Veske: Bougainville Travel Paragliding Captain

Veske Paragliding Team Captain, Bougainville Travel, Kaş, Turkey

Veske Paragliding Team Captain

Veske is currently the team captain of the paragliding team of Bougainville Travel and comes originally from Izmir where he was born on the 27th of March, 1972. He graduated from Dokuz Eylül University in Izmir with a degree in economics.

Veske was the subject of an interview by Natalie Sayin, author of the Turkish Travel Blog during her Solo Tour of the South West Coast of Turkey. The article is called Paragliding in Turkey:Thrilling Experience or Safety Hazard?.

Witness the excitement of this exciting sport in photos  on their Facebook Paragliding Photo Album.

When Veske was 16 years old, he did his first parachute jump out of an airplane. Later, he worked as a skydive instructor to the THK (Türk Hava Kurumu) or Turkish Air Forces, and jumped for the skydive national team of Turkey. During this time he started to do paragliding. In 1996, during an international sky diving competition in Bodrum, he decided that he might never achieve the level of competition of his American counterparts and so, in 1997, when he was 25 years old, he left the THK and started to work as a free-lance instructor for paragliding. For the last twelve years he has been paragliding as a tandem pilot.

Veske has worked for a variety of companies as a paragliding pilot including Skysport Paragliding (2000 – 2001), Akya Paragliding (2001 – 2003) and Kaş Adventure Travel and Diving from 2003 until the present. Veske is currently the team captain of the paragliding team of Bougainville Travel.

Veske, Saffet and Ömer the Bougainville Travel Paragliding Team, Kaş, Turkey

Veske, Saffet and Ömer BT Paragliding Team

His team mates are Ömer Tekin and Saffet Taşdelen. Saffet has had similar experiences with the THK and over 20 years of flying.

Ömer came from the civilian side and learned his profession while a student at the university and has over 9 years of experience with tandem piloting.

Veske is a certified pilot through the Turkish Aeronautical Association

which is “a non-profit organization with an aim of increasing public awareness and participation in aviation related activities and the national body governing air sports in Turkey” and the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (FAI)
“the world governing body for air sports and aeronautics and astronautics world records.”

Every day for 22 years, Veske has been flying and still he is not getting bored from it. During this time, Veske has accumulated over 1,350 skydives and more then 6,000 paragliding flights. He flies with passengers from different countries all over the world and he loves to share their excitement with this fantastic sport.

Veske loves his work and his interaction with customers. He tries hard to make sure that customers are relaxed and smiling before they take off and that they are given careful instruction about what they should and should not do and what they should expect during their flight.

Kaş is an almost perfect location for paragliding. The take off point is less than 20 minutes from Kaş and the surrounding hills are unique because of their size and location and the resultant updrafts which make paragliding so much fun. The hills are such that they gliders can safely come close to them and there are many creatures to be seen such as eagles or mountain goats. Unusual for most other parts of Turkey.


Pre-flight Safety Briefing Bougainville Travel Paragliding, Kaş, Turkey

Pre-flight Safety Briefing

However, have you ever wondered why there is almost never an accident in this potentially hazardous adventure sport?

Your safety is paramount and ensured by experienced pilots who fly four times a day, every day, taking all sorts of passengers on this amazing adventure. Every passenger is briefed and issued with a helmet and flying suit, and all pilots carry reserve chutes and communication systems. There is no flight if there is any meteorological contra-indication on any given day.

NOTE: Adventure Travel by its very nature is supposed to have a certain element of risk, if it did not, it would not be fun. Air sickness, like sea sickness, is not fun and is always possible. Before you fly, you should inform the pilots if you have had previous instances of air or sea sickness or, if you have such concerns or feel ill, you obviously should not attempt a flight.

Veske believes in safety first and always. He wants his customers to have a great experience but a safe one. He has great self confidence and self-discipline coupled with over 20 years of experience. He believes these are the “secrets” to safety in paragliding.

His experience was sharpened in the Turkish military and from that he learned discipline in looking at the big picture and never trusting anything to chance. He is personally responsible for checking both his own equipment as well as his co-pilots and the attitudes and abilities of his customers. He is always monitoring the weather conditions and will call off a flight if the weather is not acceptable.

Another safety point for tandem flying is that Veske always goes last after his co-pilots have safely taken off from the starting point. This way he is able to check equipment and attitudes of passengers one last time and to help get the customer and pilot started successfully for takeoff. He is also able to observe his pilots and warn them of last minute wind changes or other conditions by two way radio. When it is his turn he uses the driver of their vehicle to assist in his takeoff. He believes no other paragliding organization uses helpers this much.

We asked him about solo pilots and their less than perfect safety record. Tandem pilots are more experienced than solo pilots and they have the added responsibility of a passenger so they never take unnecessary chances nor do they relax their committment to equipment checking and pre-flight briefings. Veske advises solo pilots to check with others who fly regularly in Turkey for advice about weather conditions, obstacles and other problems unique to their flying location.

Interesting moment:

A very interesting moment in his career was a flight with a wine salesman. The salesman brought a bottle of wine to the flight and while they flew over the sea they opened the bottle and drank the wine. “Flying and drinking wine with a passenger at the same time was fun“, he tells us but, at the same time, he says please, “do not drink and fly“.

Veske tells us: “If you want to experience a very special moment in your life I am waiting for you in Kaş. Don’t you want to feel free like a bird? I am flying so I am!