USHPA article January 2011
Paragliding | Benoit Bruneau
By C.J. Sturtevant
One of student point out that, like all good instructor, Benoit has a greater-than-average share of effective techniques, commitment to safety, knowledge of the sport, skills in reading and interpreting the sky and weather, passion for flying, patience, contribution to the positive image and growth of the sport, sense of humor and attention to detail. So what elevate Benoit above the crowd? From many anecdotes highlighting this instruction and skills and style, I've excerpted four:
One nominator suggests that at least in part, it's "...his thick French accent, with all the inflection , intonation, and pronunciation of a French mountaineer sipping red wine and eating cheese along the trail to the top of Mount Blanc in the French Alps. I vividly remember my first day kiting in the humid heat of a Northeastern summer, with sun blazing, cicadas buzzing, and sweat dripping down my face. At one point I had flung my helmet to the ground in frustration and Benoit came up beside me, put a hand on my shoulder handed me some water and said, "
Another suggests, " Imagine someone with the knowledge of, say, Dennis Pagen, the intensity, and zeal of a committed athlete, the passion, and adventurous spirit of a mountain climber, the subtle lightheartedness of a good friend, and an accent like Jean Paul Sartre or Jacques Chirac -- Then you begin to get a picture of Benoit : a dedicated, knowledgeable, wise and safety minded paragliding instructor."
An interesting metaphor: "Unlike, say, salsa dancing, paragliding is not an activity where you can get by with a second rate instructor. Benoit is exactly the person you'd want as a teacher: knowledgeable about the technique, meticulous about safety, and encouraging when the going gets tough."
And beyond teaching, "Another thing that elevates Benoit to a status deserving recognition is his effort to create a community around the school. Like many New Yorkers, I don't have a car. For many years, this was