AIRmagazine - Hang Gliding and Paragliding Association of Canada



AIRmagazine - Hang Gliding and Paragliding Association of Canada
AIR magazine
John McIsaac and
Cathy-Anne David open the
Golden Eco-Adventure Ranch
in Nicholson, BC
AIR Magazine • September 2004 • Volume 18, Issue 03
photo courtesy of Vancouver Island Paragliding
Jason Leus of Vancouver Island Paragliding soaring high over the Malahat.
2004 Nationals Mark Dowsett and Terry Ryan write
about the Canadian National Championships.
Landing GEAR The Nicholson LZ gets a face lift
by James Keller
Dispatches from the Willi Nicole McLearn and Ian
Mitchell report from the 2004 Willi.
Border crossing Chris Muller Flies from Golden, BC into
Winds of change Things in Ottawa are finally picking up
by Andre Nadeau
Cathy-Anne David and
John McIsaac create the
Ranch. Pictured here is the
transformed house where
Jerry Delyea is staying and
helping out.
photo by Doug Keller
From the President
From the BM
Editor’s Note
In Brief
Regional News
HPAC/ACVL Membership Form
Fly far, but fly safely
A reminder to keep safety in mind when you’re in the air
nother flying season is winding down, and I hope you all had
as good a year as I did. I had a couple of
personal bests this year, but probably even
more importantly, I had another safe year
with no accidents.
There were a couple of times I pushed it a
little too far, and it could have turned out a lot
differently if I hadn’t gotten lift to get me out
of a tight spot. I thought I learned the lesson
the first time it happened, but I guess I didn’t,
because I found myself in almost the same
position a few days later. I realized there is a
fine line between confidence and bad judgment. I hope I’ve got it now, because I don’t
want to find myself in that position again.
I was thinking about some of the accidents I’ve heard about this year and I was
glad that none of them were fatalities — although some probably could have been if
things went a little differently. If we can go
the rest of this year without a fatality, it will
be two years in row without one, something
that we haven’t been able to do since we
started keeping records in 1974.
I hope this is the start of a long stretch
where none of our friends die. Let’s all try to
keep it going as long as possible. Everyday
you fly, make a commitment to yourself that
you won’t be the one to break the streak and
encourage your flying companions to do the
Fly far, but fly safely.
– Doug Keller
HPAC/ACVL President
The BM talks shop
More notes on renewals, keeping up to date, paying
online and the Online General Meeting.
cluding membership renewal cards, and their
phones and e-mail don’t work. If you have a
problem, drop me a note at [email protected]
Well, if you got this far, it’s time to say
thanks to the web team for giving me some
new tools, including bulk spam renewal notices, so make sure your e-mail address is
current. We have a lot of members who may
have expired but don’t know it, so whip that
card out and check right now. If you have
expired but have signed a waiver, you can renew online with Paypal. Just visit the hpac/
acvl website. This feature is not available to
Quebec pilots, family memberships or those
outside of Canada at the moment. Beta testing has gone well and we hope to expand
services soon, thanks again.
The Online General Meeting has been delayed but should get underway soon, so keep
checking the web site for announcements or
the hpac list on Yahoo,
To subscribe, send an e-mail to:
[email protected]
Enjoy the rest of summer. Fly high. Go far.
Go safe.
– John Burk
Business Manager
photo courtesy John Nielsen
ife is too busy. We need to go flying.
Greetings from head office. Business on the front lines is progressing well
with a minimum of problems thanks to pilots doing a good job of completing required
paperwork in a fairly legible manner. Thanks
gang — this allows me to update your info
the day I receive it.
One of the most important parts is keeping
your personal information up to date, which
you can do online at or fax it to
me at 519-894-6277. Never miss an issue of
AIR again because of address changes. I have
several moved pilots whose mail returned, in-
John Nielsen hang glides and Teresa Kovacs and Caudio Mota paraglide just out from launch at Mount Provost on
Vancouver Island in April.
The higher we soar, the smaller
we appear to those who cannot fly.
– Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche.
New address, and ten years of AIR
irst thing’s first: AIR has a new address.
I’ve moved across the country, from
Calgary to Halifax, and the cloud-covered
skies and coastal rain make the perfect
weather for laying out a magazine.
Anything you might need to mail over this
way needs to be sent to the new address. The
new information is:
H T T P : / / H PAC . C A
[email protected]
President: DOUG KELLER [[email protected]]
Vice-President: MICHAEL FULLER
[[email protected]]
Secretary: MICHAEL MILLER [[email protected]]
[[email protected]]
Safety & Accident Review: FRED WILSON
[[email protected]]
Saskatchewan: CAS WOLAN [[email protected]]
Manitoba & Nanavut: GERRY GROSSNEGGER
[[email protected]]
[[email protected]]
Quebec: STEVEN BOOST [[email protected]]
Atlantic Canada: MICHAEL FULLER
Business Manager: JOHN BURK [[email protected]]
Éditeur du Survol: LINE TURCOTTE
[[email protected]]
Competition Commitee Chairman: BERNARD
WINKELMANN [[email protected]]
[fl[email protected]]
[[email protected]] & VINCENE MULLER
Instructors Advisory Council Chair: JIM REICH
[fl[email protected]]
Insurance Committee: GREGG HUMPHREYS
[[email protected]]
Legal Advisor: MARK KOWALSKY
[[email protected]]
Transport Canada Liaison: ANDRÉ NADEAU
[[email protected]]
Web Team: PHIL DEON [[email protected]],
JUDITH NEWMAN [[email protected]], GERRY
104 - 1360 Hollis St
Halifax, NS
b3j 1t9
With that out of the way, we can now look
ahead. This issue felt like it came together at
the last minute. Up until a week of the deadline, I wasn’t sure there would be enough
copy for half a magazine. But, sure enough,
pilots came through just in time (and, in
some cases, a little after), and the result, as
you will see, is an excellent read. Surprisingly,
a few pieces were actually pushed forward to
the December issue, and the stories that were
Submit your ad:
[email protected]
cut are well worth the wait.
But I’m already thinking further than that.
2005 will mark a decade since the hpac/
acvl newsletter officially became AIR. To
celebrate the occasion, the March 2005 issue
will take a look back at the last decade.
That means I need your help.
Look through your old AIR magazines and
pick your favourite articles, photos and covers. Scan them and e-mail them to [email protected]
ca or send them in the mail with return postage if you want them back.
Scans should be high resolution, preferably 300 dpi, and scanned in colour if what
you’re scanning is, in fact, in colour.
Because I’ll need a little more time to go
through what’s sent in, the deadline for “10
Years of AIR” submissions will be earlier
than normal: Feb. 1 (regular stories will still
be due Feb. 15).
That’s all for now. Enjoy what’s left of the
flying season and keep those submissions
–James Keller
AIR Editor
WILLS WING 147 ULTRASPORT approximately 45 hrs airtime. Won SOGA Cup XC
competition in 2001 and won the year-long
XC Challenge in 2002. Performance is great,
only one owner, excellent condition, no crash
damage. Comes with Hall wheel kit with the
“A” frame corner brackets, manual, batten
diagram, spare parts kit, spare down tube.
$3,200: [email protected]
or 519-742-9351
$10 or free for members
Next deadline: Nov. 15
RACK SYSTEM trailer hitch, winch platform from ’95 Suzuki Sidekick 2-dr softtop. Email [email protected] for info and
photos. 780-451-1448
MEDIUM UP GROOVE, red, UP Harness, UP Med. Reserve, Kiwi Helmet, UP
Flight Suit. Never Used. $2,800. Mike Miller.
[email protected]
AIR is published four times yearly by the Hang
Gliding and Paragliding Association of Canada/
L’Association Canadienne de Vol Libre, and is mailed
under Publication Agreement Number: 40735588.
Undeliverable copies should be returned to:
120 Ottawa Street North
PO Box 43082
Kitchener, ON
N2H 6S9
The news, quick and dirty
New board members announced
Upcoming courses
s we only have one nomination from each region, the following candidates are elected by acclamation and no voting will
take place this year. The new directors will take office sometime
between September 2004 and February 2005. Please join the board
in welcoming two new directors and one returning director.
Representing Quebec is Jacques Blanchet.
Representing Alberta is Bruce Busby.
Representing Manitoba/Nunavut for a second term is Gerry
The board would like to thank the retiring directors — Steven
Boost, Quebec and President Doug Keller, Alberta/Nunavut — for
their commitment to the flying community.
– Your Board of Directors
Mt. 7 Contingency Fund list online
he Mt. 7 Contingency Fund list will now be on the hpac/acvl
Pilots pay into the fund to cover the costs of air rescue efforts.
Pilots who do not pay into the fund will not be covered. Check the
list, and make sure you pay before you fly.
rançois Thibodeau is offering theory classes and instructor
courses. They are:
August 15: Beginner course
September 18 – 19: Paragliding and hang gliding instructor
October 8, 9 and 10: Advanced theory, hagar, meteorology,
For more information, contact François Thibodeau at:
[email protected]
Feminine paragliding altitude gain
record set
ucille de Beaudrap now holds hpac’s feminine paragliding altitude gain record, announced by the hpac Badge and Record
On May 17 of this year, she had an altitude gain of 2,120 m towing in Rosalind, Alberta. The previous record was 1,214 m, which
de Beaudrap also held.
This flight was also close to hitting the general record altitude
US Paragliding Nationals
he u.s. Paragliding National Championships took place in Salt
Lake City, Utah Aug. 21 – 28.
The top three pilots were all American. Len Szafaryn took the
first-place prize with 2,549 points; Eric Reed placed second with
2,503; and Joshn Cohn came third with 2,488.
Two Canadian pilots competed. Will Gadd placed 19th with 1,381
points, and Nicole McLearn of Vancouver placed 31st with 1,146.
New paragliding speed record
édération Aéronautique Internationale (fai) has ratified a new
paragliding speed record.
Gasper Prevc from Slovenia captured the record for speed over
an out-and-return course of 100 km. Prevc reached 34.75 km/h
flying at Drazgoska Gora in Slovenia on Aug. 3. Howard Travers,
from the United Kingdom, held the previous record of 38.04 km/h
set Jan. 24, 1999.
US Hang Gliding Nationals
he u.s. Hang Gliding National Championships took place in
Big Spring, Texas Aug. 1 – 7.
In the flex category, Curt Warren placed first, Robin Hamilton
placed second, and Dustin Martin placed third.
In the rigid category, Davis Straub placed first, Mark Poustichain placed second and Bruce Barmakian placed third.
