Episode 125- Breaking the Asian Record with Soheil Barikani

Enroute to the record across Iran…

On the 2nd of August the summer of records continued when Iranian world cup pilot and instructor Soheil Barikani flew his Gin Boom 11 nearly across the width of Iran 430km, a new Asian free distance record. Imagine getting on a plane to fly to the launch and flying home! This talk covers quite a bit of ground, but mostly it’s going to make you want to fly Iran! Big strong air, tall cloudbase, big mountain ranges, spinning turns across one of the most fascinating cultures and landscapes in the world…I had a blast talking to Soheil and learning about their 6,000+ strong flying community. The lines in Iran are just starting to get tapped, keep an eye on these pilots who are pushing the possibilities.

Here is Soheil’s track log (note there were several other big flights from the same launch that day).


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Show Notes:

  • CUASA and the Red Rocks Fly In
  • The big air and big possibilities of Iran
  • X-Contest
  • Teamflying
  • Risks and dangers
  • Weather changes/ climate change
  • Visas, be careful where you fly, the seasons of Iran


Mentioned in this show:

Nick Greece, Gin, Cross Country Magazine, USHPA, PWC, Stacy Whitmore, CUASA, Rafael Saladini, Donizete Lemos, Matty Senior

Getting tall in Iran!

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Speaker 0 (0s):

Speaker 1 (13s): Hi there, everybody. Welcome to another episode of cloud based mayhem. I just got off the phone with Sue Hale bar Connie, a pilot in Iran who just broke the Asian record on August 2nd, 440 K and some other friends with them that also had a really big day, just, just shorted that. So thought I'd reach out to him and talk about flying in Iran. This show will really make you want to get on a jet plane if you don't live in Iran and get over there and fly. Although obviously not right now with the COVID situation going on, but in normal times is just has been a place that has fascinated me for years.

Nick Greece, I believe was the last U S pilot to go there. He wrote a couple of fantastic art articles about his experience there and high base flying really fast, big mountains, tons of flatlands, gorgeous scenery and incredible cultural place. And just fascinating. So just had a great talk with Sohail that I think you're really going to enjoy. We talk about all of that and some of his history and his PWC, Jason and all that stuff.

So we would talk about the community there, which is 6,000 something strong. I had no idea they've got more pilots there than we do in the States. I believe so. Very fun talk. I don't have too much housekeeping here, but wanted to remind everybody that I know that, you know, there are some comps happening in the world, but the Swiss PWC is about to get going here. But, you know, we can't travel to Switzerland right now. So there are some comps happening in the world, but certainly everything here in North America has been shut down.

It's temporarily, but they, my friend, Stacy went more down at the central Utah air sports, and they're holding the red rocks flying, which I went down to last year. That starts September 28 through October 3rd. And they're going to have a little hike and fly race the weekend before that. So to find out more, go to www.cuasa.com dot com and find out more about, they've also got a Facebook group, but this is a phenomenal place.

It's all the fall colors are going off. It's a great group. It's incredibly cheap. It's like 80 bucks for the week. It's a fly in, it's not a comp, but it's a, they, the flying there is magnificent in the last year. Few people cracked off more than 200 K still that late in the season and the glass offs there are legendary. And I just highly recommended that the majority of pilots are kind of ENB ENC pilots, but they set up these great conversations and at, with people in the sport who are fascinating, give really good presentations and talks.

And it's just a really supportive environment for cross country and learning and, and flying bear ladders and hang gliders. So if you can, if you're in the States or Canada or Mexico, and you're dying to go to something and they are bonded off, they're going to be fallen, all kinds of guidelines to keep us COVID safe and highly recommended if you can. So in the meantime, enjoy this talk with Sohail Berra. Connie just broke the Asian record, 440 K flat across around.

Cheers. so hail. It's so great to have you on the show. I was, you know, I'm an, I'm an ex contest junkie. And on the 2nd of August, I saw your flight pop up and a bunch of other big flights actually in Iran. And this is usually the time of year where I start seeing big flights out of your zone and the new Asian record. Congratulations, 440 K that's a monster flight.

And so I can't wait to hear about it and hear about your history of flying in Iran. And I know you were very instrumental and helpful to getting my friend, Nick Reese over there. And like you said, before we started recording, he's probably the last American that flew in Iran. If you remember what year that was 2014, 26, maybe 2016. Is that about right? But anyway, it's a, it's, it's great to have you on the show and it's great to talk about flying in Iran. I know it's a, it's a beautiful country and I've been, I've been wanting to get over there for forever to fly cause the, the length of flights and the height you guys get is, is pretty impressive.

