Episode 68- Nik Hawks and weighing the risks

Nik Hawks returns to the Mayhem to share two pretty scary incidents that ended well, but came with a LOT of lessons that every pilot can learn from including: coming back from “fear injuries”  by using the big 4, time, building exposure, and pattern recognition; how to get better at self-assessment (wingovers, exit from 360, exiting and entering spirals cleanly, avoiding and handling collapses, etc.); how to ask older/better pilots for help and the best way to approach mentors; when a pilot is really ready to go XC and what risks that involves; what groundhandling can…and maybe can’t help with…

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Episode 66- Andy Hediger and becoming an Airman

If it flies, Andy Hediger flies it (or jumps out of it!). Sailplanes, trikes, hang gliders, light-weight airplanes, wingsuits, Swift, Archaeopteryx, Virus, but he rates the paraglider as the king of them all. The developer of the D-Bag, Andy was there at the absolute beginning of Acro and cross country, sewing some of the very first wings and his passion and love of the sport is as strong now as it was in the beginning. The “Airman” has pushed the limits of flying, safety, instruction and certification from the advent of the sport and was one of the first pilots to develop SIV to help make the sport more safe, and why most schools still get it wrong and why so many accidents keep happening.

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Episode 52- Pal Takats X-Alps, Acro, and what you can do to stay safe

Pal Takats began flying 16 years ago in the flatlands of Hungary and has since created a career any pilot would envy. One of the first Red Bull acro pilots and the man responsible for many of the current and modern acro combinations (the Joker, Cowboy, Esfera, etc.) Pal does paramotor demos for Red Bull at air races around the world, base jumps in his free time, flies speed wings, has twice competed in the Red Bull X-Alps (he was 8th in 2009 and 7th in 2017), is an exceptional cross country and world cup competition pilot but it hasn’t all been a walk in the park to get there.

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Episode 49- Honza Rejmanek and Understanding the Invisible

Honza Rejmanek competed in the Red Bull X-Alps five times. He finished in 3rd place in 2009 and made goal in Monaco in his last campaign in 2015. Many of our listeners will also know Honza from his regular meteo column in Cross Country Magazine. Honza makes a living as a meteorologist and in this episode we tap into his vast knowledge of the invisible world we operate in and how to understand how it works and how to use this knowledge to fly farther and safer. Honza’s passion for flying and for weather are obvious from the first word- consider this a masters class in understanding the sky!

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2017 Red Bull X-Alps: A Race of Extremes

The 2017 Red Bull X-Alps was the hardest yet- a very difficult course and extremely poor flying weather. 5 athletes were eliminated and 7 withdrew due to exhaustion or injury and only two made it to Monaco. The race ended after 11 days and 23 hours. Here are some clips from Day 8, 9, and 10 that highlight how amazing the journey can be, and some of the crazy situations you find yourself dealing with (like landing in a tree!).

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Episode 42- Benjamin Jordan and taking the Leap

Benjamin Jordan made history in 2016 flying a 1,000 km bivvy line solo from Vancouver to Calgary across the Coast Range and Rocky Mountains of BC and Alberta, an expedition that took 39 days to complete. To some bold pilots maybe an obvious and tempting line, but there were plenty of reasons it had never been flown, which are in part the subject of Benjamin’s new documentary “Strong the Wind Blows”. In this episode we talk about the ultimate question- if life isn’t worth dying for, is it worth living?

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Episode 39- Antoine Laurens and a Lifetime of Life Lessons

Antoine Laurens began flying in 1992 when he was just seventeen years old. He’s lived a life of adventure and flying has been a way of life for the last two and half decades. One of the world’s great vol-biv pilots Antoine crossed over a 1,000 km route of the Himalayas (the film trailer of the “Himalayan Odyssey” can be seen here) and was part of the small team I joined in 2012 when we flew from the south end of the Sierra range to the Oregon border. Antoine has done some of the longest, most wild vol-biv trips that have ever been accomplished.

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Episode 35- Christina Kolb and becoming a complete pilot

Christina Kolb is the current female world acro champion and one of the few women in the world who has perfected the Infinite tumble. In Annecy this year she won the female class and was 12th overall- an incredible achievement. In this episode we visit and revisit the cause of many accidents and how preventable they are, how to learn acro, the importance of SIV and ground handling, why altitude is more important in many cases than water, best and worst advice, how to reduce stress on launch, and a lot of advice for beginners and how to avoid the “lemming affect.”

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Save the Date! North of Known coming to a Theatre near You!

I’m taking North of Known on a short film tour starting February 18th. Here are the tour dates and venues and links to the event pages on Facebook, which have the links to buy tickets in advance. I’ll give a little fun backstory to the film before we start (film length is 52 minutes), then a Q and A afterwards. The film premiered at the Banff Mountain Film Festival in November and just recently won “Best Documentary” at FLIC in Montana. I hope you’ll join me, I promise these will be fun evenings and I promise- the film and footage will blow you away! A portion of the proceeds at all of the events will benefit the Foundation for Free Flight. We expect all venues to sell out, so make sure to get tickets in advance.

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Episode 34- Tom Payne and Insights into our world

Tom Payne competed in the 2009 X-Alps and was Jon Chambers supporter in 2011 and 2013 and edited Jon Chambers book “hanging in there” which documents Jon’s X-Alps campaigns. But the X-Alps is just a blip in Tom’s long, passionate career in paragliding. Tom has been flying for over 20 years and is one of my own personal mentors. He’s been a major player in the comp scene and is well known across Europe for flying big, creative triangles.

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