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Top Gun References

We recently graduated a   CF-18 Hornet Pilot from our Top Gun P2 Novice Paragliding Pilot program.  Read about his impressions of iParaglide.

iParaglide Location

Located at 962 - 51st Street Tsawwassen, near Vancouver, BC, Canada, for all your paragliding needs. We are ideally situated just minutes away from the finest training hill at Diefenbaker Park.

iParaglide Flying Sites

We are central to paragliding sites in the Vancouver, Chilliwack, Pemberton, Whistler, Bellingham and Seattle area so students enjoy maximum variety and we can work with weather to optimize selection of the best location each day.

Right Stuff Equipment

We regularly test fly the latest paragliding gear and select only the very finest for our iParaglide Right Stuff Paragliding Equipment Store. This ensures our paraglider pilots enjoy a state of the art performance and safety advantage to accelerate their learning curve.

Paragliding Webcams

Vancouver Paragliding Webcams - get a view of cloud base to plan your paragliding cross country flight adventure.

Woodside Mtn Webcam

Bridal Webcam

Chilliwack Webcam

Hope Webcam 

Pemberton Webcam

Bellingham Bay Webcam

Tiger Mtn Webcam 

Top Gun iP2 Novice Certification

with Captain Daniel Walters

CF-18 Hornet Pilot

409 Tactical Fighter Squadron

 

I'm Daniel Walters, an active military pilot, and had been interested in trying paragliding for some time. 

I was planning to take a couple weeks of leave in the Vancouver area so I did a little bit of research on paragliding schools in the area.  iParaglide stood out mostly because of its professional website.  It was well organized and gave me the impression that this was a serious operation, particularly with respect to safety.  I contacted Dion and in addition to answering all my questions, I could tell he was passionate about the sport of paragliding and took his safety record very seriously.  He was also able to accommodate my rather inflexible dates and agreed to put me through the HPAC Novice Paragliding Certification training within two weeks in his Top Gun total immersion program.

Prior to actually heading to the mountain, we covered theory and progressed through ground handling to training hill sites.  The pace was excellent and it was clear that Dion tailors his training to his individual paragliding students.  There were never more than about 6 students at a time, and on a few days we were one on one.  The progression from smaller training hills to larger ones gave me much more confidence in my forward and reverse paragliding launches when it finally came time to head to the mountains.

When we first went to the mountains we didn't cut any corners.  Prior to heading to the launch site we walked around the paragliding landing zone, discussed approach patterns and landing technique in varying wind conditions.  Likewise, at the launch, we always took the time to discuss the entire paragliding flight and any peculiarities.

All the flights were done with radio control from the ground, initially with one instructor at the launch and another at the landing zone.  The flights progressed naturally from having the paragliding instructors call every turn to saying very little towards the end of the training.  Again, it was clear that Dion tailored his training to individual's capabilities and comfort levels.  He provided an exposure to some more advanced paragliding maneuvers, as well as coaching me through the techniques of soaring and thermalling.  I had several flights up to cloud base lasting well over an hour, a level to which I had not expected to progress in such a short timeframe.

One of Dion's strengths from another pilot's point of view was his judgment of paragliding weather.  He did an excellent job of discussing the finer points of small scale weather while instilling in us a good sense of when to go flying and when to just wait it out or call it a day.  I felt very comfortable that every time I went flying the paragliding conditions were appropriate for my skill level.  On a couple of occasions, students from other paragliding schools launched after we had decided to wait out, and after seeing their launches, I was very happy with the decision.  Dion's knowledge of the local area paragliding weather also helped us stay on schedule.  When the weather was questionable at the primary site, Dion called it early and we had great flying days at another site.  I was very happy that despite several bad weather days, Dion was able to safely put me through the full HPAC Novice paragliding certification program in just 7 training days of my two week stay in Vancouver.

Paragliding turned out to be every bit as fulfilling as I had hoped.  It has excitement on par with flying a military jet but is much more natural.  The feeling of flying your paraglider in the open air, feeling every bit of air movement around you, as you share a thermal with a hawk or eagle is indescribable. 

Thanks Dion, for the tailored, exciting, well-paced, but above all safe flying experience!

Sincerely, 

Captain Daniel Walters, 409 Tactical Fighter Squadron

 

 

Shared Paragliding Tandem

with Johanna Ward, The Express

  

"Wow, what an amazing flight! I don't know how to explain what paragliding feels like to you.

Maybe it will be the transportation of the future?

Maybe it is an amazing way to feel more a part of the universe as a whole? 

Maybe it's just something you should try...

We have just flown down from Mt. Woodside with iParaglide. Described as one of the most fulfilling adventure sports: that would be paragliding.  And if you want to take a flight, I'm sure if you ask Dion, he'll take you out. Just visit him on-line.  The best West Coast adventure?  Paragliding of course! And I guess next on my to-do-list in life, I'm going to have to learn to paraglide by myself.  Maybe get in on the Top Gun Flight School."

 

- Johanna Ward, The Express, Shaw TV

 

 

Top Gun iP2 Novice Certification with

Shayne Courtright, Cirque du Soleil


 

 

 

"I've had many great coaches over the years: Dion stands out as the finest."

 

 

 

- Shayne Courtright, Cirque du Soleil: Quidam, German Wheel

 

  

 

Eagles Share Aerial Dance

Shared Tandem

with Terry Bell, THE PROVINCE

 

 

"It's paragliding, the latest and quite possibly the coolest way man has yet derived to take himself above and beyond.  I didn't have to do much on my initial flight earlier this week at Mt. Woodside, near Harrisson Hot Springs.  Flight instructor Dion Vuk made sure of that.  I just put my head down and charged hard off the side of a mountain till my boots were treading on air, nothing beneath me but forest, rivers and fields and a wide open sky...

Off in the distance a hawk floats in a thermal, a rising mass of warm air, that is to paragliders what two feet of powder is to skiers....

 

But whether competition's your goal or just sharing a thermal with an eagle, Dion likes to teach. He says he can have you ready to solo in 8 hours if you are keen and focused.  To obtain a pilot's licence you'd need a minimum of (25) supervised flights in addition to passing both a written exam and a flight test..."

 

- Terry Bell, The Province