Welcome to the July 2012
edition of the Flybubble newsletter, which is bursting with enthusiasm
for flying in Sussex, flying in Spain, flying in South Africa, or just
flying by clicking your cursor on some eye candy. We investigate ways
in which you can increase your ability, even when it's windy. Join us
as we strive to keep the dream alive!
FLYBABBLE :: What up, beeps?
When we did get some flyable windows amidst the
weather, we made the most of them! One beneficial side-effect of the
weather forecasts not looking so good is that we've often had the hill
- and the sky - to ourselves.
Matt Cowen and Rod
completed some fantastic soaring flights, and got to work on their
slope and spot landing skills too. They also got to try out their speed
systems for the first time, and improved their launches too. Rod's new Skywalk
Tequila 3 proved what a great wing it was yet again, a
perfect partner to his new Sup'Air
Evo XC2 harness, enjoying long soaring flights whilst
frequently rising to the top of the stack.
Our tandem passengers
have had some great tandem flights
here and there but unfortunately quite a few days had to be cancelled
for bad weather.
Along the same lines Crispin
Rose-Innes and Adam Cutts
attempted their instructional tandem thermaling flights for the Flybubble
Distance Learning Academy (DLA) but the desired
conditions didn't prevail, so they'll have to come back and try again
soon! Similarly, Ed Bewley
attempted some more tandem training with us but didn't quite reach the
lofty heights we were hoping for. We'll just have to keep trying!
Going into July we've already had some great
training days, and once again managed to pull some magic
flying rabbits out of the elusive weather wizard's hat!
Adam Binns, David
Hancock and Mark Panto
signed up for one of our special paragliding training plus tandem
packages and completed their instructional tandem flight and first
day's ground training earlier this week.
Having already done a flight experience tandem
flight with us before, Steve Roden
signed up for a ten day course with free instructional tandem flight
included. Steve did his instructional tandem flight with Carlo on the
first day, soaring and thermaling up to over 2000ft ASL at one point,
then continued into the afternoon with his ground training. Then on the
second day Steve progressed nicely on to do his first low level solo
flights and is now ready for his first solo high flights. Onwards and
Meanwhile 'high flyers' Adrian
Wynter and Darren Barter
were soaring for hours at the top of the hill, under instruction from
Carlo and Simon, and completed so many flights and top landings that
they both lost completely count! Big congratulations to Darren for
completing his CP
conversion from BHPA Club Pilot Tow rating to Hill. "I
was really surprised I'd do so much flying in the UK!" said Adrian, who
pretty much completed his whole BHPA CP rating with us in just one day!
Join the Flybubble
family on facebook.
^ Beautiful evening flight at the end of a great
day's flying from Mount Caburn
^ Darren Barter soars for hours
^ Adrian Wynter gets high
Flybubbling: who's been flying where?
Foot or Flybubble 2012
The inaugural Foot or
Flybubble Challenge has begun!
Using only your feet or your wing, link
every SHGC launch site in the closed circuit. Any day in
July counts, between sunrise and sunset.
The best attempt wins.
Ed Bewley stamped his
mark on the leaderboard by
marching a marathon distance on 5 July, linking Newhaven, Beachy Head,
High and Over, Bo Peep, Firle and Caburn in just over 11 hours for
35.5km on the course. In a cruel twist of fate, his flying instrument
didn't record a tracklog, because it could sense he was (mostly) on the
On the same day Greg Hamerton
flew from Beachy Head to Birling Gap then jogged across to High
& Over. Both Greg and Ed use the Advance
which apart from being very light, comes with the Advance Lightness
backpack, which is designed for racing. It centres the weight of your
wing perfectly, close to your back, and it is really noticeable when
going long distances on the ground. As Ed said, "My legs were getting
tired long before I noticed the pack on my back". PSST! There's a
second-hand one in our shop here
On the 7th July Tracy Hamerton
entered the race
with an 11km walk with her glider from Newhaven to Brighton marina.
This is a route that is often soared when the wind is S-SSW, so look
out for one of those days and you could bag yourself 11km! By the way,
if you land anywhere on this coastal strip (low tide only) there is a
regular bus that runs back to Newhaven Town rail station, a short walk
back to your car.
