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FEBRUARY 2012 Volume 42 Issue 2 $6.95

On the cover, Wolfgang Seiss over Piedimonte, Italy. Meanwhile, Dan Bruce over Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

MAGAZINE STAFF Martin Palmaz, Publisher: Nick Greece, Editor: Greg Gillam, Art Director: Terry Rank, Advertising: Staff writers: Steve Messman, Dennis Pagen, Christina Ammon, Ryan Voight, Tom Webster, CJ Sturtevant | Staff artist: Jim Tibbs Staff photographers: John Heiney, Jeff Shapiro

OFFICE STAFF Martin Palmaz, Executive Director: Robin Jones, Communications Manager: Eric Mead, System Administrator: Beth Van Eaton, Membership Services Coordinator: Terry Rank, Office Coordinator:


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 or online at 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, 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@, (516) 816-1333.

Rich Hass, President: Ken Grubbs, Vice President: Bill Bolosky, Secretary: Mark Forbes, Treasurer:


REGION 1: Rich Hass, Mark Forbes. REGION 2: Steve Rodrigues, Urs Kellenberger, Bill Cuddy. REGION 3: Bill Helliwell, Rob Sporrer, Brad Hall. REGION 4: Ryan Voight, Ken Grubbs. REGION 5: Donald Lepinsky. REGION 6: David Glover. REGION 7: Tracy Tillman. REGION 8: Michael Holmes. 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, Bill Bolosky, Mike Haley, Dennis Pagen, Jamie Shelden. EX-OFFICIO DIRECTOR: Art Greenfield (NAA).

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:

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 USHPA supervision of FAI-related hang gliding and paragliding activities such as record attempts and competition sanctions.

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

HANG GLIDING & PARAGLIDING (ISSN 1543-5989) (USPS 17970) is published monthly by the United States Hang Gliding and Paragliding Association, Inc., 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 mailing offices.

HANG GLIDING & PARAGLIDING magazine is published for foot-launched airsports enthusiasts to create further interest in the sports of hang gliding and POSTMASTER Send change of address to: Hang Gliding & Paragliding paragliding and to provide an educational forum to advance hang gliding magazine, P.O. BOX 1330, Colorado Springs, CO 80901-1330. Canadian Post and paragliding methods and safety. 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) 2011 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.

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Confidence for Performing Your Best Get inside your mind . . . by Patrick McGuiness


Waypoints | Pine Mountain . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .by Charlie Baughman


Dream Team Interviews with Ozone ������������������by Nick Greece


A Fool and His Altitude are Soon Parted . . . . . . . . . by Thad Spencer




Safety is No Accident . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . by Ryan Voight


Hang Gliding Finishing School Part VI . . . . . . . . . . . . . . by Dennis Pagen





























 





Soaring the South Side | photo by Nick Greece


s I look out my window at the mixture of snow and rain pummeling Jackson, I wonder where free flight will take me next year. Even while enjoying my short winter break from flying, here in Wyoming, I find myself constantly checking flying conditions in other locales and marvel that I’ve gained the ability to be happy for those being rewarded elsewhere with great flying conditions. As the magazine goes to print, some US pilots are headed all over the world to continue learning and improving their skills throughout the winter months, while others head to California for temperate opportunities to stay airborne. Send in your tales when you return from your winter sojourns and let the rest of us live vicariously! The February magazine is filled with content meant to inspire our readers during the off-season. The Wills Wing team helped us connect with Wolfgang Seiss, one of their European team pilots, who grabbed this month’s cover shot, as well as some epic shots in the Gallery section from a recent trip to Italy, Spain, and Portugal. The USHPA team has grown this year with the addition of Eric Mead, who is heading up the Information Technology department. Moving forward with merging websites, taking care of a robust members’ section, and keeping the office running smoothly is a critical job and, as we can see from CJ Sturtevant’s interview, is in very capable hands. Patrick McGuiness is back with another piece on methods of dealing with psychological factors that will help pilots increase not only their ability to fly, but also their enjoyment in the air. Charlie Baughman, our featured contributor for the month, reports on an epic flight from Pine Mountain, Oregon, where his GoPro HD camera captured amazing stills from his Atos VR11. Ozone has made a lot of strides in the last few years and reached a level of market exposure only seen by elite manufacturers. I ran into the Ozone team at St. Hilaire this year and brought back a look into what makes this “Dream Team” tick. Thad Spencer submitted a great piece from his experiences at the first sanctioned US Open Distance Nationals in Provo, Utah, this year. Ken Hudonjorgenson spearheaded the organization of the event—an innovative format that provides pilots an opportunity to fly together. Although the field was relatively small, the quality of pilots and flying experiences were superb. Ryan Voight and Dennis Pagen, our newest and most experienced staff contributors, respectively, round out this issue with solid pieces that will help you improve your flying. This issue provides many articles for you to internalize during the off-season in order to start getting back into the saddle long before you take your first step toward launch. Hope you enjoy them!






