South Bend aviation enthusiast glides through the sky by powered paragliding
SOUTH BEND, Ind. – Kevin Kemble is a man of many things. What he is not, is a man meant to stay on the ground – in a literal sense.
He is an aviation enthusiast and man of the sky who has overcome hardship through a newly discovered hobby and is looking to share his passion with others.
Kemble started his journey in the air 30 years ago with his father, Bob. The two shared a love for aviation as Bob was in the United States Air Force.
He learned to fly paraplanes and ultralights among other aircraft throughout his years.
But 2016 proved to be a year filled with challenges and heartbreak. Kemble’s father was diagnosed with stage four cancer and lost the battle.
His father’s death sent him into a deep depression and with not flying in six years due to Avascular Necrosis in his hip, he felt as if his life was spiraling out of control.
But as quickly as the winds change, so would Kemble’s life.
While searching YouTube, he came across a video, like this, showing a man paramotoring through the sky. It sparked an interest he couldn’t shake.
After a month of research, Kemble purchased a paramotor and a wing to make his idea come alive. He said the cost was similar to that of a snowmobile and is small enough to conveniently fit in the bed of his pickup truck.
He took his first solo flight on Friday, October 13, 2017 with the help of fellow power paragliders and his supportive wife, Terri.
From there, the rest is history.
Every flight consists of wind tests, careful preparation, and double checked safety equipment. This sport is not for the faint of heart.
He said for most, the experience would be terrifying but for him, it’s exhilarating.
Kemble said his next goal is to bring classes and instruction to northern Indiana in the summer of 2018.
He plans on working with local airports in South Bend, LaPorte, Michigan City, and Niles to engage more interest in the sport.