XC Media

Cross Country

Cross Country May 2018

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Cross Country is the world’s leading voice for hang gliding, paragliding and paramotoring pilots. Ten times a year, our magazine content reflects our obsession with flying, and we express it by packing each issue with the most imaginative, inspirational photography and writing we can lay our hands on.

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United Kingdom
XC Media
10 Issues

in this issue

2 min.
the space we’re in

Sometimes you have a flight that reconnects you with the reasons you fly. Towards the end of winter here, I had one of those days. I was the only one to bother turning up at the coastal site before 10am, and as I struggled with the cold and damp I wondered what I was doing. The wind was a stiff but steady 25km/h and blowing straight out of Siberia across a cold grey sea. The temperature was barely above zero. The seagulls stood alone against it all, soaring high and far out above the beach, muddy, wet and exposed at low tide. In the air I picked my way along the few kilometres of bluffs and coves, marvelling at how this stretch of the cliffs is steadily slumping into the sea.…

1 min.

Charlie Piccolo was born in 1979 and started to fly aged 15. He lists his passions as flying, surfing, kiting, music and “life”, which is good because he lives and teaches on the Dune du Pyla. Fed up of watching people struggle, he’s gone back to basics for us with an article on nailing those reverse launches. See p44 Nick Radford made a career in photography “accidentally” he says, “and I will keep accidentally doing it until it stops filling my heart.” He got to Iceland almost accidentally too, and he tells us about that this issue. As well as PPG he likes “going fast, and really well made quesadillas.” See p68 Sasha Serebrennikova has been flying hang gliders since 2011 and has pursued a life in competition and adventure flying since…

2 min.
in the core

How to Have Fun It’s the start of the season in Europe so watch out for those Spring thermals... and try not to forget the rules of the air. To help give you a headstart on wherever and whatever you are flying this month, Tom Payne introduces his seven-point plan to making sure this season is as good as the last one – or even better! 1. It’s not what you do, it’s who you do it with. The best moments in paragliding are not individual but shared. I had a lot of friends in the competition scene. When the world fell apart with CIVL’s Open Class ban, many of my friends stopped going to competitions. Without them, it wasn’t the same, so I stopped going too. 2. If you get caught in…

2 min.
lighting up in the philippines

Four paramotor pilots entertained crowds of up to 400,000 people at a huge balloon fiesta in the Philippines in February. Two of the three Spanish Malaguita brothers, Javi and Manu, and Ant and Tim Green from California, flew twice a day at dawn and dusk, as well as getting in some night-flying with LED-lit paramotors. The Philippine International Hot Air Balloon Fiesta is the longest running sports aviation event in Asia, and is now in its 22nd year. Held over four days at an airstrip in the north of the country, the festival features hot air balloons, aerobatic displays, formation flying, skydiving, and paragliding and paramotoring. “The Fiesta started in 1994, with the main goal of jumpstarting the local economy and uplifting the morale of communities in Central Luzon, after the eruption…

1 min.
the pentagon parachute

Nova have released their first reserve parachute – and it breaks the mould with five sides. Not square, not round, but pentagonal. The innovative Pentagon is, “in theory,” an improvement on other designs, Nova say. Why? Nova quote the low pendular movement, the quick opening, low sink rate, water-resistant materials and easy packing. The five-sided shape is “self-stabilising” say Nova: the asymmetry of the lift distribution counteracts unwelcome oscillation. Sink rate was measured at 5.2m/s for the size 120, which is well within certification demands of 5.5m/s. Perhaps most significantly however, Nova highlight their use of materials, specifically in relation to water. They say the Edelrid lines and Porcher Sport material mean the Pentagon will still pass the EN sink-rate test after a water dunking. This means, they say, you will be…

2 min.
300 full stalls?

If Gavin McClurg is asking, “Have we done 300 full stalls?” (XC188, p40), assuming someone had the time but a limited amount of money, what would you advise as to the best way to get the other 295 full stalls after an SIV course in a relatively safe but economic way? Brian Sanders A good question. And yes we know the ‘300 full stalls’ thing is out of reach for many weekend pilots. It’s Gavin’s opinion, which we are happy to give space to. That said, you hear that number quoted from acro experts Pál Takáts, Théo de Blic and Horacio Llorens too... so there is something in it if you are aiming to become an expert-level pilot. The “safe but economic” way would be something like this: 1. Initial full stall training in…