UPDATE - Summer/ Autumn 2018
I realise I haven’t written anything for a while, so much has happened since my last post and I have so many learnings and experiences to share. In this post I’ll give a brief overview of what I have been up to since July 2018 and where I am now. Over the coming weeks will write additional posts explaining in more details the key parts.
June/July - XC Progress
After spending a week in Annecy in June and doing a couple of 50km flights I knew I had to go back. So towards the end of July I went back for 10 days. I had a few days flying alone before my flying buddy arrived. The days flying alone were pretty successful, achieving a PB of 85km. Once my flying buddy Laurie arrived it was great to fly in a team, we did amazingly well, the first flight was a 62km triangle – After landing we were so happy and started to make a plan for the next day.
The Tree Landing
The plan was to take off relatively early, climb up to La Tournette and go over the back towards Grand Bornand and see how far we could go. It was going so well, we got to Grand Bornand and it was here that I got a collapse very close to a mountain followed by another collapse (read my full post of it here). I ended up in a tree and was very lucky not to have injured myself. The mountain rescue was called and took me to hospital for a check over. I was incredibly lucky not to have injured myself.
Lost Confidence And Getting Back In The Air
Afterwards I lost a lot of confidence and knew it was going to take time to rebuild. After thorough debriefs with numerous pilots I knew I had to get back in the air. My wing was not flyable as the lines were cut so I used the Niviuk Hook (a low B) and did an early morning silky smooth flight. I was terrified on launch, but the flight was good, I managed to ridge soar a little before going to land. This was the start of rebuilding the lost confidence.
Back On The Base
After re-stringing a new line set, the Base was ready to fly again on the last day in Annecy. It was an evening top to bottom, again, silky smooth air and a nice landing. I was glad to have got that first flight on the base done.
August - Work and Fly
August was spent working in Turkey (which was amazing!), midway through the shift we went to Tel-Aviv for a few days, this was my chance to fly again. There just so happened to be a coastal flying site next to the hotel I was staying at. During a long lunch break I jumped in a taxi and went for a float around. It was perfect and a great way to continue to rebuild the confidence.
September - Para-Social
In September I went to Dune du Pyla to hangout with my buddies at Flight Culture. It was so nice to see old familiar faces, hang around on the dune and help tandem pilots in training by being the passenger.
October - Work, SIV and Algo
The next work shift was in Moscow, it was so nice to be back in my little apartment and catching up with Moscow friends. However I definitely felt that the summer was well and truly over. Towards the end of October I headed back to Annecy to do an SIV with Flyeo. I covered – Pitch, roll, rapid exit spiral dive, autorotation with a collapse, collision avoidance and full stalls. It was great! I left feeling confident with my wing. After this I went to Algodonales for a few days, it was lovely to see old familiar faces and fly a site I knew. Sadly the weather wasn’t on our side so there wasn’t any great XC flying.
November - Reserve Throw
Novemeber was spent working in Dubai, another great work shift – I do love teaching English on the beach! Towards the end of November I chose to go to Oludeniz, Turkey for the next para trip. This was super fun, and I managed to get to grips a bit more with the wingovers. Feeling confident but feeling I needed a little bit of tuition I booked an SIV on a pay per flight basis. I ended up throwing my reserve (read why here) during the second SIV flight, it shot my confidence and I spent the rest of the time in Oludeniz taking it easy and rebuilding the confidence.
December - Now!
And that brings me to now, I am back in Moscow where the focus is work, in my spare time I am planning 2019, exploring the local area and embracing the minus temperatures!