Paragliders have a field day in Malaysian tour


  • Nation
  • Monday, 21 Apr 2003

BY K. SAITHURUKA

KUALA LUMPUR: Thirty-seven pilots flew their paramotors between the Petronas Twin Towers and landed safely at Dataran Merdeka, ending the final leg of the Motorised Paragliding Tour Malaysia (MPG) 2003 yesterday.  

The event yesterday started from the Bukit Jalil family park and pilots had a field day flying across Kuala Lumpur, with some carrying Peace Malaysia flags on their paramotors alongside their national flags.  

HIGH-FLYERS:Paramotoring participants gliding in betweenthe Petronas Twin Towers in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.

A participant from South Africa, Keith Pickersgill, who has 13 years of experience as a paraglider and 10 in paramotoring, said it was a fascinating experience to fly around Kuala Lumpur as other countries restricted such a move. 

“Kuala Lumpur is probably the only city to allow it and it was fantastic. It’s the best flight in my life to date and the weather was reasonably good,” he said, adding that he had flown in many countries but this was his first visit to Malaysia. 

The tour had started in Kuching on April 10 and moved on to Johor on April 16.  

British participant Eddie Cartwright said he was nervous approaching the Twin Towers as he was the first pilot to come close to it. 

“At first, I thought the gap would be too narrow for my paramotor to fly through but as I moved forward, I realised it could fit in three (units) of our equipment,” he said. 

Cartwright concurred that the MPG 2003 tour was unique because it allowed pilots to fly around the city. 

“Most of the time, they would only allow pilots to fly in designated areas,” he said. 

The pilots – from South Africa, Britain, Russia, Germany, Japan and Malaysia –completed a two-hour flying session using the Bukit Jalil-Bangsar-KLCC-Dataran Merdeka route, with clearance from the Department of Civil Aviation, police and City Hall. 

Malaysian Paramotor Association secretary Rohaizi Mohd Hussin said all pilots managed to land safely without glitches. 

A participant himself, he said the tour was an annual international event.  

He said this was the sixth consecutive year that the tour was organised and this year was the biggest with 37 pilots.  

The sport was introduced to Malaysia in 1997 by association president Lt Kol Basir Abd Rahman, who first picked it up while he was in the army. 

The highest altitude reached by an MPG pilot is about 4,500m.  

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