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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Want to Learn Acro? Start with the right kit.

In summary- if you’re like me and keen to learn some of the more technical acro moves and also like me and have a limited playground, do yourself a favor and get the right kit. It’s sexy getting a bad ass acro wing, but you’ll pay the price trying to tame it. Everyone I’ve spoken with who has helis dialed says it takes hundreds and hundreds of attempts just to get close. You can get lucky every once in awhile, but to really nail it you’ve got to have a lot of time, a lot of patience and the right tool. 

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Episode 72- Greg Hamerton and FlyBubble, gear choice, bivvy, and the road to Mastery

Greg is a former PWC pilot and is the man responsible for all those awesome FlyBubble videos, participated in the X-Pyr in 2016, is passionate about vol biv and has a lot of great thoughts and advice for pilots at every level. We discuss gear and choices and how to not get sucked into what others are saying vs what’s right for you, how to get into vol biv and best practices, the difference and advantages and disadvantages of 2 vs 3 liners, why “flying slow” is a worthy chase, learning to develop intuition that’s not “intuitive”, comps and chasing the aesthetics rather than the result, quality vs numbers and distances, what makes a “champion” and mastery, how to find the winning line and so, so SO much more. THIS ONE IS AWESOME. ENJOY!

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Episode 60- Lisa Hope Tilstra and taking your first steps…into the magic

Lisa Hope Tilstra gives us a perspective all of us can relate to as pilots as she’s a total newbie- as a brand new pilot she’s going through what we all have at some point in our flying lives. No flight can ever match that first time we stepped into the air and remembering how special that was is reason enough to listen to this show, but we dig down into the huge differences of coming into this sport as a female versus a male; what challenges new pilots face; how instructors really need to adapt their teaching styles to suit how you learn; how to find a good instructor (and ditch the bad!) and a lot more. Enjoy!

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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 40- Bill Belcourt Your Questions Answered!

And here it is! The long-awaited show hosted by Bill Belcourt, dedicated 100% to your questions. We asked fans of the show to send us any questions related to flying so the Yoda of the sky, Bill Belcourt could answer them in the unique way that only Bill can. We talk about how to deal with turbulence, creating better headspace, how to mitigate intermediate syndrome, how to gaggle fly, how to deal with negative people in a positive way (ie avoiding ground suck), when to leave a thermal, techniques for landing backwards, how to pick the good days, team flying, when to launch in a thermal cycle and a LOT more! Enjoy!

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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 28- Max Marien and the ACRO pursuit

Max Marien broke the Infinity Tumbling record after jumping out of a helicopter in 2012, going right up and over his wing an incredible 374 times. Max started flying at the tender age of 12 and makes his living flying tandems at the Torrey Pines Glider port. He’s been frequently requested on the show and this talk is awesome. Whether you are pursuing acro or not, there’s a lot of great knowledge and advice here, including how risk changes after you have kids; how to get into acro; the most common cause of accidents; the most dangerous maneuver (you might be surprised); the scariest maneuver; a ton of info on reserves and their use; safe ways to progress and a lot more. Enjoy!

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Episode 9- Thomas de Dorlodot and the Endless SEARCH

Thomas de Dorlodot is probably the most enviable pilot in the world. He’s made a living out of traveling the world and documenting his expeditions. A 5 time Red Bull X-Alps competitor and Red Bull Athlete Tom started flying when he was 15 years old. He’s flown above 7,000 meters in Pakistan, paramotored over the Marquesas in French Polynesia, glided over volcanoes in Guatemala and Tanzania, hucked acro over Victoria Falls and is currently working on sailing around the world. His accolades and accomplishments are too many to even list here, but it hasn’t all been a rosy romp through la-la land and in this episode we dive into his two accidents this year, one a major accident during his Adriatic expedition with Paul Guschlbauer and the other that ended his X-Alps campaign on day 7; we talk about how Tom approaches risk; how he plays the sponsorship game; how he prepares mentally and a lot more.

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