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XC Flight with Andre - August 7th 2004 - View the entire paragliding news archive
Andre and I were keen to get in the air for a cross country flight despite the fact that the headwind would make our progress over the ground a little slow. Andre launched first (effortlessly ofcourse!) leaving me struggling to get the engine going. There is a knack to it. Once up in the air it was obvious that Andre was flying faster than me. Despite every effort I was constantly playing catchup. We stayed low to keep out of the higher wind due to the wind gradient. We were making progress but not at any great speed.

After a while we were making reasonable progress over various farms and golf courses much to the interest of several locals. Andre was keen to show me a few of the local land marks and we were soon heading towards what looked like an old castle! From here we continued to the beach where we were great by everyone waving and looking up. People wer coming out of their houses and more than a few photos were taken (but hey I get that everywhere I go!). We motored up and down the beach front for a good ten minutes or so. We had gone as far as we were going in this direction and would soon ve heading back. After a while Andre was on the radio and we began heading back to the field only this time we could fly a lot faster and a lot higher. Once up high the view was magnificent. Visibility was superb and we were able to see both lakes and the falls.

The cold was starting to get to me so I put on my gloves. At this point I lost sight of Andre who had decided to pile on the power and climb as high as he could. I went on to land (I really needed to pee!) and Andre approached from much higher. We were soon both packed up and ready to go. The end to a great cross country flight..or was it. Just as we had everything packed up Andre thought we should take the opportunity to try out a new tandem set up he had been thinking about. The basic problem with the old set up was that the person in front was free to move sideways during take off which made it very difficult for the pilot to take off.

With Andre's new system in place the whole launch was much easier even though the wind had dropped right off. We landed, made a few further adjustments and this time took off even more easily. For any of you that have seen a tandem take off you will realise how awkward they can be if everything isn't just right. With the balance point and cross bracing adjustments we had very little difficulty taking off. This was definitely a great improvement. We landed again and this time got packed up to go. All in all avery successfull day.

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The content of this site is Mark Andrews 2005-12, mandrews1973@gmail.com

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