Owner

Pat Denevan

Owner Pat Denevan is a leader in the development of modern hang gliding training standards and the USHGA Instructor Certification Program. In 2001, he received the United States Hang Gliding Association's instructor of the year award. Learn more about Pat in the History section.


 

Service Department

Brian Fallon

Brian has worked at several hang gliding manufactures, is a master sail maker and advanced rated Pilot. If there is a problem with your harness or wing he is the man to fix it.


 

Instructors

Auturo Melean

 

Arturo Melean originally from Bolivia, is a master H5 rated pilot and a certified USHPA basic and advanced instructor. He has been instructing hang gliding for Mission Soaring Center since 1995. The hundreds of pilots that trained with him is a living testimony to his success as an instructor. Don't forget he is bilingual. "Bienvenidos a la comunidad ispana".


 Dave Sutz

Dave started hang gliding with Pat in the early 70's. In college he received a sailplane license. Later he joined the Navy and spent 3 years in Spain flying hang gliders and reconnaissance planes. Dave then took a break from hang gliding, but still flew as a pilot for American Airlines. His hiatus from hang gliding lasted for another 16 years while he raised his two sons. Dave finally returned to hang gliding with his youngest son David who was 12 at the time. Pat's son gave his son his first lessons, the cycle repeats. Dave's favorite thing to do on his days off is to either fly with his son or teach new students how to fly.


Dave Yount

Dave has been flying for 27 years and 23 of those years has been teaching students. The longest distance he has flown is 175 miles and his longest duration has been 7 1/2hrs. Dave is an Administrator for Hang Glider Instructors. Dave is Mission Soaring Center''s lead tandem pilot. Twenty years ago dave married one of his students and had three daughters with her. All these ladies have taken tandem flights and have taken hillside classes with Dave. His two grand children are next inline to take to freeflight.


 Eric Froehlich

Eric was drawn to the sport as a child after seeing photos of his Grandpa back in the 30's ridge soar in a glider. He took his first course as a college student in the late 80's. He is a certified USHPA Beginning and Advanced Instructor and Certified Tandem Instructor. Eric has competed in Cross Country and Speed Gliding competitions in California, Washignton and Idaho. He was a past the President of the Wings of Rogallo and has led multiple trips to introduce intermediate and advanced pilots to the Owens Valley and high Sierra mountain flying. Eric moved to Marina to be able to fly the dunes running along the Monterey Bay with his fellow Coastal Condors. When not flying Eric is a Web developer for Modern-Primates and is assists with updates to the Mission Soaring Center website which he created several years ago.


 Evan Harding

Evan started hang gliding when he was a teenager in 1982. He also attained a pilot's license, and is rated for both Instrument and Commercial flight, but prefers flying hang gliders. He has a masters degree in Business Administration/Finance and a Minor in Aviation Operations. Though Evan is busy both as a manager, husband and father of several children, he still fits in instructing at Tres Pinos when ever it's possible. Evan is bingual with both H3/P3 ratings. "I really enjoy sharing the experience of a student's first flight. Everyone leaves with a big smile and sense of accomplishment and it's just a fun time. I think it's one of the best experiences in life. So get out there!"


 Karl Almendinger

Literally a rocket scientist who worked for NASA on such projects as the Hubble Telescope. Karl brings to Mission a concise understanding of aerodynamics. His background as a powered pilot and extended history of foot launch flight and past Vice President and Safety Director for the Wings of Rogallo and Hang glider test pilot provides Mission the type of depth that most schools only dream of.


 

Michael MacDonald

Michael has been instructing for Mission Soaring since 2000, just two years after he took his first hang gliding lesson with us. He loves teaching others to fly and learning from his students. His most memorable flight? "Without a doubt, soaring with California Condors in the Sierra Nevada Mountains."


 

Mike Stott

Mike lives in the Sierra's and graces us low altitude humans with his stories of flying over Tahoe and instructing those that might have such an inkling.