Simon Walker about his SkyWeek

We recently completed our first epic SkyWeek adventure and Simon Walker has kindly agreed to share his experience with you. Enjoy! - By Simon Walker

"A group of us joined Alex and the SkySchool team in France for their inaugural SkyWeek this summer, first flying around Chateauneuf-en-Auxois in Burgundy before relocating to Chamonix. Great banter, too much red wine, and some memorable flights!

Skyweek is a great idea for pilots who want to widen their experience and fly in new areas. It’s aimed at qualified pilots at all levels of experience - we had pilots in their first season to those with almost 10 years of flying. Although we could all fly, there was an element of informal coaching on offer which was welcomed. We all pick up a few bad habits and I for one welcomed some timely tips.

We had a varied flying programme across a range of sites with all the logistics looked after with the team moving our gear around between flying sites. If the worst happened and we needed to land out, it was great to know that someone was there to retrieve us.

We flew over some amazing scenery - vineyards, chateaux and hill-top villages. The highlight was flying near Chamonix where we got some real altitude and amazing views flying over the ski resorts and mountain villages. It was great to get some top tips from the pros about mountain flying - having a play in the evening restitution lift was really memorable and fun.

SkyWeek with Simon Walker

On the trip we sometimes adopted the ‘seek forgiveness not permission’ approach in choosing take off sites - in rural France in September there are many wide open fields. When we did meet the local farmers, they were all more than happy for us to be there. In Chateauneuf however they went above and beyond. When we landed, they brought out half the village, set up a camping table laden with the local wine, cheese and charcuterie and insisted we all had a drink with them!

I originally learnt with SkySchool to train for the Icarus Trophy, so adventure travel by paramotor was very much my motivation. I’ve competed in the shorter Icarus X events and had a blast, but now with a few more insights into the mountains, I’m feeling much more confident at tackling the full Icarus Trophy next year. Watch this space."

We look forward to seeing Simon at the next SkyWeek!

If you are interested in having a similar experience, sign up through the website.

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