220 episodes

The Cloudbase Mayhem podcast is where you will find fascinating and educational interviews with the best free-flight pilots in the world. If you fly a hanglider or paraglider, if you fly acro or cross country, the Cloudbase Mayhem podcast is where we glean how the great pilots of the world get there. Hosted by Red Bull X-Alps pilot, National Geographic Adventurer of the Year and current holder of the North American foot launch record, Gavin McClurg. Follow me on Instagram @gavinmcclurg or on Facebook @ facebook.com/gavinnmcclurg or Twitter on @cloudbasemayhem.

Cloudbase Mayhem Podcast Gavin McClurg

    • Leisure
    • 4.8 • 214 Ratings

The Cloudbase Mayhem podcast is where you will find fascinating and educational interviews with the best free-flight pilots in the world. If you fly a hanglider or paraglider, if you fly acro or cross country, the Cloudbase Mayhem podcast is where we glean how the great pilots of the world get there. Hosted by Red Bull X-Alps pilot, National Geographic Adventurer of the Year and current holder of the North American foot launch record, Gavin McClurg. Follow me on Instagram @gavinmcclurg or on Facebook @ facebook.com/gavinnmcclurg or Twitter on @cloudbasemayhem.

    #220, Martin Scheel and 30 years of the Swiss League

    #220, Martin Scheel and 30 years of the Swiss League

    Martin Scheel was one of the best climbers in the world when he discovered paragliding and the sky crack immediately became his new passion. His images and videos have entertained and awed for several decades across the free-flight spectrum. In the mid 90’s he helped create the Swiss League and has headed it up since. His collaborative efforts with generations of pilots have helped create some of the most successful pilots on Earth, including Chrigel Maurer, Stephan Morganthaler, Dominik Breitinger, Tim Bollinger, Nanda Walliser and many, many others over the past three decades. Martin organized the Superfinal in Disentis in 2022 and more recently the PWC in Grindelwald last week. He was out flying with the lead gaggle capturing videos of the competition. I sat down with Martin during a weather day to find out about his passions, creating excellence, the past and future of competition flying and a lot more. Enjoy!

    • 1 hr 13 min
    #219 The physiology of Hypoxia, Sleep and Aging with Dr. Bill Beninati

    #219 The physiology of Hypoxia, Sleep and Aging with Dr. Bill Beninati

    Dr. Bill Beninati has a lifelong love of flying that led him to a career in the Air Force. He served as a physician specializing in pulmonary/critical care medicine, sleep disorders and operational fatigue, and flight medicine focused on medical and physiologic fitness to fly. For 13 years he was physician leader for the Air Force critical care air transport teams, and deployed multiple times to interesting and unfriendly places to do this mission. His civilian career led him to Utah where he is the Intermountain Health chief medical officer for a virtual hospital that includes comprehensive telehealth, advanced clinical command, and patient transport programs. He has an active research partnership with the Stanford Program in AI-assisted Care developing computer vision for patient safety. The not-for-profit air medical team operates over 50 aircraft across the spectrum from wilderness lift-hoist rescue through international critical care transport. They have rescued over 100 free flight pilots! He brings this expertise to the Global Rescue XRedRocks where he helps look after the safety of the athletes. His recreational aviation has included flying sailplanes, paragliders, and speed wings as well as skydiving. Today he is most active flying paragliders and sailplanes in the mountains of Utah.

    In this episode Bill takes us on a deep dive into the physiology of hypoxia, sleep and aging and what we can (and should) do to help combat the effects of each when it comes to flying. Hypoxia can greatly reduce our mental acuities, often without our knowledge. It can be sudden and can be radically different from day to day. The bottom line- when operating at altitude even the most prepared and acclimatized need to build in more margin. Come along as we explore three subjects which can really impact our safety and ability in the air.

    If you want to take a deeper dive on sleep hygiene Bill gave a very comprehensive talk on the subject for the XRedRocks participants last year. It’s a fascinating talk:

    • 1 hr 12 min
    #218 John Heiney and 45 years of Hang Gliding

    #218 John Heiney and 45 years of Hang Gliding

    John Heiney started hang gliding in 1978 and he’s still going strong today. His photographs of free flight have been on more than 50 magazine covers. He broke the Guinness World Record for looping in 1988. And then he broke his own record again ten years later! He was crowned the world aerobatics champion four times. He’s a machinist; diesel rabbit aficionado (he’s driving his fifth these days); hang gliding instructor, has more than 40 wings in his garage; worked on numerous commercials and films; designed gliders; was a test pilot; stunt pilot and has invented dozens and dozens of camera mounts to capture the magic of flying. His incredible flying stories span over four decades. Grab a cold one and kick back, you’re in for a treat.

