I do? I need to do this for a long talk. How do we how do we instill that kind of knowledge before you have it again? Back to the the backcountry country analogy he never want to get in an avalanche but until you get an avalanche it's Kinda hard to really understand the shrew risks is a really the hard to understand how it could go and and to have this attitude of.
00:15:15 - 00:20:02
I'M GONNA be fine and not properly scared so I'm thinking about the you know the pilot that hasn't pushed it and made those mistakes as we all have seems like that's a necessary education game. Can we can you skip that. You know of Ito's funny about this I'm really anxious to hear what we'll have to think has to say about it but I think you I know when when you talk about a place Some people say oh you know that place is beautiful because they seem photos but unless you have a visceral connection with that place you know unless you've been there earn your fingers in the dirt or you know that you spend time there and you have members and you know the smells and and you know those members relate you. You don't have that visceral throw connection in a dozen. It's it's not as important as it is for someone who's just seen it photos and I think that when it comes to experience is similar. You know when we go we climb the experience of that climber that route or that pitcher that move whatever is over the second it happens. It's you know by the time I'm walking down the trail back to the car and I'm thinking about the story I'm GonNa tell. My wife is already different than what actually happened. You know and what what's interesting about that. That is when we have close calls or we have an. I'm I'm sure willing. I both have had fistfuls of Over the years but those I mean something to us in although I would love to be able to give that to somebody. It's very very very difficult to explain it. In a way that has the same level of impact that it did for me. And so what's really interesting is that I've noticed at least is when when when I'm on launch and I'm talking to a newer pilot violet and you know they have questions I try and explain something but there is this this certain level of experience that has to happen for that lesson lesson to be learned and I also think that certain people I think there's a trend on launch sometimes where our people will get advice and it's really difficult to tell who are the sort of you know you've mentioned Ground crew the difference between someone who's being negative negative in someone who's giving good advice so I think a lot of newer pilots will misinterpret advice sometimes as fear as opposed to experience and I found that communicating communicating that in a particular way super important to be able to like you said give that to somebody in a way that might have an impact a positive impact on their day day I don't know what do you think well no. I think that's a really good point. How you communicate risk and talk to people you know? I wasn't very good at that my twenties on somebody would be doing something thing and I'm like don't be a fucking idiot indication worse and now I'm like well. Hey you know this might not work out so hot a- and kind of been there you know maybe this is something that you might WanNa think about something. And then we get to comment point so that communication of risk and knowledge is yeah. That's really really important. It is it is hard to get that into people's heads. There's so many layers to this. I've been dealing with a lot different industries as well so I look at. How like you guys? Who Work on high tension lines they hype Really high power a high tension lines how they deal with their high risk environment and again and again it does come down more and more to human factors how people look at so you can call hazardous attitudes or human factors but it is how people approach it and you go through different careers you know in our different stages in your careers as a pilot pilot or any in any risk activity and I think until you really get your head that every time you launch. You'RE GONNA die unless you do do certain things right it does. You've got that into your head. It doesn't really sink in. And if you fly with that knowledge for a climate that knowledge and that knowledge that you get it wrong you die then you tend to start making better decisions and try to build systems you can make little errors and and still live but I do think all these sports that I see. It's like yeah. You can do safely Bro. You know you're more likely to die driving your car. This is bullshit like all. These sports are high consequence complex environments. And you can't approach them like that. It's just not reasonable but did you approach them with an understanding of very real hazards and then you like. Today's an excellent data live and I'm going to watch myself. Police five hazardous attitudes. Yeah I know I get really competitive with other pilots.
