Spirits were soaring Friday night Mar.27, launching the new 2015 paragliding season at Flight Club!
We had our legendary winging ceremony for 2014 season paraglider pilots that achieved their iP2 wings.
Local iP2 pilot graduates included: Dan Ashby, Mike McCabe, Toby Stier & Jay Wildeman.
International visitors from abroad that achieved iP2 pilot certification via our Top Gun total immersion programs were: Scott Morris (Orlando, Florida), Matt Reid (Hong Kong) Malcolm Wood (Hong Kong).
Special awards for most noteworthy performances were:
Most Improved 2014 iP2 pilot: Dan Ashby. By the end of the 2014 season, Dan's confidence and skills had really improved, executing the most committed, impressive and massive full frontals during our SIV Seminar at Pitt Lake.
Top Gun 2014 iP2 pilot. Toby Stier gets our Top Gun pilot award, with precise sequenced launches, smooth coordinated turns, and accurate landings. As the season progressed, he commenced having multi hour soaring and thermalling sessions, including an epic 8 hour flight in Pemberton!
Best Photo Paragliding 2014 went to Degas Levesque for his shot, First Flight Smile, of Dan Ashby.
Best Video Paragliding 2014 went to Bill Hughes for camera work, and Toby Stier for editing, on the Paragliding SIV Pitt Lake 2014 video. Hours of great footage, we hope to release excerpts shortly.
A close second for BEST Video Paragliding 2014 was for Malcolm Wood's: Paragliding the Bridal.
A thanks went to all the pilots from the 2014 season for great attitude and focus. All worked as a team helping each other set up; spent hours at the training hill and Vanier Park kiting; and displayed good judgement while mountain paragliding, following precise flight plans. They truly earned their wings, and the countless flight smiles made it a pleasure to coach.
A special thanks went to Degas Levesque, who has continued to grow as one of our Instructors. In 2014, his boundless passion for the sport radiated through in positive energy while guiding student pilots. He always ensured pilots were learning the full spectrum of skills, going beyond the requirements of the USHPA and HPAC systems.
The night proceeded with veterans sharing stories of epic flights, including Degas' recent trip to New Zealand and a planned "top secret" reconnaissance mission of the Terrace area with an upcoming helicopter & paraglide to some previously un-flown summits.
There were many 2015 student pilots bubbling with questions and keen anticipation of upcoming first training hill and mountain flights.
We had a great night sharing a few beer while discussing the upcoming paragliding season, especially with new 2015 prospective pilots, whose budding interest promises to bring a season filled with great new adventures, exploring the sky and plenty of "aha" moments.
Looking forward to a stellar season of paragliding!