Speaker 2 (4m 48s): Yeah. Lo gimme, thank you. Thank you so much. Yeah, we had a really great flight last week. Yeah, we try, we broke the Asian record. The, the, the last record was the 418 K from my friend and yes, we, we, we flew more around 440 K from the West of Iran to the, to the close to the Tehran.

Yeah. If you have any question I'm here.

Speaker 1 (5m 23s): Yeah. I mean, so, you know, let's talk about your flight first. You're, you're flying the, the, the boom 11, you were in the air almost nine hours. Your, your average speed was, was almost 50 K an hour. So, you know, you're, that's pretty close to flatland speed. Was it, was it pretty manageable or is it a little dicey in sections? Cause you're, you're flying over some big terrain.

Speaker 2 (5m 48s): Yeah, actually, yes. I fly with the boom 11 and yes, I actually, the Iran a is, is not like a Europe that there is, there's a mountain, but usually we fly in a flat lands. We have some mountain on the way, but because always we fly in a high altitude, usually around more than 4,000 to 6,000. And actually the mountain is not really important. Yeah. We can see some mountain on the way, but after we, we try to start a fly on the mountain.

Then we jumped to the flat land and we, we, we use the high cloud-based. The cloud base here in this time is around 6,000 to 7,000. And we try to say hi between the 4,000 to 6,000 and we keep going until the afternoon. And then when we will try to back to the mountain again and continue, but yes, most of the time we fly in the flatlands

Speaker 1 (6m 54s): And, and this flight was a West to East, or are most of the flights typically like that. I've seen some other track logs that kind of follow the range more. Is this, is this an unusual day or is this really kind of the standard when, when things are lining up and good and you have, it looked like from your pictures that you had pretty good cloud support that day was it has this kind of the typical, not typical, obviously this is a really good day, but is this, is this a route you guys fly a lot?

Speaker 2 (7m 23s): Yeah, we know it's not actually we, we, the day that we broke the record is not a great day. It's, it's, it's not a usual day also. You know, we, the usual day we have, we, we could fly more than 5,000, but on that day, I just one time client to the 5,000 and yeah, the condition was not really easy to fly. It's really with a turbulence. And yet two or three times I decided to go to land.

Just, just the point that we had at that time. We hadn't any big clouds. We had an, any our development afternoon, so we can continue until the 8:00 PM. Usually I had a three, 300 with better average speed. My average speed on that flight was 4,900 per hours, but I had close to the 500, 500. I had a average around 5,500 per hours.

So I had, I hadn't, you know, the best day on that, on that day. So, but, but fortunately we had a good twins and we, I, and my friend can continue until the 8:00 PM. So we flew nine hours and yeah, we flew more than 400 K.

Speaker 1 (8m 51s): And when you, when you, I noticed your flight, you landed quite near to ran a Duran. Is that it? That you fly those mountains quite a bit too. Are you, are you, are you in Tyronn normally? Is that where you live?

Speaker 2 (9m 7s): Yeah. I live in Toronto. We try to fly to the flying city flying side, but I, I flew. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Because my, my team waiting for us there, but I flew 30 K shorts, so I couldn't land in or flying sites, but yes, I try to fly close and close to my home.

Speaker 1 (9m 36s): Are you, you know, on a, if you say this wasn't a really great day, if you had a really great day and took off from this site that you used, is it, is it possible to get over the mountains, to ran and fly into like Turkmenistan or is our borders an issue? Can you, can you do that or is that no way you'd have to land in Iran?

Speaker 2 (9m 59s): No need no need. We can fly a thousand kilometer inside that you want, you want these huge. If someday we can fly more than 500, we can pass the Tiran. And we have a mountain, a big mountain, 4,000, which is mountain cheap to tear on, and we can continue it. That was my goal that finished the day on the mountain. And 4,000 mountain is still, you can continue one hours more than a, that was.

But unfortunately on that day I had a katabatic winds and I couldn't join to the mountain. So I continue on flat land. But in my opinion, yes, we can fly maybe more than 500 K in Iran.

Speaker 1 (10m 48s): And are there, are there airspace issues or a member Nick's talking about? You know, there are just places in Iran that you just can't land. That's just, you know, it wouldn't be good for you, you know, are there, are there a lot of that kind of thing? And we talk about kind of the logistics of flying in Iran.

Speaker 2 (11m 7s): This is a main problem for foreigner. And also for us, there's a lot of aerospace, aerospace on the way, and we have a lot of military zones. So it's really important that you know, where you go and where you want to land in this slide. I have a space in my instrument and I, I try to out to all the airspaces and I found a regular way and you know, the safe way to fly too close to Tehran is not easy, but I, I did.

Speaker 1 (11m 47s): And it looked like your friends, Hottie and Allah Rez, van others. They also had huge days where you guys team flying for most of it. And then just at the end, you guys separated or were you separate the whole time?