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DEAR TRACY AND LISA, Excellent article in the December issue of the magazine in your Higher Education column. It’s the type of article that should see a regular reprint, at least every other year, both to catch new readers and to remind the rest of us of the complexities of our sport.  A couple of comments: Although this is a minor issue (and I know it’s Nick’s call, not yours), I think this type of article should land in the April or May issue, at the start of the stronger flying season when pilots are shaking off cobwebs. Second, it’s important to make the point that even if a pilot does everything right, he/she can still suffer any of the injuries you described so well.  You sort of did that with your hand/foot of God analogy which, consistent with the rest of the article, was well done.  I just think this point should be repeated.




The real reason for this email is to make a point that there is a sister article to yours that should follow or run alongside. That article contains a list of do’s and don’ts for first responders.  Most of the time, other hang glider pilots are the first responders.  Lynda Nelson wrote such an article back in the 80’s.  It also was very well written. 

it was one of my better approach/set ups into an area I’ve landed in over 100 times. Even the whack didn’t appear to be all that bad: there was no damage to the glider.  The first pilot who came over to help me immobilized my head and kept it that way until Search and Rescue showed up and got me on a board, even though by initial appear-

“Most of the time, other hang glider pilots are the first responders.” I believe we reprinted it in the early 90’s, but that was the last time this type of information appeared in the mag (I could be wrong about that –memory isn’t what it used to be, LOL). I’m writing this note only because some other pilots did everything right. Six months ago, I had a bad landing in Yosemite. We have it on video, and

ances it looked as if all I had was a broken arm. When I got to the hospital, we discovered the break was diagonal across three vertebrae in my neck.  The neurosurgeon who screwed everything back together expressed his amazement that I had made it to the hospital and not the morgue.  He gave all the credit to the first responders who did most of the work getting me out of my harness so the paramedics could get me on the board.  There was no permanent damage to the spinal cord and nerves.  Even though I’ve still got quite a bit of therapy ahead of me, the prognosis is that I’ll get everything back.  Didn’t mean to be so long- winded; it’s just that I have some fairly strong feelings about this subject. Thanks again for taking the time to write such an important article. - Russ Locke Thanks for your letter Russ. I agree with you that we should reprint articles like this at the beginning of each season. I hope you heal quickly! -Ed The opinions expressed in the letters published in this column are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the magazine staff or USHPA officials. While every effort is made to verify facts stated in letters, readers are urged to check the accuracy of any statement before taking action or forming an opinion based on the contents of a letter.





