i've given up paragliding. sold 2/3 of my kit already (my somewhat-but-not-totally old and very little used glider is still for sale - my older-than-remembered but totally unused reserve is not for sale, as i don't know what to do with it).

i miss being in the air. a lot. i don't miss the perpetual worries and the feeling of utter helplessness - not if, but when - the moving masses of air take control out of your hands. i also don't miss not having become yet another data point in the PG accident statistics.

so, for now, that's it. flat earth. blue sky. me dreaming.

i hope to return, but if it happens it'll likely be in something more rigid than a paraglider.

[ published on Wed 13.05.2015 20:14 | filed in interests/flying | ]

...is almost as good as flying like an eagle. Especially when it's a mellow fellow like this one: today Andrew and I were enjoying a late arvo soar above Beechmont when a substantial wedge-tail joined us from below, effortlessly closed in and, after some lazy circles with/around us, disappeared into the sunset :-)

 eagle above my wing eagle above beechmont andrew and eagle above beechmont andrew and eagle above beechmont
[ published on Thu 25.04.2013 00:37 | filed in interests/flying | ]

Yesterday was pretty nice for care-free afternoon ridge-soaring at Beechmont. Pleasant enough to take some photos, in fact (something that you don't get to do if the air is rough).

so here's Drew(?), a newly addicted flier having fun.

 drew beechmont

And that's me floating around in my lawnchair.

 az over beechmont az over beechmont az over beechmont az over beechmont az over beechmont

And Pete, in his equivalent of a camp stool (=superlightweight harness).

 pete over beechmont pete over beechmont
[ published on Thu 27.01.2011 12:50 | filed in interests/flying | ]

...just single-minded focus on the one thing that matters: not stuffing up that landing.

 enten im anflug az toplanding at montes az approach az toplanding jessica toplanding
[ published on Fri 10.12.2010 15:04 | filed in interests/flying | ]

A few months ago Rob gave me his gumstick camera when he upgraded, and since then I've been thinking about recording some flights. These cameras are dirt-cheap (a few dollars on ebäh) and not bad spec-wise, this one records 640x480@30fps onto a microsd card. Lots of variants and they all look like this.

Last weekend I finally tried it out, velcro/rubber-banded to my helmet's chin guard, and the results are quite ok. Primarily I did it for Conny, but others might want to see how paragliding looks like from my perspective (but of course there's lots more interesting pilot videos out there!).
click here for the rest of the story...

[ published on Wed 01.12.2010 13:21 | filed in interests/flying | ]

...of three weeks ago when I last had an opportunity to do so (sigh). Bringing my Personal Photographer (Conny) with me got me a few pics of myself having fun. The site was Beechmont.

 az setting up az setting up az angedirndlt az angedirndlt

Being the over-imaginative chickenshit that I am, I usually let some other guinea pig take off first. Seems to work, I haven't had any accidents in nine years of (way too little) flying.

 az prepping az setup beechmont az setup beechmont az prepping at beechmont az launching beechmont az launching beechmont az launching beechmont

Alas, the Personal Photographer immediately forgot my glider colours once I was in the air, concentrated on her book and hence took only pics of Todd and Kevin, but none of me - except one, with Kevin up high and me working my way back up (just after launch).

She also missed my landing, but that wasn't a great loss: southerly winds means northerly approach over the power lines and my slightly rough fly-against-the-wall landing didn't really have to be recorded.

 az kevin beechmont az landed conny lord helmchen
[ published on Fri 30.07.2010 13:55 | filed in interests/flying | ]
 new wing

I've got a new toy, and I love it. It's an Advance Epsilon 6/28.

Some other pics taken last Friday and Sunday:

 paul mccullough at beechmont andrew cooper above beechmont andrew cooper above beechmont
[ published on Thu 10.12.2009 11:40 | filed in interests/flying | ]

Yesterday started rainy and windy but got quite nice later on.
click here for the rest of the story...

[ published on Sun 16.03.2008 19:55 | filed in interests/flying | ]

Last Saturday I finally managed to meet up with Ben and Mel (and Thomas) to visit one of the Byron Bay / Northern Rivers PG sites.
click here for the rest of the story...