Speaker 2 (12m 4s): Yeah, we, you know, we had a plan to Florida together, especially in beginning of the day, but I don't know why always after one or one hours, we get the separate, you know, with the one terminal with the second, you can, you can lost the other one. So yeah, usually after one hours we lost together, but I flew faster than others. And also in middle of the way in 2,250 K I, you know, I had a live track in an exit track and my team, my brothers always send me the message and they explained me about the weather in front.

And then they informed me that the wind changed a little, we accept the West wind, but the wind changed to the Southwest. So I decided to fly more to the Northwest and it helped me to have a better speed. Then I try to turn to the Toronto from the North. So yeah, we had a plant fly together, but it's actually is not possible. I talk with Rafael Saladin a lot, and I try to do same method in Iran, but here is different place.

You know, the big Turmo high cloud-based, it's it's different, but what try to find the best way, you know, teamwork helped a lot at the, at the beginning. You know, we usually, we try to start at the 11 o'clock in the morning, sometimes 10 Turchee, I'm looking for a place that I can fly on the 10 o'clock in the morning, but at the beginning is not easy because the flatland is not working well.

And you have to stay in a mountain. Yeah. At the beginning, the teamwork, he helped a lot to increase the average speed, especially, and try to help to, to, you know, you always, we have a low saving and teamwork. We helped a lot to find the best core of the terminal at the beginning of the day.

Speaker 1 (14m 16s): Yeah. I was just down. I get my first real good taste of proper team flying this year. I went down to Texas chase the world record with, and Donizetti day joined us. So rough fail. And a lot of the guys that have been chasing it down and in Brazil, all these years were supposed to come up and then, you know, COVID happened. And so, but Don is that day Lynn's here in the state. So he was still able to come. And I, wow. I learned a lot from him cause he had been part of that team for, you know, a decade now. And it's, it's a rally.

It requires a lot of discipline, but like you said, it's one thing to do it in the, and it's another thing to do it big booming. I, I gather that your conditions, you said before we started recording it, you spent years traveling the world and going to a lot of comps and that kind of thing. I don't know if he ever got over to the States, but the, it sounds like our flying in the Rocky mountains is, is quite similar in some respects to yours, you know, really high base. You know, I see your climbs are wicked strong.

I imagine it's pretty rowdy or is it, is the air? I mean, it's, it's quite dry air. I imagine it's pretty, pretty full on.

Speaker 2 (15m 26s): Yeah. You know, the, this year we had a special the year, you know, this year, the weather's changed and it's not the same as the past this year. We have a lot of common loose in a higher altitude. You know, the, I live in Tehran and all, I check the weather and the motto. And when I found the good way that I jumped to the airplane and usually I'm going to the West of Iran to the caramel is one of the big city in the West that is close to this place that always be, try to fly from there in the way on the, on the way onto the camera.

Always I can see the routes that I have to fly they after. So I can see the comma lose the commerce this year. The commerce was always, always more than 600, 6,500 meters, some days, 7,000. So yes, usually, usually in a, in a past, you know, we hadn't this type common loose. We had a huge common lose big one and a lot of common loose.

But in the past, you know, we had a common roof, but not like this year, you know, one big common news and nothing until the and other common lists. But this year, I don't know. I don't know why, because maybe for humidity, we had a lot of common lose on the, all the sky. So this common loose, you know, stop me always on the 6:00 PM at the, when I passed the 302 meters, the shadow coming and always, I bombed out after 300.

If you, if you look at my track, you can see, I have a three, 200 kilometers. The better average is speed. One day I passed the, I passed the 300 before the 5:00 PM. And it, me, it showed that if I can fly until 8:00 PM, I can break the 500 K, but I'd always the, you know, good day coming with our development afternoon. So yeah, so we have to, yeah. So we have to find the not really good day, normal day without our developing afternoon.

So we changed the metal.

Speaker 1 (17m 48s): W when you say you fly over, you know, this, this launch was quite near the border of Iraq. So when you fly over to the West, do you, do you mean you, you have a plane and you fly it or you get on a commercial flight and is it quite, is it quite inexpensive to fly around, ran commercially? Or is it like these domestic commercial flights or you got a buddy with an airplane

Speaker 2 (18m 8s): It's not really expensive. It's a commercial flight. Yes. The it's not really expensive for a foreigner for American. Maybe. I don't know, maybe $20, but for Iranian is yes. It's not really expensive, but yeah, I have to jump to the airplanes. Depends on the day of the week in a weekend is expensive, but in a middle of the week and not expensive, but I did, I, you know, I repeat 10 times this method that jumped to the airplane.

