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Steve@XCBrazil.com

 

About Us

Hi, I’m Steve Barton. I first started flying about 15 years ago when I learnt to fly hang gliders with the late, great, Keith Cockroft. An amazing pilot and a really nice person as well. I couldn’t afford to buy a glider at that time so things were put on hold for a few years.

9 years ago, with more time and money on my hands, I decided to give it another go. After completing my EP in Cornwall I started training in earnest with Brad Nicholas, of Snowdon Gliders. What a fantastic place to learn! Brad was really thorough and patient with me, despite the fact that I wrapped his glider over a wall once! It wasn’t my first accident, or my last, but I learnt a lot from those early mishaps and I’m now in a position to help others to avoid making the same mistakes. I’ve kept in touch with Brad ever since and he’s continued teaching me, long after completing my CP.

Brad got me though my Pilot rating, in 2003, and then I started working towards becoming an instructor. I took every opportunity to increase my knowledge and ‘add another string to the bow’. I spent a lot of time and shed loads of money investing in my flying career, determined that one day I would start working as an instructor and eventually start doing some fly-guiding myself.

Every time I went abroad, I paid for professional guiding. It was money very well spent and I learned from some of the best, not only about the flying but also picking up useful information about how to run a successful fly-guiding business.

I first came to Brazil in February 2004 with Jocky Sanderson, world renowned pilot and instructor. Jocky runs Escape Paragliding, based in Cumbria, and has been teaching cross-country and SIV for many, many years. After that first visit, notching up my first 50km flight, I returned again and again.

Over the next few years I worked as a Trainee Instructor, initially with Jocky and then with Ian Currer, Neil Cruikshank and Ian Brown at Sunsoar Paragliding. They are a very professional team, running a variety of courses, both in the UK and abroad. I also helped Jocky when he was running some of his courses abroad.

I’ve flown in some wonderful places around the world – France, Spain, Turkey, Greece, Lanzarote, Morocco, Australia, South Africa and, of course, Brazil. I’ve met some fantastic people and flown with some superb pilots but so far I haven’t found anywhere to beat Brazil. It’s not just the flying, it’s the whole atmosphere of the place. Brasileiros will use any excuse to start up a party, and they certainly know how to party! Many of them have so little, by way of money or possessions, and yet they are so generous with what they do have.

In 2005 I met and fell in love with Jaqueline. We were married in December 2006 and, after spending a few wet and windy months living in a caravan in Cumbria, we decided to move out here permanently. I haven’t looked back since!

I love the challenge of flying cross-country, and particularly in the mountains, but I don’t miss those big walk-ups in the UK. Brazil has so much variety and the scenery is difficult to beat, anywhere in the world.