August 01, 2014

Morning Flight From The Brevent, Chamonix

Only in Chamonix can a work day start like this

And end like this. 
Angela and Margot climbing back to the Aiguille de Midi after a stormy afternoon up high.

Since crashing over 1.5 years ago, it's a been an introspective and challenging process becoming comfortable in the air again. Once you hit the ground hard, it's difficult to forget the sensation of impact. In order to get back to flying confidently, the two most important factors have been a) consciously deciding that I wanted to fly again and b) having access to an area that I could log numerous flights in a single day.  The first point may seem moot, but it provided the motivation to work through the nerves, doubt and fear that went along with getting back in the air - especially on the small wing. At first, there was very little joy or fun flying the 12 meter. Travelling up the gondola to launch, my heart often felt like it was going to explode out of my chest! In order to calm down, I practiced a simple breathing exercise where the goal was to make 10 full breaths without the mind wandering. This proved to be significantly harder than flying and I have yet to make it to 3, but the exercise helped me to calm down and focus. It took about 15 flights before I could relax and start to enjoy the process again. 

The Brevent launch is quite forgiving and stands about 1000 meters over the Savoy landing field. On a 12 meter wing flying at about 85 km/h, the flight lasts about 2.5 minutes. 

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