When I check the weather, the weather looks good. I jumped to the airplane. Yes I'm. I went to the caramel, stay in a hotel. And the early morning I was in the takeoff and I tried the routes. I try maybe three, four different routes. And finally I found that I found the best.

Speaker 1 (19m 2s): And do you have a, do you have a chase team on the ground or are you just, can you hitchhike? How do you get home? What if you bomb out what happens?

Speaker 2 (19m 10s): I tried to avoid to Bombo. I tried flying close and close to my home. So always I, if I, if I found that I can fly more than 300 K I continue, but if I look at the average speed and if I feel that the weather is not really good, I land close to the camera and back to with the airplane laughter and onto the home.

Speaker 1 (19m 33s): Wow. No kidding. So there's no, you don't have any ground support. You don't have people in cars following you or anything you're, you're kind of on your own. Wow. And are you, are you always foot launching in Iran or are you, do you, do you tow launch as well?

Speaker 2 (19m 48s): What do you mean? No. No.

Speaker 1 (19m 51s): Okay. So nobody's doing any toe launching, cause you mentioned flatlands. I would think that tow launching would maybe allow you to maybe take off earlier or is there just no, no toes in Iran.

Speaker 2 (20m 7s): Oh, in here, I know I working on this metal, you know, I need to explain something for you. You know, in some point I believe that maybe Iran is one of the best in the boards.

Speaker 1 (20m 19s): Sure.

Speaker 2 (20m 22s): Dry conditions, high Claude base and Goodwin the speed in a high altitude, in a, in a last flight before the record, I had 125 per hour, three misfit in a 4,000. Can you remain,

Speaker 1 (20m 40s): That's moving.

Speaker 2 (20m 43s): If, if we can fly in a higher or average speeds is always, always is more than 60 hours, but we have general EMS in Iran in a North side of the areas is coming from the West to the East. And it's opposite of the Brisbane, general EMS is from the East to the West and the sun coming from the East to the West. So it's a, it's helped that, you know, it's, you know,

Speaker 1 (21m 13s): Yeah. You're following the sun in Brazil and then everywhere where I fly on, we're always going East as well. We're going the opposite way.

Speaker 2 (21m 21s): Yeah. But anyone is unfortunately it's opposite. So we have to wait until the element. So no I'm working on, in a place that maybe I can find the place that we can fly it. Start from the East side of mountain and we can continue some hours. Then we changed the method from the West today's and maybe from the time maybe three, we tried with the Tony.

Yes. I'm working on it.

Speaker 1 (21m 56s): Yeah. How big, how big is your community there? How many pilots do you have in Iran?

Speaker 2 (22m 1s): The last time was more than 6,000 pilots.

Speaker 1 (22m 6s): What? There's more than 6,000 pilots in Iran. Are you serious? Wow. That's more than the States. That's awesome. I've been, I don't know why that's even relevant, but that's, that's, that's awesome.

Speaker 2 (22m 19s): It's a, it's a paradise for a park because you can fly all the season. We have a four season Enron, you know, the spring and the summer is perfect and it's North, but in the winter and autumn, we jumped to the airplane with the half hours fly. We go to the South and again, good place for flying for cross country. So the, you know, it's not like Canada, like if someplace of the Europe fly all the years,

Speaker 1 (22m 52s): What's your favorite season

Speaker 2 (22m 54s): Is may,

Speaker 1 (22m 56s): May. Okay.

Speaker 2 (22m 58s): Yes.

Speaker 1 (23m 0s): Yeah. I S I see, I see big flights there in may. So when did you get into this?

Speaker 2 (23m 7s): I saw the park lighting from the 2008. I'm you know, my, so my, my stories, it's funny because I was, you know, I'm a mechanical engineer and I work in a factory. And, but, but, you know, I don't like that lifestyle that I have to go to factory all the weeks. But one day I decided to change the life and I knew the paragliding.

And I told to my boss that I need to go to travel to Europe for one mouth for paragliding. And he answered, okay, your job. I said, okay, sorry. Bye, bye. I selected. So yeah, I, I left my job and I saw the park lighting. Yeah. It's funny because after nine months after nine months, I broke the Iranian record just after nine months that I, I lighting after nine miles.

I broke it because, you know, I'm a mechanical engineer mechanic, and I can understand everything in a paragliding. And then that was easy to understand the deterioration of the paragliding. So yeah, after two years I wasn't wanting a championship. And then I, in 2014, no, in 2012, I, I, I had the first competition in Turkey. Then in 2014, I start my, my competition in the PWC I saw from Switzerland, France.

And I was always in trouble. I had the five times three to the Brazil and the Mexico and everywhere. And it's funny that it's not easy for Iranian to get a visa. I have to apply for a visa for each one, each trip that I have to, to find, to travel, to apply for a visa. So it's not easy, but my love for paragliding, I did all.

