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latest Para-Newbie News-n-Pics, Aug07, Issue #0008, monthly.
August 29, 2007

Fresh Paragliding Stuff

Selected News, Image, Site Update

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Issued on Wed, Aug 29th 2007, Issue #0008

Table of Contents

  1. News of the Month
  2. Image of the Month
  3. Website Content of the Month
  4. More Paragliding Stuff

News of the Month

As usual, I scoured the Web using a number of world news resources and came across a couple of paragliding news items which might interest you. As a bonus, there's also an extra small item...

Firstly, yet another 'old person goes paragliding story', hope you don't mind! This paragliding story unfolds in a location which I covered in a published article some time ago. I've linked to that article so you can get some more background info if you wish.

Secondly, there is a story of a festival with a twist. Bikers and paragliding, would you believe! Yes, an event was held recently in Ireland featuring a group of people who are dead-keen on both these activities.

Lastly, ... well, you'll need to read on to find out ;-)

Nearly 90, But Not Afraid To Launch Off Babadag Mountain

Source: Today's Zaman, Turkey

Date: 2 Aug 2007

Another intrepid Gliding Granny! A resident of Wales in the U.K., Eve O'Donnell was not going to let her 89 years stop her from trying an extreme sled ride down to the beach, from Babadag Mountain. Eve has 4 grandchildren, one of whom convinced her to try the paragliding experience. Actually, it seems she didn't need much convincing. 'No second thoughts' was her immediate response to the Turkish reporter who asked about her reaction to the idea.

Now to the flight itself, which took place in one of the world's amazing paragliding locations, Ölüdeniz, in Turkey. After a ride up Babadag Mountain, an adventure in itself according to some, Eve prepared to start her tandem flight from the 1900 meter platform. Her pilot was Murat Tüzer, who owns the local Sky Paragliding Company. There must have been some cloud that day since Eve remarked that it was a great experience to be up amongst the clouds. After launch, Eve just relaxed and enjoyed the view and the sensations of flight for 25 glorious minutes, on their way down to Belcegiz Beach far below. During the whole flight she was in radio contact with her family. They were waiting for her on the beach.

Afterwards, Eve said it was a real contrast to flying in a plane. She didn't find it frightening at all, it was just a wonderful bird-like experience. Eve fully intends to visit Turkey once more for another tandem paragliding flight. Good on her!

How's This For Unusual - Irish Bikers Take To The Air!

Source: Open Press, U.K.

Date: 9 Aug 2007

First a few thoughts on the whole idea of bikers and flying. Who would have thought the two areas would merge in any way. But it has started to, in Ireland. Just as bikers are attracted to the freedom and experience of cruising on high-powered motorcycles, some of them have discovered that the freedom and uniqueness of slow, low flight under the canopy of a powered paraglider really suits them. For one thing, there's no cheaper way to get into powered flight. Also, there is very little regulation from the aviation authorities, which adds to the freedom of the sport.

This migration from the freeway to the airways (hey, it rhymed) is being pushed along by an enthusiastic bunch of guys behind the website This happens to be the main Irish website for paramotoring. They are on hand to help other Irish would-be pilots with complete training packages, equipment and on-going advice. I wonder how all that hair stays out of the props... Seriously, it must be an issue for some bikers with hair down to their waist! Or maybe Irish bikers are more conservative...

The main point of the news story was an actual event, organised by the Event Management team at Named 'Bikers in the Sky', it was a 'very special and unusual festival'. Why? Well, combined within the confines of Tipperary Racecourse, there were paramotoring displays, instruction demos and a variety of bike-related demos. Plus tattoo experts :-), live entertainment and more. The Irish bikers were nice guys, directing some of the proceeds of the festival to cancer research.

I'm Late For Work - Gotta Fly!

Source: Financial Times Deutschland, Germany

Date: 1 Aug 2007

Here's the small Bonus News Item. :-) I don't know about you, but I can remember some rather boring commutes to work during my working life. This little snippet was spotted in a news article about some people's interesting commutes to work. These people had the knack of improving their work lives by doing something interesting in just getting to and from work! Great idea.

A certain Andrew Rastall from Derbyshire in England likes to commute to and from work in his powered paraglider! Why not, if weather allows. Apparently he gets to his destination about 10 minutes quicker than the road trip in his car. Traffic snarls slip by some 1500 feet below while he buzzes the green English countryside. Andrew happens to work in the aviation industry, as operations manager for Airways Airsports.

Andrew is not the only one to fly to work... His business partner uses a microlight aircraft! Andrew's powered paragliding gear allows him to land and take-off in areas about half the size of a football (soccer) pitch. In his case, that's a lawn right outside the office!

Image of the Month

There's plenty of paragliding imagery on the Web these days, much of it so-so. Thanks to some paraglider manufacturer friends of mine, I can bring you some great pics that you might not find anywhere else. Hope you enjoy this month's featured picture, below. Just click on it to enlarge.

This photograph was taken in a mountainous area of New Zealand, as part of an Airwave photo shoot. It features a Mustang 2 turning over a glittering freshwater lake. Perhaps he is lining up for a landing approach onto the lake shore.

Website Content of the Month

Pages are always being added to the site, and I usually highlight just one page here. This time I've picked a page that was posted quite recently. People search for info on r/c paragliders, and often end up on my site. Hence I decided to pull together all I could find about that topic myself, so there would actually be something of interest for them to read. Hope you find it interesting too!

I used to be an aeromodeller, including r/c sailplanes. Don't be surprised if I get one of these things and start writing about it here! A model paraglider that is.

More Paragliding Stuff

A Good Book For Free-Flight Paragliding

Paragliding - A Pilot's Training Manual. Do you have at least a few hours of soaring experience under your belt? Keen to learn much more? This book will fill out your knowledge nicely. Just remember it doesn't take the place of your instructor!

Complete Reference For Powered Paragliding

Powered Paragliding Bible. This is one of a couple of good books that people are using before and during taking up power paragliding. It's great if you want a really complete reference book about the sport. Authored by Jeff Goin and Dennis Pagen and published in April 2006. That Pagen name pops up a lot in light aviation literature!

A Couple Of T-Shirts

What do you look for in a paragliding t-shirt? A great photo? This might be the case if you are visually oriented. The title, if any, might not matter so much to you.

There's No Place on Earth... is the title on one such t-shirt. Check out the giant growing cumulus in the background! It draws you in, saying 'stop for a moment and imagine approaching cloud base under this thing, at 3000 meters.'

Maybe you're the type who likes the pithy slogan that says it all in just a few words! Here, the graphic design doesn't matter so much, except to make clear that the subject is paragliding.

Gravity Sucks don't you agree? It cuts short so many flights in weak conditions, and it really sucks when you have a collapse in strong conditions!

As for actually buying a shirt from CafePress, I bought one just before Christmas 2006. I can't say I had any complaints. It arrived a few days late, but that was understandable considering the workload CafePress has around that time of year.

Bearing in mind that this paragliding newsletter and in fact most of the website is really for 'newbies', any constructive feedback is welcome! In particular, what would you really like to see in this newsletter? Just reply to this email and tell me your thoughts.

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