Flight Stories

Flying Life: teaching Gurkhas to fly in Nepal

Flybubble Team Pilot Alistair Andrews shares the joys of paragliding in Nepal. "After a blinding flying season in 2015, although hopeful, I never expected 2016 to match it. Work was more intense, I spent some time overseas both flying and not, I got married and even lost my job towards the end of the season! I was very lucky to be offered a trip to Nepal to teach some Gurkhas to fly."

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Hang-gliding Until The Mountains End

Last year, Dale Lippstreu flew 268km in South Africa on his ATOS (Class 5 rigid wing hang glider).

Although longer flights are often achieved across the South African interior, this is an exceptional flight for the mountainous region of the Western Cape, where the technical challenges usually end flights well before 200km.

Dale shares some insight into achieving this flight.

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Just Another Little Cloud

'I thought I should speak on the radio, telling the guys "I'm in the cloud, I can't get out, I'm scared..."

But then what? Which cloud? And anyway, no-one could help me.

I felt really alone and very small.'

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Devils Dyke to Margate XC 6th August 2016

A very enjoyable paragliding cross country flight from Devils Dyke in East Sussex to Margate, via Ashford and Canterbury, in Kent.

Pretty tricky getting up – and then staying up – at first, eventually rewarded by a wonderful experience soaring up the side of some beautiful sea breeze front clouds. Then great fun gaggle-flying with a nice group of pilots to Lewes and beyond. Rather than shoot off ahead on our own, Mark and I decided it’d be more fun to stay with the gaggle and see how far we could all get together. Flying an Enzo 2 (competition wing), Mark was literally flying rings around us at times – like taking a collie dog out for a walk in the country! 😉

Lovely, lovely day! 🙂

See Carlo’s flight tracklog

2015 UK Paragliding XC Season

Flying cross country in the UK offers many challenges and special experiences.

Carlo Borsattino summarises the action from the most successful XC season in history ... grab a cuppa and enjoy the lengthy report at your leisure.

There's lots to learn from reviewing the days that worked well, and what pilots chose to do.

The Pilots' Tales section offers a unique perspective from some of the leading pilots in the UK.

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XPYRIENCE: A volbiv adventure

What's it like taking on the mountains with nothing but an aircraft that runs on air?

Greg Hamerton attempts a solo traverse of the Pyrenees via paraglider and discovers the magnitude and magic of a road less travelled.

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Flight: Trying A New Angle

Greg Hamerton attempts a 50km triangle from Combe Gibbet on 25/03/2015. The prediction: light winds of steady direction, cumulus clouds with reasonable height, thermals and no inversions. The UK Paragliding XC facebook page was alive with excitement, so I knew I'd be in good company at Combe Gibbet.

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Bo Peep Triangle 10th March 2015

Today I had my first proper flight on the Niviuk Artik 4. I also flew without my Oudie 3 for the first time in ages and I have to say felt rather NAKED without it! 

Nancy, Greg and I started at Firle at around 9:30, where it was nicely on the hill and soarable. We soon managed to get enough height to cross the small forest to the east of launch and fly to Firle Beacon. 

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87km by Paraglider in UK Winter!

It's generally agreed by most freeflight pilots - paragliders and hang gliders - that the cross country (XC) season in northern Europe starts in April.

For example, the UK Paragliding XC League (UKPGXCL) runs a Winter League which ends on 31st March 2015, despite Spring officially starting on the 1st of March in the northern hemisphere.

This doesn't seem to tie up with reality as a lot of big flights are flown in northern Europe in March every year.

However very few notable XC flights have been flown in February in the UK, with the biggest recorded on the UKPGXCL before 2015 being 55km by Simon Twiss in February 2014.

The weather forecasts for Friday 27th February 2015 showed it looking very good for free flying in the south of England with some potential for XC but the risk of it being a bit breezy for paragliding. Could this turn out to be a big February day?

The best way to find out was to give it a try... 

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