Tag Archives: paragliding

94 Year Old War Veteran To Parachute Over Normandy

Those of you who have parachuted from 10,000 feet from a plane will be aware of the dangers of the activity. A number of things can potentially go wrong but the majority of parachutists make a safe landing suffering no injuries and thoroughly enjoy the experience.

However, there are very few people in their 90s who would dare take to the skies in a plane, jump from it at several thousand feet, free fall for a considerable distance before parachuting to the ground. Well that is exactly what a 94 year old second world war veteran intends to do on the 6th June 2019 to mark the 75th anniversary of the D-Day landing.

Harry Read is a very brave gentleman. Back on the 6th June 1944, whilst the Second World War was in progress, he was a young wireless operator. On that day which was the day of the D-Day landing he took to the skies and was parachuted into Normandy in France. Unlike many of his colleagues, he survived not only the landing but also the war. He later went on to head up the Salvation Army for a period of time.

Last year, in preparation for his forthcoming jump, he parachuted from several thousand feet here in the UK raising money for the Salvation Army.

All of use here at AIB Insurance wish Harry Read good fortune on the 6th June when he makes his parachute descent and hope that he makes a safe landing.

If you take part in parachuting on a regular basis then you may be interested to read that we specialise in arranging suitable cover. In this respect, why not give us a call on 02380 268 351 and speak with a member of our team who will be happy to discuss your requirements and arrange a competitive quotation without any obligation. We look forward to hearing from you.

Kangaroo Attacks Paraglider In Australia

KangarooThose of you who are keen paragliders no doubt love the thrill and excitement of taking to the air and pitting yourself against the elements in the sky. Once airborne, you are faced with many challenges but this is just one of the many attractions of the sport.

Having spent some time travelling many miles paragliding, you are then faced with the danger of having to make a safe landing. Most paragliders land without a problem but some suffer broken limbs if they mis-judge their landing perhaps due to a sudden gust of wind putting them of course and leaving them stranded in the branches of a large oak tree.

It is no doubt a great sense of relief having put two feet safely on the earth without suffering any mishap. Surely nothing untoward can then happen?

Well, this was not the case for a 35-year-old paraglider over in Australia. Apparently, the man in question had enjoyed a wonderful couple of hours paragliding. He descended and both feet safely touched the ground at the Orroral Valley Space Tracking Station near Canberra. However, even before he had had the opportunity to gather his parachute and get out of his gear he saw a kangaroo skipping hastily towards him. Having then warmly greeted the approaching kangaroo the marsupial then proceeded to attack him not once but twice by punching him.

Fortunately, he did not suffer any serious injury and hopefully the unexpected experience will not have put him off paragliding in the future although he will no doubt be on the look out for any kangaroos in the vicinity of where he next plans to land.

Fortunately, coming face to face with a kangaroo is not something that paragliders taking to the air here in the UK are likely to encounter when landing although no doubt some people have probably come down in a field of cattle and felt a little uneasy.

Military Jet Has Near Miss With Paragliders

If you participate in paragliding then you will be well aware that there are numerous risks relating to your sport that could potentially lead to a serious accident taking place resulting in injury or death.  Fortunately, such incidents are few and far between both here in the UK and elsewhere around the world.

Well, who would have thought that when four paragliders from the Avon Hang Gliding and Paragliding Club took to the air on the 26th January 2018 they were to have a close encounter with a military jet. In fact so close that one of the paragliders apparently claimed that the heat from the jet’s engine could be felt.

The encounter took place at around 12.33pm on the above date with a Royal Navy Hawk T1 military jet over Bratton Camp that is located near Westbury in Wiltshire at between 1,000 feet to 1,500 feet above the ground. The jet in question was in the throes of a practice bombing run.

Obviously the jet was travelling at a considerable speed and it flew between the four paragliders who were no doubt disturbed at such an incident. The near miss was actually filmed by one of the paragliders who had a camera on his helmet.

A comprehensive report was recently published by the UK Airprox Board a copy of which can be found on their website. We are sure that those of you who enjoy paragliding will find the report of interest. Apparently, the military jet pilot had not previously been aware that the four paragliders would be in the air. The cause was determined as being due to the pilot of the military jet not seeing the four paragliders and was assessed as risk category A.

Here at AIB Insurance we can arrange competitive quality insurance cover for those of you who enjoy paragliding. So, why not give us a call on 02380 268 351 and discuss your requirements with a knowledgeable member of our team. We look forward to being of assistance.


Paraglider Flies Amongst Thousands Of Birds

ParagliderApparently, until recently, no person has ever been fortunate enough to fly within a flock of birds. Well, that all changed quite recently when a paraglider by the name of Horacio Llorens who just happens to be a world champion in this exiting aviation sport was able to fulfill one of his ambitions and took to the skies to fly amongst a flock of starlings.

He was able to do this in Denmark where each year thousands of starlings gather and fly through the air in huge flocks. It is known as the “Black Sun” and it is a spectacular sight.

