“We had to abandon our comfortable bivouac at 3,000m after a storm. Our mule almost got stuck and we had to help it walk down, carrying our own bags at the steep parts.” Exploring Morocco’s High Atlas is no cakewalk, but the peaks are a paradise for adventurous pilots. Veteran Jérôme Maupoint takes us on a tour of the region’s spectacular highlights.
“The trend for lightweight wings is getting stronger and stronger. For me, the only real disadvantage, except for the cost, is tear resistance. Land in a tree or have a fight with a fence and you’ll soon notice the difference.” Bruce Goldsmith explains why light is right … as long as you look where you’re going.
Flying from the Dolomites’ Col Rodella in autumn can be an object lesson in aerial mayhem. But you needn’t jostle with the madding crowd to experience the region’s mindboggling paragliding potential. Felix Wölk has discovered another, quieter way – “just don’t forget to look around and enjoy the moment”.
“The Mentor 5 had no right to survive in these touch-and-go, light conditions, but slowly we crept up – and took the ride right up to the edge of airspace. There is no doubt about its performance. The climb in the weak stuff, even when it is broken, is truly impressive.” Pat Dower gives the nod to Nova’s high end B – but finds it does have a wild side.
Track your progress, set goals – and keep pushing. Our in-house acro whizzkid, Théo de Blic, shares his top tips for mastering those tricks.
“The drones are coming, and the decisions about how they will operate, who can pilot them, and where they can go are being made right now.” Drones are the new kids on the block, so we’ll all meet one sooner or later. We went behind the scenes to discover everything you need to know.
“The writer in me struggles to describe the sensation of being under those monster cloud streets high above the Ceara flatlands.” It’s back to the breach for James Johnston as he continues his epic tale of man versus Quixada – and his quest to fly further than any Kiwi has flown before.
“I do believe wild spaces are sacred – they are infinitely complex ecosystems that are certainly more beautiful than the inside of any church I’ve been in.” Photographer Ben Depp tells how he braves alligators, clouds mosquitoes – and a slightly dodgy paramotor – to capture the exquisite beauty of Louisiana’s vanishing coastline.
Anyone for a flight at the Barrel of Death? Just pack your speedwing and book a flight to Crimea. Alexander Deyev takes us on a breathtaking tour of the peninsula and explains why it’s a magnet for the speedflying set.
“I did wonder if this wing would be the hang gliding equivalent of a donkey in a steeplechase … but it’s just a lovely, lovely glider.” Richard Sheppard goes for a whirl on the mid-range Moyes Gecko – and finds it’s the start of a beautiful bromance.
“Doubling the wind speed can quadruple the strength and viciousness of the turbulence.” All pilots need to keep an eye on the dangers of strengthening wind, says meteorologist Honza Rejmanek, so let the skies be your guide. Lesson one: watch out for those lenticulars.
“I guess I accidentally invented the FlipNStall. One day I leant back after pulling a dynamic full stall and it felt as though you could easily backflip. It turned out to be quite simple and it’s now listed as an FAI manoeuvre.” AirSickAcro brothers, Allen and Shane Tigue tell how they made the grade on the synchro acro circuit.
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