About me

My name is Robert Smith.  I started paragliding in 1992, and have around 2,800 hours airtime, including more than 400 flights from Fiesch.  I retired from work in 2011, and divide most of my time between the UK and the Alps, skiing in the winter and flying in the summer.  I am not an expert pilot, and have no coaching, instructing, or guiding credentials, but I usually learn something every time I fly from Fiesch, which I aim to pass on in this website.

I first flew in Fiesch in 1994, and continue to do so regularly, recording most of my flights on XContest, usually with a short commentary plus a few pictures, and I have a live tracking page.

In 2015, I became the only pilot to have ever won the UK overseas league on an EN-B glider, but have entered no competitions since the 1990s.  My attitude towards flying prioritises enjoyment over performance numbers, which is reflected throughout this website and in my choice of equipment.

I have written several articles for Skywings, the magazine of the British Hang Gliding and Paragliding Association.

On 25th May this year, in the gentle English countryside, I launched into what I thought was a thermal, but it turned out to be a dust devil, and I lost control of the wing.  The consequent impact with the ground fractured my pelvis and two vertebrae.  I doubt that I will fly again in 2020, but I expect to make a full recovery before the start of the ski season.  So I don’t expect to be logging any flights from Fiesch this year, but look forward to resuming in 2021.

Suggestions or comments about this site can be sent by clicking here.

I am keen to hear from any pilots who
◾think there’s something important missing from this site
◾have found something out of date or a link that doesn’t work (which I therefore need to update!)
◾came to Fiesch and found that something in this site made a genuine difference to their experience
◾know Fiesch well and disagree with anything here, particularly if they feel it’s dangerous