Mr Llorens who is 35 years of age and is from Spain has been paragliding for 17 years and has always wanted to experience flying with birds. In order to do so, he was able to gain the permission of the Ministry of the Environment in Denmark.

Of course there are no doubt many paragliders who have been able to fly in close proximity to a small number of birds but it is believed that nobody has been able to fly amongst thousands of birds. He must have felt like he was one of them as he flew his electric powered paraglider as dusk was happening.

The starlings fly from Norway to Denmark where the climate is warmer and where, when they fly around in a flock, there are so many of them that they make the sky darker. There are no doubt many people who make special trips to witness the “Black Sun” from the ground. However, those people were probably very envious of Mr Llorens as he flew amongst the starlings. There was even an ornithologist present to make sure that the starlings were safe when Mr Llorens took to the sky.Paraglider

Congratulations to this paraglider for achieving one of his life-long ambitions.

If you are in need of airsports insurance why not give us a call at AIB Insurance on 02380 268 351 and speak with a member of our friendly staff who will happily arrange a quotation.

Chelsea Pensioner Skydives

Chelsea Pensioner

There has always been something rather special about Chelsea Pensioners who are frequently seen in their red coats proudly displaying their medals attending numerous ceremonies and events around the UK. As you will probably be aware, they are war veterans from the British army so are not unaccustomed to danger.

Well, recently a Chelsea Pensioner took to the skies to skydive. Mike Smith who is 68 years of age actually completed his 100th skydive. However, there had been quite a period of time since he last skydived as it was some 23 years ago since he last did such a thing.

As if that was not interesting enough, also taking part in the same skydiving event were two world war veterans who are both 91 years of age. They were actually fortunate to complete their jump at the Red Devils Parachute Team’s base that is at Old Sarum Airfield near Salisbury in Wiltshire. The jump was made for the benefit of the Taxi Charity for Military Veterans that was no doubt pleased to receive financial support.

We are pleased to hear that all three landed safely on the day and no doubt enjoyed a thrilling experience that they will no doubt never forget. Well done to the three gentlemen.Chelsea Pensioner Skydives

Here at AIB Insurance, we are able to arrange cover for a wide range of airborne sports including skydiving. With an extensive panel of insurers at our disposal we are often in the position of arranging quality insurance at very competitive premiums. So, if you are looking to arrange suitable insurance to cover you whilst skydiving, why not give us a call on 02380 268 351 and speak to one of our friendly, knowledgeable members of staff who will be happy to discuss your individual requirements and arrange a quotation without any obligation on your part. We look forward to hearing from you.

Flying Car Crosses The English Channel

PegasusThere are numerous ways to travel from France to England that involve crossing the English Channel such as by ferry, plane, helicopter, Eurostar on a high speed train or having your car transported through the Channel Tunnel. There may be some of you that have made the trip in a hot air balloon or a paraglider but has anyone seen a flying car make the journey?

Well, that is exactly what happened in the last few days. A French pilot by the name of Bruno Vezzoli has safely completed a 59 kilometre flight from Ambleteuse that is located a few kilometres south west of Calais and landed in a village not too far from Dover in a flying car called Pegasus.

The name Pegasus was no doubt chosen as, in Greek Mythology, there was a white winged stallion by that name. The vehicle looks a bit like a beach buggy with a motor, paragliding propeller and extremely large parachute. Quite simply, it appears to be a powered paraglider but you are actually sitting inside the buggy. As a result, this no doubt results in the conditions being a little more pleasant than normal for the pilot.

The biggest concern was probably if Bruno Vezzoli had to make an emergency landing whilst crossing the English Channel and ended up in the water. Therefore, some sea rescue equipment was stored on board but we are pleased to be able to confirm that fortunately they were not required.

The air-borne vehicle is capable of traveling at a speed of as much as 80 kmph so it did not take too long to complete the trip. So, we would just like to say well done to Pegasusthis intrepid gentleman.

Here at AIB Insurance we have many years experience in arranging quality and bespoke, cover for many airborne sports. So, why not give us a call on 02380 268 351 and speak with one of the team to discuss your requirements and obtain a free, no-obligation quotation.

Following The 7,000km Flight Of The Bewick’s Swan – By Paramotor

Bewicks SwansSacha Dench is a conservationist who, in mid-September, embarked on an epic airborne adventure called the “Flight of the Swans”. It involves travelling around 7,000km (4,349 miles) from the breeding grounds of Bewick’s swans in Russia following their migratory flight to Slimbridge in Gloucestershire here in the UK. The number of these elegant birds has dwindled over the years and it is hoped that this flight will provide some insight into why this has unfortunately happened.

She is employed by the Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust (WWT) as head of media and has over 8 years experience of paragliding and over 4 years experience of flying a paramotor.

She has been making the journey using a paramotor that, in very simple terms, consists of a cage, seat, harness, motor, propeller and a paraglider wing. Flying a paramotor means that you are exposed to the elements and, during the trip, she has encountered some pretty awful weather including blizzards and thunderstorms and extremely cold weather with temperatures dropping to minus 15 degrees centigrade at times.Sacha Dench

Her journey is almost at an end as she is expected to land at Slimbridge around the 13th December having been ably supported by a number of volunteers. During her trip, she has flown over 12 countries that, in no particular order, are Russia, Latvia, Finland, Estonia, Denmark, Poland, Lithuania, Germany, Belgium, Netherlands, France and England. This week she crossed the English Channel becoming what is believed to be the first woman to do so in a paramotor as well as handing in a petition at Downing Street.

