The Icelandic XC record flight – 75K

Posted on April 15, 2011

photo: Elín G. Gunnlaugsdóttir

On June 14th 2009 a young and relatively new Polish resident pilot Szczepan Pawluzek beat the old Icelandic PG record of 50K by 25K. We were all extremely jealous… but at the same time so psyched to see it was possible! All the pilots in Iceland have since spent each flyable day trying to beat the 75K, without success… yet!

Here is Szczepan’s account of his flight complete with some technical data and mapping. But first, the video:


75 km XC Flight which I made on Sunday afternoon 14.06.2009 from Herðisavik close to GEYSIR landing in Miðhus.

It took me 4 h to get there crossing few mountain ridges, some roads, Þingvallavatn lake and Loygarðalur area. I had a lot of luck almost landing after first thermal. I was sinking heavily in turbulent air behind Geitafell mountain approaching pretty close to the ground. I was looking for some grass area in the middle of a lava field, but I succeeded to catch another hot air that took me over the road nr 39 which goes to Þorlákshöfn and then over the main road N1 to Reykjafell close to the geothermal area. I had been waiting there for about 10 min to get another proper lift which could take me over Hengill mountain ridge.

Jumping behind it I approached to Neshavellir with its geothermal plant. I used this thermal steam with nasty smell of sulfur to get high again reaching about 1.300 m over the sea level. I end up on the edge of Þingvallavatn lake thinking about jumping over it but I was too scared to end up in the middle of the lake. I have decided to cross finally but more on my right hand site flying over blue water which in a sunny weather looks pretty impressive.

I used some lake breeze which changed finally into strong and constant thermal which helped me to jump over big lava field with maximum altitude of 1590m and then closed to the gavel road nr 365 as a shortcut from Þingvellir to Loygardalur. I was almost sure that I have to land because of lack of extra height, looking again for proper landing place. I was calm because some cars stopped below me looking at this strange flying creature which came from the sky. I wish that some of them could take me back to my car which I left in Herðisavík, but……..once again I founded some light thermal air.

Balancing on 0 I approached closet to Raúðumýrarmúli mountain and jumped over it reaching approximately 1.300 m. I had a good condition to fly all the way close to Langjökull glacier but wasn´t sure how I am going to get out of there 😉 I passed Loygarðalur on my right and flown over Festdalsfjall. I´ve started sinking still looking for some good lift. This time I planned to land close to some bridge and road which goes to GEYSIR and Gulfoss.

Flying over summer houses area with plenty of green trees and bushes,I managed to get tiny lift which took me few kilometers more to unknown terrain. Being hungry and wasn´t sure exactly where I am, finally landed next to summer house Miðhús watching children sitting in a hotpot. They were really surprised to see me flying over them. Jumping out of the water came to me asking where do I come from……”Just from the sky” replied!

Owner of a house Ragnar Ormsson kindly invited me on his property and gave a lift back to Loygardalur. I had a lot of luck coming back quickly by hitchhiking to Herðisavik couldn´t believe what I did! Wish to have such flight again! I am waiting for a good weather and wish to fly with my friends form Fisfélag Reykjavikur. See you in the air !

Unfortunately Szczepan’s gps didnt give a valid tracklog so his flight is not a legal record. But he did the flight, so now we know it can be done, and for sure he will break this record soon again!

75 km as a total XC paragliding flight from Herðisavík made within 4 h
Take off on the cliff close to the lake in Herðisavik
10 km to GEYSIR form landing place in Miðhus
IQ ONE+ Variometr chart of alltude, max. raise and sinking and time of flight.
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