00:20:02 - 00:25:12
So maybe I'm not going to you know fly in environments where I do that or recognized that desire in my own brain uh and slow it down but yeah I think the starting point is we are operating. Every time we step off the ground in any sport or or whatever and really dangerous environment and then if we do enough things right we can deal with errors and end the day you know back on the dirt with that with a beard smile which is kind of the real goal. Isn't it you although you know it's really funny too is When we talk about other sports I'm sure that it's been like this for you guys as well I. I've always learned learned best by pushing pretty hard. I look at people that I think are better than me. I try to learn from them. I push out of my comfort zone end. Trying make make you know pretty big gains in both understanding and skill set in. Sometimes those gains come at a price of making mistakes almost always right but in aviation what's unique to aviation relative to most other activities like skiing or climbing or whatever. I mean the point of climbing is falling off right. The point is trying to shift. It's harder than you can do and When it comes to aviation the things that are always constant are You know gravity and speed and the ground is fucking Tuck in heart. And so what's what's interesting. Is that when we're one hundred feet off the ground. What did we say pilots got? Were fucking low. We are low will one hundred feet try and jump off underfoot building. What's going to happen but you're GonNa die you know so the thing is when you're when you're not very high off the ground say fifty or sixty fee if you fall which happens when we take a big collapse apps and you hit the ground is going to hurt you probably forever? So what what's really interesting is in my normal mantra of pushing hard and you know maybe climb unlike the climber that I wanna be a when it comes to flying I think One of the MANTRAS that I've been sort of trying to pass on or at least you know utilize or apply to my own on my own. Flying Related Life lately has been you know to to make decisions and to fly like the pilot. I am not like the pilot I WANNA be in. What's important about that? Is I know that the more I fly. It's inevitable that I'm going to gain experience with that experience. I'm going to gain skill. There's no way I can fly every day and not get better and and not gain the experience but I can only be me. I can only be Jeff. I can't be will. I can't be Gavin so comparing myself to somebody else or flying like different pilot than I. AM with the intention of getting better. It might work. It might even work pretty well a couple of flights but eventually that is going to bite me. That's GonNa get me eventually. Would I make a decision because I'm wanting to be something that I'm not that that is going to catch up to me. And that's been a pretty interesting of sort of you know disciplined to have or to try and have Because you know once again Without the discipline I'm being emotional. In risk and emotion ocean just doesn't work out generally at least not one hundred percent of the time and you know I'd like to come home a hundred percent of the time if I can from flying. Yeah that's a really good goal. Aw keeping that goal top boasted. Your bide is is pretty critical. Eddie sports like what we tend to get sidetracked right where a big flight or like. Oh Yeah I could just fucking just pull this off. I'm going to that Ridge low but if I can pull it off it's GonNa be back and then if you do have that goal in your mind it's like wait a minute Michael today land and go back home and you know pull this off safely then the question is is it really worth that risk at that moment and you're you know a few at like if you're at like one kilometer from your personal Baston you're like it means everything to you then maybe that risk is totally worth it and that's awesome this so but if it's like just another shitty data the hill and you're trying to scratch your way over the Highway Megan Dot and you're going against that big goal of your head which is to end it safely early at the end of the day. It's what you lose sight of that big goal you know and I do all the time and then after real my brain back in like nope. We're not doing what the goal is. Here is to have a really good plight and make it home in time for dinner and then I'm like all right. I don't need to make this like very high risk. High consequence the decision right now. Maybe I will in the future but right here right now. I don't need to do that and then I can make a safer decision. Oddly often Decision works not find anyhow yet. Yeah will in the other thing too. Is You know. We'd all be lying if we if we didn't have like the best memories of our lives is as were these moments where he pushed hard and you know you you either. Did it well or got away with it or whatever but you got you got the carrot at the end of the stick you know and and that's that's awesome. I mean you know to to do what. You're you know what what you didn't think that you could do. There's hardly a better feeling but I would also also say from experience that the Times where I- wrist and it didn't work out a I never said it was worth and so it's always always kind of one of those things it's like is an extra K..