And yeah, I traveled a lot to the, to Brazil, to Mexico, to the Nepal and all around.

Speaker 1 (25m 36s): So how, how, because you chose paragliding over, you know, fluid, mechanical engineering, yet another engineer in this sport, and it's just fascinates me. There are so many engineers in, in fly, and we've talked about it a bit on the show, but it's, it really seems engineers really gravitate to this sport for many reasons. I think probably your analytic analytical mind being number one. But what did you take up work with when you left that behind?

Are you still a mechanical engineer now? You're just doing that less. Or how did you, how did you go to being a full time pilot and fund it? Was it through sponsorship or something else?

Speaker 2 (26m 17s): Yeah. No, no sponsor should be in Iran. Nothing. Yeah. I tried to join two park lending business here. I joined to the jingle either. I'm a team pilot for gene glider. No, I'm into Ironman, you know, dealer of the jingle idea and also in glider in Iran. And I hear his name is cloud base. No, I mixed the paragliding with my life.

You know, I, I have been coming from paragliding and I spent in park lighting. So

Speaker 1 (26m 58s): The addiction feeds the job and vice versa. That's, that's great. So is there quite an active competition scene in Iran, you know, Iranian nationals and all that kind of thing. Do you have a lot of, are there comps happening there quite a bit or do you have to travel to compete?

Speaker 2 (27m 15s): Yeah. You know, always be happy running championship and usually two or three competitions per years, but now due to the COVID, it's all canceled. But fortunately we have a talk at KIPP to Iran and there is a lot of competition and we always going to Turkey for competitions and all country close to Iran near Powell also is good. And always in, during the four years, you know, last four years, I always had a tour, three PWC competition or world championship in Europe, or I always try to, to go to this type competitions also.


Speaker 1 (27m 57s): In all your travels, all the places you've been and flowing. What's your, what's your favorite?

Speaker 2 (28m 4s): Yeah, I like the land and the Brazil. I had a really good memory from the Castillo. I was close to the podium to finish the first, but with the one mistake in the last day. Yeah. I, I just lost the podium, but I liked the Brazil. I love the people in prison, but Switzerland is one of the best place that always, I try to travel in the summer to the Interlochen.

Yeah. I have a friend there and I try to go there one time per year.

Speaker 1 (28m 40s): I really, I really wanted to go to the PWC. That's starting here any day, I guess. But of course, Americans can't really travel anywhere right now, the way we're handling COVID, it's kind of unfortunate, but yeah, same with, same with you. I'm sure. Tell me more about, you know, if, if someone who's listening to the podcasts wanted to come fly in Iran and you know, let's forget for the moment COVID but wanted to come. What would be the time you would recommend?

What would be the process? Assuming you can get a visa, you know, as the, is it, is it pretty easy to just show up at the airport and make it happen? What are, what are the things people should be aware of

Speaker 2 (29m 23s): For traveling for a one? Yeah. Iran is really nice. We have a lot of historical place and the natural is amazing for RESA. The just six countries, neither from before and other ones they can apply for as a visa for flying, you know, the local flying is okay, no problem for local flying, but I can suggest to anyone to come to Iran to, to have a long cross country alone.

We have, as I explained before, we have a lot of aerospaces military zone and some time, you know, some place that we don't know, where is it? So we have, we try always to supply in a noun route that, and we try to avoid from the aerospace and military places. So honestly, I can, I can tell some friends that if you like to see the Iran and have a cross country, maybe the competition is a best choice.

The competition in a competition you can register is okay. You can fly cross country. And if you land somewhere and there's no problem, because you have a support team, you are in competition, but for cross country is not easy to manage it. You know? So if someone liked to come to Iran for cross country, I such as to, to have a team here and connect with somebody that know about rules and maybe he can manage some agreement with, or federations and have some license for this type of client and, and need to fly with the team with the other Iranian pilot to guide these pilots to the good roots, good place and select the good the state for flying.

I hope that I can explain enough about this subject.

Speaker 1 (31m 27s): Yeah, yeah, yeah. And you know, when Nick went over, he wrote a couple of beautiful articles about his experience Iran and, you know, which I felt was culturally actually really important to read, because I think, you know, as, as Americans we see in the media and I'm sure Iranians the same, see it in the media and it's pretty politicized and often probably not very accurate, but is it, you know, would you, would you wholeheartedly, you know, say, Hey, Gavin, you could come to Iran and, you know, safety is not a problem.

Is it, is it an issue or is it something that, you know, I have to be a little bit worried about just because of, you know, where I come from.

