Episode 153- Burkhard Martens and Thermal Flying

Burkhard Martens new edition of Thermal Flying is out!


Burkhard Martens is one of the most-recognized names in the sport. His seminal work, “Thermal Flying”, first published in 2005 is the world’s best-selling guide to the art of thermalling and XC flying. Cross Country’s team has been hard at work thoroughly revising and updating the text, line by line, and the design and photography has been refreshed to bring it bang up to date. I sat down with Burki a few weeks ago to talk about his new edition, what’s changed since 2005, and the meat of the book- how to climb!

Learning to climb well is probably the most valuable skill of all in free flying, but it can be an incredibly frustrating experience. Burki Martens’ Thermal Flying has been written as a guidebook, and whether you have one hour or a thousand hours’ airtime, you’ll find it incredibly useful.

Hundreds of photos and illustrations make technical concepts come alive and easy to understand. Technical theory is kept to a minimum while real-world experience and practical advice help you grasp tricky concepts easily.

Get your new edition here. And enjoy the show!

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Show Notes:

  • We get into Burki’s history and how he came to write the first edition of Thermal Flying.
  • The book takes shape- what gave Burki the knowledge to write the book
  • What’s the most important thing new pilots should learn?
  • Weather is stronger than you are!
  • The art of the climb, the art of the glide and how competitions help
  • The definition of a good pilot
  • How much risk is acceptable?

Thermal Flying Includes comprehensive instructions on:

  • How to predict and find thermals
  • How and where thermals form – sources and triggers
  • Different types of thermal models
  • Windward and lee-side thermals
  • The theory of temperature gradients
  • Vortex ring structure and lift distribution in thermals
  • How to read clouds and weather

Plus hundreds of helpful tips on:

  • Soaring, staying up and top-landing
  • Coastal flying and sea breezes
  • How to core thermals and get to cloudbase
  • Valley winds, mountain flying and magic air
  • Flying the flatlands
  • XC tactics from first flights to 100km

Thermal Flying has been published in 15 languages and has sold over 50,000 copies worldwide. This third edition brings the art of thermal flying to a whole new generation of pilots. Burki Martens is a multiple XC League champion and an excellent coach and communicator.

Mentioned in this show:

Til Gottbrath, XCMag, Mads Syndergaard, Chrigel Maurer, Skywalk

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Speaker 1 (0s): Hi there everybody. Welcome to another episode of the Cloudbase man. My conversation today is with Burkhart Martins. Burki who wrote the very famous Bible that I'm sure most of you have. And if you don't or if you haven't read it must go out and get it today. Check out the show notes. There's a link. It is terrific. First came out in 2005 and the third edition was just published in collaboration with XC mag and they have upgraded it and updated it and new pictures and new illustrations.

And, but the principles are all exactly the same as they were back in 2005 and they have been for thousands of years and it's all how thermals work and how we can use them to go big and go far and have more success in what we do is incredibly densely packed book. It was one of those that when I first started flying in 2004 and kind of started getting into XC near later, so I just would read and then read it again and then read it again and read it again. It's kind of complicated stuff when you're first starting to fly, and then it becomes a little bit second nature, but it's a terrific book.

And we had a lot of fun chatting and I always am so impressed with folks who can do this, having conversations and very much a second language, but Burki was great. We had a blast and we don't touch too much on the book. We talk more about just his career and his passion and he and his wife chasing it around the world since 1989. And it was a lot of fun and I think you'll enjoy it. So without further delay, enjoy this talk with Burkhard Martens, the author of Thermal Flying and several others.

Cheers. Burki it's, it's great to have you on the show. I feel, I feel actually badly that I haven't had you on earlier. You were my, you were, you didn't know this, but you were my mentor back when I got into the sport in 2000 before your, your book in 2006 was a, was a Bible for me, I just read, I would read it and then I would read it over and then I would read it over.

