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Wild Adventures of the New Aviators (Hardback)

Challenges and Thrills of Paragliding, Hang-gliding, Paramotoring and Micro-lighting


By Brian Milton
Imprint: Air World
Pages: 320
Illustrations: 32 mono illustrations
ISBN: 9781399048637
Published: 30th May 2024


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Soaring over forest fires, a moonlight New Year’s Eve flight over the Pennines, bungee-jumping from a paraglider as a birthday celebration, jumping off Mount Everest, or numerous several-hundred-mile flights over open country and on different continents. This book covering many exhilarating and enthralling stories from New Aviation – including paragliding, hang-gliding, paramotoring and micro-lighting – has them all. There is even the story of a pilot using flexwings to teach geese how to migrate – and of a marriage proposal at 500 feet.

The challenges explored by the renowned New Aviation expert Brian Milton includes Rich Pfieffer’s legal charges of assault with a deadly weapon for flying a hang-glider over California’s Rose Bowl American College Football competition, or Judy Leden’s balloon drop from 40,000 feet over Jordan, with Israel on one side and Saudi on the other, despite her eyes being frozen shut. Along with this latter story, the author also discusses how women overcame prejudice and scorn to take on the men in the deathly arid wastes of Owens Valley, and the ways in which eagles and vultures – and sometimes crows – reacted violently to humans flying in their air and at their speed.

The author describes the return to competitions in which the original British innovators lost their dominant status and how new champions emerged. A chapter is also devoted entirely into the tragedies that have befallen some pilots. This includes a chilling account of the Great Italian Killer Storm of 1989 when six top pilots lost their lives in just one day. As well as relating the dramatic stories about those that died, the author explains why, despite the risks, the New Aviators keep flying. The final story is about the Beau Ideal, the great Swiss pilot Didier Favre, ‘Vagabond of the skies’, who travelled 1,111 kilometres from Monaco to Slovenia.

Brian Milton also explains how the ultimate ambitions of the best flyers is to learn how to migrate, using only the power of the wind and the sun. The author concludes this book by exploring what the future might hold for the various forms of New Aviation and those who enjoy the thrills that they create.

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About Brian Milton

BRIAN MILTON is an award-winning adventurer, journalist and aviation historian. He holds the Guinness World Record for the first circumnavigation of the globe in a microlight aircraft, achieved in 1998. The flight earned him the Britannia Trophy, one of the world’s greatest aviation awards. This achievement was even more remarkable given the fact that Brian survived a 250-foot fall while testing a prototype powered hang glider in 1978, which gave him a fear of flying. For more information, please see www.brian-milton.uk.

Perfect Partner

A History of the New Aviation The Development of Paragliding, Hang-gliding, Paramotoring and Microlighting (Hardback)

The New Aviation began with a hang-gliding meeting on a sand-dune in southern California on 23 May 1971. The longest flight that day was 196 feet, the longest time in the air just 11 seconds. But it was a start – the start of a movement that has grown exponentially world-wide with every passing year. The essence of the New Aviation is to stand on a hill, spread your wings, and climb into the sky by your own skill. It is the fundamentals of flight as it is meant to be, and this is the story of the development of this exhilarating sport, and of its largely unknown pioneers. The first of these…

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