00:25:13 - 00:30:01
Or plying further than your buddies or win in the day is it worth you know in at some level you know. It's a very personal decision that is made by each of us every single day in every single flight like it and the other interesting part of that is I try and when I'm when I. AM saying you know like whatever. I'm going for it because It is worth it to me today the today it is worth it in an I do feel like I'm going to be successful. I try and one Beatles or ask myself whether or not. I'm I'm forcing my will on the day you know Gavin talking about this the other night you know. This is this Nick brings up in in his podcast. About you know flying your desire as opposed to the day or you know always fly the day in and not your desire. I think it's interesting that You know casually. I'll find myself doing it but I'm certainly seeing it as a factor in some accidents where people are trying to or you know. Sometimes I'll try to force my will in the day so in other words and this can happen with with choice gear can happen with a trying to accomplish in particular flight using using the high terrain to get high as opposed to getting high and being being allowed into the high terrain or You know using it to liner to become To get more performance as opposed to being a L. flying the glider that you're on so that it's appropriate to move up in you might have the the skill set to be able to fly that glider. I see that as being contributing factors to some of the accidents accidents that have been happening and and certainly use it as a mirror to check myself. Yeah wanted I. I'm glad you brought that up Jackie's I learned a lot from you will on the rockies traverse with wing choice And I it seems you know I might just begin all fuddy duddy but it seems to me like you know when when I learned it was like there was a requisite number of hours time and experience before people would just look at you. Like you're crazy if you if you move up in a weighing in now and I don't know maybe that's because I'm been fine more cops lately but it's just you know I see it and people are so hungry in there so stoked which I love to see because it reminds me of you know when I got into the sport and I'm still kind of that way but you know you said at the other night jeff the you know. The people are using the wings to improve in not. They're not getting eating better. You know the wings not GonNa make better pilot and so you know we've got people that are you know in in my in my opinion may be moving awfully fast up because they want the you see it you go on glide with you know big open class wingers e commerce wings and that can be a bit a bit discouraging but at the same time you see a guy like Josh Kohn down here. Last year on the Omega and in this year on Zee. Ouch just crushing everybody. He didn't have any trouble level. Keeping up with good gliders that are way better than I mean. Obviously he is totally out flying that way. Well I WANNA be Josh. Yeah it's a that's there's a lot in what you both set the interesting interesting and I got back and forth not so much insomniac. Got The two liner for some days. And then I've got my like light laying. Did I fly a lot at at. I often choose to fly the light wing. You know because it's it's just a lot of fun and I can do just about anything I can on on the July under as I can of my lightweight get I just have to remember that and maybe set the glides up a bit better or whatever but again again it boils down to I think what. What Jeff Buddhist concept seeing things as they are today is what it is not what you want it to be in conditions editions and so on are what they are? You can't change that so you have to be super open and flexible to the day into whatever the conditions are and then adopt to and then make good choices out of that and try to do your best. I one of the things that I think I've I've realized recently that's super popular but I do believe it wouldn't wouldn't temptation to it's like it's like combat veterans. You know the first stage of combat veteran is to say well not not that many accidents happen in won't happen to me. That's like your knobs pilot or your basic intermediate Kyla stuff doesn't happen very often. They have done. CPR on somebody in the side of the hillside. That shit knocked out real. And then you see that. A bit in the combat veterans like right the things go sideways out there and if I trained really hard and really dial. Things are Super Titan lockdown at high knowledge in high understanding everything. That won't happen to me.
00:30:01 - 00:35:11
I'm an alert everybody else's errors. I will get through this just fine in the third stage of combat veterans and. I think it very much applies to extreme sports words. You know what you go out the door you can get killed and it's not resignation. You're going to do everything you can keep that from happening that day. You're going to do all the work and and do everything you can but if you approach fine with that Stage three mentality of you know what really smart people didn't make any stupid errors are dead. Then you can approach it. Maybe and build the best margin and use that concept of the swing isn't the best choice for me. I'M GONNA. I'm GonNa stay on this reasonable at. I'm going to adapt fast to conditions. Maybe all land thirty minutes before I really needed to that storm. But I'm on the A good thing so I don't know a depressing thought or not but for me it's liberating it's like you know what these sports are really dangerous. Smart people by doing who aren't pushing hard. Let's try to get through the day as best we can and use all those skills to have the best day but you gotta start with that understanding Article Fight Club. You're useless. Yeah Yeah Yeah well you know what's funny about that. She was that goes back to the you know. How do you pass this on how you give that advice? And what's what's harsh arshat about it is is when you you know when you've gone through those stages when you're like Oh you know