Our Blog is an up to date record of what we have been up to both in the school and out of it. We endeavour to update it as regularly as possible and include a sample the days pictures when available.

You can scroll back through the
Blog and follow various students progress through their training and get a good idea of how the school operates.

You will also find records of our trips abroad which will give you a good idea of what to expect should you wish to come on one with us.

Please visit it on a regular basis and feel free to add comments.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Dick and Dom at the Dodman

Do you know these guys ??

It had been in the diary for a couple of months and after much tooing and froing of telephone calls and emails regarding risk assessments, insurance and experience the BBC finally decided we were up to being trusted with taking Dick of Dick and Dom up in the air.

Having put all the effort in whats the chance of the weather playing ball ....... not a lot!  Still we were on standby and based on the last few days we were pretty sure it would be fogged out at Vault today and blown out tomorrow.  Bill N kindly gave us a site update at lunchtime, wind good viz next to nothing and heading off to Maker, now if Bills leaving a site that's not good news.

Still we kept a close eye on it and by mid afternoon detected a change in conditions, a few phone calls and we were on our way with a 50/50 chance, having kidnapped Adi as he dropped in for a chat.  Things did not look to promising on the drive out but as we arrived through the gate Vault did what Vault does and the weather changed to give a nicely paraglideable breeze with good Viz and cloudbase at around 1000', unreal.


As the media circus (sound truck and a couple of cars) arrived I tested the air on the Delta and found it to be perfect so popped back in just as the 'stars' of CBBC Dick and Dom arrived. Meanwhile Kaz and Adie rigged the hangie just in case helped by a supply of jelly babies supplied by Dom.  The serenity of Paragliding put a very nervous Dick at ease and we got him briefed on how to do it Tandem style.  Microphones attached, Go Pros everywhere and we were ready to go when the director advised us that we were to go live on radio Cornwall at 17.30. What, that's nearly 30 minutes away and conditions could change ......... sure enough with 15 minutes to go the wind picked up so it was all change to  the Hangy.

Rebrief on Dick who was by now super nervous with the increasing wind and not helped by Dom who was super smiley and relaxed as he was staying on the ground.  17.30 the news finished the financial figures were out and we were on air.  a few minutes of preflight chat then Dick was clipped in and checked, seconds later we were off and away.

Dick's nerves showed through as he nearly strangled me at launch and was a close passenger throughout the flight but good on him for managing to carry out his broadcast from the air and even sound in control of himself!

Dick up in the air and "loving it"

The radio bit over with Dick was keen to get down but we had to wait a little whilst the camera crew relocated to the landing zone where a very relived Dick was brought back to Terra firma.  Unclipped he stood silent with his head in his hands for a good couple of minutes before he could carry on, no he did not throw up.

A bit of further filming for their TV program and we were wrapped  by which time the flyable slot had gone.  An interesting few hours  and how lucky were we, great to meet Dick and Dom and indeed the whole crew who unlike some others we have worked with were really switched on and making it happen.  Thanks to Adi for his help hopefully you will get a glimpse of him on CBBC's at sometime in the future along with Kaz.

looking a bit more relaxed the guys (especially Dick) give us some publicity

Have to say all credit to Dick for doing it as genuinely it was way out of his comfort zone and unlike most people who just choose yes or no he had the pressures of his job to consider.

Quote of the day "push your a*se in the air"  check out the live radio broadcast on Radio Cornwall 26/09/2013  at 17.30 onwards ............. or try here  

Sorry bit short on piccies but hopefully will get some more later.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Kisses from the misses .........

Another pretty full on day and despite the weather trying it's hardest to thwart us it failed and everyone had a cracking day :)  With no taster days/day ones we got things sorted early and the hangies were on the line first as conditions were a little on the brisk side for the para's.

Mark L (Torquay) back on is second day found the going a lot easier having put in the hard work yesterday and building a very good platform to move ahead from. It was not long before he was off the tethers and worked his way smoothly through the non release flights becoming a bit much more subtle with each one and rounding off his day with a release flight.  Some nice progress and we look forward to his next time down as he moves higher up and introduces turns, lets see if Kaz's encouragement helps!


picture tells

a story ..... check out the video here

Joining Mark on the hangy (well on another one actually) was Jonathon  (Tavistock) who was along for a bit of refresher training and had a full day putting away 11 tows and looking pretty sweet with it.  Some nice landings helped to build his confidence and it was a well worth while day for him.

