Great flights and personal bests … Cross Country can’t guarantee you get into the air on every epic day, but we can help you make the most of the flights you do make. Here’s what’s in issue 190 (June 2018).
“I don’t want to judge people, but most paragliding pilots that I have met over the years are pretty darn cool. Competitions are excellent opportunities to meet new people and run into them again in different places (although hopefully not in the air).” Competition sceptic Koen Vancampenhoudt explains how he was finally won over by competitive flying.
“The angle of incidence of any harness is absolutely critical. An absolutely horizontal position is best, and any feet-down angle just destroys performance.” Kortel designer Max Jeanpierre talks to Hugh Miller about how harnesses and fairings can maximise your glide.
“I was overwhelmed and tired. In fact, it was the most demanding flight I’d ever done. But then I’d flown 173km, more than doubling my 2016 women’s open distance record. After all the doubts, it was quite a plot twist.” When Kinga Masztalerz set out on a solo vol-biv across New Zealand’s Southern Alps she never could have imagined the highs – and lows – she’d experience along the way.
“The main objective is to help the pilot make the right decisions. If the pilot has no collapses, then they have no warning of what to expect. The danger is that the pilot gets no collapses and then is surprised by a huge one, which can end in an incident.” Bruce Goldsmith explains the concept of progressive stability – and how it can help to make better, safer pilots.
“I could tell you plenty of stories but one of the most memorable happened two or three years into my paragliding career when I crashed into a tree. I’d ended up in a narrow valley and by the time I realised I couldn’t find any lift and the exit was slightly elevated, I had 10-15 seconds to choose a tree.” Last year’s Red Bull X-Alps breakout star Simon Oberrauner talks about the biggest flights of his life, the tree landing that taught him a valuable lesson – and how he recovered to win a Bordairrace on a borrowed wing just three days later.
“So what size of prop do you actually want? I would say take the largest possible.” Scout Paramotor’s Miroslav Švec explains that when it comes to your propeller, bigger is usually better.
“Two-liners will always pull away flatter towards the horizon at three-quarters bar, but in the right hands, choosing the right lines, and on the right day, you’ll do very well on a Queen 2 … This is a golden age for XC wings.” Hugh Miller test flies 777’s latest EN-C sports-class glider – and has a right royal time.
“I think when you do the things you love, then naturally they will bring you somewhere.” Fabian Equey loves the outdoors – and his stunning photography captures that passion in thrilling high resolution. He talks to us about how to capture the fireworks of free-flight and adventure sports.
“As soaring pilots, we often strive to develop a mental model of daytime flow which gets intricate as thermals turn on. As thermals turn off, we want to have a sense of how upslope flow gives way to downslope flow. The nice thing is that katabatic flow is actually easier to envision.” Cross Country’s meteorologist Honza Rejmanek gives a masterclass on how to read downslope winds – and whether it’s safe to make those end of the day sled rides.
“The Rise 3 is a good glider, with 100% usable performance. The turn is beautiful, pitch stability is reassuring, and the speed – I was actually laughing when flying at full bar because of the acceleration.” We head to cloudbase on AirDesign’s high-EN B Rise and find it light, well-behaved and a whole lot of fun.
“The difference between two pilots is not the equipment they have or the knowledge they possess, but the amount of available mental bandwidth they have. If it’s taken up with worry, it will stop helpful information being processed and knowledge being recalled.” Malin Lobb reveals how to recognise anxiety – and then manage it so your mind can focus on the tasks that will really develop your flying.
“Now that Bruce is gone, I realise we must be more urgent in giving attention and love and joy to our community. If we don’t, we fall victim to the same scenario time and time again, believing life is infinite and our community permanent.” Gavin McClurg mourns the loss of his dear friend Bruce Marks – and reflects on how we all need to focus more on the people around us.
“Few things stir it up more than blurting out, ‘I’m going to teach myself, what gear should I buy?’” Is it ever wise to home school yourself to fly a paramotor? Unsurprisingly, Jeff Goin has a few strong thoughts on the issue.
“This is an excellent competition harness, which gives a really balanced, precise feel to your flying, damping out the unnecessary rock and roll. It is very greedy on bag space – I needed therapy after trying to fit it into my comp bag – but all in all, it’s an amazing package.” €2,200 for a harness? Luke Nicol aims high in Kortel’s Kanibal Race II competition harness and finds that it’s worth its weight in gold.