hen Charlie Baughman was ten years old, Charlie took his first flight/jump from a garage roof while holding four corners of a blanket. He was astonished to find that it slowed his descent. But his first real flying experiences began with sky diving and parachuting. Charlie made 697 jumps from perfectly good airplanes during a seven-year period. He became a member of the first Eight Man Star sky diving formation in Colorado and was designated Conference Style Champion. In the 60’s he began experimenting— first, with the Delta Parawing gliding parachute (Rogallo shape) and, later, with the ram air Paraplane parachute, the forerunner of early paragliders. Charlie started hang gliding in 1973 and is still flying today. He has operated hang gliding schools in Utah and Oregon and has worked for several



hang gliding companies in production and competition flying. Charlie has truly distinguished himself in hang gliding and continues to do so: He won the 1975 Thunder Bay Invitational, along with a $1000 purse, placed second in the 1975 Coonskin Carnival at Telluride, placed second in the Masters of Hang gliding at Grandfather Mt. in 1976, and won the Utah XC Cup three years in a row. One of those flights set the 1994 Utah distance record of 179 miles. In 2007 he broke the Oregon distance record for rigid wings with a flight of 196 miles, and in 2010 he broke it again with a flight of 218 miles. He also made flights from Dead Horse Point near Moab, Utah, for the filming of two different movie productions as well as one commercial. Charlie obtained an A and P License and a Private Pilot’s License while work-

ing for Columbia Aircraft. He is retired and living in Bend, Oregon, with his wife, Carolyn. Charlie expects to fly gliders at least another fifteen years.

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ASSOCIATION by C.J. Sturtevant


had the pleasure of meeting USHPA’s newest member of the office staff when we were both at the Soaring 100 celebration at Kitty Hawk last October. Eric Mead is young and, in the midst of a group of rowdy hang and paraglider pilots, he stood out as being quite the opposite, perhaps even shy. I enjoyed our few brief conversations, and am grateful for his taking the time to answer my questions and introduce



M E A D ,


himself to us. Eric is a Colorado native; his immediate family lives in Colorado Springs, but he also has extended family throughout the U.S. He married his longtime girlfriend, Bell, in early 2011, and they, along with their two “rescued” cats, Georgia and Lao, live in COS— close enough to bike to the office, although he hasn’t quite managed that yet. He joined the USHPA office staff in June of 2011, bringing a wealth of IT experience from his previous employments, most recently with ACS, a Xerox company. Eric is our main man for all things tech, so of necessity he’s a jack-of-all(IT)-trades. He describes his daily routine: “I support a physical network, the Association’s online presence, and also the USHPA staff. This means the work I do tends to vary on any given day. Some days I work on the USHPA websites, on another I might update an internal report for the office staff, and on the next I might perform software or hardware updates on our servers. I even occasionally answer the phones!” Although USHPA has had considerable technological challenges for many years, a cadre of dedicated and creative volunteers and staff members has been keeping our tech issues mostly under




control for, well, decades. Eric thinks his primary goal is to “oversee a redesign of the USHPA member website. I believe a cleaner, easier-to-use website would benefit both the membership and the office staff. However, this is quite a large task! It is not something that will be completed overnight, but I’m looking to begin work on it in 2012.” He wasn’t ready to reveal any specifics when we talked in December, but assured me that the new web design will be much simpler to navigate than our current site. When I asked Eric what he finds most satisfying about being the USHPA IT guy, he surprised me by saying, “The best part is working with the technology at USHPA”—not the response I’d have expected, given the tech frustrations in the Association’s past! But he points out, “To be successful in this kind of position you have to always be willing to learn new things and come up with novel approaches to a problem. I get a lot of satisfaction from solving such problems.” That open-minded perspective and can-do attitude bodes well for us members, and the office staff! So far, Eric’s biggest challenge has been “familiarizing myself with the organization itself. As the Association has developed over the years, a large amount of

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[opposite top] Eric meets R2-D2. [bottom left] Formerly an autocross racer, Eric still loves driving fast cars. [bottom right] Eric playing guitar during a concert in Denver, CO. [above] Eric prepares for a tandem with instructor Mitch Shipley.