    Find out more about this legendary pilot on his website UpShots

    John would like to thank the following for their contributions to the development of the Predator Glider:

    Dick Cheney, Dave Sharp, Dave Chapman, Greg Zoellick, Greg Bain, Aaron Swepston

    And that these people who contributed to the development of the Saturn:

    Dick Cheney, David Beardslee, Peter Radman, Leon Dauksa, Tom Webster, Paris Williams, Lisa Verzella, Rich Cizauskas

    And Joe Spinney for keeping the Predator and Saturn alive.

    Photo Steve Skinner

    Photo George Adkins

    • 1 hr 22 min
    #217 Kinga Masztalerz and Going Wild

    #217 Kinga Masztalerz and Going Wild

    Kinga Masztalerz gets after it. She picked up paragliding not too long ago, but has been pretty fierce about chasing it hard from the beginning. She’s tackled the Red Bull X-Alps twice, flown all over the world, runs her own hike and fly race in New Zealand, and instructs at home in New Zealand and in places like Bir, India. But her journey has had quite a few scary bumps on the way. We start off with her experience in the X-Alps. She shares her initial excitement and overwhelming feelings during her first race in 2019 and the disappointment of being eliminated and the emotional impact it had on her. Kinga also talks about her injury in 2021 and the challenges she faced in participating in the race. She reflects on the changing dynamics of the Red Bull X-Alps and how her approach to flying has evolved over time. She emphasizes the importance of learning from mistakes, using her own rather scary ones early on as a catalyst towards building confidence as a pilot. Then we get into her coaching journey and the importance of understanding the mental and physical aspects of flying. She shares her experiences with overcoming fear and gaining confidence, and how she developed her coaching program to help other pilots navigate their own flying journeys. Kinga also talks about the balance between turning a passion into a business and how guiding and coaching actually adds to her love for flying. Lastly, she introduces the Wanaka Hike and Fly Race, a fun event that combines adventure, socializing, and flying in the beautiful Southern Alps of New Zealand. Enjoy!

    Find our more about Kinga here:

    Kinga’s website: https://kingamaszta.com/

    Kinga’s coaching: https://kingamaszta.com/coaching/

    Connect with Kinga on Social:

    Instagram: @kingamaszta https://www.instagram.com/kingamaszta

    Facebook: @KingaGoneWild https://www.facebook.com/KingaGoneWild

    Wanaka Hike & Fly race: https://wanakahikefly.nz/


    * Flying progression is not a linear path, but rather a bumpy journey that involves mental and physical challenges.

    * Coaching can provide valuable guidance and support for pilots as they navigate their own flying journeys.

    * Turning a passion into a business can add to the love for the sport, as it allows for sharing knowledge and helping others.

    * Mistakes and failures are essential for learning and improving in the sport of paragliding.


    00:00 Introduction and Background

    01:19 Kinga’s Experience in the Red Bull X-Alps

    07:25 The Changing Dynamics of Red Bull X-Alps

    09:38 Emotional Moments in the Race

    13:01 The Shift in Kinga’s Approach to Flying

    16:20 Flying as a Reflection of Life

    22:35 Learning from Mistakes and Building Confidence

    36:15 Coaching and the Journey of Progression

    41:30 Passion for Flying and Guiding Others

    48:06 Learning from Mistakes and Cheap Mistakes

    58:58 Wanaka Hike and Fly Race

    • 1 hr 11 min
    #216 Tom Peghiny and Taking the First Leaps into the Unknown

    #216 Tom Peghiny and Taking the First Leaps into the Unknown

    Tom flying the Peregrine

    “In comparison [to the flying scene] the rest of my life has been a disappointment.” –Tom Peghiny.

    This quote came into my inbox a few months ago from Hugh Miller at Cross Country magazine with the words “you’ve got to interview Tom!” If you’ve seen the incredible film “Big Blue Sky” which documents the early days of hang gliding you’ll recognize Tom Peghiny (if you haven’t- watch it, it’s awesome). Tom started flying hang gliders at the age of 13 in 1969. He was the youngest person to compete in the first US Nationals at Sylmar, CA in 1973. He was the youngest person at the first World’s in Kossen, Austria in 1975. And Tom says he’s even more passionate about flying now in his 60’s than he’s ever been. In this episode Tom discusses his early days in hang gliding, the progression of the sport, the influence of RC flying on his understanding of air, the need for safety and regulations, his experience at the World Championships in Kossen, and the design of the Peregrine, Kestrel, and Merlin wings. Tom shares his experiences flying on Mount Washington and other memorable moments in hang gliding and being a test pilot; and the wonderful and rather incredible history of flight that has absorbed his life, and the transition to paragliding in the past few years which has stoked his passion further. Enjoy this chat with a one of the godfathers of the sport!


    * Early hang glider designs were crude but conceptually advanced, and they influenced the growth of the sport.

