From the lowest point to the highest – Ballina based paramotor pilot and instructor Andrew Polidano was among a group of paraglider pilots who travelled 1600km from the lowest point of the country at Lake Eyre (49ft below sea level) to the highest point of the snow-capped crest of Mt Kosciuszko (7310ft above sea level).
Each pilot was flying backpack motorised fan aircrafts – known as powered paragliders. The experienced pilots were exposed to the harsh weather elements of both the South Australian outback and Australia’s highest peak.
Spending a total of 18 hours in the air, the pilots were equipped with a two-stroke engine on their back, flying a paraglider and a reserve parachute.
‘We flew over some indescribably beautiful and remote country, slept under the outback stars and accomplished something that hasn’t been done before,’ said Andrew.
‘Starting our trip in Lake Eyre last month, we hit some challenges along the way, like unexpected strong winds and turbulence in the Flinders Ranges, that forced us out of the sky.
‘To achieve the flight up to Mt Kosciuszko, we required a strategic take-off and several attempts- due to the turbulence associated with the upper winds, which were exceeding 100km/hr. Only three of our pilots made it up there, but the view was awe-inspiring, a spectacular sight overlooking the snow-capped mountains.’