“Flight Junkie” looking to break record

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Flying can either frighten or thrill and for Kurt Fister it has been a thrill since he was a little boy. In August, Fister is looking to keep the thrills going for an entire day as he attempts to keep a paraglider in the air for 24 hours without landing.

“I’m going to shoot for a non-stop, 24-hour flight without landing, which is going to pose a lot of possibilities and a lot of obstacles I will have to overcome,” said Fister.”Refueling is going to be hard because I cannot land, so I am going to have to come down and physically grab a fuel cell with my hand or foot, take it back up, fuel it in the tank. Even going to the bathroom is going to be a challenge.”

A paraglider is basically a circular metal frame with a motorized fan on the back. According to Fister, there are no FAA regulations for the paragliders and they can be piloted by just about anyone. Fister usually flies out of a field on Route 82 in Leavittsburg.

As a flight instructor, Fister said he relives his first experience in flight every time a student takes to the air. Student Dan Vervick is one of those students hooked on flying. He said nothing else matches the feeling.

“You’re free up there,” said Vervick. “It’s an eye opener, and I just start stuttering because I cannot get it all out quick enough.”

Even though Fister has already broken one world record, he is ready for the challenge again. This time, he wants to turn the event into a fundraiser for cancer research. Fister said he is working on a “pledge by hour” type of donation for people to contribute.

For more information about Flight Junkies and paragliding, click here.

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