Icarus Trophy Pilot Spotlights

Mr Shane knows more about the Icarus Trophy than perhaps anyone out there so we asked him to put together a spotlight on the pilots taking part in the 2017 race. 

R-Rated Pilot Profile - Dean Kelly


Name: Dean Kelly
Home state/country: Melbourne, Australia
Age: 46
Weight: 225lb (big guy)
Paramotor: Nirvana Instinct 230
Wing: Niviuk Kougar2 23m
Fuel carried: 19L
Paramotor experience: 2+yrs

Dean is an Icarus Trophy Adventure veteran. For those who weren’t born yesterday (to the Icarus), you may remember Dean being Trey German and Mr. James’ flying partner in the Icarus Trophy 2016 - coming soon to a theater near you. Dean was trained by two-time Icarus champion David Wainwright (kind of a big deal), and inspired to run the race by his late flying buddy, Dean Bradshaw. Bradshaw was an accomplished paramotor pilot in Australia before he tragically passed in a car accident six months ago, shocking the Australian flying community, who adored him. 

Weeks before, Bradshaw had confirmed with Dean (Kelly) that he planned to fly the Icarus this year as a duo - Team Dean. 

Serious stuff.

Dean now races for Bradshaw, and you might be interested to know that he has chosen to honor his friend by doing the most hilarious thing he can think of, racing in a chicken suit with the name “BRADSHAW” stitched on the back. We love his style, in clothing anyway.


Now for the real talk, Dean is what we would call stateside a “dumpster fire” at times. He entered race class and had a very tough first day at launch while his race mate Trey was blowing launches left and right in “switching 2’s” at the start line in Polson. Painful to watch. He broke some parts, threw a shit-fit, sucked down a lung-dart (dozza), and recomposed himself. 

He’s been gunning it ever since with some upsets here and there ranging from cussing fits after failed launches, to knocking out power to a rural town by burying his glider in a low-tension wire while flying in for a steak dinner dressed as a chicken. #everybodyneedsalittleKFD They couldn’t take his payment because obviously the credit card machine was down. Sorry about that, luckily he’s well-insured.

Dean started strong in race class with Tucker, Canyon, and Trey; but after multiple setbacks, he realized he was trying too hard, and sadly selected to drop down to adventure division.

His upsets are thankfully only educational, and slightly funny the next day. Dean is supported by a large network of paramotor pilots in Australia watching his every move and waiting to bust his balls when he messes up. It’s an Auzzie thing, but they’re highly competitive and driven, and they tend to have the most fun on the adventures we cook up.

If they don’t have locktite anywhere in this town
I’ll cut me cock off and stick it up me ass.
— Dean Kelly

- Said during what Mr. Shane refers to as a 'midnight grief-counseling session' in Jackpot, NV

They didn’t. No further updates on that project.

From a flying perspective, Dean is a very skilled pilot with a lot of experience with this type of unsupported flying. But there is a huge difference between a 180lb pilot and a 225lb pilot, and the difference is that in nil wind at 7000’ density altitude is that the large framed fellows like Dean have to run at mach 1 while efficiently kiting their gliders for about three times the distance as a lightweight pilot. It’s all about power-to-weight ratio in the butt-fan game, and even 20lbs makes a HUGE difference.

If anything, the hardships show his tenacity to honor his friend that he’s out here smashing it and flying up the miles while duck-taping his machine together (pun intended) and having a laugh with his friend Trey. He’s legitimately the biggest cock on the field and he’s getting on pretty well considering all that’s happened leading up to this point. 

For the fans, if you knew Dean personally you would know that he is one of the most vicious ball-busters out there, and he would be highly offended if our description of him wasn’t highly offensive. Sorry it’s not family friendly, but the editors still have to approve this so it’s not my fault (sorry Mom). [Also sorry Shane's mum - Ed]

Dean is a good mate who has made lifelong friends on his Icarus travels, he truly has the spirit and he gives it a go even though he sucks at flying paramotors. Even though he has given me a gray hair here and there, it wouldn’t be the adventure it is without him.

