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Cockpit Globe Trotters

  • #CockpitGlobeTrotters: Chronicles of Kire

    In our last Globetrotters blog, I promised we would soon be meeting Luca’s mother, to follow along on her adventures as she field-tests classic Cockpit USA styles in Africa and around the world.

    Kire Godal wearing her Amelia Jacket at the African Heritage House. Photograph by Luca Piazzi Kire Godal wearing her Amelia Jacket at the African Heritage House. Photograph by Luca Piazzi

    Kire Godal has spent her career filming Africa’s vanishing cultures, and documenting wildlife conservation projects. Most recently she produced her first TV series, Minjiba Entertains. Her most recent adventure, Skypaths, brought her from the deserts of northern Kenya, to the steamy jungles of the Congo. During filming Kire even lived for weeks at a time in a tiny pup tent amid teeming herds of wildlife in the shadow of Mt. Kilimanjaro.

    Kire started her career in her teens as a Ford model, later making the transition to working behind the camera. She quickly made a name for herself as a brilliant filmmaker, writer and producer. One of the most endearing aspects of my friend Kire, is that despite such exciting and successful endeavors, her proudest accomplishment has been simultaneously raising her loving family.

    Kire Godal Filming Tribes: Archives - Behind the Scenes from Kire Godal on Vimeo.
     

    Kire was the first friend I contacted as soon as the Cockpit USA team approved my idea of having real people living adventurous lives field-test Cockpit USA products in Africa. Reaching out to Kire was the most natural thing in the world for me, as not only have we been friends for twenty years, but have worked together on film projects and on safari.

    Kire has that rare ability to look stylish and beautiful while doing physically demanding work in some of the world’s harshest climates, most rugged landscapes, and primitive condition. Over our 20 year friendship, I have come to know some very reliable facts about Kire’s packing necessities.

    Kire Godal wearing her Amelia Jacket. Photographed by Paulo Ares Kire Godal wearing her Amelia Jacket. Photographed by Paulo Ares

    Kire’s specialty is taking her film cameras, including a RED Dragon, into remote locations and all that camera gear doesn’t leave much room for trendy clothes.

    Whatever clothes Kire choses to pack into her trusty old Land Cruiser must provide protection from the elements, be comfortable, low-maintenance and long-wearing – and of course should look amazing. Those are the qualities that exactly describe American made Cockpit USA jackets, and that is why Kire fell instantly in love with the Cockpit USA Amelia Jacket.

    Kire Godal wearing her Amelia Jacket at the African Heritage House. Photograph by Luca Piazzi Kire Godal wearing her Amelia Jacket at the African Heritage House. Photograph by Luca Piazzi

    When I first presented Kire with her new Amelia Jacket, she and her son Luca were in the midst of filming her new Africa Channel TV series “Minjiba Entertains” so the Amelia jacket instantly became part of Kire’s uniform on location. As Second Camera Operator on the shoot, Luca was able to take some still photographs of Kire and Amelia at work. 

    Immediately after wrapping the TV episode, Kire packed up to travel with her boyfriend and collaborator in their production companyPaulo Ares to Portugal for work on one of her documentary films ‘Skypaths. Paulo was the photographer for this shoot, capturing Kire on her travels with Amelia. We are delighted to share the first chapters of what we know will prove to be a long and happy association between Kire Godal and her Cockpit USA Amelia Jacket!

    Kire Godal wearing her Amelia Jacket. Photographed by Paulo Ares Kire Godal wearing her Amelia Jacket. Photographed by Paulo Ares

    -- Don Young, Brand Ambassador for Cockpit USA   •   Newland Tarlton & Co.

    Follow Kire on social to see her latest adventures.

    Facebook: Kire Godal Filmmaker   •   Instagram: @kiregodal  •   Vimeo: Kire Godal Films

  • #CockpitGlobeTrotters: The Pathfinders

    Imagine you are on safari in Africa surrounded by herds of wild animals.

    It is just before sunrise so the air here in Kenya’s Masai Mara is amazingly cold!

    Luca & Kristen bundle up in their Cockpit USA sheepskins. Luca & Kristen bundle up in their Cockpit USA sheepskins.

    You are driving in a vintage Land Rover safari car and the shearling jackets you are wearing are perfect for combating the cold morning wind while providing all the flexibility you need to maneuver your vehicle and handle your cameras to get the best photographs.

