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DECEMBER 2010 Volume 40 Issue 12 $6.95 Hang Gliding & Paragliding | www.USHPA .aero


HANG GLIDING & PARAGLIDING MAGAZINE

On the cover, Speedflying in France | photo by Jerome Maupoint. Meanwhile, Desiree Voight grabs a snapshot on her GoPro at Randolph, Utah.

MAGAZINE STAFF USHPA, Publisher: business@ushpa.aero Nick Greece, Editor: editor@ushpa.aero Greg Gillam, Art Director: art.director@ushpa.aero Martin Palmaz, Advertising: business@ushpa.aero Staff writers: Alex Colby, Chris Galli, Steve Messman, Dennis Pagen, Christina Ammon, Mark “Forger” Stucky, Ryan Voight, Tom Webster, CJ Sturtevant | Staff artist: Jim Tibbs Staff photographers: John Heiney, Jeff O'Brien, Jeff Shapiro

OFFICE STAFF Martin Palmaz, Director of Business Operations : business@ushpa.aero Robin Jones, Information Services Manager : tech@ushpa.aero Beth Hollendorfer, Membeship Services Coordinator: membership@ushpa.aero Terry Rank, Office Coordinator : office@ushpa.aero

USHPA OFFICERS & EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE Rich Hass, President: richhass@comcast.net Dave Wills, Vice President: dave@davewillsinc.com Bill Bolosky, Secretary: bill_bolosky@foundationforfreeflight.org Mark Forbes, Treasurer: mark@markforbes.com REGION 1: Rich Hass, Mark Forbes. REGION 2: Dave Wills, Urs Kellenberger, Bill Cuddy. REGION 3: Bill Helliwell, Rob Sporrer, Brad Hall. REGION 4: Mark Gaskill, Ken Grubbs. REGION 5: Lisa Tate. REGION 6: David Glover. REGION 7: Tracy Tillman. REGION 8: Jeff Nicolay. REGION 9: Felipe Amunategui, Hugh McElrath. REGION 10: Bruce Weaver, Steve Kroop, Matt Taber. REGION 11: David Glover. REGION 12: Paul Voight. REGION 13: Tracy Tillman. DIRECTORS AT LARGE: Dave Broyles, Leo Bynum, Riss Estes, Mike Haley, Dennis Pagen. EX-OFFICIO DIRECTOR: Art Greenfield (NAA).

SUBMISSIONS HANG GLIDING & PARAGLIDING magazine welcomes editorial submissions from our members and readers. All submissions of articles, artwork, photographs and or ideas for articles, artwork and photographs are made pursuant to and are subject to the USHPA Contributor's Agreement, a copy of which can be obtained from the USHPA by emailing the editor at editor@ushpa.aero or online at www.ushpa.aero. HANG GLIDING & PARAGLIDING magazine reserves the right to edit all contributions. We are always looking for well written articles and quality artwork. Feature stories generally run anywhere from 1500 to 3000 words. News releases are welcomed, but please do not send brochures, dealer newsletters or other extremely lengthy items. Please edit news releases with our readership in mind, and keep them reasonably short without excessive sales hype. Calendar of events items may be sent via email to editor@ushpa.aero, as may letters to the editor. Please be concise and try to address a single topic in your letter. Your contributions are greatly appreciated. If you have an idea for an article you may discuss your topic with the editor either by email or telephone. Contact: Editor, Hang Gliding & Paragliding magazine, editor@ ushpa.aero, (516) 816-1333. ADVERTISING ALL ADVERTISING AND ADVERTISING INQUIRIES MUST BE SENT TO USHPA HEADQUARTERS IN COLORADO SPRINGS. All advertising is subject to the USHPA Advertising Policy a copy of which may be obtained from the USHPA by emailing the Publisher at publisher@ushpa.aero. The USHPA is a member-controlled sport organization dedicated to the exploration and promotion of all facets of unpowered ultralight flight, and to the education, training and safety of its membership. Membership is open to anyone interested in this realm of flight. Dues for Rogallo membership are $270. Pilot memberships are $75 ($90 non-U.S.). Dues for Contributing membership and for subscription-only are $52 ($63 non-U.S.). $15 of annual membership dues goes to the publication of Hang Gliding & Paragliding magazine. Changes of address should be sent six weeks in advance, including name, USHPA number, previous and new address, and a mailing label from a recent issue. You may also email your request with your member number to: info@ushpa.aero.

The United States Hang Gliding and Paragliding Association Inc. (USHPA) is an air sports organization affiliated with the National Aeronautic Association (NAA), which is the official representative of the Fédération Aeronautique Internationale (FAI), of the world governing body for sport aviation. The NAA, which represents the United States at FAI meetings, has delegated to the HANG GLIDING & PARAGLIDING (ISSN 1543-5989) (USPS 17970) is published USHPA supervision of FAI-related hang gliding and paragliding activities such monthly by the United States Hang Gliding and Paragliding Association, Inc., as record attempts and competition sanctions. 1685 W. Uintah St., Colorado Springs, CO 80904, (719) 632-8300, FAX (719) 6326417. PERIODICAL postage is paid at Colorado Springs, CO and at additional HANG GLIDING & PARAGLIDING magazine is published for foot-launched air- mailing offices. sports enthusiasts to create further interest in the sports of hang gliding and paragliding and to provide an educational forum to advance hang gliding POSTMASTER Send change of address to: Hang Gliding & Paragliding and paragliding methods and safety. magazine, P.O. BOX 1330, Colorado Springs, CO 80901-1330. Canadian Post Publications Mail Agreement #40065056. Canadian Return Address: DP Global Mail, 4960-2 Walker Road, Windsor, ON N9A 6J3

DISCLAIMER The publication of any submissions, articles or advertising in HANG GLIDING & PARAGLIDING magazine does not constitute an endorsement of the authors, advertisers, products, services, apparatus, processes, theories, ideologies, opinions, advice and/or recommendations presented, nor does it constitute an endorsement of the authors or companies involved. The statements of fact and opinions as well as any product claims in the submissions, articles, advertisments, artwork and photographs appearing in HANG GLIDING & PARAGLIDING magazine are those of their respective authors, contributors and advertisers and not of the USHPA. The USHPA makes no representation, express or implied, including the warranties of merchantability and fitness for a particular purpose, nor assumes any legal liability or responsibility for the accuracy, completeness, or usefulness of any information, advice, opinion, recommendation, apparatus, product, product claims or process disclosed, in such submissions, articles, advertising, artwork or photographs. All individuals relying upon any materials published herein do so at their own risk. The USHPA is not responsible for any claims made in any submission, article, or advertisement. Advertisers may not, without USHPA's prior written consent, incorporate in subsequent advertising that a product or service has been advertised in a USHPA publication. COPYRIGHT Copyright (c) 2010 United States Hang Gliding And Paragliding Association, Inc., All Rights Reserved; no part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise without prior written permission of the United States Hang Gliding And Paragliding Association, Inc.

The United States Hang Gliding and Paragliding Association, a division of the National Aeronautic Association, is a representative of the Fédération Aeronautique Internationale in the United States.

For change of address or other USHPA business call (719) 632-8300, or email info@ushpa.aero.


2010DECEMBER EDITOR

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PILOT BRIEFINGS

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ASSOCIATION

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SAFETY

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CENTERFOLD

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TANGENT

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PILOT PROFILE : MELANIE PfISTER

DISPATCH

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Live from Jackson Hole

RATINGS

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USHPA STORE

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The 2010 Team Challenge The Tennessee Tree Toppers are at it again by Dennis Pagen . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14

by Katrina Mohr. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20

COUNTRY 4 old men Saddled up and headed for Telluride by Mike Meier. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 32

JEff shapiro's COVERT-OP The new harness by Jeff Shapiro and Jeff O'Brien. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 50

KAVU DAYS A lesson in busy livin' by Jeff Shapiro. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 56

The best flying on earth Sending it in Sun Valley by Nate Scales . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 62

THE PHOENIX Hopes are high after a successful maiden voyage. by C.J. Sturtevant . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24

GALLERY

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t the Fall 2010 board of directors (BOD) meeting in Bend, Oregon, in October, Steve Roti and the local flying community did a terrific job not only of welcoming the USHPA directors and staff but also helping us experience their amazing hometown. (See Board of Directors Meeting rundown, p.10). After the new board members were elected and inducted, Lisa Tate, who has done a superb job as USHPA President over the past five years, was thanked for the tremendous success she has garnered for the organization and the countless hours she has dedicated to furthering free-flight in the USA! A variety of great programs were discussed, and many were passed. All proposed competitions were approved, marketing

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strategies and videos for instructors applauded, a new safety video starring Paul Voight, shot by our art director, Greg Gillam, was released, and the search for the new executive director was clearly shown to be in the capable hands of Tracy Tillman—in other words, another weekend of free-flight “think-tanking” completed. The final issue of 2010 will hopefully keep you inspired as the snow begins to fly in points west. Starting in Tennessee, Mr. Pagen takes us through another wildly successful Treetopper event at the 2010 Tennessee Team Challenge. Katrina Mohr catches up with Melanie Pfister, now US National Champion, who began her competition career at the paragliding equivalent of the Team Challenge, the Rat Race. Pay


attention, aspiring comp pilots! Pfister divulges what it takes to Unlimited is not just a company’s name; it stands for a way of rise to the top. life that promotes activity and adventure that leaves one feeling Staff writer CJ Sturtevant delves into one of the newest USHPA exhilarated, exhausted and fully alive. Hard not to make the leap chapters: Foundation for Free Flight’s grantee, Able Pilot, whose to every flight that presents us with the ultimate vehicle to have goal is to enable those with physical handicaps a chance to taste a KAVU day. the freedom of flight. Finally, if it’s stunning images that you require to pass the time Another free-flight luminary, Mike Meier, weighs in with his until your next flight, December’s gallery contains a smattering of tale of Harleys and hang gliders in a classic town to set one’s sights shots from the USHPA calendar, including two interviews from on—Telluride, Colorado. this year’s cover-shot winners, Paul Voight and Loren Cox. If you are a gear-head, check out Wills Wing’s sleek new harness, designed by a collaboration led by Jeff Shapiro. Shapiro also contributes a great piece about a company—KAVU—founded by a free-flight pioneer, Bruce Barr. KAVU, Klear Above Visibility

Hang Gliding & Paragliding | www.USHPA .aero

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New | Improved | Buzzworthy

PilotBRIEFINGS

 

 CHRIS MCKEON On March 28, 2010, Chris McKeon was doing what he loved most–hang gliding off of Mount Diablo, California. McKeon is an experienced pilot but for unknown reasons he crash-landed at a school yard in Concord, California.  Chris suffered a traumatic brain injury (TBI). Since the accident, McKeon has made significant progress in his recovery and rehabilitation, progressing to being able to return to his home and leave the hospital.  At this time he requires 24hour custodial care which is being provided by his loving family. A donation account has been established at Wells Fargo Bank for Chris.  Your kind and generous contributions will help Chris during his recovery and rehabilitation in providing for his needs. Chris has a positive attitude and is working dili-

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gently to again live independently. Donations can be made to: The Chris McKeon Donation Fund in care of Wells Fargo Bank Account #3063741148 Wells Fargo Bank 292 Battery Street San Francisco, CA 94111 Incoming Wire Routing Number 121000248.  Fed. Tax I.D. No. 27-6686285

 

fully on the evening of Sept 12th. For more than three decades Jeff Nicolay and Morningside Flight Park have been the heart of hang gliding in New England. He introduced countless people to flying and touched all our lives in one way or another. Jeff’s death is a terrible loss to the free-flight community. Jeff’s only daughter Gisele, is ten, but he isn’t here to provide for her any more. There is something the flying community can do to help. An education fund for Gisele has been created at Claremont Savings Bank. Please send donations to: Giseles Education Fund Claremont Savings Bank 145 Broad Street, P. O. Box 1600 Claremont, NH 03743

 NOVA MENTOR 2

 SAFE PILOT AWARD

Nova announced their Mentor 2, a DHV1-2 glider, has passed certification for weight ranges 70-90kg. For more information contact Superfly Paragliding at www. superflyinc.com.

Jonny Thompson USHPA member 21407 has achieved his third Diamond Safe Pilot pin. Combined with his two Gold Safe Pilot pins he has five safe pilot awards in 6000 logged flights. Congratulations Jonny!

 JEFF NICOLAY Jeff Nicolay, Region 8 Director, New England Hang Gliding icon, and Morningside Flight Park (Claremont, New Hampshire) owner passed away peace-

Hang Gliding & Paragliding | www.USHPA .aero

WAYPOINT APPLICATION Tom Payne has released a great program that easily creates waypoints for downloading to a GPS. Go to http://twp.isdc.unige.

ch/~twp/waypointplanner/ and a Google map will appear where one can zoom in and place waypoints on terrain and receive GPS coordinates for download. This tool is incredible for those trying to form informal leagues, competitions, fly XC, or plan routes and landing fields along a course line

 USHPA ON FACEBOOK For all those USHPA members on Facebook, remember to check out the United States Hang Gliding and Paragliding page for great links, and photos. In an effort to promote the sport more, if you find a video you like on the USHPA page please re-post it on your page to hopefully expose your friends to a little slice of free flight. The more videos we spread the more friends will undoubtedly be inspired by the content our sports deliver. This is a great new media way to spread the word!

 ERRATA It has been brought to USHPA’s attention that the rating official for pilot, Richard Gillespie in Virginia (region 9) was incorrectly listed in the magazine. The actual observer who gave the rating was Phil Givens.


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Membership | Policy | Involvement

TheASSOCIATION FROM THE PRESIDENT  The fall 2010 USHPA board meeting was welcomed to Bend, Oregon, by Steve Roti and the Desert Air Riders. It turned out to be a great meeting, with an outstanding group of volunteers who worked tirelessly to propel the organization forward with new policies, initiatives, and elected officials. Regional directors elect new USHPA officers and five directors-at-large at the fall board meeting. This year, Rich Hass replaces Lisa Tate as president, Dave Wills joins the EC for the first time as vice president, and Bill Bolosky, a former USHPA president, becomes the new secretary. Mark Forbes stays put as treasurer. The new five directors-at-large are Bill Bolosky, Dave Broyles, Mike Haley, Dennis Pagen, and Steve Rodrigues. Preflight Safety for Hang Gliding, a new USHPA-produced video of hang gliding safety, video-premiered at the meeting, giving directors an opportunity to review an excellent tool that was produced, directed, and edited by Greg Gillam. Paul Voight and Gillam collaborated as co-writers. Voight hosted the

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video, and Joe Greblo and Rob McKenzie provided assistance. Erika Klein and Greg DeWolf are also featured in the video. USHPA Chapters are encouraged to present the video, which is available for viewing on the USHPA website, at chapter meetings. USHPA’s current Strategic Plan is now five years old. Over the past several months, a group of directors and members have collaborated on developing new ideas and revisiting the long-term goals of USHPA. Riss Estes, who served as facilitator when the group met in Los Angeles, California, this summer, presented several of the group’s ideas and recommendations to the board. USHPA’s long-term goal continues to be growing the sports of hang gliding and paragliding. The group believes a strategy of staying focused on specific goals will help USHPA achieve its longterm goal and allow it to operate as a professional organization. With this in mind, the group made specific recommendations for improving membership communication and getting membership “buy-in” when adopting new programs

by Rich Hass, USHPA President

and initiatives. Bill Bolosky, treasurer of the Foundation for Free Flight, made a presentation to the USHPA Board. The Foundation for Free Flight is a 501 (c) (3) charity dedicated to the preservation of hang gliding and paragliding in the United States. While closely allied with USHPA and sharing many of the same goals and objectives, the Foundation is a separate entity with its own board of directors and offices. Bolosky thanked USHPA and its members for contributing $34,000 to the Foundation last


year. Since its inception in 2003, the Foundation has committed $210,000 towards site preservation and related projects. Tracy Tillman updated the board on USHPA’s search for a new executive director. The search committee, chaired by Tracy, is advertising the position and conducting a detailed review and interview process, with the goal of completing its work in November. The board approved spending up to $10,000 to develop instructional training videos and teaching modules for use by USHPA instructors. Board members Matt Taber and Rob Sporrer will lead development of this program. Progress will be evaluated in the spring and, if the initial efforts prove worthwhile, the program may be expanded. Competition committee recommendations, passed by the board, approved all proposed meets for 2011. The Big Spring, Texas, meet has been designated the hang gliding national championship. Paragliding will have a co-national championship format with events in Richfield, Utah, and the first large-scale tow nationals, ever, in Hearne, Texas. USHPA-

sanctioned events are listed at www. ushpa.aero. It was also determined that PWC and pre-PWC meets will qualify as sanctioned meets for paraglider pilots interested in national team points and all USHPA-sanctioned competition events will have a minimum meet validity of 300 points. The board approved the draft of the Hang Gliding Aero Rulebook. USHPA competition rulebooks can also be found on the USHPA website. One of the most valuable USHPA membership benefits is the site insurance program. Without third-party liability protection for landowners, many sites would be in jeopardy. Site insurance is available to recognized USHPA chapters and these chapters, in turn, are responsible to USHPA and their membership for managing insured sites that are consistent with requirements of the insurance program. The board restated the obligation of each chapter to enforce the USHPA membership requirement for all pilots flying at USHPA-insured sites. Chapters are encouraged to work with landowners to secure necessary authority to meet these obligations. USHPA will begin including USHPA

helmet stickers with membership renewals to help chapters and members enforce the USHPA membership requirement at USHPA- insured sites. Members will not be required by USHPA to use these stickers. Chapters may adopt or refine their own enforcement approach. Using the USHPA helmet stickers will easily identify USHPA members at insured sites and help spread responsibility for enforcement from chapter officials to all members interested in site preservation. Finally, the board authorized development of a new complaint reporting system that will enable members to lodge complaints against pilots and instructors without incorrectly using the accident reporting system. Complaints will go directly to the chair of safety and training and regional directors for follow-up. The fall meeting was the culmination of thousands of hours of volunteer and USHPA staff efforts to continue the safety and growth of free-flight in the US. The spring meeting will be held in Colorado Springs in March. All USHPA members are warmly welcomed to join in the planning and implementation of projects for the coming year! Hang Gliding & Paragliding | www.USHPA .aero

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Analysis | Preparedness | Incidents

SafetyBULLETIN FLYING ALONE  Very few accidents have been reported in the USA in the last few weeks (hopefully because few accidents have occurred), so this article uses as examples accidents from around the world. This month’s theme is one of our sports’ great taboos—flying alone. “Never fly alone” is a cardinal rule of paragliding. Pagen has it as rule 24 of 24 in “Rules to live by” in The Art of Paragliding. Should one ever fly alone? How should one reduce risk, whether flying in a group or alone? Accident 1 On the 12th of August, 2009, a pilot set off from St André-les-Alpes to fly to the Dormilliouse, a classic XC route over some intimidating terrain. The pilot, a young, newly-married math teacher with everything to live for, just disappeared. He seemed to fly off the face of the planet. At the British Open held at the Dormilliouse a few days later, all pilots were told to look for a red wing on the ground. Posters were put up everywhere. His disappearance was on the evening news. His family organized helicopter searches and local pilots continued to fly over the area, looking for his wing—all without success. His body was eventually found on the 20th of November, 2009, in inhospitable terrain in the high mountains. All of the clues pointed to an unrecoverable collapse and an immediate death on impact. It’s hard to think about this accident without contemplating the stress and ongoing uncertainty for his family, especially his wife.

by Douglas Mullin

curred at nightfall when he realized he was going to be stuck on the hill all night, unable to contact anyone, while watching someone in the distance do a top-tobottom. The pilot had a badly injured back but ended up walking out the next day and heading to the hospital. He had serious back injuries and (as far as I can find out) has never flown since. If his injuries had been a little worse, or he’d had a little further to walk, or the overnight weather had been a little colder, he might not have survived.

Accident 3 On October 2, 2010, a pilot flew off Mount Sopris in Colorado. A local pilot spoke briefly with him before he launched and said it appeared he was flying solo at the time. The pilot was coming in to land in a meadow “…when the wingtip on his glider clipped the top of a spruce tree roughly 20 feet in front of the meadow where he intended to land.” Although he landed on his feet, he was badly injured (compression fracture in his lower back, broken ankle and rib, and a collapsed lung). Despite his injuries, the pilot was able to call his wife on his cell phone. A nearby hiker with a GPS unit was able to supply his position. A helicopter was dispatched; the pilot was taken to the hospital and is expected to make a full recovery.

