There are times in a pilots career when things do not go according to plan. This is one of those times. Nikolay Lipko had a rather unusual (but not unheard-of) event flying in Chamonix, France that thankfully ended quite well thanks to a successful reserve deployment. As with all incidents, there is hindsight and modifications to how to take to the skies. And if anything else, this story is a case study for why SIV training is so important. In this instance your host and our guest don’t see eye-to-eye on the cause and effect but the take-aways are valuable.
Gaspard Petiot is a mountain guide and very accomplished pilot who competed successfully in the Red Bull X-Alps in 2015 (5th, Monaco), 2017 (broken wrist, withdrawn after leading day 6) and 2019 (7th, Monaco) despite having very bad knees. In this episode we rewind the clock as we have done with the others in this X-Alps series and hear the behind-the-scenes stories that the fans didn’t see on live tracking.
Arrived Paris two weeks ago with Nate Scales, my Sun Valley flying buddy with huge plans of massive triangles in the Alps. Spring flying in Europe is spicy, strong and when you get the days completely RAD, but the days don’t come often. Patience is the key. My flying partner Bruce Marks arrived in the middle of April, got three back to back days of 8 hours+ in the air in the Wallis area (Fiesch, Riederalp, Zermatt, etc.) but since then it’s been…challenging.