The Freedom Flight Park is pleased to announce that our very own Dave Underwood has won the "Michael Robertson Instructor of the Year" award from the Hang Gliding & Paragliding Association of Canada!
Dave has now been instructing for 7 seasons at the flight park and the number of graduates from paragliding has grown steadily year after year from 1 graduate in 2015 to 28 P2 pilots last year. Dave also instructs hang gliding and is one of only eight instructors in Canada who teach both sports and the only current one in BC.
Here's a little clip about why we fly created by Shaw TV.
We can't wait to get flying again this upcoming season...come join us!
2020 has definitely been an "interesting" year to say the least. Thanks to Covid, we were a little slow to start but things sure picked up. Perhaps after being cooped up at home, people wanted to get outside and enjoy nature to its fullest.
We are fortunate to have had a super season in the end with many P2 graduates, 28 to be exact which is up from 21 last year. The administrator at the Hang Gliding & Paragliding Association of Canada (HPAC) mentioned that we may have had the most paragliding graduates in all of Canada this year! A real surprise was the number of female students. A recent newsletter from HPAC stated that of the current 1100 members in the associations, the male to female ratio was 9 to 1. However there were 11 women who completed our P2 course this year out of 28 (almost 40%). Way to go ladies!!!
We would like to thank everyone who made this a memorable and fun season at the Freedom Flight Park this year, even during these difficult times. We look forward to what next year will bring and hope to see many of you in the skies above Lumby!
Congratulations to the Freedom Flight Park owner Randy Rauck for recently winning the Hang Gliding & Paragliding Association of Canada's Solid Ground Award!
The Solid Ground Award was conceived to honour and salute the landowners, or policy makers whose contributions and support have insured the continuation and advancement of our sport in Canada through contributions related to flying sites
The Solid Ground Award is awarded on an annual basis to an individual, landowner, organization or official who has contributed in an outstanding way to the sports of hang gliding and/or paragliding in Canada.
Happy New Year everyone! We hope you had a fabulous 2019 and here's to the year to come.
Thanks so much for everyone who came to the Freedom Flight Park to fly, whether as a student, a tandem passenger or a solo pilot. It is thanks to you that we have such a thriving flying community.
So let's make sure we all fly plenty...in Twenty-Twenty!
See you in the spring!
On Saturday, October 12th, the Freedom Flight Park hosted its annual "Thanksgiving Bomb Drop and Spot Landing Potluck Fiesta"! It's the last official flying event of the season and although we had overcast skies, the conditions were perfect for the task at hand. The "Flour Bomb Drop" consists of attempting to drop a bomb (a brown bag with baking flour in it) onto our newly made target from the 2019 National Spot Landing competition (see the last blog entry). Once pilots had dropped their ordinance, they then attempted to spot land on a designated target.
Congratulations to the following winners:
During the awards ceremony, it was announced that there was a new annual award known as the "Incoming Award". Inspired by Granny, a flight park personality who passed away last year, the award recognizes a new pilot who contributes to the flight park through their volunteering efforts, enthusiasm to fly and being a welcome addition to the flying community. The award itself is an amazing piece of bead work that Granny spent hours creating. The inaugural winner is Steve Warshawski, a paragliding pilot who graduated back in May. Steve spent many hours working on improving Cooper's launch and helping out around the park. Congratulations Steve!!
Thanks to all pilots and friends who came out for the event. Have a good winter and see you next year!
The Freedom Flight Park hosted the second ever FAI Paragliding Accuracy Competition this past weekend. Official FAI judges flew up from Colombia for the event and pilots came from near and far to compete. The weather was a bit temperamental including some snow on launch on Sunday afternoon but between a combination of launching from both local sites, Coopers and Saddle, and winch towing from our 2000' runway, we were able to complete a few training runs and four rounds which made valid FAI competition.
Congratulations to our winners:
1) Daniel Vallejo
2) Jimmy Giroux
3) Dave Underwood
4) Eddy Riviere
Female winner: Jackie Butcher
The Freedom Flight Park would like to thank the organizers, the judges, the volunteers, the participants and the spectators. It was a super fun weekend and will likely be an annual event at the Freedom Flight Park.
You can read a bit more about the competition on CBC's site here:
Ben from the Ottawa area has been at the Freedom Flight Park working on his instructor apprenticeship for the last week or so. He is definitely cut from the right cloth to be a fabulous paragliding teacher/mentor. One student, Kyle from Edmonton, graduated with his novice rating (P2) on Ben's last day here and Ben also obtained his P4 advanced rating.
A Celebration of Life was held for Helen Blake, also known as "Granny" at the Freedom Flight Park on Sunday, July 7th which would have been her 75th birthday. Granny was a regular at the flight park and her "INCOMING!" call when a pilot was coming in to land was infamous so she was known as the "Air Traffic Controller". Granny flew tandem on the motorized trike and had numerous tandems on a hang glider and paraglider so she knew what it was all about. Search "Acro Granny" on YouTube and you'll find her!
About 75 people showed up for the ceremony, dinner and music. Two bands, the local Mabel Lickers and Daring Greatly from Calgary, put on a great show in the evening...a good time was had by all.
We will miss you Granny, you were one of a kind.
The Lumby Air Races wrapped up last week. The event was super fun with pilots from BC and Alberta competing. There was a strong west wind on a few days which did not help with trying to complete 10 km triangles around the valley but some nice soaring flights were had from Saddle Mountain. Triangles were completed by both paraglider and hang glider pilots on a few different days. The week culminated on Saturday night with a big potluck dinner, the award ceremonies and some music jamming in the hangar and around the campfire.
Congratulations to our winners:
1) Rick Hines
2) Dave Underwood
3) Pedro Pedersen
1) Don Herres
2) Kevin Ault
3) Robert Pugsley
Paragliding Spot Landing Winner
Thank you to all competitors for coming out. Thanks to the volunteers and our sponsors: The Regional District of North Okanagan, Lumby Days & the Super A grocery store in Lumby.
See you next year!
The Lumby Air Force
Freedom Flight Park Blog
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