And in the swift class, Brian Porter placed first, Junko Nakamura placed second and Mark Mulholland finished third.
photo by Cathy McKenna
PEI towing, Golden search and rescue
Brendon McKenna on tow in one of the first official tows on Prince Edward
Towing takes off on
Prince Edward Island
n Aug. 16, 2004, the first two tows on
Prince Edward Island were officially
performed by Islanders.
Recently, we acquired a scooter tow, and,
for a couple of weeks now, we have been
spending some time preparing for our inaugural flight.
We set up the scooter tow yesterday
evening at around 7:00 pm. We stretched
out approximately 2,000 ft of line and made
two tows both in the range of 200 – 300 ft
of altitude in absolute zero wind-speed
conditions. For the first tow, we used a very
light line tension and pulled to around 200
ft before release. For the second, we increased the tension slightly, gained a little
more altitude and released at around 300
ft. Both tows were very smooth.
The scooter tow acted just as we had
hoped, and the ground crew did an excellent job in executing both tows.
The crew consisted of:
■ Test Pilot: Brendon McKenna
■ Tow Operator: David Peck
■ Duty Pilot: Emmett McKenna
■ Assistant Tow Operator: Greg MacAusland
■ Spotter: Don Campbell
■ Official Photographer: Cathy McKenna
■ Official witnesses: my boys David McKenna (5) and Matthew McKenna (3)
Thanks to all the crew for their help with
the tows. David did an excellent job as tow
operator. I felt very confident being towed
by David — he was very professional. It
was a big accomplishment for the entire
crew, and each of them should be proud of
being the first Islanders to tow on p.e.i.
in the local rescue group’s book that has
remained unwritten until now. The local group is now in possession of the gear
needed to allow them to perform sling rescues on land and water with the aid of helicopters. The special rope and its helicopter
attachment mechanism has been in town
for some time but budget issues resulted
in a lengthy wait before all hurdles were
cleared and the training and certification
could take place.
Don McTighe, Alpine Helicopters, is a
certified sling rescue pilot and knows the
value of having trained personnel in the
“We would have to fly to pick up or wait
for wardens from the parks if we had a sling
rescue call in our region,” explained McTighe. “All that remains now is the signing
of a memorandum of agreement between
Alpine Helicopters and gdsar. Once all
the formalities have been completed, we
will be able to call on our local certified
search and rescue members to respond
to a call. This will make our response
time much faster. Our other pilot, Craig
Ward, is also a certified sling rescue pilot
and both of our machines are more than a
match for the job:”
“This is a major step forward for our
group and we are ready,” concluded Hale.
– Brendon McKenna
Golden and District
Search and Rescue
he following story appeared in the Golden Star newspaper (www.thegoldenstar.
net) Wed. Aug. 11. The program received financial support from Golden-area pilots.
The sky is the limit for the Golden and
District Search and Rescue (gdsar) group
following a weekend of training and qualification for sling rescue certification.
Two of Golden’s gdsar members, Jeff
Hack and Kyle Hale, were present to take
the training they have been waiting three
years for. Also present were other sar personnel from the Kootenay region.
The training session closes a chapter
Kyle Hale (left), Golden and District
Search and Rescue (GDSAR) accepts
a cheque from Peter Bowle-Evans. The
funds are in appreciation of the many
times GDSAR has come to the air of
hang glider and paraglider pilots. The
funds will also help support GDSAR’s
recently acquired sling rescue certification.
photo by Terry Ryan
Lumby, British Columbia
Two pilots recall this year’s Nationals in Lumby, British Columbia.
First, organizer Mark Dowsett.
his years’ Canadian National Championships were once again held in
Lumby, British Columbia. It is located in the Okanagan (central British Columbia), about 30 km east of Vernon. This
is the third time in as many years I have
hosted the two separate events over consecutive weeks in Lumby, and this year, we
finally had ideal weather. 2003 wasn’t bad,
but 2002 didn’t work out so good.
I think the so-so weather from previous
years had an effect on this year’s attendance
for the paragliding meet. The attendance
in the hang gliding meet has slowly been
increasing over the last three years, but the
paragliding attendance went down from 70
in 2002, to 55 in 2003 to 30 this year. Those
that actually showed up were shown the
reasons why I choose to host the Nationals
in this great community. Shifting the dates
from mid-May to early-June this year certainly helped, too.
I treat the Nationals as a learning experience for pilots of all levels, and the location,
conditions and terrain help with this goal.
I don’t feel we have enough formal events
in Canada, so I like to have these events for
those pilots that wish to travel to international competitions, so they know what to
expect. With the diverse pilot experience in
Canada, these events need to be attractive
to lesser experience pilots. In both events,
we have pilots show up that have little or
no xc experience. As long as they are competent pilots with good judgement, I feel
Lumby is an ideal venue for those pilots to
get involved.
Lumby seems rather unique: it has a few
converging valleys but doesn’t seem to have
a lot of strong valley venturies are often associated with them. We don’t usually get a
lot of strong wind either, which also allows
novice users to feel comfortable going xc,
and it allows us to call triangle or out-andreturn tasks, allowing slower pilots to see
the faster pilots coming back to goal. It also
makes for simple retrievals.
I am not going to go through each day’s
results in this article, as there are daily summaries on the Nats’ web site (www.dowsett.
The paragliding Nationals were first this
year, and the first four days of the sevenday event had fantastic tasks. We were faced
with a not-so-good forecast approaching
the meet, and I thought it was going to be
a repeat of the 2002 competition. Halfway
through our initial Sunday morning pilot
meeting, the clouds suddenly parted, so the
meeting ended so we could take advantage
of the conditions. The forecast and conditions cleared up after that. Then, we had two
days off and finished up with a “traditional”
Lumby day on the final day, which was a
short glide contest from Vernon Mountain
in stronger winds.
Thanks to my lovely wife Donna and my
new helper, Fred Wilson, I was able to fly
competitively in the paragliding meet this
year and had a blast. We had great conditions at the beginning of the week, and it
was a blast to be climbing in such nice lift
with all the competitors. I don’t compete on
my paraglider much, and I really got a kick
on day two climbing up off of Coopers with
about eight other pilots in the same thermal
to about 10,000 ft while we are all talking to
each other — and not over the radios.
Congrats goes to Will Gadd for winning
it all, Alex Raymont (last year’s Champ) for
coming second and Graeme Herring for
coming in third. Graeme flew real consistently, which always helps results. We also
have the Standard Class, which includes
pilots flying dhv 1-2 gliders (or less). Congrats to Pete Evans for winning that division, especially since it was his first time
ever competing and using a gps. Nicole also
cleaned up in the Women’s category, placing
6th overall.
Then, I thought that, since the paragliders
got five of seven days, they would get the
better end of the bargain with regards to
weather, especially since the forecast looked
rather bad for the upcoming hang gliding
Nationals. Usually, the hang gliders have
the first week, but they got flipped with the
paragliders this time around.
The first day was marginal, and only eight
pilots got out of minimum distance (6 km).
Jon Orders was stoked after this day as he
was in first place over Brett and had visions
of grandeur at this point.
We had a day off due to rain, and after
that, things became magical. Brett showcased his talent on Tuesday, being the only
pilot to get up at launch and then continued
to complete the 45.2 km out-and-return
task. There was no looking back for him
after that.
The next four days were incredible. We
had two days from Mara Lake flying back
to Lumby with many pilots having personal
xc bests (check the lists at the bottom of the
daily results for those details on the website)
after getting up to over 12,000 ft. I was surprised to hear Dave Scott, who flies mostly
at Chelan report that he was in some of his
strongest (and smoothest) lift ever.
My best days personally were the final
two. Someone said it took a few days to
get the paraglider out of me again, but I
just really enjoy flying from Coopers and
racing around the Lumby Valley. We have
never successfully had the conditions to
fly to Cherryville (30 km east of Lumby)
and back; during the Nationals, we ended
up doing that five times (twice in one task,
actually). Usually, that has been a one-way
route due to higher winds. On those last two
days, the longest task was 111 km, and many
pilots reported getting up to 12,500 ft. One
pilot said he stopped at 14,900 ft — and this
was under an almost-blue sky. I wish I had a
camera on me those days, because the view
was amazing.
photo by Mark Dowsett
Graeme Herring lifting off from the Coopers launch.
Congrats goes to Brett Hazlett for taking first over all, Jeff Rempel for flying real
consistently making goal the most days
of anyone, and Dave Scott for coming up
from the States and placing 3rd over all in
his first ever trip to Canada and first gpsverified competition. The king posted class
was also quite heated this time around.
Kevin Ferguson won that class with his
patient, consistent flying. Mark Kowalsky
came in a close second, and it would have
been ever closer if he crossed the finish
line on the last day. Mark did a down-wind
belly landing into the goal field on the last
day about 100 m short of the finish line
— it didn’t move him into first but it did
move him up from third place on the last
day to beat Rick Hines.
This year really showcased the reasons
why we come to Lumby to compete or just
go xc — smooth consistent lift, light winds,
high cloud bases and (contrary to common belief) lots of landing fields. Some pilots were concerned after hearing rumours
that there are less and less welcomed fields
to land in, but with a little care in choosing
your field, and by showing respect to land
owners, you have nothing to worry about.
I didn’t hear of a single land-owner complaint this year.
Many thanks to the pilots that came out.
Needless to say, without you, these events
wouldn’t be worth it. I really appreciate those
pilots that come out year after year to support the event, especially the Ontario hang
glider pilots that go to the extreme effort to
getting out here. It was a real pleasure to get
to know some new pilots that came out for
the first time, as well. It always pumps a lot
of energy into the atmosphere to have new
blood at these events. Ten of the 30 hang
glider pilots were at the Nationals for the first
time, as were 13 out of 30 paraglider pilots.
Also many thanks again to my wife Donna and Fred Wilson. They helped out huge
and without them, I wouldn’t be able to
compete as well. Thanks to the sponsors as
well: Muller Windsports, Far West, Silicon
Cowboys, Paradreneline, Twin Creeks Motel & The Blue Ox Pub.
Mark Dowsett is a hang gliding and paragliding
pilot in Port Moody, BC. This was the third
time he has hosted the Nationals in Lumby.
photo by Terry Ryan
Mark Kowalsky prepares for launch on his first flight of the meet.
For Terry Ryan, the 2004 Nationals came full circle.
flew in to Kelowna on Friday for the
2004 Nationals, and before I even got to
Lumby, I was invited to a barbecue party.
Good start. Will Gadd, noted adventurer and
top paraglider pilot, showed a couple of his
movies, which were very impressive. It was
pretty cool watching mountain-type movies
with a real mountain backdrop.