Why Fly Alone?

Almost always, pilots fly alone because they aren’t able to fly with someone else. They have a choice between flying alone Accident 2 or not at all. It’s not a choice any pilot In late April of 2009, a newly qualified makes lightly. Everyone who flies alone pilot joined a group of experienced pilots realizes it increases his/her risks and so at Glencoe in Scotland. The pilots didn’t they try to make conservative decisions. launch as a group, and no-one was keepDespite the increased risks, flying ing track of everyone’s flights. Late in the alone clarifies the decision-making. Like day, the pilot had an accident and was solo climbing, it is an intense experience badly injured, but no-one was aware of with its own rewards. this. All of the other pilots headed home. The injured pilot had no means of con- Flying alone as a spectrum tacting any of the other pilots (there was Flying alone is often presented as being no cell-phone coverage). A (third-hand) a black or white decision, but, in reality, report relates that his lowest point oc- it covers a wide spectrum. Ridge soaring

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on a popular site with a working radio is clearly on the comfortable end of the spectrum. Hiking to the top of some remote mountain without anyone knowing your plans and flying XC without a working radio or cell-phone is clearly on the other end of that spectrum. Most group XC flights eventually end up with pilots flying alone, sometimes within radio contact, sometimes not. A good XC guide can help keep a group together, but that takes a lot of skill and patience— most XC pilots don’t like waiting! In the same way, many “solo” flights are made with company. If you head up to a popular launch by yourself, you’re certain to find a bunch of pilots on launch. If there’s no-one there, ask yourself why. You can take off with other pilots and fly in an informal group that land together. This probably happens more often in a ridge-soaring situation than flying XC, but, even then, you can spend much (and occasionally all) of your flight with company. A number of factors affect where you are on the spectrum: • whether you set off in a group • the popularity of the flying site • the number of pilots you’re likely to find on your expected route • whether you and other pilots will be patient and wait for each other when flying XC • how good your communication equipment is • whether someone knows your flight plan, when you should return and what to do if you don’t return The pilot in accident 2 had no idea he was flying alone, but no-one saw his crash. He couldn’t communicate with the other pilots, and they didn’t realize there was a problem. He was flying alone!

Technology Communications technology has improved a lot in the last few years. At this year’s British Open (held at St Andréles-Alpes, in France) all competitors flew with a live tracking unit. The organizers could follow all the pilots in real-time and respond more quickly to a problem. Spectators back in the UK could follow the race on the internet in real-time. Several pilots reported receiving congrat-


ulations via a text message in goal before they landed! Most pilots fly nowadays with a radio and a cell-phone. Radios generally work well when you are within line of sight and poorly if at all otherwise. Cell-phones tend to be limited by reception; many flying sites have poor or no reception. A SPOT Locator provides a reliable emergency means of communication. It uses satellites to send an emergency message with your GPS position. It isn’t cheap—you have to subscribe to the service—but I consider it well worth the cost. An optional, but highly recommended, tracking feature records your position every 10 minutes when the device is on and posts this to the web. (I record mine to http://tinyurl.com/SpotDouglas). So even if you have a crash and your SPOT locator is damaged or you are unable to press the SOS button, people know roughly where to look. Technology doesn’t always work the way it is supposed to, but it certainly reduces your risk, whether you are flying alone or in a group. It saved the pilot in Accident 3; the lack of working communications made the pilot’s situation in Accident 2 much more dangerous; and Accident 1’s pilot’s family could have been spared a lot of stress if he had been flying with some live tracking technology. Finally, if you have a bad accident, having a cell-phone in the bottom of your harness may not help—the devices need to be readily accessible.

these factors by: somewhat enhanced: one’s own increased • being more conservative in his deci- situational awareness and the lack of insion making terpersonal distraction, as well as a de• making sure his communication creased risk of collision or other accident involving other gliders. However, these equipment is working well • making sure someone knows what to are, of course, more than counterbalanced by the very real increased problems do if he doesn’t report back There are other risks in flying alone that with rescue, if no one can even be notidon’t directly affect the pilot. If you fied of the accident.” Pete compares flying alone to soloing simply fail to return, you will cause a lot of stress to your family as well as to the in climbing, another area where the obvious dangers mean you have to make very rescue services and your fellow pilots. careful, conservative decisions. Finally, while accepting its increased dangers, A Personal View Pete Reagan is a Portland, Oregon, based Pete points out that we don’t really know pilot who used to write this column. He much statistically about the increased is better placed than most to know the danger. risks in paragliding. Pete fairly regularly flies by himself, sometimes hiking Disclaimer into a remote, seldom-flown site, flying, I wouldn’t want anyone to construe this top-landing and walking back down the article as encouraging the practice of hill—definitely on the sharp side of the flying alone. Flying is dangerous and spectrum. I asked Pete to share some of doing it alone definitely increases the his ideas on flying alone. risks. But whether you are flying com“Flying alone is an attempt to balance pletely alone or in an informal group, the intensity and depth of the experience there is much you can do to reduce your and personal safety. There are a couple risks. of very soft ways in which safety may be

Risks in Flying Alone A pilot flying in group with radio contact is safer because:: • opportunities for advice over the radio could prevent an accident (e.g., the wind is picking up in the LZ; the clouds over that peak are overdeveloping). • in the event of an accident, his fellow pilots may be able to land and offer direct assistance • his fellow pilots can more easily contact help (e.g. they can radio when they are still in the air) • there is less reliance on communications (e.g., if necessary, someone can fly or walk to get help). • A pilot flying by himself (or in an informal group) has to compensate for Hang Gliding & Paragliding | www.USHPA .aero

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The 2010

Team Challenge words by DennisPAGEN images by MillerSTROUD

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very year, pilots swoop down on the This year, economics and other factors singular Sequachie Valley of south- resulted in a smaller field, but we still eneastern Tennessee for a September joyed the full complement of great flying, orgy of XC flying. This valley is about five guide pilots, talks by experts, launch miles wide, forty miles long and 1500 feet videos, daily on-site meals, parties, music deep. Both sides and the middle pump and lots of swag for every competitor and thermals in various weather conditions, driver. In fact, a small meet (22 pilots in and its unique enclosed structure helps this case) makes for great camaraderie. create soarable upslope breezes, waves, Everyone helped his/her fellow aerial travconvergence, lift lines, wonder winds and elers and retrieves were easy, since we acsheltered thermals. At times it is possible counted for every pilot on the fly. And we to cross the valley with ease and soar either should mention the impromptu parties in side along the imposing valley. It has been the goal fields. For those just back from a decadeclaimed that Paul Bunyan carved this great trench by dragging his axe, but ev- long trip to Alpha Centuri, here’s a brief eryone knows he never got this far south. on the format: We divide into teams and So it must have been God practicing his compete as a team. There are three classifications of pilots: A, B, and C, based on sums in the dirt.

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skill and experience. The C’s are the least experienced, but score the highest; then come B’s and A’s, being the most experienced and scoring the least. Most teams are made up of some of all three grades of pilots; it is the job of all A pilots to get their B’s and C’s to goal. In fact, it is worth more to the team for an A to assist a C pilot than to actually get to goal himself (no female A pilots this year!). An added wrinkle is that the setting of the C courses is the easiest, with B’s the next most difficult, and A courses most challenging. All [above] Jennifer Cobble slicing air. [top right] Relaxing at launch while thermals shift into gear. [bottom right] Mike Barber getting away at Whitwell. Note hand in grapevine grip.


courses follow the same general route, in order that A pilots can stay with B’s and C’s until their respective goals, then continue on to the promised land.

DAY ONE—MANIC DEPRESSION On September 19, we were geared up and ready to fly. Each team was set up in its designated area, the wind dummies were on the ramp, the light wind was favorable, the forecast was propitious, and the appropriate sacrifices had been made. But, damn, if it wasn’t extendo sled rides for all of the pre-round pilot probes. So we went against our nature and practiced patience. Eventually, by mid-afternoon the air began frothing with thermal bubbles—bubbles that were a bit elusive. Only three-quarters of the pilots (despite allowed reflights) were able to get up and on course, which was the source of mild depression. But for those who did manage to break through the inversions layer(s), big air thermals abounded. The area was experiencing the biggest drought on record, so normally green Tennessee was putting out lift like an Arizona wildfire. Some of us tive goals and some had their longest dismanaged to find an 800 fpm steady eleva- tance flights. Two C pilots, Tim Martin tor that lifted us to over 9000 feet MSL. and Aaron Rinn, made the first goals of It was formed out in the valley, and we their life. Therein lies the reason we have blundered into it in a valley crossing. I re- this meet every year. flected on the beauty of this meet: it is not a race, so we were free to follow our fancy DEPRESSIVE MANIA to the top of the heaving, lifting layer. The second day bloomed with promise. In all, twelve pilots made their respec- But then it got flat, with birds flapping

or refusing to leave the roost. Our quality wind techs were also reluctant to punch out into the blah air. Mike Barber, one of our main probes, sat on the ramp for over an hour, waiting for a sign, any sign. It finally arrived: a faraway bird struggling upward. Mike bailed off the ramp, found a lively core and proceeded to show us why we needed to be in the air. By the

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time most of us launched, it was 4:30 pm. But there was lift for the lucky, as a gaggle waffled in and out of the lift in front of launch. Again, once you got above the ridge, the climbs improved, the lift got fat, the tops were tall. The C pilots had to cross the valley once and go downrange a bit, the B’s had to cross twice, and the A’s, three times. Five A’s made goal, one B made it, and two C’s reached their destination. The B pilot was Randy Brown, and the C’s were Colin Hodsdon and Jennifer Copple. Jennifer, our only O+ pilot, was grinning for days after this flight. We celebrated in the landing fields, but there were some depressives who did not get up on several tries. We were definitely ready for some easy soaring, but the next two days harbored first, very cross winds (our wind techs got batted about, so we decided to call the day), then rain. Finally:

EUPHORIA On the fifth day we headed across the valley for the Whitwell’s southeast facing launch. Conditions looked sweet, with a nice wind wafting in at launch. The cloud tracks showed us a bit of right cross, but that just helped the C’s reach their goal, 11.2 miles north along the ridge. The B’s had to go north, 3.25 miles, come back into the crossing wind to launch, and head back north to the same goal as the C’s at Galloway’s airstrip, for a total of 17.7 miles. The A’s had to go to Galloway’s, back in the headwind to launch, then back to Galloway’s for a total of 33.6 miles. Nearly everyone soared, and we found a robust thermal just to the left of launch that seemed to pump on and off, mostly all day. The initial climb got us to about 7 thou. MSL, and we headed north in a tailwind. There are large gaps in the ridge on this route, but they go deep into the ridge and show good cliffs facing the crossing wind. They usually work when you need them. The route to Galloway’s was made with three thermals, the last merely a top[left, top to bottom] The line-up at launch. A “C” pilot lands at goal. Potato Joe and the Ramp Campers displaying their Flytec varios. [right, top to bottom] Janes Anderson, Dennis Pagen, Ollie Gregory and Buddy Cutts launch Mark Stump at Whitwell. Pilots showing their thanks to Flytec and support for the Cloudbase Foundation.

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ping of the tank before we headed out in the valley to tag the turn point. When we returned to the ridge, we had only about a thousand feet over, which isn’t a lot when you are beating into a wind. We scrabbled around in elusive lift, until we moved a bit to find better cores. There was enough wind to drift us back over the plateau as we climbed. Once we topped, Jeff Nibler bolted for a climbing Atos—Ollie Gregory—even deeper on the plateau. I started going that way for a while, but then decided to head more out front to cloud formations. Both plans worked, but Jeff reached the launch turn point before those of us who stayed out front. We tagged the point and turned downwind for the goal. A heady thermal at the first gap took us to nearly cloudbase, and we probably had it on glide, but another thermal beckoned later, and we filled our tank. The point: this wasn’t a race and despite the party at goal, it was fun to stay high, beat the heat and sightsee. This time there were 13 goalies, including three happy C’s, Tim Martin, John Freitas and Aaron Rinn. Four B’s, Cliff Rice, Roger McKinley, Jim Ramsden and Kip Stone, also brought home the bacon. The joy in the field was palpable. When the dust settled, the winning team was crowned and there were prizes galore for all the participants. Flytec and Wills Wing donated some nice coats. These two main sponsors are doing a lot for our sport, in general, and for competitions, specifically. The idea of the Team Challenge is to get new pilots flying XC and learning some of the tricks of competition. It worked this time, in part because of the help of pilots like Mike Barber (wind tech and expert lecturer), Ollie Gregory (organizer), Jeff Nibler (organization and scoring), Steve Lee (club president, organization), James Anderson and Buddy Cutts (launch assistants) and John and Margaret (nightly meal preparation). We do it every September and will keep running this meet until the last thermal is exhausted or pilots no longer want to get their first XC flight, their first goal or their biggest altitude gain. Y’all come next year and we’ll guarantee fun flying and a friendly welcome. It’s a learning, aerial experience—a flying orgy that shouldn’t be missed! 18

Hang Gliding & Paragliding | www.USHPA .aero

IMPRESSIONS OF A “C” PILOT

by Aaron Rinn

I short-packed my Discus from Seattle and joined several midwest and east coast pilots in a land of rocky cliffs, deciduous trees, and abundant LZs. We all spent a week completely immersed in hang gliding. When we weren’t flying, we were treated to entertaining lessons from several hang gliding legends on soaring farther, faster, and safer. Topics included timing the day, launch technique, thermalling, competition, and landing out. We learned how to read SkewT diagrams and airspace charts, and we discussed what to do if we ever find ourselves screaming downwind on final. At dinner, we collectively critiqued videos of our launches. Even a short thunderstorm that broke up the fabulous summer weather became a chance to learn about “Hang 3 conditions.” (That’s when the Hang 2’s are scared to fly and the Hang 4’s know better.) We were all waiting for the wind dummies to launch on Day 4, when the clouds across the valley rapidly overdeveloped. A gust front blew through launch, showing off its impressive power, even though the storm remained several miles away. The meet culminated for me on day five. My head was filled with the voices of Mike Barber and Dennis Pagen, as I searched for an elusive boomer that I knew was there: “….the land gradually drops away leading to the first gap, so get up well before heading there. Zero on your vario actually means 200 FPM up. Keep searching around in generalized areas of lift. Really bank it up when you find it.” After four attempts, I finally hitched a ride up to cloudbase. Later that night, we super-imposed several of our GPS tracks to see why some of us had hooked the climb, while others had not. We found it helpful to see that our failed attempts were the result of falling out of the thermal on the downwind side. I hope I can convince a small contingent of northwest pilots to make the pilgrimage with me next year. The entry fee is low, and it sustains the Tennessee Tree Toppers, a passionate group of free fliers who will welcome you into their family on your first day there.


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PILOT PROFILE

Melanie

Pfister

by KatrinaMOHR

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M

elanie Pfister was no stranger to parachutes when she started paragliding in 2002. After six years as a Smokejumper and eight more as a wildland firefighter, Melanie fell in love with the calm quiet of flying and became a competition force after only two full years of competing. This year Melanie has had impressive showings on the national and world stage, including a second place finish in the women’s category at the Chelan PWC and first place finishes in the women’s category at both Paragliding Nationals (Chelan and Sun Valley). This earned her the title of US Women’s National Champion. Melanie also finished 16th overall in the open category for the series. In between, she found time to crack off a 115-mile flight from Park City, Utah, to Green River, Wyoming. Melanie is sponsored by Superfly and Gin and flies a Gin GTO. She is currently a Pilates instructor and lives with her husband, Kevin, an accomplished paraglider pilot in his own right, in Salt Lake City. Katrina Mohr caught up with Melanie in between comps to chat about her summer and her love for gaggle flying.

Congratulations! It’s been a great month for you. You are the women’s US Pargaliding National Champion and also made a 115-mile XC flight. Between the two accomplishments, which meant more to you?

tance record.) It’s good to know I could’ve done better. I wouldn’t do half the stuff I do if it weren’t for others. I’m just following directions. I’ve really only been flying XC for five years because of the firefighting job, and I couldn’t have made that flight without others telling me it was possible. I have no original thoughts. I try to keep my mouth shut and listen to these guys who have a lot to teach. How was that flight different from your previous long flights? MELANIE: Five hours into it, I thought I was getting close to 100, but my instruments were in kilometers. I didn’t have the mental capacity to figure out the conversion, so I was fumbling with my instruments for 10 minutes to change km into miles when it popped up that I had only flown 89. I was in excruciating shoulder pain, but I realized I had to fly for another hour—I didn’t care if my arm fell off. I made a deal with myself that once I cracked 100 miles, I would consider landing.

How did you make it 15 more miles once you hit your goal? MELANIE: Mentally I couldn’t go any

Mexico, I was blown away by what he described. I asked him lots of questions until my curiosity was satisfied. Then I said, “I have to do this, who do I call?” He set me up with Dixon White, and my husband and I went down to Arizona and learned to fly in February of 2002. I had never seen a picture of paragliding or anything. Dixon came out with a stuff sack, opened it up, and said, ”Here it is.” Just knowing you could put it in a backpack, travel to some exotic place, and fly around… I didn’t need any more details. I knew this was something I had to do. At the time I was ready to do something else. Things like skydiving seemed too extreme; they didn’t suit my personality. When you jump out of a plane to go to a wildfire, everything is crazy loud, but when you feel the static line pull taut and your parachute cracks open, there’s only silence as you slowly fall to ground. I realized that’s what I liked—the quiet, being by myself and how peaceful it was. Paragliding was what I needed—not crazy jumping stuff.

further. I just tried to not  think about landing, landing was the last resort. But, in the end, I was in too much pain and just couldn’t keep it together anymore. MELANIE: The 115-mile flight. It’s the Some days you fly and it seems effortless, only flight I’ve ever logged (laughs). I hon- and other days it’s so tedious. The funny estly have no idea how many hours I’ve thing was I didn’t even know it was the flown or how many flights I’ve done. It’s day I was going to break 100 miles. Chris not about the numbers; it’s about the expe- and Bill knew it was a potential record day, rience and learning for me.  There’s a great but I never discussed it with them. It was group of pilots in Salt Lake City; without just another day to fly. In flying, you have them I wouldn’t have been able to do that. to capitalize on what you get. Conditions Bill Belcourt, Matt Dadam, Chris Galli change every second, so situational aware( SeeXCSkies,issue?), and Cliff Curry, ness is huge. It was naive to treat it like among others, make it fun and exciting to any other day, but if I had known a long show up. Some pilots make every excuse distance was possible that day, maybe my not to fly. These guys make excuses to go flight would have turned out differently. fly, and they always show up and crack off big flights. And they are a great group to be with. If How did you get into paragliding? you want to fly far, hang out with people who put you to shame and humble you. I MELANIE: I was a Smokejumper, and I felt great about my flight, but that same day was sitting with my crew at the end of the Bill Belcourt flew 159 miles. (Belcourt’s season talking about winter plans. When Did you start flying all the time right 159-mile flight set a new Utah state dis- my friend said he was going paragliding in away, or did it take you awhile to get

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group of people I hang with. Everywhere we go to fly, people are pushing it hard, but at the end of day nobody cares. We do it because we love it. There’s no glory in it. I was sitting around talking with some pilots about why we fly and someone asked who was national champ last year. No one knew or cared—not in a negative way—we just don’t focus on that. I try to do the best I can, given the circumstances. Cliff Curry once said it’s like we’re all super heroes and our special power is the ability to fly. So we all get together and practice flying. Some people’s super powers are better than others, but we all have the power, and it is so cool. Why be negative about it in any way? Katrina: That’s a wonderful way of putting any skill into perspective. What else is special about the paragliding community? MELANIE: Paragliding is so unique in that everyone’s flying together; first time comp pilots get to go flying with exMELANIE: I was very upfront with perts. You can show up and fly with the Dixon. I told him that when we left best pilots in the world. Everyone will sit Arizona, we needed to have all the tools MELANIE: It was all Nick Greece’s fault. around the course map at a competition to be able to fly, since we had no one That and I wanted to fly 100 miles. To and talk about how to fly it. Just because else to learn from where we were living fly that distance you really need to use you have the knowledge doesn’t mean in Lovell, Wyoming. For the first four all your tools. How else can you learn to you will be able to perform. Pilots are years I was flying I never had a flight in fly far and fast than to go to a race?  My more willing to share information, unlike the summer because of my firefighting first real competition was the 2008 West my other passion, skiing, where people jobs. I took two-week trips to Mexico Coast Championship. I didn’t know what won’t tell you where they went or what each year to fly, but those trips scared me. I was doing or even how to work my in- the snow was like.  With flying, it’s more You can’t be proficient by flying a few struments. Nick had told me to buy a fun with more people in the sky. If flying weeks a year.  My husband and I moved Flytec 6030 flight computer, so I blindly conditions are perfect, you call up all your to Jackson, Wyoming, in part so we followed his advice. I remember not being friends and go, but if it snows three feet, could fly more. In 2006 I took a leave of nervous, but I had really low expectations it’s every man for himself. absence from firefighting and worked as a of myself. I wanted to fly around and not I hate skiing near other people, but the Pilates instructor. I arranged my schedule die. After it was over and I was successful, more people, the better, with flying. The so I could fly midday, and I just showed I think I finished in the middle, I thought, difference is that when you’re by yourself, up to fly.  The summer of 2006 was the wow, that wasn’t so bad. (Melanie was the your sampling of the sky is so small, but if first time I flew midday in the mountains. second woman and placed 30th overall.) tons of other people are in the air, you can There’s a huge pilot community in see what’s going on. I can fly cross- country Jackson. I became successful because of What do you enjoy about flying in by myself, but I can fly faster when I can those people: Jon Patterson, John Hunt, competitions? see other people ahead of me climbing out and Nick Greece are always going big and in a thermal, and I can head to where they hitting it hard. When you are hanging with MELANIE: Competition forces you to do are. Flying is so solitary, anyway, that it’s them, they inspire you because every time things you’d never do on your own; it’s magical to be able to share with other pilots they open their bags they fly 80+miles. You not open distance. That makes me a better at the end of the day. don’t know what you don’t know, and I was pilot. I look at it as training. I don’t know fully aware I didn’t have a lot of flying expe- the ultimate goal yet—there never has to What do you prefer: competition or rience. I actively sought out help, and there be one—but I don’t fixate on accomplish- cross-country? were plenty of pilots who were willing to ment. I didn’t start comp flying to say help me once I asked. I’m number one. It all comes back to the MELANIE: I just love gaggle flying.

into the sport?

