Donizete Lemos flew 478km in Brazil on 5 November – making it the second longest flight ever flown by paraglider.
His flight is the longest in what has so far been a storming season in South America, with numerous 300km flights and several big 400km whoppers.
Donizete flew from Tacima in the north east of Brazil almost due west, landing to the north and west of the town of Juazeiro do Norte. His flight took 11:15hrs at an average speed of 43.53km/h. See the tracklog here.
In the air with him for much of the flight was Samuel Nascimento, who covered 454.18km.
Conditions were strong during the flight, with 10m/s+ climbs and 5-6m/s sink.
Tacima is not the traditional jumping off point for big flights in Brazil – that is Quixada, further north.
However, it has quickly gained a reputation amongst Brazilian big-distance hunters for its potential.
Karel Vejchodsky from the Czech Republic knows the area well. “We spent two weeks exploring the area around Tacima in October and it’s clear it is one of the best places to fly record distances,” he said.
“We flew four flights there over 400km long. The best was 457km, and Donizete flew his flight after our departure.”
Karel flew three 400km flights in a week: 437km on 23 October, 457km on 25 October and 405km on 1 November. Friend Tomas Soudek meanwhile flew 340km, 418km and 386km from Tacima on those days. See Karel’s tracklogs.
While Tacima has been the place to be, Quixada has also seen plenty of action. As well as dozens of 300km flights, Philipp Steinger (CH) flew 411km on 17 October. Switzerland’s Pascal Bissig currently leads the XContest after his season in Quixada where he racked up four 300km flights and two big 200km flights.
Flying the flag for Britain meanwhile, Richard Perkes and Alex Butler set a new UK distance to goal record with a 285km flight. That beat the previous UK best of 280km, set by Matt Church in Quixada in 2012. Richard went on to land at Piripiri at 318km while Alex landed at Lagoa de Sao Francisco at 305km.
Donizete Lemos’s flight has been submitted to the FAI as a new South American record. A member of the Brazilian paragliding team heading to Colombia for the World Championships in January next year his flight has got the Brazilian party started. The team have launched a crowd-funding campaign to get them all to Colombia through www.abvl.net.
The flight is the second longest paragliding flight ever. The world record distance of 503km was set from a tow launch by Nevil Hulett in South Africa in 2008, before the two-liner revolution.
Since then pilots have been trying to break the 500km mark for the second time, with many pilots heading to Quixada in Brazil with the intention of doing just that. However, with less than 12 hours daylight, average speed has to be very high – 45 km/h for more than 11 hours.
The site allows pilots to launch very early, before 8am, and fly until sunset at 5.30pm.
Looking for more hours in the day and greater average speed however, some big-distance pilots have switched their attention from Quixada to Zapata in Texas, USA. The site of the hang gliding world record at 761km, Luc Armant (FR) flew 463km here at a record encampment in July 2014, averaging 48km/h in just under 10 hours. Tracklog.
The same week saw Russell Ogden (GB) fly three 400km+ flights in three days. Compared with Quixada the site offers greater potential for longer days in the middle of the year and faster average speeds.
Otto Schulz keeps a note of the longest paraglider flights in the world on Paragliding Forum:
502.9km, Nevil Hulett, 14 Dec 2008, South Africa (current world record)
478km, Donizete Lemos, 5 November 2014, Tacima,
463.1km, Luc Armant, 2 July 2014, Hebronville, Texas
462.4km, Olympio Faissol, 22 October 2012, Quixada, Brazil
462.3km, Hernan Pitocco, 22 October 2012, Quixada, Brazil
462km, Frank Brown, 22 October 2012, Quixada, Brazil (no track log)
461.6km, Marcelo Prieto, 14 November 2007, Quixada (joint world record)
461.6km, Frank Brown, 14 November 2007, Quixada (joint world record)
461.6km, Rafael Saladini, 14 November 2007, Quixada (joint world record)
461km, Samuel Nasciemento, 22 October 2012, Quixada, Brazil
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