I had an old Caravan from Rent-a-Wreck
that had 280,000 km on it. It was in tough
shape, but it worked out really cheap — and I
didn’t have to worry about scratching it.
I met Tom Pierce and Naomi Gray from
Washington on Saturday, and a bunch of us
went up to Vernon launch in Tom’s truck to
free fly on the last day of the paraglider meet.
Christine was wind dummy and, boy, did she
show them lift. Paragliders bailed off the hill
like lemmings to follow her.
On Sunday, the first day of the hang gliding
meet, it was blowing like stink up on Vernon.
There were lots of scary launches. Just after
his launch, Tom had trouble penetrating in
his ATOS-C, and Naomi, with the bar stuffed,
was flying backwards. I decided not to fly
(on my Falcon) and got a big fat dnf on my
Monday wasn’t soarable, so the day was
called off, anticipating better weather to come.
Mark Johnson, weather guru, got it right. It
was great for the whole rest of the meet.
On Tuesday, we
went for Coopers, the
old standby, but lots
bombed out and only
Brett made goal. That
evening, a bunch of us
went up onto Saddle
mountain for a nice
evening flight. We all
gradually sunk out
except Naomi, who
stayed way high for almost two hours enjoying the smooth evening
air. She landed lightly
photo by Terry Ryan
to cheers and cries of
“we’re not worthy.”
On Wednesday, we were treated to a whole
new mountain/valley experience. We all went
up to Mara launch (AKA Hunters?) adjacent
to Mara Lake in the beautiful Okanagan Val-
ley. This launch site was new to many of us,
and what a beauty: 4,400 ft asl and about
2,500 ft over the valley. Below launch, the valley contains Mara Lake and the picturesque,
winding Shuswap River. Streams gush out of
the mountains and fall through the rugged
gorges that they have created for themselves.
On a good (hot) day, the lee side of these
gorges spill off thermals and a good pilot will
beat the odds in guessing where and when.
It’s still a marvel to me that good hang glider
pilots can go wherever they want simply by
reading the wind, the terrain and the sky.
A few of us hit the bomb-out lz, and Rick
Hunt made it all the way to Vernon. The big
story of the day, however, was that Naomi
had to make a forced landing way back in the
mountains. Search and rescue had to get her
out. Took them 12 hours going in on foot, sine
they don’t do helicopters unless the victim
is seriously injured. She’d still be there if she
wasn’t fully rigged with gps, radio, cell phone
and all that.
The next day, Thursday, we’re back to Mara
Launch. Now I know what to look for. I head
straight out and pick up one of the “house”
thermals, but it’s weak, so I head along the
tree line in continuous lift and come in over
the falls gorge with good height. There is broken lift there and I am pleased to “maintain”
there for quite some time. It doesn’t really
come together for me, and I start to get low
over the trees so I head to the bomb-out lz
down the lee side of that gorge.
There is some lift on the way down. I spy
a sparsely treed knob to my right, a bit upwind, and sure enough it’s working, so I de-
There are ongoing debates over whether tractors can trigger thermals. Well, let me tell you, as I rose
higher and higher above that tractor on Thursday, I smiled and said to myself, “I’m a believer.”
left wing and wheel. I waved to the people on
the ground to let them know I was okay, but
they didn’t see me. In short order, Glen and
Scott came running up to me. Thanks guy
— and sorry for the miscommunication. The
right thing would have been to pick up my
wing while still hooked in and turn it 90 or
180 degrees.
Friday. How could the week have gone by
so fast? Naomi told her story in great detail at
the pilot’s breakfast meeting, which was fascinating. Coopers Launch is called for this day,
along with some impossible task (impossible
for me, at least). We muster at Randy’s and,
group by group, head up the mountain.
Arrival at launch is always a special time.
rise on the early thermals and dissipate. The
whole aura instills a certain intimacy.
And then there is the anticipation of that
special flight.
I was probably the last to launch. The prevailing wind was from the north, so I turned
left and picked up a nice one rolling up and
spilling off that rounded ridge. (I’m getting
better.) Calm coordinated turns yield good
results. I’m well above launch when it peters
out, so I glide across the mountain face to
the bowl. I play around there for a while and,
when it quits, I’m happy with my flight so I
head in to land.
This is a peaceful part of any flight, because
it’s an easy glide over sloping terrain to the lz
photo by Terry Ryan
cide to milk it.
That was stupid.
I lose it and get into its associated sink. I
strike out for the lz, but I realize if I hit more
sink I wont make it. For an instant, I consider
a forced landing God-knows-where, but the
calm and sensible thing to do is try. I’ve got to
make it over those power lines, that highway,
those houses, that huge back yard, those immensely tall trees.
I’m aware of life going on below me — the
school bus stopping to let off kids, the workers in a back lot, the other highway traffic. But
I’m not enjoying the scenery now. I’m focusing on “max glide” and assessing every two
seconds whether or not I’ll make it.
The sky fills with paragliders on the last day of the paragliding meet.
I’m pointing my head down. I’m even
pointing my toes, trying to make my dirty
ol’ Falcon as clean as possible. Now, between
me and the lz, there is a single row of very
tall pine trees — they must be 200 ft tall. I
manage to clear them and I’m home free. A
wave of relief passes over me as I glance at the
shredded wind sock.
A slight turn to my left and I’m coming
straight in on “final.” At 60 ft, my ground
speed seems high, so I glance at the sock
again. Unfortunately, I misread the damned
thing. I’ve got to crank it around 180 degrees,
but I’m way too low. I manage 90 degrees and
I try to run it out, but that’s tough to do in a
90-degree crosswind.
Eventually, my right wing gets popped
and/or I stumbled and I pound it in on my
Pilots pick their places and start setting up.
There is a subtle pecking order, so I go right
to the back.
I usually set up quietly because I need to focus, but I love to hear the good natured banter and laughter from the other pilots. At this
stage, stuffing battens, they’re all relaxed, and
it shows. Later, after the task is set at the pilots
meeting, they get their “race faces” on (Cas
Wolan’s expression), and things get quiet.
Meanwhile, on the mountain, the banter
continues, but it stays inexplicably close. We
are a small group with a common bond on
a big mountain. The air, the trees and the
mountain itself all absorb our sounds. A hundred yards away in any direction there were
only the sounds of nature, of silence. The
diminutive sounds of our jokes and laughter
in the valley floor. It’s a beautiful bright day.
The valley is green and lush, and the view is
forever. There’s a tractor down there mowing
What’s this? I feel the “up” air even before
the vario sings. It continues and is big enough
to turn in, so I turn. The song continues. Parts
of the lift are strong. Parts of my circles are
not in lift so I adjust them. I find that I am
able to get lift all the way around the circle.
Many full circles later, I realize I’m up above
launch. This is my first “low save.” I’ve been
grinning from ear to ear for the past few minutes, but when I start hitting 1,200 feet per
minute up and got her cranked right up, well,
I’m just laughing out loud and whooping and
hollering. (Later, my vario shows I maxed out
at 1590 fpm).
I’m staying with the thermal, but the
thermal is going way back over the mountain.
I began to think about cloud suck, but after
checking the sky, I was well below the destination cloud, and there were no cus in sight.
I’m “feeling” the thermal now. No longer am I
content to ride the large expanse of mild “up”
I practice finding the core. Oh, there it is.
My side wires strain as it boosts me skyward.
I crank as tight a turn as I can and stay in it
all the way around. At well over 6’000 ft, I decide I better play it safe and head towards the
valley. I could have gone higher, but I was just
happy to boat around high over the mountains and enjoy the view. It was starting to get
cold up there, but I was dressed for it.
I had to buck venturi on the way back in,
but it was no sweat since I had lots of height.
When I landed, everybody knew it was my
personal best, there was congrats and hugs
and cold beer all around. It doesn’t get much
On Saturday, I did exactly the same thing
and nothing happened. Even the tractor was
gone. I played around in some “zero sink” for
about six full circles while only 400 feet over
the lz, hoping for another low save. It would
have been sweet, but I landed and the meet
was over.
There are ongoing debates over whether
tractors can trigger thermals. Well, let me tell
you, as I rose higher and higher above that
tractor on Thursday, I smiled and said to myself,“I’m a believer.”
One of the joys of hang gliding is that you
get to meet people from all over the world with
common interest and develop a bond in just
a few days. Cas came along, Bruce was back
and Ralph returned along with the two Robs
from Alberta. Tom Pierce came up from the
States with his ATOS again, but without Katie. Naomi, also from Washington (originally
from Japan), came along for the first time and
quickly made a name for herself with her flying skills and her pleasant personality.
We met Rick Hunt for the first time. He’s an
“old school” pilot that did some damn good
flying. Jeff Remple took over “weather” from
Wednesday on, and gave us excellent daily
forecasts each morning at the pilots meetings.
Mark Kowalski had the scariest launch and
carried shrub parts all the way to goal. Christine smiled at the paraglider pilots on their
last day, and they all followed her out over the
valley. She has a face that could launch a thousand chutes. And Moore showed up, a genuinely good guy who I last saw in Golden three
Hang gliding winners (l to r): John McClintock (3rd CDN), Tom Pierce (1st rigid),
Dave Scott (3rd overall), Jeff Rempel (2nd overall) and Brett Hazlett (1st overall).
years ago. Diane was our first-aid person on
standby and she drove for us and took lots of
great pictures. Wayne and Dave also came up
from the States, and Dave came in third overall. Rob (Saltspring), Kevin and Alex (Vancouver), Jon Orders and John McClintock,
and many others. Good to see Brett again this
year, one of the world’s top pilots.
It was a time for personal bests. On
Wednesday, Dave Scott made goal for the
first time in his first-ever competition. Mark
Kowalsky got a personal best for distance and
time in the air.
On Thursday, Rob Clarkson and Ralph
Herten achieved their first turnpoints ever in
the Nationals.
On Friday, Mark Dowsett did his longest
goal finish on Canadian soil and his first time
ever winning a day at the Nationals. Also on
Friday, I achieved a personal best for altitude
at 6,200 ft
Saturday was Christine’s big day with a
personal best for altitude at 11,300 ft. Her face
must be sore now from grinning so much.
Three pilots with their first ever goal finish
(Bruce, Kevin and Scott), and Mark Kowalsky was 150 m short of his first goal finish.
There was another fun party at Randy’s
again this year to close off the week. Live
bands, free burgers and beer for the pilots, a
huge bonfire and lots of neat folks.