Then on the 8th, Phil Clark
marched off into the
showers to bag Truleigh, before returning for Devils Dyke and a short
flight towards Ditchling, completing just over 11km and placing him
2nd. And yes, he has the Advance Lightness harness too!
So the only question that remains, is how far can you
Even if you don't take part, you can learn a lot
just by watching the event on facebook. JOIN US on FOOT
or FLYBUBBLE 2012
FoF 2012 reports: 13 June by Greg
July by Greg - 5 July by Ed
British Paragliding Championships 2012
(Ozone Enzo) won the champs, Adrian Thomas 2nd (Gin Boomerang X)
and Dave Smart (Advance Sigma 8) 3rd. 5 tasks in a week-long comp
shows that Pedro Bernardo can deliver the goods! Unfortunately
team pilot Emile van Wyk, who was leading the champs,
had an accident on landing in gusty strong winds and broke his
arm. He is back in the UK and on the mend. We wish him a speedy
Round 1 Results
Open :: Women :: Sports :: Team
Round 2 Results Open :: Women :: Sports :: Team
^ The big route that's got everyone in a flutter.
Bite off a chunk for yourself.
The race is ON!
^ Someone sneaking away from Beachy Head midweek -
better done at low tide!
^ Phil Clark's preferred method of running on the
Foot or Flybubble course
Flown off any of the SHGC sites?
know! Any distance counts.
FLYING START courses in South Spain
What's this all about?
If you're getting frustrated
trying to juggle free time and gaps in the UK weather, you can go to
Spain for an intensive week of training! Flybubble Spain caters for all
levels of pilot, from beginners to complete CP. Fantastic sites in a
beautiful area, great food and the support of local pilots means you
get to experience real Spanish culture.
You might have heard of other schools operating
out of Spain, but
ours is unique. You learn with an officially qualified paragliding
school in Spain and are able to get an internationally recognised rating
when you complete your training.
Spain have been flying in the Algodonales region for many
years and are some of the most experienced pilots around -
they are real experts. They are also really safety conscious, and they
use tandem instruction, mini wings and really make an effort to get you
As part of the Flying
Start course, when you return to the UK, you have the full
support of a UK based school and can get your BHPA rating. So you get the best of both worlds
- the UK and Spain.
See Photos, Videos and read Pilot Feedback from our previous
Next Course Dates: EP:
8-15 Sept 2012. CP: 15-22 Sept 2012.
Trip Dates: September 2012 to May 2013.
Get AIRTIME in Southern Spain
In October/November 2012 we'll yet again be
running some very
special paragliding trips to one of the best flying areas of Southern
Spain. Paragliding during the day, enjoying a cold beer (or a glass of
Rioja) with accompanying Tapas in the evening - what more could you ask
This trip isn't for students; it's for eager
pilots looking to hone their all-round flying, thermalling and XC
skills whilst getting maximum AIRTIME.
Expand your horizons! Get full retrieve services, fly as much and far
as you can, and have a great holiday in a world-class flying region as
the summer mellows.
We'll be based in Algodonales, renowned for
being the paragliding "Mecca" of Andalucia in Southern Spain, with a
great variety of superb launch sites covering all wind directions.
Stunning views with nice easy landing fields make for relaxed flying.
Soaring with the local Griffon Vultures has to be experienced!
FLYBUBBLE's highly experienced instructors and fly-guides giving you
comprehensive 'site and flight' guidance and instruction, and local
experts taking care of the logistics, you have the best of both worlds
to help you get the most out of your trip.
Have fun, learn loads, improve your flying and
extend your summer in the sunny skies of the magnificent Griffon
Why go on this trip?
You could just book a flight
and go somewhere on your own, but you'd miss out on so
much! Firstly, a group of like-minded enthusiasts does wonders
your flying spirit.
Secondly, the experts know the local conditions so
can keep you safe. We also know
where to go and can make good judgements in changing weather, so you
get much more airtime
Because you are accompanied by our instructors,
you get real tuition so you learn much more
than just flying around on your own. These skills you acquire will and
improve your flying and will stay with you for the rest of your flying
Finally, because we organise all the logistics and
accommodation, you can just get on the plane and look forward to a stress
free week. Treat yourself to a fantastic flying holiday!