Mark watches as Jonathon comes in for landing practice

Whilst the hangies flew the Paragliders ground handled and it was great to see both Colin N (Newlyn East) and Bev P (N Devon) make huge progress as things clicked.  Peter F (St Mabyn) back after a bit of a spell away settled back in nicely.

Despite a bit of light rain giving us time to catch up on a bit of theory and try out the new mobile shed it was not long before conditions mellowed allowing the Paragliders to get online. Bev led the way and moved nicely into her EPC tasks with higher flights and turns seeing her a couple of hundred feet up by the end of the day and providing a bit of entertainment along the way.

Grey skies and good use for old parachutes

the new mobile shelter is put to good use

Colin built on his ground handling progress by settling into hgh flights before moving into his seat and flying at "normally" used flying speeds and weight shift all topped off with some nice spot landings, a top day.

Bev ready to  move on and up

the red helmets make a plan ......

Peter F looked good in the air as he kept his hand in as preparation for going to the hill and took the opportunity to practice his Big ears as well as completing his theory exam. Sorry no kiss though Pete you will have to try harder .....

Thanks again to all for a fun day with plenty of good humour, help and progress , if only we can get the hardcore sheep to play ball

Quote of the day " that felt so good"

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Short changing

With a tricky forecast we opted for the tow field with a slightly later start to allow the weather to settle down.  11.15 saw us gather as the sun came out and the wind dropped making it like a mid summers day.  In fact it got that warm that we all eyed up Colin N's shorts ........................

'nuff said ........

With Mark L (Torquay) along for a Taster day on the Hang Glider the paragliders did some ground work whilst I got Mark going on the basics.  It was not long before he was ready to get on the tow line so after a bite to eat and a tow brief we got the winch set up.

Mark gets the ground work underway as the Para's rig

In contrary to the forecast the wind picked up and by the time we were ready it was more than breezy enough for the paragliders. So making the most of what we could we got Mark going on his first flights with Colin N (Newlyn east) and James B(Gweek) helping out with some side tethers just in case.  There was no need to worry Mark soon settled in and the guys could stand down leaving me to chase him with just a king post tether.   As Marks ability grew and we sorted out left and right the wind eased and it was not long before the Paragliders were ready to join in.

Mark gets set to go

off and away on an early flight on the tow for Mark

Bev P (N Devon) and James B both on their second day on Paragliders moved quickly into release flights before finishing off with turns and slightly higher flights matching each other as they progressed.

Bev puts in a nice ground run before going towing

Colin N got back into the air after his full on day of ground handling a couple of days ago.  It was not long before he was finishing off his EPC flights and putting in his first high flight and circuit as he last flight of the day and landing with a massive grin.

It was a happy it tired bunch at the end of the day which was a late one (almost like the old days) but well worth while with loads done all round. Hopefully more tomorrow but a we will miss James who has completed his two day taster session which was given to him as a gift, still you never know.

Quote of the day "Get 'em off Colin"

Friday, September 20, 2013

Converts and Convicts ?

Well an unusual day in the tow field with a good mixture going on from taster days through to Tow conversions with a bit of hang Gliding and Paramotoring thrown in for good measure.

Whilst Kaz cracked on with James B (Gweek) and Bev P (Barnstable) who were both one day one and were joined by Julian M who was back to carry on with his course having only done the basics a few months ago I tried to get the winch up and running.

However with the wind switching we held fire and brought Richard O (N.Devon) up to speed on towing theory as he was along for a tow conversion and hoping to put a few concerns about it to rest.  The fickle wind gave us time to get the hand tows done and in fact everyone was sorted by the time it did "settle" down so everyone got going together.

Richard had a good time gettingbhis first taste of towing and rattling off twelve by the end of the day and looking very comfortable with it even on his EN D super wing which floated around the field on the lightest of thermals, maybe it was partly down to the pilot as well ;)

Barney A (N.Devon) was back to continue his conversion onto Hang Gliding and had a fun time experiencing a line break before deciding to escape the field for an outlanding before rounding of his day with a super flight as it all came together, still it's all about learning.

Steve L was back and moved into his instability tasks putting away some nice Big ears before carrying out some active flying the first of which was fairly ACTIVE. Another good day should see him sorted and ready for the hill.

Julian  got going along with James and Bev and all three did good jobs of their first tows and flights progressing nicely as they got higher on each flight.  In fact by the end of play they were all looking really sweet and landing like they knew what they were doing! Check out a clip of Bev's last flight here .

In between all of this Kieth W (N Devon) managed not only a lot of ground handling but also a quick flight on his shiny new power unit  and hopefully next time he will get into his harness making life more comfortable.

