Episode 86- Annalena Hinestroza and managing a passion for flight

In this wide-ranging episode we discuss women in the sport, the importance of getting solid foundational skills, gear and why people choose the wrong equipment for their skill level, how to get into comps and how to be an efficient pilot, why learning slowly is so important, and why flying a more reasonable glider well is about the most rewarding thing you can do. We recorded this episode live in Colombia- enjoy!

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Episode 84- Adrian Garza and Chasing thin Air

After getting his novice sign-off in Mexico (30 flights) under the instruction of 2019 Red Bull X-Alps pilot and recent podcast guest¬†Marko Hrgetic Hrga, for his very first solo flight (flight 31) Adrian Garza hiked up one of the highest volcanoes in North America and flew off. And it’s been all volcanoes since.

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Episode 83- Ziad Bassil and Dust of the Universe

Ziad Bassil is someone most pilots who have gear questions already know. His blog the “Dust of the Universe” is probably (definitely?) the most comprehensive independent gear testing site on Earth. He does it solely for pleasure and is PROLIFIC. If it flies, he flies it and then gives his many, many followers his opinions.

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Episode 71- Bernhard Kalin and the coming future, dangers of overconfidence, Speed flying best-practices

Bernhard (Benni) Kalin is a Swiss all-things-flight instructor at ChillOutParagliding. Based in Interlaken, speedflying was his initial addiction but over the years it has spread to all canopies- paragliding, base jumping, kitesurfing, kiteskiing- you name it. Last year flying with his father in the Wallis Benni had to deploy his reserve for the first time and ended up in a terrifying position that required a helicopter recovery. In this episode we discuss the exciting future of Reflex wings, dealing with fear injuries, some of Benni’s most-memorable flights, speed-flying best practices and why it’s as dangerous as base jumping, how to safely get started on mini wings, why learning paragliding before speed flying is so essential and the risks of overconfidence. Enjoy!

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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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