See Photos, Videos and read Pilot Feedback from our previous
Trip Dates: Saturday 27th
October to Sunday 11 November 2012*
Week One: Saturday 27th October to Saturday 3rd
Week Two: Saturday 3rd November to Sunday 11 November 2012*
* You can book now for the first or
second week, or both!
Go XC and travel in South Africa
Blast away winter with a rush of XC FLYING in
This paragliding trip will be an ideal getaway from the UK, aimed at
competent pilots who want to build up their CROSS COUNTRY
flying experience. We'll share our XC secrets with you as we travel to
the best sites and sights of the Western Cape region near Cape
Why go on this trip?
1. It is being led by Greg Hamerton,
who wrote the book
on flying in South Africa. This is his playground, where he set
site records, and he'll share all his secrets about this great region.
2. Carlo Borsattino
is coming too, so you'll benefit from his vast cross country knowledge
3. Expert guidance will be by provided by Barry
who is one of the Porterville site record setters and a local legend.
So you get instruction from three experts! We're pretty certain you
will beat your personal best.
4. Logistics are all sorted: transfers, day trips,
and of course
retrieves from far far away! Combined with Nancy's thorough organising,
you can be sure of a stress-free trip.
5. The accommodation
at the flying lodge in Cape
Town is awesome! Swimming pool, braai area (a barbeque, but with more
beer!), private rooms and hosts who excel at entertaining. Experience
the South African culture and the scenic. This will be a week to
XC flying at Porterville, thermaling and scenic
mountain flights, some touring around the region or relaxed coastal
soaring - we'll aim to get you smiling.
See Photos, Videos and read Pilot Feedback from our previous
Sunday 3rd to Sunday 17th March 2013
GET A FLYING START (IN SPAIN)
GET AIRTIME (IN SPAIN)
^ I'm loving it!
GET XC SECRETS (IN SOUTH AFRICA)
Reducing risk: Your Ability (Pt. 5)
Free-flyers are exposed to a variety of risks. By
greatest danger, you can make an effort to take precautions, and to
increase your safety margins in other areas.
Try to achieve a
state in each segment.
You can usually handle one risk at a time, but
when two or three threats compete, things get hectic. By examining each
element in turn in a series of articles, we hope to provide some
insight into maintaining a good margin of safety.
INCREASE YOUR ABILITY
Some pilots are naturals, others must learn the
Unfortunately, it is human nature to think we are in the first group
until we discover we are in the second. So assume that you are one step
closer to danger zone than you estimate you are. Even if you have a
healthy store of natural ability to fall back on, you can improve your
safety by developing your flying skills and working your way toward
that 'green light' nirvana.
A quick way to enhance your ability is to take
your glider to a field or easy site and work on your groundhandling.
Or come on one of our Advanced
Groundhandling Sessions at the end of 2012.
Have you considered getting yourself a wing
specifically for ground handling practice? Either one of our cheap old Ground
Handling Only Wings (to avoid wear-and-tear on your own wing)
or a purpose-built ground handling wing like the Ozone
Groundhog (which you can also use in a bit more wind). Good
launching does wonders for risk management.
It's all about flying when you want to, not when
the gusts decide.
It also helps to build muscle memory and reduce reaction times. It's
best to find an area with a bit of a slope, because the glider will sit
overhead instead of hanging back slightly, making the responses similar
to what you'll find on the flying sites.
Okay, but what do you actually do? Just stand
there with the wing
up? That will help, but there's a lot more to it! Here are some tasks:
Task: tiptouch. Once
your wing is settled overhead,
keep your feet planted where they are and let the wing fall gently down
to one side. Use the high-side brake to slow the descent, but let it go
to the ground. Then try to fly it back up. This develops useful
gust-correction abilities and also an awareness of fine-brake control.
Task: blind handling.
Close your eyes and try to
keep the wing flying for as long as you can, facing forwards. This
really develops the sensitivity to the riser movements, which will help
you react before the effect of gusts are visible on the wing, and
ultimately, sense where the thermals are.
