PLEASE NOTE: NOT EVERYONE IN A WHEELCHAIR WILL BE ABLE TO PARAGLIDE. THIS DECISION IS AT THE DESCREATION OF MANAGEMENT.
Today, I had paragliding scheduled with SkyTrek for 9am but had to call at 8am to make sure the weather conditions were ok to go. Weather conditions were good, paragliding was a go! It was about a 30 minute ride to Coronet Peak, where we would paraglide from. We road a minibus that I was picked up and put on the front row of seats. The wheels were taken off my wheelchair and the chair was placed on the seat next me. Once we arrived at Coronet Peak it was about a 50 yard walk to the launch area, 3609 feet above sea level. Itai, who was my paragliding tandem, carried me piggy back to the launch area. He came here from Israel 12 years ago, became a paragliding pilot and has not left. He said “It’s the best office you can have”. After we reached the launch area they put the harness on me. Joe and another guy from SkyTrek held me up as Itai hooked me up to him. The guys held me as we started walking to the edge as Itai lifted the glider. Our speed got a little faster as we approached the edge and then we were airborne, leaving those guys behind. The flight was about 20 minutes long looking around at some great views. The landing was very safe. As we approached the ground, I pulled up my legs and we landed sitting on the ground. The landing was better than others in our group. The staff was exceptional. Itai was a great pilot and took great care in making sure I was safe. (Paragliding video 1, video 2, video 3, paragliding photos)