Welcome to the podcast page!

All podcasts are copyright of the interviewee, and Judith Mole. However, you are welcome to download the MP3 versions for personal use only, and to provide links to this page (i.e. not to the podcast directly) from your own web site. For any other use, you need to check first with judithm@directlearn.co.uk

You can now subscribe to our podcasts via iTunes. See Subscribe links on the right for more info.

If you have any suggestions for podcasts (content and/or interviewees), or any other comments, please do contact us by email.

Podcast title
MP3 version
Ten Random Questions for… Tim-Patrick Meyer

The latest in our series of fortnightly podcasts called Ten Random Questions for… is with Tim-Patrick Meyer from Germany. He learnt to fly in Chile and has since competed in various events, including a pre-PWC where he succeeded in getting onto the podium in the sports class. At the Paraglider have come up with 250 flying-related questions and put them into a random question generator. Tim-Partick’s questions included queries about his flying dreams, a flight that still makes him smile and whether he would fly without a parachute? 13 mins (April 2016)

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Flying when Pregnant 

In this podcast I talk to Ruth Churchill-Dower and Judy Leden from the UK, Heidi Insam from Italy and Elli Törrö from Finland. This podcast is one of two about paragliding and motherhood. Many women give up the sport when they become mothers. This may be due to a greater perceived risk, a greater feeling of responsibility or because of lack of sleep and time. For these two podcasts I have spoken to Elli, Heidi, Judy and Ruth, all of whom decided not to give up. All flew during their pregnancy and have continued to fly, compete, work as tandem pilots and instructors as their children have grown up. In this first podcast I will look at flying and pregnancy and in the second we will discuss motherhood, child care arrangements, responsibility and taking your kids with you to fly. 15 mins (April 2016)

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Ten Random Questions for… Matthew Tandy

At The Paraglider we have started a new series of fortnightly podcasts called Ten Random Questions for… We have come up with 250 flying-related questions and put them into a random question generator. We then interviewed a number of pilots and this week’s guest is Matthew Tandy, organiser of the Advance British Clubs Challenge. He has been flying since 1993 and is a professional helicopter pilot for the Royal Air Force. His questions included where was the most unusual place he’s had a flying related bruise, whether he’s ever missed an important event to go flying or XC and whether he has ever shouted at someone in the air. Enjoy! 9 mins (April 2016)

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Ten Random Questions for… Lee Tryhorn

Our latest series of podcasts is called Ten Random Questions for… We have come up with 250 flying-related questions and have fed these into a random question generator. Each fortnight we interview a pilot using ten randomly selected questions. The results are interesting, educational, insightful and sometimes hilarious. No two sets of questions are ever the same. We start our series with Lee Tryhorn, proprietor of the Free Flight Academy, a paragliding school and guiding service which operates all over the world. Lee is a keen acro pilot and he has some interesting tales to tell! 11 mins (March 2016)

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Making Good Launch Decisions with Judith Mole

In this podcast I examine how we make decisions, what influences our decision making process and looks at ways we can make better decisions. Drawing on research from economics, psychology and neuroscience, I explain how the  brain works and apply good general practice to a flying context and give you some tools to try to help you make good decisions when it comes to being on launch and deciding whether to take off or not. 19 mins (February 2016)

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Accidents – You Can Make a Difference with John Hovey

John is an experienced first aid trainer and expedition leader with the with the National Outdoor Leadership School (www.nols.edu). This podcast looks at what to do in the event of an accident. It covers liability, taking charge, moving a casualty, emergency procedures, kit to carry etc. This podcast could help you feel prepared if you have the misfortune to witness, or be involved in, an accident. 46 mins (November 2015)

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Sharing the Sky with Hang Gliders with Kathleen Rigg

Kathleen is an extremely accomplished hang glider pilot based in Derbyshire, England. She has flown at the top level of the Women’s World Hang Gliding Championships for years, has been the British Women’s Champion numerous times and has been awarded the Royal Aero Club Individual Gold Award. With the number of hang gliders declining in recent years, paraglider pilots are getting less opportunity to fly with hang gliders and are therefore often unaware of their flying, launch and landing characteristics, difference in speed, etc. This lack of understanding had sometimes inadvertently caused problems for hang glider pilots and lead to friction between the two communities. In this podcast Kathleen explains some of the issues about sharing the sky from the hang glider perspective and talks about what we can all do to make things easier for everyone – and that includes paraglider pilots as well! 24 mins (March 2015)

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Traversing the Rockies with Gavin McClurg