The direct flight home to Pearson International was on final for runway 33l when I
looked out the window at Centennial Park
in Etobicoke. There it was, clear as a bell, the
training hill where I learned to foot launch
so many years ago, the place where I took
my first four-second flight. This is where it
all started. This is where the dreams and the
goals started to take shape. On this trip, I realized those dreams. It struck me that I had
truly come full circle.
Terry Ryan is a hang gliding pilot
from Toronto, Ontario.
(top ten in each event)
Brett Hazlett
Tom Pierce
Jeff Rempel
David Scott
John Mcclintock
Jon Orders
Mark Dowsett
Wayne Sayer
Kevin Ferguson
Scott Gravelle
3,748 pts
3,309 pts
3,305 pts
2,671 pts
2,620 pts
2,618 pts
2,495 pts
2,152 pts
2,085 pts
2,026 pts
Kevin Ferguson
Mark Kowalsky
Rick Hines
Rob Cannon
Clay Brauer
Ralph Herten
Rob Clarkson
Ric Hunt
Moore Newell
Eric d’Argent
2,085 pts
1,913 pts
1,860 pts
1,461 pts
1,387 pts
1,231 pts
981 pts
935 pts
911 pts
843 pts
Standard Class
Pete Evans
Mike Spencer
Sean White
Robin Sather
Randy Parkin
Dave Merrick
Brad Murphy
Jim Reich
Ryan Letchford
Christopher Parker
1,950 pts
1,802 pts
1,763 pts
1,675 pts
1,312 pts
1,114 pts
1,080 pts
899 pts
809 pts
381 pts
Open Class
Will Gadd
Alex Raymont
Graeme Herring
Mark Johnston
Claudio Mota
Nicole Mclearn
Petr Brinkman
Brett Hazlett
Mark Dowsett
Keith Maccullough
3,393 pts
3,165 pts
3,130 pts
2,877 pts
2,602 pts
2,400 pts
2,379 pts
2,294 pts
2,254 pts
2,132 pts
For complete results:
photos by Doug Keller
A new parking lot and shelter grace the Nicholson LZ, the primary landing site for pilots launching from Mount 7, as part of
the Golden Eco-Adventure Ranch.
The Mt. 7 landing site in Nicholson, British Columbia gets a face lift
as two pilots transform it into the Goldern Eco-Adventure Ranch
n a flying holiday in the Bavarian and Austrian Alps last summer, John McIsaac and Cathy-Anne David
saw something that piqued their interests:
camps that took the amenities of an rv
park and combined them with services
geared to the flying community, complete
with pick-up shuttles and a landing field
within walking distance of the trailers
and tents.
These flying playgrounds are called
flieger camps — flieger is German for
flyer — and they were part of the inspiration for the Golden Eco-Adventure
Ranch (gear), a 400-acre spread of land
in Nicholson, British Columbia that both
by James Keller
McIsaac and David both hope will soon
be a world-class facility.
“I thought, ‘what a great idea?’ and
when we came back we were flying in the
fall of last year in Nicholson and saw that
the land was for sale,” says McIsaac, who
also flies sailplanes and powered planes.
The husband-and-wife team, who
currently live in Canmore, Alberta, purchased the land — which was used as the
Mt. 7 landing site through an agreement
between local pilots and the landowner
— late last year. The land was up for sale
for two years without a buyer (David
says two previous deals thankfully fell
through), and no one was entirely sure
whether the site would still be open to pilots once the deed changed hands.
The idea was planted after, shortly after
they returned from their trip, a few friends
mentioned the idea of buying the land.
McIsaac says he was sleepless for a few
nights thinking about it, but one question
still hung over the whole concept: how
could the idea make economical sense?
McIsaac, who is a land developer by trade,
explains that the flieger camps provided
the answer.
“We decided that if we could integrate a
campground and an equestrian park and
a few other amenities in the adventure of
realm of things, like a cross-country ski
(Above) The GEAR development plan offers a glimpse of what is coming at the
ranch. (Below) Cathy-Anne David and John McIsaac, owners of GEAR, with Mt. 7
in the background.
lodge all of this sort of stuff, that it would
make economical sense and be okay,” he
This summer, developments were already underway. Additions already implemented include a washroom with sink
and flush toilet, the seeding and irrigation
of the 20,000 square foot landing field so
pilots can break down and pack up on
green grass, a new parking lot location
to deter pilots from landing too close to
the power lines, the removal of barbed
wire fences so pilots can pack up and
walk straight to their cars, and a spacious
timber frame shade hut with three picnic
So far, response from pilots who used
the site this past summer has been over14 AIR MAGAZINE | SEPTEMBER, 2004
whelmingly positive.
“The feedback that we have received is
that the site has been a huge success,” says
David. “People really appreciate the convenience of the flush toilet and the comfort of the shade hut on a hot day.”
Even though gear has already proved
a huge improvement over what was there
before, McIsaac and David are far from
finished. Eventually, the park will feature
over 60 rv and tenting sites, a 12-room
lodge with a restaurant, and trails for
hiking, biking and cross-country skiing
(when the snow stops them from flying
in the winter, both McIsaac and David are
avid cross-country skiers). The goal is to
the make the site a “centre for adventure,”
McIsaac and David are also aware the
land sits on an environmentally sensitive area, and that’s part of the idea of
the eco-adventure ranch concept. All of
the plans have the welfare of the wetlands
in mind.
“In addition to establishing a flight
park, we will maintain the ecological integrity of the 200 or so acres that is classified as natural wetlands,” explains David.
While hang glider and paraglider pilots will still be landing in the same field
as they’re used to, they will notice some
changes. Before this year, there weren’t
many restrictions limiting who could
land there (at least, none that were strictly enforced). At gear, pilots landing in
the field must be hpac/acvl members
(which includes third-party liability insurance), and they must register with
the site and sign a liability waiver which
they can drop off at the lz (available on
the website: www.goldenadventurepark.
com). Tandem flights must be flown by pilots with a certified tandem pilot’s rating
and associated insurance, proof of which
should be provided upon registration.
“It is just to protect us from liability,”
says McIsaac. “We do not want pilots that
are not certified or hpac members landing in our field. Please show good airmanship and respect for the property and
the Nicholson residents.”
McIsaac says some pilots have been
asking whether the he will ever charge
pilots for landing at gear. He’s quick to
quell these fears, insisting that the goal
is to support the project by creating an
entire park where pilots will want to do
more than just land.
“That has never been our intention at
all,” he explains. “We felt that if we did a
good job of the flight park, and that if we
did a good job of the campground and rv
park, that people who flew would stay at
our facility. Nothing would make me happier than if that campground was full of
pilots, just getting together as a community of fliers and have a good time and tell
The site was unofficially opened for this
year’s flying season, and the official opening party happened at the end of July.
Developments on the ranch will continue
over the coming years, many depending
on approvals by regional and agricultural
authorities. The bureaucracy involved in
a project like this can be slow and full of
red tape, which they’ve already seen.
Delays with the British Columbia Agricultural Land Commission, the body that
governs the use of designated agricultural
reserves like the Nicholson site, mean that
construction of the campground and rv
park won’t begin until at least September.
Event still, McIsaac says the campground
and rv park will be open in time for next
year’s flying season.
With small steps in mind for the near
future, McIsaac and David have high
hopes for the future of gear.
“One of my big dreams is to obviously
hold the worlds here, whether it be hang
gliding or paragliding,” he says, adding
that he’s also working with Will Gadd
and Chris Muller on an extreme eco race,
which will include downhill mountain
biking, kayaking, trail running and flying.
His dreams extend far beyond plans for
meets and competition. McIsaac wants to
create a lasting legacy that will exist for
years to come.
“Our vision, Cathy-Anne and I, is to
preserve that field perpetually for hang
gliding and paragliding, and to turn
the ranch into a proper eco-adventure
ranch,” says McIsaac. “I would like people
to think of this as my project of passion.
I am just hoping that my son Keegan will
become a flyer some day and take over
the ranch when our time has come and
For more information on gear, visit, or stop
by and say hello next time you’re in the
With an interview by Karen Keller.
The Mt. 7 launch can be seen in the background as Cathy-Anne David lands at
■ All pilots landing at the gear must be current hpac/acvl members, which includes
third party liability insurance group coverage. Foreign group insurance plans may also be
acceptable, subject to coverage extending to flight activities in Canada.
■ Only hang gliding and paragliding pilots with certified tandem pilot’s ratings and
associated insurance can land with their clients at gear. This condition also extends to any
pilots landing tandem passengers in a purely recreational, non-commercial mode.
■ Any pilots wanting to land or ground handle at gear must register and provide proof of
qualifications and insurance first.
■ All pilots using the ranch must sign a waver.
■ Any pilot landing or ground handling at gear without a current registration in good
order will be considered to be trespassing on private property.
■ To obtain a waiver, pilots can either contact Jerry Delyea at 250-344-0480 or visit:
p i l o t s
t a k e
y o u
t o
G o l d e n ,
photo by Ian Mitchell
Tw o
Ian Mitchell
any years from now, the stories will still be told. “Yeah, that’s a good one, but did you hear about
the Willi in ’04?” Just when we thought 2003 was as good as it gets, along comes 20004 and a host
of records are shattered all over again. It’s as though Willi himself was moving the bar higher each
year. With a total of 57 pilots, the eight-year-old meet saw its best turnout ever. Competition was stiff with two of
the world’s best pilots, Chris Muller and Will Gadd, showing the way.
ust days before the meet, a high pressure ridge dug its heels in and by July
24, the first day of the competition, the
conditions were perfect. Light winds made
for a great out and return day — and the
fall of Randy Parkin’s long-standing reward for the first 150 km out-and-return
flight from Mt. Seven as Will Gadd breezed
back into Nicholson with an out-and-return site record of 160 km.
The next three days brought high winds
and only the hang gliders or bravest
paragliders ventured downrange, however,
day four was owned by Chris Muller on his
hang glider. Late that evening, as we all sat
around watching movies of paragliding
stunts that most of us wouldn’t even
dream of trying, word came in that Chris
had crossed the u.s. border and landed an
astonishing 327 km out in Whitefish, Montana. This was not only a new site record,
but it was just 4 km shy of the official Canadian hang gliding distance record set by
Willi himself in 1989 and 6 km shy of an
unofficial record flight by Doug Litzenberger of 333 km.
Inspiration is contagious, and by the
fifth day, when the conditions had calmed
down somewhat, pilots were chomping
at the bit to tackle the Rocky Mountain
meet, may have seen most pilots grounded.
And so, as records are made in the strong
conditions that allow such flights, so too
can things go wrong. By the end of the
meet, the number of accidents became but
another record statistic for 2004.