Task: sitfly. Find a
grassy area and try launching
from a seated position. Try holding the wing overhead. Try to fly it
down to the ground on either side, and back up again. Try to use the
wing to lift you back onto your feet. Try this facing forwards, and
reversed. This develops a sensitivity to the power in the wing, the
effect of brakes and pendulum control, and an awareness of the exact
angle of the aerodynamic forces.
Groundflying is the next stage. Groundflying? How
is that different
from groundhandling? Well, this will only work on a flying site, or
shallow slope. You need to be airborne, but just a foot or two above
the ground. Take care that you don't attempt the tasks any higher than
that - if you're lifted too high, just fly away and attempt it again
when you are kicking the grass-heads.
Task: where is my stall point?
An absolutely vital
skill to develop, allowing you to make pin-point slope landings, safe
toplandings, fly slowly without fear, avoid traffic, and even land
almost vertically in emergencies. Fly a foot or two over the ground
with your legs down, do a weak flare a little higher than usual and
hold the flare until you feel your wing soften and your sink rate
suddenly increase. Once you're familiar with this feeling, look up to
the side to see how your wing responds. This will develop your ability
to recognise the approaching stall in the air. It usually begins on the
tips - they peel back. Play around with this over and over, you can
never get enough of it. With time you will be able to feel the stall
approaching, when you can instantly release the brakes to keep the wing
flying just faster than stall. Notice also how gusts stall the wing
earlier than you were expecting, and how asymmetric input causes the
wing to spin.
Task: short launch run.
Get it flying in three
steps, regardless of the wind strength. The trick is to develop precise
pitch control during your launch run, by matching your loading on the
chest strap with the glider airspeed. Try launching by running fast,
out ahead of your wing (it won't work too well, you'll pendulum up then
down). Try launching by allowing your wing to pitch ahead of you (not
too much or it will just fold). Work on this until you can hit the
perfect balance point which is just ahead of vertical, where the wing
pulls you forward off the slope with a very short launch run.
Task: asymmetric collapse recovery.
(really low, <2ft), collapse half your wing by pulling hard on
A-riser set. Lean/run into wind hard to keep the airflow up and keep
the wing flying straight. What you'll notice is that the remaining half
of your wing stalls with less brake applied than a full flying wing.
Use a big, deep pump on the collapsed side to clear the wing. You can
do this while groundhandling as well. This exercise develops your
familiarity with the key skill of controlling asymmetric collapses, and
an awareness of the changing airspeed and stall points during collapses.
Those are just
a few of the tasks, along with launching from a
bunched layout, bringing the wing down safely, cobra launches, big
ears, controlled kiting, slow flying, spin landings, and much more. So
it doesn't need to be perfectly soarable to be developing flying skills.
Want more tips and tasks? Get this DVD,
or this one,
or even this one.
Nothing beats it. The more you can pack in, the
develop. If it's flyable, don't sit on the hill waiting for it to get
better (so you can avoid a walk). If it's only strong enough to
groundhandle your wing, do so. Get it out of the bag! Flying is a
compound learning curve, and the hours you put in now are your
foundation for the higher steps.
Supercharge your logbook by coming on a flying
trip with us! You can book training with our sister school Flybubble
Spain, any time between September and May. Then we're running
our popular airtime
trip in October/November. And for aspirant cross country
pilots, join us in South
Africa in March 2013.
4. TANDEM FLYING
Come up on the tandem with our instructors and
we'll give you an
intensive session which will expand your skill set. We'll give you the
controls so you can develop your abilities on any tasks you'd like to
work on. More info here.
5. SAFETY COURSE
To develop the next level of ability, you need to
go on a 'Pilotage'
course or the full-blown SIV.
This will be run over water, with a
rescue boat, and ridiculous amounts of altitude to spare. You get full
instruction, and step by step progression through the various
manouevres. It will absolutely transform your flying, removing fear and
allowing you to feel freedom. We recommend Jocky
Sanderson and Kari
are best begun in a manoeuvres clinic, but thereafter you
can build your ability to make smooth wingovers and spirals through
practice, practice, practice - up high, and far away from other pilots.
The awareness and sensitivity
you build up with your wing is invaluable and will really help your
thermaling technique and your confidence in the air.
