a visual journey
Follow along with us as adventurers take to the skies for the first time on a tandem, learn valuable paragliding skills or even catch a glimpse of pilots just goofing around!
Last week was stellar...so stellar in fact that I'm just downloading pictures and writing about it now! Starting Monday after the workday was done, I met with Damian who is on his way to getting his HPAC P2 rating. He's the proud owner of a shiny new kit including a Skywalk Tequila 4 and Skywalk Cult harness, and within an hour he had gone from cautious to confident with his wing handling. I get so proud watching my students progress, and by the looks of Damian seeming determined to run right into the sunset, I think he's having a blast too.
For some, the Easter long weekend means time off to relax. For me, it's been a non-stop weekend of awesomeness (aka paragliding work). First an exciting tandem job involving flying a stills photographer for an ad campaign (I'll post pics and details as soon as they give the ok when the ads are released in about 6 weeks) and then on Sunday a perfect kiting day for teaching one of my latest students. We went to the "bunny" hill and although we didn't find any chocolate, we did run around and laugh just as much as the kids hunting for goodies from the Easter Bunny!
I still can't believe this is "winter". My passenger came out after work and we nabbed this beautiful tandem flight, launching around 5pm and to enjoy the colours of the valley as the sun started descending for the day.
We got up to some shenanigans after talking GPS & XC yesterday! What better way to practice PLF landings than by jumping off a ledge onto soft gym mats? Here's an action shot of Nicole "mid-flight" (and yes, everyone had safe landings!)
PLF: Parachute Landing Fall - although we usually have soft landings, occasionally we may find ourselves coming in to land too quickly to "run it out". In this case your best choice is to roll onto your side as soon as you touchdown to dissipate that energy and save your knees for another day!
Great weather for more kiting and ground school as the spring winds were too unpredictable for flying today. I still think this is the most fun way to get in your cardio for the day!
What do you do on a sunny Sunday when the winds are perfect for kiting? The answer is easy...you teach! We had a fun intro session yesterday and are making the most of this dry weather. Join us next time you're in Chilliwack!
Thanks to Bart for this panorama shot during one of our many Q&A times. The modified one-day course went smoothly (and I think Jeannette even got all of her erasable highlighters back, ha ha). Wonderful to see that each year another group of pilots take to the skies with more awareness and higher levels of safety. Getting to meet fellow air junkies from around the province is a great bonus!
Do you know how to read this map? Can you figure out where you can and cannot fly or where you need a radio and/or transponder?
The next HAGAR study course is coming up on Saturday, January 3rd in Chilliwack, BC. The HAGAR is a Transport Canada airspace exam which is mandatory to write in your pursuit of an advanced rating in both your hang gliding and paragliding licences. It is also full of knowledge you should possess before you start planning cross-country flights.
Visit our HAGAR study course page or email Martina for more information!
Paragliding skills are not static. One day you're launching like a pro, the next day it takes you 6 tries to get airborne. This is especially true when you're learning. Rob had been having good launches all summer but yesterday he met with the latter half of the phrase "two steps forward…one step back". So along with Claudia (who has been doing Novice coaching with me), we went back to the training hill to review some basics and find out where the bad habits had snuck in. By the end of the day, both students had a few "aha!" moments and were back in their wing-handling groove.
Every year, Skywalk holds a video competition asking pilots to show what they love about their wings. I had started a video to answer the question "How did you get into this? How do people learn?" and decided to enter my movie into the competition. Here's the finished product…enjoy!