    * The first World Championships in hang gliding showcased the sport’s potential and led to the establishment of safety measures.

    * Tom Peghiny played a significant role in the development of hang gliding, both as a designer and a test pilot.

    * Hang gliding competitions and the camaraderie among pilots contributed to the growth and popularity of the sport.

    * The transition from hang gliding to paragliding brought new challenges and opportunities for Tom. Paragliding can be a lifelong passion, with individuals getting hooked on the sport and continuing to fly even in retirement.

    * Triangle flying is a challenging goal for many paragliders, as it requires stable conditions and low wind speeds.

    * Memorable flights and competitions can create lasting memories and connections within the paragliding community.

    * Financial stability in paragliding can come from various sources, such as sponsorships, involvement in related industries, and diversifying income streams.


    00:00 Introduction and Background

    03:00 Early Days of Hang Gliding

    08:03 Progression of Hang Gliding

    11:51 RC Flying and Understanding Air

    19:08 First World Championships in Cosen

    • 1 hr 11 min
    #215 CRUSHING with the US Women’s Team

    #215 CRUSHING with the US Women’s Team

    Something pretty special is happening right now in the US when it comes to competitions. This is of course subjective, but in my opinion we have the most dynamic, fun, inclusive comp scene in the world. And it is being led by our women. Our US National Champion this year is Galen Kirkpatrick, who was on the previous show and been lodging some incredible results- 1st, Red Rocks Wide Open (overall), 3rd Chelan (overall), 3rd Monarca (overall); Alexia Fischer is the top ranked PILOT in the WPRS in the United States and just came away with two top ten results overall at the British and Pre PWC in Colombia last month; Violeta Jimenez is currently ranked 3rd in the NTSS (US overall ranking) and is a shoe-in for the podium regardless of the race; and Jenny Oneil has only been in the game a few years and is already competing along with these incredible ladies right now at the Superfinal in Brazil. At the Monarca in January Galen, Violeta and Alexia were all in the top 10- OVERALL. In this conversation, Gavin McClurg talks to our leading US Women’s team members about how they have created this new paradigm. They discuss their backgrounds, breakthrough moments, advice for those interested in competitions, and the formation and goals of the team. The conversation highlights the importance of inclusivity and visibility in paragliding, as well as the progress and achievements of women in the sport. We discuss their future plans and goals for women’s paragliding, and share their experiences of overcoming setbacks and challenges. They also reflect on their personal journeys and triumphs, and express their excitement for the upcoming Super Final. This episode is a blast- enjoy!


    * Competitions are a great way to learn and improve in paragliding. Even if you’re not ready to win, participating in competitions allows you to fly with experienced pilots and receive immediate feedback on your performance.

    * Focus on performance rather than results. Concentrate on improving your skills, such as climbing and gliding, and the results will follow.

    * The women’s paragliding team aims to capitalize on the current momentum and make their success the norm rather than the exception. They work together to discuss strategies, analyze tasks, and support each other in competitions.

    * The women’s team emphasizes the importance of mentorship and learning from experienced pilots. They encourage aspiring competitors to seek guidance and advice from coaches and more experienced pilots in order to accelerate their learning and progression. Inclusivity and visibility are crucial for encouraging more women to participate in paragliding.

    * Having role models and a supportive community can inspire and motivate women to pursue their goals in the sport.

    * The progress and achievements of women in paragliding are changing the perception of what is possible for female pilots.

    * It is important to create opportunities and support systems for women in paragliding to ensure their continued success and growth.


    00:00Introductions and Backgrounds

    19:44Breakthrough Moments

    29:28Advice for Those Interested in Competitions

    36:55The Women’s Team

    37:45Importance of Inclusivity and Visibility

    • 1 hr 10 min

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
214 Ratings

214 Ratings

TheKindG ,

Remarkable variety, incredible depth

As a new student of Paragliding, I find these podcasts to provide an amazing variety of topics covered and Gavin & his guests delve in with sophistication & detail. I’ve learned much beyond what I could have previously ever imagined. And excellent production, editing & audio quality. Worth ‘the buck a show’ I’m donating.
Thx, Gavin for this labor of love. Will Johnson, Port Angeles, WA

TheCuddy ,

Awesome show,must listen

It’s an awesome show and great to hear so much info from so many different pilots

ATCJimbob ,

The preeminent podcast for paragliding enthusiasts

I became interested in paragliding 4 years ago and naturally sought out as much information as possible to whet my appetite for the sport.
What I found in the Cloudbase Mayhem podcasts has far exceeded my expectations.
Insightful, compelling and fun interview with pilots, trainers, authors and filmmakers from all aspects of the sport. Gavin McClurg's interview style is remarkably easy to listen to and enjoyable and I find myself referring to past episodes as I grow in experience.
Give it a listen, you won't be disappointed!

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