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Mission Everest UK Edit.


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All,

I can confirm 100% (for those that have seen the 'USA' version of the Everest film) that the UK Edit is not the same to quite a large extent.

Good news for all :D

SW :D

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Well, what can I say. I missed the start of the programme and only came in at about 9.45, and quite frankly, I'm glad I did.

Whilst there were no doubt all sorts of bits of information that I didn't grasp, these guys convinced me that they were a complete bunch of idiots.

They were up with the lark on the first flyable day for about two weeks, although I got the feeling there had probably been a fair bit of daylight before they surfaced. It was at this point that they started to prepare equipment that should have been ready for the off with just minutes notice, with the result that three hours later they were still on the ground and now debating a go/no-go situation. The safety officer saying 'no' and Grills still arguing the point. You could just see the chain of errors forming, with no-one strong enough to step up, break the chain and save lives.

On the day they finally got airborne, I heard them say that one of the motors had never been flown before! WHAT? Launching to 29K feet on an untested motor? I really don't think so! Then they begin to wonder why their radio system was so crappy. If they'd taken five minutes to put up a decent antenna instead of relying on the 'rubber duck' on a completely inadequate hand held set then they might have had a bit more success. I also wasn't sure if they had actually rehearsed the 'three clicks for yes and two for no', or whether they quickly used it before they lost all usable radio comms. completely. Oh, and I forgot about the computer running the radio-sond data telemetry that kept crashing, and was clearly untested immediately prior to it being needed, and without a back-up system.

Wasn't much of a surprise to have the untested motor fail really, was it?

And just to top it off, they didn't get proof of the altitude reached because the recorder failed in the cold! As if that wasn't predictable in an environment like that. Did no-one think to stick an extra vario. in Grills' inside pocket, keeping nice and safe and warm with body heat and padding?

Whilst the achievement managed is no doubt impressive, and the fact that money was raised for charity is laudable, it struck me as a catalogue of errors, and I won't be following those guys to the end of the world any time soon (even if I did get the chance). I'm not sure that it even did anything to improve any public perception of paramotoring as a sport/pastime. Whereas previously I thought of Grills as at least competent in a pressure situation, I'm afraid his credibility has taken an enormous dent.

And before you all pounce on me and tell me that I know nothing, just think for a moment if you are being objective or whether your love of paramotoring is clouding your judgement a little. I'm completely new to this branch of aviation, but I've done my share of risky stuff, flying, alpine ski-ing and scuba diving to mention three, and I've tried my very best to be objective and look at what happened without the rose tinted glasses of success and achievement.

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Blimey Phil strong words, remember loads of stuff is edited in a way to dramatise the whole event, if it looked like everything was easy as pie with no problems then it would end up being boring.

I reckon you need to be there to actually see what was going on ;) anyway they knew the risks, calculated it and did it with zero loss of life.

There was a lot to learn from that prog, things like Bears cravat in the turbulent air, lack of reserve, scrappy forward launches with changing wind direction, poor wing layout etc etc

Forget the risks and the flying - what about the whole engineering side of it, you don't need rose tinted glasses to appreciate the design and the work that went into it, hats off to Gilo.

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Well I have to agree with Phil. It all looked very amateur; plus flying without a helmet when Bear tested the new motor in England! What sort of message is that sending out? Recently I saw the efects of botched take off and no helmet, let me tell you a broken prop thrashing past someones ear made me cringe, and for only good fortune did it not connect with him! Oh so lucky!

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I also have to agree with everything that Phil says. I don't fly Paramotors but I do fly gliders, so I have an understanding of the very real dangers involved. I think the program was probably edited by a non-flyer and it certainly gave the impression that paramotoring was not a very safe sport.

I think they really needed to put in another year of preparation and testing before risking their lives as they did.

At the end of the day, it made interesting viewing.....

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If you get up with a sensible head on in the morning you plan the day carefully and get loads done and it can be interesting and fairly risk free and everyone thinks you are a steady sort and a good example and then sometimes you get a mad idea and it is utterly pointless and insane and risky and brilliant and astonishing and you have to

JFDI

I havent seen it so can't comment but have heard others say that some elements looked liked they were spun for dramatic effect. And so they should ........its entertainment! however you end up viewing the wisdom or the folly of it they flippin' did it!!!!!

