Paragliding - 1995/96

In September 1995, BobTorrey, Keith Calvert and myself (The Three Muckateers), take a holiday to Olu-Deniz in Turkey to learn to paraglide. 

On arrival we are informed that due to not having the basic minimum BHPA qualification of "Elementary Pilot", the British instructors are unable to provide us with tuition. I then decide to learn to fly on a tandem and enlist Marco, a local pilot, to teach me.




After an hour's journey up the precarious mountain road by land-rover, we reach the lower (South) launch site at 5,500 ft. near the summit of Baba Dag.


Olu Deniz to the left and Fethiye to the far right


Destination, Olu-Deniz Beach


 Gliders laid out ready on the Lower South side launch site.


7,000ft upper North launch site. Assistance is required to launch a tandem wing in the strong winds


Lower North take off (5,500ft). 


A committed launch is required as just over the edge is a quarter mile drop. 


After take off, Marco hands me the brake lines and teaches me how to control the glider during the flight back down to the beach 


Just clearing the mountain at around  5,000ft and about to descend through cloud.


Approx 3,500ft and moving out over Olu-Deniz.


Approx 2,000ft over the beach. The landing area is the strip of beach between the bars and the sunbeds.


Changing position from seated to standing in the harness and on finals to land.


On arriving back in the UK, Bob and I continued our training and gained our Club Pilot's Licence.

We returned to Turkey in 96 to fly Baba Dag solo.


Best Flight of 96

After losing height from the 5.5k launch site it looked certain I was going down. I was about to take the decision to fly away from the mountain when I managed to connect with some weak lift. As I circled the core, the thermal increased in strength as it gained height, and I climbed up and out above reaching almost two and a half thousand feet above launch. Unfortunately the descending air of the high pressure front over the area put a lid on the lift and after an hour of intense flying in extremely turbulent and bumpy conditions, fatigue set in forcing me to fly out over the sea into smoother air before returning to the beach for a well earn't, "ice cold beer"


 Over the summit at about 7,500 feet


Down to approx 4,700ft with Bob below.


Bob ahead with Fethiye in the back ground.


Bob out over the sea.


Approx 2,500 ft over the bay.


Flying over a Turkish Guillet just prior to landing.



Yee haa - Vario records 7,810 ft above sea level - 'Mega'


The Three Muckateers

L to R. Bob Torry, Jomo, Keith Calvert, all serving on Green Watch, Basildon at the time.

Although Keith was the only one of us to fly solo from Baba Dag in 95, he never pursued the sport any further. After 96 Bob learnt to fly micro-lights and I dabbled briefly in accuracy parascending before embarking on a hang-gliding course that never got completed due to being busy with other things at the time.

Many years later I did go on to gain my microlight plots licence in Thailand  but even flying at that level turned out to be more expensive than my pension could sustain so had to give it up.

Still been there, done it and still have the T shirts LOL

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