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Hang Gliding & Paragliding | www.USHPA .aero

How did you go from two solid summers of flying to entering major competitions?


People complain about it, but I feel safer. Being a part of that many people in that small a space, even if it’s stressful, is beautiful, like a school of fish. Everyone’s moving and lifting and falling together. There are people out there who think I’m an adrenaline junkie, but I’m not. I’m scared of heights, and I have a crazy fear of falling. One of the main reasons I fly comps is that I worry a lot when I fly crosscountry about stuff I make up, like getting hurt, or a series of events that would make me throw my reserve, or not doing well in the conditions, etc. They are all valid concerns, but when someone gives you something to do, like getting to goal, flying becomes second nature, and I don’t have time to worry. It’s safer to fly in comps than free fly. People are there to see you and help you if you get into trouble. I’m pretty conservative. If conditions are on the edge, I’ll be one of the first people to decide not to take off. I still fly a serial wing, because I don’t think I have the skills yet to fly a comp wing competently. What’s it like being one of the only women in a male-dominated sport?

MELANIE: It’s never been an issue for

me. I like men, and I enjoy their company. I like how simple things are for them, and I’m not a particularly emotional person. It was the same with firefighting. I was the only woman Smokejumper at my base for several years, but it wasn’t something I ever noticed until someone pointed it out. Even if it was an issue, flying is too special to let that stop me. But I do think it would be better for the sport to have more women pilots. There are many examples of female pilots out there, showing that it doesn’t have to be an extreme sport. One of my friends in Salt Lake, Becky Brimm, just had a baby and she’s out flying again. The facts don’t matter. Yeah, she has a baby, but she’s doing what she loves and that’s really inspiring. I traveled to competitions with women pilots this year, and they are strong competitors. At the Chelan PWC, Joanna DiGrigoli beat me. I knew she would beat me. She always beats me; she’s been flying so much longer and has more experience, but this time it wasn’t by much. I was on a serial wing and she was on a comp wing, but I’m narrowing the gap.

Did firefighting help you be a better pilot? MELANIE: I was a firefighter for 14 years. That kind of job requires you to really step it up and perform when you’re in the field. I jumped out of planes and sometimes landed in trees, but I wore a Kevlar suit and a motorcycle helmet. I’d never want to do that with a paraglider. It’s very real to me that you can be seriously injured. I’ve seen too many people busted up in the woods, and those times have kept me from being crazy when I paraglide. I’m all about minimizing my exposure to risk. I don’t want to scare myself and get burned out. I always want to show up and be excited to fly. I want to fly when I’m 80. Paragliding is not just a young person’s sport. There’s plenty of time. I’ve also competed in many sports over the years. It’s not that I’m hyper- competitive. I think I just perform better when I’m called out to do my best. However, you can’t be the best all the time, so why expect that? Have fun and keep having the experiences that make you feel alive. 

EN D

pure potential. explore the invisible.

worldwide: www.gradient.cx

Hang Gliding & Paragliding | www.USHPA .aero 23 USA: www.atlantaparagliding.com


A mythical bird that never dies, the phoenix flies far ahead to the front, always scanning the landscape and distant space. It represents our capacity for vision, for collecting sensory information about our environment and the events unfolding within it. The phoenix, with its great beauty, creates intense excitement and deathless inspiration. – The Feng Shui Handbook, feng shui Master Lam Kam Chuen

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The

Phoenix

by C.J.STURTEVANT

Hang Gliding & Paragliding | www.USHPA .aero

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[above] Chris Graves doing a wheelie and holding it with his one finger. [opposite] Bryon Densley ground-testing the Phoenix. Because it’s so easy to push and very light, the driver can pop wheelies with no issues, short of falling backwards.

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A Foundation for Free Flight and USHPA Chapter Success Story

I

magine that all your life you’ve been active, adventurous, on-the-go – and then, in the blink of an eye, a devastating injury deprives you of your freedom. What happens to an adventurous spirit confined to a paralyzed body? For some, the restrictions are almost unbearable; for others, the challenges provide motivation to get on with life’s journey in this totally unexpected direction. Laying the Groundwork: We free-flight folks experience adventure and freedom in ways that most others can’t even imagine. Mark Gaskill, USHPA’s Region 4 director, has worked for years with disabled veterans; as an avid paraglider pilot he was well aware that if there was a way to make paragliding and hang gliding accessible to those who are unable to run off a launch, it could change their world. Although there are some mobility-challenged free-flight pilots, they are the rare exception. Aided

Hang Gliding & Paragliding | www.USHPA .aero

by a 2008 Foundation for Free Flight “safety and education” grant [see sidebar], Mark and a handful of friends formed the ABLE Pilot™ chapter of USHPA and began developing a teaching curriculum tailored to the specific physical needs (not just mobility) of paraplegics. The group also experimented with creating an adaptive harness, based on a monoski. Mark reports that they “learned a lot” in the process, and while their curriculum development was highly successful, when it came to designing and engineering a new product they were “in way over our heads.” Mark’s contacts with Utah’s Neuroworx clinic, which focuses on activity-based therapy for those recovering from spinal cord injuries, directed him to the University of Utah’s mechanical engineering department for help with the adaptive harness design. ME Professor Don Bloswick, a leading figure in rehabilitation ergonomics and ergonomic applications for the disabled, has worked on engineering products for disabled persons for many years, and


“The biggest reward was being up on the North launch [at Point of the Mountain] having those we built it for inspecting our finished product and seeing the excitement in their eyes. All the long hours, hard work and sleepless nights were completely worth it.” – Bryon Densley, Phoenix design team member

found Mark’s project highly intriguing. When he presented the concept to his senior engineering students, several of them enthusiastically offered to add this challenge to their already busy schedules. Dr. Bloswick selected a team of four whose varied individual strengths – theoretical, analytical and practical – balanced and complemented each other to produce the ideal work group. Early in February 2010, this Phoenix design team began to turn ABLE Pilot™’s vision into a tangible product. Dr. Bloswick insists that he’s been merely coordinator for the Phoenix project, with the students doing 100% of the work. For the team members, this was any college student’s dream course: intellectually challenging, highly motivating, real-life applications, fun homework (is that an oxymoron?), with a bit of financial compensation and some college credits towards their degree being the icing on the cake. Race to Goal: Working within the time constraints of their college semester and Mark’s desire

to have a Phoenix harness ready for demo flights at the National Hang Gliding and Paragliding Day fly-in on Memorial Day weekend, the design team was constantly hustling. Team member Bryon Densley reports a steep learning curve at first as the students researched the needs of paraplegics and the requirements of a paragliding harness: “At first we didn’t realize how much was needed [for the disabled pilot] as well as the design inputs required to help us build a functional product. All design was done electronically and as nice as that is, it is difficult to visualize what is going on sometimes…We really just had to move so fast with the design input we had. We would meet early in the week, figure out what we needed to do and then go about doing it.

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We didn’t have the time to make a finished product The stated mission of ABLE Pilot™ is “to assist and then revise. So we had to make sure we had all people with disabilities (spinal cord injuries, ampuour I’s dotted and T’s crossed at every step. We were tations, and neuromuscular disease) to safely experilucky enough to get it done in time for the fly-in – ence the freedom, joys and sense of accomplishment with it looking very striking if I can say so myself!” of free flight.” With financial assistance from the When asked for specifics about the design and Foundation for Free Flight and the University of

The Foundation for Free Flight provides financial assistance for a wide variety of projects that impact the hang gliding and paragliding communities. Many grants, such as this one supporting the development of the ABLE Pilot™ teaching curriculum and the Phoenix harness, require the applicants to provide matching funds, thus ensuring a high level of commitment from the grant recipients. If you’re inspired by the philosophy of pilots helping pilots achieve some rather lofty dreams, please consider a donation to the FFF. Information on donating, and on other Foundation-funded projects, is at http://foundationforfreeflight.org.

[below] A view from underneath the Phoenix showing the shocks and swing arms [opposite] Brad Gunnuscio getting a launch assist from Steve Forslund for the Phoenix’s first flight.

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construction process, Brian Densley described his role in the creation of the Phoenix: “I did the majority of the SolidWorks (3D CAD software) modeling – basically creating the chair electronically with screws, parts, wheels, etc. – and also did all the machining on the chair. Up front we did a lot of sketches, which I digitized in order to make the solid model. Once I’d finished that, I found it frustrating not being able to help those in charge of welding the pipe together. Having to stand back and let the others work did give me more time to get into the solid model and continue working on my part of the project. I also did a lot of the nagging if things were needing to get done and were not.” He adds, after seeing the Phoenix in the air, “There is nothing more satisfying than to see your creation in action and working as planned.”

Hang Gliding & Paragliding | www.USHPA .aero

Utah, the design team has created the Phoenix harness/wheelchair that, even in its current prototype stage, fulfills this mission. Mark Gaskill, Chuck Smith and Walter Neser have flown tandem with the Phoenix at Point of the Mountain, using each other as test “passengers” to fine-tune the design, then inviting disabled volunteers to come fly. Video clips (e.g. http://vimeo.com/14631072) document the success of the “experience the joys of free flight” aspect of the project – the delight on the faces and in the body language of these young people leaves no room for doubt! What’s Next: However, the Phoenix is still in the prototype stage. Dr. Bloswick concedes that although the current design “does what it’s supposed to do – providing stability and mobility on the ground as well as accommodating the needs of the disabled pilot in the air” – it still needs tweaking. The ultimate goal is for a disabled pilot to use the Phoenix for solo flight, and to that end the tweaks remain major. One example: In the current iteration it’s cumbersome for a solo pilot to handle braking the Phoenix with bicycle-style hand brakes, while simultaneously managing the controls of the paraglider just after touchdown in the LZ. Both Mark and Dr. Bloswick foresee disabled pilots moving on to XC flying and competition, thus adding aerodynamics, instrument accessibility, and dealing with the additional physical challenges involved with a multi-hour flight to the design constraints of the Phoenix. There’s a lot more to be done! Although two members of the design team were able to schedule tandem flights, Dr. Bloswick has yet to get airborne. “Mark’s warned me of the parawaiting often involved in getting a flight, and right now I just can’t fit that into my schedule,” he told me, but added that he fully intends to take a tandem


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[left] The Phoenix is extremely comfortable to sit in; design team members all wanted one to watch TV/movies in at home (team member Chris Graves pictured). [right] Brad Gunnuscio putting the Phoenix through its paces on its maiden flight.

eventually. When I asked him if he’d do his flight as a passenger in the Phoenix he seemed surprised at first but then laughed. “I hadn’t considered that, but I guess I ought to put my money where my mouth is!” Bryon also hopes to schedule a tandem flight in the near future. Both Mark Gaskill and Dr. Bloswick, with their years of experience working with disabled men and women, feel strongly that a paraplegic who can get into the air should be able to do just about anything the rest of us can do up there. The Foundation for Free Flight’s grant to the ABLE Pilot™ project provided some of the financial support this highly qualified and capable team needed to develop and perfect the training and equipment that will bring the joy of flight to some who may never have dreamed so high. While the original design team members have all graduated and moved on, Dr. Bloswick expects to continue work on the Phoenix with his current crop of senior students. If you’d like to offer financial support to keep this amazing venture rolling along, you can contact Dr. Don Bloswick at http://www. mech.utah.edu/people/faculty/bloswick.html.

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Adaptive Paragliding Training Protocol and Development Grant Utah Hang Gliding and Paragliding Association In conjunction with Mark Gaskill of the Utah Hang Gliding and Paragliding Assoc., a grant for $3402 was given to support the overall goal of developing and testing a formal paragliding and hang gliding instructional protocol for student pilots with various disabilities. ABLE Pilot™ – 2010 Adaptive Paragliding Grant Request 2 (Awarded 4/17/2010) This matching grant for $5000 will continue to address the engineering and design challenges that have prevented paragliding instructors from safely accommodating the instructional and adaptive needs of persons with spinal cord injuries (SCIs). This application requested financial assistance to continue the process of perfecting the design, build and testing of new paragliding flight chair/harnesses that meet several well-defined characteristics and criteria. The project seeks to develop a better paragliding flight chair/harness prototype as a result. ABLE Pilot™ ’s Mark Gaskill continues to seek additional funding; he has met with representatives from and filed grant requests with the PVA (Paralyzed Veterans of America) and the Christopher&Dana Reeve Foundation. ABLE Pilot™ : http://www.systemicpartners. org/ablepilot/able.html Dr. Don Bloswick: http://www.mech.utah.edu/ people/faculty/bloswick.html Neuroworx: http://www.neuroworx.org/ PVA: http://www.pva.org/ Christopher&Dana Reeve Foundation: http://www.christopherreeve.org/

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COUNTRY 4

OLD 32

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MEN by MikeMEIER

Erik walked into my office and said, “Here’s what we gotta do. We gotta get ourselves some Harleys and ride ‘em to Telluride!”

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4 OLD MEN

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[previous]Mike in front of launch | photo by Dean Tanji. [above] A beautiful Telluride Sunset | photo by Joe Aldendifer.

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he year was 1985, and the inspiration for Erik’s sudden obsession with a fantasy motorcycle trip was his recently celebrated 40th birthday. The big 40 had seriously scrambled Erik’s internal gyroscope, but he was convinced it could be re-set with a Harley Davidson Super Glide and a road trip to the annual Airmen’s International Hang Gliding Classic. At first I dismissed the idea out of hand; I had a two-year old daughter at the time, and I’d sold my last motorcycle ten years earlier, after I discovered hang gliding. But Erik persisted with a laser-like focus, and, before I knew it, we’d put down deposits on two motorcycles. They were not the Harleys we had wanted—the $8500 price tag on the Super Glide was well beyond the meager means of a couple of hang gliding “professionals”—so we settled instead for some two-year old, two-thousand dollar Yamaha Viragos. And, in the end, we went with four other friends on motorcycles, with my wife Linda, daughter Amelia and our hang gliding gear following behind us in a van. So when Linda asked me a few months ago what I wanted to do to celebrate my 60th birthday this summer, I didn’t hesitate. “Think I’ll ride my Harley to Telluride,” I said brilliantly. I had originally thought to go alone—partly because to do so fit with my self-image as a lonesome cowboy, and partly because I doubted anyone else would be interested. But I floated the idea by email to

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each of my original five motorcycle companions from the 1985 trip, and, to my surprise, three of them— Erik Fair, Dean Tanji, and Joe Aldendifer—signed up for the ride. So now I was committed. First on the agenda was getting my Harley serviced. Erik and I had each eventually acquired a Harley within a few years of the 1985 trip, after Dean embarrassed us by showing up at one of our breakfast rides with a brand new 85th Anniversary Limited Edition Springer Softail. For ten years after the ’85 Telluride trip, the original group had gone on rides together on a fairly regular basis, including a ride to Sturgis in 1990 and a ride back to Telluride in 1995. But I hadn’t had my bike on a long trip since 1995, had only ridden it infrequently, and serviced it even less often. The local Orange County Harley dealerships have evolved away from being traditional bike shops and have gone more in the direction of upscale clothing and accessory boutiques. Their service departments won’t even work on bikes more than ten years old, so I had to find an independent mechanic. On our 1995 trip, my bike had blown a voltage regulator, followed in quick succession by the battery, ignition black box and a head gasket, leaving me dead on the side of the road in the middle-of-nowhere in Monument Valley. Although that whole episode turned into an adventure that now makes for a good story, I thought that perhaps some pre-emptive service work might avoid the burden on my traveling companions of a repeat


After months of anticipation and preparation, the [above] Mike in the saddle scenario. Well, it turns out if you neglect a motorcycle for trip turned out to be surprisingly easy. We had per- on Day 3 in Southwestern 15 years and then want it to be dead-nuts reliable for a fect weather. Nobody broke down, fell down, or got Colorado | photo by Joe Aldendifer. 2000 mile trip, it’s going to cost fifty-eight hundred lost. dollars, to be exact, according to the mechanic’s esI had written those words about our 1985 trip, timate. I did have an alternate offer from him: he’d but in 2010 we managed all three and all within buy the bike from me for two grand. I thought long the first two days. Our original plan had been to and hard about that, because for $7800 I could buy a follow exactly the itinerary from our 1985 trip, but reasonably suitable new motorcycle of the less expen- a quick check of the route showed that this would sive Japanese persuasion that would get me there and have us riding through Baker, California, in the heat of the day, when the forecast high temperature was back, and do so without any reliability issues. However, I was brought back to reason by a slap 112 degrees. We decided to leave three-and-a-half in the face from an unexpected quarter. “Just get the hours early, which would get us through Baker by Harley fixed—you’re not going to be happy with 11 am, and on through Las Vegas, starting up into anything else,” said my wife, who was being surpris- higher elevations by noon. However, by the time we ingly understanding and agreeable about the whole had ridden the first ten miles, Erik’s bike was having idea of the trip. As usual, she was right. So I laid out problems. Northbound on I-15 out of Corona, Erik the $5800, in cash, (independent Harley mechanics suddenly couldn’t maintain more than 50 mph. After deal in cash; it just goes with the persona), and hoped a brief stop in San Bernardino and a failed attempt to diagnose the problem, we limped into Victorville for the best. Hang Gliding & Paragliding | www.USHPA .aero

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[above] Mike to Erik–“I didn’t run out of gas because I was driving too fast.” Photo by Joe Aldendifer.

