Gavin McClurg is an, author, adventurer, public speaker and host of the podcast Cloudbase Mayhem. He has flown in Alaska being the first person to traverse the full length of the Alaska range by foot and paraglider. He became the first American to complete the toughest adventure race on earth, the X-Alps. Gavin shares his amazing journey with us now.
Later Sergio The Soaring Master joins us for another segment about cloud flying. All this and more now on episode 106 of Soaring the sky!
Gavin, you do know paraglider pilots that also fly sailplanes. I’m one of them (or at least I used to be, before an SCI injury ended my 37-year flying career). I started with hang gliders in 1974, then learned to fly ultralights in 1984 and sailplanes in 1987. Then later, in 1993, I picked up an airplane pilot’s license while in Argentina for a couple of years. I believe I’m the first person to obtain a silver badge in hang-gliding, paragliding, and soaring, and then a gold badge in the same three disciplines. I also have a diamond badge 4 wave in sailplanes , and 2 Place Canadian record in a Duo Discus along with former hang gliding team captain Ernst Schneider.
When your host asked about cross-pollination in the two disciplines , my response would be that being a foot launched pilot is a great benefit in Learning to Fly sailplanes. We have a natural feel for the air and can easily visualize the structure of thermals. I have seen lots of sailplane-only Pilots that seemed loathe to wind it up in a thermal. My local CFI says he can always spot when a glider is being flown by a foot launch pilot, as their style is different.
Excellent interview. One correction: several times during the podcast Mr. McClurg and Mr. Fluton mentioned maintaining safety margins by lowering the nose to increase the angle of attack and increase speed. Of course they both know that the correct statement is that lowering the nose DECREASES the angle of attack and increases flying speed. It’s an easy slip to make. Not a big deal for most listeners, but it could trip up a beginning student. Thanks again for the many fine podcasts.