Episode 169- Alex Schweig and not being a passenger to destiny

Alex has a very methodical approach to learning and training which we dove into in this talk. Alex likes to say “flying bags around the sky with grace and tact” is important, style is important, and style isn’t just the physical movements we make under canopy but the holistic approach we take (or should take) to every aspect of flying and life in general.

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Episode 168- Learning by Simulation- Flightcoach!

Bas van Duijn has been flying for 27 years, has been a paragliding instructor for 10 years and has a commercial aviation background. No stranger to simulator training he decided to bring the lessons from professional flightsim usage to our world. He also coaches recreational pilots who have developed a fear of flying. I reached out to Bas after watching one of his simulator videos because it seemed like an incredible way to learn our tricky sport with zero risk. We had a fascinating talk about where the future may be headed, increasing pilot retention, dealing with fear, eliminating the common mistakes, “shortcutting” learning, and a lot more.

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Episode 163- Johanna Hamne and Flying in the Land of 1,000 Lakes

World Cup Competition pilot Johanna Hamne had a very big year. She had a daughter, and when she was 8 months pregnant she broke the Nordic FAI record. That’s not a mistype. She was 8 MONTHS pregnant when she flew the biggest triangle in the Nordic countries! You will love this story. But that’s just the start. Johanna is a regular on the World Cup circuit and brings an always-smiling face to our sport. We delve into how risk tolerance changes (or doesn’t) after you have a baby, competing after you’ve had a child, balancing flying with your partner (who also flies), how to process mistakes, flying flatlands and flying in a lot of wind, training and competing in Acro, jumping out of helicopters, getting currency, balancing life and flying, and a lot more.

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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 149- Dilan Benedeti and learning to deal with gravity

My training took place during one of his SIV clinics with a bunch of very new students so I got to watch his team and his methods in action and came away super, duper impressed. In this episode Dilan shares why we don’t have any kind of standardized training in the US and much of the world and why that needs to change; why so many pilots quit the sport too soon; why so many pilots choose the wrong wing during their progression; the dangers of “risk homeostasis”, especially in free flight; why having a school AND selling gear creates so much conflict of interest (and why this isn’t allowed in many countries); why the US instructor system is so flawed; and why having a basic understanding of psychology is so critical when you leave the ground.

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Episode 144- Jeff Longcor and (mostly) Inexpensive Mistakes

Jeff Longcor has been flying only a few years and has a full time job, which makes getting hours tough, but he’s completely enamored with the sport and has been chasing it hard, sometimes too hard. Jeff has made some inexpensive mistakes, and a few expensive ones. They’ve all provided volumes of learning, and his desire for the sport is as high as it has ever been. In this show we dig into all the little things that add up to help us all become better pilots, and in the end- better people.

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Episode 138- Nik Hawks and Expectations

Nik Hawks returns to the Mayhem in response to the pilot survey we put out a couple months ago to take on a whole bunch of topics you, our listeners asked for. We broke this wide-ranging show into four main parts- Nik’s answers a bunch of questions about his own sometimes frustrating progression and how he’s had to adjust his own expectations in the sport in order to avoid being a “dangerous pilot”; I answer questions from Nik about a recent interesting discussion he had with a new pilot on launch; we revisit some of the takeaways from the Kiwi SAR effort in Nevada; and finally Nik interviews me about the upcoming Red Bull X-Alps, my own progression choices over the years, what makes a “dangerous” vs a “safe” pilot, gear choices for hike and fly and a lot more.

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Episode 77- Comp Tactics and Strategies

I sat down with veteran comp pilots JP Robert Vandenbegine (Canada and Belgium), Chin Chien Huang (aka Jimmy from the US), and Francisco Mantaras (Argentina) to discuss the A to Z of comps. These guys collectively have decades of comp experience and we dove into pre-race strategies, how to get a good start, gaggle flying, finding good lines and gliding, safety and cautionary tales, tactics for winning a task vs winning the comp, instrument use, speed bar use, hand position and using the B’s, how to get into comps and why and a whole lot more.

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Episode 75- Dominic Rohner and Chasing the Dream

Dominic has been flying for 21 years, recently sold his share of a very successful school (Paraworld) in Zurich and has been living the dream- traveling the world in the pursuit of the skycrack. From Tanzania and Kenya to Brazil to Colombia Dominic takes us on a journey that only a paraglider can do. This one is filled with great advice, many laughs, a few solid warnings, fantastic travel stories, the heuristic decision making process, and does what any good free flight talk should do- get you STOKED to go flying!

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