    Helping you navigate through the pre-dawn African light is one of the best safari trackers in the Masai Mara - a Maasai warrior named James Raya. James wears a vivid red blanket and carries a very sharp spear - both symbols of a warrior tradition going back centuries. James’ costume proclaims his identity with a long heritage of values: courage, wisdom, skill, and another quality difficult to describe: something Ernest Hemingway called ‘grace under pressure.’

    James and Kristen spot a male lion while out in the Masai Mara. James and Kristen spot a male lion while out in the Masai Mara.

    James, your tracker, spots a massive male lion with his head up and the first rays of the sun making a golden halo around his heavy mane. Over on the horizon, a herd of impala see the lion on the hunt and the atmosphere is suddenly electric with tension. The lion stands like a magnificent statue, his muscles tense, his eyes intent as he weighs his chances of dashing across open ground in full view of the impala to make a successful hunt.

    It is moments like these on safari that are both breathlessly immediate and yet as timeless as Africa itself.


    Luca and Kristen on safari in the Masai Mara. Luca and Kristen on safari in the Masai Mara.

    Luca and Kristen are perfect for the tasks I needed them to perform. Both love extreme outdoor sports and both are successful professional models. Kristen is a lover of the outdoors, mountaineering, raging rapids, and ragged ridge-lines are her passion. Luca grew up in Kenya and spent most of his childhood on safari. Luca’s mother Kire is one of my dearest friends so I have been an ‘uncle’ to Luca since he was a kid.

    Luca wearing his Vintage Motorcross while exploring Point Lenana. Luca wearing his Vintage Motorcross Jacket while exploring Point Lenana.

    Kire is also a professional model who has proven herself to be as successful behind the camera as in front of it - carving a niche for herself as a commercial filmmaker and producer. Luckily for me, Kire also agreed to be one of my Field Testing team so we will be following Kire wearing her Cockpit USA jackets on our blog soon!

    I recruited Luca Piazzi and Kristen Mcculloch to join me on safari to accomplish two specific and important missions:

    Mission One was to check out some of my new safaris for adventure travelers, testing the best routes on Mt. Kenya and the Tugen Hills which I will offer to my loyal safari clients.

    Mission Two was to help me prove that the Wilds of Africa - a place I have called home for the past 30 years - are the perfect environment for the durability, American-made quality and classic good looks of Cockpit USA jackets and bags.

    Kristen taking a break from climbing Point Lenana in her B-3. Kristen taking a break from climbing Point Lenana in her Women's Hooded B-3 Bomber.

    Meanwhile, after briefing Kristen and Luca at my home-base at the beautiful Kiota Safari House, they started their trek up Mt. Kenya. Kristen is a veteran mountaineer who has climbed many of Colorado’s 14,000 foot peaks, but for Luca their plan to summit 16,355 foot Point Lenana was an intimidating goal.

    Adding to the challenge was my request that they put their Cockpit USA jackets to the true-life test of high altitude trekking while taking quality ‘fashion’ photographs along the way. I knew that Luca had great talent as a photographer and filmmaker so I was confident he and Kristen could do the job.

    Luca and Kristen taking in the morning on the Masai Mara in their Cockpit USA motorcross jackets. Luca and Kristen taking in the morning on the Masai Mara in their Cockpit USA Motorcross Jackets.

    As you can see, not only did Kristen and Luca succeed in climbing Point Lenana, they also brought home some excellent photographs of Cockpit USA jackets doing what they were made to do - facing life’s challenges with strength, durability and timeless style.

    Luca & Kristen relax in their luxury tent in the Masai Mara. Luca & Kristen relax in their luxury tent in the Masai Mara.

    After Mt. Kenya, Luca and Kristen rejoined me in my classic tented safari camp in the Masai Mara where we spent the next several days putting our Cockpit USA clothes through their paces and enjoying every minute of it! The photographs in this blog are just a very few of many amazing images we are happy to share with you at Newland Tarlton Safaris.


    Looking out over the Masai Mara. Looking out over the Masai Mara.

    I made a point earlier about my friend and head tracker James Raya and his proud role as a Maasai warrior. Although James (and his kids) are very much part of the modern world, James still honors the timeless traditions of his culture and proudly wears the clothes that tell the world who he is and what his values are. The Cockpit USA clothes we are field testing in Africa were also designed for warriors in another place and another time and represent values that never wear out. Like James Raya’s red blanket and steel spear, Cockpit USA clothing are an enduring statement of integrity and a commitment to excellence that stands the test of time.

    — Donald Young, Brand Ambassador for Cockpit USA

    Follow Luca and Kristen on Instagram to see their latest adventures.