And, you know, because when you're new to the sport, these concepts are quite difficult and, and, and they, you know, it's, you, you have put it in a way that people with very little experience can really understand. And now, you know, more than 16 years later and four X Alps and all this stuff that I've done in the sport, I just got your new edition, the 20, 21 third edition and just a couple of days ago. So I haven't had a chance to go through the whole thing, but I was reminded by just still how valuable and dense it is with so many wonderful concepts on how to go up.

So congratulations, that's been quite a jury I'm sure for you.

Speaker 2 (3m 14s): Yeah. Thank you for the nice words.

Speaker 1 (3m 18s): I, I want to, you know, right in the opening of the book, you've got kind of a new forward from you. Yeah. You started in the late eighties, you were the w you were an O G you know, you were a gangster back in the days you've been at this a long time. Can you give me a little bit of your pre writing the book?

Speaker 2 (3m 38s): Ah, this is a long story. I started Flying 8 89 and very fast forward. I was an engineer. It was my job and I was flying for four years. And then, then I stopped my engineer job and only Flying was playing was my life. First I started, I was a selling manager from ups. And so I got to, to a lot of schools and I know a lot of schools in Germany and all, all in Europe.

And after some years it's a school draws. No, not at the school at the UPP and also area. I have done the, the selling. So I knew a lot of schools. And then I started my own school. It was a friend together. And the whole time I was flying competitions and a lot of Cross Country. But when you are running a paragliding school, then you don't have time to, to fly a lot. If you have bed bed, rather than you make a teary with the students.

And, and, and then you have time . So, and, and this was all together, 11 years, four years, the selling and the seven years of school is a paragliding school. And then in this time I was writing a lot of articles in magazines, in the German DHB. And former times it was a glider magazine. And once I was running, it was 16 articles over two years in the magazine.

And then people came to me and asked me, Hey, take all your articles. You have written, and then you have the book. But when you are, when you're running a paragliding school, you don't have time to do this. And it's a lot of work. So after seven years of running the school, I was selling my, my part of the schools. And I, it took me, it took me one year in, in this year, I have done the layout, the concept for a paragliding book.

And the problem, the problem was, it was my concept. I was looking for a publisher and I could not find one. And then was the next problem. I have spent nearly one year for the layout for foot foot to do the book, but nobody wants to publish this. And then what is it? Yeah. Yeah. And, and I was, I was thinking, this should be the best book ever.

And, and yeah. What to do and canceled the whole, the whole thing, or do it all by my own. And then I tried to do it by my own, in this times, digital photograph graphic, it was coming on. And then I was doing some different courses, advanced courses for me, if once one was to, to make a frightening course how to ride then Adobe InDesign, how to, to make it, make it layout.

Yeah. And the pictures, how, how to make the pictures and how to work with the pictures was Adobe Photoshop. And so I have done advanced courses, these three things, and then I take the next, nearly, nearly a year to, to have right. To lay out, to set the holy book in, in German language. Yeah. And this was, yeah. And then 2004, I have brought out the first edition of the Thermal Flying in German language.

Speaker 1 (7m 39s): So you, you self-published, it, it was something you did totally on your own.

Speaker 2 (7m 44s): Yes. EV everything I have done by my own,

Speaker 1 (7m 47s): Gosh, I don't know if you know this, but I, I just did my own book. My, my first book through Cross Country magazine, but I can't imagine, I mean, they did so much of the heavy lifting I just had to write, you know, and they did all of the stuff that you're talking about. I mean, if I had to do all that, there I'd be 10% through right now.

Speaker 2 (8m 9s): Yeah. And then the book was ready. I, I was gone to a printer and they printed me 7,000 books and then a big truck came and brought me 7,000 books to my home. It was eight, eight tons and tons of books. Gosh. Yeah. Yeah. This was very interesting because I don't know how to say so many books.

I, I, on my own. And, but in my time I was selling toward the German schools, the, the paragliders from UPN, I, I have known the most of Cisco is in German language there, the Austrian and German. And so I, they had their good contact with a lot of them and it's a normal books. They are selling over the, over the books in the, in the cities.

But my book was very special for, for the smaller paragliding scene. Yeah. So it was a most selling I have done was over this paragliding schools. And because I know the, most of the schools it's the selling started very, very fast, very high, high quality quantities. Okay. So, yeah. And then a very funny, funny thing was, I want to say the book through the DHV the German hang-gliding association.

