Spring is here!  Now what?!


For many of us, the winter months don't offer a lot of opportunity for flying.  This year's weather was worse than usual (or better if you like rain!). So as many of us are pulling out and dusting off our gear to get ready for a fun-filled summer of weekend flying trips, this edition will talk about sharpening skills and getting ready for the season ahead.

Also, it's never too late to join BAPA.  Click the button below to join or renew your membership for 2019!  Your support is greatly appreciated.
Join / Renew your BAPA Membership for 2019
This past weekend the BBC was at Mission Peak filming paragliders flying with eagles for an upcoming episode of Natural World.  Hats off to BAPA Activities Director Michael Vergalla and his non-profit organization Free Flight Lab for making this happen and involving so many volunteers in our community.  He was able to fly multiple tandem flights with bird expert Lloyd Buck and share our paragliding perspective of the bird world.
Spring Preparations

Are you ready to jump into the season with both feet?  Below are some reminders on getting you and your gear in tip-top shape.

If you're looking for more information or want to start a discussion about any of the following topics, the BAPA Facebook page is a great place to go.

Reserves

Time to repack!
  Manufacturers recommend repacking every 6 months. Get new rubber bands, make sure the fabric is in good condition, and make sure the lines are clear and nothing is out of place which could prevent a successful deployment!  THIS IS A GREAT TIME TO DO A PRACTICE THROW!

Time to upgrade?  Did you know that the typical lifespan of a reserve is 10 years?  The fabric degrades, even though it's not exposed to direct UV. Also, similar to our wings, reserve technology has improved. If you're thinking of getting a new reserve, you might find that making an educated decision is a minefield of information, opinion, marketing, and prioritization.  Round? Square? Rogallo? Steerable? Hybrid?  What's important? Weight? Opening time? Descent rate? Cost? Size? Check out this very detailed article by FlyBubble Paragliding which discusses reserve designs and the pros and cons of each.

Your brain!

When getting your initial training you probably spent time talking with your instructor about things like aerodynamics, weather, regulations, airspace, equipment, and more.  If you'd like to brush up on the basics, there is a great website called Paraglider Training which contains most of the P2 ground school material.   In addition, Bob Posey (that's me!! shameless plug) gave a presentation on Regulations and Airspace in the Bay Area which will surely cure you of any insomnia.  Another great idea is to practice maneuvers you did in your early training. Take a couple of laps on the training hill and work on basic skills such as - big ears with turns, full speed bar, rear riser steering, one-handed and weight shift only turns, forward and reverse launches, spot landings, downwind/base/final approach, linked 180ยบ turns, etc.
Wing

When's the last time you did a close inspection of your wing?  Now is the perfect time! Check every line, especially your brake lines, for signs of wear and fraying.  Check your trailing edge for wear from rocks/thistles/cell phones left inside the wing when you repacked.  Look for little holes in the fabric where bugs might have chewed through.  Clean out your wing!  Lastly, consider getting your line lengths remeasured, or a full inspection including a porosity check.
Helmets

Take a close look at your helmet.  Check the exterior for signs of cracks, and check the interior EPS foam for signs of cracks or compressed foam.  If in doubt, get a new helmet.  Also, please triple check the chinstrap - the plastic buckle tends to become brittle over time.  You don't want your helmet coming off your head when you need it most.  Buckle the chin strap and give it a solid tug.  If it breaks, get a new helmet.  Our previous newsletter referenced an article called the Helmet Question.
Get better at thermalling
Want to get better at thermal flying? Here's a bunch of events to get out and improve your skills!
Events

Spring Fly-In 2019
Sat/Sun May 4/5, 2019, Tollhouse
Enjoy a relaxed flying weekend with friends, and early season thermals at Tollhouse!  Open to P3s and above, and P2s with prior approval (please email [email protected]).
Facebook Event Page
 
BAPA Thermal Clinic
Sat/Sun June 1/2, 2019, all day, Tollhouse
Tickets: Available to BAPA members only - $20 per person
Limited spots: Only 6 spots left at the time of writing! This is sure to sell out!
Want to improve your thermal flying skills?  THIS IS THE EVENT!  Learn the best techniques for centering in a thermal, using speedbar, actively managing the wing, finding lift, and more!!!  Taught by longtime BAPA and XC veteran Tom Moock.
Learn more/ sign up!

Tollhouse Work Party (CCHPA event, not a BAPA event)
Sat/Sun May 25/26, 2019, Tollhouse
The CCHPA is holding a work party to clean up launch.  Grab some pruning shears and your flying equipment, and help maintain the site!
Learn more

Applegate Open (again, not a BAPA event, but still awesome)
June 15-22, 2019, Woodrat @ Ruch, OR
Formerly the Rat Race, the Applegate Open is a number of events all in one.  It's a sanctioned National Competition, a Sprint Race, and a Super Clinic!  If competing isn't your thing, you might consider attending the Super Clinic (the grad school of paragliding), or signing up as a volunteer (FAQs, sign-up link)

Flight Instrument FUNdamentals - waypoint flying at Ed Levin
Date: TBD (likely June)
Learn how to use your flight instrument at the comfort of Ed Levin! We'll generate a few easy tasks which can be accomplished on glide from launch and a couple of more challenging tasks.  The goal is to get familiar uploading waypoints to your flight instrument, learning how to create routes and then fly the route to tag waypoints, and to help you explore and discover more of Ed Levin!
Reading Recommendations

Here's a couple of reading recommendations around thermal flying:

Thermal Flying by Burkhard Martens
To me, this is the holy bible of thermal flying.

Why spring thermals are stronger

The 5 methods of thermalling

The three most common thermalling mistakes

Mastering Paragliding by Kelly Farina

BAPA Meeting Minutes (not exactly about thermal flying, but if you've made it this far, thank you!)
That's all for now!  Looking forward to flying with you soon.

Love, BAPA
Susan Kent // president // [email protected]
Andrew Gentles // vice president // [email protected]
Karl Allmendinger // secretary // [email protected]
Martin Canabal // treasurer // [email protected]
Michael Vergalla // activities director // [email protected]
Bob Posey // safety coordinator // [email protected]
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