Paragliding – Google Earth – 6th Flight

This is pretty geek – but, if you’re a geek, it’s really cool…

I did my 6th flight yesterday after almost a months hiatus (busted my ankle, the weather’s been crap). There’s a cool site called Leonardo which pilots use to log/track their flights based on GPS exports. This is the export of my 6th flight. That’s pretty neato-burrito, but, what’s really cool is if you click on the Google Earth link (in flight file – right hand side), save the .kml file and open it in Google Earth.

You can then play with it in 3D and really get a sense for how the flight went.

6th Flight off Tiger

You can do this on any flight logged in Leonardo… some of the uber-paragliding-geeks have started to develop maps of key lift areas based on conditions and sites allowing you to download GPS points of where to go (statistically) to get the best lift. Pretty neato-burrito.

I had an 18 minute flight yesterday. It could have been way longer but I was on a new kite and it was super bumpy. I probably shouldn’t have been flying (but, after a one hour hike up the mountain with a 40 lb pack it’s hard to convince yourself that caution is the best route… a common problem it seems with mountains :). I had a really bad landing. The LZ was a “toilet bowl” meaning the winds were all over the place. Strong thermals were lifting off the LZ (landind zone) as well. I slammed in pretty hard but, avoided trees and the dreaded black-berry bushes AND walked away – so it’s all good. New pilots (really anyone who flies with Seattle Paragidling has the luxury of Lan talking us in… which probably saved me some broken bones yesterday… thanks Lan!).

Pics I took from yesterday are up on flickr… here’s my favorite of the day:

Tandem above launch

OK – enough geeking about – it’s gorgeous … time to go sailing (rough life).