Spring Flying in the Maritimes

The spring weather has (finally!) arrived in the Maritimes.  The long-weekend included bright sunny skies and warm temperatures. There were reports of several pilots flying this weekend.  Guy explored a new launch in Medford and also took to the skies at Lawrencetown Beach.  It seems Guy was the first pilot of the year to fly Lawrencetown in the 2013 season.

Playtime at LTB from Guy Leblanc on Vimeo.

Not to be outdone, Chris found excellent lift at the recently improved Point Prim launch in PEI.  The action was caught on video by Brendon – who has discovered a new career in video production.

… and the 2013 season begins!


More Site Work

2012 has been an active year for site development and maintenance in Atlantic Canada.  There was the work done to improve the launch at Dennis Beach, and the very scenic launch at Greenhill was also cleared by members of HPAAC.

Below is an animated gif that shows the progress of clearing the overgrowth in front of the launch, showing it in June, July, and November.

Thanks to George, Gabe, Tim P. and others who did the great work at Greenhill.



Successful Site Development

New Brunswick will be THE place to fly in 2013.

The HPAAC members have implemented improvements to a prominent New Brunswick coastal hang gliding and paragliding flying site at Dennis Beach.  Scott Newman lead the project from the NB logistics side.  Financial support was provided by HPAAC based on an plan approved by the membership at the 2012 Annual General Meeting.  Michael Fuller and Scott Newman collaboratively established a plan to widen and resurface the launch, then other members, family and friends all joined in to lend a hand.

The enhancement work was carried out in the last week of October.  Scott Newman was already busy betting prepared, and with the help of his father the two cut and stacked 250 square feet of sod.  A huge job done!  Then… “all hands on deck”.

With weather cooperating (and wind no good for flying – of course)… an excavator arrived on site to resurface the ground, then many hands began laying the sod.  Pilots from Nova Scotia and New Brunswick spent a very physical day raking and sodding the new launch.  A big thanks to the work crew of Scott, Michael, Ed Eustace, Ross Manning, and Brian Wheaten.

The Dennis Beach launch has now been resurfaced, the sod fertilized, and the winter winds have begun to blow on the Fundy shore.  With the new launch the Dennis Beach site will be THE thing to do in 2013 flying season.  The site is definitely something to put on your New Year’s Resolution list.

A very special THANK YOU to those members and friends of HPAAC who have donated money to cover the costs of this project.  You gave, and results have been achieved!



New Logo & Website

As Chairman of this organization one of the joys and pay offs for being in the position is when I can bring you great news of the work done by your executive to help advance our small world of free flight here in Atlantic Canada. So I am very pleased to announce that your Executive has worked to reconstruct the website, giving it a fresh new look. The website includes business and financial information along with project development details and other links.

To complement the new look of the website we have also collaborated in the revamping of our logo.  It was a good creative process.  So we hope you enjoy and find our work useful.

Fly Safe and Fly Far

Michael Fuller
Chair – HPAAC


Note: Please Contact the webmaster or leave comments on a page or topic if you see something that needs updating.

Point Prim Launch

During the 2012 HPAAC Business Meeting, funding was approved to improve the launch at the Point Prim flying site.  The work is being carried out to improve the safety of the launch; included removing stumps, leveling the surface, and spreading new grass seed.

A work crew of dedicated members of HPAAC completed the work this weekend.  The volunteers also supplied a front end loader to take care of heavy work.  However, there was still lots of manual work to do, including the raking of the top soil before spreading the grass seed.

Raking the top soil of the new launch

Question is…. did they plant any potatoes?

Now, all that’s left to do is watch the grass grow.  Well… maybe not, because a little test flight seemed to be in order.  Chris had the honor of the first launch.

Chris setting up for the first launch

Great work guys.  Thank you Todd, Chris, Jake, and others who have helped get this work done.  Your efforts in planning and carrying out the work are greatly appreciated and will make for improved flying in PEI.

Below is a short video showing a hang glider launching at the site in 2010.



Festival of Flight 2012

The Festival of Flight has been occurring in the Parrsboro area since 1996 and is a popular event among local pilots.  This 16th Annual festival included a record numbers of paragliders, hang gliders, power-paragliders in attendance.  The weather was warm and sunny, but the strong high-pressure system that supplied the warmest long-weekend weather in many years kept the on-shore breezes light for much of the weekend.  Regardless of the calm air, there were some periods of excellent flying activity.

On Friday there were several paragliding pilots who took to the air at Fox River.

Paragliders fill the air at Fox River : Gabe Carrier, Gunter Gottschalk, Chris Jette, Michael Fuller with tandem.

Later in the afternoon on Friday the wind did build quite strong.  So, it was time for the hang gliders to spread their wings.  Visit the Facebook page to see a video of Brian launching and starting his soaring flight at Fox River.

Saturday brought the start of light air.  There were periods that no matter how many times we checked the wind, it just stayed a little too light or a little too cross.

Measuring the wind at Fox River, Festival of Flight 2012

It’s all about chasing wind though.  The crew began Saturday at Hidden falls, where there were several good flights.  Rob (a new pilot from Saint John) won the target landing competition, hitting the bulls eye on the first try. Michael and several other pilots grabbed short soaring flights that morning.

Michael soaring some light thermals at Hidden Falls.

The power-paragliders often stay along the shoreline, but while free-flight pilots were waiting out a lull at Hidden Falls, Tim Rieker powered over from Second Beach and found some lift among the neighbouring ridges.

As tradition dictates, the Saturday evening festivities included fresh lobster around a beach fire – on the shores of the Bay of Fundy.  A wonderful part of the Festival indeed.

Fresh cooked lobster along the shores of the Bay of Fundy!

Over the next couple of days calm air would not slow them down, as several hang-gliding pilots took advantage of Scott’s towing equipment being on site for the festival.  The crew beach towed several pilots who each logged a few flights.

When not flying there was great opportunities for local pilots to socialize and share stories of their recent adventures.  The lunch truck was a huge contribution this year – thanks to George and Deann!

The Annual General Meeting was held at the Bare Bones Bistro and the food was beyond excellent.  What a treasure to have such high quality dining in a small coastal town like Parrsboro.

Of course another important aspect of this year’s Festival was the Fly for Discovery fundraising activity that HPAAC pilots have organized for the second year, in honour of our friend and fellow pilot Mark Dempsey. The fundraising efforts of the pilots exceeded their goal and raised over $7000 for Cancer Society of Canada early diagnosis programs… and the pledges keep coming in.  A special congratulations to Gabe Carrier for reaching out for the Fly For Discovery Campaign. He was the top fundraiser with over $1,000 coming in to support his participation.

The 2012 Festival of Flight was a great success, and a positive start to the flying year.  Thank you to those who put so much work into organizing this event.