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I think you guys are too harsh. Have you ever been told to make something happen for less cash? There was no Mr Wankel rotary engine sat by Gilos side to bounce ideas off. The poor man just had to do it all himeself without anyone as a soundboard, or to share the workload against a deadline.

If they had not shipped the engine untested and unbuilt they would have missed the drop in wind that happens very infrequently.

Gilo is clearly a talented man to pull off the technical feat. I guaruntee he would have been up there too if he had double the time and twice the man power, to soaktest his engine.

Simon

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all, l have read both for and against on several forums, including Avon and PPG UK. And to sum it up, it has had the effect, ie. a lot of publicity and a lot of tongues wagging, which could be good or not so good for the Paramotoring community as seen from the general public. The public will see it as entertainment as they have no idea whats involved and will probably be interested in taking up the sport.

PG and PPG viewers will see faults, ie no helmet (IMO was naughty) but the whole event was spectacular and a great acheivement. Hats off to Gilo and Bear.

Mike

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well Gilo only designed and built a total new paramotor from scratch on a limited budget and time frame,

Bear was (as I see it organizing every thing else.

Easy to criticizes after the event isn't it.

Now lets see you do something similar in the same time frame!!!!

Respect to Giles for the motor and doing it

Respect to bear as I think he is a low air time pilot

Pete b

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Well, what can I say. I missed the start of the programme and only came in at about 9.45, and quite frankly, I'm glad I did.

Whilst there were no doubt all sorts of bits of information that I didn't grasp, these guys convinced me that they were a complete bunch of idiots.

Interesting comment Phil; they made a revolutionary supercharged paramotor, tested a flew it, took a world altitude record and almost certainly made it to around 30,000' - I wish I could be half the idiots they were.

They were up with the lark on the first flyable day for about two weeks, although I got the feeling there had probably been a fair bit of daylight before they surfaced. It was at this point that they started to prepare equipment that should have been ready for the off with just minutes notice, with the result that three hours later they were still on the ground and now debating a go/no-go situation. The safety officer saying 'no' and Grills still arguing the point. You could just see the chain of errors forming, with no-one strong enough to step up, break the chain and save lives.

Great things documentaries and cutting rooms aren't they, without drama and conflict they are pretty boring. What a shame we didn't see the stuff from the cutting room floor, it may have told us a more complete story.

As for 'Grills' arguing the point, in situations like this where he has the casting vote a quick 'parliament' to establish everyones position is standard. Bear gave his opinion and counterbalanced it with that of his team. I consider it a STRENGTH that he decided to defer and wait. Had they been socked in for another week and lost the expedition there would be some who might have said they should have flown the only available window. It was Bear's call, he made the right one and that is what matters.

On the day they finally got airborne, I heard them say that one of the motors had never been flown before! WHAT? Launching to 29K feet on an untested motor? I really don't think so! Then they begin to wonder why their radio system was so crappy. If they'd taken five minutes to put up a decent antenna instead of relying on the 'rubber duck' on a completely inadequate hand held set then they might have had a bit more success. I also wasn't sure if they had actually rehearsed the 'three clicks for yes and two for no', or whether they quickly used it before they lost all usable radio comms. completely. Oh, and I forgot about the computer running the radio-sond data telemetry that kept crashing, and was clearly untested immediately prior to it being needed, and without a back-up system. Wasn't much of a surprise to have the untested motor fail really, was it?

You saw the problems they had with time. Gilo made the motor, he chose to fly it. You didn't see the testing process they went through with the first did you? The program was very light on the technical side so we didn't see the hyperbaric chamber scene and other exhaustive testing. Untested motor? when you buy a paramotor and fly it for the first time is it 'untested'? Gilo's call in a very difficult situation - he risked no-ones life but his own, I call that courage and conviction at work.