    Follow Luca @lucapiazziphoto • Follow Kristen @_kristeniris

    Don Young, CEO of Newland, Tarlton & Co and Cockpit USA Brand Ambassador Don Young, CEO of Newland, Tarlton & Co and Cockpit USA Brand Ambassador wearing his Cockpit USA Sabre Ultralight Field Jacket
  • #CockpitGlobetrotters: Arctic Freediver

    Jacques de Vos photographed by Adrien 'Shams' Nisan for Red Bull Jacques de Vos photographed by Adrien 'Shams' Nisan for Red Bull

    Our person of interest this month takes us out of Africa, and into North Norway Arctic. When we launched the Cockpit Globetrotters campaign, some shots from Don Young at Newland, Tarlton, & Co were posted on the personal pages of our upcoming adventurers of interest. After seeing a shot online, one of the most unique adventurers we could have imagined reached out to us offering to help. The friendly, humble e-mail mentioned he was a photographer, a free diver, and the minor detail that he operates guided free dives with Orca whales…….wait what?

     

    As understated as Jacques was in his communications, it is hard to not be impressed by a guy who swims around with Orca’s in the arctic. Partnered with Boreal Yachting, Jacques operates Arctic Freediving, an adventurers experience outfit that maintains a prominent position on the bucket list of the most daring of us all.

    An instructor trainer at the legendary Freedive International, operating out of Tanzania, Egypt, Thailand, and the Canary Islands, Jacques is truly a global personality. Bouncing between Nordic Fjords, and the volcanic grounds of Tenerife, Jacques lives an extraordinary life that required a jacket that fit the lifestyle he has created for himself.

    Jacques de Vos out on the boat in his Cockpit G-1 Jacques de Vos out on the boat in his Cockpit G-1

    Choosing to sport our Navy G-1, Jacques put on the jacket of Navy fighter jocks since WWII. A recognizable symbol for Top Gun, Corsair pilots, Tom Cats and battleship bridges, the G-1 has been a mainstay of cool for a very long time. Built to stand up to the rigors of an ocean faring lifestyle, Jacques chose the jacket that provided all the function, (and flare) a man who dives with Orca’s should have.

     

    World Record freediver Alenka Artnik exploring a wreck in front of Freedive International in our Trendsetter B-15. Photographed by Jacques de Vos World Record freediver Alenka Artnik exploring a wreck in front of Freedive International in our Trendsetter B-15. Photographed by Jacques de Vos

    Throughout the last couple of months Jacques has provided a string of breathtaking shots from around the world. Norwegian Fjords, beautiful ports, and even one of our B-15’s floating 80 feet below the surface with a ship wreck. He has also been able to pass on numerous stories of compliments our jacket has received. Being appreciated among the adventurers of the world is something we take great pride in.

    The team of divers get ready to hit the water. Photographed by Adrien 'Shams' Nisan The team of divers get ready to hit the water. Photographed by Adrien 'Shams' Nisan

    This month, Red Bull will feature Jacques as a person of interest, if ever there was an endorsement for success in adventure sports, Red Bull sets the bar. We are looking forward to seeing Jacques, and his Cockpit G-1 telling his story, of his extraordinary life. Check out Jacques's Red Bull feature here.

  • #CockpitGlobeTrotters: The Story Teller

    It had been 7 years since Matthew and Jen Landis spent their honeymoon on Safari in Africa. A magical experience that marked the beginning of their adventures together, and a promise to themselves to one-day return. Since their last trip to Africa, the couple added two beautiful children to their ranks, and established a media company specializing in telling the story of a brand. Their storytelling talents lead to the call that would finally bring them back on Safari, and back to Africa.

    Matt Landis and his wife, Jen watching the sunset while on safari with Don Young. Matt Landis and his wife, Jen watching the sunset while on safari with Don Young.

    The voice on the other end of that call was that of Mr. Don Young, CEO of the historic Newland, Tarlton & Co. Safari Company. Being familiar with Soluna Media, Don was drawn to their specialization of telling the story of a brand through multimedia production. Matthew has 17 years of multimedia development experience, while Jen has built a career as a creative director at a brand advancement agency. That talent, along with their passion for Africa and past Safari experience was exactly what Don was looking for.

     

    The adventure Don presented to them, was to come to Kenya to present their vision and experience of his tented safari camp in the Masai Mara, and the “Kiota Safari House”, a private safari home located on the 12,000 acre El Karama Wildlife Conservancy. Matt and Jen jumped at the chance to return to Africa and to give their perspective on the Newland, Tarlton & Co. Safari experience. Fortunately for us, Matt happily agreed to field-test Cockpit USA products while in production.