They said, if the book and the second edition, we resell it because there are some mistakes inside and we want to sell a perfect book. And I said, oh shit, the DHB is a most important reseller for me. I was thinking, and they said, no, we don't say your book. Yeah. And then yeah. But, but the enthusiasm in the paragliding scene was so, so great.

So enormous that I saw the 7,000 books in two years. Geez. Wow. Yeah. This is incredible. In much, the second edition, the DHB was also selling my book.

Speaker 1 (10m 42s): There you go. So where were you just, did you have a little, a little a car and you're just loading it up and delivering it at all to, to all these schools driving around Germany. Was that how you did it

Speaker 2 (10m 54s): In the first time I have a camper when I I'm flat. And I S I said, I stopped misses school. And so I have the time to write the book and then said the book. And I was flying very, very much in that time and traveling a lot with my camper then. And every time when I started, I put a lot of books in my Kemba then yeah. Was visit visiting the schools, show them the book.

And, and they, they, every, every school took two 10 books in one row.

Speaker 1 (11m 35s): It's been, I didn't realize this until I got this, this edition, but it's been translated into a bunch of different languages. You know, mine's only an English now, and that that's the plan in a year. They'll do German. And another year they'll do French. It'll, you know, it'll take awhile, but have all those different translations also been very successful. Cause that's a lot of effort, effort to, to make a, a whole translate. A whole book.

Speaker 2 (12m 1s): Yeah. Because of the big successes, the first years I, I want, I asked the Cross Country magazine, if they want to translate my book into English language, the risk was too great for them. They said, and I said, Hey, it's the best book ever. And the selling in Germany is absolutely high and they, they don't want to do that and to take the risk. So I said, oh, then I have to translate it.

Matt Syndergaard. I know, no from competition Flying, he said, yes, he can do that. So he translated and I have also done the layout concept in design and only the HOAs text maths translated. And I have done the first English version also on my own

Speaker 1 (12m 55s): Burkhart. Tell me what the, you know, the main differences between the previous edition and this edition is

Speaker 2 (13m 2s): Nice. And then not so many things new there. I, I, I will read you some things I have to saw. I saw the new false, but better readable. Then there are some corrections in . Some small pictures are now bigger and better understandable, but, but only little things they lay out at some places is Kiera and better to understand, do the, some, some new diagrams, but not, not a lot.

And, and nice at Ewing has written two pages about, about a word weather forecast. It's a completely new,

Speaker 1 (13m 45s): Yeah. These are all, these are all great things. I'm going to take it with me tomorrow. When I go to Turkey, I don't usually bring books, but I look forward to, I look forward to re-exploring and reacquainting myself with your book when, when I'm in Turkey world cup, I think it'll,

Speaker 2 (13m 60s): It'll be great.

Speaker 1 (14m 1s): Yeah. How has your livelihood now? Is it just through the book or is it through a combination

Speaker 2 (14m 7s): At, towards a combination? I don't w was running a school, but I have done a lot of courses in cross-country courses, similar Flying courses. I've done some holiday trips with paragliders Cross Country and Thermal Flying courses and selling the books and because the was so great, there was also the possibility, possibility to earn the money with this

Speaker 1 (14m 39s): Burki. And you're in your arc of your Flying that started in the late eighties and your time P and then the writing of the book and all the additions. And you also, you also really chased or still do, I don't know, but chase, you know, big distance and records and competitions and X contest. It has you, have you been able to remain passionate and very keen on the sport throughout?

Or have there been kind of ups and downs?

Speaker 2 (15m 14s): Yeah, I have ups and downs. I was very enthusiastic and motivated to fly Cross Country and all it's a long, long time competitions and I got four, four times jump champion in, in Cross Country Flying downs. I had an accident could a half year not fly, but when I could fly again, I was a full-time full-time pilots.


Speaker 1 (15m 45s): Okay. So not that many downs mostly.

