HERE IS AN ARTICLE FROM OUR ADVOACTE MARK ABOUT HIS FUNDRAISING TRIP IN AUSTRALIA. YOU CAN FOLLOW HIS ADVENTURE AT WWW.THEFLIGHT4LIFE.COM
NEVER A DULL MOMENT IN THE LAND DOWN UNDER
By MARK | Published: FEBRUARY 18, 2012
It seems like there may be some dull moments, but in reality every day has something that crops up to keep us busy.
Whether it is a team meeting to discuss the recent and forecast change in wind speed and direction, or a discussion over logistics with the next set of remote towns we travel through or simply trying to find a place to weld a broken exhaust on the Nissan, every day has it’s challenges.
Late evening flight for one of the pilots The natural rhythm of the day is to be up before 5am and getting ready to launch. We are legally allowed to fly 30 minutes before sunrise which of course changes as we travel south and west across the country. It is a beautiful time of day to fly and the reason we start early is because normally the winds are a little more calm.
It has been much rougher than the first week, stronger winds, head winds and hence more turbulence when the thermals kick in, usually around 8am to 8:30am in the morning. The flying goes on until the wind stops us or we run out of fuel. Occasionally that is close to a town so we can carry on and rest in the town or back track a few kilometres.
The locals are always interested in what we are doing and often a newspaper will track us down to chat about the project. That is good news for the Royal Flying Doctors Service and Rally4Life.
Once down, there may be a little maintenance on the paramotors, there is recording of all the flight data for Guinness and updating on the internet if we have a connection.
I have to apologise for not putting up more video’s but we are limited with band width. I will get something up next week but otherwise you can watch out for our Western Canada speaking tour in May and June and come and check out the stunning video and hear the tales first hand!
Later in the day, usually around 4pm the flying starts again. Often in quite extreme weather for paramotoring. The thermals are strong, the winds are strong and our only hope is that they are dying down. Usually that is the case and both wind and thermal strength diminishes in mid flight allowing the flying to continue until dusk or fuel runs out.
Occasionally we need to be aware of the terrain below and wind direction. In the open prairie, we can push until fuel is exhausted and land almost anywhere. In forested areas, we can only land in open meadows which are sometimes very limited or on the road, which means the wind needs to be running along the road or it leads to a very dangerous landing.
A typical roadside launch So far, everything is at least moving forward. We are sitting just shy of 1,600kms so within the next two days we will have achieved almost quarter of the current world record. While there is no timeframe for the world record we are moving very quickly compared to the existing record even with the challenging conditions we are experiencing.
Watch out for some video files later next week and we will try and get some more photos uploaded too. Please don’t forget to support the charities, every little bit helps and a small amount of money will literally save a life in the right circumstances.