This year’s Grouse Mountain Fly-in was held on August 9th. I didn’t attend, not being able to meet the experience requirements. [sound of grinding teeth] Besides, I hold a serious grudge against the people controlling paragliding up there. They seem to have established a very cozy nest and obviously want to keep it private and secluded. They charge $199 for a 20 minute tandem flight (I can rent a solo Cessna for what, about half that price? And for a full hour!) and if you would like to fly as a licensed guest pilot, you’d better come recommended by an instructor, otherwise you need to have a minimum of 150 logged flights and 50 hours airborne. And even like that, you’ll always have to fly with a club member, period. Or you can wait for the annual fly-in and its supposedly relaxed rules. Let me laugh out loud. What paragliding site anywhere in the world only welcomes guest pilots 2 days a year?

I mean, I understand that our airspace is quite unique due to typical Vancouver density. Helicopters, seaplanes and other traffic have to share a corridor between the city and the mountains. Then there’s the overhead Controlled Airspace that acts like a lid on top of a pressure cooker. But still. I’ve modestly flown in many places, in many countries and many different conditions and airspaces and I’ve never seen such elitist restrictions on who can or cannot fly somewhere.

Any way. Here’s the cover of our free daily newspaper the following Monday. I’m glad to see that even from the top of their 150 flights and 50 hours wisdom, the pilots attending still managed to land on their arse. Ha!