The first reserve toss came on day one
when a pilot reportedly encountered a
problem with an attachment point on his
old harness. A second pilot landed in the
trees on the same day. But the real problems began with the rough conditions
on day seven. On final approach, a hang
glider pilot encountered problems trying
to deploy a drogue chute and pounded in,
breaking downtubes, but was otherwise
unhurt. A paraglider pilot flying conservatively out to land was targeted by a gust
with a bad sense of humour and ended up
under reserve. With considerable ground
speed, the pilot racked up extra xc points
before alighting on a 100-foot snag to await
ground rescue.
Meanwhile downrange, another pilot
(yours truly) took a whack near Radium
and lost just enough height recovering
from the spiral to drop into the lee of a
spine. In the ensuing chaos, the third reserve of the meet is thrown and, too low to
deploy, the pilot crashes into the trees just
the Willi. I have too many good memories
to recount in these pages, but one in particular stands out for myself:
After sinking out near Edgewater one
day, I flew out to land in a field in the middle of the valley. Adjacent to the highway
and setting up on final approach barely 50
m off the deck, my vario suddenly beeped
and I instinctively cranked. Twenty minutes later, I was at cloud base 3,300 m up,
suddenly identifying with all those Penthouse Forum letters that start, “I never
believed these stories were true until one
day…” And while many record flights were
made that week, perhaps the most memorable of all will be the countless personal
bests achieved by pilots at all levels.
One last record by which we all will remember this year’s Willi was the parties.
Thanks to the Mullers, the meet opened
with their annual keg, bbq and bonfire
bash. Added this year was another keg and
bbq party put on in the Nicholson lz by
new owners Cathy-Anne David and John
McIsaac. Pilots dropped in — literally —
throughout the evening, and the crowds
were wowed by a routine of helicopters,
loops and sat’s by Chris Muller. The windup bash at Mark and Deb Fraser’s has become a hallmark of the meet, and I’ve fi-
Inspiration is contagious, and by the fifth day, when the conditions had calmed down somewhat,
pilots were chomping at the bit to tackle the Rocky Mountain trench.
trench. By nightfall, calls were coming in
from the far reaches of the valley. Topping
the list were Will Gadd and Hugo Tschurtschenthaller, landing their paragliders 197
km from Golden. Day six turned stronger
again, but plenty of gliders were up for the
challenge. Nicole McLearn flew 138 km on
her paraglider to set a new women’s distance record for the site.
By day seven, the conditions became
stronger yet, but with the mix of strong
wind and strong lift had become essentially marginal for flying a paraglider. Upon
landing, Will Gadd was overheard noting the conditions as “sporting.” With all
of the record flights and challenging conditions, it is understandable that pilots’ confidence levels had risen all week. This would
explain the large contingent of pilots in the
air on a day that, had it been the first of the
below the summit. After spending a night
in the one-star Chateau Gulley, the pilot
walked out the next day, unhurt, with his
gear (story pending).
At this point, our injury-free luck ran
out. Conditions on the last two days of
the meet seemed questionably better on
launch. However, a paraglider apparently
trying to top-land at the upper launch
came in hard and broke a wrist, the other
arm and some ribs, and punctured a lung.
Day nine saw a low-time pilot take a collapse at the lz early in the day, resulting in
two broken legs. A fourth reserve toss later
that day ended well, but marked the end of
a meet characterized by incredible highs
and lows.
Without making light of the accidents,
the excellent flying and epic stories on the
big distance days were the best I’ve seen at
nally realized that the only way I’m going
to get the secret recipe for their salmon
marinade is to do something illegal.
I also can’t say enough about the dedication, hard work and good humour of the
guy who brings this all together: Randy
Parkin. Randy’s pancake breakfasts are another tradition where the ante was upped
to include bacon and eggs by the end of
the meet. Randy has established a meet
that not only brings friends together from
around the world, but provides a forum
where pilots at all levels can compete fairly
and challenge themselves. And to all you
pilots who came from all over the country to fly the Willi: I’m sorry I only see you
once a year.
Ian Mitchell is a paragliding
pilot in Heriot Bay, BC.
Nicole McLearn
ell, it was that time of year again: the annual pilgrimage to Golden, B.C. for some big-air flying
and distance XC. It’s a long drive from Vancouver (about nine hours for me), so I was hoping the
weather and flying conditions would make it worth my while. Last year, the weather was epic,
and we were hoping for a repeat of that this year.
oday was the first day of the Willi
xc Challenge. Blue skies and a few
cu’s and south winds (not the best
if you want to go open distance). Alan
Dickey and Mark Fraser launched about
1:30 p.m. and got away after a few scratchy
thermals. I think they had the right
idea, because it got progressively rougher
after that.
I launched about 2:30 p.m. into the
south wind and found the thermals very
choppy and rough. I managed to get high
and pushed forward to the peak of Mt. 7.
I heard reports of 30 km gusts in the lz. I
wasn’t really enjoying the air (I spent a lot
of time looking forward at my glider instead of up where it should normally be),
and I’m still getting familiar with my new
glider’s nuances, so after about two hours, I
decided to go land at Nicholson (the wind
had calmed down by then).
Other pilots who braved the conditions did some incredible distance: Will
Gadd and Keith MacCollough did 160
km out-and-return (80 km to Edgewater
and return, Keith landed 3 km short of
Nicholson), and reported flying upwind
both ways and taking 6 1/2 hours.
Alan flew 48 km down the range, returned and, not knowing about the landing bonus for out-and-returns and landing
at the Nicholson lz, continued north for
9 km, landing next to the highway in the
Blaeberry. Lots of other pilots did personal
bests, a couple of 100 km out-and-returns
and so on. Despite the great distances
flown today, I’m okay with my decision to
land. Eight more days to go and only the
best three count, anyway.
A couple of incidents, too, pretty stand18 AIR MAGAZINE | SEPTEMBER, 2004
ard fare for Golden. One pilot almost didn’t
make the Nicholson lz in the south wind,
landing in the first tree line just after the
river. His glider was ripped up pretty good
in the gusty winds. Another pilot threw his
reserve around launch. Not a flying problem but an equipment malfunction; he
was hooked in improperly and one of his
beaners was slowly sliding up his shoulder
strap. Fortunately, he was over the antennas at the time, and landed about 50 m
from the road He was easily found and extracted from the tree.
Big party at Chris Muller’s tonight; lots of
beer and bratwurst, and the annual bonfire
and Aurora Borealis display to the north.
This year, the display was exceptional, with
lots of green glowing streamers moving
through the sky.
nother beautiful day in Golden.
Unfortunately, it was very windy
from the south all day (30 – 60 km/
h). I went up to launch at 11:30 a.m. and
ended up staying up there all day hoping it
would calm down later on in the evening.
It never did, and I eventually went down
at 7 p.m. Later on, I found out a couple
of hang gliders flew about 8 p.m., but no
paragliders flew.
The lz at Nicholson is excellent! The
fence is now down, and the parking lot
has been expanded. There is now a huge
shade area with picnic tables to escape
the sun, and a large grassy area has been
sown to break down hang gliders or fold
up paragliders while staying off the dust.
A bathroom has also been added (not an
outhouse — it has power and electricity).
And no horses! The official re-opening of
this lz will be next weekend.
We had a video night last night. Watched
some paragliding videos and Never Ending
Thermal. Apparently, this will become the
tradition as the week goes on.
Today, there was some haze in the sky
— maybe from some forest fires up north?
We hope it burns off in the afternoon for
some flying.
e were winded out again. This
time from the northwest. It was
strong on launch when we arrived at about 1 p.m. Mark and Alan both
launched, and it didn’t look like too much
fun. Both of them landed south of the lz
at various fields. Alan recommended not
to fly as he didn’t have any fun during the
We stayed up there a bit more in case the
winds died off, but, alas, no such luck, so
we went back down. The hang glider pilots
also packed it in.
Tonight was pizza night at Randy’s
campsite, then off to the theatre to watch
The Terminal (the only movie playing in
town right now).
oday was a busy day: getting up to
launch, flying and a whole lot of
filing of flight claims for Canadian
records. Now that the rules have changed
(see the last issue of AIR), and now that a
lot of us have fai sporting licences, we are
able to file for these!
I was the first to launch at 1:30 p.m., and
I got away from launch after a bit of ridge
soaring the knoll. The wind was fairly
photo by Ian Mitchell
Mark dowsett who placed second in the advanced hang gliding category, launches in Golden.
strong from the north, but manageable.
I got high over Mt. 7 and radioed that I
was on my way downrange and the winds
were okay but strong. Stewart (on his
paraglider), Doug Keller, Mark Dowsett
and Chris Muller also launched and were
after me, but no other pilots launched other than Will, who was tandeming his dad.
I wasn’t high enough to cross over to
Kapristo, so had to cross to Pagliaro. I
got low over the other side, which is not a
nice place to be in north wind. I was in the
lee, down to 6,100 ft and getting severely
worked. At this time, Stewart asked where I
was and I couldn’t answer since I was busy
keeping my glider overhead. Eventually I
ridge-soaring my way up a little north-facing ridge and back up to the peaks where I
could breathe easier.
I was now getting up to the cloudstreet
that was forming along the range. Once I
parked myself under it, I was able to go on
glide, going up, with no turns, for several
kilometres at a time (in the end around
25 per cent of my flight was done in this
My groundspeed was steadily increasing, and I decided when it reached 70
km/h, I would land to be safe from serious
dragging-after-landing issues.
The winds were picking up, and I could
see the wind lines on the water and the
clouds were looking blown-apart. Cloudbase was low, around 11,500 ft. As I neared
the split in the range, I decided to follow
the front range, as I have never been confident enough to take the back range and the
no-landing-options back there. As I neared
Brisco, my groundspeed was approaching
70 km/h, so I decided to land in a nice big
field. I landed with a forward groundspeed
of 6 km/h, so I was still going forward, but
barely. I couldn’t even fold up properly because it was too windy. Total distance: 68
km. I got a ride back to Golden with a lady
headed to Kelowna.
Stewart radioed me to say he was headed
for the Invermere airport, and so was Doug
Keller. I didn’t hear from Chris until later
on that night. He had flown across the u.s.
border, landing in Montana just north of
Whitefish! We figure that is something like
330 km, and a possible new Canadian open
distance record on a hang glider.
nother epic day in Golden. After
yesterday’s flights, everybody was
up on launch early to get that early
launch and get downrange. Launch was
quite crowded when I launched about 1:30
p.m. I got up and away and to the peak of
Mt. 7 in about 10 minutes. I found a nice
cloud forming above the peak, and glided across the gap to Kapristo. The cloud
streets weren’t as formed as yesterday, and
the tailwind wasn’t as strong, so getting
downrange wasn’t as quick as yesterday.
