Off Topic: Paragliding – Performance Training in Ölüdeniz, Turkey (Mount Babadag)

19 Oct 2015
October 19, 2015

This post will be totally SharePoint unrelated but it was so amazing that I will briefly tell you about me last week in Ölüdeniz, Turkey – with lots of pictures! So please read on if you are not afraid of great heights.

Sundowner! Start close to latest takeoff guarantees a flight in the sunset

Sundowner! Start close to latest takeoff (~18:00) guarantees a flight in the sunset

Paragliding

1.5 years ago I started to learn how to use a Paraglider – and I enjoyed every minute in the air since then! It is an awesome, thrilling but still very relaxing sport – and not as dangerous as you might think. But it requires a lot of practicing and lots of technical gimmicks – an ideal sport for me. In order to improve my technique (I am still a beginner) I booked a paragliding tour with my flight school – a so called performance training – with my buddy Sebastian and traveled to Turkey (2.5 hours flight from Munich) – and we had a blast from 10/10/15 to 10/17/15.

Babadag, 1700 meters above sea level – close to heaven!

Above 1700m

Above 1700m – this guy found some thermal wind to fly above the peak

I must say, I am totally impressed of the city Ölüdeniz – it almosted seems like the whole city is built for paragliders, but i am most likely not objective! Every day you can see paragliders flying closely above the city – and we landed next to the beach on the pavement. The “normal” tourists are warned with signs like this one:

Warning: Paragliders incoming!

Warning: Paragliders incoming!

I could not imagine that in Germany – here you need a certified launch and landing site to prevent accidents. In Ölüdeniz it more looked like an airport for paragliders:

Landing close to the beach

Landing close to the beach

One of the launch sites - one of the best I have seen so far

One of the launch sites – one of the best I have seen so far – and its always busy up there

A typical launch looks like this – here is a tandem (2 persons) start:

Performance Training

So what do paragliders learn in a performance training? From start to landing I got advise from my flight school – and we practiced extreme maneuvers to better handle a glider in extreme situations like a collapse – it is totally amazing to me that you can still fly with 50 percent of your glider and it was fun to destroy the glider mid-flight (and above water) to simulate this behavior. Or a so called B-Stall – where you pull down some lines to decrease the glider surface – and loose height. In my case I went down with notable 8m/s. Good fun! The most exciting and thrilling exercise tho was the spiral – during this you pull one break until the glider spirals down with extreme speed and g-force – that pressure and sound was totally new for me and at first scared the sh** out of me to be honest 🙂 Peter did it amazingly fast and recorded it with two cams – one attached below the glider and one on his helmet:

The sound still gives me heebie-jeebies 🙂

Relaxing above the sea

Pictures tell more than thousand words – here we go:

Relaxing above the sea

Relaxing above the sea

1000 meters above the sea

a selfie ~1000 meters high

a view from the side

a view from the side

my favorite pic so far!

my favorite pic so far!

just hanging there

just hanging there – I really love my Cyber TE glider!

The view is amazing - every time!

The view is amazing – every time!

Little Helper - this guy tells me exactly how long my flight was, g-force, won altitude, distance and all that useful paragliding stuff.

Little Helper – this guy tells me exactly how long my flight was, g-force, won altitude, distance and all that useful paragliding stuff.

Closing

Okay thats it – I learned a lot, had lots of fun, met new paragliding friends and had 9 happy landings that sums up to more than 15.000 height meters – and I am very thankful to my always patient flight trainers Wolf and Markus from Bayrische Drachen + Gleitschirmschule.

My friend Sebastian created a nice video that sums up all the experience in just 3 minutes – awesome!

You have questions? Drop a comment and I am happy to help!

Max Melcher
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Max Melcher

Maximilian Melcher (MCSE, MCPD) is a Principal Consultant working at Alegri International Services in Munich, Germany. Max is a specialist in SharePoint technologies focused on search, social computing, web content management and collaboration. Max has led SharePoint implementations for Dax 30 companies since 2009.
Max’s free time is spent on twitter (@maxmelcher) mostly with a good coffee in his hands.
Max Melcher
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