Sunday, February 26, 2012

Day 6 Powered Hang Gliding Lesson

Well, when I was looking through all the tourist activity ads in Kauai I saw this ad for a powered hang gliding instruction introductory flight.  The company was called Birds in Paradise Flight school.  I figured I love flying and it seems pretty safe.  What the hell; you only live once, right?  Right!  So, I called the flight school and scheduled a lesson.  Technically, Birds of Paradise could not do tours as it was illegal in Hawaii to offer these kinds of flights as tours.  So, the only way to do the flight was as a flight instruction.  Cool, I get to log the time in my logbook to boot!!  I scheduled my lesson at 09:00 AM in the morning.  As you might of guessed, I got there early.  The aircraft were already up on earlier scheduled lessons, except for mine.  She was there waiting for me.

  This was good, cuz I could film them coming in and landing just before my lesson.  These powered hang gliders flew so gracefully.  The only thing cooler than watching them fly, was flying one.

My instructor was Gerry Charlebois.  Gerry is an FAA-certified Flight Instructor, an FAA-certified mechanic and a certified Rotax aircraft engine technician. He is also a Master Rated Hangglider Pilot by the United States Hanggliding Paragliding Association.

Gerry started flying hang gliders in 1978. A year later he began teaching hang gliding on Oahu’s north shore. Winning the Hawaii state hang gliding championship brought corporate sponsorship and Gerry went on to compete on the national and international hang gliding circuit.

Gerry founded Birds in Paradise on Kauai in 1990 offering tandem hang gliding. In 1993, Birds in Paradise began offering powered hang gliding and, since that time, Gerry has logged more than 17,000 hours operating ultralight trikes and sharing the experience with more than 22,000 Birds in Paradise clients.
Gerry began using wing-mounted cameras on his glider to shoot the stunning visuals in the 1980s. He is one of the most published sport-aviation photographers in the world with more than 60 magazine cover shots. In 1997, he was named photojournalist of the year by the U.S. Ultralight Association. Combining his passion for trike flying with his passion for still and video photography, Gerry also produces films that capture the breathtaking scenery and marine life on Kauai. Extreme Kauai, his most recent DVD, can be found in most stores on Kauai. He is currently in post-production for his new film, Kauai Unveiled, featuring more awesome underwater and aerial footage of the Garden Island..

Birds in Paradise has been featured on HDNet’s extreme travel show "Get Out!" as well as on the Discovery Channel, the Travel Channel and TV Land's High School Reunion show.

Thanks Gerry!!!! for a great flight lesson over the Garden Island of Kauai.
All the above info  on the instructor was obtained  as published from the Birds in Paradise website.

I got admit I was a little nervous but once we were aloft I felt right at home in the air.  The following is a 15 min video that I produced with splices of film from the 60 minute flight.  I chose some of the most breathtaking views to put in the abbreviated video.  I hope you all enjoy my flight lesson in Kauai.  Please comment on the post.  I enjoy reading everybody's comments.

This was one of the funnest things that I have ever done and would do it again in a heart beat.   I hope you all enjoy the video.


  1. Way too cool! What a perfect place to do something like that! Oh yeah......nice suit Mav ;)

    1. You like the suit, eh. I thought it looked cool too.

      Maverick (I like the sound of that) : - )

  2. Thanks, Dave! That was a great review! Makes me want to take a lesson from me!

    I renamed my film and it is now called Epic Kauai. Check out the website for the trailer I hope to see you again. Watch our website for developments in our expansion to Fiji this fall.


    1. No, thank you Gerry. I hope to see you again as well.

  3. Ultralight aircraft crash kills 2 people on Kauai Posted: Mar 11, 2014 9:30 AM HST

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  6. Looks like a ton of fun. Glad you enjoyed yourself!

    - Peter L


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