that should happen sometimes and then you're like wow it really happens because you know you've had blood on your hands and then you get to that third stage. How do you communicate that to a newer pilot without it being all doom and gloom and native Nancy? Because let's face it. We're all out there just to have fun. You know. We Wanna go up on the hill. We WanNA go flying. We WanNa go flying because it's fun and we WANNA have fun while we're flying you know and hearing about accidents in here in about a The doom and gloom of what could happen all these things. I think that the knowledge is important in relative to making good decisions but You know we want to be a good head space. When we're or flying we WANNA have our you know our minds in the right place And we want to enjoy what we're doing but what what I think is interesting is when you You got you got to sort of opinions right. You have somebody who's been flying a while and you know they might say uh-huh uses examples. So they they flew through the rain three or four times and their election. I don't know what everybody's you know quivering about. It's no big deal. Climb through the rain afloat the rain ten times. Nothing's ever happened to me. And then you have a pilot who's flown through the rain. Whatever a hundred times and ten of those times it you know increases stall speed and. They came out of the sky like like a stone and ended up having to dump it somewhere or had a near Miss. Because and so you know. Is it negative to give that advice. Maybe it's not so smart to fly through the rain because one pilots giving advice based on what hasn't happened to them in the other pilot is giving advice on what has happened. And I think that this really important to remember When you're getting advice are you giving advice that it should be from a place of experience? You know what you have have experienced in Memphis not than you know you should think about the conservative side line in back to what we were talking about before relative to is it really worth it. What are my goals today? Hey what's the mission you know if the mission is to win the day mission is to go huge and it is important to you and you are feeling it and you're you know you're at one with your wing you're feeling current and you know The time dive into that Ridgefield right than you know. Whatever that's that's up to you as a pilot It's very personal. Like I said but but if my mission Today is to have a good time and to do my very best to learn a lot into come home than my wing choice My Line How hard I push in and You know the priority of landed safely in and figuring out how to how hitch my way back to to dinner with my family family If that's the mission than you know than that's what I'm going to try and do the best that I can add and I think all of those experiences build into to this personal this personal Set of limits Anza. All of a sudden now getting advice becomes just another piece of information no of different than the way. The trees are moving in the wind or the the birds turning in front of launch is just another piece of information for each pilot to us to make their own decisions and and you know. I just think it's really important to to remember that that that information is coming from somewhere to analyze where that information is coming from and then into to utilize it appropriately i. I'd be curious to know that that's great. Jetta I'd be curious to know I know both of you guys is Are fully willing to back down and come back down whether climbing flying Unite talked about it a lot and something that you talk about freely about how the open you are doing that whether you're guiding whether you're by yourself how much of that is what you see versus what you feel well.
00:35:11 - 00:40:07
It's it's both if I don't feel good about a situation than usual reasons about a might not have intellectually figured it out yet but if something deals off to means excellent time to stop and have lunch in the mountains the trick is it gets a little trickier to stop it. How much you cab? Just like Hagar the bullets or put it a piece of gear or walk over that Ridge get out of the gully figure out what's going on aviation a lot more intense kayaking where you're in the drop from the moment you step off to the moment you you get to the bottom but I think listening to that again and understanding your your own head and being something feels wrong on the you know back down do something different. Choose a more conservative. Line is the is the paragliding you know. When I started learning a Kayak I would like Puka Yetis the top big class by drops and that was just not the right mindset? I thought that's how I had to approach the sport to get good at it. And in in retrospect that was not the way Ford. Don't learn as much when you're in a state of terror you know perform as well and as I got better at hiking I decided I wasn't GonNa Paddle in that state anymore. You're and the same with fly I don't like operating if I'm really afraid in the air it's like is not the right state to be in the Aaron and often go and just land over like if I'm not feeling good and solid and competent than I know myself well enough to go right about this is not cool and maybe I haven't noticed something you know. Maybe there's more going on out. There may be my wingers luggage for some reason. I have figured out why or just listening to that little voice. That says something's not right here and and being willin being willing to make changes and maybe you get lower. Oh you know what I was really high has been Hyde Park. I I haven't eaten anything and that's why might feel it up tight and scared in the air but operating in that place of fears is really not good you all. You have to have honesty about what the consequences are in the operating out place of competency where you're like. Yeah got solid making good decisions and not operating like I'm going to overcome by fear Advi close to that big black cloud. Because I do that once you know. Let's turn