AIB Insurance wishes her well for the remainder of her journey.

It is also worth noting that we have many years experience in arranging insurance for a variety of airsports so why not get in touch with us and speak with a member of our team who will endeavor to obtain a competitive insurance quotation for your consideration.

Just Travel Cover Joins Our Panel

Just Travel CoverAIB Insurance is pleased to announce that Just Travel Cover has been appointed to our panel of specialist insurance companies to provide our clients that participate in air sports such as sky diving, hang gliding, paragliding, parachuting and ballooning with quality travel insurance.

Just Travel Cover has been in existence for some time now and has teamed up with us to enable AIB Insurance to offer our clients even more options when it comes to arranging this niche type of cover.

We have been most impressed with the standard of service that they provide both pre and post sale. The company has built a reputation for arranging suitable cover quickly and without fuss and can often even cater for those clients that have pre-existing medical conditions who may have been having trouble sorting cover out through some other providers. Age is also not usually a barrier.Airsports Insurance

The company can arrange the likes of single trip travel insurance or annual travel cover and are renowned for providing competitively priced policies. The level of cover provided by either type of policy is ideally suited to those people taking part in one of a variety of air sports who are possibly more likely to have to make a claim than someone else that does not take to the air in this way.

The team here at AIB Insurance look forward to working closely with Just Travel Cover now and in the future to ensure that our valued air sports clients’ unique travel insurance needs are met.

Further information about the company can be found on their website at www.just travelcover.com.

Paraglider Has Confrontation With Eagle

VULT_REF_648x365_2163510229-heroWhen airborne, paragliders are able to enjoy many things in addition to the actual thrill of taking to the skies. For instance, when safe to do so, paragliding enables you to admire the scenery and observe many things that are happening whether they are visibly taking place on the ground or in the air.

Of course, there is always wildlife to see including the likes of deer or perhaps a fox crossing a field as well as many species of birds. If you are lucky you will witness birds of prey such as a falcon or a buzzard. However, rarely will you ever get the opportunity to see an eagle because, of course, they are so rare.

Well, a paraglider in Turkey did happen to come across an eagle but it got rather too close for comfort. In fact, it got so close that evasive action was required on the part of the gentleman in question including having to make an emergency landing.

Paragliding EaglesOzgur Cicek, a Turkish paraglider, was enjoying paragliding in the Antalya Province in southwest Turkey and had a small video camera attached to his helmet so that he could film what was going on around him and no doubt some of the wonderful scenery. He was enjoying his paragliding expedition when the majestic eagle appeared in the sky above him.

That may sound fine as the opportunity to observe such a creature probably occurs infrequently. However, this particular eagle decided that it wanted to get up close to Mr Cicek and his paraglider. So much so that it actually attacked the paraglider on more than one occasion no doubt causing him a great deal of concern. The eagle obviously has extremely sharp talons and it caused damage to the parachute by tearing a couple of holes in the material.

The initial enjoyment and thrill of seeing such a bird of prey no doubt quickly disappeared and Mr Cicek had to take evasive action and make an emergency landing in a field. Fortunately, he was able to do this without any injury to himself.

So, if you happen to be paragliding up in the likes of Scotland where eagles can sometimes be seen do be careful!

Paragliding World Record Broken

ParagliderWe are sure that all our paragliding customers will be interested to read that a new world record has been set for paragliding. The record was broken in Brazil on the 9th October 2015 by three residents of that country – Marcelo Prieto, Donizete Lemos and Frank Brown with the first two taking to the sky using Ozone Enzo 2s and the later using a GIN Boomerang 10.

The launch got under way from Tacima in the north east of Brazil quite early in the morning at 6.20am. 11 hours and 20 minutes later the three paragliders had travelled an incredible 513km. This breaks the previous paragliding world record achieved by Nevil Hulett back in December 2008 when he achieved a distance of 502.9km in South Africa.

For the majority of the exciting journey the three travelled close together and it was felt that this played an important part in them being able to break the world record that has yet to be verified. In fact, the three all managed to land in the same field having completed their epic flight. Apparently, during the first hour in the air, the winds were quite light but for the remainder of the flight racing speeds were achieved no doubt aiding progress considerably.Paraglider

For anyone that has taken part in paragliding, you will be aware just what a wonderful achievement travelling such a distance is. The effort required in being able to keep in the air for such a long period of time is substantial.

Here at AIB Insurance, we have arranged suitable insurance for many people that enjoy paragliding. So, if this is something that you are looking into perhaps because your existing cover is coming up for renewal or you are new to this exciting sport then why not get in touch with one of our experienced team on 02380 268 351 who will be delighted to discuss your requirements and arrange a competitive quotation.