AXIS Comet :: Review
I have recently received the Axis Comet which I will be using as my mountain wing . I took a small to reduce weight (5kg) but I weigh 72 kg and will fit easily into the weight range which goes to 88kg .
The Comet is very easy to inflate and forward launches are super easy . The wing in flight is nice and responsive and quite a dynamic wing . There is not much difference between the Comet and the big brother the Vega 3 . The glide and general performance is quite amazing and it means you dont have to compromise safety to get good performance anymore . That been said this is not a entry level wing but a pilot should maybe get 80-100 flights before flying this wing . This wing is pleasure to fly as it thermals sweetly and climbs with good energy . This wing is a good Cross Country wing and has all the goodies to do big distance safely .
The Comet also likes to play and is great for wing overs , spirals and pendulums over the dunes in Wilderness . This is a fun wing !I am still testing the Wing and hope to give some more feedback soon .
I have been extremely impressed by all of Axis wings due to the fact they fly like a dream and in essence these are" real pilots " wings and pilots who fly Axis are always satisfied with the feel of the wing .
2012 September , I have returned from flying some dunes and mountains in Namibia and all the take -off points were virgin sites and the wing performed well as it was easy to control and launch from site tight spots and when doing a forward launch it was very easy to get over the head and into the air . The glider has a good glide and general performance especially speed on speedbar its good for dune soaring in strong winds . Once again I feel the glider may not be for a pilot that has just finished training as will this be testing wing for a new pilot .Great glider like all the Axis wings I have flown .
You cant go wrong with buying Axis as it money well spent .
Deon Borrett .
AXIS Vega 3 :: Review
I have been flying the Vega 3 medium for a few months now and am more than happy with the performance and safety aspects of this beautiful wing .
The wing is very easy to launch and settles nicely above the head after inflation without any overshooting tendency . While flying the glider is nice and responsive to steering input and the break pressure is about medium . There is a distinct cross over point when you about to go too deep with the breaks and the glider gives you ample warning you going to stall or spin . The glider loves light or strong lift and thermals clean and efficiently .The wing seems to enjoy a loading towards the top of the range as it actually performs better there . There is nice feedback on the wing when flying in thermals without making the glider to busy or twitchy . The wing gave me a sense of security when flying through some turbulence and has an predictable response . The wings tips don’t flap for no reason and the glider is very solid on speed bar . When pushing 100 % on speed bar there is a big increase of speed and the glide angle is naturally reduced .The best performance is hands up position .The wing enters spirals readily but also exits quite easily , its also responsive to wing overs and other high energy maneuvers .
Overall the glider is a stunning wing and its feels like you flying a wing with higher performance . This is a great wing for XC and general social flying .
Visit the offical AXIS website and lean more about the Vega 3 . Click here
8 Tips for Safe Flying
How to prevent incidents and accidents
1. New maneuvers like top landing , wing overs , spirals and other potentially dangerous tasks should always be done for the first time under radio or at least get some advice before attempting new maneuvers and be under radio supervision where possible .
2. Do new maneuvers with height and away from ridge .
3. Don’t become over confidant and don’t do radical stuff near the ground .
4. Check equipment -old porous gliders don’t respond well to collapses and have delayed recovery and also have a tendency to go parachutal just after launch .
5. Don’t believe that your glider is impervious to turbulence because it’s a safe wing . Fly active !
6. Don’t fly in conditions that your skill level cant handle . When in doubt stay out the sky .
7. Under confidence and fear is just as dangerous as being cocky . You tend to focus on the wrong stuff and then make silly mistakes .Butterflies in the gut is ok but mind numbing fear is not cool .Rather not fly .
8 . Take time to assess your risk and venture on the side of caution .