I spent most of the flight with Mark
Johnston. We both got low at one point and
had to ridge-soar our way back up to above
the peaks after some low saves (it was quite
windy, but not as bad as yesterday). Once
we got back to cloudbase, Norm Lawlor
joined us. Near where the range splits, we
got our highest, about 3,700 m, then went
on to glide to the front range.
On the front range, the climbs were
less, but we kept pushing on. As we were
approaching Edgewater, some cirrus was
coming in and shading out the sun. But
instead of staying on the Brisco side and
hanging out for the sun to come back, we
kept going for the Edgewater cliffs. There
is a bump you have to climb up on in order for this to happen, and with the cirrus it wasn’t working too well. Mark and I
found a so-so thermal and were working it,
while Norm was in his own. The thermal
we were in sort of fell apart, and I couldn’t
find anything, while Mark, who was a bit
higher, managed to hang in there. I was too
low to make it to the cliffs, so I headed out
to land at Spur Valley.
Norm and Mark managed to climb
up enough in the shade to make it to
the Edgewater cliffs, where lift is pretty
much guaranteed. As I was working
some lift over the Spur Valley gulley, I
saw Mark and Norm continuing towards
Radium. The lift over the gulley was not
very consistent, and the cirrus was still
around, so I eventually landed at the
golf course driving range (75 km). I have
landed there several times after being
skunked by that gap. Had I not made the
mistake of trying to cross the gap while
it was shady (I am still kicking myself for
that!), I may have made it as far as Norm
and Mark did.
Turns out that many people did personal bests and lots of distance yesterday. Mark and Norm landed at Canal
Flats (146 km), Ian Mitchell and Hugo
landed at Skookumchuck (172 km), and
Will landed at Fort Steele (205 km).
Chris went to Invermere and back as far
as Spillimacheen on his paraglider.
Back on launch, apparently it got a
bit weird about an hour after I launched,
with the cycles coming in very north
and cross, and people couldn’t get off.
The hang gliders couldn’t use the ramp,
due to the extreme cross winds, and
were sharing the slope with the hordes
of paragliders. It was quite crowded and
chaotic on launch. A lot of people got off
but couldn’t find any lift, and they ended
up landing at Nicholson.
photo by Vincene Muller
Dave Larocque of Calgary flying in Golden, BC.
nother great day in Golden. We
got up to launch about noon,
and it wasn’t yet cycling in but
actually cross and over the back instead.
We figured it would turn on soon, so we
got ready. I launched at 1:30 p.m. (that
time seems to work great!) into a strong
cycle and got away with Will and Keith
up to the peak of Mt. 7. At this point,
they decided to glide back to Kapristo,
but I didn’t have the glide they did (they
are on Boomerangs) so I crossed the gap
more to the front. I saw Mark Fraser way
below me on the Pagliaro cliffs and was
glad I wasn’t down there!
Most of the flight was down lower
than I would have liked. There was lots
of shade around, and the lift was sporadic. I got low a couple of times, my
low save came just before Edgewater,
where I got to within 150 m agl, headed on final glide to a cut-block way up
next to the mountains (and probably a
several-hour hike out), when I found a
little thermal which I eventually worked
back up to cloudbase. I thought that was
low, then I saw Ian Mitchell headed out
to land in Edgewater. From 50 m over
the lz, he also caught a boomer right up
to cloudbase! There was actually a lot
of lift further away from the mountains
than usual.
Ian and I continued past Radium to
Inveremere. I lost sight of him at that
photos by Ian Mitchell
(Left) The hang gliding winners circle: Doug Keller, Chris Muller and Mark Dowsett. (Right) The paragliding winners circle:
Will Gadd, Ian Mitchell and Bob Clem.
point as some shade had come in, and
I had to backtrack a bit into the sun to
wait for the shade to move off (most of
the flight was done following little patches of sunlight, with most of the range in
shade). When the sun hit Mt. Swansea,
the lift reappeared, and I thermalled up
over a paraglider pilot who was waiting
on launch for a cycle. I got back up and
continued south. I radioed that I was
headed for Fairmont airport and found
yet more lift in the shade. It was getting
late, and the lift was very light and buoyant, so I was able to thermal and fly quite
close to the rocks which I didn’t dare do
earlier in the day. Around Fairmont the
rocks are very jagged and impressivelooking.
I got high over the Fairmont ski resort and decided to push on, so I radioed that I was continuing south. I saw
Ian Mitchell low on the mountain side
of Columbia Lake, heading back, so I
decided to cross the lake to the highway
side and go on final glide towards Canal
Flats. There’s lots of lzs on that side of
the lake, and the retrieval is much easier
from that side! I landed short of the actual town of Canal Flats, 135.5 km from
Mt. 7 — a new personal best for me!
Ian landed at the Fairmont golf course,
and Alan landed at Windermere. Flying
his hang glider, Stewart landed at Canal
Flats. Lots of pilots were shaded out and
had to land at various places along the
range. Mark and Hugo decided to land
at Mark’s place for beer as they decided
the flying wouldn’t be any good. Will
landed at Edgewater, and Keith landed
at Radium.
There is a new event every night at
the campground. It’s called “Sink Out
Cinema,” so called since the only people around to watch the videos are those
who sunk out and made it back in time
to catch the beginnings of the movies.
When I arrived, the movies were just
t was windy from the west today (14
knots at 6’000 ft), but sky conditions were similar to yesterday (lots
of shade around). I launched about 1:15
p.m., and found a thermal which drifted
me to the peak of Mt. 7. I found it very
windy from the west and I was actually
ridge-soaring the peak. Eventually, I got
high enough to jump the gap to Pagliaro
by S-turning in the thermals. I got over
there above peak height (there was a
cloud in the gap which gave me some lift
on the crossing) and continued to ridgesoar my way along the range.
There were several other pilots with
me. We were all basically ridge-soaring
the peaks down the range and had to be
careful to not get blown back into the
next valley over. There were a few times
we would get pinned against the peaks
and have to slide downrange a bit to get
out again. Fortunately there are lots of
lzs for the first bit in case you can’t make
the glide out to the main road. When I
got near the split in the range, I started
to head out to go for the front range. It
was slow going towards the valley, but I
was headed downwind pretty fast at 60
km/h and more.
When I got to the front range, I discovered it was all in shade, and it was
too windy to hang out in the little sunny
patches like I did yesterday and follow
the sun. We were getting blown downrange whether we liked it or not, sun or
At this point, there was no lift, just
wind, so I decided to head out to land. At
this point, my groundspeed was topping
70 km/h, and pilots were dropping to
the ground like flies. I landed at the
Spillimacheen rest stop next to Winston
(a hang glider pilot) at the 60 km mark,
and other paraglider and hang glider pilots landed all around us.
On the way back, we passed lots of
pilots packing up. One field had four
hang gliders and two paragliders in it.
At least this way, we were back early
enough to relax and have part of the day
A hang glider pilot had a rough landing when his drogue chute didn’t deploy
properly in strong winds and he ended
up landing downwind. And there were
two paraglider reserve deployments.
First, Randy’s glider went below him
and he fell through the lines, so he threw
his reserve (this was around Parson). He
landed in some trees quite near a road
and was successfully extracted (and
his glider and reserve, too, the next day
thanks to Alan). Second, Ian Mitchell was
around Radium when his glider spun, so
he also threw his reserve. He landed at
about 6’000 ft and decided to stay on the
mountain overnight since it was getting
dark by the time he extracted himself and his glider (the reserve didn’t
actually open, he hit the trees before
it had a chance to deploy so it was
still packaged up).
Will Gadd
Ian Mitchell
Bob Clem
Keith McCullough
Mark Fraser
Alan Dickey
Robert Pynaker
Nicloe McLearn
Norm Lawler
Mike Waddington
Mark Johnston
Hugo Tschurtschenthaler
Stewart Midwinter
Chris Muller
Jug Aggarwal
Robert Samplonius
Alan Polster
Mike Spencer
Randy Parkin
6,150 pts
4,385.2 pts
3,472 pts
3,435 pts
3,376 pts
3,192.6 pts
3,105.5 pts
2,801.2 pts
2,600 pts
2,564 pts
2,360 pts
2,357 pts
2,330.3 pts
2,030 pts
1,555 pts
780 pts
745 pts
578 pts
577 pts
Dale Fraser
Janet Morris
Kevin McCarthy
Yolande Tarnowski
Mike Werner
Louis Vaconcelos
Andrew Makuch
oday was a repeat of yesterday,
with lots of west wind, although I
found it a lot rougher than yesterday. Mike Waddington and I were ridgesoaring/thermalling around the upper
launch, when I had an 80 per cent collapse, which then reinflated with a nice
cravatte. However, my vario was screaming and I was going up the entire time,
so I had time and (increasing) altitude
to work on the problem. I eventually got
the cravatte out and decided I had had
enough, so I headed out to land.
Heading out was pretty slow going
with the west wind, and Garth and I
slowly made out way to the other side of
the valley to search for lift over the cutblocks over there. No luck however, so
we landed.
I was glad to have left the mountain
when I did as the air was extremely
rough and not fun to be in. Most other
pilots also opted to land, and Nicholson
1,929 pts
1,195 pts
455 pts
450 pts
450 pts
300 pts
300 pts
Andy Besserer
Kitty Goursolle
Brian Amos
Robert Bakewell
Chris Muller
Mark Dowsett
Doug Keller
Steve Best
Stewart Midwinter
Scott Gravelle
Serge Lamarche
Rob Clarkson
Jeff Runciman
Winston Hope
Ralph Herten
James Lintott
Jon Orders
Rob Stagg
Mike Reibling
Michael Thorn
5,457.9 pts
4,278.9 pts
4,182.7 pts
3,608 pts
3,391 pts
3,261 pts
3,162.4 pts
2,890 pts
2,480 pts
2,480 pts
2,254 pts
2,242 pts
2,191 pts
891.8 pts
788 pts
550 pts
Charles Mathieson
Christine Nidd
Steve Milchak
Michael Suchocki
Eric d’Argent
was very busy. Other pilots didn’t make
it to Nicholson, and landed in cut-blocks
behind launch after being blown back.
Not a good day to be in the air.
That evening, we had a big party to
celebrate the new ownership of the
Nicholson lz, and several of us went
back up at dusk hoping to catch a glassoff. However no lift, and we all had sled
runs into the lz as the sun was setting behind the mountains. The party was wellattended with lots of food and drink.