Colin N decided to devote his time to ground handling and spent the whole day at it by the end of which not only saw him getting it sorted but also losing him a few kilo's ........

Thanks to Graham M for his patience as we moved around the field and to all for being such a fun group. hopefully Richards thoughts on towing are now all good and be good to see him thermal away from us sometime.

Quote of the day "Oh WOW, Oh WOW, Oh WOW" and that was whilst she was flying !

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Going rigid at St Agnes

Empty skies but not for long :)

Whilst the forecast was for light northerlies our waters told us it was likely to be more like fresh ones and so it panned out to be.  After a visit to Perranporth Airfield for a chat with the ATC to keep a lid on things and each other "safe" it was off to St Agnes where a good number  were already rigged with hangers and a few Paragliders were in the air in what were already brisk enough conditions.

Whilst Kaz rigged here new toy, Wills Wing Sport 2 135, with the aid of Phil L i popped the tandem together and Wyn D and Glen C tried their hardest to get away from the ridge. In fairness all the Para's made a great effort but the thermals were not quite working enough and the breeze a bit on the high side, still a few mini over the backs ensued.

Kaz gets a tip or two

With things now more in the hangies favour a couple of test flights on Kaz's wing to sort out the trim (can't wait to fly it more ;))soon encouraged more into the air and the fun began.

Casey (London) was down for the weekend and took the chance to go up on the hangy and in super conditions we had a ball just playing in the lift and chasing the odd thermal and seagull.  Casey was a bit overarwed by the whole thing and it was a mixture of relief and elation when we came back in on top for a nice landing.

Casey's smile says it all

There was a good gathering of wings including visitors from the Condors with their Atos's and even Patrick B made an appearance getting back into the air after his long "break".  Conditions steadily got better with the sea thermals kicking in giving some nice climbs to 1500' although the drift was quick enough. amazing how modern gliders can pull forward though even in the fresh breeze seeing us regularly thermalling back to the beacon before heading upwind to the cliff and arriving with masses to spare.

"ready" for her first flight on her new wing

Kaz was suitably nervous about flying her new wing but she plucked up the courage and was rewarded with a cracking flight which started with as good a launch as you will see before climbing out to the top of the stack!  It will be interesting to see how her flying develops from here on.

Off and away in fine style

Sharing the air

Big Gray was delighted as Mark H (Condor) lent him various bits and pieces to try on his now seated topless and by the end of the day he was looking pretty much sorted, ideal, and be good to see him out with it putting in the airtime and hopefully the miles.

Kaz and Big Gray show both prone and "seated" flying

Having watched Kaz go through the concern of flying her wing I went through the same thing as Mark H offered me a go on his Atos, dry lips, nervousness and an unusual quietness overcame me as I walked (was dragged) to the front.  Take off was fine in fact the whole flight was fine including the landing but I have to say it was a weird experience with a very detached feeling as the A frame wobbles around and nothing seems to happen.  Yes I would fly it again and I am sure next time I would be a lot more relaxed and after a few hours would get in touch with it but it is very different from a flex wing ............

Suitably nervous I go rigid

As the thermals died away we packed our kit and  headed to the Chiverton Arms for some refreshment before heading home.  What a cracking day with everyone having fun and 10 hangies on the hill the trend continues.

Quote of the day "RELAX"

Monday, September 09, 2013

"Dropping in" on Michel

After a lot of faffing around at home waiting for deliveries and sending a few ourselves we nipped out to St Agnes for a look but more likely a walk as it was pretty breezy.

The modellers were having fun and despite a bit on the windy side the sky looked good so it was worth a go.  Remarkably the air was much smoother than expected and the lift more gentle than hoped taking me upto around 600 ATO instead of cloud base.  Still patience is a virtue and sooner or later it had to happen and it did with a nice 2 up all the way.

Nipping in and out of the edge of the cloud saw me drift inland under a nice street which finally tempted me to fly along it in good lift.  Kaz had gone for a walk and did not seem keen to drive too far to find me .... decisions.  Too late to hang a right and head for home and a shame to land under such a nice cloud so carried on past Redruth, over Lanner, Stithians before coming to the A394 Falmouth to Helston Rd.  Ah ha Michel lives somewhere near here and somewhere down wind.

5 minutes of scouting the countryside and I finally worked it out, yep big sheds bungalow, Peugeot and nice filed, ideal.  The wind was a bit more than expected but then he does live on top of a hill blowing 25 + on landing, still no drama.  No sooner than I dropped the glider down there was Michel on his quad looking more surprised than a startled rabbit as I called out to him.  A nice cup of tea (no cake though) and then he was kind enough to drop me home, perfect.


