February 27, 2024
Success Stories

Friends with benefits/ SkyRiders, Paracin and Dardania Air Clubs to raise the stakes higher

4 November 2022

A desire to cooperate is immortalised in a handshake. Dusan Lukic, from Paracin Aero Club in Serbia and Rinor Nishevci, from Fly Dardania in Kosovo*, met during the “Bird’s Perspective from Balkan Clean Sky” project in September. 

Both of them, together with 44 others, are direct beneficiaries of the project funded by the Western Balkans Fund, with the dual aim of promoting adventure tourism and protecting the environment of the Western Balkans Region. 

Lukic and Rishevci are professional jumpers and paragliding pilots. However, gliding for them is a new experience. A WBF team asked a few questions to both shortly after their flight.

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Read Part One

 My life, the dream and the Western Balkans Fund 

http://westernbalkansfund.org/2022/11/03/my-life-the-dream-and-the-wbf-project/

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 Read Part Two

From Podujevo to the sky/ Fly Dardania, ready to take off after the WBF project

http://westernbalkansfund.org/2022/11/04/from-podujevo-to-the-sky-fly-dardania-ready-to-take-off-after-the-wbf-project/ 
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Dusan Lukic, Aero Club Nasa Krila, Paracin, Serbia

WBF – Could you tell me more about your club?

We come from the aeroclub “Nasa Krila” from Paracin, a very old club with a strong tradition. It was founded in 1935, and I have been in this club for six years. We do parachuting and have one of the best places to try free fall jumps. We train for independent jumps and commercial jumps with the paragliding pilot. You can find us on the Instagram page Sky Diving Serbia. 

Is this the first time you cooperate with regional partners, or do you do this often?

Since I am in this club, this is the first time we have cooperated with the regional partners, I believe they have done it before, but in these five years, this is my first time in Prilep and any regional cooperation project between the clubs. I enjoy it; everything is great, the gliding and the organisation. We used to have gliding in Paracin, but it was shut down. Right now, in Paracin, we only have parachuting and pilot training. 

What do you think about being here? Do you like cooperation with the partners?

Yes, yes, everything is excellent. Maybe the weather is not great today for gliding; for us is great because it’s not too hot, but I believe that for the whole event it would be better if the weather is a bit warmer, for flights to last longer. 

Will you continue this cooperation in the future?  

Yes, it is absolutely possible, and we should, not just by parachuting but also in aviation. Unfortunately, in Serbia but in the whole Balkans, it is dying, and we need to do something about it.

How was your flight?

Oh, it was amazing; although I am 5 years in the air, it was my first time taking the commands in my hands and trying to fly, and it was a really indescribable feeling. 

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Rinor Nishevci, Fly Dardania Club

WBF – You are a paragliding pilot. Is it different from gliding?

I only can talk about paragliding since I have never flown before glider. But as I have learned from this course that we did for the gliders, all devices have the same concepts. It adds another challenge. I want to learn how to fly a glider in the future.

You go to places that others usually don’t go to. And because of that, we believe the project has a good potential to identify and fight pollution. Do you agree?

Absolutely. When you go top of a mountain, you see where the line of pollution starts. From the air, you can identify much better where it comes from. And the pictures we can take can help raise awareness about a clean environment. 

What do you think about the project?

This project is excellent since it involves three Contracting Parties, Kosovo, Serbia and North Macedonia. We have socialised with many new people here, and through sports, we can contribute to promoting friendships and reconciliation all around the Region.  

Is this friendship something you plan to build upon in the future?

I have met many Serbian and North Macedonian colleagues, and as my instructor, Fadil (part two) said, it will happen in the future. The next organisation will take place in Kosovo, and I believe the next one will involve more paragliding. We have very good paragliding pilots, and the same goes for Serbia and North Macedonia. I am sure we are building very solid ground here.

Hope this will be expanded in many dimensions that you can work, like sustainable and adventure tourism, etc

That’s what I hope also. Through sport, we can change as people. I think sport brings people much closer than each other and in history, it is not involved and you don’t make any prejudgements to anyone in the Region.