She was the pilot who flew the longest and most distance in the Sertão last season. With only 2 years of flight and an EN-B she did some crosscountry over 300km. Check out some questions we asked her about her experience in the Sertão.
Serena is 27 years old and lives in Switzerland. Always very friendly, she quickly learned the Portuguese language to facilitate her communication in Brazil, especially with the local residents who received her with great joy after landing.
We asked a few questions about your experience this season of flying in the Sertão do Brasil.
When did you start on the free flight?
What woke you up to come to Brazil?
Great distances that you can fly with a paraglider
Your biggest difficulties when starting the flight in the Sertão?
The unknown, it is stressful for me to fly in new regions. In addition, I heard that there was often a strong wind and I was afraid of it.
What was also difficult was to screw the thermals in the morning wind. I didn't want to land, so I rode it very tight as soon as I heard a beep of my vario for fear of losing the thermal. It was watching videos from my Gopro that I realized that I wasn't looking for the center of the thermal right away.
Then there was also the difficulty of not being used to flying in the "flat". It is easier to find thermals in the mountains. I did a lot of nails and almost never understood why I was on the floor. It was very difficult for the mind to understand.
The biggest facilities in the Sertão?
Contact with people. People are so open here and always want to help. I learned to speak Portuguese because people were so nice to me that I wanted to understand them. I was often offered to eat, drink, bathe, rest in a hammock or sit somewhere. The community here has a big heart.
The 5 things that every pilot who comes to fly in the Sertão should know?
1st The wind can be very strong. To take off safely, you have to know how to control your sail perfectly well.
2nd Thermals are generous. Sometimes they can be turbulent. If you come during high season, you must have some experience in thermal flight.
3rd It is difficult to go to crosscountry very early if you are not used to it. Cycles are very short in the early morning and thermals are difficult to find.
4th Set small goals and be ready to put yourself on the ground without understanding why. It can be very frustrating. But, by trying, one day you will get there.
5th There is a potential for crosscountry every day during high season.
At the end of the season, what did you evolve in your pilot profile?
I learned a lot about how to read clouds and observe things that show thermals (triggers, birds, dust, smoke). I centralize the thermals better and manage to spend a lot of time observing the external elements. I gained a lot of self-confidence by taking off and flying in a strong wind. And too much. I had an accident on one of my last flights. I was alone in Quixadá and took off with a lot of wind. I flew in reverse despite the accelerator and had a breakdown that I couldn't control. Fortunately, I had nothing serious, just muscle damage. This accident was due to an excess of confidence that I gradually acquired after all my ventilated takeoffs in Quixadá, a bad analysis of the conditions and poor wing control.
Observation Quixadá Aventura: Serena flew with full assistance while in Assu-RN in Quixadá hired only one driver. Quixadá Aventura whenever it is taking off, regardless of whether it is hired or not, helps all pilots to take off safely, but on the day of her accident there was no one taking off, except for her and her driver, which is not recommended. In Quixadá it is essential to have an experienced pilot at the top of the takeoff to inform the safe time to take off (if it exists).
Do you intend to beat the world record?
This is one of my dreams. There is a long way to go and it will be very, very difficult. You have to start cross-country very early, and the risk of making a nail is great. And you have to fly really fast. I just started flying with an EN-C wing. The competition sails scare me, I hope one day I want to fly with them in confidence.
The hinterland is a paradise for gliding. I can only recommend flying here. It can be very frustrating when you don't understand why you're landing, but when you can fly until sunset it is an indescribable feeling of happiness. The flight conditions are incredible. I think that every day there is a possibility to fly at least 200km during the high season.
Serena continues to fly in Quixadá in the month of January, but plans to fly in Governador Valadares and Colombia in the next few days. Who knows, you might meet her on takeoff ...
By, Eurismar Júnior
Do you want to fly in the Sertão do Brasil in 2021? We have tickets.
Contact +55 88 9 9911 3182 - Eurismar Jr