This week we dive into spring with the current World Champion and long-time Ozone test pilot Russ Ogden and multiple US National Champion Nick Greece. Year after year we see accidents in free flight spike in spring. Spicy conditions, rusty skills, new unfamiliar gear, heightened stoke, another year behind us, lack of confidence… we explore the many things that might have an impact on why we see the spike and what you can do to make sure you’re not in the data set.
season Serena won the female XContest and flew OVER 10,000 kilometers in a single season! She quit her job as a teacher and went on an 8 month sabbatical to fly and spent over 3 months in the Sertão of Brazil. Serena takes us back to her time in Brazil and learn about flying in a lot of wind, towing, figuring out the flats and having it all come together. Serena takes us through her journey to become a pilot, the addiction that set in, her dreams and hopes with flying and then the accident that brought it all to a sudden halt and the extraordinary and difficult road she’s undertaken to recover.
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.
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!
Charles Cazeaux began flying when he was 15 years old. Shortly after that he became the first person to enter the French juniors program that was created to build exceptional pilots who would represent the country on the world stage. Needless to say the program worked very well indeed for Charles! He’s been on the French team every year since 1998, he won the Superfinal in 2009, won the world championships in 2011, holds multiple world records and instructs SIV and cross country with Seiko Fukuoka for the Airlinks Academy.
Learn the language of your wing and what it’s trying to tell you by the legendary instructor Ken Hudonjorgensen. This talk is aimed at lower hour pilots but I learned a ton and no doubt you will as well. Enjoy!
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…
Fabien Blanco is the founder and head instructor at Flyeo in Annecy, a premiere paragliding school focused on teaching SIV, Cross Country and adventure flying. Fabien was a professional acro pilot and is a passionate ski-mountaineer and brings a wealth of knowledge from various “extreme” disciplines to our sport. He discovered when they first started teaching SIV that rather than focusing on ticking off the maneuvers and calling it good they needed to focus more on pilots’ mental fundamentals.
What makes a successful pilot? Is it just talent and hours or something anyone can learn with training and application? Sports psychology gives us the answer if we break it down into three dimensions: technical, physical and mental. In this episode Adél Honti explains how her analytical approach and study of human psychology has helped her understand how to operate more adeptly in our invisible world. Adél explains why “races are won and lost in the mind.” How do we get into the “Flow”? How should we approach training? How should we deal with failure?
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.