And just to top it off, they didn't get proof of the altitude reached because the recorder failed in the cold! As if that wasn't predictable in an environment like that. Did no-one think to stick an extra vario. in Grills' inside pocket, keeping nice and safe and warm with body heat and padding?

Sure, why not have an extra this and while we are at it, an extra that? You must have noted the AUW at takeoff there Phil, Gilo and Bear were carrying their own weight at what was it, 15,000'. How much of that was backup systems do you think? This was a record attempt, you could argue that they should have flown with a spare 'anything' that failed - shit happens.

Whilst the achievement managed is no doubt impressive, and the fact that money was raised for charity is laudable, it struck me as a catalogue of errors, and I won't be following those guys to the end of the world any time soon (even if I did get the chance). I'm not sure that it even did anything to improve any public perception of paramotoring as a sport/pastime. Whereas previously I thought of Grills as at least competent in a pressure situation, I'm afraid his credibility has taken an enormous dent.

Impressive? I should say so. Most people would never have set out to do what they did or if they had, would have been defeated before they made it to the mountain.

I'm afraid I can't agree with you about their reputation Phil, I think in this instance your judgment is flawed, but that is just another opinion based only on what you write as we have never met.

And before you all pounce on me and tell me that I know nothing, just think for a moment if you are being objective or whether your love of paramotoring is clouding your judgment a little. I'm completely new to this branch of aviation, but I've done my share of risky stuff, flying, alpine ski-ing and scuba diving to mention three, and I've tried my very best to be objective and look at what happened without the rose tinted glasses of success and achievement.

I see we have been to a similar school but I doubt that either of us has attended the same school that Bear and his mates on that hill went to. I should do a little research if I were you.

My reading of this is that it was a major achievement, all record attempts and extreme expeditions have their problems and when men are under extreme pressure they make mistakes. What matters ultimately is how they meet their errors and challenges , and when facing their demons, how they deal with them. Laugh at their cock ups, ridicule their preparation, but unless you have walked a single mile in their boots you have no place casting judgment - imho.

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I stand by the points I made insofar as the project management seemed to fail on many levels. If you are not prepared to be criticised for what is seen on the screen, then don't televise it. Why should I have to go and research what they are doing before I can make an educated judgement on what they were doing? If what you are showing to the general public is NOT a true representation of what you are doing, then either distance yourself from what is shown, or show it as a work of fiction. I base all that I said on what I saw, not on those bits that may or may not have ended up on the cutting room floor, either because it wasn't suitable, or it just wasn't juicy enough for the viewing public. Project critical tools (weather monitoring, communication and data measuring) should always have had back ups in place.

I guess it is a small step from idiocy to heroism, but when there seem to be so many systems failures both in terms of management and actual physical resources, I personally get the feeling that too many steps were taken on the wrong side of the line. Yes, they were putting their lives on the line, but analyse the job they were doing, and other than cold and hypoxia (both of which should have been well catered for or they should never have stepped outside the front door) what major risk factors were they facing beyond those experienced by any paramotor pilot at say, a thousand feet or more?

As for Grills 'giving his point of view', I should darned well hope that he defered to the safety officer, or what the hell was the point of him being there?

If you read my original post carefully, you will find there is no criticism of the development work that went into the project, partly because I missed the start of the programme where you got to see it, and partly because I think the actual mechanics produced were outstanding.

Maybe as established paramotor pilots, others among us can see many plus points in what we got to see, but as a novice to the sport, I would class myself as an educated outsider, and there were too many points that upset my sensibilities to simply keep quiet. I suspect that complete outsiders to paramotoring, which lets face it, the programme was targeted at, will have viewed things from closerr to my viewpoint than yours.

No I haven't been in the same environment or done the same thing, with or without adequate funding, but when I take part in say, diving Scapa Flow to fifty odd meters, I make darned sure that my project management is of a standard to minimise risk to myself and my diving buddy, and also that the resources I have available are sufficient to ensure that the both of us can get to the surface safe and well. If I was going to televise the event, I'd want to make sure that I couldn't be criticised for getting the basics wrong.

