Once upon a time, in Carinthia, Austria, I decided to stop civil engineering, and get full commercial on Tandem Paragliding. So later on, in 2010, I went to Nepal, to live & fly there.
Now there was a glitch. For, you see, in my travels thru the world flying acro, I have met many bored-to-death tandem pilots, who just wanted to quit their jobs and go fly solo. A friend of mine even described passengers as ” meat with different hair color “. Outrageous!
So I thought to myself ” I have to find a way to keep enjoyment, and be happy with the job I’m taking up “. And there was a way, as I was an acro pilot, drawing my enjoyment from the dance of the G. Tandem Aerobatics Project was born!
Tandem acro was, and still is a controversial subject amongst pilots. As the question is : ” Why bring more danger to passengers, the tandem flight should be as safe as possible “. Now that is the challenge I have then signed up for: To prove it can be done safely. The guidelines of the project were then conceived:
1. All the acro done with passengers must be as safe as normal flying, proving a risk factor that is LESS than statistical risk of usual tandem flights.
2. All acro activity must be done with the full agreement of the passenger, and all aerobatic activity should be stopped at the first sign of passenger discomfort.
3. All maneuvers should be re-learned on the tandem, following a ” choreographic variety ” vector of progress instead of the ” try and learn ” technique of training for the solo acro.
4. No experiments with passenger allowed whatsoever. All experiments shall be done with water dummies instead of passenger (60 kg water load in passenger harness ).
5. All the flights shall be done only on dedicated, certified tandem gliders.
6. The passengers will not be asked to participate actively to performing maneuvers, all that they should do is hold on and stay centered.
7. The aerobatic performance shall be done over the lake, with safety altitude and auto-inflatable life jacket at hand.
What followed up since then was an amazing journey, exploring the technical possibilities of perfectly safe tandem aerobatics. With more than 1000 flights in the project, performing top-level maneuvers as MistyFlip-Helicopter, Heli-SAT, and vertical Looping, my display of maneuvers can now safely satisfy the hunger for excitement of any passenger !
And here is one of my first Tandem Aerobatic videos ( 2011). Enjoy!