Gavin is a professional adventurer. As well as circumnavigating the world by boat, he used to be in the US ski team, is an accomplished white-water kayaker and he currently holds the North American foot launch distance record (387 km), set from his home town of Sun Valley to near Helena, Montana. In summer 2014, Gavin and Will Gadd, himself a flying, climbing and ice climbing legend, set out to complete a 700 km traverse of the Canadian Rockies and fly to the US border and into the record books – they did the distance flying, without any hiking. The aim was to make forward progress only when they were in the air. The project was filmed and sponsored by Reel Water Productions and Red Bull and is released as “The Rockies Traverse. The Canadian Rockies are remote and there are few landing opportunities, which made the flying both exciting and dangerous. Added to that, Will and Gavin had never met before commencing the adventure. As a result of this amazing trip, Gavin and Will were nominated for the prestigious National Geographic Adventurer of the Year Award. In this podcast, Gavin gives me the background to the journey and lets me have an insight into the planning and execution of this remarkable adventure. 46 mins (October 2015)

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Testing and Demoing Gliders with Ziad Bassil

Ziad (Dust of the Universe) is passionate about testing gliders. He has flown a staggering number of them over the past 20 years. With his friends, he flies the mountains of his native Lebanon and makes glide angle comparison tests in moving air and writes up his reviews on his blog at www.dustoftheuniverse.com.
He is completely independent and is not aligned to any company or brand. In this podcast we talk about what he does and he offers useful advice for other pilots on testing gliders and how to choose the wing for you! 26 mins (December 2014)

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Collective Flying with the Flying Collective with Phil Colbert and Barney Woodhead

Phil and Barney (Niviuk UK) are part of the Pennine Posse – a lose gaggle of pilots who fly and party together. Their strategy of sharing info, planning flights, travelling and flying together and then helping each other with retrieves has made them one of the most successful flying buddy groups in the country. And it works – the Peninne Club have won the UK XC league every year since 2011. In this podcast Barney and Phil talk about their philosophy, the secret of their success, the tools they use and how good sharing useful info can be. And anyone is welcome to join them… just contact them or tune into Barney FM (143.95 Long wave). Apologies for some of the sound
quality in this podcast, but the content definitely makes up for this. Warning: best not to listen to this one with small kids around. 27 mins (November 2014)

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Seven Steps to Dealing with Fear in Paragliding with Heike Hamann

Heike Hamann learned to fly in 1992 and recently completed a Masters in Process Oriented Psychology. After a few paragliding incidents she developed a fear of being high and as part of her thesis she started to examine her fears and thought about how she could tackle them. The result is an article called ‘The Seven Steps of Fear Management in Paragliding’. The article can be read here. In this podcast she talks about how she came to develop the seven steps, how to use them to control your own fear and what practical things you can do when you feel anxious. This will hopefully lead to you getting more enjoyment out of your flying and improve your performance.Heike offers one-on-one coaching for people who are dealing with fear in paragliding. The coaching normally lasts for a series of 4-5 sessions, each 60-90 minutes in length. If you would like to connect with her about receiving some coaching, or if you have any questions or comments about the article, please contact her at heikehamann@gmail.com. 41 mins (July 2014)

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Safety and Fun with Tim O’Neill

Tim started flying 44 years ago in sailplanes and has been hooked on aviation ever since. He began flying paragliders in 2002 and has been an avid XC pilot for the last 9 years. He makes his living flying 747s for a US airline, but spends much his home time assessing whether the day is flyable or not… His interest in the safety aspect of our sport is based on his 26,000 hours of accident-free experience in civilian aviation, coupled with his occasional bouts with injury and over-enthusiasm in paragliding. If you want to see more about him and his flying adventures you can view his blog here: www.timospgblog.com
Tim loves to have fun and in this podcast he talks about his personal attitude to safety, communication, attitudes to risk and how to balance having a great time while trying to stay safe… 40 mins (April 2014)

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Amusing Aviation Anecdotes – Landings/Retrieves with Jug Aggarwal, Matt Beechinor, Alan Ford and Iain Frew

When you land out, you often find yourself in somewhat bizarre places, as is proved in this collection of funny retrieve and landing stories. In this podcast you will hear about why going cross-country can be the best adventure you’ll ever have; one of the coolest ways of getting back home ever, running from bulls and why to avoid yellow trucks in Oregon. Whether you fly XC or not, we hope you find this new series of paragliding anecdotes entertaining. If you know someone with a good story (or you have one yourself) please contact us at judith@theparaglider.com 38mins (March 2014)

