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African holiday Oct 2005 Part 1

African holiday Oct 2005 Part 2

My Accident in 1995

Are new amputees unrealistic?

Finding the CP you want

MAS Socket Diaries

MAS Test Socket Photo's AUGUST 2005

Building a disabled friendly house

What to do when a new amputee comes home

Glossary of Terms

Can a planned amputee take control of their pain?

Lightning Hazard???

Skydiving with an Amputee

Paragliding with an Amputee

Your Responsibility to your Disability

The Phantom of Pain - by Alistair Plint

Lesley's RBK Story

Contact Ally





Paragliding with an Amputee....

"Why fly?
For once you have tested flight
You will walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward;
For there you have been,
And there you long to return"

Lovingly plagerised from the Fly SA Site, 'coz now it really means something to me!

Last weekend (June 2005) I took a trip with a friend of mine who is a paraglider. Went to a fabulous mountainous spot almost on the border of Swaziland. My idea was to sit on a mountain (while all the other nutters leapt off) and just take in the views and veg out.

Well, the instructor had other plans for me. He decided, in his infinite wisdom, that Ally had to fly. There was one tandem pilot there (from another club), who had come for one solo flight, and the intrepid instructor talked him into taking me for a tandem.

Problem (so I thought) was getting this one-legged gal off the edge of the mountain - yes MOUNTAIN, not a big hill! And no-one on the top of the mountain that day had flown with a disabled person before. But they were eager to see how and if, they could get it right. Didn't do much to make me feel safe!!

It was windy, and most of the baby pilots were being dragged around over the rocks when they tried to take off. So there was a lot of running toward the edge of the mountain, and falling down to a well-placed ledge (thank you God) before they actually got into the air.

They put a flight suit on me, gloves, helmet, harness and said 'get ready'. This all took about 1 minute - there were 3 men dressing me. I was terrified.

And then the wind was right. The tandem pilot was strapped behind me, I had two other pilots on either side of me - and then we were off - heading straight to the edge of the mountain. They were running - carrying me. I just closed my eyes and prayed 'Lord, please let the chute open first time and let the wind take us UP'.

ally amputee - paragliding running off the mountain

I peeked out of one eye and all I saw was the earth dropping from underneath us - and then we were flying. So quiet, amazing. And we had the longest flight out of all the people there that weekend (about an hour), and we went so very high, about 400m from the take off point. Could even see the beginnings of Swaziland over the mountains. Eish, what a memory I gathered that day.

And I believe the one guy who picked me up and ran with me got a memory of his own too. They were running so fast, that he couldn't stop when we took off. He ran straight off the mountain! And I am told there was blood. Trevor, I owe you!

The landing was a tad rough, got dragged around a bit on the ground, but it was ok. No broken bones. And more importantly, no broken nails!

Must say though, it was a lot more scary than skydiving, and we jumped from 10,000 feet then.

But SHOO - what an experience. I have photo's on my phone. Now, just have to figure out how to get them downloaded.....rocket scientist that I am.

I must add, this sport could definitely become addictive, I can see how my friend has chosen this as her insane hobby-of-choice. What a tremendous group of people. Very social, friendly, and with nothing to prove other than ensuring (or should that be 'insisting' - gotta love that larger than life instructor Carlos, yip you do!) that everyone has an enormously good time. And safety is number one with this bunch - they won't let you hurt yourself, unless of course, you drink too much beer around the fire at night and fall over a stick....

Now I have heard that one of the highest bungees is somewhere near Knysna...mmmm...


Check out the site for nice nutters at Fly SA and just GO FOR IT!





Chronic Pain Chronic pain management by Dr Mitchell

Disability sport in South Africa DISSA

THE ANGRY GIMP Awesome must read site!

Marco Du Plooy My Pretoria based prosthetist

Sleeve Art by Fred's Legs

Employment Guidelines from SA Dept of Labour for PWD's & employers

Amputee Resource - Al Pike CP

MAS Socket - information

Fly SA - Paragliding

Jam Ally Entertainment - where Ally works

Eric Morse - Para-sport photographer & friend (Canada)