It’s August already in this amazing season of sunshine and XC record flights. Many pilots have been out enjoying the long hot days on the hill and completing amazing flights. However, as Kirsty Cameron pointed out in UK XC News, it’s been a pretty elite group of highly experienced pilots who have been able to maximise the potential of these conditions; the downside being that there have been some serious accidents and multiple reports of horrible air, especially close to the ground. It’s well worth reading this and the discussion thread. Please remember that it’s supposed to be fun. (https://www.facebook.com/groups/311219245657721/permalink/1670039029775729/)
How good are you at falling over?
If you are caught out by turbulence close to the ground, then your last defence against injury, apart from the protection of your harness and helmet, is your ability to absorb the impact - either with a PLF or what the French call roulé boulé. How often do you practise? I like to think I’m pretty good at falling over without hurting myself (if you watch some of my landings, you’ll see I get plenty of practice). However I’m currently out of the game nursing a dislocated shoulder - not paragliding related - failing to recognise early enough that I wasn’t going to recover from my stumble, and leaving it too late to get into the right shape and hit the ground with the point of my shoulder. Ouch. Just a thought, but some tumbling practice might be a worthwhile activity for the winter, if you can find a gym with a soft floor.
“There’s not enough coaching in the Pennine Club”. This has long been a refrain, and this is not the place to debate this, but coaching on the hill is a safety issue, and good coaching can make the difference between a pilot making safe progress in the sport and giving up. The club needs more people to step forward to train as coaches, and there will be a coaching course in November. Please consider signing up for this, whatever your level of experience, and do so right away - there is a long lead time on setting something like this up, and in fairness to the trainers we need to commit soon. If there isn’t enough interest, then we will have to cancel it. It’s your club; this is your chance to put something in to it.