Pilot Profile - Lara Kjeldsen 


Name: Lara Kjeldsen
Home state/country: Florida, USA
Age: I wouldn’t dare ask a lady
Weight: Still wouldn’t dare ask a lady
Paramotor: Air Conception Nitro200
Wing: Ozone Spyder 24m (North Face logo)
Fuel carried: 12L (no external tank)
Paramotor experience: 9 months

Lara is our youngest fledgling, with a grand total of 9 months of paramotoring and about 80 flights under her belt. Though she’s the paramotoring “newb” of the group, she isn’t shy on experience in the sky. Lara came out to the Icarus Trophy X-Series in Florida earlier this year with 3 months experience and still had a cracking time. Lara is flying the “Adventure Class,” which means she is allowed to have a support vehicle follow her, gas her up, set up her wing for her, and follow her down the road. Lara has elected Kyler, her husband for this role; as they just got married on August 9th of this year. Being the young adventurous couple that they are - this is actually their honeymoon. Awesome!


Back to Lara’s sky experience: she studied chemistry and theology at university for her undergrad, and then whilst pursuing her PhD at the Colorado School of Minds, she discovered a love for skydiving in 2004. Long story short, she fell in love, and we do not call her Dr. Lara.

She is the Chief Editor and co-owner of Blue Skies Magazine, a well-known skydiving publication in the states. Respect. Together with her Icelandic business partner/hetero-lifemate “Kolla,” they’ve been living the dream writing about their passion for years. Their most recent accomplishment is co-opting a branded set of “leggings” for skydiving ladies. #yogapants

Lara’s flights so far along the adventure race have been a mix of epic scenery and personal growth with the sport. The Icarus is, after all, the “World’s Toughest Air Race,” but she has no interest in the competitive element and is just out for the trip of a lifetime. In fact, she was inspired to learn paramotoring and partake in the event by her long-time friend, and legit “Legend of the Adventure” member Don McLester. You may remember his shit-show Icarus Trophy run from 2015 on the West Coast.

She had no idea what a following she has attracted as the only female pilot on this circuit. Her most noteworthy encounter was landing in a field near rural Malta, ID to meet her husband for dinner. A mother, with five daughters in-tow tracked her progress and scrambled to meet the new celebrity at the steakhouse. After meeting Lara and hearing some stories, the family secretly bought Lara and Kyler’s dinner before sneaking out of the restaurant.

Lara still has a long road ahead of her. With weather incoming and making it tough for cross-country progress, she’s focused on seeing the sites and flying the best locations along the route before the finish line party. This very morning, she’ll be joined by Kester Haynes in a morning “salt flats” flying session. 

Blue skies and safe landings Lara, we’ve got your back!

Pilot Profile - Trey German


Home state/country: Texas, USA

Age: 30
Weight: 175lb
Paramotor: Air Conception Nitro 200
Wing: Ozone Scirocco2 22m
Fuel carried: 19L
Paramotor experience: 4 years

Trey German is no stranger to the challenges of the Icarus Trophy. In 2016 he won the “Spirit of the Adventure” trophy for the first Icarus Trophy X-Series in the states. Four months later he was mixing it up with the big boys in The Icarus Trophy 2016, which carried a similar route as this year. He fought valiantly as he teamed up with the likes of Sir James and Dean Kelly, but he was in it for the adventure and just having fun with his buddies. Six months later he was back at the IT-X in Florida where he won the race division solo.



An electrical engineer by trade, Trey is a creative entrepreneur who is currently working on a chip that turns a car into a self-driving car. Wow. Electro-engineering may not seem handy in the world of Adventure Paramotoring, but his latest claim to fame was hot-wiring an airport gate to drive his car in and rescue Dean from a toxic ass-chewing by an unruly airport manager. Sorry about that sir.

Trey raced for the trophy this year, but had some unfortunate luck while taking an aggressive line over the Bitterroot National Forest and had to “put her down” in gold-mining territory. After wandering the LZ for nine hours while coordinating a pickup via satellite messenger, he was forced to opt-out of race class and just have fun this trip. He’s still out there chewing up the mileage and having a great time - and enjoying all the new fans who have cheered him on.