When you're new to the sport, your ability to recognize
is limited, so you only notice that you're in trouble when things are
already very bad. So stay further away from the ground or compression
zones than other pilots to give yourself a wider margin for error.
you progress through the above points 1-5, you will develop an acute
sense of intuition which will further guide you, a 'feeling' of the air
that tells you when and where to fly. The more you fly, the better you
get, and the more you can enjoy what this fantastic sport has to offer.
In previous issues we looked at weather risk, wing risk, safety
gear and ability.
Next issue we'll look at knowledge. In
the meantime, steal every hour you can to get out on the hills and
under your wing.
Bear in mind that you can always book a day of advanced
instruction from us too... learning doesn't stop at your CP
rating! What we can teach you goes way beyond that.
^ Mastering aerobatics can lead to developing
^ Jumping trees like to wait until there's a
camera nearby before going for you.
^ Andre Byard works on the tiptouch
^ Lauren Martins can relax because she has
developed expert glider control
^ Perfect launch run timing
^ Viktor stalls his wing with the D's
^ Have I found my stall point yet?
^ Tandem training can expand your skill set. Photo
by Richard Chester-Nash
^ Feel the force
Harnesses in stock!
New in the range are Gin Gliders
Genie Lite and Sup'Air Skypper.
These complement our existing best-sellers like the Advance
IMPRESS 3, Woody Valley X-Alps GTO
and the Sup'Air Delight.
View the whole selection of lightweight
certified pod harnesses
We also have the Sup'Air
Quo Vadis which is
the latest reversible backpack harness for light weight enthusiasts.
Other great harnesses waiting for you to try here include: Advance Axess 2 Air,
Impress 3, Lightness; Gin Gingo
AirLite, Gingo II, Genie 4, Genie Lite, Verso, Yeti; Kortel Karma II,
Kamasutra II; Niviuk
Pure, Cult C; Sup'Air
XP, AltiX 2, Delight, Evo XC2, Radicale, Shamane, Skypper; Woody Valley
Top class flying instruments, in stock!
We have a wide range of flight instruments from
all the top brands:
Aircotec, Ascent Products, Brauniger, Compass, Digifly, Flymaster
Avionics, Flytec and Renschler Instruments.
Alto £179.00; Flytec 6000
VARIO £179.99; Digifly
Archimede £196.00; Ascent Wrist-Mounted Mini Alti-Vario
Leonardo Plus £349.00; Flytec 6015
IQ-BASIC-GPS £359.00; Flymaster GPS
Leonardo Pro £395.00; Aircotec
IQ Compeo+ £699.00;
C-Pilot Pro £1,099.00.
We've got a couple of Flymaster
B1-NAV (high-end Alti-Vario-GPS combo) left in
stock on special
offer: £439.00 instead of
A fleet of demo wings, in stock!
We can arrange test flights for you
from all of the top paragliding brands, including Advance, Airwave, Gin
Gliders, Niviuk, Nova, Ozone and Skywalk.
We also currently have demo wings
available of the
Advance Alpha 5, Advance Epsilon 6, Advance Sigma 8, Advance Omega 8,
Gin Sprint, Gin Sprint Evo, Gin Boost, Gin Bobcat, Gin BeCool, Gin
Safari Tandem, Niviuk Hook 2, Niviuk Artik 3, Niviuk Peak 2, Niviuk
Takoo 2, Niviuk Zion, Nova Mentor 2, Nova Factor 2, Skywalk
3, Skywalk Tequila 3 and Skywalk Cayenne 4. We can usually arrange
demos of most wings for all of the top brands that we deal with.
To get access to our fantastic range of demo
wings, and our professional advice, experience and service, we ask for
a £500 deposit upfront. That way
we know that you are serious about getting a new wing from us, and you
can be confident that we won't rest until we've arranged the perfect
wing that suits your weight, ability and individual flying style.
We also offer
excellent part-exchange and package deals towards new or
used equipment so you may be able to upgrade your old wing, harness,
reserve or vario for
less than you think!
GIN GENIE LITE
ADVANCE AXESS 2 AIR
Why buy from us?
1. We are a school
AND equipment supplier.
We help you develop as a pilot by
tailoring our recommendations to your current skill level based on our
understanding of pilot progression. You get personal attention and
long-term service, as well as the best equipment.