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and pulled up into the parking lot of the Harley Davidson dealership. It was 8:00 am. They wouldn’t open for an hour, and it was the Friday before the Sturgis weekend, so we weren’t sure if we could get any service at all. But with 163 miles of desert between us and the next Harley shop, we decided that discretion might be the better part of valor. Luck was with us; the mechanic was able to diagnose Erik’s problem as a combination of a partially plugged fuel cap vent and a torn carburetor diaphragm. So three hours and a- couple-hundred dollars later, we were on our way and right back on schedule to hit Baker in the heat of the day. There are three kinds of hot when crossing the Mojave Desert on a motorcycle in the middle of the day in August. There’s regular hot: when the ambient air temperature rises above body temperature, making you feel as if you’re riding inside an oven. In this case, the faster you ride, the hotter you get, because the only heat transfer is in, not out. Then there’s really hot: when the outside temperature passes 105, and the oven becomes a blast furnace, and you wonder how this air-cooled engine between your legs has not turned into a molten pool of scrap iron. And, finally, there’s much too hot, when the outside air temperature passes 110, and the blast furnace is super-charged, and you begin to wonder if your life might actually be in danger. We had all three. But eventually we made it to St. George, Utah, and then on to our first night’s destination in Cedar City, and

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we all survived. On day two, heat was no longer the problem; we had cool, cloudy weather with intermittent rain for the entire day. By noon, one of us had fallen down twice, though both times while stationary, so no damage or injury was incurred. And, later in the day, I passed up a sign that read “next services 108 miles” after a lightning-quick but ultimately incorrect calculation indicated I had enough gas to make it. Eight miles short of Green River, Utah, I ran out and rolled to a stop on the shoulder of Interstate 70—breakdown number two. (Fortunately, we had picked up our “support crew” in Cedar City: Glen Gentry, who was driving a pickup truck loaded with various essentials such as chips, beer, and a five gallon can of gas.) And, finally, misremembering my last trip through the area by car in 2005, and confusing Green River, Utah, with Green River, Wyoming, I assured Joe that we could stop at the Harley Shop just off the interstate up ahead for some extra rain gear, when, in fact, that shop was off of interstate 80, not interstate 70, and we would pass it by a good 180 miles to the south and never see it. But in spite of breakdowns, fall downs, and getting lost, we managed Moab that evening as planned and holed up in a dry motel room with some Jack Daniels, a deck of cards and a bag of mixed nuts substituting for poker chips. Erik was the big winner, or would have been, except he kept eating his winnings. On day three the weather broke crystal clear and


“A half-a-dozen phone calls later, JR had not only secured the loan of a glider and harness for me, but scheduled a trip on one of the Telluride Air Force transport vehicles to the 12,000 foot Gold Hill launch to take a look at the late afternoon conditions, and, maybe, to fly.”

sunny for a short, but breathtakingly beautiful ride through eastern Utah and southwestern Colorado into the high mountain valley of Telluride. The sun lit up green, high plateau pastures populated by lazily wandering grass-fed cattle, and I could not keep a smile off of my face. “What do you do all that time while you’re just riding and riding,” my wife had asked me before we left, “you can’t listen to music or anything…” Ah, but I was hearing music, and it was as clear as if it had been playing through earphones: People will tell you where they’ve gone; they’ ll tell you where to go But till you get there yourself, you’ ll never really know.

transport vehicles to the 12,000 foot Gold Hill launch to take a look at the late afternoon conditions, and, maybe, to fly. Telluride has been flown since the early 1970’s. For years it was a Mecca-like destination for hang glider pilots, on par in reputation and fame with the Owens Valley. For a few years in the late 1970’s, the HGMA Manufacturer’s Meet was held there. I first flew Gold Hill in the 1978 event, a meet in which three-man teams representing 16 manufacturers, along with two teams of local pilots, competed. Later on, an annual aerobatic championship was held for many years in conjunction with a fly-in. Our 1985 trip coincided with that year’s event, and more than 250 pilots registered for the fly-in that year. Today, the local pilot community is about a dozen pilots, a little more than half of whom are paraglider pilots. There is no longer an annual fly-in, though pilots still travel to Telluride in hopes of catching the right weather for a chance at an epic flight. The locals are proud of their flying site, and rightly so—

[below] Mike above Gold Hill | photo by Joe Aldendifer.

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e rolled into Telluride at noon and pulled up at the Floradora Saloon. Flying had not been part of my plan for this trip. All I wanted to do was to get out of town for my 60th birthday, ride with some friends, tag Telluride for old time’s sake, and get back home and back to work before too much of it had a chance to pile up. But at the Floradora I ran into Roscoe Kane and his mom Florie, who own and run the place. Roscoe is a paraglider pilot, and he gave me the names and phone numbers of several of the other local pilots, including JR Nershi, with whom I eventually made contact. A half-a-dozen phone calls later, JR had not only secured the loan of a glider and harness for me, but scheduled a trip on one of the Telluride Air Force Hang Gliding & Paragliding | www.USHPA .aero

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[above] Mike launches | photo by Joe Aldendifer

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Telluride offers some of the most magnificent scenery and some of the most dramatic flying to be found. And the very opportunity for hang glider pilots to fly Telluride exists only because of a long legal battle and massive fund raising effort that allowed the town to purchase the land in the valley floor and save it from development. The locals go to great effort to try to help visiting pilots to fly, as was amply demonstrated the day that I was there. (Visiting pilots wishing to fly Telluride should check in at www.tellurideairforce.org to familiarize themselves with the site rules and procedures.) When we arrived on top of the Gold Hill launch, the sky was overcast, and the pilots were uncertain as to whether conditions would be suitable for flying. I was the only one flying a hang glider that day; each of the other pilots was planning to paraglide. Without at least some lift, it’s a long glide to reach the end of the ridge and make it to the valley floor, and the pilots don’t want to make waves by landing out within the boundaries of the ski area property. At JR’s suggestion, I went ahead and set up the Falcon 3 195 that he had borrowed for me from local pilot Kurt Haas, as we both agreed that I could make the glide out even without the help of any lift. The wind on top was almost dead, and the hoped for late afternoon clearing of the clouds that might lead to some lift was looking less likely as time wore on. Finally, at about 6:30, JR said to me, “Mike, I think maybe it’s time for you to wait for a good cycle and take your sled ride like a man.” To which I agreed, think-

Hang Gliding & Paragliding | www.USHPA .aero

ing also that maybe if I sacrificed myself, the clouds would clear and the others would get to soar. Waiting for a bit of a cycle was the other thing I agreed with. Even though the slope of the launch at Gold Hill is quite steep, you are at 12,000 feet, and the air is thin. I’ve seen several pilots blow launches at Gold Hill because they didn’t realize the need for a very aggressive launch run. Finally, we got a few mph of breeze, and I launched under persistent overcast. To my surprise, in the first bowl to the right of launch there was a little bubble. The harness that JR had borrowed for my use was an old CG 1000 that had at one time belonged to Jim Zeiset. I felt honored to be wearing Jim’s harness; it made me feel like an honorary member of the Green Team. But, for some reason, I wasn’t having success getting the slider on the mains to go far enough aft for the harness to balance in pitch, and I felt like I was flying excessively head up. In spite of the resulting mild disorientation, I managed to blunder about, staying mostly inside the little bubbles of thermal lift coming up the slope, eventually finding myself a couple-hundred feet above the ridge top. Erik’s comment, rendered in mild disgust, was, “Typical Meier—can’t even take his sled ride like a man!” This was all the other pilots needed to see. Soon everyone was laying out their canopies and preparing to launch. As luck would have it, I had managed to find about the only lift of the afternoon, and, before long, we were all descending over the valley and preparing to land. Despite its relatively brief duration,


the flight was intensely enjoyable— beautiful, peaceful and exhilarating all at the same time. In writing about our 1985 trip to Telluride, I had noted how old all of us pilots had become: “…half of us were over forty, and only one was under thirty.” Between 1971 and 1976, hang gliding had grown explosively. By 1985, even though it was then only about 14 years old, it had long since passed its peak and entered into a slow decline and already seemed both old and mature to me. I had reflected at the time on its apparent lack of appeal to a younger generation. “This beautiful, magical sport, once the perfect lifestyle expression for the college kids of the sixties, hasn’t found a place among the ‘upwardly mobile’ young men and women of the eighties.” And now, at a time when those of us who were then just thirty-five have turned sixty, and as hang gliding itself prepares to celebrate its 40th birthday, those thoughts come to mind again. It is not that there are no new, younger pilots entering the sport—there are, and their energy and enthusiasm is a welcomed and much needed boost. At Lookout Mountain Flight Park, owner Matt Taber specifically and strategically targets young people; when I visit there, I almost feel as if I’m back in the 1970’s. But the nationwide demographics of the sport reflect a mature population; the overall average age of hang

gliding members of USHPA today is 48. At most of the sites I visit, most of the pilots are old folks, like me, and most of the largest schools I know of are run by people from my generation, who have been in hang gliding essentially since the beginning. And no matter how much we love this sport, and we do, we won’t be doing this forever, and who is it, I wonder, that will step up and take over for us when that day comes that we eventually hang it up, so to speak? I don’t pretend to know the answer to that. The national organization has been working for some years on a strategic plan to grow the sport. Thus far, the membership numbers don’t show evidence of any large scale success. I do know that there are individuals, like Matt Taber, who know how to bring people into this sport, because they’ve been doing it successfully for years. Perhaps our national strategic planning effort can benefit from his experience and that of others like him. In the meantime, I will continue to feel immensely grateful for having been born into the one brief interval in human history during which we have been granted this incredible privilege of being able to fly like birds, and, at the same time, because we are not birds, of having the uniquely human perspective that enables us to fully appreciate just what a remarkable and wondrous gift that is.

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Over the LZ, Yosemite | Calendar cover photo by Paul Voight.


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GALLERY |

2011 USHPA Calendars

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United States Hang Gliding & Paragliding Association

2011


cover photo by Paul Voight

I

started flying hang gliders in 1972 and kept dabbling with them until 1976, when I actually purchased a glider with a buddy of mine. After graduating from college(s) in 1980 with two degrees, I got a summer job teaching hang gliding and have never left that field of work. I have owned and operated Fly High Inc. hang gliding school since 1984. (Obviously, my parents were thrilled with my choice.) In the beginning, my photographs were hand-held shots— shots where I tried to include a wing so folks would know they were hang gliding shots. You actually can get very nice pictures that way, particularly if you fly close to another pilot! Very low hassle factor. Next, came the photographic technique of the “air plunger,” where a wing-mounted (2+lbs) camera could be triggered by squishing a bulb that, in turn, forced a pin to depress the camera button. This was very labor intensive, because you had to rig the air hose from the bulb on the control bar out to the camera, through/inside the wing. A breakthrough occurred in the field when a local pilot named Scott Wise engineered a wonderful, super-light, radio-controlled camera in an aero-dynamic pod housing, named the Photo-Pod. He probably built 40 of them in total. I got a number of great shots with that camera, always using Kodachrome slide film. The radio-control feature was awesome! It took instantaneous pictures on demand. Then digital cameras were introduced. Any light camera did a pretty good job, but there were two main hassles: the cameras

would power down after a couple minutes, and there was a long delay between hitting the infra-red triggering button and the moment the shot was actually taken. I kept using real film and my Photo-pod. I never really graduated to using professional equipment like the masters (Mitch McAleer, John Heiney, Jeff Obrien, etc.) I had the equipment but I’m relatively lazy and hate dedicating so much of a flight to picture-taking preparation. How did I get this cover shot? First, I went to Yosemite! I took this photo using a Go-Pro HD on still-shot mode, instead of video. Who wants to watch a movie of me swinging around under a hang glider for ten minutes, anyway? I wing-mounted the tiny Go-Pro HD, set the camera to take a picture every two seconds, launched, and flew a scenic route (there are NO unscenic routes in Yosemite)! I captured 660 photos and culled them down to the top 15. Selecting the best cuts is a very important step for success as a photographer.   So, my advice to any pilots considering photography? You don’t necessarily have to use the truly pro equipment. (Albeit, you won’t get pictures quite as good as the previously mentioned masters). But you do have to take the time to set the camera up before a picturesque flight, and I recommend taking MANY shots. The more pictures you take, the higher the likelihood of capturing a magic moment! I have to admit I’ve never regretted taking pictures on any flight. The effort always results in at least a few great shots! Hang Gliding & Paragliding | www.USHPA .aero

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United States Hang Gliding & Paragliding Association

2011


cover photo by Loren Cox

I

’m an ex-desk jockey who took one tandem flight with his severance package money and became a flight addict, thereby drastically altering my life path, living location, and aspirations forever. I’ve been flying for 5.5 years, playing with foils and wind sports for over 10, and shooting photos since my wee hands could grasp a camera. Due to my previously mentioned flight addiction, I somehow managed to weasel my way into the position of Graphic Designer/Photographer for Ozone Paragliders, and now live at the Point of the Mountain, a few steps from the flight park in Draper, Utah, of all places. Flying and photography are both passions of mine, so I’m extremely lucky to get to combine them, though, at times, they detract from each other in major ways that make them become both more difficult and less enjoyable. It’s like looking through a paper-towel tube and trying to text on your cell phone, while riding a horse around a field, herding sheep. In other words, there’s often a lot going on at once, and it’s difficult, if not impossible, to give both the wing and your camera the full attention they should be receiving, in addition to having fun. I’ve modified a flight deck as a sort of quick-draw holster to make getting to, and putting away, the camera as easy as possible, but it’s still a major distraction. I have to motivate myself to bring the camera along on some flights, because I know from experience it will detract from my enjoyment of living in the moment. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been in some exotic location, flown over/off of something amazing, landed, and thought to myself, “Wow... what just happened?” because I spent the entire

flight “in the camera” and not in the moment. Good thing I have images to go back to so I can see what fun it was! So, overall, I have a mild love/hate relationship with shooting while flying, but I never get the shot when I don’t have the camera. Capturing the world from angles that only we free flight pilots get to see keeps me motivated and always gives me a feeling of accomplishment when I can show someone an image and that actually represents how it felt to be there—to have the image elicit an emotion. That’s when it all comes together and makes the effort worthwhile. As with many parts of our lives, I’d say what’s most important in getting a good shot is to be “dialed” and practiced. This means having your kit/camera setup and easy to access and, most important, knowing your way around your camera, preferably with one hand. It’s painful to miss that killer shot because you had the wrong shutter speed or couldn’t get your camera out fast enough. Have the correct settings for what you want to capture ready before you launch and/or be able to change them quickly in flight, and know how to focus quickly on your subject. It helps to know what you want instead of shooting off the hip and hoping for the best: Are you going for an action shot that needs high shutter speeds or do you want a nice wide shot with everything in focus that needs a tighter aperture? Having basic and easily recalled knowledge of your camera will get you far—relying on the Auto setting on your camera will limit you. Most of these moves can be practiced on everyday flights or while hanging in a simulator or taking everyday photos of moving objects—like kids!


(Loren Cox, CONTINUED)

allowing us to tow up two people at once from one winch, namely the photographer (me) and a subject. The procedure was highly It’s also hugely important to be able to fly your wing well, either stressful, not only because of the tow setup but also because we entirely with weight-shift or with both toggles in one hand and were racing the sunset. If one of us botched a launch, we would your camera in the other, while you are looking through the lens. have to reset and waste time, so perfect forwards were mandatory. Spatial awareness of who/what is around you is huge. Since you The winds were switchy, causing us to change tow direction with AND your subject will probably be moving at different speeds nearly every flight. This was made slightly easier by the nature in different directions, it’s key to be able to anticipate where you of the flats, i.e., being flat, obstacle free, and in the middle of and the subject will be, relative to each other, when you are ready nowhere. Many of the photos used in the latest string of Ozone to press the shutter. So just flying a lot and putting your subject ads were from this photo shoot. The cover photo was taken on the first flight of the session where you want him by being in the right place at the right time is imperative. That can often mean proper use of the speed bar or when we towed up from the service road you see in the photo. Matt Gerdes is in the pilot seat on a Buzz Z3. It took a group of heavy brakes or even a full frontal,to quickly lose altitude. Also, be ready to take advantage of a situation. Many times quick-thinking, skilled pilots who are practiced at not strangling you’ll see something you’d never have imagined on the ground. each other or killing themselves in high stress situations, and a If you can get yourself in the right place quickly, you can capture desire to fly somewhere out of the ordinary to get the shot. Framing shots is tricky. I’m thinking about quite a few things it. Basically, shoot a LOT of photos and fly a lot. Use common sense. Get a camera and wing you are comfortable with and use when I press the trigger. Contrast between the wing and background is a big consideration. A blue wing on a blue sky with no them as much as possible. The photo on the cover of the USHPA Paragliding Calendar clouds is boring and hard to see, as is a green wing over a green was the result of a group of us making a mad dash across the forest. Same goes for texture. Shooting a wing against a really Bonneville Salt Flats in order to be in the air when we could get busy background usually means you are going to lose the pilot interesting evening light, as well as interesting terrain. We had visually, though contrast can help. For instance, having the pilot been chasing weather for a few days, and towing seemed like our wearing bright colors shot against a busy, but shadowed, backonly chance of getting decent photos. So Carson Klein, Matt ground can work really well. I love texture, so I frequently find myself shooting down on Gerdes, Dave Hanning, Mike Steen and I loaded up our tow winch and booked it to the salt flats. We quickly set up a Y-bridle, cool-looking terrain; this is a priority for me. Positioning myself

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Hang Gliding & Paragliding | www.USHPA .aero


so the subject(s) have the right light is also high on the list, and ties into having contrasts. Dramatic, or at least slightly interesting, lighting can make otherwise dull subjects look amazing. Generally, the top of the wing is more interesting and an off-axis angle is more appealing. So I try to avoid shooting straight on or directly from behind. Part of that idea is making sure the pilot isn’t hidden by the wing and making sure the risers aren’t covering his/her face. Last, and probably most important, I try to get interesting framing. In this shot, for example, the road cutting across below, as well as the distant interstate, makes for compelling lines in the frame and breaks up what would otherwise be a flat boring background. I try to give the glider “head room” and “leading space”... meaning, not bunching them up against the edge of the frame, but placing them in the frame so the wing has space to “fly into.” Putting the pilot in one corner of the frame instead of another can make all the difference. I am consistently inspired by other photographers. For instance, I love George Steinmetz’s photos. He’s doing what I’ve long dreamed of, travelling with a paramotor and getting some unbelievable, and sometimes otherwise unobtainable, photos. Look him up if you haven’t seen his work. Olivier Laugero has been consistently taking great photos longer than I’ve been flying. And I’ve been super-impressed with Becca Bredehoft’s photos lately. Keep an eye out; I bet you’ll see more from her in the magazines soon. My final thoughts relate to having subjects who understand

“Generally, the top of the wing is more interesting and an off-axis angle is more appealing. So I try to avoid shooting straight on or directly from behind.” what makes a photo great. I’m lucky to fly with a lot of excellent pilots, many of whom understand what makes a good photo and honestly do a good bit of the work for me—by knowing where to be and when. I’ve been on photo shoots with pilots who fly in shadow over shadowed terrain or are always above me, or something similar, that makes it damn near impossible for me to get a good photo. My job is a million times easier when the pilots I work with have a clue. So, thank you, to all of those who’ve helped me make the photos happen! Take as many photos as you can, but don’t forget to pull your head out of the camera and take MENTAL photos. A LOT. You’ll often find that a little boxy photo can never come close to representing the real thing. Spend time in the moment instead of worrying about getting a photo so you can remember it later. It won’t be the same.

2011

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Jeff Shapiro Reviews the 50

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Covert


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fter a little more than a year of design and development, The Covert Harness is now in its production phase. Wills Wing team pilots have spent this year’s competition season test-flying pre-production models. Structural tests have been conducted, and the design has evolved into a refined product that has come to be expected from Wills Wing. The “Covert” moniker is derived from the covert feathers on a raptor—feathers that smooth airflow and help blend the transition from a bird’s body into its wings and legs. I think this name seems more-than-appropriate for our product. The Covert’s design evolved through the complementary expertise of pilots and designers for whom I have a large amount of respect. Steve Pearson, who has had many years of design, engineering and flying experience, provided the initial 3D form and CAD design- assistance for the streamlined shape as well as the CNC expertise for the construction of the solid billet slider mechanism, which is the heart of the back plate.  Dustin Martin, a guru of composites, lent his skills and research in materials and process toward the design and manufacture of the back plates and other carbon components for The Covert. I tried to exploit my degree in industrial design and almost two decades of climbing experience, along with an intense desire as a pilot, to solve the safety and comfort issues that are inherent, while attempting to design an aerodynamically advantageous competition/ XC harness.  Most notably, all involved with this project are passionate pilots.  We all want what our customers want, which is a blend of comfort and function, without compromise, involving safety and durability.  After all, we designed the harness with the enthusiastic intention of flying in a Covert ourselves.  I feel this helped us achieve our goal of high expectation for this product.  

slider mechanism that decreases friction during the pitch adjustment between the prone, or “flying” position, and the landing position. A lot of design time focused on maximizing the pilot’s ability to get and stay upright for safe landings. The slider mechanism achieves this with the added bonus of strength and construction that inspires confidence.  Steve and Wills Wing have built a connection between the glider and pilot that is the next evolution in single-suspension harness design. The back plate is a robust construction. At the heart of the plate is Divinycell H80, a lightweight polymer foam core that is suited to structural loads and can conform to the three-dimensional anatomically tailored mold. Sandwiching the Divinycell are pre-

[opposite] Jeff Shapiro showing off the Covert’s clean lines in flight | photo by Jeff O’Brien [below] Jeff Shapiro busy sewing in his harness shop | photo by Kara Shapiro.

cisely placed layers of heavy-duty unidirectional carbon fiber, several layers of S2 glass aligned with load forces, and a finish layer of 2x2 twill carbon. The core has been cut back from the edges of the plate and from the recessed hardware positions to maximize its structural integrity and durability.  The goal was to construct a plate that can approach the ultimate load capabilities of the webbing system itself.  

