Episode 145- Standing on the shoulders of giants with Mitchell McAleer

Mitchell McAleer properly crashed a hang glider on literally his first flight in the early 70’s. But he shook it off and was in the right place at the right time and had the right mentors and right attitude and eventually became the winningest aerobatics pilot in history. Southern California was one of the true meccas of hang gliding in the 70’s and 80’s. It was the home of UP during their reign with the Comet, remains the home of Wills Wing and was where Mitch took on the sport in his teens and remains today after nearly 45 years of obsessed flying. Mitch has an encyclopedic memory and this podcast is a fascinating and at times totally unbelievable stroll down memory lane.

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Episode 135 – Tim Pentreath and Vol Biv

Tim Pentreath has been flying paragliders for over 30 years. The new frontier for Tim’s flying the last few years has been multi-day bivvy trips in the Alps and this episode is dedicated to that art form in flying. The gear; the skills; setting appropriate objectives; how to prepare; where to go on your first bivvy; how to keep it simple; what you need to know; comfort vs going light; food tips;  safety tips; what to know before you go; weather resources; where to camp; tips for flying near wind turbines, communication tips and team tracking, when to go; and a lot more.

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Episode 133- Malin Lobb and Wing Control

Malin Lobb is the co-owner of Flyeo paragliding in Annecy with Fabien Blanco. He was one of the founders of the British Racing Academy, is a keen world cup comp pilot and an experienced SIV and paragliding instructor. In this information-packed episode that our editor called “One of the Best Episodes EVER!” we are given a TON of really solid advice on how to approach SIV; what to be thinking about when choosing a wing; the pitfalls of wing certification and relying on “passive safety” and a whole lot more!

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Episode 127- Hypoxia, Cold, Accident and Reserve Studies and more with Dr. Matt Wilkes

ER and Critical Care physician and paragliding hound Matt Wilkes returns to the Mayhem to share the takeaways from several large studies he’s been involved with since his last talk three years ago on hypoxia and cold; the most comprehensive study done to date on reserves; and an accident analysis study done with the BHPA and Cross Country Magazine.

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Episode 126- An oldie but goodie with the legend Pal Takats

This week we’re doing our first “rerun” as Gavin is in the field deep in remote Nevada on a major SAR effort to find our good friend James “Kiwi” Johnson, who was recently on the show. We will get caught up with new shows on schedule soon. This is our most popular show to date and we’ve cleaned it up for your listening pleasure. Listen and learn!

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Episode 123- Best Towing Practices and Safety

I am convinced that with a good winch and good tow-technician, launching via tow is much safer than foot launching and gives the free flight world access to incredible flying in conditions when terrain flying would be too risky. If you are currently doing any tow launching, or plan to in the future, give this podcast a listen. Towing has risks, but they can all be mitigated with proper techniques, crew, good piloting, and equipment.

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Episode 105- Tyler G and the critical Phases of Flight

Tyler G is on the board of the Canadian Hang Gliding and Paragliding Association and he’s taken on trying to solve a tough problem in our sport right now: To create a syllabus and model for learning to speed fly safely. Speed flying, especially in North America is still totally cowboy and there’s a vacuum for information. And it’s taking its toll. Accidents, often serious are plentiful and the YouTube culture is driving the desire for the thrill but pilots are skipping the necessary steps.

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Episode 93- Wolfgang (Wolfi) Siess and the Hang Gliding obsession

Wolfi Siess has been chasing it hard for the past 19 years. He watched his Dad fly from the time he began to walk- the flying blood runs thick in this family! As soon as it was legal (and his mom gave him the ok!) Wolfi took to the skies and hasn’t looked back since. He’s big on the comp scene, flies tandems all summer, speed flies, makes films- basically does whatever he can to keep the dream alive. Four years ago Wolfi tumbled low on a perfect day in Elsinore and a delayed fear injury set in that took over three years to come back from.

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Episode 91- Rick Heatley and the pucker factor

Let’s face it- sometimes things go wrong. And sometimes you get lucky. This is one of those stories and there is a LOT here we can all learn from. Rick Heatley was having a lovely day in the sky on a near-perfect day at a new site on the rugged and wild Vancouver Island, British Colombia when suddenly things went proper pear shaped. Moments later he was on a super steep slope, his wing was in a tree and he was in knee deep snow. It was going to be a very long, cold night…

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Episode 90- Threat and Error Management (TEM) and Free Flight

TEM is a simple system that helps pilots identify threats so they don’t lead to errors which if they multiply could lead to an “undesirable aircraft state.” It’s simply an awareness protocol laid out through a series of checklists and procedures that become built-in threat mitigation.  Threats in all forms of flight are ubiquitous- internal and external threats are everywhere. So how can we use this remarkably successful program in free flight to reduce risk?

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