In this series we will introduce some pilots that we have a special relationship with so you can get to know them. This one will be dedicated to Enak Gavaggio aka Rancho!

Can you introduce yourself in a few words?

EG : I’m your typical Jack of all trades, master of none. I need to play, I need a challenge, otherwise I’m not interested in an activity. And I love to share, I cannot do something if I am not sharing or having a laugh with someone. In summary, I do/did all sort of stuff : paragliding, free-fall jumping, base jumping, hockey, skiing, snowboarding, martial arts, tennis, golf, cycling and surfing.

When and how did you learn paragliding ?

EG : I started paragliding in 1998 and base jumping/free-fall jumping in 2000. I went into paragliding recklessly and bought my Vision Up before actually starting paragliding.
Firstly, I did a one-week course during a raining week meaning we did not fly so I learned with my friends in the fields behind our houses! My first steps in paragliding are the one you should never do!
My third flight was a soaring session during which I hit the floor twice before going back home…
During my seventh flight I found myself lifted by a cumulonimbus without knowing how to do the “big ears”. I tried pulling my A-lines (which I quickly released!), then my “stabilos”. Realising that those 2 techniques did not work and that I absolutely needed to come down I proceeded in doing 36’s and almost fainting while doing so… I ended up landing in a horse-riding course, flying near a high-voltage line…
Despite those experiences I managed to collide with my best friend then bump my stabilo against his… Anyway I was reckless when everyone told me to be patient. I got really scared flying way too early in the afternoon so I decided to do only do “bomb out” flights now in the early morning or evening.

What is your kind of paragliding ?

EG : My Leaf 2 is now my second glider! Now I am forbidden to get my Vision out again, I think it. I love flying calmly and smoothly so I can FaceTime my nephew or my friends to say hi! I’m not an amazing pilot, even though I’ve been doing it for 20 years, but I love those relaxing moments and the sound of the wind in the lines.

Could you share an interesting paragliding memory with us ?

EG : My favourite fly took place in Åre (Norway) with my friend Romain Raisson who has been flying with Supair gear for more than 25 years !

Credit - Photo : Rossignol

What are your upcoming projects ?

EG : It's all very casual : going to the take-off site with some friends (by foot or other means), sharing those last moments before going into the air and leaving ground, crossing paths in flight, having fun! And of course, I love tandem flights as a passenger so I can get off my harness whenever I feel like it ! With a parachute obviously 🙂