Materials

The exterior of The Covert is 420D Diamond Ripstop nylon. The doublecoated fabric is abrasion resistant, has

Structure and Safety

At the heart of the structural system of The Covert is a carbon back plate supported by a single suspension main. Noteworthy in the construction of the main back-plate’s coupling is a CNC cut, a hard anodized Teflon-coated aluminum Hang Gliding & Paragliding | www.USHPA .aero

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good UV protective qualities, is easy to clean and has proper elasticity for wrinkle-free skin tension. The carefully designed neck/shoulder gasket is constructed from Hypercell, a strong material similar to Neoprene in its dynamic properties and its look—but the similarity stops there.  It is more resistant to abrasions and tears than Neoprene, significantly increasing the longevity of the gasket.  The gasket also has the same Diamond Ripstop (that covers the main outer shell of the harness) to protect those areas of the gasket that commonly make contact with the ground during set up and while packing gear.  This means that a custom harness will last through the intense use required by our sport. The boot is clad with a Hypalon-type fabric, similar to whitewater raft material, and is exceptionally resistant to abrasion. In addition, a carbon/ Kevlar boot cover, or “skid,” acts as an additional armor plate in the highest wear area. The interior materials are a combination of Antron and spacer mesh to keep the pilot cool and comfortable. All zippers are YKK, with the parachute deployment zippers being a CNT 4 style water-resistant type. They were chosen, not because of water resistance, but because they provide reliable separation of the deployment system and improved longevity and durability for multiple repacks. Speaking of safety: The Covert has a completely redesigned side-mounted parachute-deployment system, with minimal Velcro, that is realistically deployable with either hand. The position of the parachute was worked out over several attempts; it is placed to remove pressure points from your hips or ribs. A pilot has the option of one or two parachute containers, and chute bridles are attached to the harness structure with a “screamer” type internal attachment point—for shock load reduction properties during an abrupt parachute opening. [left, top] Covert boot detailed with Hypalon and a replacable carbon/Kevlar skid protector. [left, middle] The CNC cut Teflon coated, aluminum slider mechanism before installation in the carbon backplate. [left, bottom] The CNC cut Teflon coated, aluminum slider mechanism before installation in the carbon backplate. [opposite] “Screamer” type shock load reducing parachute attachment point (internal) | photos by Jeff O’Brien

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Hang Gliding & Paragliding | www.USHPA .aero


The Yates climbing company has been successfully producing load-reducing slings for years: (find link at the bottom of this section). I have taken factor 2 falls while climbing rock and ice over the years, and I have absolutely no doubt, based on my experience, that my implementation of a “screamer” type sling added dynamics to my fall, reducing impact force, and increased the probability that my protection would safely remain in the rock or ice and arrest me.  In the unlikely event of a terminal opening, the orientation of the internal structure within the harness, as well as the way it interacts ergonomically with the pilot, is far more important. But I felt that if I were going to attach a parachute bridle to the robust attachment within the harnesses structure, a connection that added impact force reduction properties in some, if not most, instances would be advantageous. http:// www.yatesgear.com/climbing/screamer/ index.htm.

Storage The Covert features ample storage for XC flight. Beginning externally on the upper chest, there is a seam-welded camera pouch with structural bungee lanyard.   Whether using it to store a camera or for energy gels or the bar of your choice, it’s easily accessible in flight, and I’ve found it to be user friendly and convenient.  Along the center of the back, there is an internal neoprene sleeve for a water bladder.  I placed a radio pocket within The Covert, nestled internally behind and off to the side of the pilot’s lower back.  I recently added a matching pocket on the other side to allow the pilot to choose which side his/her radio is stored and to allow storage of other items, such as a cell phone, keys or any other equally sized miscellaneous gear.  Behind the pilot’s knees is a zippered compartment large enough to accommodate a stock glider bag.  Two shin pockets Hang Gliding & Paragliding | www.USHPA .aero

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hold most other peripheral glider bags, although The Covert comes standard with shin bags housing a medium density open cell foam which helps to support the shin area, reducing fatigue on the pilot’s ankles during long flights. A hollow core mat composite boot, large enough for a harness bag and more, completes the generous storage profile. In one parachute version of the harness, two large side pockets are placed opposite of the parachute and create storage that’s accessible in flight.  Both contain bungee lanyards to help secure stored items.  

in the ribs (as an example), the Velcro on the zipper is simply adjusted slightly to taper out in that area. It has been a pleasant surprise that even a small adjustment of 1/8” in certain areas has helped me to “fine tune” the fit of my harness for my particular shape, making it even more custom and comfortable. During six-hour flights every little bit helps, and my Covert has not let me down.   Leg and shoulder straps are also, of course, adjustable, as is standard in most harnesses of its class. In flight pitch, adjustment is achieved with a spring cam, activated by a hands-free “butt lever” internally, which Dustin has constructed Features One of the most important consider- to be far more robust than previous deations of any pod-style harness is the signs.   The Covert harness comes with main zipper function. The Covert comes a backpack-style harness bag, hardy with a fully replaceable main entry zipper enough for travel, light enough to fly secured with Velcro. This remedies costly, with.  Wills Wing is now taking orders for worrisome zipper problems, especially while on holiday or during competition. production harnesses, and I am doing my This feature also allows for small fine- best to make sure that each pilot ordertune adjustments to the fit by allowing ing a Covert gets the customer service small increases or decreases in circumfer- required to insure a good fit and careful ence.  In other words, if the harness fits attention to detail regarding all options perfectly in all places but is a touch tight available. 54

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Jeff O'Brien flies the Covert

C

urrently, The Covert is in production, having been revised and tested during the spring competition season. In April of 2010, there were three pre-production Covert harnesses being flown to refine design and rectify any deficiencies. I happen to have one of the three. From its inception, The Covert was designed to be a superior cross-country race harness; therefore, certain “features” inherent in the purpose built product are not necessarily for recreational pilot consumption. (More recreation friendly features have now been implemented for a second edition to the Covert line.) My race harnesses have been getting progressively tighter in the effort to minimize evil drag. I wear low profile thin soccer shoes to fit in the streamlined aft section of the harness. I wear a minimum of flying clothing, as I’m mostly competing in temperate climates. I expect the harness to fit tight as I fill my lungs and expand my chest. I want just enough storage—not another cubic inch of wasted space around my body.  So far, The Covert is fulfilling my needs better than any previous product and, despite the tight fit, the harness is very supportive and comfortable. I want a harness that’s going to be strong and safe in the worst case scenario. In addition to years of experience with harness systems in the climbing industry, Jeff Shapiro has received accounts of, and witnessed, catastrophic harness failures. He wanted to make certain any design flaws that led to those failures were not present in The Covert. He also wanted to design out other perceived defects, both in terms of safety and performance. Without going into technical explanation, I appreciate the level of thoughtful contemplation that has gone into the design and find the structural integrity confidence- inspiring. I’ve flown The Covert for 50 hours and find it a pleasure. Fully loaded with all of the glider’s peripheral bags, my legs have room to snake in, between the storage pockets, which occupy ergonomic dead space. The cross-sectional cut below the parachute containers is aggressive

and, hopefully, will further minimize drag. The parachutes have packed into the sides of my body nicely. Most of my competition mates like to fly with smaller parachutes, but I like larger ones. I’m able to fit one large and one small parachute into my harness. (I haven’t tried to fit the two large ones in yet.) I’ve had the opportunity to deploy and re-pack both my parachutes in The Covert, and I’m very pleased with the deployment system. The zippers in the deployment system sit at an angle that allows for good initial friction, but once the deployment sequence has started, the parachutes drop out of the harness quickly—exactly what you want in a deployment system. It has good initial friction, so accidental deployments aren’t an issue, and there is quick, easy extraction in an emergency. Static load tests have been conducted, and the back plate and internal structure have held to an equivalent of ten g’s on a 210lb pilot without damage or failure. More static and dynamic load testing on the harness’s structure were conducted, and it passed with flying colors. Steve Pearson and Jeff Shapiro have been incrementally adjusting the shape patterns to retain minimal drag profiling and create a shell that’s ultimately comfortable with all body styles—not an easy feat. After engineering robust composite components, redesigning parachute deployment systems, and going through several rounds of three-dimensional pattern refinements, how will The Covert perform? In the two high-level US meets this spring, an overall meet win eluded all of the pilots wearing a Covert. However, each of us flying a prototype was able to win at least one day.  Later in the season, both my teammate Zach Majors and I won a day at the Pre- World Championships in Monte Cucco, Italy, and Zach became this year’s U.S. National Champion in his Covert.  Dustin and Jeff have also won individual days and performed well in their Coverts this season.   It’s my perception that The Covert has and continues to evolve into the next generation of hang gliding race harnesses.

Tis the season to pray for that special something you've always wanted.

Be specific.

Happy Holidays!


DAYS

KAVU

A Lesson in Busy Livin'

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“In the early 1960’s, a small classified ad in the back of a water-ski magazine that caught my eye advertised Delta Wing Kites for $300 and urged the reader to: ‘become a dealer now!’ So I did!”

by Jeff Shapiro

have the ability to give the best of yourself to those around you, and the folks at KAVU seemed to be hen I first met, and was fortunate enough doing just that. To inspire and be inspired is a privito become involved with, the Seattle-based lege.  We as pilots know and live for those feelings clothing company, KAVU, I soon realized and experiences: to be happy and pass on that hapthat their products’ promotional image of “happi- piness, to live in the present and not take a second of ness and full-value life experience” was no image our lives, especially when lucky enough to particibut a way of life and philosophy lived by all involved pate in free flight, for granted.  This allows us to go within the company.  The more I got to know the through each day of our lives happier and healthier.  crew, the more apparent it became that they freely I wanted to know how KAVU’s owner, Barry Barr, gave and passed on this attitude by example and grew up, how his passion for life turned into a way their interactions with their customers around the of doing business that became contagious, and how world.  Every person I met at KAVU—from folks in filling each day with “full value” experiences became the warehouse to the designer, the sales team to the the essence and definition of a “KAVU day.“ After spending time with Barry Barr, I wasn’t surowner— seemed to live each day to the fullest.   As pilots we chase our bliss, so I instantly felt prised to learn that he is an avid paraglider pilot who at home with these folks—their religion was one I comes from a family of pilots and intense, self-proknew and believed in.  I learned a long time ago that claimed “fun hogs.” Barry’s parents were involved in if you’re happy as an individual, truly happy, you will everything from competitive water skiing and snow  

W

[main] Jeff Shapiro towing over Marble Canyon during the shooting of the Nature Propelled video. [above] Bruce Barr foot launching in the early days over Monroe, Washington.

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skiing to motorcycle racing in 100-mile desert endurance fests. I laughed out loud when I discovered that Barry’s dad, Bruce Barr, was a pioneer during the infancy of hang gliding.  Listening to Bruce talk and tell stories about “the old days” inspires me to live a little more, love a little more and never hold back. After all, KAVU is an aviation term and Klear Above, Visibility Unlimited is a way of describing an ideal life.  What I learned was that living a KAVU day is a choice we all get to make each morning, and what a good choice that is.  I interviewed Bruce and Barry Barr and appreciate the message their life example spreads—life is precious, the demonstration of happiness positively impacts those around you, and don’t take a second of living for granted! “In the end, it’s not the years of life, but the life in the years that matters most.” Hi Bruce, can you tell me where and when you became involved in free flight?  BRUCE: In the late 1950’s and early sixties, we were towing each other around in a flat kite. We usually launched by going off a 5-foot water-ski jump. Since the only pitch control we had was the speed of the boat, we were forced to  learn about airspeed vs. groundspeed. In the early 1960’s, a small classified ad in the back of a water-ski magazine that caught my eye advertised Delta Wing Kites for $300 and urged the reader to: “become a dealer now!” So I did!  This promotion served as Bill Bennet’s introduction of his new Delta Wing Design tow kites to the US. The first ones featured 10-to-13-foot keel bars and didn’t have much glide-ratio.  Before long, some of us were towing up, using a 2,000-foot line and launching from behind cars and boats. But most everyday flying at that time was off of 500-foot tow lines; the kites had grown to 15 ft 6 inches.  Jeff Jobe of Redmond, WA was the first to launch by skiing off the top of a ski area—he got lots of exposure by performing in Warren Miller ski movies.  Bill Bennet sent me an 8mm home movie of Bob Wills’ first hang glider flights launching downhill, into a slight wind.  That very day we went out and launched off a 2,100 ft. mountain, even soaring for the first time. When I first encountered big lift, it was freaky watching the land below me get smaller— previously, we were only flying down after releasing.  That was around 1970, I think, maybe earlier.

In those early days, was there any connection between flying behind boats and off the slopes of mountains?   BRUCE: I think they were directly related.  We

did the tow kiting and were releasing and gliding

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down.  Once Bill came up with his first Delta wing, and we bought that kite and went out to fly it.  No one knew what they were doing. My first foot-launch flight was outside of Sun Valley on a 2,100- foot mountain, when the wind was blowing about 25mph. I was the first to launch, went out and immediately starting going up.  It took everything in me to get over the bar and keep the nose down to prevent the kite from stalling.  I got my butt kicked all the way down What other activities were you into at that time? Did any of them contribute to wanting to try powerless flight? BRUCE: We were doing everything—motorcycling, water ski jumping, trick skiing, alpine skiing, fishing, boating, surfing.  If it was fun and adventurous, we were doing it.



Tell me about the name “KAVU” and the company’s promotion to live “Local Worldwide?” Where did the word come from, what does it mean, and how has it become a way of life that hang glider and paraglider pilots aspire to live by?   BRUCE: I first learned the word when I was getting my pilot’s license.   A CAVU (clear above, visibil-

ity unlimited) day meant we could fly from basically anywhere we desired.  I believe Barry translated that term as being environmental perfection and turned it into a way to spread our family philosophy of life. Barry came up with the term “local worldwide.”  It relates to being in tune with special spots and sports of the world.   We were doing everything so often that we were the ones who had “local knowledge” of most of the places we went.   It’s a way of life that can be explained as follows: when you are talking about the last unfound powder chute, you know it as well as the locals, or about where and when to catch fish on a certain tide that usually only the locals know, we fish so much [that] we knew or could figure out where to go.  In the case of living KAVU, “local worldwide,” we feel that what we do in our sports would translate anywhere, whether kayaking in India, mountain climbing in Chile or scuba diving in Australia.

[opposite, top to bottom] Bruce Barr and a young Barry Barr getting ready to catch dinner. Bruce preparing to get some air behind the ski boat. Barry Barr living a Kavu day. [above] Ski launching from the slopes of Sun Valley. Photo by Bruce Barr.

How did Barry’s upbringing and your influence as parents help instill in him such a contagious life philosophy?   BRUCE: (laughs) We just did it my way; it was all

about fun. In our family, we focused on being great people and having the most fun.  We believed and taught our kids: be happy whatever you are doing Hang Gliding & Paragliding | www.USHPA .aero

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for a while. We came into the same landing field we used when I flew off Baldy in the 70’s, when I had the Sun Valley Kite School.  The role reversal was truly a great feeling.  Would I do it again? Yes, but I would make sure I had a harness that fit me.   The tandem harness he had was a little small, and I was hanging the entire time, not back in the seat.

 Barry, what was it like growing up in your family?   BARRY: Growing up in my family was great. We were always happy and having fun.  I don’t remember a day that went by when I saw my parents upset, stressed or bummed out. To them, every day of life is a gift with an expiration date, and you’d better not waste one second of it doing something you don’t want to do. Other unique qualities were their priorities. My parents’ priorities were to have fun doing outdoor activities and sports, not to climb the corporate ladder or make the most money.  Those things weren’t important. It was about fun. My dad’s way of living— doing things “his way”—defined a way of life.   He believed in making the most of every day and ending each day with a big smile on his face.  There was no time in my family for feeling sorry for yourself; there were just too many fun things to do.   So we did…. everything from motorcycling, fishing, hang gliding, rafting, boating, flying [airplanes] and ranching, to having huge weekend athletic parties with all of his friends.  

When were you introduced to flight for the first time, how did you end up deciding on paragliding as your preferred method of getting airborne?

[above, top] Bruce Barr foot launching over Monroe, Washington. Foot launching was still very new at the time. [bottom] Barry Barr at Torrey Pines during a filming session for Nature Propelled, The Elements Project. [opposite] Jeff Shapiro on glide to goal during a practice day in Laragne, France. Photo by Zac Majors.

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and the possibilities will be limitless.  

