The Birds in Paradise Team 

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Gerry Charlebois

Gerry is an FAA-certified Flight Instructor, an FAA-certified mechanic and a certified Rotax aircraft engine technician. He is also a Master Rated Hangglider Pilot by the United States Hanggliding Paragliding Association.

Gerry starting flying hang gliders in 1978. A year later he began teaching hang gliding on Oahu’s north shore. Winning the Hawaii state hang gliding championship brought corporate sponsorship and Gerry went on to compete on the national and international hang gliding circuit.

Gerry founded Birds in Paradise on Kauai in 1990 offering tandem hang gliding. In 1993, Birds in Paradise began offering powered gliding and, since that time, Gerry has logged more than 17,000 hours operating ultralight trikes and sharing the experience with more than 22,000 Birds in Paradise clients.

Gerry began using wing-mounted cameras on his glider to shoot the stunning visuals in the 1980s. He is one of the most published sport-aviation photographers in the world with more than 60 magazine cover shots. In 1997, he was named photojournalist of the year by the U.S. Ultralight Association. Combining his passion for trike flying with his passion for still and video photography, Gerry also produces films that capture the breathtaking scenery and marine life on Kauai. Epic Kauai, his most recent film featuring more awesome underwater and aerial footage of the Garden Isle, is available in stores on Kauai and also at Gerry's previous film Extreme Kauai can also be purchased on that site or in our online store.

Birds in Paradise has been featured on HDNet’s extreme travel show "Get Out!" as well as on the Discovery Channel, the Travel Channel and TV Land's High School Reunion show.

  Powered hang glider instructor - Gerry Charlebois


Eric Johnson

Eric is an FAA-certified Flight Instructor in weight-shift controlled (WSC) aircraft and airplane single sngine (ASE) as well as a commercial pilot with instrument rating in multi-engine aircraft. Eric is also one of the first Designated Pilot Examiners for sport pilots and flight instructors for WSC aircraft in the United States.

Eric went on his first flight in a sailplane at the age of 13. He began flying hang gliders in 1993 and fell in love with the freedom of flight. By 1996, he was an advanced hang glider pilot and was introduced to trikes (WSC). He attained a Private Pilot Certificate in airplanes in 1997 and by 1999 Eric was instructing full time at the premier flight school in the United States for trikes in Peoria, Az. While there, surrounded by the most knowledgeable people in the industry, he authored the Weight Shift Controlled Aviation Handbook.

Eric also completed additional flight training in 2001 earning ratings for Instrument and Multi-Engine flying and earning his Commercial and Flight Instructor certificates. For the past three years, Eric has been busy instructing and flying twin turbo-prop and tail-wheel aircraft, sailplanes, and trikes. His passion for light aircraft brings him back to flying trikes full time as he raises and supports his beautiful family on the island of Kauai.

  Powered hang glider instructor - Eric Johnson