into EVA and you get like sucked up the ten thousand meters now. I asked her why she was like I. I was GonNa win the day. Don't do that Jeff you've had in the last you know. Will you talked about it on the first show. Show course with everything. But you've had a couple pretty recent Super close calls none. I guess one of the one Uniqlo's calls a hit With wing link suiting. I'm curious were you able to process. Look back where those were both of those times whereas the voice screaming you ignored it or something else Will said and what Belcourt said I think is super true in China where the magic isn't paragliding like you can't. You can't make it safe if it's not safe you know but it the that's awesome. You know it's it's nice to be able to if you're competent. In your current you can navigate that environment in a way. Hey that's That is incredibly fulfilling. You know it's just amazing thing to get to do and to pretend like you can operate a paraglider on a cross. This country fly in the mountains. Safely is just is just not accurate. You know But but like will. I don't think I've ever been sorry. Sorry about backing off something. When that little voice was in my head you know in the line between fear Dow and in real danger gets pretty blurry And it takes some experience sort of know the difference but I mean. I've certainly had experiences where I was way up on. Some is climate in just the last pitch. Just didn't feel like it just didn't feel right. It was just a little too gnarly for me day until we you know we wrapped out because no big deal backed off and then I kick myself afterwards afterwards and say God man i. I should have just said that Dan you know I was there. I worked really hard. Is the last pitch would have been good to get it done in the fact that I I can sit back and say that is sort of a proof positive that it was a good decision because if it would have gone the other way than I would have been wherever Renault hospital or or dead. They got that was worth as is one pitch right so I think whenever I feel that and I'm not sure where it's coming from I try it real hard to listen to it When it comes to fly in you know as soon as you make the decision you know the first decision in this link this chain of events where Like we were talking about before the podcast. Most aviation accidents ended up being this this chain of events right. If you were to remove any link in the chain than the accident president wouldn't occur or at least it might not be catastrophic and so generally that that chain starting to decision to launch right in.
00:40:07 - 00:45:03
So if you've if you've made the decision to lodge now you're you're pretty much committed to aviation you know and you have to stay focused and beyond point until you're back on on the ground safely but you know if I'm on launch or on an accident or at the base of ru or even on a route and I get that feeling of been once again I ask myself like what's the mission today is to have fun. Is there anything that I need to prove am I am I. You know whatever the end obviously The answer's Yes. I'm here for fun. No APPs zero to prove to anybody including myself and you know the the mission is to come home because I want to do this again tomorrow. You out to have fun so like why would I wanNA fly tomorrow in the next day and and If you know if if I'm getting that feeling then Dan For me it's just been important to listen to it and You know I don't have to necessarily verbalize it unless I see a A. You know a very active. Give Hazard that might. It might be beneficial for me to let the people around me know about it but but generally if I am that set that feeling even if it doesn't mean anything to anybody else I'll all listen to it and I think it's important to do that for longevity isn't it. Is is something I want what it is like like nate scale. Says you gotta you stupid enough to launch and smart enough to get back to the ground back. You know what one one of the things that I use my sports across all my sports that that is really I think useful to me and I've only cofide at the last Maybe five or Ted Years of doing these sports is to is to keep track of the of the like two or three things anyone environment that are actually likely to kill me and always have kind of those three things on my mental screen. Are Those about one thing. And that's that's been really useful to me over and over and and to have some sort of plan in my head to deal with those three things. If they start popping oxo in paragliding like ground is the obvious thing. That's going to kill you so if you're close close to the ground you're immediately in that dangerous on you start making better decisions in be a lot more switched on mentally in the game you no no. I don't think anybody's ever died. Sixteen thousand feet or something is pretty rare. Actually I know one guy who did. But it's pretty rare. It's like the ground is what's going to kill you so now you're close to the ground in on ice climbing. It's if you if you fall off and you don't have enough gear in divorce with enough Gary and you're just probably likely to get maimed but not die so get enough gear in that you're not GonNa die but knowing those the two or three things and having an in your head and where I've gotten into trouble across on my sports is when I stopped thinking about about those things and I am Mike. I'm really low but I'M GONNA scratch this out here and it's windy as hell but I can still deal with this thermals ripping and I can deal with this and then I'm hike in a few very close calls where I'm like. I forgot that the ground is the enemy and it was out to kill me and I needed respect that relationship ship so knowing those two or three things in paragliding it is only usually the ground. That's get a call going to get you in the long run but it may be on this day. It's can over develop okay. I gotTa Watch that. That's something that can get me in. What's going on with that and checking into all the time and being very aware of that and respectful of it is is helpful across driving. You know what's going to get while you're gonna hit something or somebody's GonNa hit you. So how are you going to deal with that of somebody locks it up in funny where you're GonNa go if you see somebody in your rear view mirror coming at you really fast. What are you GonNa do about it and having that is part of your outlook is pretty pretty critical? In having it preplanned Mansi can react. Fast is pretty helpful. 