 Have you ever flown with Barry?  BRUCE: Yes….I think exactly 25 years after I took Barry when he was 4-years old.   It was 1999 and Barry had been doing a lot of tandem paragliding. We were in Sun Valley for Christmas, and he had a big Flight Designs tandem wing, which we set up on Limelight at the end of a great day of skiing.  The wind was a little cross but once he popped it up, we took four steps and we were off.   The main concern for both of us was that we were a little over gross on the glider with all of our ski gear on. That did not change the feeling; flying off Baldy was great.  Our descent rate was pretty fast, being so heavy. Barry handed me the brake lines and let me fly

Hang Gliding & Paragliding | www.USHPA .aero


BARRY: We all remember dreams of foot-launch flight, flying like superman. When you actually do it, there is nothing like it in the world.   I had my first experience with flight when I was 4 years old, while getting duct taped to my dad’s lap and ski launching down a mountain in Sun Valley on a Delta wing hang glider.   My mom wasn’t there, and she got really mad when she found out my dad took me flying.  (Honestly, I barely remember my first flight off the mountain in Idaho or being duct taped to my dad on the ski launch. I was also roped in.)   I do remember the stories and being around all the gliders when I was a kid.  I remember riding in the truck to the top of mountains, bouncing like on a trampoline with ten gliders on top. Another thing I remember was my dad telling me hang gliding was like being a bird; that stuck in my mind forever.    How do the lifestyle of a pilot and the philosophy of KAVU fit so well together? BARRY: KAVU is actually spelled with a C and is

a term we always used.   KAVU is a word we used all the time in our family.   For example, we woke up early before the sun [came up] and looked up at the sky.  My dad would say: “KAVU. Okay, let’s go fishing!” And we would run down to our dock, get in our boat, race out around the west side of San Juan Island and fish until 7:30, catch a few salmon, come back to the house, and I would ride my motorcycle three miles to the school bus.   Not a bad start to the day.  For foot launch flight, KAVU makes sense.  Every day, we pilots are dreaming of the next flight, checking weather, waking up wondering if today is a “flyable day.”  That passion for fun is definitely KAVU.   Being a pilot also takes you to so many fun places in the world that you might not ever go if you didn’t fly.   These places are not only wonderful for flying but also for so many other great outdoor activities, whether it’s hiking, camping, mountain biking, etc.  These are all things that I think about when I head off on a flying vacation: what else can I do to have fun when I am not flying? The KAVU brand makes clothing for the KAVU lifestyle, which fits pilots, surfers, world travelers, skiers or just anyone who wants to have fun.  Our clothes are rugged and fit in with the environment and mentality of people who are having fun.  One of our sayings, “local worldwide,” means that wherever KAVU customers are wearing KAVU clothes, they do not stick out as tourists but blend in like locals.   We also have another saying, “Busy Livin’.” That’s what we are doing. Even if we have to work, we are Busy Livin’, having the most fun we can doing whatever we’re doing. Hang Gliding & Paragliding | www.USHPA .aero

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The Best

Flying

on Earth

words by Nate Scales images by David Ohlidal

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t the end of August, the traveling circus that is the US competition paragliding scene came to Sun Valley, Idaho, for round two of the US Paragliding National Championships. The combination of big mountains (lots and lots of them), chairlift access to takeoff, desert climate, and a picturesque small town make this the best place on earth to fly and race paragliders. The conditions are strong, the scenery is breathtaking, and there are an unlimited number of activities if it’s not flyable. Expectations ran high. The first round of the Nationals in Chelan, Washington,

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Hang Gliding & Paragliding | www.USHPA .aero

had provided us with six epic tasks. And mountain, so we had an inviting warm the meet organizer for Sun Valley, Mike place to hang out and enjoy the view. The Pfau, had put in innumerable hours over task committee set tasks on the first two days, but the safety committee canceled the summer preparing for the contest. All that was needed was good weather. I the days before anyone was able to get in had hoped for five days, expected four days, the air. Day three dawned with light winds and figured worst case scenario would be three days. The weather gods chuckled at and no chance of precipitation in the foremy vanity and only gave us two days, but cast— perfect. A race was set to Stanley, they were epic, and the organization did over 50 miles away in the Sawtooth everything possible to make sure people Valley. There were no turnpoints, so the had fun, even if they weren’t flying. route options were wide open. Pilots chose The competition started with the first lines ranging from deep and direct across snow of the season. Although the white- the back of the low angled, tree-covered capped peaks were beautiful, the flying Smokey Mountains, to following the road conditions were terrible. Fortunately, the above the spine of the majestic Boulder organizer had arranged for the pilot meet- Mountains for the first section of the ings to be held in the lodge on top of the course up the Wood River Valley. No line


[left] Martin Orlik coming into goal near Challis, Idaho. [below left] (left to right) Hayden Glatte, Matt Dadam, Nate Scales, Eric Reed, Nick Greece, Brad Gunnuscio, Cladio Mota, and Jack Brown are all happy in goal. Because as Scales says, "goal is better than Christmas." [below] Pilots setting up at the Sun Valley Ski Resort.

gether over the turnpoint for the final race into goal. Eric Reed won the day, leading more than 20 pilots into goal under an epic sky. The organization had vans and cold beer waiting. Unfortunately, the next day the wind returned, and there was to be no more racing. The forecast was so bad that the organization cancelled the last two days and moved the awards party up one day to give everyone a chance to return home offered a distinct advantage. Pilots from managed to get away from Baldy and early. Meet Director Mike Pfau continued to all the routes converged on Horton Peak into the big mountains, the flying rapidly for the final sprint down the magnificent improved. This time pilots had a choice work his magic, reorganizing an awesome between flying deep into the Boulder awards ceremony 24 hours earlier than White Cloud Mountains into goal. Nick Greece won the day, leading Mountains on the north side of the road originally planned. After a week of giving almost 40 pilots into the goal in Pioneer or flying the relatively steeper terrain of almost everyone prizes at the daily pilots’ Park in the beautiful Sawtooth Valley. the Pioneers to the south. Similar to the meeting, he continued the trend at the Everybody who made it to goal was super- previous day, no line proved to be deci- awards. Many participants were pleased excited, and even those who landed short sively faster, and the lead pilots came to- to receive a great selection of prizes, inwere not too disappointed, as the flying had been as promised—spectacular. Day four the conditions looked even better—the same light wind, with base lifting to over 16,000’ in the afternoon. The task committee called a race over Trail Creek Summit and out of the valley to the east. The first turnpoint was 50 miles away, a 5km radius around Dickey Peak at the north end of the Big Lost Mountain Range, and then into goal 20 miles further north on the edge of Challis. The task was again set with the goal of keeping pilots relatively close to the road, but also giving them as many options as possible for how to get there. Conditions above take-off, before the start, were light lift and abundant wind, offering a less than ideal start. As pilots Hang Gliding & Paragliding | www.USHPA .aero

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cluding GoPro HD cameras, beautiful trophies and cash. Eric Reed won first place in the Sun Valley meet. Jack Brown came in second and Nick Greece, third. Ty Sporrer won both the serial and sports class, flying a Nivuik Artik 2, and Melanie Pfister was the women’s winner. The Sun Valley meet completed the second round of the US National Championships, Jack Brown won first 64

Hang Gliding & Paragliding | www.USHPA .aero

place, after a year of incredibly consis- year, because I can honestly say there is tent flying. Nick Greece placed second, nothing more fun than racing nylon and and Brad Gunnuscio (last year’s national strings around the sky with your friends. champ) came in third.  Melanie Pfister, And getting to goal is even better than flying to an impressive 16th place overall, Christmas! is the 2010 Women’s National Champion.  Unfortunately, the 2010 comp season is over, but it is never too soon to start [above] Martin Orlik flying out towards the Bouder getting excited about next year.  If you Mountains from Sun Valley launch. [opposite] Mike Pfau, made it to a contest this year, congratula- the meet organizer, congratulates Eric Reed who took tions. If not, I hope you will try one next first, Brad Gunnuscio second, Nick Greece third.


Hang Gliding & Paragliding | www.USHPA .aero

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DIALING IT DOWN

by Bill Finn

Thoughts about Becoming a Former Hang Glider Pilot

another half-hour, when things should be really cooking, and then give it a go. After m I starting to put myself in a all, getting high and, for some, going far, position where I’m going to get is the name of the game. But obviously, hurt? Do I still have the strength when you want to tow up to the good stuff, and stamina to tow up through mid-day you have to tow through all of that low thermals and core those little bullets that and mid-level thermal turbulence. And I still long for? Am I kidding myself into yesterday, it was all I could do to stay on thinking that, at 73 and having been flying the line. hang gliders for more than 27 years (yes, I The air on tow was turning me everydidn’t start to fly hang gliders until I was which-way-but-loose, and I was sure that 46 years old), my body will still respond to my weak link would break at any second. my commands and keep me flying safely? I’ve often thought that if we could see These thoughts have been with me for what the air was up to, we wouldn’t want a while now, and yesterday they were back to fly in it. That was certainly true for me in spades. It was turning out to be a pretty yesterday. When I released at about 1,800’ good day at Enjoy Field, just south of AGL, I was exhausted and a little spooked! Chicago. The first five or six pilots towed That tow just plain wore me out. I got off in a thermal with a small, solid up into the blue, cloudless sky without much success, but the sled rides were get- core, but keeping centered in it was lots of ting longer and some of the thermals were work. I got dumped out of it several times starting to get workable. I decided to wait on the way up to the top of the inversion

A

at 4,600’AGL. The drift was pretty strong, so after topping out, I flew back up-wind to look for more lift. Yes! There I was: sweating, exhausted and kind of worried about getting tossed around by the very active air I was flying through. What the hell was I doing—looking for more lift? I should have been coring the abundant sink and getting my butt back down on terra firma. For some strange reason, I found myself being a glutton for punishment. When I started flying at LMFP back in '83, I had the stamina of a 20-year-old. Once, I flew for 6 ½ hours all over that valley, having a ball. More recently, soaring locally in good, strong lift has been my goal. An hour or two, at the most, is usually my limit. Yesterday, though, that 30-minute flight absolutely wore me out. After landing, I could barely carry my glider the 100 yards back to the break-


DON’T MISS OUT. BE SURE TO RENEW.

down area. I just parked it and rested about an hour before attempting to break it down and put it back on my truck. So here I sit, thinking about this little dilemma of mine. For the last several years, my stamina has been slowly diminishing. I love being in the air—yet yesterday’s flight is begging me to reassess my flying. I’ve flown airplanes and sailplanes, but they just don’t satisfy me in the same way that flying a hang glider does. I like flying my little single-seat trike. It gets me plenty of airtime, but nothing is quite like the magical, almost spiritual, flying experience of hang gliding. How can I possibly think about giving that up? What do I do? Do I keep testing my endurance limits in big air? Do I step down from my lovely U2 to a single-surface floater? Should I learn to become satisfied with flying in ridge lift or to limit myself to sled runs? Should I (could I) just walk

away from hang gliding and find something else to replace my long-time passion? And if I try to walk away from hang gliding, what will I lose? For the longest time, when people have asked me what I do, I tell them I fly hang gliders. That’s it. That’s what I do. It’s how I define myself. I can’t imagine becoming a former hang glider pilot. This situation will eventually present itself to almost every one of us. Most of us probably haven’t really thought about it. For the longest time, I certainly didn’t. Of course, I was aware that I couldn’t keep flying hang gliders forever, but I hadn’t really confronted that idea directly. It was just a vague concept lingering in the background that I didn’t have to face. Now, it’s real, and I’m facing it and struggling with it. I’ll have to make some changes!

Be sure to renew your USHPA membership before it expires to take advantage of online renewals and participate in the USHPA Green Initiative. Online renewal is only available to current members. Expired members will not have access to online renewal.

NO LONGER FLYING? Become a

Contributing Member Participate in elections! Receive the monthly magazine!

Application at

www.ushpa.aero/forms or call

1-800-616-6888 Interested in joining USHPA? Download an application at www.ushpa.aero/forms or call 1-800-616-6888 Hang Gliding & Paragliding | www.USHPA .aero

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DISPATCH

C A L E N D A R

&

C L A S S I F I E D

clinics & tours November 13- APRIL 9  Valle de Bravo, Mexico.

Yet again we offer week-long packages for all levels of HG and PG pilot. Winter flying fun and excitement with the longest running tour operator in Valle de Bravo. We’ve helped pave the way for the others but our knowledge can’t be beat. More Information: Jeffrey Hunt 512-656-5052, jeff@flymexico.com, or www.flymexico.com

DECEMBER - APRIL  Yelapa, Mexico. Come TOW

in paradise. We are offereing siv/acro clinics during the winter months in beautiful Yelapa. We have a great line-up of world class instructors, and state of the art equipment. Also a great place for non-flyers. More Information: Les Snyder, +52 322 209 5174, stingertail23@cs.com, or www. ascensolibre.mx.

december 12-13  Thermal and XC Clinic with

Rob Sporrer of Eagle Paragliding in Santa Barbara, California. This two-day clinic is open to pilots of all levels. The clinic includes ground school, and ground-to-air radio coaching in our local mountains. Visit www.paragliding.com , or call 805-968-0980 for more information.

DECEMBER 12 - JANUARY 30  Valle de Bravo, Mexico. Fly south this winter! Improve your thermal and x-c skills with U.S. record holder David Prentice. Seven to fourteen day trips flying one of the most consistent flying sites in the world. Airport pick-up/ drop off, lodging, transportation, guiding, x-c retrievals included. To sign up or for more info earthcog@ yahoo.com, or call (505)720-5436 DEcember 19 - 31 and January 1 - 15  Capetown, South Africa. Join Charles Kirsten and Craig Papworth on safari in South Africa, flying the legendary sites of Cape Town, The Wilderness, and Graaff Reinet. 14 days and 13 nights. All accommodation with breakfast, ground transport, retrieves, airport pick up and guiding. Pilots $1990 and $1550 non pilots. Contact Charles at dragonfly@sopris.net or Craig at craigpapworth@gmail.com or www.paraworth.com. january 1 - april 7  Costa Rica. Come para-

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Hang Gliding & Paragliding | www.USHPA .aero

JANUARY 2-9  Manzanillo, Mexico. P3 pilots join us for thermal flying, ridge soaring and beach landings. Great place to bring the family as they can enjoy the beach while you fly in shorts and t-shirts. Airport pickup, private hotel room, breakfast, and guiding & coaching during 6 days of flying for $1,500. Details at http://www.parasoftparagliding. com/travel/iguala%20 _ mexico.php JANUARY 9-16 & 16-23  Valle de Bravo, Mexico. Come join adventure paragliding for an unforgettable week long trip in Valle de Bravo, Mexico. We will focus on xc and thermal skills for beginner to advanced pilots. 1600 dollars includes airport transport, breakfast and dinner, accommodation in a very luxurious lake house with pool, transport between sites, and instruction. We have 12 years of flying expierience in Valle. Please contact Pine at 970-2741619, or visit www.adventureparagliding.com. february 2-7  Southern Cal. flying trip. Join ken Hudonjorgensen on a trip to thaw out your bones and get your flying brain cells activated and ready for the new flying season. Phone (801) 572-3414, or email twocanfly@gmail.com. More info: www. twocanfly.com. DEcember 15 - february 28  San Juan Cosala, Mexico. FlyBC’s Mexico Winter Tours start in Guadalajara and surrounding sites. Weekly tour packages for Beginner though to Advanced PG Pilots. Train to become a Novice/P2 pilot in sunny Mexico on your vacation with an Advanced USHPA Instructor with 15 years experience. On alternating weeks we provide Guiding and Intermediate to Advanced Instruction at some of the most beautiful sites in Mexico. More info: www.flybc.org/tours.htm, or call Jim at 604-618-5467.

FLEX WINGS Wills Wing Falcon Tandem 225 HG - White/

Yellow, less than 50 hours, excellent condition, keel is reinforced for trike. Flys awesome,never crashed. $1795. 714-350-7860 turbobobryan@att.net

A GREAT SELECTION OF HG&PG GLIDERS (ss, ds,

glide in Costa Rica with Advanced Instructor and veteran guide Nick Crane. Week long tours run from January to early April. Small groups, great flying More Information: Nick Crane 541-840-8587, nick@paracrane.com, or www.costaricaparagliding.com.

pg) -HARNESSES (trainer, cocoon, pod) -PARACHUTES (hg&pg) -WHEELS (new & used). Phone for latest inventory 262-473-8800, www.hanggliding.com

JANUARY 5 - 15  Governador Valadares, Brazil. One of the best known world class flying sites. Fly GoVal for 999$ for ten days. All your flying needs provided by Bi Wingual and Bi Lingual Adventure Sports Tours. Master rated advanced instructors make your trip worthwhile. Whatever your goals from novice to competition, it’s available. Best times to fly are JanMay. The 5th through the 15th of each month we will have tours. GV is a fun, flying friendly town with all the conveniences. Accommodations to suit your individual lifestyles are also available. For specific info, dates, times and group rates contact: Ray Leonard at skybirdwings@hotmail.com.

Instructors Needed - Full or part time basic/

BUSINESS & EMPLOYMENT advanced hang glider instructors. Lodging available. Please contact Greg at Mountain Wings in Ellenville, NY 845-647-3377 mtnwings@verizon.net

Life Insurance for Pilots - Inexpensive life

insurance is indeed available to U.S. Residents that will protect your loved ones with complete coverage, Term or permanent life. Includes coverage while Hanggliding or Paragliding without exclusion. Call 619-721-3684 or email doug@8financial.com for more information. Ca. ins lic 0b18364


PARAGLIDERS 2009 Icepeak 3 - 29 meter comp wing - less than 50 hours. $1695. Awesome glider. White/Gray 714350-7860 turbobobryan@att.net

SCHOOLS & DEALERS ALABAMA LOOKOUT MOUNTAIN FLIGHT PARK - The best

facilities, largest inventory, camping, swimming, volleyball, more. Wide range of accommodations. hanglide.com, 877-HANGLIDE, 877-426-4543, hanglide.com.

CALIFORNIA AIRJUNKIES PARAGLIDING - Year-round excellent

instruction, Southern California & Baja. Powered paragliding, clinics, tours, tandem, towing. Ken Baier 760-753-2664, airjunkies.com.

EAGLE PARAGLIDING - SANTA BARBARA offers the

best year round flying in the nation. Award-winning instruction, excellent mountain and ridge sites. www. flysantabarbara.com, 805-968-0980

FLY ABOVE ALL - Year-round instruction in beautiful Santa Barbara! USHPA Novice through Advanced certification. Thermaling to competition training. Visit www.flyaboveall.com 805-965-3733. FLY AWAY HANG GLIDING - Santa Barbara. Best hill/equipment, glider shuttles up hill, tandems, sales, service, 20 years experience, Instructor Administrator Tammy Burcar. 805-403-8487, www. flyawayhanggliding.com. THE HANG GLIDING CENTER - PO Box 151542, San Diego CA 92175, 619-265-5320. Mission Soaring Center LLC - Largest hang

gliding center in the West! Our deluxe retail shop showcases the latest equipment: Wills Wing, Moyes, AIR, High Energy, Flytec, Aeros, Northwing, Hero wide angle video camera. A.I.R. Atos rigid wingsdemo the VQ-45' span, 85 Lbs! Parts in stock. We stock new and used equipment. Trade-ins welcome. Complete lesson program. Best training park in the west, located just south of the San Francisco Bay Area. Pitman Hydraulic Winch System for Hang 1s and above. Launch and landing clinics for Hang 3s and Hang 4s. Wills Wing Falcons of all sizes and custom training harnesses. 1116 Wrigley Way, Milpitas, CA 95035. 408-262-1055, Fax 408-2621388, mission@hang-gliding.com, Mission Soaring Center LLC, leading the way since 1973. www.hanggliding.com

TORREY PINES GLIDERPORT - This historic site, established in 1928, offers all of the services you need. We provide USHPA certified instruction, advanced training, equipment sales, tandem flight instruction, paramotor instruction, SIV clinics, cross country clinics, tandem instructor clinics, paragliding instructor clinics, and a fully staffed cafe. We also have an extensive glider sport shop offering parachute repacks and full-service repairs. We are importers for Paratech, Ozone, Skywalk, Independence gliders and are dealers for all brands! We also carry an extensive certified used inventory of gliders and harnesses. We are the primary Ki2Fly dealer, and also carry AustriAlpin, Crispi, Black Hawk Paramotors, and too much more to list!  Check us out online at: www. flytorrey.com, or give us a ring at 1-858-452-9858.

6020

WINDSPORTS - Don’t risk bad weather, bad

instruction or dangerous training hills. 350 flyable days each year. Learn foot-launch flying skills safely and quickly. Train with professional CFI’s at worldfamous Dockweiler Beach training slopes (5 minutes from LA airport.) Fly winter or summer in gentle coastal winds, soft sand and in a thorough program with one of America’s most prestigious schools for over 25 years. 818-367-2430, www.windsports. com.

COLORADO GUNNISON GLIDERS – Serving the western slope.

Instruction, sales, service, sewing, accessories. Site information, ratings. 1549 County Road 17, Gunnison CO 81230.Call (970) 641-9315, or (866)238-2305.

FLORIDA FLORIDA RIDGE AEROTOW PARK - 18265 E State

Road 80, Clewiston, Florida 863-805-0440, www. thefloridaridge.com.

GRAYBIRD AIRSPORTS — Paraglider & hang glider towing & training, Dragonfly aerotow training, XC, thermaling, instruction, equipment. Dunnellon Airport 352-245-8263, email fly@graybirdairsports. com, www.graybirdairsports.com. LOOKOUT MOUNTAIN FLIGHT PARK - Nearest mountain training center to Orlando. Two training hills, novice mountain launch, aerotowing, great accommodations. hanglide.com, 877-HANGLIDE, 877-426-4543. MIAMI HANG GLIDING - For year-round training fun in the sun. 305-285-8978, 2550 S Bayshore Drive, Coconut Grove, Florida 33133, www. miamihanggliding.com. Quest Air Hang Gliding - We offer the best instruction, friendliest staff, beautiful grounds with swimming pool, private lake and clubhouse, lodging, plus soaring in our super-famous, soft, Sunshine State thermals. Come fly with us! 352- 429- 0213, Groveland, FL, questairforce.com WALLABY RANCH – The original Aerotow flight park. Best tandem instruction worldwide,7-days a week , 6 tugs, and equipment rental. Call:1-800-WALLABY wallaby.com 1805 Deen Still Road, Disney Area FL 33897

Hang Gliding & Paragliding | www.USHPA .aero

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Costa Rica Paragliding Tours Paraglide Costa Rica, the Ultimate Canopy Tour!

GEORGIA "If you love to fly, book a trip to Costa Rica, take a tour with Nick Crane" (advice from the locals!)

