Episode 73- Mitch Riley and X-Alps madness, Developing Mental toughness, Thinking Fast VS Slow, Growth Mindset, Discipline and More

Mitch Riley has been chasing the sky crack as hard as anyone the last few years. He’s averaging 500-600 hours a year, instructs full-time for Eagle Paragliding, competes regularly, does commercial tandems, competed in the 2017 X-Alps and guides around the world. Mitch’s approach to training and improvement isn’t simply airtime- this is a mental game we play more than anything and Mitch has been a student of sports psychology and mental training and gives us a ton of tips on improving performance through concepts like thinking fast vs slow, flow state, mental toughness, fear control, using language to deal with fear, using words to avoid negative thinking, and much more.

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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 55- Xandi Meschuh and building a foundation

Xandi Meschuh has been in the flying game since the very beginning. He learned to fly RC planes from his father, a pilot before he was ten years old and got the paragliding bug soon afterwards. Xandi has his own flight park near Gerlitzen, Austria where he teaches new students as well as seasoned professional pilots looking to nail their first Infinite loop. He has taught SIV since SIV began; has been a test pilot and designer for Icaro since 2004; operates a successful tandem business; is a skilled XC pilot and has seen just about everything.

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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 47- Max Fanderl and a lifetime of flight

Max Fanderl began flying paragliders and then hang gliders in the late 80’s. A few months after his first flight he quit his job to become an instructor and has made a life of flying. He was a test pilot in the 90’s, moved to Canada after going there on a vacation and never returning home where he opened a school and eventually competed in the Red Bull X-Alps four times. In this episode we explore how Max learned how to fly into the wind and why all flying should be approached with mindful training; where most new pilots make mistakes; why getting into flying too fast leads to many people getting scared and leaving the sport…

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Episode 46- Reavis Sutphin-Gray and increasing your toolkit

Reavis learned to fly a decade ago and had a pretty unusual experience with being in the air- he doesn’t experience fear. But he had a very firm understanding of the risks and wanted to be a safe pilot and took his progression and learning seriously and conservatively. This approach has given Reavis, who is now one of the pilots who regularly sends huge lines in North America a unique flying toolbox to help decipher the weather and more. Reavis is a software engineer and lives on the road chasing flying hours year-round (and BTW he answers the most common question I get from our listeners- how do you change your life so you can fly more?). His analytical mind and passion for flight will help you develop a totally different set of skills that will increase your potential as an XC pilot. 

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Episode 41- Chris Santacroce and Set Ups for Success

Chris Santacroce has been a pillar in human flight for nearly thirty years. A long time Red Bull Air Force athlete; co-owner and founder of Superfly Paragliding in Utah; founder of Project Airtime which allows the disabled to fly; total air Jedi on anything that flies- from powered trikes to wingsuits and everything in between, Chris has been one of the most requested guests for the show and now here it is.

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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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