Bulletin March 2013

Club Meeting

The next Club meeting is Thursday 11th April at St. Rumon’s.

Minutes of the Last Meeting

Read the minutes of the January meeting here.

Photo Competition

This month’s winner was taken by Angela Coad or Pete Coad or both.

Motoring in Mauritius

Motoring in Mauritius

Quotation of the Month

“What we call the beginning is often the end. And to make an end is to make a beginning. The end is where we start from.” T.S.Eliot.

In my view, in most things we do, you have to decide want you want to achieve at the end before you can start to plan the beginning. It’s the same with flying, work out  what you do in your flight, before you think about taking off.


Runway Runaround.

Disappointingly, only four members turned up to support the Cornwall Air Ambulance event last weekend. Myself, Dredgy, Alan Knight and Michel walked the 4k course in cool and breezy conditions. Initially the toddlers and primary school children left us standing, but after a couple of Kilometres, they began to flag, and we surged in front of them. We finished in the last 10%  of the entrants, but we were carrying our gliders. Michel did really well, keeping up a brisk pace and showing he is almost back to full fitness. It would be nice if those that didn’t attend could ease their conscience’s by making a cash donation to the Air Ambulance. i just hope that you won’t need it’s services one day.

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Fit Cornwall

Raymond has been interviewed and will feature in the next edition of FitCornwall. It is a free bi-monthly magazine. I think you will find it amongst the tourist information stuff at supermarkets etc. The link to the magazine home page is here.


The BHPA latest news release is here. the BHPA Bulletin is here. The events calendar is here, and the BHPA homepage is here. The link to Skywings magazine is here. Download the new BHPA Elementary Training Guide here.

Safety Issues

Take off and landings for paragliders.

I’ve noticed a tendency with some pilots to get into their harness immediately their feet leave the ground on take off and to stay in their harness until the last moment on landing. In my view, although it may look as though you know what you are doing, you cannot know what the wind is going to do as you leave the hill or get near to the ground. It won’t look so good if you end up on your back due to rotor or turbulence. Stay upright out of your harness when launching until you clear the edge of the ridge and keep your controls in your hands at all times. When deciding to land, get out of your harness early. This lets everyone know your intentions, slows your approach and gets you focused on what you are doing.


Paragliding Podcasts by Judith Mole

Geoff Minshull and I have been doing paragliding podcasts since June 2008. Geoff originally had the idea because we needed to investigate podcasting for our online conferencing work and we had to look into the feasibility of recording these remotely. This gave us the idea to try it out with paragliding first…

There were three major reasons why paragliding podcasts would be useful for the free-flying community:

1)      Our former club, the Derbyshire Soaring Club had very well attended talks and club meetings and when we moved to the Long Mynd area we were a little shocked to see club talks attended by only one or two people. In a club as geographically dispersed as the Long Mynd, how could we get useful info to pilots?

2)      At the same time some clubs were running the same talk (Going XC, Meteorology, etc.) every year, which seemed a lot of hassle. Some talks and speakers were highly recommended, but impossible to get to see. Recording them would allow people to have access to this information regardless of physical location and it would also free up speakers and club committee members to develop local and up-to-date talks instead.

3)      People have different learning styles. Much of the information we have included in the podcasts is available in books and magazines, but some people prefer to listen, rather than read. Because the podcasts are online, you can listen to them as many times as you want, when and where you want. In a live talk many people miss information and it’s not repeatable.

The first podcast was with Kai Coleman on XC flying. He has a vast amount of experience in this area and is a former British record holder. The podcast was well received and this encouraged us to carry on producing more. At the beginning we had a lot to learn – how to record, edit and publish the podcasts was all unfamiliar to us. We still sometimes have quality issues during the recording – as they are mostly recorded remotely we have little control over the podcastee’s internet connection, background noise, availability of a headset, etc., although overall the quality is improving significantly. Our thinking on topic choice has so far been based on what we perceived to be possible gaps in a pilot’s knowledge (e.g. alpine flying, flatland flying, flying in wave and competition scoring); useful information (e.g. the psychology talks by Anja Kroll and Tony Spirling, lightweight gear) and general information that would make people better equipped to make choices (e.g. guiding, coaching). There are also a number of general podcasts, for example ”Preparing for the X-Alps” and “The Red Bull X-Alps: The Inside Story”.