Quote of the day "Oh Bl**dy h*ll"

Saturday, September 07, 2013

Chuffing at Chapel

A fun time at Chapel where despite it being breezy to start with by the time we had rigged Kaz's hanger it had dropped enough for Paragliding.  With a full car park due to the World Belly boarding championships on the Beach and lots of OAP's clutching lumps of plywood it was a fun place to be.

Fun on the beach

Whilst the brave entered the water with no wetsuits Kaz and myself floated about in the air on the Tandem Pg to watch the fun.  We were joined by Phil L (on my Delta 2 again) , Big G, Fiona A Steve W and a visitor making it a sociable place to be, especially when a bit of rain came through and we all got under Kaz's Hangy!

Big G "floats" by

Just checking it's still working

Three nice flights saw me getting plenty of practice in on launching and Kaz some no hassle flying whilst she took a few nice pictures.  By the time Nick T turned up for his flight the wind eased then returned with a bit of gusto seeing us struggle at launch and those in the air heading back down in a hurry.  The writing was on the wall so we called it a day and hopefully Nick will get in the air next time out.

"Birds" eye view 

By now some of the surfers were returning from the beach looking full of colour (mainly blue) and the car park was emptying but a fun day all round.

Quote of the day  "is that a snake?"

Friday, September 06, 2013

Stuck up at Sennen

An interesting forecast saw us heading to Sennen Cove where a light NNW was forecast to pick up to a fresh one around mid day.  On arrival it was light, like really light and whilst it was possible to fly just on the Paragliders slope landings were the name of the game.

Mark P and girlfriend Sam W joined us for hopefully some Tandem flying and looked on as the floppies flopped.  Sure enough the wind began to fill and it was not long before I took the Delta 2 up to test the air.  It was lift and getting liftier the longer I stayed up with orographic cloud starting to form.  a quick flight to the old coastguard lookout to the west then up to Gwenver to the north was enough to convince me that it was time to land as the wind steadily increased.

Landing pretty much stationary I left Geoff R and Andy R in the air with Kaz putting her wing back in the bag!  With it now blowing 20 + on launch Andy R made a good effort and Big eared to the beach where it was still windy enough.  Geoff R on the other hand was stuck in no mans land with Big Ears in and full speed bar on and going nowhere, neither down nor forward.  Still a after about 10 minutes and a few involuntary manoeuvres he finally slipped the winds grasp and just about made it onto the beach, phew ......

So time to Hang Glide :)  Mark was first up on the Tandem and had an absolute ball in the bountiful lift as we played with the cloud and the gulls before coming in for a super smooth landing.  Sam could not wait to get up there but as it was we did whilst a bit of dampness went by. But not for long and with it looking much brighter we were off again accompanied by a few screams ....... a cracking flight and great fun watching the army boys seeing who could hang on the longest to the breakwater before falling off one by one into the sea.

Big G joined us now flying his Topless Hangy seated and looking pretty good at it too, Kaz popped up a couple of times as did Sam A and having walked back up from the beach Andy R got in on the act on his Hangy .

All's well that ends well and it certainly did for all.

Quote of the day "there's twelve of them, oh, now only eleven"

Sunday, September 01, 2013

Hangies 3 Para's 2

Back to the field with 3 hangies to play with whilst Kaz had 2 taster days on the Paragliders to get going.

Richard H (Bristol) was back to continue his 20 year quest to get hang gliding cracked and had a great day putting away the flights whilst the others rigged!  Elven flights later and his theory exam saw him complete his CPC on the tow line:)  He had a great day as he worked his way through his final tasks finishing off with Stalls in fine style.  Another day in the field then it's off to the hills we look forward to it.

Tom and Henery also on hangies got going a bit later after a late start and put away 6 flights each making slow but steady progress with Henery getting his first high flights in by the end of play and Tom only scaring me the once ;)

Meanwhile Kaz had worked hard with the Paragliders and mid afternoon saw them ready to tow. Jaz was first to go and made a good job of it setting the standard for dave to follow.  despite the od hop skip and a jump they both did well ending up with some nice flights and proving that it was the easiest part of the day.

In amongst it all Peter V popped in a couple of super flights on his Paramotor to finish off his CPC tasks and was looking pretty good with it.  Not long and he will be off on his own, another dream made.

Quote of the day " not that much!"