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!
A few weeks ago now I got to experience this view for the first time, along with a group of pilots representing the Hang Gliding and Paragliding Association of Canada (HPAC). A nice newspaper article on the event just came out, check out the link here and for more info on flying at Jasper you can read the rules on the HPAC website.
Almost 10 years ago, HPAC (Hang gliding and Paragliding Association of Canada) Board members began the process of working with Parks Canada to allow us to legally fly in our national parks. After endless meetings and environmental studies, a two-year test plan was devised with Jasper National Park in Alberta and the inaugural flights scheduled for last weekend. The HPAC board contacted me a few days beforehand when everything fell into place and asked if I would like to join them as a representative from BC and as an HPAC Instructor. Of course I said YES! immediately, and so found myself on a snow covered mountain on Saturday morning.
Pilots wishing to fly or land in Jasper are asked to review the procedures on the HPAC website (link is here). Right now Jasper is the only national park we are permitted to fly/land in, but if we can show we can adhere to the rules and guidelines, then more parks will follow suit.
There was plenty of media on launch that morning, but while we wait for the pictures to be published I'll share this screengrab from my GoPro as I inflated my beloved Skywalk Cayenne 4 into the crisp morning air beside the Jasper Skytram. Happy Flying!
2015 is really stepping up and shaping up to be one of my favourite years ever. While picking up extra HAGAR study guides at the Chilliwack Airport I ran into an old friend and by (lucky, lucky) chance got to climb into this 1943 Piper Cub! Too bad the winds were so strong outside or I would've been able to go for a flight right then. No worries though, the owner (the new Chilliwack Airport Manager) will be trading me a flight on his aircraft for a flight on mine. He's as excited about his upcoming tandem as I am to go up in this classic beauty. Another benefit from our meeting is open dialogue with this small but growing airport that is definitely within our XC flying area, and he has invited me to come talk about us sharing this ever-changing airspace. All of us flying addicts need to work together to ensure we can all keep enjoying our time in the sky!
This is a new one for me since I've never seen a tow-launched tandem before. Tyler's dad went up in Arizona for his first flight…the things your kids make you do!
Nothing beats making goal! Whether it's at a competition, fun fly-in or just a goal you set for yourself, the rush of accomplishment is addictive. Start planning your travels now…we will continue adding information on our Event Page as new ones are announced.
Tyler & Kirstie (my paramotor students from this summer who came to learn unpowered flight) spent their winter holidays in Arizona. They added another skill to their flying toolbox as they got to go towing with some locals! A neat way to get some height…when I was in Arizona the guys took us to a park where I got a two-minute flight off a small hill. I think these two got the better deal, ha ha. Here's a video clip of Kirstie launching…watch for more pictures & videos soon!
Last night we jetted off to Harrison Mills for a silent auction/fundraising dinner for the Fraser Valley Bald Eagle Festival at Pretty Estates Resort. Jet Set Paragliding donated a tandem flight to the cause, and I was pleased to be asked to give a speech about our sport before the bidding began. Everyone was excited to hear about the possibility of soaring with eagles and the tandem went home with a very happy bidder who will be coming flying next season. George from Thermal Addict paragliding came along too and we both went home with some goodies from the auction, all to support efforts to keep our eagle friends (aka thermal markers) around for a long, long time.
Living at the foot of the mountains means you never have to look far for stunning views or something to do outside. Tourism Chilliwack has launched a campaign to share this beauty and here's the first video. Share your own experiences when you come exploring out this way using #ShareChilliwack on whichever social media sites you like, and just maybe you'll see some paragliding on a future video ;)
On a 2010 winter trip to Ecuador, our group went looking for refreshments after our flight into a small village. Paul and I decided on Pu-Pu.