Speaker 2 (15m 49s): No. Yes. And I was motivated and also traveling. I love traveling and seeing new, new Flying sides and yeah, fly Flying is my word.

Speaker 1 (16m 3s): And, and your, your wife is a pilot, correct?

Speaker 2 (16m 6s): Yeah. She's also a very, very, very good pilot. You all was be very in champion in paragliding.

Speaker 1 (16m 12s): Wow. So did you, did you both meet through paragliding?

Speaker 2 (16m 18s): Yes. Yes. We meet not the first, first meet was not with paragliding. She was looking for a new place place to live in my hometown. And she asked me to put, to put a paper on, on the window of my school.

Speaker 1 (16m 39s): And fate sounds like fake. Yeah.

Speaker 2 (16m 42s): Yeah. But she is, I met her in the mid, mid nineties, but she was also Flying since 89.

Speaker 1 (16m 52s): Wow. Really. And do you, do you have kids?

Speaker 2 (16m 58s): No. We don't have kids. If

Speaker 1 (16m 60s): You had, if you had kids, would you get them into Flying?

Speaker 2 (17m 4s): Yes, I think it seems

Speaker 1 (17m 6s): Like it was mom and dad Flying. Yeah. Is that, is that ever difficult on a relationship with, with both of you being pilots and just in terms of the risk and time it takes, or is it kind of worked together and works? Okay.

Speaker 2 (17m 23s): It's more work together, have the same hobby to the same things. We also, also, since some years, I'm very big fans of mountain biking, but, but also Bozel so in the moment we are traveling, Flying and, and biking.

Speaker 1 (17m 42s): Wow. And are you both still chasing distance quite a bit? Are you still, do you do any competition still or is that more

Speaker 2 (17m 50s): Now? I stopped competition some, some years ago was the last years we also have done two books, written two books in the mountain bike scene. Oh wow.

Speaker 1 (18m 4s): Oh, wow. Okay. So, and you work collaboratively on the books together

Speaker 2 (18m 10s): On that books. We are working together and the new additions for, for summer Flying or the gym version I doing by my own. Okay. Okay.

Speaker 1 (18m 22s): Let's dive into your book. I, I don't, I can't imagine there's too many pilots out there that don't have a copy of your book. You said something interesting in the last couple of weeks when we were putting this together, you, which I think is, is a really good thing. You said, you know, actually there's not a lot of new information in the new edition, which really means that you covered, you covered a lot of ground in the, in the one back in 2005. And as you say in the book that, you know, wing design has changed radically since those days, but the concepts are still the same that we would have done in the 18 hundreds had we had these wings, you know, thermos, thermal, still work as they're supposed to work.


Speaker 2 (19m 11s): Yeah, the Flying was in new wings. It's little bit different. The principle of, of the term is the principle is the same. Since, since 2000 of years, I think the, the sun is hitting the ground. The ground is a heating the air and the air, right. It's rising up. And what has to do with this is, is the same.

Speaker 1 (19m 39s): How did, how did writing the book improve your own Flying? Because I mean, there, there is a ton of information there and I, I know that most pilots, you know, once they, once they have a few hundred hours, they, unless they're, unless they're a meteorologist, we all have kind of understandings of things like lapse rate and all the little things that we learn in, in Flying that. But they're very detailed in the book.

And I can't imagine you, did you have all of that knowledge and just put it on paper, or I would imagine there was quite a bit of your own research and especially doing with the, with the drawings and the illustrations to you, you've taken our invisible world, which we cannot see and put it in a book that's a really hard, that's a big bridge to cross.

Speaker 2 (20m 36s): Yeah. Yeah. Because I'm Flying so much. I have a lot of experience by my own is specially very interested in experience. I have written down and, but, but first I was studying or all books I can can get from the sail planes, from the datas and from the hang gliders, from, from the paragliders, there was not so many. And I was studying all books I can get in my hands. I think the secret of the, of the, of the book, because it's so successful is the way I am learning.

I was writing the book in that way, have a picture or a diagram, a sketch and, and small words to explain what is seen in the diagrams sketches or the pictures and use easy words to explain complicated things.

