Episode 154- Going Big against the Odds with Thad Spencer

Thad hails from Minnesota, just sold a successful musical production company and is addicted to flying. The holy grail in the US has been the 200 mile mark, a distance very few pilots have pulled off and Thad has chased it hard for years. His chase has taken him through the full arc of what you have to learn to send, an arc that of course never ends. This spring he pulled it off in the flats of the MidWest with a 228 mile (very cold) beauty. A little while after he pulled it off he sent me an email that I’ve posted here nearly in full because…well because we all need a good laugh now and then and it’s what lead to this show. Thad tells the “and there I was…” story better than anyone. Grab a whiskey and tuck in, you’re in for a treat.

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Episode 151- Comps, instructing, learning, and sending with Wally Arcidiacono

I met Wally Arcidiacono on the comp circuit quite a few years back and have been trying to connect with him for awhile now for a show. Wally is a keen comp pilot, started a paragliding school in Bright, Australia back in 2010 and has turned a passion for flying into a way of life. What kind of headspace should we bring to competitions? How can we play this beautiful game with more aplomb? How should we approach the long game? What can we learn from the masters? Why does the local hero never take the trophy?

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Episode 148: Red Bull X-Alps 2021, Gavin answers your questions!

This year’s Red Bull X-Alps, if you could put it in a word- scary. We didn’t have a single “standard” day of flying with light wind, nice cumulus, and good base, unless you count the Prologue! We had incredible heat the first three days, low base, wind and stable conditions, then the thunderstorms started, strong Fohn from the South and North, window-breaking hail, severe lightning and really, really strong wind for the remainder of the race. Every athlete I spoke with at the awards at the end had a look of just going to battle. For the first time in my four races, the bad weather got everyone, regardless of where you were on the course, and it didn’t let up. There were times when all 12 pairs of my shoes were soaked. After a good showing in the Prologue and going into the race pretty beat up from a crash at the end of May, and carrying the remainder of a flu into the race, which later turned into some kind of pneumonia (we’re not sure, but it was ugly!) and having a terrifically bad start, Team USA 1 started clawing back.

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Episode 135 – Tim Pentreath and Vol Biv

Tim Pentreath has been flying paragliders for over 30 years. The new frontier for Tim’s flying the last few years has been multi-day bivvy trips in the Alps and this episode is dedicated to that art form in flying. The gear; the skills; setting appropriate objectives; how to prepare; where to go on your first bivvy; how to keep it simple; what you need to know; comfort vs going light; food tips;  safety tips; what to know before you go; weather resources; where to camp; tips for flying near wind turbines, communication tips and team tracking, when to go; and a lot more.

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Episode 116- Chasing Hang Gliding for 47 years with Charlie Baughman

Charlie Baughman has been flying hang gliders since 1973. That’s 47 years…and he’s still going strong. In 2011 at the age of 64 Charlie broke the Oregon state record (which still holds) when he flew 218 miles into Idaho, and then did a very styly self retrieve.  We have it on good authority that Charlie was the first person in North American to figure out how to thermal, and possibly the world. Charlie started sky diving in the 60’s at the age of 22, then began hang gliding on Lookout Mountain in Colorado when the very first hang gliders were built.

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Bonus Episode! Weather Series Episode 1 with Emi Carvalho

This is the first of three shows in a bonus series for our subscribers dedicated to building an understanding of the weather and forecasting. Emi Carvalho studied physics in school, but it wasn’t until he began paragliding that applied physics interested him.  He talks about the basics of weather, focusing on island weather and the possibilities inherent in an island with mountains over 2,000m.  Emi talks about where he turns to first for weather (Windy and any local knowledge), and what he usually looks for (wind intensity, direction, and temps at different altitudes.).

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Episode 108- Deniz Burnham and flying EVERYTHING

Deniz Burnham is an Alaskan resident who just happens to RUN an oil rig. Not work on an oil rig, she runs the show. She’s the only female on the rig and has worked in some of the most remote places on Earth, which would be more than enough to fill an entire podcast on its own, but this is a free-flight podcast so we reached out to Deniz to talk about her rather adventurous relationship with free flight and her passion for flying just about everything that flies. Deniz pilots seaplanes, helicopters, paramotors, hang gliders, paragliders, sailplanes and from time to time- jumps out of them (or walks on them!)!

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Episode 107- Larry Bunner, the X-Flight and flying in the moment

We’ve had a LOT of amazing talks on the Mayhem over the past bunch of years but this one is in a category of its own. Last summer Larry Bunner and three other very experienced Hang Gliding pilots (Glen Volk, Robin Hamilton, and Pete Lehmann) flew from the Gulf of Mexico to the Canadian border in a series of tow and mountain launch flights over 21 days (1884 miles) and 11 States. This is their story…and a LOT more.

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Episode 106- Your Questions answered (Bruce Goldsmith, Max Jeanpierre, Reavis Sutphin-Gray…)

This is another Ask Me Anything show that we typically release as bonus content but we got so many great questions that cover such a wide range of topics we’ve decided to release it as a regular show and for this one I went out to the experts to get the answers. Max Jeanpierre, Bruce Goldsmith, and Reavis Sutphin-Gray take on a wide range of questions, and their answers are gold. Enjoy!

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