Episode 96- Christian Ciech and a life of Hang Gliding

Christian Ciech has been flying Hang Gliders for over 30 years. He remembers watching his Dad fly when he was just four years old. He has an arsenal of trophies that showcase his legendary competition skills, including 3 World Championship wins. Christian became a test pilot and designer for Icaro in 1991, a position he still holds. In this episode we discuss competition strategies and the art of winning, how to read the sky and flying the conditions you find…[more]

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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 80 – The History and Future of Hang Gliding

Hang gliding is arguably the first “extreme sport” in human history and it literally changed the world. Drawing inspiration from Leonardo Davinci, Otto Lillienthal built the first foot-launched hang gliders in the late 1800’s. His wings inspired Octave Chanute and his assistants to make thousands of flights at the turn of the last century on the shores of lake Michigan which led to the Wright Brothers’ remarkable inventions- and humans take to the skies. Orville and Wilbur Wright’s flights in the early 1900’s are still hard to wrap your head around. Imagine picking up a 150 pound glider built out of bamboo and mizzen cloth in 30 miles per hour of wind and actually soaring!

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Episode 54- Dustin Martin and finding the magic

In this wide-ranging and laugh-out-loud episode Dustin Martin takes us through some close calls with tornados (plural!); how to assess a gust front; a brief history of hang gliders; the importance of mentors; how to find good lines; avoiding sink; working light lift; reducing drag; advice for new pilots; chasing world records; sponsorship; being a student and building a foundation; the origins of the Cloudbase Foundation, the dangers of moving to a higher performance wing too fast; what it takes to win; maintaining passion and a TON more. This was one of the most enjoyable discussions we’ve had on the Mayhem, please don’t miss this one!

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Episode 29- Larry Tudor from Scary Origins to Radical Records

Larry Tudor was known as the “Dark Prince” back in the day. We roll the clock way back to 1973 when Larry learned how to fly his first hanglider in the seated position (yep, pre-prone days) on a wing that got a worse glide ratio than today’s smallest speed wings. The stories in this episode are going to make your head spin. Remember when hangies flew the Owens every day in the summer? Guys tumbling out of the sky and not using reserves? Flying without instruments? Larry was the first person to fly over 200 miles (in 1983!) and was the first person to fly over 300 miles. His 308 mile record from Hobbs, New Mexico in 1994 wasn’t beaten for a decade. In the mid 80’s Larry was widely regarded as one of the best hang gliders in the world and this conversation covers a lot of awesome ground. Scary close calls, whorehouses, guns, cowboys, flying in tornados, trouble with the police, flying with air force bombers and early towing nightmares- this podcast is a glimpse into a crazy world of the pioneers who laid the ground in free flight.

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