Episode 139- Rico Chandra and developing Superpowers

Rico Chandra is a Swiss pilot and musician who started flying 28 years ago. He’s recently popped up at the top of XContest and this past August he completed a 1,000 km solo vol biv across the Alps from Zurich to Slovenia. Rico has developed some really fantastic ground rules for keeping it between the lines when flying in his long accident-free history. In this episode we talk about his “superpower” that we should all develop ourselves; appropriate (and inappropriate) gear for a bivvy; preventing procedural mistakes by developing good processes; managing resources; necessary preparation before departure; his “hierarchy of 5 types of bad outcomes”; how we can develop skills to remove peer pressure; and his “rules of thumb” that help define the line when it comes to making decisions.

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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 137- Kirsten Seeto and Making the Jump

Australian pilot Kirsten Seeto has turned her dreams into her reality. By simplifying her life, making some calculated bold decisions, and focusing on airtime over a paycheck and on lifestyle over work she’s carved out what many seek but few achieve. In this wide-ranging inspiring podcast Kirsten shares how we can make flying a lot more inclusive; how to get mentors; the power of being vulnerable; how to behave and interact on launch; finding a mentor; how to approach pilots on launch; why the sport is so dominated by men; creating events that appeal to more pilots rather than just racing for speed; when (and how) to give advice and empowering who you’re giving it to; the importance of role models in the sport…and a lot more

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Episode 136- Rene Falquier and the ABC’s of Glider Design

Many of our listeners have been requesting more shows on gear and especially what goes into wing design. Here you go! Rene Falquier recently completed a year-long aeronautics and engineering thesis with BGD in France. In this episode we dive into how a wing comes to fruition. How much is science vs craft? How much is wing design driven by design philosophy? How does the design process work? And critically- does knowing anything about wing design help us become better pilots? You be the judge! Rene and I had a blast with this show, and I learned a ton.

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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 134- Martin Henry and a lifelong pursuit

Need a good laugh? Kick back and listen to Martin Henry, a Canadian Hang glider and paraglider who has been chasing free flight for almost 50 years tell some really fun stories. Get on board as we travel around the world, learn how to thermal, fly triangles, retrieve your significant other, fly competitions, compete in the Worlds, compete in the Worlds with your wife!, figure it out, crash, tumble, bomb out, send it, learn, and drink a nice cold beer with your friends after yet another wonderful day at cloudbase. This episode is pure joy and filled with tons of great advice and great learning thrown in regardless of where you are in the sport and what you hope to achieve. This show is a BLAST- enjoy!

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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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Bonus Episode- Ask Me Anything with Gavin, your questions answered!

In this bonus episode I take on listener questions. We talk about coring thermals, Red Bull X-Alps preparation, the dream bivvy line, fear injuries, weather planning tools for bivvy flying, line and glider degradation, what qualifies as “big air”, risk changes when you have children, flying performance under pressure, team flying tips, hydration and energy tips for big flights,  how to not be a “freezer” when anxiety jumps, Flow state and transferable skills from other sports, the “Survivor bias” and more!

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Episode 132- Bastienne Wentzel and the Beginner’s Guide to Paragliding

Bastienne Wentzel is a professional science writer, editor of Lift magazine and assistant pilot instructor based in the Netherlands. A few years ago she became frustrated with the lack of comprehensive, correct information available for newer pilots trying to learn to fly and decided to write an instructional book in Dutch. It was such a hit that the team at Cross Country magazine, headed up by Ed Ewing decided to take three years re-writing and editing her original book in English.

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Episode 131- Ferdinand Van Shelven takes on his 5th X-Alps

Ferdinand (aka “Ferdy”) Van Shelven, “The Flying Dutchman” is returning for his 5th Red Bull X-Alps this June. Ferdy has been in the top 7 in all of his previous 4 campaigns from 2011 to 2017. How has a pilot from the flatlands of the Netherlands become so competitive in the toughest race on Earth? We explore his flying philosophy; his approach to risk; the dynamic with his wife Nicole supporting him in the race; the right head-space for something as huge as the X-Alps; how his approach will change in this edition; the good and bad side of ignorance; some of the sketchy situations he’s experienced in the race; how to follow your instincts and a lot more.

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