A good place for a landing
August 25, 2006
Paragliders are a frequent sight floating over Aspen Mountain, eventually landing in one of two local open space parcels: the Northstar Nature Preserve, east of town, or the Marolt Open Space, alongside the Aspen roundabout.
But last Sunday, a small crowd got to watch as paraglider Tomek Pegiel and his two friends landed smack in the middle of town at Wagner Park – a landing that they first had to get permission for from the city. Pegiel has been paragliding for 10 years and has achieved a P4 rating as a result of time in the air, number of flights, experience and written tests. He’s originally from Poland, and had paraglided around Europe before moving to Aspen three years ago.
In these photos he sent us, his friend Charles Kirsten is in the process of landing in the park. The paragliders took off around 9:30 a.m. from the Walsh’s run, and spent 15 to 20 minutes in the air before coming in for a landing. A friend was at the park to warn people there that paragliders would be coming in at about 15 mph. People watching asked what kind of plane they jumped out of, but the truth is that paragliders take off by running off of the mountain.
“It was fun – normally we’re always landing at Northstar or Marolt, and in the park people see you, and you get to come in over the city,” Pegiel said. “It’s much more fun.”
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