Speaker 2 (32m 8s): Yeah. Honestly, I can tell you that the, about the security inside the Iran is, you know, I feel, I feel, you know, Iran is sick more than some country that I traveled before. You know, there is no problem, you know, how can I explain? I had to travel to some place of some country in South America and I miscarried there, but in Iran about the secretary, there is no problem.

The only, the only point that you have to accept the rules, you know, we have some special rules. I, you know, I accept, maybe it's not regular, but it's the rule. So if you accept the rule, it's okay, Karen, you can come, can, I can manage your trip. And for example, I, I try to tell you some reason that for example, the foreign air has to stay in a hotel to stay in home.

Or for example, you have to inform the governor where to stay. Not really, not really as a report by hours, but if they want to check, if you were staying in a hotel, there is, okay. So it's because of the, the, the security of the foreigner.

Speaker 1 (33m 29s): Sure.

Speaker 2 (33m 35s): Flying fan, you have to send your information to the Federation and then they, they, they give you some license that then you can fly in. And if somewhere the police ask you about the flying, if you show the re the license it's okay. So it's, it's, we have some methods for this type of traveling, you know? So I can suggest if somebody, if someone likes to travel to long contact to some pilot Iran and ask him to contact to the,

Speaker 1 (34m 16s): Yeah.

Speaker 2 (34m 16s): There is a process that it's okay.

Speaker 1 (34m 19s): What is it, how would you compare the costs of being in Iraq and traveling there and staying in hotels and eating? How does it compare to other places? Is it cheap? Is it expensive? Is it what's it like?

Speaker 2 (34m 32s): So let me explain like these with a $1 Put the 10 liter fuel in your car. So maybe it's okay.

Speaker 1 (34m 47s): Okay.

Speaker 2 (34m 48s): Yeah. At the moment is, you know, we have, the economic is not really good. The dollar currency increased too much and it's, it's a paradise for you. The hotel is like a, I don't know, the good hotel may be $20 per night.

Speaker 1 (35m 7s): Wow.

Speaker 2 (35m 9s): Yeah. The tickets is not expensive. The food is cheap.

Speaker 1 (35m 13s): Yeah. I'm coming. Wow. That's amazing. Wow. That's amazing. And tell me about the consistency, you know, and usually in, in desert environments, like I'm imagining you're flying in and I run it. It's similar to here in the States, we deal with the many days that are too windy. And so we, you know, we can fly in the mornings and can fly in the evenings, but, you know, to tap the XC days as can be difficult, you know, you need, you need some things to align.

And, you know, so in, in a typical year, you know, I would get way, way, way more hours. If I lived in the Alps then where I do, you know, I can fly most days, but it's a lot of times just mornings, you know, just a little quick sled or something and get some exercise. But, you know, for cross country, it's often just too windy. What's your, you said your season's kind of year round, but you know, if you, if you're really kind of chasing it and I ran, can you get a lot of hours?

Speaker 2 (36m 14s): You know, it's depend to the season, you know, as I told you them, they may, the maze starting from long cross country. Usually the day start with you have a short time for takeoff and then the wind doesn't increase and you have to stay in an air until the afternoon, the landing. But if you want to land in the middle of the day, you have to, someday you have to back wild landing. And the wind is, is, is more than 30 K usually.

But then when, you know, from the August and September is really good for a normal cross country, 200 K high cloud-based, it's good for cross country. We try to put our cross country course on this time. And then after the September, until to the December, we have to go to the South for a flying.

If you want, if I want to explain about this, some good flying site in Iran, you know, we have some, some clients site North of Iran is a green area is like a Brazil, some somewhere in crazy. And in, in Tehran we have a high mountain and, you know, we have a two big mountain in Iran is one of the, is Albert's that is in the North of Iran. It start from the Northwest and continue to the North East.

And we have another mountain that is the Zagros that it's starting from the Northwest and continue to the South East. So we have a too big mounting for flying and the terrine is keep the elbows in North. We have a really good flying site that maybe, you know, that it's a raw, the name is it's close to the center of Iran in a Zagros close to the spine.

And it's really good. And in order there's a really good flying site is in a West is a caravan Shaw, the place that we broke the records and all we, until the last years, we try to always break the record in a, in a row in the center. But we found that, that the average is split in Marsha is, is much better, you know, row, you can fly early, earlier, maybe in 10 o'clock and you can continue until the close to the 900 9:00 PM.

But you know, the wind direction maybe is not really good. And average was not, is not good for our records, but in a West, we have a really good,

Speaker 1 (39m 9s): What do you think is, I mean, it sounds like it sounds like 500 for sure is on the docket there with a, with a good day. But what do you think is possible?

