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Flying by the light of a full moon. Photo: Adi Geisegger
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Cross Country Issue 208: April 2020

Monday 9 March, 2020

What do you want from free flight? A little daily magic? To push ever further? To become a pro? Whatever your dreams, this issue is about chasing them – safely, efficiently and with the biggest smile on your face.

Paragliding by the light of a full moon. Photo: Adi Geisegger

“The people in the refuge thought they’d seen a UFO. I think they were relieved to discover we were just three ordinary people with a very strange project.” Adi Geisegger reveals how he turned a moonlit winter’s night – and a big dream – into a piece of pure photographic magic.

Swing Helios (EN C) paraglider review. Photo: Erwin Voogt

“This beautiful glider really stands out in its potential for hike-and-fly and adventure flying. It’s light and compact, but still durable, incredibly easy to launch and land in tight spots, and very good at sniffing out lift in light conditions.” Swing’s lightweight EN-C Helios RS performance wing is a great way to see in the new season, says Bastienne Wentzel.

Flying a Nova Mentor 6 Light in the Alps. Photo: Nova

“I’ve yet to have a flight that I recounted for an expert friend where there wasn’t something I missed, something I could’ve done better that I didn’t recognise as an area for improvement. Think of the implications of that!” ‘Intermediate syndrome’ can have dangerous consequences and threaten your development, says Nik Hawks. It’s time to get real!

Colin Leggett in northern Pakistan. Photo: Kieran Campbell

“I’m comfortable in the mountains I guess – landing out, having to walk far. Every time I fly, I’m flying with the gear I need to hike out or spend the night out.” Pilot and climber Colin Leggett reveals how he went from flying newbie to vol-biv pioneer in two extraordinary years.

Paragliding with Theo de Blic. Photo: Fabian Gasteiger

“The list of people who want to take your job is endless and they will do all they can to do so. You have to fight for it, every day until you retire.” Want to go pro? Théo de Blic shares his top tips for turning flying into an honest living that pays for more than just your landing field beers.

Paramotoring above the Blythe Intaglios, California . Photo: Jeff Hamman

“Why would humans create art that is best viewed by powered paraglider long before the powered paraglider was invented?” Who knows, says Jeff Hamann. But flying a paramotor over the world’s most spectacular geoglyphs is pure aerial inspiration.

Paraglider review of the Dudek V King. Photo: Marcus King

“It’s a great all-rounder – not the lightest for hike-and-fly, but easy to pilot, combining the advantages of single-skin wings with nearly the same performance as double-surface wings. And it’s a good option for a bit of paramotoring, too.” The Dudek V-King is a hybrid single-skin wing for free flight and PPG. Let me have a go! says Marcus King.

Paragliding with cloud in El Hierro. Photo: Marcus King

“Fog is a cloud with a heart of stone. It is the worst type of cloud to fly in and grounds most aircraft simply because it is hard to avoid what you can’t see.” Meteorologist Honza Rejmanek on the perils of foggy flying – and how to predict the conditions to avoid.

Hang gliding in Valle de Bravo. Photo: Wolfi Siess

“There’s something so strange and surreal about 30 bug-like creatures simultaneously transitioning from barely organised floating to full on Spartan charge. It’s terrifying, exhilarating, overwhelming.” Sara Weaver travelled to Mexico’s Valle de Bravo to take part in hang gliding’s iconic El Penon Classic Race – and it stole her heart.

Foot dragging by paramotor. Photo: Loren Cox

“Is there a good time to take on the challenge of advancing or pushing your skill level? Absolutely: when you’re passionate and ready. Mostly it comes down to a risk/reward choice that nobody else can make.” Get a coach. Pick benign locations. Build slowly. Powered paragliding guru Jeff Goin reveals how to advance – safely.

Cross Country 208 (April 2020)

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