Festival of Flight set to go for long weekend

Andrew Wagstaff
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Paragliders, hang gliders to converge on Parrsboro area

The 2013 Festival of Free Flight will see dozens of hang gliders and paragliders converge on the Parrsboro area this weekend, giving the annual demonstration of their sports from May 17-20.

DILIGENT RIVER – School is out for Michael Fuller, but he has not left the sport of paragliding behind, nor its upcoming flagship event.

Fuller, president of the Hang Gliding and Paragliding Association of Atlantic Canada, has sold his local Pegasus Paragliding school, but is still heavily involved in the upcoming 19th annual Festival of Free Flight on May 17-20.

“There are some people in already, so excitement is building already,” said Fuller on Tuesday.

About two-dozen pilots are expected for the weekend, taking to the skies as hang gliders and paragliders, as well as powered paragliders. Among those on hand for the weekend will be Scott Newman, who operates the Maritime Hang Gliding Academy near Sussex, N.B., and Patric Stettler, new owner of Pegasus Paragliding, which sponsors the festival with the association, which will also hold its annual general meeting during the weekend.

Flying on Saturday and Sunday will take place at sites near Parrsboro, such as Fox River, West Bay, Hidden Falls and Second Beach, while Friday and Monday will see them head further afield to such sites as Cape Chignecto Provincial Park, Joggins and possibly even the Wentworth Valley.

“It will all depend on wind direction,” said Fuller. “However, there will be a white board on Main Street, as usual, that will let people know where we are at that given time.”

Fuller started the Pegasus school 15 years ago, and has helped put the sport of paragliding on the map in Atlantic Canada in the years since. He remains the only English-speaking senior instructor east of Alberta. He said he will miss teaching at the school, but it was time to focus on other things.

“You can only do so much at once,” he said. “It was pretty much thought of as a silly and impossible thing to start in Nova Scotia, because it had never been done here before. But I always like being challenged by what might seem impossible.”


Organizations: Pegasus Paragliding school, Hang Gliding and Paragliding Association of Atlantic Canada, Maritime Hang Gliding Academy

Geographic location: Parrsboro, Sussex, Fox River West Bay Cape Chignecto Provincial Park Joggins Wentworth Valley Atlantic Canada Alberta Nova Scotia

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