Paragliding off Whitireia Cliff Tops

Paragliding off Whitireia Cliff Face.

Last Saturday after work, I went to Whitireia Park to fly the Mavic. My intention was to fly over the rocks and to take off from the cliff face.

When I arrived, there were two young guys, Louis Tapper and his buddy Zack setting up their paragliders getting ready to launch themselves off the cliff tops. I approached them both and made conversation.

I let them know that I had come up to fly the drone, but since they were going to be in the air, I’d stay grounded for safety reasons. To my surprise, they were quite comfortable for me to fly while they were out there. However, I wasn’t knowing the risk I would be putting their lives in should something go terribly wrong. I could just imagine the field day the drone haters and the media would have had, should there have been some form of incident. No matter how small that event may have been. Especially with the present state of drone hysteria out there. It would have made worldwide headlines for sure. I was even more surprised as to how comfortable they were after learning they had just lost a good mate that morning in Queenstown after he became entangled in his paraglider lines, then plummeted to his death.

This video was taken with the Mavic grounded and handheld. I was really happy with the footage I got with Mana Island and the South Island as the backdrop.

After this, Louis and Zack were considering packing up as the winds were starting to die down. I mention I was keen in getting the camera out and photographing them if they were to go out again. So Louis strapped on his lighter gear, walked to a higher point and patiently waited for the winds to get up. Half an hour later he was off. Five or so minutes later Zack couldn’t resist.

Here are a few photos from the day.

Louis waiting for the wind to get up.

I think it’s fair to say, he has no fear.

Zack getting ready to fly with an audience.

Zack coming into land.

After touching down they were given admirable applause from onlookers.

Louis is the creator of Kiwi Paragliding. You can find out more about that on his website here or on his Fb page @sharemypains here.

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