Jerzy Szemplinski became a glider pilot in his native Poland when he was 16 years old. At 19 he started flying in competitions and became a junior vice-champion of Poland. By the age of 22 he had completed all the requirements for the FAI gold badge with three diamonds. For the next eight years, he participated in national contests as one of the youngest pilots in the country and also represented Poland in various international contests.
Jerzy worked as a commercial instructor at the wave-flying school in Jelenia Gora, Poland. He also flew as a crop-dusting pilot for several seasons. During this time, he graduated university with a Master's degree in sports education, specializing in aviation sports. Before immigrating to Canada in 1985 he spent 4 years working in Segelflugschule Oerlinghausen Germany.
Jerzy worked in various jobs in Canada until earning his Canadian commercial pilot's licence and then flew as a crop-dusting pilot in Northern Ontario. In 1987 he started his current profession as a financial advisor with Manulife Financial. After arriving in Canada Jerzy did not fly gliders, but for 13 years raced sailboats on Georgian Bay with successful wins in three consecutive years in the Georgian Bay Sailing Regatta. A 2002 visit to Poland inspired him to return to gliding and he subsequently passed the Canadian requirements for a glider pilot's license, joined SOSA Gliding Club and in the same year he took part in his first Canadian gliding contest.
He has since flown in Canadian, Polish and US national contests and represented Canada at the 2008 World Championships in Germany finishing 11th and at the 2010 World Championships in Hungary finishing 4th, placed 8th in 2012 World Championships Uvalde Texas winning 2 days out of 12, placed 14 in 2017 World Championships in Benalla, Australia. He also placed 3rd in the Polish Open Class Nationals in 2008 Jerzy was the three-time Canadian Champion 2011, 2014, and 2016. Additionally, he won the 2012 15 metre US National Championships and 2015 and 2016 18metre US National Championships.
In 2015 he won the 1st Pan American Championships in 15meter class, Mc Minn TN. He is also the winner of two USA Soaring Grand Prix in 2016 Ionia MI, and 2017 Seminole Florida. Additionally, Jerzy finished second in the 2018 US Grand Prix held at Seminole Lake Florida qualifying for the Grand Prix final in Spain 2019.
In 2013 and 2017 he placed 2nd at the 18 metre US Nationals and won several US Regional contests In the 2010-2017 period.
Jerzy holds several Canadian distance/speed records and is the holder of a 1000 km FAI Diploma. To date, he has flown over 4,400 hours in gliders, covering a total distance 255,000 km including several flights over 1,000 km. As a volunteer gliding instructor, he teaches new pilots and he is actively involved in sponsoring, supporting Canadian Youth Soaring Team.