Week long tours from Jan-March 2011

FLY HIGH, INC. - Serving New York, Jersey, and

LOOKOUT MOUNTAIN FLIGHT PARK - Discover why 5 times as many pilots earn their wings at LMFP. Enjoy our 110 acre mountain resort. www.hanglide. com, 1-877-HANGLIDE, 1-877-426-4543.

small groups, great flying

www.costaricaparagliding.com

HAWAII PROFLYGHT PARAGLIDING - Call Dexter for friendly

information about flying on Maui. Full-service school offering beginner to advanced instruction every day, year round. 808-874-5433, paraglidehawaii.com.

Michigan

See Cloud 9 in

MARYLAND HIGHLAND AEROSPORTS - Baltimore and DC’s fulltime flight park: tandem instruction, solo aerotows and equipment sales and service. We carry Aeros, Airwave, Flight Design, Moyes, Wills Wing, High Energy Sports, Flytec and more. Two 115-HP Dragonfly tugs. Open fields as far as you can see. Only 1 to 1.5 hours from Rehoboth Beach, Baltimore, Washington DC, Philadelphia. Come Fly with US! 410-634-2700, Fax 410-634-2775, 24038 Race Track Rd, Ridgely, MD 21660, www.aerosports.net, hangglide@aerosports.net.

MICHIGAN (hang gliding equipment), North American Soaring (Alatus ultralight sailplane and e-drive systems), Dragon Fly Soaring Club (hang gliding instruction), at Cloud 9 Field, Webberville, MI.More info: (517) 223-8683, Cloud9sa@aol.com, www.DFSCinc.org. Cloud

9

Sport

Let's Go Paragliding LLC - Paragliding flight school offering USHPA-certified instruction for all levels, tandem lessons, tours, and equipment sales. www.letsgoparagliding.com, 917-359-6449. Pennsylvania Paragliding - Best paragliding

INDIANA CLOUD 9 SPORT AVIATION -

Connecticut areas. Area’s exclusive Wills Wing dealer. Also all other brands, accessories. Area’s most INEXPENSIVE prices! Certified instruction/ service since 1979. Excellent secondary instruction! Taken some lessons? Advance to mountain flying! www.flyhighhg.com, 845-744-3317.

Aviation

instruction in the NE. 1.5 hours from NYC and Philadelphia. Training hill and towing. 17 Years of combined experience. www.pennsylvaniaparagliding. com( 610)392-0050.

PLANET PARAGLIDING - New York City area's finest instruction. Come fly with us. Beginner through advanced instruction. Best prices on new gear. Bill 203-881-9419, 203-206-3896, www. planetparaglidingtours.com. SUSQUEHANNA FLIGHT PARK COOPERSTOWN, NY.

160' training hill with rides up. Mountain site. Bunk house. Camping. Contact info: home (315) 866-6153 cell (315) 867-8011. dan@cooperstownhanggliding. com, www.cooperstownhanggliding.com.

NORTH CAROLINA KITTY HAWK KITES - FREE Hang 1 training with

purchase of equipment! The largest hang gliding school in the world. Teaching since 1974. Learn to fly over the East coast’s largest sand dune. Year round instruction, foot launch and tandem aerotow. Dealer for all major manufacturers. Ultralight instruction and tours. 252-441-2426, 1-877-FLY-THIS, www. kittyhawk.com

TRAVERSE CITY HANG GLIDERS/PARAGLIDERS

Put your knees in our breeze and soar our 450’ sand dunes. Full-time shop. Certified instruction, beginner to advanced. Sales, service, accessories for ALL major brands. Visa/MasterCard. 1509 E 8th, Traverse City MI 49684. Offering powered paragliding. Call Bill at 231-922-2844, tchangglider@chartermi. net. Your USA & Canada Mosquito distributor. www. mosquitoamerica.com.

NEW JERSEY Pennsylvania Paragliding - Best paragliding

instruction in the NE. 1.5 hours from NYC and Philadelphia. Training hill and towing. 17 Years of combined experience. www.pennsylvaniaparagliding. com( 610)392-0050.

NEW YORK AAA MOUNTAIN WINGS INC. - New location at 77 Hang Glider Road in Ellenville next to the LZ. We service all brands featuring AEROS and North Wing. Contact 845-647-3377, mtnwings@verizon.net, www.mtnwings.com,

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Hang Gliding & Paragliding | www.USHPA .aero

OHIO CLOUD 9 SPORT AVIATION -

Michigan

See Cloud 9 in

PENNSYLVANIA Pennsylvania Paragliding - Best paragliding

instruction in the NE. 1.5 hours from NYC and Philadelphia. Training hill and towing. 17 Years of combined experience. www.pennsylvaniaparagliding. com( 610)392-0050.

PUERTO RICO FLY PUERTO RICO WITH TEAM SPIRIT HG! - Flying tours, rentals, tandems, HG and PG classes, H-2 and P-2 intensive Novice courses, full sales. 787-8500508, tshg@coqui.net.

TENNESSEE LOOKOUT MOUNTAIN FLIGHT PARK - Just outside

Chattanooga. Become a complete pilot -foot launch, aerotow, mountain launch, ridge soar, thermal soar. hanglide.com, 1-877-HANGLIDE, 877-426-4543.


TEXAS Texas for 25 years. Hangar facilities near Packsaddle Mountain, and Lake LBJ. More info: www.flytexas. com, (512)467-2529

Medellin, Colombia-- Join Ruben Montoya the pioneer pilot in Colombia and fly in the city of eternal spring. More than 7 flying site options, Inflight views of 5 waterfalls. Launch from 5000 feet above the LZ. Great thermals, XC possibilities,valley release. More Info: www.paraglidingmedellin.com

UTAH

MEXICO - VALLE DE BRAVO and beyond for hang

FlyTexas / Jeff Hunt - training pilots in Central

CLOUD 9 PARAGLIDING - Come visit us and check

out our huge selection of paragliding gear, traction kites, extreme toys, and any other fun things you can think of. If you aren’t near the Point of the Mountain, then head to http://www.paragliders.com for a full list of products and services. We are Utah’s only full time shop and repair facility, Give us a ring at 801-5766460 if you have any questions.

Super Fly Paragliding – Come to world famous

Point of the Mountain and learn to fly from one of our distinguished instructors. We teach year round and offer some of the best paragliding equipment available. Get your P2 certification, advanced ratings or tandem ratings here. We have a full shop to assist you with any of your free flight needs. 801-255-9595, info@superflyinc.com , www.superflyinc.com.

WINGS OVER WASATCH HANG GLIDING - Salt Lake

/ region 4 area. Certified HANG GLIDING instruction, sales, service. World class training hill! Tours of Utah’s awesome mountains for visiting pilots. DISCOUNT glider/equipment prices. Glider rentals. Tandem flights. Ryan Voight, 801-599-2555, www. wingsoverwasatch.com.

VIRGINIA BLUE SKY - Full-time HG instruction. Daily lessons,

scooter, and platform towing. AT towing part time. Custom sewing, powered harnesses, Aeros PG , Flylight and Airborne trikes. More info: (804)2414324, or www.blueskyhg.com

WASHINGTON AERIAL PARAGLIDING SCHOOL AND FLIGHT PARK

- Award winning instructors at a world class training facility. Contact Doug Stroop at 509-782-5543 or visit www.paragliding.us

INTERNATIONAL BAJA MEXICO - La Salina: PG, HG, PPG www.

FLYLASALINA.com. by www.BAJABRENT.com, He’ll hook you up! site intros, tours, & rooms bajabrent@ bajabrent.com, 760-203-2658

COSTA RICA - Grampa Ninja's Paragliders' B&B.

Rooms, and/or guide service and transportation. Lessons available from USHPA certified instructors. USA: 908-454-3242. Costa Rica: (Country code, 011) House: 506-2664-6833, Cell: 506-89508676, www.paraglidecostarica.com<http://www. paraglidecostarica.com>

gliding and paragliding. Year round availability and special tours. Gear, guiding, instruction, transportation, lodging - all varieties for your needs. www.flymexico.com 1-800-861-7198 USA

PARTS & ACCESSORIES All HG Gliderbags, harness packs, harness zippers and zipper stocks. Instrument mounts and replacement bands. Mitts, straps, fabric parts, windsocks, radios. Gunnison Gliders. Contact at (866)238-2305 Flight suits, Flight suits, Flight suits,

Warm Flight suits, Efficient Flight suits, Light weight Flight suits, Flight suits in twelve sizes. Stylish Flight  suits. More info: www.mphsports.com,  (54) 702-2111 FOR ALL YOUR FLYING NEEDS - Check out the Aviation Depot at www.mojosgear.com featuring over 1000 items for foot-launched and powered paragliding, hang gliding, stunt and power kiting, and powered parachutes. 24/7 secure online shopping. Books, videos, KITES, gifts, engine parts, harness accessories, electronics, clothing, safety equipment, complete powered paragliding units with training from Hill Country Paragliding Inc. www. hillcountryparagliding.com 1-800-664-1160 for orders only. Office 325-379-1567.

SERVICE CLOUD 9 REPAIR DEPARTMENT - We staff and

maintain a full service repair shop within Cloud 9 Paragliding; offering annual inspections, line replacement, sail repair of any kind (kites too!), harness repairs and reserve repacks. Our repair technicians are factory trained and certified to work on almost any paraglider or kite. Call today for an estimate 801-576-6460 or visit www.paragliders. com for more information.

Get your annual inspection, repair or reserve

repack done quickly and professionally. Super Fly does more inspections, repairs and repacks than any service center in North America. Call or email for details and more information. 801-255-9595, info@ superflyinc.com.

RISING AIR GLIDER REPAIR SERVICES – A fullservice shop, specializing in all types of paragliding repairs, annual inspections, reserve repacks, harness repairs. Hang gliding reserve repacks and repair. For information or repair estimate, call (208) 554-2243, pricing and service request form available at www. risingair.biz, billa@atcnet.net.

WANTED WANTED - Used variometers, harnesses, parachutes, helmets, etc. Trade or cash. (262) 473-8800, www. hanggliding.com. WANTED - New or used apparel with old USHGA logo / artwork. Size L. Please contact Theodore at (530) 222-2447

STOLEN WINGS & THINGS

GLIDERBAGS – XC $75! Heavy waterproof $125. Accessories, low prices, fast delivery! Gunnison Gliders, 1549 County Road 17, Gunnison CO 81230. (970) 641-9315, orders 1-866-238-2305.

Stolen 9/18/10 - Draper, UT. Gradient Aspen

OXYGEN SYSTEMS – MH-XCR-180 operates to 18,000 ft., weighs only 4 lbs. System includes cylinder, harness, regulator, cannula, and remote on/ off flowmeter. $450.00. 1-800-468-8185

STOLEN - Dual Tow System - Stolen from my home (Tuscon, AZ) in May, system was mounted on a trailer. Scooter tow system is powered by a 150 Honda engine, removed from the original scooter, mounted in a  two inch square tubular frame. Fair lead is mounted on three feet of 2” square tubing and is removable. Handle bars are removable they mount on a plate and tubing standoff. Platform tow system has an aluminum hub, belt drive electric rewind motor, flexible hydraulic line to pressure gauge/release, mounted on a plate. Both systems have purple spectra line on them. If you need more info give me a call , I have pics. Vehicle seen leaving the area silver/ gray Ford expedition. Trailer was recovered systems were not. Any help finding my Tow System would be greatly appreciated. Eric 520-405-3814

SPECIALTY WHEELS for airfoil basetubes, round

basetubes, or tandem landing gear.(262)473-8800, www.hanggliding.com.

PUBLICATIONS / ORGANIZATIONS SOARING - Monthly magazine of The Soaring Society

of America Inc. Covers all aspects of soaring flight. Full membership $64. SSA, PO Box 2100, Hobbs NM 88241. 505-392-1177, ssa.org.

PG, Black harness, white helmet and Flytec vario.   Please call:  Chris:  209-267-5090 , or Aaron: 916471-9695.

Hang Gliding & Paragliding | www.USHPA .aero

71


ADVERTISERS Ascenso Libre . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21 Costa Rica Paragliding. . . . . . . . . . . . . . 70 Flytec - Blueeyes. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 70 Flytec - 6020. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 69 Flytec. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 80 Foundation for Free Flight . . . . . . . . . . . 30 Gradient. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23 Hall Brothers. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 54 Kitty Hawk Kites . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 53 Lookout Mountain. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 69 Moyes. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 69 North Wing. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39 Ozone Paragliders. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 Parasupply. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 70 Parque Aventuras La Ceja. . . . . . . . . . . 13 Sky Wings Magazine. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 65 Soaring Society of America. . . . . . . . . . 72 Sport Aviation Publications . . . . . . . . . . 10 Superfly. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 Thermal Tracker Paragliding. . . . . . . . . . 11 Torrey Pines. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 79 US Parachuting Association. . . . . . . . . 48 Wills Wing. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 USHPA | 2011 Calendar . . . . . . . . . . . . 49 USHPA | Visa . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19

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A U G U S T

2 0 1 0

HANG GLIDING RTNG REGN NAME

CITY

H-1 H-1 H-1 H-1 H-1 H-1 H-1 H-1 H-1 H-1 H-1 H-1 H-1 H-1 H-1 H-1 H-1 H-1 H-1 H-1 H-1 H-1 H-1 H-1 H-1 H-1 H-1 H-1 H-1 H-1 H-1 H-1 H-1 H-1 H-1 H-1 H-1

Everett WA San Ramon CA Sunnyvale CA Martinez CA San Jose CA San Carlos CA Livermore CA San Francisco CA Santa Barbara CA Apple Valley CA Los Angeles CA Playa Del Rey CA Draper UT Omaha NE Lake Mills WI Richland MI Grand Rapids MI Bloomington MN Wilmington MA West Kingston RI Mechanicsville MD Germantown MD Huntingdon PA Annapolis MD Arlington VA Midlothian VA Wilmington DE Haymarket VA Spring Lake NC Madison TN Rising Fawn GA Lucedale MS Chattanooga TN Atlanta GA Lawrenceville GA Salisbury NC North Richland Hills TX

1 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 3 3 3 3 4 6 7 7 7 7 8 8 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 11

Eric Bryan Jason Frankl Tomas Rodriguez Jr James Geer Steven Forster Christopher Hogue Heather Zischka Alexandre Rocha Wayne Craft Kevin Williams Bob Levy Lloyd Albright Iii Brian Plummer Evan Davis Christopher Kroll Mark Dando Josh Kennedy Ryan Anil James Higgins Ryan Metzger Zachary Jennings Michael Bauman Joie Chang Kari Warpinski Anne Marvin David Simms Brian Blagg Paul Vernon Benjamin Walker Richard Thoms Kristina Straumfjord Andy Harper Jessica Furby Jonathan Cocker Thom Brown Jerry Farr Amy Conarroe Christopher (kit) Martin

STATE RATING OFFICIAL

James Fieser David Yount David Yount David Yount David Yount David Yount David Yount David Yount Tammy Burcar Rob Mckenzie Joe Greblo Joe Greblo Ryan Voight Bart Weghorst Rich Cizauskas Tracy Tillman Tracy Tillman Gordon Cayce Adrian Witcomb Michael Appel Steve Wendt Zack Marzec Paul Venesky Adam Elchin Steve Wendt Gordon Cayce Adam Elchin David Williams Gordon Cayce Gordon Cayce Gordon Cayce Gordon Cayce Gordon Cayce Gordon Cayce Gordon Cayce Douglas Johnson Jeffrey Hunt

RATINGS

RTNG REGN NAME

CITY

H-1 H-1 H-1 H-1 H-1 H-1 H-1 H-2 H-2 H-2 H-2 H-2 H-2 H-2 H-2 H-2 H-2 H-2 H-2 H-2 H-2 H-2 H-2 H-2 H-2 H-2 H-2 H-2 H-2 H-2 H-2 H-2 H-2 H-2 H-2 H-2 H-2

Cleburne TX Sparta NJ Wurtsboro NY Brooklyn NY New Windsor NY New York NY Blue Mountains, Ont Everett WA San Jose CA San Ramon CA San Jose CA Santa Barbara CA Apple Valley CA Crestline CA Huntington Beach CA Draper UT Omaha NE Chicago IL Lake Mills WI Bloomington MN Cambridge MA Arlington VA York PA Midlothian VA Cary NC Stuart FL Raleigh NC Raleigh NC Nags Head NC Spring Lake NC Madison TN Rising Fawn GA Lucedale MS Chattanooga TN Atlanta GA Lawrenceville GA North Richland Hills TX

11 12 12 12 12 12 13 1 2 2 2 3 3 3 3 4 6 7 7 7 8 9 9 9 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 11

David Mcghee Tom Nagy John Schultz Joshua Mcmillan Steve Webb Razvan Ducu Art Cox Eric Bryan Keegan Brown Phillip Fisher George Garibay Wayne Craft Kevin Williams Dennis Duvall Stan Albright Brian Plummer Evan Davis Krunoslav Drozdek Christopher Kroll Ryan Anil James Higgins Nathan Fitzgerald Jesse Yoder Paul Mazzoni Brian Blagg Stephen Norton Gary Durham Hunter Deakle Jeff Parrott Gregory Eaddy Richard Thoms Kristina Straumfjord Andy Harper Jessica Furby Jonathan Cocker Thom Brown Jerry Farr Christopher (kit) Martin

STATE RATING OFFICIAL

Jeffrey Hunt Andy Torrington Greg Black Greg Black Tony Covelli Bryon Estes Gordon Cayce James Fieser Harold Johnson Michael Jefferson Harold Johnson Tammy Burcar Rob Mckenzie Steve Stackable Joe Greblo Ryan Voight Bart Weghorst Daniel Hartowicz Rich Cizauskas Gordon Cayce Steven Prepost John Middleton Jon Thompson Gordon Cayce Gordon Cayce Gordon Cayce Jon Thompson Jon Thompson Jon Thompson Gordon Cayce Gordon Cayce Gordon Cayce Gordon Cayce Gordon Cayce Gordon Cayce Gordon Cayce Jeffrey Hunt

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73


RTNG REGN NAME

CITY

H-2 H-2 H-2 H-2 H-2 H-3 H-3 H-3 H-3 H-3 H-3 H-3 H-3 H-3 H-3 H-3 H-4 H-4 H-4 H-4 H-4

Wurtsboro NY Glenbrook NY New Windsor NY New York NY Blue Mountains, Ont Vancouver WA Albany CA Belmont CA Oceanside CA Van Nuys CA Draper UT Phoenix AZ Charlestown NH Fort Myers FL Harrisburg NC Wurtsboro NY Sandy UT Salt Lake City UT Salt Lake City UT Memphis TN Wurtsboro NY

12 12 12 12 13 1 2 2 3 3 4 4 8 10 10 12 4 4 4 10 12

John Schultz Bo Lundy Steve Webb Razvan Ducu Art Cox Eric Ollikainen Victoria Knight Christopher Cook Adam Fischbach Benjamin Strand Brian Plummer Andrew Ide Louis Di Valentin Jerry Carroll Osama Idlibi John Schultz Daniel Moser Jeffrey Sharp John Glime Bob Belshan John Schultz

STATE RATING OFFICIAL

Greg Black Gordon Cayce Tony Covelli Bryon Estes Gordon Cayce John Matylonek Scott Seebass Eric Hinrichs John Heiney Joe Greblo Ryan Voight Jeff Shapiro Steven Prepost James Tindle Gordon Cayce Greg Black Ryan Voight Miller Stroud Ryan Voight Miller Stroud Greg Black

PARAGLIDING RTNG REGN NAME

P-1 P-1 P-1 P-1 P-1 P-1 P-1 P-1 P-1 P-1 P-1 P-1 P-1 P-1 P-1 P-1 P-1 P-1 P-1 P-1 P-1 P-1 P-1 P-1 P-1 P-1 P-1 P-1 P-1 P-1 P-1 P-1 P-1 P-1 P-1 P-1 P-1 P-1 P-1 P-1 P-1 P-1 P-1 P-1