Paragliding XC Flying Season Has Started
Yesterday was great for flying at Sedgefield and some guys got very Roland junior in particular , I was getting the XC blues but work came first ..then when I was ready to fly XC it looked weaker until I hit a sweet thermal to take me quite high , the type you see Knynsa Quays and Mosselbay and drifted over the back and got low on those east deforested hills where I worked hard to get back up and even higher lots of hard work and great views and i I landed just short of Rheenedal but a nice 14-15km flight . I did not have the best shoes for the freezing altitude and felt like my toes were frostbitten at times .
This is the season for paragliding XC until early November due to high lapse rate and reasonable sun energy . October is traditionally the best month and good climbs of 6 m/sec are quite common . We are going to do some serious XC attempts this year and so yesterday was a warm up .
All pilots can find out where we flying on our Twitter account by going to www.dolphinparagliding.co.za
we give updates on the weather and where we flying so can save yourself the calls .
Alen Wilkinson Oldest Paragliding Student
Meet Alen Wilkinson, aged 74 having inflight lessons. So it goes to show that age does not prevent one from paragliding, if you are of good health and you have the spirit to follow your dream you can achieve this lofty goal called flight. Alen is progressing well with his training and already has a few solo flights under the belt.
GRG Airspace changes
To all pilots living and flying on the Garden Route.
As you all should be aware of, the George airspace is about to be changed. But firstly let me thank those who brought this to our attention and also to Jan and Roy who made the first contact with the role players in this process.
Some back ground.
Due to the nature of that first meeting, SAHPA petitioned the outcome with ATNS and the GRG ATSU. The main reason for this is because SAHPA felt that the agreement brokered was not representative of the actual flying being done by hang and paraglider pilots (ie we needed more space) and that it was not formal or permanent. Specifically, the arrangement was made to continue to use the Map airspace with an informal verbal agreement between the flying community and the GRG ATSU. Much like the arrangement in the past but with one major change - all of the airspace between the Map and Gerrickes would become part of the GRG CTR, leaving SAHPA pilots completely exposed to the mercy of not just GRG ATSU but all of the laws governing CTR's. We would be left with no formal rights to fly in this area at all. For the National body, this informal verbal agreement concerning such an important airspace and part of our sport was unacceptable. With this in mind, I was approached from the Aeroclub Chairman and the SAHPA Airspace liason officer to represent SAHPA at a meeting with all concerned parties. These included representatives from CAA, ATNS, GRG ATSU, MISASA, SAPFA, PASA, SAHPA, Springbok Aviation ATO, Starlite ATO and an independent representative. The meeting happened on the 4th of August at the GRG Airport.
There was mutual consent that the meeting was constructive and we all managed to walk out in time for lunch. I have a recording of the whole meeting and anybody is welcome to have a copy and listen to the discussion. (It is just under two hours long). The meeting was minuted and as soon as they have been sent to me I will forward it to the regional clubs and schools (and anybody else who would a like a copy).
There are many reasons why the controlled airspace needs to be changed and increased, however what impressed me most was that there truly is a spirit of consultation and working together to take into account all the users of the airspace. They idea was not simply to change the airspace to suite large commercial airlines but to change it to suit ALL users - hang glider and paraglider pilot included. The trick of course was to find ways of doing that while staying within the boundaries of the current aviation laws, especially those that govern controlled airspace. (It is an interesting exercise to create an area for hang glider and paraglider pilots within a CTR!)
For now I can say that as far as the changes concerning the hang gliding and paragliding pilots we have come to an agreement that I think suits us. We had to give a little but we got a great deal in return. The gist of the meeting is that we have secured the original airspace we have become used to using, for our flying activities for the whole region - not just an area around the Map. ATNS have agreed to set aside an area from sea level to 1500ft, with East/west boundaries between Wilderness and Sedgefield (from the 8NM to the 13 NM radius boundary), while the southern boundary is 2NM seawards from the shore line and the northern boundary is the end of the TMA (near the foot of the Outeniqwa mountains). In essence it is the area we have been flying in up to now. We had to compromise on section Foxtrot of the airspace which covers the area over the Outeniqwas and north up to the 25NM radius boundary. Here the TMA has been lowered from 7500 to 6500ft. It means you cannot climb as high when over the mountains, however this does not affect the majority of pilots. For the serious XC buffs it is a small sacrifice for securing our normal flying area.
