THE FLYING MASTERS
To promote paragliding in Tambunan, Azizan and Pyro agreed to fly local passengers to make them feel what the sport is like.
Azizan’s wife (the lady in the red cap) was there as his paragirl. Their son, PG, came along to make sure his parents did their jobs right. Guess what his name stands for? Para-Gliding. Too much passion in this family. Haha.
THE TAKE-OFF POINT
Tambunan has no commercial or proper take-off area yet. But they have a remarkable viewing point that overlooks the Tambunan Valley, the Crocker Range hills and a silhouette of the iconic Mount Kinabalu.
The design of the 3-floor tower was inspired from the shape of the traditional Wakid (a bamboo-rattan basket) used by the Dusun tribe to carry their harvests.
Across this viewpoint is an empty lot. This became our take-off area for the next 2 days.
Kolej Komuniti Tambunan partnered with us to make this whole event possible. For 2 full days, they toiled sweat and blood just to learn how to support tandem flights.
I was fascinated by their teamwork. From the director to the teachers, the students, the drivers and other school staff – everybody worked side by side, no complaints and no special treatments.
After one day of training everybody was like a pro. They knew when to run, where to pull and how to push. Amazing!
THE LEADER OF THE TEAM
Having spent many years observing leadership roles, I have learned how critical the role is of the boss in setting the tone to a positive team culture. A leader’s character and attitude determine a gloomy or a happy working environment.
Mr. Jo, the director of the school had no qualms in learning a new sport. He was everywhere – driving us, assisting passengers, feeding the crew, fixing harnesses, and kiting wings when the pilots were not looking. Haha.
That’s a leader I would want to follow.
A good paragliding experience is not set by a well-developed flying site.
My experience in Tambunan proved how an empty lot brought together people of different language, status and skills to create abundant and meaningful memories for everyone.
Coming up next are the happy faces of those who flew tandem in Tambunan!