Speaker 1 (21m 36s): Yes. Okay. Gotcha.

Speaker 2 (21m 38s): Yeah. And because of the experience, you said they are all experience I'm doing in the air. I said, oh, what what's it? How can I bring this information on a picture when I can not do a picture, then I make a diagram and, and to explain this things, did you,

Speaker 1 (22m 3s): I do all the illustrations and diagrams too. You did all that as well.

Speaker 2 (22m 8s): Yeah. Yeah. Some Sunday against should, should be new done in the next edition. But yeah, but I have done everything by my own.

Speaker 1 (22m 20s): Holy cow, that's a proper labor of love. I can't imagine there's, there's, there's so much there when you're thinking back to your school days, when you have a school, what are the, what are the concepts with new pilots that you think are most important? W what, and not necessarily even, thermalling just, just in terms of, okay, you're very excited. You're coming here to learn how to fly. Here are the three most important things you need to know about this sport, about your, your future, your Undertale.

Speaker 2 (22m 56s): The most important thing is that they should fly say safely that they should not have accidents. And the, the most important thing, the Reza is stronger than you. The, yeah, the weather is the most important thing in Flying strong thermos is, is bad. The Lee side is very bad. And to, to explain that, and not only to explain, then they should, they should learn and they should do it in these two different things.

It should not only know that they should do that. What I say. Right.

Speaker 1 (23m 37s): All right. Follow the follow the instructions. Don't get too, don't go out on the limb too much in the beginning. Interesting. I used to say that was very wrong in this, in this podcast often. And I don't know where even pick that up, but I, I used to say, you know, once, once you get a sufficient amount of hours and you're, you're flying a lot of comps, and you're, you're very current, you have a lot of currency with your, your Flying. And maybe this is just how I felt in my own Flying, but the thermalling becomes kind of second nature.

And the, the gliding is, is what I have always found. Maybe a little bit more tricky, certainly trickier to explain, you know, how, how Kriegel glides is, is, is a very, it's an intrinsic thing that he feels, you know, he's, he's, he, that's very difficult to pass off, but the, the really good pilots that are consistently at the top of, you know, the world cup and that kind of thing, they all say, no, no, no, it's actually actually, you know, thermalling is still the most important thing.

And the hardest thing, because it's just to get really good at it, you know, to go from that 96% efficiency to a hundred is, is really, really, really hard, you know, at that level, at the really high levels, most, most, all the pilots technically are pretty close to one another, but that one, 2% makes a big difference. And I have to just get your thoughts on that. That it's that, I mean, you, you have really focused in your book on climbing and which is obviously the most important, but my, my own career path, I guess, whatever my own journey through paragliding, I'm really back to the climbing.

I, and your book is refreshing in that regard. There's, there's a lot there to try to master.

Speaker 2 (25m 31s): Yeah. But it's not only the climbing. It's also the gliding you're completely right about. Yeah. You see a good thing is to fly a lot to flag competitions, and then you learn very fast.

Speaker 1 (25m 48s): Yes. Because when others climb better than you, you know, you've got more to work on.

Speaker 2 (25m 52s): Yes. Yes. And then you can then see

Speaker 1 (25m 58s): Burki, I'm looking at your book right now. And I just thought there's so many different things. It's just in a podcast. We obviously can't go through it, but I'd love to just know, after all these years, more than 15 years now, what, what chapters do you yourself return to? What, what are the, what are the concepts that you find for your, for your own flying and flying with your friends are the ones that are kind of more critical, more, they, they play a bigger role in, in what we do

Speaker 2 (26m 31s): For the beginners, I think is a, is a sermon how the term is rising, what the sermon is doing. It's the circling, there are so many different things in these rising thermos. And also where the point, the trigger points where the term of starts, this is for the beginners, but the, the others gliding into be safe. It's, where's our parts.

And yeah, everything is important. If you get a compete pilot.

Speaker 1 (27m 7s): Yeah. You kind of touched on the, the, the mental aspect, you know, as you get, as you get more hours, you get more respect for the sport. You understand where the risks, you know, in the beginning, you don't really have much of an idea. You know, people tell you it's risky, but you don't understand.