[ published on Thu 13.03.2008 00:06 | filed in interests/flying | ]

Geeks are suckers, perfectionists like me even more so. But even I learn: I've had enough of doing the web and registration backend work and hosting for the Canungra Cup, they can look for another idiot who does the work for nothing. Come the 31.10. and I will flush the site down the drain, and GOOD RIDDANCE! Well, SEP.

In other club-related news, they've decided to ban RC planes at Beechmont, for "safety reasons". Damn but this sucks!

[ published on Mon 24.09.2007 17:23 | filed in interests/flying | ]

It's not an eagle but a hawk, but it serves as Eagle Airlines for some nasty blackbirds.

Photos by Alan Stankevitz, whose webshite sucks (flash-infested eye cancer) but whose photos rock!

(via the OZ report)

[ published on Thu 21.06.2007 21:50 | filed in interests/flying | ]

...in addition to flying yourself. I have a new toy, for the days when it's not nice (enough) to fly myself. But like all the toys that I like, it requires loads of tinkering and a little bit of skill. It's a radio-controlled glider.
click here for the rest of the story...

[ published on Thu 01.03.2007 23:51 | filed in interests/flying | ]

This weekend was crap. Yesterday blown out, today early morning downpours, clouds, wind, some drizzle later on; in the late arvo it cleared but I don't think the wind speed was low enough to fly and it was too late anyway.

So what does one do when it's unflyable? Well, from next week onwards I will have a radio-controlled glider -- again, almost 20 years after the first one. No more unflyable days!

But what I did yesterday amongst other things, was to fix up my radio setup -- nicely, I think.
click here for the rest of the story...

[ published on Sun 18.02.2007 19:49 | filed in interests/flying | ]

I haven't had any decent flying since February or so. The stats are fairly ugly.


Last week we had the Canungra Cup in the area; I had taken the week off and was hoping for at least some XC flying with the retrieves arranged.

The Friday before the comp I got sick, something flu-ish with fever and general crookedness. Saturday, Sunday and partially Monday the others flew and I sweated feverish and slept. Tuesday and Wednesday I was on the hill but didn't like the conditions much, thus didn't fly. Thursday I did fly, but only a sleddie; it was a bit rough out there and I didn't fight much against being dumped in the bombout. Friday and Saturday I didn't even drive up to Canungra, because I didn't want to fly anymore: no motivation, only general depression. Didn't go to the presentation dinner either, as I had no wish to see any of the (mostly happy) 69 other pilots at all.

Taken altogether, this sucks plenty. I have no idea how I'll get back into the saddle.

In other not-yet-news, I ordered the steerable reserve from Switzerland two weeks ago; eagerly awaiting the delivery...

[ published on Mon 09.10.2006 00:32 | filed in interests/flying | ]

...I've been flying again, yesterday arvo. Finally!
click here for the rest of the story...

[ published on Tue 19.09.2006 21:14 | filed in interests/flying | ]

If you've got a good answer to that, let me know. Mine currently is a little bit weird, being: "life? not very much. less likelihood of major injuries: quite a bit"
click here for the rest of the story...

[ published on Tue 12.09.2006 17:27 | filed in interests/flying | ]

It does get a bit cold at nights now (+5°C last few days on the coast, with frost inlands) but the days are still nice at up to 22°C and, predominantly, sunny. That's the kind of winter I like nowadays.

Some flying pics; last weekend we were rushing from site to site and mostly parawaiting as in the first pic. This weekend wasn't lots better but a bit: Saturday was blown out, Sunday was very south but still good enough for Beechmont. I got an hour of airtime and took some pics of Marty and Phil.

 2006_05_27-parawaiting.jpg  2006_06_04-marty-beechmont-launching-gone.jpg  2006_06_04-marty-beechmont.jpg  2006_06_04-phil-against-gc.jpg

I've also got two short movie clips (taken with the digital camera, so they suck) of Rob at Killarney two weeks ago and one of Phil launching at Beechmont today.

[ published on Mon 05.06.2006 02:00 | filed in interests/flying | ]

This weekend was one of those DNF ones, with loads of annoyance thrown in.
click here for the rest of the story...

