Saturday, October 21, 2006

Goodbye, Johan

I am very sad to report that one of our pilots suffered a fatal injury at Makapuu today. Many pilots saw Johan launch from Manics in what were desribed as nice north wind conditions. We don't know why, but shortly after launching he began to swing from side to side, contacting the power lines to the left of the launch and generating a blue fireball, after which he drifted up onto the side of the hill, and was pulled over the chain link fence to land on the other side, near the trail to Cactus launch. He was found unconscious and was unresponsive when emergency services arrived. He was taken to the ER and died shortly afterwards from internal injuries. His family has been notified and Pete and Hillary will be taking care of his dogs.

We are all saddened by the loss of one of our most enthusiastic pilots. We will post information about memorial services as soon as we have the details.

We would appreciate our pilots keeping a low profile by refraining from flights at Makapuu tomorrow and perhaps the next day as well. Please help us by finding other sites to fly for a couple of days. Thank you.

Update: we have set up a separate memorial website for Johan here: New Wings.


Bob said...

Goodbye Yohan: I will remember your wide smile.
Thank you Alex for the update. I will refrain from flying as the media may choose to revisit this story once they have a name.

Brazilian Ray said...

Johan will be missed. My condolences goes to the family.


Onomea Eric said...

Very Sorry to hear this. Just met Johan, and found him to be one of the good people in this world. Was looking forward to flying with him. My condolences to his family. Know that he had the courage to really live life.


Nick said...

I will miss Johan. He was such a pleasant fellow. Boy did he love to fly. I wish the best for his family.

paliglydr said...

Thank you, Johan, for the times you shared with us. Pilot lore has it that for every flight there a launch and a landing. Every flight, that is, but the last. Johan has launched and left us on his last flight. Peace be with you, brother.

"May the wind under your wing bear you to where the Sun sails and the Moon walks."


The Dangler said...

I did not know Johan well, yet he was a part of my Family. Paragliding does that - it creates family. Now I have lost the opportunity to get to know one of my family members better.

Leaving my Family here in Hawaii is harder than you know, losing family is terrible.

I am asking all my friends and family to think more about what we do, to really look at the hazzards that our flying sites present us with new eyes, and then act accordingly.

To Johans Family, I am so very sorry.

Gregory Yount
aka The Dangler

Gravity said...

Aloha all,

I was truly devasted at the news of Johan's accident. Just last week we started to hang out with each other.

We went out on the boat to Waikiki and had a great time talking all day about risk management and the love of flying. He loved to fly airplanes, and just told me he was thinking of taking up aviation as his career. He told me that he might be moving to Alaska to look for a job and try to follow Scott's career path.

We talked about how he loved to fly his paraglider and was thinking of getting a new wing. We talked about only flying when the conditions were perfect and he said wasn't into flying Acro or flying on marginal days.

The next day and the following week we discussed the purchase of his sailboat. Which I bought from him. We agreed that he could still use it, and we would share the costs of storage. He brought me the sails to Diamond head last week, then did a short flight to the beach after deciding the winds were good and his launch was flawless.

I was to call him upon my return and we were to set a date to go out in the boat.

Yes, Dave, doug and I are absolutely gutted at the loss of our friend.

Here's a poem I came across years ago at Duff Kings Memorial:

The past and the future hold all imaginings and tether us to our mortal wings
But leaving time behind we cast off the weight of the world arcing into the air of wingless flight
It is only two steps to anywhere;
The first you ever take, and each endless step into the present.

Johan earned his wings.

Pete Michelmore