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The NorCal league: how to run a successful flexible competition series with Jugdeep Aggarwal

There are many formats for competitions. Larger international competitions usually run over one to two weeks. Smaller, national or local competitions have the luxury of being more flexible, since competitors don’t have to travel quite so far to attend. The North California League uses a completely flexible approach and has been going from strength to strength since it was first founded over a decade ago. Jugdeep Aggarwal is in charge of the organisation of the competition series. He has been working on reducing the infrastructure required to run the competition and this has several advantages. Jug calls the league “Cross-country flying with a mission!”The league isn’t just about having a competition – it provides a valuable mechanism for building and consolidating the paragliding community, providing an opportunity to meet and fly cross country collectively in a safe way, with retrieves provided. This podcast is aimed at potential competition organisers and anyone with an interest in comps at a local/national level (depending on how big your country is). 40 mins (February 2014)

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Shhhh… don’t mention the S-word with Timothy Bishop

In this podcast Tim and I discuss safety, including human factors, attitude and how we can improve paragliding safety culture. Tim comes from a military and civil aviation background and the discussion is informed by this knowledge of flight safety training. In the podcast he mentions his home-made paragliding flight simulator, pictures of which can be seen here and here. 58mins (January 2014)

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Coastal flying with Her-Hsin Tsai

As well as being a keen XC flyer, Hamish (as he is better known in the paragliding community) lives and flies at the coast. In this podcast he discusses a wide range of aspects of coastal flying, including weather, hazards, coastal XCs, sea breezes, convergence, sea thermals and more. It makes valuable listening for people both familiar and unfamiliar with this flying environment. 34mins (November 2013)

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(32Mb)
Possible Future Developments in Competition Technology with Chris Trow (Fast Retrieve)

Following my interview with the PWC and British Open retrieve manager for the Marshalling podcast, here Chris talks about possible future technological  developments in comps, including live tracking, Spot and other satellite tracking devices, radios, etc. All these developments are aimed at making competitions safer and more fun. He also talks about what you can do to make it all work more efficiently. 14 mins (March 2013)

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(13Mb)
Serial Class! A 2012 comp season roundup from the ex-open class perspective with Josh Cohn, Nick Greece, Adam Hill, Craig Morgan, Russ Ogden, Yassen Savov and Adrian Thomas

During the 2011 Paragliding World Championships, CIVL banned the use of uncertified open class gliders in its sanctioned competitions. In the last year, much debate has focused on the pros and cons of this decision. This podcast is a round up of pilot’s perceptions of the first year of ‘pure’ serial class from the perspective of some top international pilots. [see podcast below for the serial perspective] 68 mins (January 2013)

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(64Mb)
Serial Class! A 2012 comp season roundup from the sports/traditional serial class perspective with James Bradley, Mike Miller, Idris Birch and Pat Dower

Serial class has not only had a profound effect on former open class pilots, but traditional serial class and sports class competitors have also been affected – both in positive and negative ways. This podcast is a round up of pilot’s perceptions of the first year of ‘pure’ serial class from the perspective of some very accomplished sports/serial class pilots. [see the podcast above for the ex-open class perspective] 47 mins (January 2013)

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(44Mb)
Marshalling and Supporting a Competition with Steve Charlesworth, Sarah Frysol, Alex Hatfield, Alan Horsfield, Barbara St Aubyn and Chris Trow

Many pilots are not aware of the immense amount of background work that goes into a competition, before, after and during the comp week. In the UK Championships we are fortunate to have a dedicated group of volunteers who work tirelessly as a team to make sure the competition works as seamlessly as possible. This podcast is about the work they do and hopes to give information as well as encouraging anyone who is interested to give it a go! 37 mins. (November 2012)

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(35Mb)
Crossing the Pyrenees Unsupported – a vol bivouac adventure with Dean Crosby (Active Edge) and Steve Nash (Nova)

In August/September 2012 Steve and Dean set out to cross the Pyrenees from the Atlantic to the Mediterranean by foot and flying. They did the trip completely unsupported so they had to carry everything they needed – gliders, shelter, food, clothes, etc. This podcast is a description of their epic 18 day trip, with both the highs and lows that are part of such an adventure. You can see their route and kit list at the Active Edge web site. A second podcast with their advice, tips and tricks for  lightweight fly/hiking is also available. 73 mins. (October 2012)

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(69Mb)
Vol bivouac and lightweight gear – tips and tricks with Steve Nash
(Nova) and Dean Crosby (Active Edge)