There are 32 podcasts to date and a full list can be seen below. They seem to be very popular. Although it is impossible for us to get accurate statistics (because, for example we are unable to get figures for iTunes downloads), we do know that up to late February 2013 we had over 83,000 downloads from our site. People often quote phrases from the podcasts at each other and they have, people have told us, made a difference to their performance. There are also a number of BHPA schools who make them recommended listening for their students. However, one of the nicest bits of feedback we have received was that the English tutor of the air traffic controllers at Brest airport in France uses the podcasts as listening materials on their course. He uses David Thomson’s podcast on coaching mainly, so maybe all the air traffic controllers in the area speak with a strong Glasgow accent!

The podcasts are, of course, free, and there is no advertising on our site. And because people can download them, they can listen to them at home, in the car, on a plane, even sitting on a hill waiting for it to become flyable.

We will continue with the podcasts in the future and have lots of ideas for topics and speakers. However, if you think of a good topic or have a suggestion for a podcastee, please email us at judithm@directlearn.co.uk

And finally, an appeal for some feedback. All the podcastees to date have offered their knowledge and views freely, but they record these into a vacuum. When doing a talk face-to-face it is easy to gauge understanding, whether something needs to be further explained or if everyone has ‘got’ it. Until we get some feedback, we don’t know how well received the podcasts are. So please, if you see one of the presenters and you liked their talk, tell them so and if you really liked it, buy them a beer!

Podcasts to date (the most recent appears first):

  • ‘Serial Class! A 2012 comp season roundup from the ex-open class perspective (Josh Cohn, Nick Greece, Adam Hill, Craig Morgan, Russ Ogden, Yassen Savov and Adrian Thomas, February 2013)
  • ‘Serial Class! A 2012 comp season roundup from the sports/traditional serial class perspective‘ (James Bradley, Mike Miller, Idris Birch and Pat Dower, February 2013)
  • Marshalling and Supporting a Competition (Steve Charlesworth, Sarah Frysol, Alex Hatfield, Alan Horsfield, Barbara St Aubyn and Chris Trow, November 2012)
  • Crossing the Pyrenees Unsupported – a vol bivouac adventure (Dean Crosby and Steve Nash, October 2012)
  • Vol bivouac and lightweight gear – tips and tricks (Steve Nash and Dean Crosby, October 2012 )
  • The Big One (Kirsty Cameron, June 2012)
  • Competition scoring (Jörg Ewald, June 2012)
  • Flatland flying (Steve Ham, May 2012)
  • Breaking the British PG distance record (Richard Carter, September 2011)
  • Flying in wave (Steve Hudson, February 2011)
  • Flying Triangles with (Kai Coleman, July 2010)
  • Improving your flying (Judith Mole, June 2010)
  • Making the most of blue thermal days (Dave Thomas, April 2010)
  • Competing in the British Paragliding Nationals (Martin Dockerill, Wendy Griffiths and Simon Twiss, January 2010)
  • Advanced Thermalling (Kelly Farina, January 2010)
  • Winter Flying (David Thomson, December 2009)
  • Paragliding Guiding with (Toby Colombé, Adam Hill and Kelly Farina, November 2009)
  • Paragliding: A new pilot’s perspective (Melise Harland, August 2009)
  • The Red Bull X-Alps: The Inside Story (Tom Payne, August 2009)
  • Paragliding and the Mind (Tony Spirling, July 2009)
  • Preparing for the X-Alps with (Tom Payne, June 2009)
  • An XC flight from the Malverns – three different perspectives (Wayne Millichope, Geoff Minshull and Judith Mole, May 2009)
  • Alpine Flying (Tom Payne, May 2009)
  • SIV/Pilotage (Pat Dower, Geoff Minshull and Judith Mole, May 2009)
  • Coaching (David Thomson, February 2009)
  • Mental training (Anja Kroll, November 2008)
  • You’ve got your CP – what next? (Mark Dann, September 2008)
  • Flying 100km (Richard Westgate, August 2008)
  • First competition season (Martin Knight, August 2008)
  • Flying in competitions (Nicky Moss, July 2008)
  • Getting your confidence back after an accident (Judith Mole, July 2008)
  • XC tips (Kai Coleman, June 2008)

All podcasts are available from http://www.judithmole.net/blog/?page_id=123.


Forthcoming Events

Pilot Lectures

First of the lectures was held on 27th march at Portreath, A good turnout by students, ex students  and hangers on. Good contributions to the discussion by all attending. You can still come to the lectures  if you missed the first, we will help you catch up. Next lecture Wednesday 3rd April

Video Links

A couple of video about a vehicle mounted payout winch for foot launched gliders.



And something for the  thrill seekers.

The End