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Speed Flyer Dies After Take-Off in Squamish

Kyle Wolochatiuk, 40, died on Sunday, July 25, during a flight from The Chief in Squamish.

Speed flying is similar to paragliding, a sport that has become very popular over the past decade in Squamish, but utilizes a smaller wing.

The BC Coroner’s Service said Wolochatiuk died after encountering problems during his flight around 6 p.m. on Sunday after launching from the first peak of The Chief.

Kyle Wolochatiuk
Kyle Wolochatiuk

“Unfortunately, we’re not quite sure what went wrong at the beginning,” said Barb McClintock of the BC Coroners Service. “I think there [is] some video, so we’re going to try and do some more investigation, but somehow or other, he was descending very quickly and he hit a tree.

“As a result, everything then went wrong. He lost complete control of the chute and fell all the way to the bottom, which was probably a distance of about 500 metres.”

Wolochatiuk and his wife moved from Ontario to B.C. a number of years ago. There are reports his wife is due to give birth in the next few days.

In 2013, Jeff Bertoia, 36, was the first speed-flyer to die in Squamish after he fell to his death from Mount Habrich.

Wolochatiuk often filmed his flights. Here is a short video from earlier this year of him flying over Squamish using an 11-metre speed wing: