Sky High in Australian-first feat for paramotoring
It’s an enormous thrill to see our members soar high, spreading their wings and setting their sights on new horizons- all in the name of promoting our sport and demonstrating the incredible capabilities of our aircraft. In an Australian-first feat, a group of our passionate, paramotor pilots have conquered the skies in the longest paramotor climb- travelling 1600km from Lake Eyre to the snow-capped crest of Mount Kosciusko.
To achieve the mammoth milestone, the pilots, aged between 23-62, recently braved the wild weather of the Antarctic blast and turbulent thermal gusts to reach ground speeds of up to 100km/hr, over the two-week expedition.
Ballina-based pilot and instructor, Andrew Polidano tells us how spending a total of 18 hours in the air, the six pilots had to use their skill and years of flying experience to navigate through the harsh weather elements, both in the skies over the South Australian outback and Australia’s highest peak-7310ft above sea level.
“We flew over some indescribably beautiful and remote country, slept under the outback stars and accomplished something that hasn't been done before,” he said.
“It took us eight months to prepare, as we had to do everything in our power to minimise risks and potential dangers of wild weather- including the dusty thermals over the remote areas of South Australia and snow and icy blasts on the top of Mt Kosciusko.
“Starting our trip in Lake Eyre (49ft below sea level) last month, we hit some challenges along the way, like unexpected strong winds and turbulence in the Flinders Ranges, that forced us out of the sky.
“To achieve the flight up to Mt Kosciuszko, we required a strategic take-off and several attempts- due to the turbulence associated with the upper winds, which were exceeding 100km/hr. Only three of our pilots made it up there, but the view was awe-inspiring- a spectacular sight overlooking the snow-capped mountains.”
Andrew was joined with fellow instructor Justin Shaw, 47 of Bendigo and pilots, Dr Peter Evans, 62 of Canberra, Peter Forbes, 39 of Bendigo, Brendan Tacey, 41 of Whittlesea, Christopher Farney, 23 of Kilmore and driver Carl Norton, 37 from Longwood Victoria.
Taking a bird’s-eye view of our amazing countryside, Andrew said by far, the most spectacular scenery was witnessed during the flight from Khancoban, on the western side of the Snowy Mountains. It’s snow-capped mountains and picturesque landscape was a vast contrast from the desert plains they had flown over just a few days prior.
To achieve the Australian-first feat, Andrew said a big thanks had to go to Poliglide, Knowsley Airpark and Paramania Australia for their support and sponsorship.
So where to now for our paramotoring heroes? Well the skies the limit and their next adventure may see them soaring to even greater heights- stay tuned.
To follow the boys’ adventure from Lake Eyre to the crest of Mt Kosciusko, check out the photo gallery by clicking here.