Three members of the Petersfield-based based Sky Surfing Club ventured a little further than their usual Hampshire and West Sussex hills – travelling to southern Turkey and the sparkling turquoise and deep blue of the Aegean Sea.

Their expedition was focused on completing a course of Situations Incidents de Vol (SIV) manoeuvres. This involved deliberately inducing extreme in-flight collapses, stalls and spins on paragliding canopies to learn safe recovery procedures to a normal flight – should the need arise.

Steph Cahill said: “We obviously can’t see how the air is moving and sometimes turbulence can compromise the non-rigid structure of a paraglider canopy. If you know how to deal with that, it’s a non-event and you will be a safer pilot – hence the value of SIV training. Mount Babadağ in Turkey gave us about 6,000ft to play with.

“After being whisked up the mountain by cable car, we then launched and flew out over the sea to carry out our manoeuvres while in radio contact with the instructor far below.”

James Cooke added: “It was very tense, with lots of pressure to correctly complete the manoeuvres – if you got it wrong, you’d get very wet.”

Instructor Josh Sanderson said: “The flying skills over the four-day course improved noticeably and no water landings were necessary.”

Following the instructional phase, the group enjoyed several days of free-flying to wind down and enjoy the stunning backdrop of the Aegean coast.

The highlight was taking off from the highest launch point on the mountain. The group picked a course through the clouds, flying along the coast and landing on an isolated beach called Butterfly Valley.

Brian Parkins