2. We hold stock
and a fleet of demo wings to test fly, harnesses to hang
in, helmets to try on and boxes that go beep. Because we have such a
broad range, we can recommend the winning combination that will
help lift you up and take you far.
3. We are all active pilots
who love to fly. We offer you expert advice based on personal
experience with the
latest gear to help you decide which is the right thing for you.
We offer a friendly and professional service.
If you prefer a more personal yet professional service then contact us
and we'll do our very best to assist you.
Get product news updates
We are obsessed with finding the best free-flying
equipment. We want you to know about it first, so there is a new
bulletin from the Online Shop designed to keep you up to
date with the latest wings, harnesses, flying wear, helmets and
Unlike our monthly Flybubble Newsletter, this
Product News Update is
focused entirely on the best equipment available from our Online Shop.
to our Flybubble
Part-ex deals help you save money
We also offer excellent
part-exchange deals towards
new or used equipment so you may be able to upgrade your old wing,
harness, reserve or vario for less than you think!
A big range of second hand equipment
We have added lots of equipment recently, and
there's lots more to follow! This means we have an extensive range of second
hand paragliding and paramotoring equipment in stock,
including second hand paragliders,
See the latest additions to the Second Hand section
of our online shop.
Come tandem flying, or bring a friend!
Isn't it time you gave it a try? Maybe you want to
confidence, or you know someone who will love it. Get into the air
under the expert control of a qualified instructor and experience the
joys of free flight. We have been flying from the beautiful South Downs
for over 19 years!
We offer flights for first-timers and
flights for pilots too.
For newcomers to the sport, tandem paragliding
is a great way to
enjoy the full aerial experience without having to first learn how to
launch and control the paraglider yourself. Your instructor will take
care of the launch, flight and landing while you learn how these
wonderful aircraft fly. You have the best seat of any aircraft!
from £125. Flying time at least 15 minutes.
Inflight Photos +£20, Aerobatic Experience +£20 (not for
the faint-hearted), Double Session +£90 (when you just can't get
We have four BHPA tandem-rated paraglider pilots
at Flybubble, so if the weather is suitable we'll get you airborne!
out more or just BOOK
Wonderful flights and happy landings
Learn to paraglide in SE England
We offer training for all levels of pilot and we
train all year round.
Flybubble is a BHPA
registered paragliding school based near Brighton in Sussex, run by
highly experienced BHPA Chief Flying Instructor and winning
British Team pilot, Carlo Borsattino and the Flybubble team.
We have been teaching paragliding, and flying
paragliders from the beautiful South
Downs hills in Sussex in
sunny South East England for over 18 years, offering first-rate BHPA
approved paragliding courses for those that want to learn to paraglide
to the highest standards.
We specialise in highly personalised, expert
instruction with small training groups (max 4 students per instructor).
Watch our two-minute Flybubble
Paragliding - Learn to Fly! video.
You can also launch your paragliding training with
Start courses in southern Spain and get the best of both
Upgrade your flight or course
Want to extend your One or Two Day course into a
Five Day Course? Fancy trying a longer tandem flight with an Aerobatic
experience thrown in? It's easy to change your paragliding lessons,
courses & tandem flights on our website - just visit the upgrade
page on on online shop.
For more info about all the things we do
see Learn To Fly
The Sussex South Downs
are perfect for paragliding - beautiful rolling, grassy hills facing
every wind direction, friendly grassy take-off and top-landing areas,
forgiving landing areas, and all them with absolutely stunning views
It's Olympics month!
UK Government has made the delivery of a safe and secure Olympic and
Paralympic Games a paramount objective. As a result airspace
restrictions will be placed around all Games venues and
they'll be eager to use their MoD Rapier
For a relatively simple, reliable GPS device for
airspace that is compact, has a good battery life, and a sunlight
readable screen, we recommend the Garmin
Many other options fall down on battery life, sunlight readable screen
and reliability. One of these plus a good Alti-Vario-GPS flight
instrument seems to be an ideal combination for most pilots.
We're always happy to help and share our
expertise, so if you have any questions then contact us.
Or keep in touch by clicking LIKE on our new Facebook
We look forward to seeing you out on the Foot
or Flybubble course!
Nancy, Greg, Tracy & Simon
Flybubble Paragliding Team
This summer seems to be upside down.