'CAUSE YOU'RE NOT GONNA do any better in combat than you did in training. Yeah you don't know what else is really interesting thing too is that we're all we're all out there. You know like I said to have fun but You know when that affects ego and yet you know like like we're out there to get to to have this emotional response but yet you have to remove ego to honestly self reflect. That's that's a pretty difficult sort of dichotomy. You know how to to say I'm you know I'm GonNa put all egos aside in self reflect honestly And say okay M M my current. Am I prepared to fly. This glider today in these conditions You know what you want and what you should do Can Be you know conflicts sometimes and in that. That's that's something that has helped You know when I when I do feel that little that little voice saying hey you know you step back for a second and takes depressed.
00:45:03 - 00:50:04
That's that's what I try. A immediately do is drop all ego and self reflect in a pretty hard way and say okay. Why am I get this feeling and You don't is it fear in doubt or is it something in in. Sometimes I still decided back off just for personal reasons or whatever but but sometimes Look at it logically and I self reflect honestly. I realized that that feeling is actually coming from somewhere. Maybe dosso current maybe the conditions. Are you know whatever not appropriate for my skill set or level of experience than the answer becomes easier to you know to put into action. You know are they really. That's that's very much in line. With what what. I was talking earlier in understanding. Yourself is the biggest part of staying safe in any of these. Sports is to have an honest. Look at yourself and nowhere. Your motivations are where they are. If your goal that day is to go a huge be dangerous than hey. That's what that's the deal you made right on rock out go for it. Navy deal that day as I WANNA get back for dinner that yeah being able to reflect honestly on no not Is a good thing on one kind of tangent to this that I think is pretty important again at something. I'm working with a lot in other areas of my life but paragliding is not one thing it's like there's a huge spectrum to it you can and you can choose where you want to be on that spectrum and for me most most of it in flying comes down to once you start. Removing the direct human factors that comes down to the complexity environment the Iran and and you can choose to fly in fly the point nor side in the evening. It's relatively lavender and it's a it's a relatively straightforward environment and that's awesome and some of the best flights. My life have been not light in the WASATCH Brain loved that stuff and you can take a risk contri- glide over to the next hill. And if you don't make it you land in the sage picture out cocaine will they'll still pretty cool and then you can step it up a bit in you know. Maybe the far the end of the spectrum as you're flying distant fights in the Owens in July or August you are one of a complex environment in in there and no matter who you are. You can't publish that environment in a way that's GonNa make it anything but pretty young pretty The things are going to combine unlikely ways. You'RE GONNA have outcomes both fantastic. You know I went to a very high altitude you know and it was awesome but also I got blown backwards over Cinder call in there you you. You can't predict that environment as well because it's so complex so as a pilot in S. P. Blue teach other pilots. Because we're like old people now. We need to except that explained that there is a a wide spectrum of abilities and situations in complexity in flying and try to help. Oh people find the right level of complexity For them and understand paragliding is not just this thing. It's like goober super wide spectrum drum and you can take a point that makes sense to you on it and not just go fly because it's Paraguay it's like it's it's really really huge range inch and we operate in those more complex environments you inherently are GonNa have adverse or unforeseen events as put it that way unforeseen events more often and that that sounds to me like you know if you're going to operate in more complex environments like the Sierras or like you and I did in rockies then you have to automatically doesn't matter how good you are you have to provide yourself a lot more margin and so then you need to remove move you know. It's no longer taking the obvious line right on top of the peaks. It's getting out front and giving yourself margin giving yourself that two thousand feet if something and goes wrong and and and piecing together. Those flights is can be more difficult. But it's also it's a skill set that you can learn. Learn to me at emits. It's it's a way for us to fly places like that a lot more safely rather than like you said you know park yourself over the Senator Cornyn thirty kilometers our wind and the Sierras is you know. There's there's very high potential for a bad outcome there. No matter how good you are yeah it was like fifty. It was pretty stupid. I didn't I didn't I just did not respect that environment environment I didn't understand complex. In how fast that could be on Iraqis traverse. I got caught out once or twice there and you will be better. How much respect you give? You're still GONNA get caught out but it's more likely to happen and even those simple environments it's like a member maybe twenty five years ago flying in Venezuelan Chuck. Tuck in these huge wing overs at this nice evening lavender's site and I screwed it up.