Speaker 2 (27m 25s): Yeah. Th the real men mentored past, I have not so many words for this, for me, the mental, if you want to fly a lot, then you are in a good mind to be a good pilot.

Speaker 1 (27m 43s): That's a good, let's go with that. What, what does to you, what is the definition of a good pilot?

Speaker 2 (27m 51s): Depends on, on, on the scene to god-brother a good friend of mine. He had had never an accident he's fully Flying 30 years and has never an accident. This is a good pilot. He's also a good Cross Country pilot, but not, not on the word level, the bird level. They are also very good pilots, but a lot of them had also accidents. Some, some, yeah,

Speaker 1 (28m 19s): I had him on the show and still one of the things that he said it kind of offhand is, has really helped change my outlook. He was talking about his flatland Flying and he said, you know, most of the time, he's the first off the hill. And so he'll go to a play, you know, on a, on a good day. And he, he, in other words, he's taking the most risk of anybody in terms of just trying to get the most out of that day. You know? So he'll, he'll fly first. And he said, you know, and sometimes I get it wrong and I land 10 minutes later.

And I said, oh, that must have been. That must be so discouraging. You don't want a really good day that you, you, you, you went too early and you bomb out. And he said, oh, Gavin, know that that's not discouraging at all. I had, I had, I had a safe flight. I landed safely. And now I get to go do something else wonderful with the day. And you could do, but you could tell it was intrinsic to him. He really didn't care that he'd bombed out. It was just totally fine.

Speaker 2 (29m 19s): And the first years I was motivated and I would today, I would say, I was over motivated. The sinking is, I am stronger than the nature. I want to go there and this food power and I go there. And so that was the reason of my accident where I could Javier not fly. Now, when you're getting older, you're getting more, not so motivated to, to get to big risk.

If the air is two, two, tubulins, I, I go for lending and said, oh, other pilots are Flying. And, but now I go land and said, well, they should fly. It's not my visa. So my Mo so this is motivation. Motivation. I cannot win again. The cross cadre, I think, for this or competitions for this or the exercise, they are, you have to be more motivated than me now.

Speaker 1 (30m 28s): It was interesting. I just did a, it's not up yet, but I just did a, a recording with Torsten Segal right after the super final he's back in Canada. And, and I understand that I watched the whole thing on online. And, and, but I understand it was no one got hurt. They didn't have any accidents, but it was pretty dicey. It sounded, you know, a lot of wingtip right on the rock and quite a bit of wind. And, you know, it was a super final in the mountains, which was a first for that. And so, you know, I didn't have since talked to a couple others who came back from it, who were very much, you know, they were struggling with their decision-making in that, you know, they did it.

And, but they don't know if they should have done it. It was, it was kind of too much, you know, it's the kind of Flying where it doesn't matter how much skill you have. If something goes wrong, you're in real trouble. You know, when you're that close to the terrain and taking that kind of risk, which you know, is, is something I think we all at certain different points of our Flying, you have to come to terms with how much are you willing to take?

Speaker 2 (31m 39s): Yeah. The Chris's how many risk you would take. Yeah.

Speaker 1 (31m 44s): You, you mentioned age. Do, do you think that's a product of age or do you think that's a product of, and maybe it's a combination of just your years in the sport.

Speaker 2 (31m 55s): I'm Flying since 89, but I started with Ms. Two at 28 or 27. So it's not the age. It's, it's more the, the airtime, it's more the years you flying for me, for me. It's that?

Speaker 1 (32m 15s): Okay. So, so you're the, the, the more you flown the less, it's just, okay. I don't need to push it as hard because I've done. That is what you're saying.

Speaker 2 (32m 26s): Yeah. Yeah. I hit for me. I have reached everything in the sports I can do, and I'm very happy you was this things, what I have done. And now I'm happy with nice Flying, doing little Cross Country, do an evening flight, make it walk and walk and fly. And these are nice things. I don't want any more to fly 10 hours and more.

