Dear Fellow Pilot,
You may not be having an easy time of it at the moment, during this epidemic. It may feel like you’ve been sucked inside a towering cumulus, turned upside down in the white room, and spat out the other side. Or it may feel like you’re in a low save over unlandable terrain, going round and round in the shade, the vario stuck at -0.1 m/s, while everyone behind you skies out!
To help out with a bit of light relief, we’re putting together lots of content for ALL pilots to read for free – whether you’re a subscriber or not. We’ve made our 2020 Travel Guide available to all, and we’ve also put together a Classic Flying Stories email series for you to access an epic tale every day for a week. Our editor, Ed Ewing, is currently putting together a schedule of excellent articles for xcmag.com over the coming few weeks, too.
If you want more, perhaps you’d consider joining the thousands of our lovely readers and subscribing? We’ve been going since 1988, entirely thanks to the support of subscribers in over 100 countries who enjoy both the insightful technique and technology articles by our columnists and the incredible flying and adventure stories from all four corners of the world – the Alps to the Aussie outback.
We’re giving all new subscribers instant access to over 500 pages of content to enjoy. We’ll send you the five most recent issues of Cross Country in digital format.
The pack of digital issues you’ll receive includes lots of scientific, weather and technique articles. For me, some of the highlights are:
- Assessing Wind in Complex Terrain – by Honza Rejmanek
- Maintaining a Margin – Gavin McClurg on the specifics of how not to become a statistic
- Cloud Streets 101 – understanding convection and windflow
- Intermediate Syndrome – Nik Hawks on how to progress safely past the first 100 hours
- When Time Slows Down – understanding critical moment responses, by Steve Taylor, senior lecturer in psychology
- Why Gut Feel Matters (and when to listen to it) – by Chrigel Maurer. He knows!
- Australia’s Wild Fires – understanding the phenomena through satellite imagery
- When to Advance – how to progress through challenges, by Jeff Goin
- Multiple Radius Turnpoints – new ideas in competition tasks
- Reserve Safety – Dr Matt Wilkes on the latest findings in what makes a safe reserve design
- Understanding 3D Panel Shaping – insight from designer Bruce Goldsmith
- Cbs, Microbursts and Virga – explaining what’s behind the dangers
- Groundhandling for Kids – the techniques of teaching youngsters the basics, safely
The stack of issues also includes lots of good stories by pilots from across the planet. Some of my favourites are by pilots who really get under the skin of the sport – and why we do it – and they include:
- In Praise of Slow – Barney Woodhead stops chasing and gets to know flying again
- Rocketmen – Franky Zapata describes flying with jet packs and hoverboards
- 21 Years of Bir – a photo-story love letter by Jerome Maupoint
- Out of Mongolia – Nick Greece goes in search of peace and cloudbase among the nomads
- Top of the World – Yael Margelisch’s story of breaking the women’s world distance record
- Altitude with Attitude – Kirsten Seeto on why women’s fly-ins matter
- What3Words – James Allen on the new technology that helped him after a deployment
- 17 Minutes on K2 – Max Berger’s story from flying from 8000 m K2
- Samson and the Snail – Laurent Thevenot on a four-day adventure through France
- Mission Mt Blanc – Richard Barber joins last summer’s mass-flocking to Chamonix
- Under an Arctic Sun – A three-week long vol-bivouac through the far north of Alaska, by Jeff Shapiro
- The Slow Road to Ticino – Two old friends slow down and reconnect on this weekend bike-and-fly through Switzerland
- Tow Club – Koen Vancampenhoudt on how to set up a successful winching club
- Valley of the Kings – How Mexico’s Valle de Bravo stole Sara Weaver’s heart
We’ll also send you over 50 pages of glider, instrument and harness reviews. There are too many to list, but you’ll get reviews of the Nova Mentor 6, Air Design Vivo, Dudek Run and Fly, Air Design Susi, Ozone Geo 6, Supair Leaf 2, U-Turn Morpheus, Naviter Blade, Gin Leopard, Phi Maestro, Sir Edmund Race, Icaro Parus 2, Niviuk Roamer 2, Le GPS Bip+, Swing Helios, Dude V-King, Naviter Oudie 5. We also put the Spot Bluetooth and Garmin InReach head-to-head. Spoiler alert: the InReach wins!
You’ll get access to all the above and more straight away. Over the next year we’ll then send you the next ten issues in whatever format you choose. Even if you airmail services get disrupted due to Covid-19 we’re guaranteeing all subscribers (print, digital and combo) the next three issues in digital format to guarantee timely delivery.
You’ll also be enrolled for our annual Summer Subscribers’ Prize Draw – you’ll be in with the chance of winning a brand new glider of your choice, plus top instruments and more. Something to keep in the cupboard till we can fly, anyhow!
Thanks for reading this far. We’re in this magazine because we’re passionate about flying and the community, first and foremost. It doesn’t matter if you can afford to subscribe or not, we want to get as much content out for free as possible so do check out the Travel Guide, Classic Flying Stories series and more articles and videos to come.
And, as ever in this challenging time, we appreciate the support of all our subscribers and hope you’ll consider joining us.
Meanwhile, if it’s a good sky, and you’re in lockdown… DON’T LOOK UP! It won’t be for long…
With best wishes
Publisher, Cross Country Magazine