It's not often we get to appreciate our beautiful campus from this perspective!

Thanks to pastor Brian King at The Lutheran Church of Webster Gardens in St. Louis—and his powered paragliding rig and chase cam—we were recently treated to a glimpse of his amazing view. Brian graciously shared with us some of his bird’s eye photos, along with some info on the sport.

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How did you get into powered paragliding?

I thought I was going to be a skydiver and started doing jumps about 15 years ago, did 10 jumps, and then didn’t end up progressing further to get a license. My last jump was several years ago, but being up in the air was a lot of fun. During Covid in 2020, I remembered someone telling me about this sport, looked up some YouTube videos, then found a place to take a tandem ride and get training. It actually falls under FAA rules as an ultralight, which doesn’t require a license. But it’s wise to get training instead of just reading about it and trying it out.

Tell us a little bit about the sport.

You can fly on a full 5-gallon tank of gas for 4-5 hours, although a typical flight for me is around 45 minutes to an hour. Flying in the morning or evening is typical because winds are usually calmest. The wind was strong-ish but very smooth by CUW on Sunday afternoon. A typical flight might go up 3,000 feet, but no reason you can’t go up to 10,000 feet or more. To just look around, a few hundred feet is typical, all the way down to foot-dragging height over a cornfield.

What brought you to power-glide over the CUW campus?

We were in Whitewater to watch a Drum Corps competition (my son is a senior in high school and a snare drummer), and then in Mequon to visit our friends the Youngs (Michael Young is a CUW professor). I am not a CUW alumnus, but I know a lot of CUW students and alumni!



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