John and Cathy-Anne plan to make the
lz into a flight-park/conservation area.
In a year or so we will be able to camp
there with all the amenities. [Ed. note:
Check out pg. 13 for a story about the new
landing site.]
450 pts
450 pts
450 pts
406 pts
oday was the last day of the comp,
and conditions looked similar to
yesterday. I opted not to fly, as it
would be hard to better my best three
1,066.56 pts
977 pts
705.3 pts
450 pts
150 pts
flights in such conditions, and, anyway,
we had another party planned that night
at Mark’s house. Several other pilots
flew, however. I think Mark Dowsett
did the most flying that day, flying his
hang glider downrange and back with
enough points to move him up a spot in
the rankings.
The party that night was the usual epic
bbq’d salmon and beef. Lots of people
showed up, and Keith showed up late after throwing his reserve downrange and
extracting himself in time for the party.
This year, the weather was a bit on the
windy side compared to last year, but in
the end I think more xc km were done
this year compared to last year. There
was an unprecedented number of pilots
making Canal Flats and beyond, and lots
of pilots did 50 and 100 km out-and-returns to attain the bonus points. And we
didn’t get rained out once!
Nicole McLearn is paragliding
pilot from Vancouver, BC.
Chris Muller off launch in
Golden before heading to
nce again Golden was on
this year!
The week of the annual Willi xc competition brought great weather, and
some outstanding flying (most notably
Will Gadd and Keith McCullough’s 160
km out-and-returns), and today was
shaping up for more of the same. I was
busy with some students and a couple
of tandems, but I had cleared it as a free
flying day, so I was feeling pretty fired
up. I had already decided I was going to
fly the hang glider and was going for a
rip down the range.
Since I have been flying down the Columbia Valley Trench range for most of
my flying career, I consider it as much
of a home site as Cochrane hill, which
photos by Vincene Muller
Chris Muller recalls another
epic day in Golden
literally is my “home site.” I have had
many of my most memorable flights
here, and while some people have childhood memories of baseball or soccer, I
have memories of the range. After years
of flying and competing internationally
at the most famous flying sites around
the world, I always look forward to coming back to Golden for some real flying.
I don’t think people realize the true
potential of the site (especially with
today’s wings), and I have been dreaming of some big flights there for quite a
while. One flight I think is possible is
the 400 km out-and-return (down to
Wasa and back), which was kind of a
motivator for the day’s flight. I had only
been past Wasa once, but that was on my
paraglider, so I was keen to do it on my
hang glider to get an idea of how long
it takes.
Only two other people have ever
flown past, both on hang gliders’s, one
being Randy Haney, who set a world
record (which was still the site record)
back in 1986, and the other J.C. Hauchecorne. What really makes Randy’s
flight impressive was that it was done on
a glider with similar performance to a
paraglider, that he stayed in the air for
11 hours, and that no one had surpassed
the flight for 18 years, even with the latest equipment. I certainly had no intentions of flying further, and since getting
more into paraglider aerobatics over the
last few years, I haven’t put much effort
More impressive to me is still
Randy Haney’s 1986 flight on
a glider with a little over half
the performance of my Talon.
In my mind anyway, his
flight was far more of
an accomplishment.
in to xc flying in Golden.
Still, the 400 o.r. still intrigues me,
so I figured a quick run down to Wasa
would be a good way to get the xc juices
flowing again. At 200 km, I figured on
four hours maximum down to Wasa, so
I wasn’t in any hurry to get up the hill
again after my morning flight. I went
back to my ‘campground’ packed a parachute, and relaxed a little.
At around 1:00 pm, I went back up
to launch with my mom. Arriving just
after 1:30, I was pleasantly surprised to
find some early paragliders climbing
out, and I hurriedly jammed battens
into my glider. Once set up, I opened my
harness (only to find that I had forgotten the boot cone at home, leaving me
to stuff bags in to give me something to
push against), put it on, and turned the
glider around ready to go. In front of me
were Doug Keller (the first hang glider
to launch) and Midtoad (paraglider).
I looked at my watch and it was ten
after two.
After they launched, I took off into
a nice little climb (around 400 feet per
minute), did a few circles above launch,
and upon seeing all of the same people
still there whom had already been set up
when I arrived, decided to go back in for
a little buzz action.
You see, this is where the ridge rat
character of my young flying career
comes out. I have a really hard time flying around watching people loitering
on a takeoff without going in for the
kill. As happens so often, what seemed
like a good idea at the time tragically
backfired when I blew my harness zipper open on the pull-up. Don’t get me
wrong, I really enjoyed making everyone
duck, and would do it again if given the
chance, but hanging off of the harness
buckles was not going to be comfortable, and without the boot cone, I could
not zip the harness all the way up so,
wearing only shorts and a light jacket, I
had the feeling I was going to have a cold
flight (apparently it was only -3 degrees
at cloud base).
I briefly considered flying out and
landing, but as the climb turned on, I
quickly rejected that idea. Being cold is
nothing new for me, as I always seem to
under dress, and have had more flights
that I can remember that have ended
with me bent over cursing with my
hands between my legs trying to thaw
them. For some reason I never learn…
As the climb turned from a leisurely
400 fpm to 1,000 fpm, I realized that I
had been a little late getting in the air,
and that I would be able to start making time early. This realization turned
out to be an understatement! Over the
first 100 km I only had to stop to climb
four times. The lines of lift were long
and easy to follow, and I stayed mostly
between 9,500 and 10,500 ft. Any higher,
and I started to get very chilly!
I passed over Mt. Swansea (110 km)
at around 4:00 pm, one hour forty-five
minutes after taking off, which was
ahead of the pace that I was anticipating.
I started to think about the possibility of
going into the states.
The flight remained fairly uneventful (which translates to fast) until Wasa
(200 km). The gap in the mountains behind Canal flats, which is where most of
the flights down the range end, proved
to be relatively easy with lift all the way
across. At Wasa, however, a thick layer of
cloud shaded the range, so I was forced
to hang around in lighter lift since the
range gets significantly broken up from
that point on, and I could see big areas
of shade further on, so it seemed like a
good idea to change gears.
After a couple more climbs I arrived
at the Steeples, which is easily the most
prominent feature, and one of those
mountains that you can’t help and stop
to look at, regardless of how focused
you are on making time. As the name
suggests, there are five or six huge towers protruding out from the mountain,
which stand out significantly taller than
the surrounding peaks. Adding visually
to the contrast is that the surrounding
mountains barely rise above tree line.
When I flew down here a few years
back, the Steeples gave me my last
thermal before I went on glide to land
near Jaffrey, so when I climbed out to
12,000 ft and started flying towards the
next cloud street, I was feeling pretty
excited about the prospect of covering
some new terrain. As I was gliding I was
surprised to see Fernie off to my left, not
having realized how close it would be.
After crossing over highway 3/93a, I realized that I would most likely be flying
into the states, so pulled out my radio
and I radioed my mom to let her know.
The conversation went something likes
Chris: Hi Mom, I think I will be going
into the states. I have crossed over the
highway to Fernie and am still high.
Vincene: I’m sorry, but all I heard was
static. Are you still in the air?
Chris: Yes, I am still flying, can you go
to the border?
Vincene: Didn’t get that, I’m in Jaffray,
do you want me to keep going South to
the u.s., or towards ( Fernie) Alberta.
Chris: Go to the u.s.
Vincene: All I’m getting is static, press
the button once if you want me to go to
Fernie, and twice if you want me to go
to the u.s.
Chris pushes twice
Vincene: I will go towards Alberta
Chris: Go to the u.s.a, u.s.a, America,
United States, u.s.a, u.s.a, u.s.a., aOkay…and so on
Vincene: Did you want me to go to the
Chris: YES, u.s.a., u.s.a
Vincene: I will go to the border…
South on highway 93a, the mountains
get considerably smaller, but then the
range starts up again and remains fairly
consistent. Even though it was starting
to get late and the lift was down between
600 - 700 fpm, it was fairly easy to stay
in the air.
I wasn’t sure exactly where the border
was, but as I flew on, I figured that I must
have past it and I started to wonder if I
would be greeted by some kind of patrol
aircraft. Unlike Mexico there is no distinct line showing the border, so I didn’t
know if the towns I was looking at were
u.s. or Canadian. The sun continued to
get lower, and there came a point where
the range dropped back away from the
road, and all that lay ahead was a heavily treed area that didn’t show signs of
any landing fields. I topped out one last
climb and decided to go on final towards
a small town on the highway.
Soon I realized that I was going to arrive quite high (4,000 ft agl), so I decided to keep going down the highway
thinking that if I didn’t find any landable
fields, I could always land on the road. I
could also see a small field on the road 6
or 7 km ahead that looked promising.
This is where the ridge rat character of my young flying career comes out. I have a really hard
time flying around watching people loitering on a takeoff without going in for the kill.
Arriving at that field at 1,500 agl, I
was seriously considering going on, but
the prospect of landing on the highway
just wasn’t that appealing, so I decided
to stay put. The field I had been eyeing
wasn’t overly big, but it seemed like it
would be okay with a good approach.
Unfortunately I hadn’t counted on the
horses being there — at 5oo ft agl, I
noticed a group of horses that had been
hidden by a group trees, and I quickly
reassessed my options.
Landing in a field with six lively horses (they were now running around the
field), in the states seemed like a bad
idea, so I decided to land in the field
at the end of the horse paddock. Unfortunately, this field was considerably
smaller, and would require an approach
slaloming through some smaller trees,
and finishing underneath a power line.
The approach went well enough (should
have had my drogue with me), but coming into ground affect on final, I soon realized that the grass was quite thick and
long, leaving me with a really high flare
and a less-than-perfect landing. Oh well,
no one around to see.
As usual, my mom pulled up shortly
after I landed, and I was quickly packed
up and on the road home.
It turned out that the town that I was
originally planning on landing in was
Trevo, Montana, the same town Randy
Haney landed in 18 years prior, so the
flight was (barely) a new site record (and
my longest flight by 100 km).
As is common with so many long
flights, there was nothing particularly
remarkable or exciting about this one.
The conditions were superb, making it
easy, and I didn’t really have to scratch
or struggle anywhere along the way.
Much like Manfred Ruhmor says in his
victory acceptance speeches time after
time, “It vas eesay.”
More impressive to me is still Randy’s
flight on a glider with a little over half
the performance of my Talon. All of the
crossings that I made that were “uneventful” were major hurdles for him, and
therefore, in my mind anyway, his flight
was far more of an accomplishment. I
think it did however, show the potential
of the Columbia Valley and I really believe a flight of 500 km or more and the
400 out-and-return are possible, and
I look forward to trying in the years to
A big thanks to my Mom, for once
again coming to pick me up. Hopefully,
I will be able to return the favor with a
few more morning sledders.