In August/September 2012 Steve and Dean set out to cross the Pyrenees from the Atlantic to the Mediterranean by foot and flying. They did the trip completely unsupported so they had to carry everything they needed – gliders, shelter, food, clothes, etc. This podcast is a discussion between them on preparation, what kit worked and what didn’t, foot care and loads of other useful advice for anyone wishing to undertake fly hiking. A second podcast all about their trip is also available. A full kit list is available from their blog at: http://activeedge.co.uk/x-pyrennees.php
50 mins. (October 2012)

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(47Mb)
The Big One with Kirsty Cameron

On the 13th of May 2012 Kirsty flew a massive straight line flight of 233km from Milk Hill in Wiltshire to the flats of Norfolk. This is the second longest flight in the UK ever and only the third over 200km long. In this podcast she describes the flight and how to negotiate the extensive airspace she had to cross, as well as providing loads of good tips for aspiring long distance fliers. Click here to see her tracklog. 50 mins. (June 2012)

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(43Mb)
Competition scoring with Jörg Ewald

This podcast is about scoring formulas and how they work. It is not aimed at scorers, but competition pilots so they can know more about how tasks and competitions work and why some days are high scoring and others are worth little. It also tells you about what questions to ask, and how knowing a little about this topic can help you prepare better for your whole comp. 46 minutes. (June 2012) There is also a very detailed, 18 page, written explanation of the GAP scoring formula available from the FAI: GapGuide-2011-v1.pdf (written in Feb 2011).

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(43Mb)
Flatland flying with Steve Ham of flyPiedrahita

Steve Ham should need little introduction. He is a multiple record holder, former British champion and long term national team member. Since he discovered Piedrahita he has been a pioneer in the area and is now a legendary guide. This podcast is about flying in flatlands, but also includes invaluable information for anyone wishing to go to the flying mecca of Piedrahita. 40 minutes. (May 2012)

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(37Mb)
Breaking the British PG distance record with Richard Carter

The big ambition of 2011 was to break the 200km mark on a paraglider. Richard bypassed this distance on the 9th of August with a flight of 253.4km from Derbyshire to Essex. Here he describes this flight and other record breaking flights he’s done in the past. 50mins. (September 2011)

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(48Mb)
Flying in wave with Steve Hudson of the Derbyshire Flying Centre

Wave is a fairly common weather condition in the UK and can provide excellent and exhilarating flying, but it can also be scary if you don’t know how it works. While hang gliders have a lot of knowledge and experience of it, many paraglider pilots are unsure of flying in wave. In this podcast, Steve aims to explain how to assess conditions, get down, fly safe and have fun! 52 minutes. (February 2011)

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(49Mb)
Flying Triangles with Kai Coleman

After achieving huge open-distance XC flights in the UK, Kai started turning his attention to triangle flying and has done so successfully for the last few years. In this podcast, Kai talks about his experience of flying triangles and gives some advice on planning, GPS use and just going for it! See Kai’s triangle flight from the Wrekin and Graham Steel’s flight from XClent. 23 minutes. (July 2010)

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(17Mb)
Improving your flying with Judith Mole

In this podcast I talk about some of the strategies I have used to become a better pilot in a structured way over the last eighteen months. You can also read Dave Thomas’ article to see how he became a better XC pilot by reading it here (right-click to download). 18 minutes. (June 2010)

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(17Mb)
Making the most of blue thermal days with Dave Thomas

Dave has been flying various aircraft since 1979 and has a huge amount of XC experience. He excels on blue thermal days and in this podcast he explains how they work and how to make the most of them. He uses a flight at the Malverns to illustrate his points. If you would like to see the terrain he describes, you can view Dave’s tracklog and Judith’s tracklog from the day in Google Earth. 45mins. (April 2010)

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(43Mb)
Competing in the British Paragliding Nationals with Martin Dockerill, Wendy Griffiths and Simon Twiss

In this podcast Martin, Wendy and Simon talk about why they decided to enter the competition, what they learned, and they also provide some tips for others thinking of entering for the first time. 16mins. (January 2010)

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(15Mb)
Advanced Thermalling with Kelly Farina of Austrian Arena

This podcast doesn’t explain what a thermal is or how to find one, but it explains the common mistakes people make and how to rectify them. It is aimed at people experienced in thermalling, who want to improve their technique. [Excuse the quality of this podcast – it was recorded remotely, but the content makes up for the poor audio!] 15 mins. (January 2010)

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(14Mb)
Winter Flying with David Thomson of Border Crossings