00:50:04 - 00:55:01
I was just way late or way earlier. I forget but I blew that way up like not very high and I couldn't throw my reserve because I was in the middle of a city and I was like you know I respect that even in that simple environment the ground is still really hard and I can't folded lit up low. I kind of forgot that I was like doing versus is so rad Venezuela you know and I just forgot and and that the sort of thinking where you don't remember even though I'm GonNa simple environment the ground still the same but I can still low up here so I've got to keep it a little bit inside inside the box and then have have a bit more margin just just a if you have a twenty percent more moral. Marge thank you really really need. Then when you blow like nineteen percent you still live if you like right on the edge in you blow it then you got nothing left. And that's something. I try to operate within Komo. Sports is it is hard to to not be To not let stope get in the way will he. You know what what needs to what needs to happen. And it's you know this this list of mechanical things but when you're feeling it you are and it's really hard to just like. Put those emotions aside when you know. You're doing huge wing overs in Venezuela and feel so good. It's like it's hard to remember what was what would happen. If I lost half the weighing on this last one you know or whatever and it kind of goes back to this you say margin it goes back to this idea that the only thing in this world that could ever hope to control my own mind and in in flying a paraglider You know into into whatever twenty eight years of free Studying the weather longtime in it very routinely surprises me and so you know you make these decisions on a cross country flight. I where you're making that decision now. It's going to affect you a couple of hours from now. It's not uncommon. Even with a lot of experience to be wrong you know. And so what's the harm in having a little bit of of of margin and And leaving yourself leaving yourself like when I learned how to fly my buddy told me Always leave yourself of way out. If you forget everything else I tell you. Remember this always lead yourself away out. How Plan B. and ideally a plan C. D. as well you know and and you know how often over the years have you discovered the plan? C. Was actually the best plans. Start with anyways you know so I think having having options and Trying to remember where we're at at all times and you know by all means bestowed end. I try as hard as they can to to. You know look around and smile Remember where a man. How ridiculously awesome? It is to be cloud based with a buddy you know flying over the granite teeth that are sticking out in Brazil bill But at the same time. Remember that Paraglider I actually can only control my own behavior so you know always like like you say will have the have the positive power of negative thinking. What what could go wrong in be prepared be educated and be ready for it and And then relax enjoy. It's hard to do all those things at the same time. But it's but it's possible and it's certainly recipe for staying safe. I like that one out here in a minute guys but one. When did it relates to what you're talking about? A little bit is something that we could maybe do a better job in paragliding now. I feel the very fortunate that I both. I learned in in two places in North America. That data really great community of pilots and ironically both of them are named Golden. You know I learned in Golden Colorado Auto and Golden BC. Pretty different places but in both places there was a really strong crew of of more experienced pilots and they were not shy. Hi about telling me what I was doing wrong. I'll never forget the voice of Mike Reader. You Know God damn boy what are you trying to do. You don't WanNa died today or tomorrow your top of the list your top of the list right out pilots who are GonNa die this year and there was the list and that's how it worked and I remember being really embarrassed time and but I really think how we create this culture of communication understanding. You know that's that is that's it's probably not the way to do it in some ways but it was really effective because I I heard Mike and I was like wow you know. He basically just told me he's an idiot. And in retrospect he was right right and I. I probably alive today because of those voices from the culture that I learned flying in especially in Golden Colorado and as people you know Jeff and you Gavin and in me to some extent it's like you know talking to pilots and if the older other pilots in the sport make an effort in hopefully as a little bit better than iron talk about a used. But we gotta do that. That is really important and maybe we would hurt.