Fun fact - Trey was inspired to train up and compete in the Icarus out of spite toward his ex-girlfriend, a Mongol Rally competitor in years past. Apparently, his grand plot is to fly his butt-fan around America growing the shittiest beard you could ever imagine while taking selfies and having a great time. Not sure what the end-game is there Trey, but we are having a laugh watching you do it.

Trey is sponsored by Aviator PPG http://www.aviatorppg.com, who did an amazing job of overnighting his spare parts to get Trey back in the race. Well done guys. He is also raising funds for charity with his flying efforts, directed toward the National Alliance on Mental Illness - https://www.nami.org

He’s also testing some high-tech PPG gear for his company, Polymorphic labs. An integrated Bluetooth/radio helmet that “doesn’t actually sound like shit when you’re pumping tunes and getting rocked by turbulence.” Sign me up Trey!

As you can see, Trey truly has the spirit of this event - and we hope to see him back on the race circuit in the future. Go Trey!

Pilot Profile - Jack Nordberg

Jack is a relative newcomer to paramotoring, but it’s been his dream to participate in the Icarus Trophy since he started. He loves all power sports, and routinely explores the hills and mountains of Montana on his paramotor, dirt bike, 4x4 truck, snowmobile, you get the idea... Jack’s friends would say he’s a naturally talented athlete and good at everything he tries, as evidenced by the fact that he’s flown an incredible distance unsupported thus far, even as a relatively low-time pilot.



Name: Jack Nordberg
Home state/country: Montana, USA
Age: Not disclosed, but he’s getting up there
Weight: 185lb
Paramotor: Scout Carbon / Vittorazi Moster 185+
Wing: Niviuk Kougar2 23 meter
Fuel carried: 19L
Paramotor experience: 1 year

Jack is in the Adventure Class, which means he’s not competing against the likes of the Tuckers and Canyons of the world. Instead, he’s in it for a good old-fashioned adventure and for the experience of completing such a feat.

Jack has (just yesterday) been joined by his son Beauas a sort of “support crew,” who is following his every move in the family RV. They’ve loaded that vehicle to the gills with their dirt bikes and other toys - and plan to hit as many epic outdoor recreation sites as possible when the weather doesn’t allow for flying. Given the terrain along the entire course, we think they’ll succeed in that goal. Go team Jack!

Pilot Profile - Canyon Hansen

A strong contender for the Trophy, and one of two pilots still eligible to win the coveted Icarus Trophy (race class); here is everything you need to know about “Captain Crunch Berries” and his progress so far tackling the toughest flying race in the world…

All business


Name: Canyon Hansen
Home state/country: Montana, USA
Age: Twice as old as Tucker at least
Weight: 225lb
Paramotor: Scout Carbon / Vittorazi Moster 185+
Wing: Niviuk Kougar2 25 meter
Fuel carried: 19L
Paramotor experience: 2+ years

As the stats say, Canyon is a Montana native and he knows those mountains like the back of his hand. With a name like “Canyon” he feels right at home dodging the dodgiest of mountain passes and navigating the Rockies on his flying butt-fan while uncharacteristically listening to rap music in his bluetooth headset. #straightouttapolson

Though Uncle C has only been flying a couple years, he’s already  acclimated to higher elevation takeoffs and almost always flies with auxiliary fuel - a unique advantage that very few paramotor pilots have.

His toughest challenges will be high-elevation takeoffs, and higher mountain crossings. Having a lower power-to-weight ratio means his climb rates, flight durations, and maximum altitude suffer when compared to pilots in the 180lb range.

His biggest advantage is having studied the Icarus Trophy events of past years, and actually participating as a crew member/groupie in 2016. Combine that with the “local knowledge” of being a Rocky Mountain dweller and a miner by trade in the past, and he has some serious potential to take home the trophy. After all, his name is “CANyon,” not “Can’tyon.”

We at The Adventurists accept no responsibilities for Mr Shane's Americanisms or attempts at what we normally call 'humour'.