Friday, October 21, 2011

2011 USHPA Instructor of the Year

Our longest serving, most colorful and most prolific local instructor, Pete "Reaper" Michelmore, was notified yesterday that he has been recognized by USHPA as our 2011 Instructor of the Year. He'd heard a rumor about being nominated, but he was clearly surprised and humbled to hear that he'd actually been selected. But anyone who knows him is not surprised.

Pete is a guy who pours his heart and soul into all of his efforts, and he has been committed to getting other people into the air since he first started flying. Instruction is not financially rewarding compared to anything else you could spend your time doing. And it means you often don't get to fly with your buddies on some of the most epic days, because those are the best days for teaching. It's a calling. You have to just love teaching for its own sake, and Pete clearly does.

Pete has also made a name for himself in his volunteer work during the last six years of the Rat Race in Oregon, working with our buddy Tom Chestnut to run the launch operation and doing all kinds of retrieval work, from ordinary roadside pickups to full-on extreme jungle extractions.

Pete has been instrumental in supporting me in my often reluctant role as club president, and he is a big part of why this club works as well as it does. I appreciate his support and I wouldn't do this job without having him behind me. Thanks, Pete!

Congratulations to Pete on a well deserved honor! Now take a break and come fly with us today!


JK said...

Well done Reaper, well done indeed! Very proud of you, and all the Oahu pilots you represent. This is the best damned bunch of pilots on the planet! Now go get your fly on!!!

sandy said...

Three cheers for Reaper!!!

Hip Hip Hooray!! Hip Hip Hooray!! Hip Hip Hooray!!

I certainly wouldn't be here (on windlines) without him (I wonder if windlines would even exist without him). Keep up the good work ChickenBone :-)

Anonymous said...

I have no more respect in the world for anyone but my instructor/mentor Scott Gee who in my mind is the best pilot I know not to mention person, his instructors license or permit or whatever you refer to it as is signed off by Reaper each year and he tells me that "Pete is the "man";hands down more responsible for "hucking" more people off the mountain and basically getting more people in the air than anyone he knows!" Having now known Pete for a little over a year he has given me some of the best advice for flying on this Island not to mention just being a damn great person and friend I am certainly lucky and glad to know him and even more proud for this sweet as club of, HPA! keep charging and flying far!!!! GAZA

Yuichi said...

Congratulation to MY INSTRUCTOR on having notified as a instructor of the year!!!
Pete is such a great guy who gave me a miracle to get a Novis license in this March, and who showed me how exciting and wonderful paragliding is.
I wanna give hundreds of refreshments to him if I war in Oahu...
My job is busy now, but I promise I'll be back to you guys.
Looking forward to seeing you soon up in Oahu's air.
Godspeed on Pete!!!

Ka'a'awa Larry said...

I've always been proud to tell anyone who asks that my instructor is Reaper. He has his own style which is to say that he has been known to throw reluctant students (me) off the side of the mountain while yelling "You'll do fine". I have come to appreciate the fact that he is never reckless or impatient, just supremely competent. I doubt if I would have progressed as quickly as I did without his not-so-subtle teaching techniques.
Thanks Pete for getting me safely into the air and really becoming passionate about something so wonderful.

Thom said...

I was never on Pete's student roster for my P-2. But that never bothered Pete, he has always been there for my firsts, possibly just to score his beer tax.

My first flight off Koko Crater, he made me turn and walk off from his command post at Sandy Beach and talked my every move to a perfect beach landing.

25 of my first landings were under the radio control of Pete.

My first Bay Cross, I was alone, did not know where to go or if I should go further. Pete's voice radioed from the road below me. He followed me in his truck all the way to Kualoa Ranch.

I almost took him out on Kahana East launch on one of my beginner slip ups. I did a "Sidehill" landing at his feet. There were a few others and the name stuck.

Pete has many names, "Reaper, Chicken Bone, Hawaii Pete, Fat Bastard, Uncle Pete and I am sure there are others. But as an iconic member of the family of Hawaii Flying Monkeys he is the "Old Gray".

I am sure there are hundreds of pilots out there that owe Pete a bunch of gratitude for getting them in the air.

Pete, congratulations! I know the piece of paper or 'vaze' you'll receive will only symbolize the testaments from us that you have instructed throughout your first 20 years. I hope to be flying next to you for the next 20 years.

Because of Pete so many of us can say,
"It's Time to Fly Get Your Gear and Go!!!"

Thom 'Sidehill' Therrien, P-3 signed off by Pete Michelmore USHPA Instructor of the Year.