Three international au pairs working in Vernon decided that they couldn't pass up trying out paragliding while they were in the beautiful Okanagan region. Julie's from France, Katie from Australia and Sophia from Germany. The young ladies were hoping to fly the weekend before but the snow up to Cooper's launch was preventing us from being able to get up to launch. Thankfully enough snow melted over the week so we were able to get all of the young nannies flying and their post-flight smiles said it all...they loved it!
The Freedom Flight Park hosted a potluck Thanksgiving dinner last Saturday along with the traditional "Flour Bomb Drop" (paper bags with flour dropped down to a target). Twenty-four people attended, a pretty good turnout considering the weather wasn't super.
Congratulations to Marius Pepin for retaining his hang gliding bomb drop title for the second year in a row and to Linda Verhoeven for winning not only the paragliding bomb drop, but she rocked her spot landing...check out the video!
Thanks everyone for coming out!
Even though the fall weather is now upon us, 4 hang gliding students cranked out 23 flights between them! Peggy, James, Ben and "Wrong Way" Brian all made huge progressions forward in obtaining their novice rating, in fact a few of them are now there. We also had Ann take another tandem training paragliding flight and she worked on her reverse launching technique while ground handling. Nice work everyone!
Yesterday Jessica and Heather were treated to hour long tandem flights with a max height of 9333 feet above sea level! That's climbing almost 2 kilometers of climbing from the takeoff. Sharon also had a long soaring hang gliding tandem and was above 6000 feet. Before you book a flight anywhere else, ask them when the last time they were above 9000 feet!
With the early arrival of spring this year, the flying season is in full swing at the Freedom Flight Park. Derek from Drumheller had a good couple of days on the training hill before returning home with his new wing and harness. Already a number of personal bests have been achieved with people like Matt flying his first cross country flight on his paraglider the day before he had to leave for work in Alberta. Jason crushed his old record for longest flight on his hang glider and to make it even sweeter, he outflew all of the other hangies that day! It looks like 2016 could be an epic year!
Sharlene’s family wanted to give her a surprise present for her 65th birthday so her daughter Shalom arranged the covert operation through the Freedom Flight Park. Paragliding is on Sharlene’s bucket list so the plan was to take her for a tandem flight to celebrate her day. The family had a bulletproof excuse as to why she would need to wear good shoes, pants and bring a light jacket and get in the car for a drive towards Mabel Lake…as they were going mushroom hunting, something the family does do on a regular basis. Sharlene had no clue what was going on until they pulled into the flight park and needless to say she was a bit overwhelmed, but excited.
The weather was quite good for a fall day and Sharlene and her pilot Dave were able to thermal up above launch to get a nice view of Silverstar Ski Resort. They flew down Lumby Ridge and finished their 45 minute flight by skirting over parts of Lumby before landing safely at the Freedom Flight Park. As a birthday bonus, Randy climbed into the cockpit of his red ultralight bi-plane and put on a bit of an aerobatic show in the blue sky.
Happy Birthday Sharlene!
Helen, who is also known as Granny and is a regular at the Freedom Flight Park, went for her first paragliding flight with Claudio. Granny's had 4 hang gliding tandems this summer but they were all short flights. This time she had an hour in the air, flew up near cloudbase, took the controls for a bit and even did some acro! They started with some small wingovers and a spiral but after that she was good to go with a deeper spiral. You can see the video here.
Way to go Granny!
While vacationing for their first time in the Okanagan, Anna and Farzad decided to stop by the Freedom Flight Park to have their first tastes of free flying. Being avid kite surfers they had good knowledge of meteorology and thermal activity. Farzad performed a textbook takeoff as a paragliding passenger, running into the air like Wile E. Coyote! Anna flew with Terry on a hang glider in the clear blue skies with a perfect landing on the airstrip. Smiles were in abundance both in the air and afterwards on the ground!
Tyler signed up for the beginner paragliding course for the second half of his vacation away from his techie job in Regina. After some ground school and kiting on flat ground at the Freedom Flight Park he was quickly taken up for a few tandem flights to get his first taste of the air. Soon he was being towed up to 300 hundred feet. Tyler excelled quickly with skills and was able to get not one, but two high flights from Cooper’s Launch before he had to return to the prairies. Hope to see you next year to continue on with your novice course Tyler!
Dutchwoman Linda, who first visited the Freedom Flight Park back in June, returned to spend the month of August working on her flying skills. She was joined by Ken, a commercial airline pilot based in California who even used to fly F-18 fighter jets but now he wanted a taste of one of the most raw and basic types of flying: hang gliding. They were soon joined by Marius who has become a regular fixture at the park and has now decided to get into the flying action. All three pilots have excelled in the month of August with both Ken and Linda completing their novice ratings and Marius won’t be too far behind. Congrats guys!
Freedom Flight Park Blog
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