Speaker 1 (32m 55s): W w was it, was it hard to leave the competition scene and, and, and back off, is it, I mean, is it, in other words, is it harder to pursue the sport when there aren't the big goals?

Speaker 2 (33m 7s): No, it was, no, it was not hard for me. It's the time boss finished for the competitions. For me, it was fine. And competitions were not my very favorite. It was the Cross Country Flying for me to make my own flight. Not in there. Hurry with all the others together. Yeah. The main thing I laughed was a Cross Country Flying for my own.

Speaker 1 (33m 40s): W what's the, what's the best place you've ever flown. If you could walk out the door today and, and repeat a flight, what, where would it be?

Speaker 2 (33m 51s): Oh, this is hard to say 15 years ago. It was very clear at what I was saying. It's a doula. It was a Panorama flying in the Dolomites was the best. Then I was, I've had to laugh with this fish, Switzerland, so many big trainers. I have flown there in the last years. I left more south Tierra, the, the area and spike Borden, south Shira.

It's a spike Borden was my favorite for a long time.

Speaker 1 (34m 32s): I think the last time. And I don't know if you know this, but I I'm pretty sure we met at spike Boden a bunch of years ago. And it was, I was there with my friend, Bruce Marks who unfortunately is no longer with us, but he was, he supported me in the first couple XL ups. And I'm pretty sure

Speaker 2 (34m 48s): I met Bruce. Did

Speaker 1 (34m 51s): You? Yeah. He used to fight.

Speaker 2 (34m 52s): Yeah. Some, some years ago. Yeah.

Speaker 1 (34m 57s): He loved fie. She loved trying that triangle over and over and over again. Yeah. And the Dolomites are awful special. That's, that's, that's an amazing part of the world. Yeah. Okay. I'm just gonna, I'm gonna, I'm going to give some questions to you that came from our audience in a survey. We did this last fall that are answer them as long or short as you want best and worst wing you've ever flown

Speaker 2 (35m 28s): Diverse, diverse ring

Speaker 1 (35m 30s): The best and the worst. If you can remember it from 89, you've flown just about all of them.

Speaker 2 (35m 38s): The, the best ring. I want 2004 for me, the first time the, the Jim Cross Country competition, and this was visit gin, gin, glider. And I, I left this so much, but today the performance is not very good if you compare with 2004, but this was my love. And, and in the moment some years ago, it was, is, is Chili's three from skywalk was climbing.

So perfect. Yeah. Since I think six years, I'm not trying competition beings anymore, Flying in D or ENC and you know, not competitions more for me. So this Sheila three was best climbing machine ever.

Speaker 1 (36m 32s): I've heard. That's a good one. And what about the, what about the, what about the worst?

Speaker 2 (36m 36s): Oh, I could not say as a first. No, no. I, after some flights, I loved all of them. Ah,

Speaker 1 (36m 50s): Excellent. Excellent, good answer.

Speaker 2 (36m 52s): So I, you know, I'm sponsored from Skybox the last 10 years, and I'm not looking so much about other other companies. I look what skywalk I take the B or C glider or what I like to have. And after some flights, I I'm very happy with the glider.

Speaker 1 (37m 17s): Burki thinking, thinking back to when you were in the competition years, or just into, you know, the 10 hour flights, when you were really going big, one of the questions that, that someone wanted me to ask you is what was your, what was your process from the beginning to the end, in the preparation for the flight? In other words, you know, getting ready for it. Did it start the day before or the week before? What was the, what were the, what were the steps that you would take to prepare either your mind, your body or whatever, for a big flight from spike or at noon, or you're going to do go to the ant alts.


Speaker 2 (37m 53s): Yeah. When you first plot plans is the big flights. I have done this in the winter time. What, what is possible? What is it good to strategy? What, what are the good lines? And then yeah. Then waiting for the good weather. And then you see the good weather is coming. I'm every time when I, we do a big flight, I'm the day before it's a mountain. I don't run in the morning, drive in the night and then go to the mountain.