Speaker 2 (39m 18s): Yeah, I think it's possible, you know, if he can fly, you know, little early, maybe 10 30 and we can continue to eight, 13:00 PM and with a good day with the high cloud base with a good vein, we can break the 500, for sure. For sure. You know, we flew 414, not really good day. So in a good day with a good average of speed, we can, we can break five hundreds for sure.

Speaker 1 (39m 48s): SOC hail you're 35. He told me before the start of the show and he started flying in 2008. How, how has flying changed your life?

Speaker 2 (40m 2s): Actually, I can say that. Yeah, the flying changed. My, my lifestyle now is totally different with the past. No, the part that is my job always when I, when I wake up first, I check the weather. So yeah, it's always, I mean, traveling and always, I fly out the mountain.

You know, this year I had actually two records, one record, this was a free business record. And other one was, you know, we have a high mountain in keep to the tear on the name is Damo. One is highest. Mountain Iran is 5,600 K 600 meters. The hate you after the mountain this year is I climbed with the part line into the top. That was really amazing in a moment that I climbing, I turn modeling.

I, I reached sowing. Then finally I arrived to the mountain to the top of the mountain. Yeah. It's, you know, it's my life now. My life is like, it's, it's coming with this moment. We're mounting new road, new records all is coming together. And you know, and it's the party lady is my life at the moment

Speaker 1 (41m 37s): Is, do you, do you have class one airspace? There is your, is your legal limit 18,000 or 5,400 meters? Or is it different than Iran?

Speaker 2 (41m 48s): Yeah. You know, we have a something private area here, restricted area here, but actually no, no altitude limit. We have some regular, we have some limitation. Yes. You have, we have two hour to climb more than 5,000, I think 4,800 or 5,000 in a general aviation rules. But man, we can't climb to the five, 7,000.

Speaker 1 (42m 22s): Yeah, yeah, yeah. Yeah. It sounds so similar to Idaho.

Speaker 2 (42m 26s): Let, let me tell you that maybe the, you know, Iran have a big, different with the other place. You know, we have a 7,000 meters convolutes here with more than 4,008 years, maybe 4,500 AGL. It's I think it's, it's I, how can I say it's different for Iran in the last, last time of that day? I had around 4,000 AGL and I just gliding for 60, 60 kilometers.

My track, you can see the last glide. It was from the 5,200 and I was in a version liar. And I just gliding, I have video that just the glide in the case.

Speaker 1 (43m 18s): Well, yeah, I'm looking at your track log right now. I can see that part. That just looks amazing. Yeah. You went from 5,000 something all the way to the deck of just one block. Oh, that looks, yeah. That's terrific. That's a nice, that's a nice end of the day.

Speaker 2 (43m 32s): Yeah. Especially Iwan is a high code base. I really hike is 7,006 and the AGL, you know, and the flatland is around 1,500. So you are really high, really high end Goodwin. Then the average is speed. The three minutes is always more than 80 kilometer per hour.

Speaker 1 (43m 52s): Just spectacular too. I mean, I've seen a lot of the pictures that you're flying over these amazing, very historic landscapes. It must be, it must be quite surreal. Yeah. Tell me about women flying in Iran. I understand you've got some great female pilots.

Speaker 2 (44m 11s): Yes, yes, yes. We have a really good file notes here. The female is not, not like a man, but we have a good number of the female here and we have some good pilot. Now they're flying the two liner and really good competitors here. Do you see just on the record, they, some girls, she flew around the 320 K with the ENB gliders puts a good female in or paragliding sociology.

Speaker 1 (44m 48s): Wow. I got to get her onto the show. That's amazing. That's a good flight. Three 20 on EMV. That's terrific. Fantastic. Well, man, you've got me really jazzed up about flying and in Iran, I had no idea there were 6,000, so pilots, I mean, that's, that's, that's very encouraging. And are there, are there just sites and are there many schools and many sites to fly or are they, are they kind of more restricted to around where you are?

Speaker 2 (45m 16s): No, the, yeah, we have a lot of flying site and we have some Klopp, but here usually they're in instructor working separately and yeah, we have a lot of instructor here and some club. Yeah. A good number. Usually I think per years, less than 500 pilot adding to or social.

So yeah, the, the number increasing, increasing. And I think because of the geography, we have a mountain, we have a good, good atmosphere for flying the paragliding, you know, improve year by year. I'm sure. And know the governor know about the paragliding, the military, they know the product lighting, what is the paragliding and yeah.

And they have a much, much better reaction when one pilot landing in some zone, when they see the paragliding it's the atmosphere has changed

Speaker 1 (46m 34s): Is it is hang gliding much of a thing there.

Speaker 2 (46m 38s): Not too much. We have some, but not too much. Yeah.

Speaker 1 (46m 41s): Is there, is there like a Federation of some kind like here in the States we have Oshiba that, you know, kind of lobbies and takes care of the sites and all that kind of thing. Is there something similar in Iran?

