Hike & Fly
Whether you are a beginner or an experienced pilot, flying in the mountains remains a pleasure and a satisfaction to have accomplished a journey.
The benefits of Hike&Fly:
It is a moment of happiness, calm and observation, almost a meditation. It is for me a complete moment of energetic recharge. I have the impression to have deserved this flight and I appreciate it much more. I take the time to contemplate, because the climb has tired me and allows me this calmness at takeoff.
So there are several phases before making these flights:
Preparation and anticipation. When the idea is there, you have to turn it into reality:
- Take the weather forecast of the potential days of flight, one or more if it is a long weekend.
- Take the wind and sunshine.
- Determine a place to fly, a mountain or several in the same area, to optimize the last minute change of plan.
- Choose a hiking trail for access. Think of having the maps, paper or digital, they will be of good use if there is fog, to go back down on foot!
- Calculate the difference in altitude you wish to make and adapt your hike
- From take-off, calculate the glide ratio to reach the potential landing. In the mountains, we divide the theoretical glide ratio of your wing by 2, which allows you to keep some margin in case of misinterpretation of the flight conditions (difference in altitude/distance).
- Make several simulations according to the surrounding take-offs.
- Prepare your bag: water, cereal bar, sandwich, warm clothes, gloves, etc…
This approach requires the mastery of certain tools:
- Know how to read the weather on a chosen spot. Several websites can help you:
- How to read an IGN map. Many tutorials prepare you for a hike or to understand the meanings of the legends and indications on the map.
- Know what the glide ratio of a glider is and be able to use it on a take-off.
- Know how to use an altimeter. A map without an altimeter does not work well in fog. Train in the woods to make small orienteering runs, and to locate the multiple indications noted on your map.
Once the hike is over, it's time to fly!
It is important to go back to the security procedures you have at your usual sites. It is also important to concentrate as we may be disturbed by a new environment.
Take care before you take off to take a deep breath and redo your pre-flight.
- Preparation of the wing
- Tying up
- Taking the controls
Once this is done, take a second breath to see if there is anything personal left on the take-off area (bag, helmet, gloves, wet shirt, etc.).
The third breath and a mental validity that you are ready to make your decision to take off. This is a real personal decision, not a group one. Being in the air is assuming the flight and the choice to fly in the aerology of the moment.
Be aware that you are going to have fun in the air, while being vigilant and concentrated to reach the landing.
If you don’t feel like flying, it is possible to walk back down the path you took on the way up. The pleasure of being in the mountains must remain the priority. An opportunity will arise again, and one will learn from these setbacks.
“You have understood that in order to do hike&fly, you have to prepare yourself, learn and test. Start on easy sites with good weather, which will not be negligible in terms of stress management.”
”See you soon in our mountains for some hike&fly together!Fab