I'm every time on the day before on the mountain to, to, to, to relax, to, to go in my head through, through the flight or what I will do. Yeah. So I prepared mentor the day before the next day. I hope that may be so good as is. I hope

Speaker 1 (38m 52s): That's good advice,

Speaker 2 (38m 55s): But the planning is, is a long be long before.

Speaker 1 (38m 59s): Yeah. Okay. What can you think, maybe when you think back on your career, what tip, what was something you learned from another pilot or your wife or at a competition? What was the, what was the one thing that you learned that made the biggest difference in your success, in your ability to stay in the sky and your ability to go farther? What was those? The thing that made the most impact on your Flying?

Speaker 2 (39m 27s): Not normally I am. I'm also in the house when I'm flying and, and sometimes you have to stay at the, at the place, then wait for the good, hi took Cross a big valley. Sometimes I, I'm not a big Cloudbase. And the valley crossing is very long and not in the first years I started to crossing and also I have done this when it was not a perfect height to do that.

So stay calm and wait for the next term. What brings you to 300 meters more high and then go, and this is not my favorite seeing normally I don't meet. And I Cross, and then I learned from toss nanny. He said, oh, don't be in this hurry. Don't wait, wait for the right time.

Speaker 1 (40m 25s): That's yeah, that's great advice. What should you, you talked about this a little bit already, but what should beginners avoid? Is they, you know, the less than 200 an hour pilots, what, what should they, what what's, what's a good arc for them early on.

Speaker 2 (40m 46s): They should think that they should not fly in, in bad weather or conditions. If there's, I'm not in this strongly sites. If they have a lot of experience, every pilots or pilots are flying in, in Lee sites, if it is not too strong, but if the wind for me, I sat in the mountain is the wind is stronger on the rich level. Then more than 20 K never, never go in the least side.

If it is only 10 K and they are good. It's okay. Then you can go. But, but I don't know. Where is the border? Do it and do it not be careful. Don't fall down.

Speaker 1 (41m 32s): That's a good one. We had, we have to break that rule a lot in the X helps. When I see this year, holy smoke, we were flying in so much wind. It was just absurd.

Speaker 2 (41m 42s): Yes. I know that. That's a reason I never joined you at the exact pilots are crazy. Yeah. That's true. Not crazy. You don't have to stop there. Then you have no shots

Speaker 1 (42m 2s): And solid, solid. Okay. This is a good one. What was, or still is the hardest or most demanding thing that you needed to learn or still need to learn? You, you just talked about, you know, you were impetuous for many years and would leave too low. You wouldn't wait for the proper height to do crossing, but is there been anything else that's been a real, you know, for example, mine is I reversed turn way too much and I always have, I always, you know, I'm going right now.

I think I'm like, I can get it better than the left. I'm trying really hard to stop that. But, you know, is there anything like that, that you have found difficult to course correct in your own Flying?

Speaker 2 (42m 48s): Oh, I think this is a mentor mental thing to be in the, in the head clear. I want to fly big distance and I will do this and I'm motivated. And then this is the most important thing to be successful for, to fly far. And yeah, this is the most important thing, the key and the hit and the metal thing you will do that

Speaker 1 (43m 21s): Burkhart. It's been a real joy. It's it's, it's, it's great to connect with you. Like I said, you are a hero for me. Your, your book is, has had a massive impact on, on my own Flying. It's a joy to see that there's this new third edition out 16 years after there's something like that. And after the, after the first and so congratulations, I hope sales continued to go great. And all the best to you and your wife as you travel around and explore the sky.

Speaker 2 (43m 53s): Yeah. Thank you very much. I'm very happy to speak with you. I saw you and then on the X IOPS, and it was very fun to see all the good pilots to do that big thing.

Speaker 1 (44m 7s): Yeah. Like you said, we are all crazy, but

Speaker 2 (44m 11s): Yeah, but I was a lot, lot time on the computer to watch your

Speaker 1 (44m 17s): It's a good time-waster for everybody, for us too, for a couple of weeks every year. Thank you. Burki are preceded.

Speaker 2 (44m 24s): Okay. Thank you. Thank you, Kevin.

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