Chris Muller is a paragliding and hang
gliding pilot in Cochrane, Alberta.
Winds of change blow through Ottawa
After decades with few sites to turn to, Ottawa flying has come along way
in just five short years
ilots have been gliding in the Ottawa area for about 30 years. Despite that long history, five years
ago, Ottawa pilots could only count on
two regular flying sites and one stationary winch. Flying was mostly limited to
the weekend when the stationary winch
was available.
Our main site, Champlain, then consisted of a 350-foot, tricky foot launch
and a large lz/small tow field allowing
tows to an average of 500 ft on a good
day. The launch and lz/tow field were
leased from the National Capital Commission (ncc). The secondary field,
Embrun, was (and still is) a flatland
site belonging to a farmer and was (and
still is) available depending on the crop
rotation in any particular year. For
example, in 2004, it is unusable.
What a difference five years make.
Gliding is alive and well in Ottawa and
getting better all the time. Though the
efforts of dedicated club members and
local schools, we now have more sites,
more winches and, of course, more pilots. We have also accomplished something that is priceless: visibility and acceptance by the recreational powered
By now you are probably thinking that
I am gloating, and you would be right. I
am proud of what our community has
In retrospect, there have been catalysts that promoted the growth of the
photos by Andre Nadeau
The Kars aerodrome (above) is the permanent home of Jim Scoles’ “little truck
that can” (below left).
sports in the Ottawa area. The rest of
this article will review some of these as
I see them. Maybe other clubs can learn
from them. Those catalysts have been:
■ The establishment of schools;
■ The increased number of tow systems;
■ Becoming a part of the recreational
flying community in the area.
paragliding school, Air Sensation, a few
years back. After unsuccessfully searching for his own
site for a long time, Antoine finally set up permanent
shop at Champlain under an
arrangement with the club.
After long and difficult negotiations, he managed to
make an agreement with
his neighbour to extend our
tow lane into the adjacent
fields, doubling its distance and allowing 1,000-foot tows. He then made another agreement with his neighbour to
open another tow lane of similar length
but at 90 degrees to the first one. Finally,
Antoine purchased the lz from the ncc
last year to secure the site permanently.
For the last three years, Antoine has offered club members tow services every
day when it is flyable. He operates two
winches that can be set up and operated
in parallel when the volume demands it.
None of this happened overnight, and
Antoine had to work hard to achieve all
of this. Many kudos to him.
Then there is the “little truck that can.”
Jim Scoles, handyman extraordinaire,
first installed a payout winch on the “little tow truck that can” a few years back
to give us more flying options at a time
when flying at Champlain was not very
convenient. We first used the truck on a
road at the Embrun site. We slowly expanded our towing at another local road
and made a few visits to
the small aerodromes in
the area. Finally, the little truck found a permanent home at the Kars
aerodrome where Jim
purchased a hangar last
fall. Kars is now a regular
towing site for hang gliding.
Siamak Mardani was
looking for a site for his
hang gliding school. He
built a winch last year
and reached an agreement for the use of a
small aerodrome at Winchester. He now operates
permanently out of that
field. Although his operation is still relatively
small, it is well established now and expected
to grow with time.
A few years back, we
had no idea how well we
would be received by the
powered recreational aircraft community. We were Steve Keppel Jones flies at Champlain
staying away from them
because we thought we would be spurned we were struggling to survive from year
for a variety of reasons. I was not so sure to year, never knowing if we were going
and I really wanted to know, because there to be able to preserve our existing flyare plenty of small aerodromes in the area ing sites. Now, we have plenty of flying
that are suitable for towing.
sites and potential flying sites to sustain a
So, over the last few years, some local pi- large growth to our pilot population. And
lots, including myself and Siamak Mardani,
took the opportunities to end our crosscountry flights at small aerodromes to see
how well we would be received. I personally targeted the sailplane fields, as I figured I
would likely be more welcome there.
The reactions have always been very
positive, encouraging us to tow at some
of these fields mentioned above. In retrospect, we should have approached the
powered recreational powered community
a long time ago.
Now that we have infiltrated the powered
recreational community (or have they infiltrated us?), we have more potential sites
than we need. That is an enviable position
to be in.
In conclusion, schools, more tow systems and building relationships with
the powered recreational aviation community have been the three elements of
growth in the Ottawa area. Five years ago,
that is a nice place to be.
Andre Nadeau is a past president of the
Ottawa Hang Gliding and Paragliding Club,
past Director of OHPA, past Business
Manager and President of HPAC/ACVL
and a regular contributor to AIR.
Paul Morris waits for the line so he can tow up at Champlain
Hang Gliding and Paragliding Association of Canada
Association Canadienne de Vol Libre
1 2 0 O t t a w a S t r e e t N o r t h , P O B o x 43082 K i t c h e n e r O N N 2 H 6 S 9
Phone/Fax: 519 894-6277 Email: [email protected]
HPAC/ACVL Membership Fee
Includes $3 Million third-party liability insurance, valid Canada wide
and the AIR magazine.
A. Full member
B. Family Member
Membership number of associated full member: ___________
The Association Quebecoise de Vol libre (AQVL) collects the HPAC/ACVL
membership fee for Quebec residents. If you reside in Quebec, contact the
AQVL at 514-804-8984 or download the AQVL Membership Form from the
AQVL web site at
Add Provincial Association Fee1
If you reside in the following provinces or territories,
you MUST add one of the following:
C. Ontario, NWT, Nunavut, out-of-Canada
D. Manitoba
E. Atlantic Provinces, Saskatchewan,
Alberta, British Columbia, Yukon
Total of (A or B) plus (C or D or E)
Or AIR Magazine ONLY
HPAC/ACVL Membership # ______________________ New Member ( Y/N ) ________ HG/PG:______________
________________________________________________________________Male / Female: ___________
Address: ____________________________________________________City: _______________________________
Province: ______________________________ Postal Code: ____________________ Country:___________________
Club or School Affiliation:__________________________________________________________________________
Phone H:
( ________) ____________Work:
( _______ ) _____________ Cel: ( ________) ___________________
Date of Birth: (day) _______ (month) __________ 19 _______ E-mail ______________________________________
Medic Alert: __________________________________________ 2 Meter Radio Call Sign:_______________________
In Case of EMERGENCY contact: ______________________________________ Relationship: _________________
Address: ____________________________________________________City: _______________________________
Province: ______________________________ Postal Code: ____________________ Country:___________________
Phone H: ( ______ ) ____________________ Work: (_________)______________________
It is MANDATORY to carry third-party liability insurance to fly most sites in Canada. HPAC/ACVL Liability Insurance is only available to
members of the HPAC/ACVL. If you are applying for membership please complete the following:
Did you have an accident in the past year that was not reported? (Circle as appropriate):
Dated: ___________________________________ Signature: ___________________________________________
The HPAC/ACVL collects Provincial Membership fees on behalf of Provincial Associations. This mandatory fee is set by Provincial Associations.
I, ___________________________________, hereby acknowledge and agree that in consideration of being permitted
to participate in Hang Gliding/Paragliding programs or activities, I hereby agree to release and discharge Owners and / or
Lessors of land who have granted permission for the use of property for Hang Gliding/Paragliding programs or activities,
the Hang Gliding and Paragliding Association of Canada a/o Association Canadienne De Vol Libre, their officers,
directors, representatives, employees, members and all other persons or entities acting in any capacity on their behalf
(hereinafter collectively referred to as Releasee) from all liability and I do hereby waive as against the Releasee
all recourses, claims, causes of action of any kind whatsoever, in respect of all personal injuries or property losses
which I may suffer arising out of or connected with, my preparation for, or participation in, the aforesaid
Hang Gliding/Paragliding programs or activities, not withstanding that such injuries or losses may have been caused
solely or partly by the negligence of the Releasee
1. And I do hereby acknowledge and agree;
a) that the sport of Hang Gliding/Paragliding and Hang Gliding/Paragliding is very dangerous, exposing participants to
many risks and hazards, some of which are inherent in the very nature of the sport itself, others which result from
human error and negligence on the part of persons involved in preparing, organizing and staging Hang Gliding/Paragliding
programs or activities;
b) that, as a result of the aforesaid risks and hazards, I as a participant may suffer serious personal injury, even death,
as well as property loss;
c) that some of the aforesaid risks and hazards are foreseeable but others are not;
d) that I nevertheless freely and voluntarily assume all of the aforesaid risks and hazards, and that, accordingly,
my preparation for, and participation in the aforesaid Hang Gliding/Paragliding programs and activities shall be entirely
at my own risk;
e) that I understand that the Releasee does not assume any responsibility whatsoever for my safety during the course of
my preparation for or participation in the aforesaid Hang Gliding/Paragliding programs or activities;
f) that I have carefully read this RELEASE, WAIVER AND ASSUMPTION OF RISK agreement, that I fully
understand same, and that I am freely and voluntarily executing same;
g) that I understand that by signing this release I hereby voluntarily release, forever discharge and agree to indemnify
and hold harmless the Releasee for any loss or damage connected with any property loss or personal injury that I
may sustain while participating in or preparing for any Hang Gliding/Paragliding programs or activities whether or not
such loss or injury is caused solely or partly by the negligence of the Releasee;
h) that I have been given the opportunity and have been encouraged to seek independent legal advice prior to
signing this agreement;
i) that the term Hang Gliding/Paragliding programs or activities as used in this RELEASE, WAIVER AND
ASSUMPTION OF RISK agreement includes without limiting the generality of that term, the Hang Gliding programs
and activities as well as all other competitions, fly-ins, training sessions, clinics, towing programs and events;
j) this RELEASE, WAIVER AND ASSUMPTION OF RISK agreement is binding on myself, my heirs, my executors,
administrators, personal representatives and assigns and;
k) that I have had sufficient opportunity to read this entire document. I have read and understood it,
and I agree to be bound by its terms.
Signature of Participant: ___________________________________________ Date: ______________________________
Participant Name (Print clearly): ________________________________________________________________________
Signature of Witness: _____________________________________________ Date: _______________________________
Witness Name (Print clearly): __________________________________________________________________________
Note: You are only required to sign the HPAC Waiver once but we would prefer that you complete one every year.
To verify that we have a waiver on file for you, visit the HPAC/ACVL site at
available from: Muller Windsports Ltd
Ph: (403)932-6760
E-mail: [email protected]

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