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I do take your points, Phil, as well argued. And I agree that the kind of back-ups that you felt would be appropriate would have rendered the expedition better able to cope with the "eventualities". but this sort of venture has many other levels that your arguments dont address. For me the greatest thrill of the event is not the engineering or even the single-minded determination to construct the equipment but just the simple fact of it. In a day and age where everything can be so meticulously planned and so carefully executed so as to minimise all risk that there is almost no point in bothering, that one guy actually did bother. From concieving the idea through design and implementation, in the final event getting just enough money to make it happen (albeit poorly supported in your view) and then actually doing it. Just doing it!

I dont have telly mainly for the reasons you outline , that whatever the final cut, it will always be a million miles from the reality of it. So I didnt watch it. But I did see the look on Gile's face when I saw him soon after the trip and he told me how it was for him; he had gained, spiritually, from the experience, I am sure of that. And I gained something from what I saw in him, and perhaps a little of that came through in the viewing? I hope so.

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Then you will never be on TV.

I think that you should just relax, if you think that this has done bad things for the sport you are wrong! I have taken two bookings for new students today and spoken to at least another 10 or so people who saw Mission Everest last night and have been INSPIRED by it enough to become interested in the sport, as have I, and remember that I am one instructor.

They made mistakes, I have made mistakes, you have made mistakes and will continue to do so for the rest of your life.

What matters is the end result!

Safe people, records blitzed, technology advanced, 2 million for charity, great publicity for our sport.

SW :D

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Thank you for allowing me to speak here, this event moved me. I think the respect runs deep, past the obvious of Gilo's engineering and Bear's drive, past the wing design and into the safety crew, logistics crew, support team, the Sherpa's (Sherpani's too) and the mountain itself - onward to Phil_P's observations and retroscopic account of events for I felt part of what he wrote and before I forget (again), thanks to Pete Baldy for the "Theory" thread on another forum (it did not miss the target).

Retrospect, when I think of some of the things we have done bla bla bla that's how we evolve and my guess is that neither Bear nor Gilo will return to this arena they made - but others will (now they know it CAN be done).

That Gilo fella, has quite a circle of accomplished friends...BIG TEAM BIG EFFORT - hats off my big head to ALL OF YOU

Seriously,

Marko D Ka Na Da

well Gilo only designed and built a total new paramotor from scratch on a limited budget and time frame,

Bear was (as I see it organizing every thing else.

Easy to criticizes after the event isn't it.

Now lets see you do something similar in the same time frame!!!!

Respect to Giles for the motor and doing it

Respect to bear as I think he is a low air time pilot

Pete b

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Some excellent points made in this discussion, both for and against.

Having worked in TV for many years, on the rare occasion I actually watch anything it is always tempered with more than a little scepticism.

The upshot of this programme, wether you loved it or hated it has been a massive ammount of interest in the sport. That much is without doubt, and that can only be good.

Another, perhaps more hidden benefit is I can guarentee that manufacturers like Garmin, Philips et all will be seriously beavering away behind the scenes now to make sure that next time someone attempts this, or anything similar, their equipment will be up to the job. We all benefit from that surely?

This is just the opinion of a bloke sitting at a computer somewhere out in cyberspace dreaming of at last getting his feet OFF the ground again for the first time in 20 years :D

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TV editing is such a biased art form.

I was talking to Gilo about the program at the club Christmas dinner last year (great bash Simon - thanks) and we discussed the "extreme turbulence" that caused Bear's cravat. The only thing in the sky at the time was the camera crew's helicopter. They flew over Bear far too close and the down draught collapsed half the wing.

The edit made dramatic telly but the simple truth was a chopper pilot flying far too close to another aircraft - Bear's paramotor.

I loved the program. Yes they made mistakes and yes the editing was hyping the situations to make a more dramatic presentation. I've had loads of people ask me about the sport since they saw the program. All of them were impressed.

Our response should be to make note of the mistakes and make sure that we don't repeat them not just criticise.

I for one will use it as inspiration to make sure that my small contribution to Tip-to-Tip is well tested before hand.

Stuart

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