    Matt Landis with his drone preparing to film the African wilderness. Matt Landis with his drone preparing to film the African wilderness.

    Because in the wilds of Africa, the best light for filming is often in the crystal clear cold air before sunrise and after sunset, Matt chose our iconic Cockpit USA R.A.F. Shearling Jacket to keep him comfortable in the chilly mornings and nights. The R.A.F. Shearling Jacket was originally designed for pilots flying open cockpit biplanes and later gained legendary status during the Battle of Britain.

    Matt Landis piloting his drone in Cockpit's RAF Sheepskin Bomber Matt Landis piloting his drone in Cockpit's RAF Sheepskin Bomber

    Feeling warm and heroically stylish in our Cockpit USA R.A.F. Shearling jacket, Matt piloted his video drone above the breathtaking wildebeest migration, over Don Young’s safari camp in Masai Mara and around Don’s Kiota Safari House - capturing exciting moments on safari. For Matt and Jen Landis, their safari with Newland, Tarlton & Co. was a dream come true. For Cockpit USA it was another chance to showcase how our legendary jackets are built for the most rugged of lifestyles.

     

     

    We are happy to share the video production that resulted from this trip, and encourage all of you to check out Newland, Tarlton & Co. Safari Company, The Safari Company of Teddy Roosevelt, and a name synonymous with luxury since 1904.  

  • #CockpitGlobeTrotters: A Force of Nature

    Don Young, CEO of Newland, Tarlton & Co., wearing our Type 440 USN Carrier Jacket Don Young, CEO of Newland, Tarlton & Co., wearing our Type 440 USN Carrier Jacket

    Several months ago, at the famed Explorers club in NYC, a 30-year veteran safari guide and naturalist approached Cockpit USA founders Jeff and Jacky Clyman with a challenge. He asked us to put our product into the field to be tested, beaten, battered, and worn, and in return, he would provide the list of people to do the testing. The goal was to use a product field-testing initiative to not only show how our product could handle the real-life rigors of his world, but to use this test to introduce and spotlight the amazing personalities, places, and projects these incredible people of interest would bring. We accepted his challenge, and are happy to launch this campaign along with the true force of nature behind this concept Mr. Don Young. 

    Meet Don Young: A unique combination of outdoorsman, scholar, artist, designer, and adventurer. As CEO of the Newland, Tarlton & Co. luxury brands, Don has used his lifetime of safari experience to create an array of safari experiences from tented camps to lodges, from Africa to Indonesia. Having spent most of his career on tented safaris, Don took that experience to the design table. Don designed the tents and furnishings for his own safari camps, and has also created furniture collections for Ol Donyo Lodge, Kenya, Zarafa Camp, Botswana and Lukula Selous Camp, Tanzania. Eventually he launched his own line of safari furniture that is as focused on the ruggedness and functionality needed to be in the bush, as the style and romance needed to be present in quality luxury safari furniture. 

    Newland, Tarlton & Co.'s private campsite in the Masai Mara was presented to Don Young for his personal use by the Maasai more than 25 years ago. Newland, Tarlton & Co.'s private campsite in the Masai Mara was presented to Don Young for his personal use by the Maasai more than 25 years ago.

    As a naturalist and conservationist, Don has traveled widely in Africa and Asia, promoting education and conservation for endangered species. As a scholar, Don is regarded as one of the world’s authorities on African explorers and has published several academic works including “The Search for the Source of the Nile” published by the Roxburghe Club. Don is a trained forensic osteologist in the field of paleo-anthropology and is the discoverer of an important human pre-historic site in northern Kenya.

    As an author, Don is represented by the prestigious Inkwell Literary Agency and is currently writing his first novel: “The Spy, the Lover & the Devil’s Brother,” based on the story of Capt. Sir Richard Burton and his life in India at the time he ‘discovered’ the “Kama Sutra.”

    Don Young field testing our Weather Field Jacket in a downpour. Don Young field testing our Weather Field Jacket in a downpour.

    Don serves on the Board of Directors of Lion Guardians / Wildlife Guardians, and the Elephant Trust / Amboseli Trust for Elephants. Don is a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society, and a Member of the Explorer’s Club of New York.

    Don’s safaris, public lectures, and his famous fireside stories, have touched the lives of thousands of people. He has devoted his life to teaching about the natural world, and hopes that by sharing his knowledge and passion, he can help save wildlife and wilderness for the next generation.

    Newland, Tarlton & Co. safari experience. Newland, Tarlton & Co. safari experience.

    Stay tuned for more shots and adventurers to come!

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