South Korean pilot YoungMin Ham died in a paragliding accident in Pokhara on Saturday 7 December. He was 43.
YoungMin was flying acro when the accident happened. Witnesses report that after getting into trouble his reserve did not deploy properly and he drifted away from the lake and impacted with the ground. Police said the accident happened around 3.30pm.
GIN Gliders boss Gin Seok Song, who had arrived in Nepal on 9 December and is also South Korean, led the tributes to YoungMin at a funeral on the morning of Tuesday 10 December.
Gin preceded a minute’s silence by introducing YoungMin to the estimated 200 people present, which included friends, local pilots and some family. He said YoungMin had a passion for flight from an early age and that he would always be in the sky as they flew.
The funeral, a cremation, was a mix of Nepali and South Korean traditions and was described by one who was there as “very beautiful”.
YoungMin was a well-known pilot in South Korea and an active competition pilot. He won the South Korean Paragliding Championships earlier this year, and had been competing since 2001.
As well as competition flying he was a keen adventure pilot and was one of several South Korean pilots who traversed the Himalaya from west to east in a paragliding expedition in 2011. A keen paramotor pilot he had also flown in Siberia.
Cross Country extends its sincere condolences to YoungMin’s family and friends.
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