At present we have until the end of September to come up with a plan of implementation. Key terms in this negotiation were: that this area is not temporary but a permanent one. The use of transponders and radios are not compulsory. The area is automatically activated during VFR daylight conditions. Certain sections will be activated during IFR conditions. For this particular point we still need to iron out stipulations to cover it from a legal point of view - ie GRG is closed for VFR traffic but we can still fly along the coast because cloud base is above 600ft (as is used for general aviation during special VFR cases within the CTR). We have to accommodate our use of this airspace when cloud base is less than 600ft - for example, our crafts fly at 20-30kph and flying on the wilderness and surrounding dunes can be done safely, thus we can continue to train pilots on the sand dunes in these conditions. It was agreed that because GRG is closed for VFR traffic during these conditions there will be no conflict along the coast with VFR traffic in any event. And because the IFR traffic is controlled by GRG ATSU and they know exactly where we are (in a particular block of airspace) the GRG ATSU (the ATC guys) can show CAA that there is a "deemed separation". And this is a legal practicality.
Of paramount importance! There is the issue of implementing the strict adherence to Airspace - absolutely no transgressing the 1500ft ASL limit will be tolerated. We need to put into place a mechanism that will ensure the communication of this important information to who-ever flies in this region. (Like a signed notification from each individual, which will become a legally binding document).
A note on flying the Outeniqwas. There is a chance we might be able to create what is called a "blue route" along the Outeniqwas for glider pilots. This route will be on Airspace maps and under certain conditions can be activated by ATCU under the request of the soaring pilots. We need to provide some GPS routes of the Outeniqwa area so that Gunter (from ATNS) can have a look at these and see if it will impact with their traffic design. Gunter is very accommodating on this principle and I think we must use this and see if it will work. Again it sets a great precedent.
These are key issues that need to be put onto black and white in a way that it can be legally implemented with existing CTR rules. I have been assured it is not impossible.
I will still be available to help where ever I can but will be out of the country from the 15th of August until November. We will need a key liaison officer from the Garden Route that can run with this process in my absence. The truth is that this is so important for hang and paragliding in SA, I suggest two or three people to help see this through. Remember the idea is not to stop NASCOM but to make sure they take our needs seriously and help to accommodate us. This is a great precedent case and will pave the way for working together in the future in a more advantageous way - they will not go ahead without changes to airspace before proper consultation with us (SAHPA) and we know we can get our needs accommodated within the frame work of the law.
That's it for now guys,
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Paragliding Tours South Africa : Cape Town : Porterville : Garden Route
Dolphin Paragliding Tours offers excellent opportunity to travel and paraglide in South Africa . Groups can rely on us to have the complete tour ready including transport , accommodation and guiding services of the highest quality . We can offer Tours in English , Dutch , German and on request French . We typically tour in the Summer months and any time from October -March you can get get good flying in South Africa . We offer Tours to Reunion in September and October months .
Our tours start in Cape Town and will include Hermanus , Porterville and the Garden Route for a mixture of coastal soaring and some thermic XC flying . Our guides are highly qualified instructors and know the sites intimately . We average between 15-35 years experience per guide . We can do special trips that combine Game viewing and other Adventure activities as one of the guides is a specialist in wildlife . We also offer Mixed Tours in April - June Period which is adventure 4x4 trips to Namibia and Botswana with some flying where possible .We have all the experience and knowledge to make your trips enjoyable and stress free . We also offer guiding locally where we stay in the Garden Route . Please contact us for any further information and we can quote you per group size and length of tour . We are flexible and are willing to do trips to any sites and places in Southern Africa . We have experience of flying in Mozambique and Zimbabwe as well .