If you think winter flying is the same as summer flying just colder, think again. There are lots of differences (meteorological, how the wind works, assessing conditions, etc.), which change the way we fly in the winter months. In this podcast David talks through his observations over the last 15 years. 27 minutes. (December 2009)

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(25Mb)
Paragliding Guiding with Toby Colombé (Passion Paragliding), Adam Hill (Frontier Paragliding) and Kelly Farina (Austrian Arena)

This podcast discusses what guiding is about, and how you can make the most of your guided holiday. 20 minutes. (November 2009)

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(19Mb)
Paragliding: A new pilot’s perspective with Melise Harland

Melise recently qualified and in this podcast she discusses her progress to date, explains some of the things she’s learnt and illustrates the advantages of having a plan. 25 minutes. (August 2009)

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(23Mb)
The Red Bull X-Alps: The Inside Story with Tom Payne

In this follow-up podcast about the Red Bull X-Alps, Tom talks candidly about his experiences, joys, aches and pains of the race. 42 minutes. (August 2009)

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(40Mb)
Paragliding and the Mind with Tony Spirling

Tony is a long standing sail plane, hang glider, paraglider pilot and psychologist. In this podcast he explains how the brain works and how you can use it to optimise your flying performance. 39 minutes. (July 2009)

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(36Mb)
Preparing for the X-Alps with Tom Payne

Tom is taking part in the Red Bull X-Alps for the first time in 2009. This podcast is an informal chat about his preparation and strategies for the race. A further podcast on his experiences will be available after the event has finished. 35 minutes.
(June 2009)

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(33Mb)
An XC flight from the Malverns – three different perspectives with Wayne Millichope, Geoff Minshull and Judith Mole

This podcast is a discussion between us about the flight, the decisions, the mistakes made, and the lessons learned from the day. You can view or download our tracklogs to see the flights. Wayne’s tracklog. Geoff’s tracklog. Judith’s tracklog. 40 minutes. (May 2009)

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(37Mb)
Alpine Flying with Tom Payne

Tom has lived in the French Alps since 2003. Here he talks about strategies and characteristics of alpine flying, including how to plan an XC in the Alps, meteorology and tips and tricks. 32 minutes. (May 2009)

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(30Mb)
SIV/Pilotage with Pat Dower, Geoff Minshull and Judith Mole

This podcast describes the experience of an SIV course, the benefits of undertaking such a course and the lessons learnt. See the resources page for some videos, and here for the write up of our course. 18 minutes. (May 2009)

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(17Mb)
Coaching, with David Thomson of Border Crossings

David is the chief coach for the Lanarkshire and Lothian Soaring Club in Scotland. In this podcast he discusses the subconscious and its influence on pilot behaviour and progress, as well as general coaching. 31 minutes. (February 2009)

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(29Mb)
Mental training, with Anja Kroll

In this podcast, Anja (twice the PWC women’s champion) talks about becoming a competition pilot and some of the strategies she used to become one of the top female pilots in the world. She also discusses mental training and how it can be used to benefit all pilots. (More information about Anja is on her website, http://www.anjakroll.ch/ – mostly in German, some articles in English). 25 minutes. (November 2008)

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(24Mb)
XC tips with Kai Coleman

Former British distance record holder. Kai also discusses some of his favourite sites in the Long Mynd area. (Formerly two podcasts, now merged into one).19 minutes. (June 2008)

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(18Mb)
Flying 100km with Richard Westgate

Richard was a paragliding world record holder and did four flights over 100km in the UK in six weeks in June/July 2008. In this podcast, Richard talks about those four flights, and general tips on flying long distances. [As many people will know, Richard sadly died in December 2012. He was a brilliant pilot, always willing to share with others, and an extremely nice person. He is a great loss to the flying community]. 26 minutes. (August 2008)

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(25Mb)
Flying in competitions with Nicky Moss

Former Spanish Women’s Champion, ex-British team member. 18 minutes. (July 2008)

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(17Mb)
First competiton season with Martin Knight

Martin talks about his first season flying competitions, the BPC, and offers
advice to people considering entering competitions for the first time. 26 minutes. (August 2008)

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(20Mb)
Getting your confidence back after an accident with Judith Mole

Relatively early in my hang gliding career, I broke my arm at Lord’s Seat in Derbyshire. In this podcast, I talk about the steps I took to regain my confidence. 11 minutes. (July 2008)

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(10Mb)
You’ve got your CP – what next? with Mark Dann

Mark runs Beyond Extreme, and is a highly experienced paraglider pilot and instructor. This podcast is aimed at new pilots, who have just completed their CP. 18 minutes. (September 2008)

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(16Mb)