74

1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4

CITY

Micahel Boomen Kirkland Shannon Moyle Issaquah Justin Boer Aloha Michael Brown Wasilla Christel Cherry Kirkland Jeff Slotta Issaquah Jaime Horn-sinnott Williams Tisha White Issaquah Covey Baack Gold Hill Joseph Gillispie Olympia William Trimble Lake Stevens Rebeca Rifenberg Palo Alto Man Kam Fai San Francisco Brian Cadwell Stateline Mike Lanni San Francisco Hung Wai Lai San Francisco Peter Lasa San Francisco Kenneth Aber Oakland Kimberly Irish Oakland Johnny Ho Yin Leung San Francisco Kong Wing Chiu San Francisco Choi Lai Yin San Francisco Tik Fun Cheng San Francisco Ron Andresen Etna Stephen Smith San Francisco Paz Eshel Santa Clara Nathan Burley Sacramento Jose Alexandre De Lacerda Incline Village Arthur Fabert Westminster Parixit Aghera San Diego Charlie Koryn Delmar Karl Vinokur Sylmar Mark Meyers San Diego Jewan Jernaill Kahului William Hise San Diego Mark Macwhirter Simi Valley Richard Rallison Paradise Mark Pehrson Layton Carlos Cox Albuquerque Benny Abruzzo Albuquerque Richard Mcneil Ft Collins Matt Burchett Draper William Beninati Sandy Robert Kittila Boulder

STATE RATING OFFICIAL

WA WA OR AK WA WA OR WA OR WA WA CA CA NV CA CA CA CA CA CA CA CA CA CA CA CA CA NV CA CA CA CA CA HI CA CA UT UT NM NM CO UT UT CO

Hang Gliding & Paragliding | www.USHPA .aero

Lan Chirico Lan Chirico Paul Somerset Wil Brown Douglas Stroop Lan Chirico Kevin Lee Lan Chirico Kevin Lee Lan Chirico Douglas Stroop Wallace Anderson Jeffrey Greenbaum Mitchell Neary Jeffrey Greenbaum Jeffrey Greenbaum Klaus Schlueter Klaus Schlueter Klaus Schlueter Jeffrey Greenbaum Jeffrey Greenbaum Jeffrey Greenbaum Jeffrey Greenbaum Nick Crane Jeffrey Greenbaum Jeffrey Greenbaum Denise Reed Ray Leonard Marcello De Barros Roy Zaleski Roy Zaleski Rob Mckenzie Max Marien Robert Edwards Max Marien Philip Russman Chris Santacroce Jonathan Jefferies T Lee Kortsch Charles Woods Granger Banks Mike Steen Brad Gunnuscio Alejandro Palmaz

RTNG REGN NAME

P-1 P-1 P-1 P-1 P-1 P-1 P-1 P-1 P-1 P-1 P-1 P-1 P-1 P-1 P-1 P-1 P-1 P-1 P-1 P-1 P-1 P-1 P-1 P-1 P-1 P-1 P-1 P-1 P-1 P-1 P-1 P-1 P-1 P-1 P-1 P-1 P-1 P-1 P-1 P-1 P-1 P-1 P-1 P-1 P-1 P-1 P-2 P-2 P-2 P-2 P-2 P-2 P-2 P-2 P-2 P-2 P-2 P-2 P-2 P-2 P-2 P-2 P-2 P-2 P-2 P-2 P-2 P-2 P-2 P-2

4 4 4 4 4 5 5 6 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 10 10 11 11 12 12 12 12 13 13 13 13 13 13 13 13 13 13 13 13 13 13 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2

CITY

Kurt Knuth Breckenridge Sarah Chapman Salt Lake City Luis Alvarado Boulder Matt Bickley Vail Nate Johnson Salt Lake City William Smith Jr Missoula Mark Mol Wilson Marshall Gross Collinsville Ronald Santos Bridgeport Michael Faison New Haven David Mcnulty Bangor Diana Mcnulty Bangor Lauren Rudy Arundel Rafael Klipp Borges Marlborough Alec Goldschmid Dummerston Emily Mistick Sewickley Mick Knutson West Chester Axel Kirstetter Rockville Christopher Ilgenfritz Carlisle Matthew Ilgenfritz Carlisle Roselyn Ilgenfritz Carlisle Timothy Ilgenfritz Carlisle Andrew Ilgenfritz Carlisle Jonathan Ilgenfritz Carlisle Carter Fairchild West Palm Beach Lauren Ritzen Franklin James Eaton El Paso Ed Sherwood Lago Vista Shiann Chia Edison Bence Szasz New York Caitlin Hardie Lansing Donald Moores Red Bank Neil Metcalfe Banbury Jorge Duque Ibarra Bradford Hillam Stanley Christoph (michael) Riethmueller Central Douglas Thomson Linlithgow Maurice Chiu Kwok Chu Tseung Kwan O Annie Levac Nt Kee Lok Yeung Nt Chandima Aravinda Sydney, Nsw Mike Yeung Nt Mark Collins Happy Valley Boutry Guillaume Shenzhen Sahin Sahin Kas, Antalya Sinan Demirtas Kas, Antalya Micahel Boomen Kirkland Micah Bartron Beaverton Jonathan De La Motte Tualatin Brett Faike Hood River Justin Boer Aloha Michael Brown Wasilla Christel Cherry Kirkland Jeff Slotta Issaquah Jaime Horn-sinnott Williams Tisha White Issaquah Covey Baack Gold Hill Joseph Gillispie Olympia William Trimble Lake Stevens Paul Middleton Daly City Jeffrey Sanchez San Francisco Jonathan Hart San Francisco Man Kam Fai San Francisco Frank Edwards San Francisco Marty Braselton Midpines Hung Wai Lai San Francisco Peter Lasa San Francisco Johnny Ho Yin Leung San Francisco Kong Wing Chiu San Francisco Choi Lai Yin San Francisco

STATE RATING OFFICIAL

CO UT CO CO UT MT WY OK CT CT ME ME ME MA VT PA PA MD PA PA PA PA PA PA FL TN TX TX NJ NY NY NJ

WA OR OR OR OR AK WA WA OR WA OR WA WA CA CA CA CA CA CA CA CA CA CA CA

Etienne Pienaar Kevin Hintze Granger Banks Etienne Pienaar Ken Hudonjorgensen David Hanning Scott Harris Ron Kohn Heath Woods Bruce Kirk Mike Steen Stephen Mayer Stephen Mayer Heath Woods Heath Woods Charles Smith Christopher Grantham Mike Steen David Hanning David Hanning David Hanning David Hanning David Hanning David Hanning Steve Roti Charles Smith Hadley Robinson Stephen Mayer Benoit Bruneau Benoit Bruneau Charles Smith Benoit Bruneau Jurgen Von Dueszeln Lan Chirico Steven Yancey Steven Yancey Steven Yancey Steven Yancey Steven Yancey Steven Yancey Steven Yancey Steven Yancey Steven Yancey Steven Yancey Murat Tuzer Murat Tuzer Lan Chirico Maren Ludwig Kelly Kellar Kelly Kellar Paul Somerset Wil Brown Douglas Stroop Lan Chirico Kevin Lee Lan Chirico Kevin Lee Lan Chirico Douglas Stroop Wallace Anderson Wallace Anderson Jeffrey Greenbaum Jeffrey Greenbaum Jeffrey Greenbaum Jeffrey Greenbaum Jeffrey Greenbaum Klaus Schlueter Jeffrey Greenbaum Jeffrey Greenbaum Jeffrey Greenbaum


A U G U S T RTNG REGN NAME

P-2 P-2 P-2 P-2 P-2 P-2 P-2 P-2 P-2 P-2 P-2 P-2 P-2 P-2 P-2 P-2 P-2 P-2 P-2 P-2 P-2 P-2 P-2 P-2 P-2 P-2 P-2 P-2 P-2 P-2 P-2 P-2 P-2 P-2 P-2 P-2 P-2 P-2 P-2 P-2 P-2 P-2 P-2 P-2 P-2 P-2 P-2 P-2 P-2 P-2 P-2 P-2 P-2 P-2 P-2 P-2 P-2 P-2 P-2 P-2 P-2 P-2 P-2 P-2 P-2 P-3 P-3 P-3 P-3 P-3

2 2 2 2 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 5 5 5 5 6 6 8 8 8 8 8 8 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 10 10 10 11 11 11 12 12 12 12 13 13 13 13 13 13 13 13 1 1 1 1 1

Tik Fun Cheng Ron Andresen Nathan Burley Jose Alexandre De Lacerda Arthur Fabert Kevin Zick Parixit Aghera Charlie Koryn Chris Buening Laurie Phillips Alex Katzfey Karl Vinokur Mark Macwhirter Richard Rallison Derek Redd Mark Pehrson Carlos Cox Richard Mcneil Matt Burchett William Beninati Robert Kittila Kurt Knuth Sarah Chapman Luis Alvarado Matt Bickley Nate Johnson William Smith Jr William Baker Derek Zohner Mark Mol Donald Davies Marshall Gross Dermot Ryan Michael Faison David Mcnulty Diana Mcnulty Lauren Rudy Alec Goldschmid Emily Mistick Mick Knutson Axel Kirstetter Christopher Ilgenfritz Matthew Ilgenfritz Roselyn Ilgenfritz Timothy Ilgenfritz Andrew Ilgenfritz Jonathan Ilgenfritz John Ullrey Carter Fairchild Lauren Ritzen Mark Bryan Jessica Bryant Ed Sherwood Shiann Chia Bence Szasz Caitlin Hardie Donald Moores Neil Metcalfe Jorge Duque Maurice Chiu Kwok Chu Annie Levac Kee Lok Yeung Chandima Aravinda Sahin Sahin Sinan Demirtas Theodore Sopher Kayoko Gray Michael Fleming Justin Boer Jeff Slotta

CITY

STATE RATING OFFICIAL

San Francisco CA Etna CA Sacramento CA Incline Village NV Westminster CA San Diego CA San Diego CA Delmar CA Rancho Santa Marguri CA La Jolla CA Encinitas CA Sylmar CA Simi Valley CA Paradise UT Vail CO Layton UT Albuquerque NM Ft Collins CO Draper UT Sandy UT Boulder CO Breckenridge CO Salt Lake City UT Boulder CO Vail CO Salt Lake City UT Missoula MT Jackson WY Pocatello ID Wilson WY Ada OK Collinsville OK Merrimack NH New Haven CT Bangor ME Bangor ME Arundel ME Dummerston VT Sewickley PA West Chester PA Rockville MD Carlisle PA Carlisle PA Carlisle PA Carlisle PA Carlisle PA Carlisle PA Sumter SC West Palm Beach FL Franklin TN Austin TX Round Rock TX Lago Vista TX Edison NJ New York NY Lansing NY Red Bank NJ Banbury Ibarra Tseung Kwan O Nt Nt Sydney, Nsw Kas, Antalya Kas, Antalya Renton WA Issaquah WA Joseph OR Aloha OR Issaquah WA

Jeffrey Greenbaum Nick Crane Denise Reed Ray Leonard Marcello De Barros Robin Marien Roy Zaleski Roy Zaleski Bradley Geary Bradley Geary Max Marien Rob Mckenzie Philip Russman Chris Santacroce Gregory Kelley Jonathan Jefferies T Lee Kortsch Granger Banks Mike Steen Brad Gunnuscio Alejandro Palmaz Etienne Pienaar Kevin Hintze Granger Banks Etienne Pienaar Ken Hudonjorgensen David Hanning Kirkeby Deffebach Scott Harris Scott Harris Ron Kohn Ron Kohn Jeffrey Greenbaum Bruce Kirk Mike Steen Stephen Mayer Stephen Mayer Heath Woods Charles Smith Christopher Grantham Mike Steen David Hanning David Hanning David Hanning David Hanning David Hanning David Hanning Luis Rosenkjer Steve Roti Charles Smith Patrick Johnson David Prentice Stephen Mayer Benoit Bruneau Benoit Bruneau Charles Smith Benoit Bruneau Jurgen Von Dueszeln Lan Chirico Steven Yancey Steven Yancey Steven Yancey Steven Yancey Murat Tuzer Murat Tuzer Lan Chirico Douglas Stroop Douglas Stroop Paul Somerset Lan Chirico

2 0 1 0

RATINGS

RTNG REGN NAME

CITY

STATE RATING OFFICIAL

P-3 P-3 P-3 P-3 P-3 P-3 P-3 P-3 P-3 P-3 P-3 P-3 P-3 P-3 P-3 P-3 P-3 P-3 P-3 P-3 P-3 P-3 P-3 P-3 P-3 P-3 P-3 P-3 P-3 P-3 P-3 P-3 P-3 P-4 P-4 P-4 P-4 P-4 P-4 P-4 P-4 P-4 P-4 P-4 P-4 P-4 P-4 P-4 P-4 P-4

Philo San Mateo Mountain View Fremont San Jose Mountain View San Francisco San Francisco San Francisco San Francisco San Francisco San Francisco Ventura Solano Beach Santa Barbara Westminster San Diego Sylmar Frisco Glenwood Springs Salt Lake City Colorado Springs Jackson Minooka Minneapolis Arundel West Palm Beach Houston Fairport Fairport Ibarra Kas, Antalya Kas, Antalya Seattle Mill Creek Alameda San Francisco Santa Rosa San Francisco San Francisco San Francisco San Francisco San Francisco San Francisco Pasadena Mammoth Lakes Denver Ibarra Kas, Antalya Kas, Antalya

CA CA CA CA CA CA CA CA CA CA CA CA CA CA CA CA CA CA CO CO UT CO WY IL MN ME FL TX NY NY

2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 3 3 3 3 3 3 4 4 4 4 5 7 7 8 10 11 12 12 13 13 13 1 1 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 3 3 4 13 13 13

Boyd Stratton Chris Nystuen Marcel Weiher Harris Hancock Chip Greel Mikhail (mike) Danilov Man Kam Fai Hung Wai Lai Johnny Ho Yin Leung Kong Wing Chiu Choi Lai Yin Tik Fun Cheng Carmen Devietti Wendy Hunter Bryan Rice Arthur Fabert Kevin Zick Karl Vinokur Dennis Joyce Laurie Delaney Paul Oddou Blake Pelton Aaron Palmer Scott Baxter Andrew Dahl Mike Sherwood Carter Fairchild Thomas Henkel Katrin Parsiegla Karl Link Jorge Duque Sahin Sahin Sinan Demirtas Paul Moyes Ralph Boirum David Prevost Wai Kit Yuen Reavis Sutphin-gray Man Kam Fai Hung Wai Lai Johnny Ho Yin Leung Kong Wing Chiu Choi Lai Yin Tik Fun Cheng Aaron Price Nikolaus Schuhl Muzaffer Dundar Jorge Duque Sahin Sahin Sinan Demirtas

WA WA CA CA CA CA CA CA CA CA CA CA CA CO

Max Marien Max Marien Douglas Stroop Ann Sasaki Wallace Anderson Kim Galvin Jeffrey Greenbaum Jeffrey Greenbaum Jeffrey Greenbaum Jeffrey Greenbaum Jeffrey Greenbaum Jeffrey Greenbaum Marty Devietti Gabriel Jebb Rob Sporrer Marcello De Barros Robin Marien Rob Mckenzie Gregory Kelley Jonathan Jefferies Jonathan Jefferies Kevin Hintze Jonathan Jefferies Alejandro Palmaz Etienne Pienaar Mike Steen Steve Roti Jonathan Jefferies Douglas Stoner Douglas Stoner Lan Chirico Murat Tuzer Murat Tuzer Marc Chirico Marc Chirico Phil Neri Jeffrey Greenbaum Chad Bastian Jeffrey Greenbaum Jeffrey Greenbaum Jeffrey Greenbaum Jeffrey Greenbaum Jeffrey Greenbaum Jeffrey Greenbaum Jason Shapiro Rob Sporrer Mike Smith Lan Chirico Murat Tuzer Murat Tuzer

The “flyest” tow rig in Minnesota. | photo by Chad Spencer.

Hang Gliding & Paragliding | www.USHPA .aero

75


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MAGAZINE COLLECTION 1971-2008

HG & PG MAGAZINE ARCHIVES ON DVD | $30.00 38 great years of free flight fun Within these pages you’ll find the evolution of foot-launched flight from the first days of bamboo dune-skimmers to the modern variety of hang gliders, paragliders and rigid wings. Each PDF file is one complete magazine, just as originally published. Pages with color have produced as color scans, the rest scanned as black and white images. Blemishes or imperfections are present in the original source magazines, some of which were the only known copies remaining.

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sites have opened and closed. 1971 - 1973 Low & Slow 1972 - 1976 Ground Skimmer 1976 - 2003 Hang Gliding 1993 - 2003 Paragliding 2003 - 2008 Hang Gliding & Paragliding

Get to know the old school. Future issues will be available on an update disk. Compilation copyright. 19742008, US Hang Gliding & Paragliding Association. All rights reserved. Other material republished by permission of copyright holders. Please don’t duplicate or reproduce this work without permission. For limited reprint permission (club newsletters, etc.) contact the USHPA office at 1-800-616-6888 or E-mail: info@ushpa.aero Pages scanned and indexed by Scandoc, Inc. of Aracata, CA. www.scandoc.com. Cover design by Gregory Gillam, greg@gillamdesign.com.

1971-2008

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78 |

Hero Worship

by Steve Messman

W

Bill Kimball at Torrey Pines | photo by Markus Venturini

hen I was a young boy, I used to race home from school just to watch them on that steel boxed, black and white television set. Superman or Tarzan; both if I was lucky. Heroes who were larger than life: able to stop trains, see through walls, communicate with elephants, and defeat charging lions

78

Hang Gliding & Paragliding | www.USHPA .aero

with only a knife and the strength of their ample muscles. Fantasies, I know, but heroes just the same. Those mythical giants were important to me then, and the values they instilled at that young age still help shape the impressions and opinions I hold today. In those early days, fantasy heroes helped define the kind of person I wanted to be. Those people were strong. They were intelligent. They were good. They stood up for the underdog, and they made sure they were always on the side of right. So today, at the ripe old age of 60ish, I still look to heroes; however, I find them in the specific reality of flying. A bit more solid than my fantasy heroes of yesteryear, I now look to real folks, and I find as my heroes those who can teach, those who can lead, and those who help guide others from where they are to where they want to be. I look for real mentors. Real people. Real heroes. I don’t have to look far to find them. In fact, I need look only as far as my own flying community. When I look, and when I listen to others, it is clear that everyone needs heroes. I find it particularly interesting that most do not define a hero by his or her ability to fly. A pilot might be able to fold his wing into the shape of an origami box and fall out of the sky only to re-inflate at the last millisecond before nimbly landing on a tree stump, but those skills, by themselves, do not make one a hero. Instead, most believe that skillful heroes also need a large dose of humility. Heroes won’t challenge you to follow in their slipstream, but instead, caution you. They understand that flying is a very personal art form. They challenge you to follow your own intuitions, your own feelings, and your own desires. Heroes demand that you define your own goals and needs as a pilot, and they inspire you to become great in your own right. To be sure, there are many kinds of heroes, and like Superman and the Lone Ranger, they all have different powers. Certain heroes, while being what you

might consider “average” pilots, might tend to over-think things: the weather, the clouds, the high and low pressure areas, the winds aloft, the mood of the group, what they want, or what they don’t want. But the thinking, or the over thinking in this case, is very important. These pilots tend to teach that in order to understand the shallows, you need to also understand the depths. They teach that in searching for depth of understanding, you will discover persistence and patience. They show that patience is often the simple answer to the most difficult of questions. Some heroes thrive in a life full of challenges. They never take “no” for an answer, and instead, find strength in finding those who will eventually say yes. Somehow, in spite of mountains of adversities, these heroes hang on until they win. They value tenacity and doggedness, and they teach that every mountain’s prize is found not at the top, but in the climb. Some heroes are transformers. They can be a shapeless shadow for weeks, then as solid as ground when needed: invisible, then vibrant: quiet, then outspoken. They know and teach that the flying community is a living creature that, at one time or another, needs the active participation of every member in order to grow. They teach that one doesn’t have to be an activist every day, but when the time comes, stand up and make yourself count. My favorite hero is the quiet one. He exudes confidence in his very presence, dispenses wordless wisdom with a twinkle of his eyes, and on the mountaintop, he creates a cautioning pause with little more than a smile. This hero has been around for a long time, and he wants you to be around for a long time, as well. There are many kinds of heroes: those that teach, those that mentor, those that look out for your safety, those whose sole endeavor is group cohesion, and those whose most intimate desire is to do something for the greater good. Luckily, the choices I have made in life have led me here, to this sport of free flight, to these people. To real heroes.


Hang Gliding & Paragliding Vol40/Iss12 Dec 2010  

Official USHPA Magazine

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