[ published on Mon 29.05.2006 12:49 | filed in interests/flying | ]

Last Sunday (12.3. - the 19th still counts as this Sunday) I was pretty lucky and very close to ending up in the hospital or worse. The dangerous phases of any flying are the beginning and the end, because if there's trouble you've got little to no time to deal with it. Botched launches and landings are what kills you, with the likelihood of terminal problems flying high a lot lower (e.g. thunderstorms, freezing, oxygen-deprivation).
click here for the rest of the story...

[ published on Mon 20.03.2006 17:16 | filed in interests/flying | ]

...as it is nice outside right now (32°C, water temp about 23°), but a bit too windy from the NW.
click here for the rest of the story...

[ published on Fri 23.12.2005 11:17 | filed in interests/flying | ]

Yesterday one of my friends crashed badly and will spend quite some time in hospital getting some crushed vertebrae repaired. Three weeks ago another local pilot crashed at the same site; he's had a number of surgeries fixing a broken pelvis, arm and so on. A few days earlier, a hotshot pilot crashed a few hundred kilometers north of here; he will also spend a long time hospitalised.

And despite that, we keep flying. Even the ones in hospital come back more often than not.

If you look at this impassionately, you can only conclude that we're all suicidal idiots: we know it's dangerous, we see friends getting hurt and still we can't keep from doing it.

Why? I don't really know. I think it is a mixture of addiction and avoidance. The addiction pulls us back into the air, while avoiding to dwell on the dangers allows us to not freeze up shit-scared when flying (which is a good thing as freezing up will surely compound most minor incidents).

It must be a bit similar to how other people in dangerous occupations cope. I've read that fighter pilots among others have this ego thing down pat: while knowing a lot of dangerous stuff happens, one just doesn't believe that it'll be him having a problem. It feels similar with free flyers, motorbike riders etc.

Update (Mon 31.10.2005 15:35):

Thanks to the wonders of modern medicine, Paul is back home and walking - after one operation on his spine and only 6 days in hospital and. A speedy full recovery is what I wish him!

[ published on Mon 24.10.2005 14:21 | filed in interests/flying | ]

click here for the rest of the story...

[ published on Sat 18.06.2005 00:31 | filed in interests/flying | ]

You'd better, if you want to pass the HGFA exam for an advanced rating (paragliding or hanggliding). I found this quite amusing.
click here for the rest of the story...

[ published on Tue 07.06.2005 14:10 | filed in interests/flying | ]

and I reach the 100 hour mark. And all of it is inland flying.
click here for the rest of the story...

[ published on Wed 01.06.2005 21:55 | filed in interests/flying | ]

Yes, I had a good day: I did 23.1km from Beechmont to Beaudesert.
click here for the rest of the story...

[ published on Sun 03.04.2005 00:14 | filed in interests/flying | ]

click here for the rest of the story...

[ published on Mon 28.02.2005 12:34 | filed in interests/flying | ]

I just couldn't resist plotting things. That's total airtime and airtime per week (x 10 in order to see something).

[ published on Fri 25.02.2005 22:56 | filed in interests/flying | ]

I'm sure the residents of Bambling Rd near Canungra didn't exactly expect humans rain down on them but weirder things have happened.

Ivan, one of the club's more experienced pilots had a close call yesterday. He was flying his Boomerang as usual, just a bit away from Tamborine launch when everything went pear-shaped quickly and he had to throw his reserve parachute. Which did open, and did slow him down and kept him from going splat.

I was in the air at that time, too, didn't see the events prior to the reserve opening but kept Ivan in sight after Mark had gone on the radio letting people know of the trouble.

Luckily Ivan didn't hit any powerlines, the main road or any of the houses close by as he touched down, nor did he end up in the trees - which might have been better: he hit the ground hard enough to injure his ankles somewhat.

I didn't much feel like flying yesterday anyway, so I landed shortly after he had given us an "I'm okay" on the radio. Some others did continue onwards and had nice flights; I just launched for another short flight later in the arvo.

Hours tally: 82.6hrs.

[ published on Mon 07.02.2005 13:38 | filed in interests/flying | ]

I started paragliding in late December 2001, and at first didn't really get a lot of airtime unfortunately.
click here for the rest of the story...

[ published on Tue 18.01.2005 23:15 | filed in interests/flying | ]

...is what I've had this weekend.
click here for the rest of the story...

[ published on Mon 13.09.2004 11:35 | filed in interests/flying | ]

newer... older...

Debian Silver Server
© Alexander Zangerl