Personable and fun, Dr. Mitch Shipley excels at flying — and at whatever else he decides to do, too. He’s been hang gliding since 1987 and competed actively from 1995-2002. He flew more than 100 hours and 1000-2000 cross country miles each of those years, racking up numerous accolades and site records. He began flying tandem in 1997 so he could take his sons with him into the sky. He’s introduced many others to the joys of hang gliding since, and is a gifted, empathetic and thorough instructor.
This overachiever graduated from the United States Naval Academy and completed a 21 year naval career in submarines and submarine related research. He rides dirt bikes, boasts 500 sky-dives and routinely crushes his age group in running and triathlon races.
He’s also a devoted father who dotes on “his boys.”
Are you surprised that he flies the tow plane, too? I didn’t think so.
Where Quest and all of its crazy fun started is with co-founders and owners Russell Brown and Campbell Bowen. Russell is an ace tandem instructor and tug pilot as well as Quests’s chief mechanic. Campbell, a past national hang gliding champion, tandem instructor and tug pilot, is still a fierce competitor who can usually be found at the top of a thermal.
The word most often associated with Bobby Bailey is genius. He’s a gifted tow pilot, regarded as one of the best if not the best in the world. He’s a gifted aircraft designer as well, building his first hang glider at the age of 18. He designed the Moyes-Bailey Dragonfly tug that sets the standard for towing hang glider pilots worldwide, and in 1995, received a Presidential Citation from the United States Hang Gliding Association – its highest honor – for his history of contribution to the sport of hang gliding through the development and promotion of aerotowing technology.
In 2003, he was inducted into the Rogallo Foundation Hall of Fame for his contribution for the betterment of safety, progress, recognition, promotion, growth and development of low speed flight and the design and development of the Moyes Bailey tug. In 2008, his homebuilt glider won the Red Bull Flugtag in Tampa.
Currently, he is partners with Bill Moyes in Liteflite and spends his winters in Australia.