Speaker 2 (46m 53s): You know, it's funny that we had the air Federation from the 50 year before, but no, no, just we have associations or we have a fight NAC here, not working here actually, but the five working little, we have some small activity of the API here, but our association is a main one.

Speaker 1 (47m 22s): So hail, if you could rewind the clock to your, to 2008, you know, to your 50 hour self and said, you broke the Iranian record when you're nine months in. But so you obviously pick this up pretty fast, but if you could rewind the clock to that, you know, the very beginning, w what, if anything, would you change?

Speaker 2 (47m 45s): You mean about my lifestyle or totally about the party

Speaker 1 (47m 49s): With flying? What would you do? Would you do anything different in terms of your progression and learning, or travel or anything? Just some, something that you, you, if you could go back and talk to that, that person, and back then, what would you tell them?

Speaker 2 (48m 8s): I try to start traveling, maybe, you know, I start traveling after five years after I start. If I back up that time, maybe I start from the, from the beginning. I'm really happy that I had some travel before. Well, you know, because the know the condition getting hard and, you know, due to the economic condition due to the, I dunno, you can see the COVID.

I can travel now. I have a good number of traveling before, but I had a chance to travel to United States. For example, the NIC invite me to the United States, Matt Senora. He invites me for a competition that I forgot the name.

Speaker 1 (49m 5s): Yeah. Us nationals.

Speaker 2 (49m 10s): Yeah. I always, I I'm sad when I think of that moment that I lost this trip. Yeah. I, you know, I, I like to travel to United States. I like to travel to Canada, but at the moment it's not possible, but maybe easily I can travel. So I I'm, if I ever back again, at that time, I try to start my trip early, you know, from the beginning,

Speaker 1 (49m 40s): I liked that. Do do it, do it earlier, do more of it. Yeah. I mean, we, we, I find that one of the best ways to improve your skills flying is for sure to go to different places, you know, fly in different air with different groups and different mentors and different sites. And that's where you really start to figure it out is when you start moving around, you know, when you, when you lose the whole thought of the house, thermal, you know, you go to new places and just figure it out. And I think you're, you're, that's a great way to learn is to get outside your comfort zone.

Speaker 2 (50m 16s): You know, the one thing that I really liked paragliding my friend, I have a lot of friends all around the boards from the Japan, all countries in the Europe and in Brazil, I, our family it's really family, you know, so I miss, I miss them. You know, I like to travel. I have a, you know, I liked it. You know, I, I enjoy when I go to the bracelet, I called to my friend. I meet him.

For example, when I go to the, I dunno, Germany, when I call to Fran in France, you know, it's, it's like a family visit, you know, when I go into PWC in a family, when I see some friends, for example, , it's like a family visit. So yeah. It's I like this type traveling competitions and this type relation with the France paragliding.

Speaker 1 (51m 15s): Yeah. Yeah. That's, that's a really special part of the heart of the community and part of the attraction of flying for sure.

Speaker 2 (51m 22s): Yes. And I just, I want to say something that Iran is not like a news, you know, Oh, it's not in, it's not, it's not a bad country. It's not the scale of country. You know, it's, it's like, it's just a media. You know, the people here is that they have a wrong heart and they really have always good behavior with the foreigner. They like to find the route that they liked the tourists and always they have a good behavior.

So I hope that some days that these, this type reaction with the country's changed, you know, the battery action with, I know maybe we have a not really good. How can I say the governor in top? Right. The people is different. It's not the governor. Rauner is not, it's not related to the people. People is always, always, they like the other people.

Speaker 1 (52m 23s): I think that we can say the same thing. So, yeah. Well, see, Hey, I hope I have really enjoyed this. You've really made me want to come to Iran. I always have anyway for years, but I really want to come now. So I hope we get to do that. And I hope we all get to get back to competing again, soon, they're doing some comps, you know, in Switzerland and some places in the world right now, but you and I certainly can't get there right now, which is a bomber, but hopefully will, the world will get back to some semblance of order here shortly, but stay healthy, stay safe.

And thanks for sharing your story and congratulations, man, on an Epic flight. And it sounds like you're just starting to tap into more and more potential there. So I'll keep an eye out for more future Asian records, but you live in a cool spot in, and I hope I get to come fly with you someday, but thanks. I appreciate it.

Speaker 2 (53m 19s): Thank you. Thank you for calling and hope to see you somewhere soon and, and hope

Speaker 0 (53m 26s): To fly someday in Iran.

Speaker 1 (53m 29s): I hope that I hope that happens. I hope so too. Thanks man. Talk soon.

Speaker 0 (53m 34s): Thank you.

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Speaker 0 (55m 58s): .