Aaron Durogati is no stranger to thinking and doing big, but this time he pulled off what can only be described as outrageous. He and a few friends spent 40 days in the Himalaya in Pakistan to pursue mountaineering “combos”. They used their paragliders to take off from lower elevations, put their touring gear (ie skis) on in the air, stuff it in somewhere high, often above 5,000 meters and then ski and fly down. They spent many nights at altitude acclimatizing; they got stuck with heinous walks out on dangerous glaciers; Aaron had a frightening crash; he got so sick he thought he was going to die…and then he somehow managed to fly at 285 km FAI triangle across the biggest terrain in the world…
season Serena won the female XContest and flew OVER 10,000 kilometers in a single season! She quit her job as a teacher and went on an 8 month sabbatical to fly and spent over 3 months in the Sertão of Brazil. Serena takes us back to her time in Brazil and learn about flying in a lot of wind, towing, figuring out the flats and having it all come together. Serena takes us through her journey to become a pilot, the addiction that set in, her dreams and hopes with flying and then the accident that brought it all to a sudden halt and the extraordinary and difficult road she’s undertaken to recover.
World Cup Competition pilot Johanna Hamne had a very big year. She had a daughter, and when she was 8 months pregnant she broke the Nordic FAI record. That’s not a mistype. She was 8 MONTHS pregnant when she flew the biggest triangle in the Nordic countries! You will love this story. But that’s just the start. Johanna is a regular on the World Cup circuit and brings an always-smiling face to our sport. We delve into how risk tolerance changes (or doesn’t) after you have a baby, competing after you’ve had a child, balancing flying with your partner (who also flies), how to process mistakes, flying flatlands and flying in a lot of wind, training and competing in Acro, jumping out of helicopters, getting currency, balancing life and flying, and a lot more.
Hang On. That’s what Chris Gursky had to do for the longest 2 minutes and 14 seconds of his life on his first even Hang Gliding flight. In what has been dubbed the “Swiss Mishap”, this American got a little more adventure than he was looking for in Interlaken when his pilot forgot to clip him in. This is his truly amazing story. Enjoy!
Phil sends big lines in the biggest terrain in the Alps and decided a couple decades ago to ditch his engineering career because the sky was calling. An Australian native, Phil discovered Zermatt over twenty years ago and made it his home. We discuss the business of tandem flying and the inherent risks involved; the importance of confidence when flying XC; how to “own it”; the best flying sites in the Alps; the call of the big mountains; how to make a career in flight; what makes the “perfect” student; and how to always be wary of complacency. Enjoy!