00:55:01 - 01:00:06
Somebody's feelings but having seen enough accidents in the mountains. Now I'm pretty okay with hurting. Somebody's feelings if I think something's actually dangerous or wrong long. I'm going to try and do it in a professional professional and clear way but if I chant it's way better to have that discussion before he scrapes somebody off and we've wall got those pilots on our hell. That are making bad decisions. And I think we do have to be Sometimes really direct and then there are the pilots who make bad decisions unconsciously in the gotTa like talk to them and Freeman different way and try make it useful for them Because you know it's your communities your instructors Dr Super Important your gear super important. But it's your community in your own understanding your head that navy ultimately are kind of like the finishing school piloting not Albany wing overs Israel. Infants you can do but how do you how well do you represent your community communicate your values and then how will the understand your own head on. I think that's pretty critical. Yeah Yeah I think passing on passing on information in creating a culture of Each each community around the world has like he say this this group of pilots and they all lean on each other and I think the best Let's let's put it this way. The the most effective ways that I've ever learned have been with good instruction known You know that's where the biggest jumps and I think this this idea of accepting mentorship in having those mentors All the mentors that are out there. If each of of those mentors can figure about how to communicate in a effective way to each pilot and I don't mean like baby in it. Some people need sort of known to have you come out hard and some people They need you to be a little more gentle with them about it. But either way providing information for the greater goal which is For everybody to keep having fun and to stay day safe and and to learn and get better together collectively as a group and This idea of the mentor relationship. Whether it be climbing base jumping or flying paragliders others are hang gliders I think that it's super important. In a way where the mentors in each community they end up breeding culture in that culture is is something thing that sort of drives all the pilots coming into the sport and the pilots that are growing within the sport and It kinda goes back to that that idea that you know we were talking talking about before where You know deciphering whether or not you. Nobody wants to go up on the hill. And here's somebody talk about every. Excuse why you shouldn't fly. But at the same time if you're up on the hill with a pilot who's known to not be a conservative person you know known to be someone who's WHO's out there getting after and flying influence Participating on regular basis in his passionate about the sport if that person sees a dark cloud off in the distance and show some concern. You know. Maybe you shouldn't throw your way out in wonder why nobody else is. Pulling up you know and And instead go over and ask that person. Hey what he see in you know. What's what's the harm in asking that? And and then you know having a the wherewithal to say okay. I'm still going to make my own decision but I I'm going to use this as information. The information is coming from an experienced pilot. Who's taught speaking from things that have happened as opposed to things that haven't happened and then I'm going to learn something whether it influences me to fly or not is still up to me but but it does breed this culture of of Each of us sort of looking looking out for each other which I think is you know I think I think that's a cool thing. I think that that's helpful. You guys are you guys are awesome. I really appreciate it will will. I know you've got to get to this dinner again. I'm sorry about the accident today and send my love out to your community but thanks you guys is for sharing all of this and Thanks for your time in the important talking message and appreciate Gavin. Thank you for doing this mad. It's like you're doing a really good job. Obvious spreading different ideas maybe some jeff says resonates rive say resonates or bellcore. But you've done a tremendous amount toilet cruciate that man keep doing it thank you. Yeah yeah thanks. Thanks a lot you guys. If you find the cloud base may have valuable all you can support it. In a lot of different ways you can give us a rating on itunes or stitcher however you get your podcast that goes a long ways. Spread the word you can blog about it on your own website or the share on social media. You can talk about it on the way to launch with your pilot friends. I know a lot of interesting. Conversations have happened that way and of course you can support US financially. This show. It does take a lot of time a lot of editing lot of storage and music and all kinds of behind the scenes cost.
01:00:06 - 01:02:00
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