terminology, processes, and procedures have emerged along with it. Discovering how all the pieces fit together is an ongoing process for me.” Eric is not a stranger to what we pilots are up to in our pursuit of airtime. He took his first hang gliding tandem flight in 2006 while vacationing near Lake Tahoe, Nevada. More recently, both he and his wife enjoyed flying tandem with hang pilot Mitch Shipley while they were in Kitty Hawk for last fall’s BOD meeting and Soaring 100 celebration. Eric is hoping to take a paraglider tandem in the near future as well—since USHPA’s executive director is a paragliding tandem instructor, that shouldn’t be too hard to arrange! “I have a lot of respect for hang glider and paraglider pilots,” Eric told me. “It clearly requires a lot of

skill to fly these craft, and I can appreciate the amount of training, money, and time pilots invest to be successful.” We pilots tend to be single-mindedly passionate about flying, so I asked Eric about his passions. “Aside from technology,” he responded, “one of my primary interests is music. I started playing the guitar when I was a teenager, and now also play keyboards. I’ve been a part of a handful of live shows at venues in Colorado Springs and Denver.” He’s not performing as part of a group right now, although he has done so in the past. Not surprisingly, his love for technology is currently pushing his musical interests toward the electronic/computer-driven genre. I asked Eric what he’d like us USHPA members to be aware of to make his job easier. He points out, “As USHPA’s only full-time technical staff member, I am

always working on several projects simultaneously. This means I must prioritize the projects I take on—but I’m always open to helping members in any way I can.” Like many non-profits, USHPA’s technical resources are limited, and Eric gives a grateful nod to “the contributions of skilled volunteers, such as Steve Roti, who have helped move the Association forward. We’re always appreciative when our members donate their time and their technical skills to advance the Association.” Eric reiterates that he’s really pleased to be part of USHPA and says he’s looking forward to “helping the Association thrive.” If you have suggestions or thoughts on what USHPA members or staff need from any aspect of our technology, or you just want to let him know you’re glad he’s joined us, you can reach Eric at

“I must prioritize the projects I take on—but I’m always open to helping members in any way I can.” HANG GLIDING & PAR AGLIDING | WWW.USHPA . AERO


Confidence for




“All pilots struggle with being under-confident at some point. When the task is within your ability, a lack of confidence will seriously impede you from doing your best.”


t’s a chilly afternoon on the Northwest Peak. You’re holding the wires for an advanced pilot while he completes his hang check. You came to the site hoping the conditions would be milder than forecast. Strong winds make for a challenging launch, and the road that links the main LZ to the entrance of the flying site has been washed out for weeks. The flight requires a successful XC bid to avoid an epic transport back to the car. The wind is howling at launch, but ridge lift alone will not help you make it to the first reasonable waypoint. While you’re deciding if you’re going to fly, the pilot you’re assisting completes his hang check. A calm and authoritative voice says to you, “OK, let’s walk it up to the platform now.” Arguably the best local pilot, this individual’s XC accomplishments are legendary. He is methodical, focused and definitive. His verbal

communication to you and the rest of wire crew is clear, articulate and concise. You respond to his commands and hold the front wires as you walk to a small wooden platform next to the launching rock. “Set her down,” he says. While the wind slams into launch, the pilot in command is relaxed and alert. He looks first at the ribbon in front of launch, then up at the wind sock to the left. “OK, now let’s walk it out to the rock.” The pilot is relaxed; he lifts the glider to his shoulders, feeling the wind for a moment...“Clear!” An explosive launch and the lift band take him high over the ridge. As he rises, you see him snuggle into his harness, pull the VG and look toward the sky.

What is Confidence and how can it help you improve your performance? Confidence is simply the belief that you are capable of doing something success-

fully. Research finds that confidence consistently distinguishes elite athletes from the rest of the pack. The pilot in the opening vignette knows he is capable of having a good safe flight when other pilots wisely choose to “pack it up.” When a pilot is confident, there is a reduction of anxiety and an increase in focus. Movements are smooth and unrestricted by muscle tension. Confidence improves performance by sharpening concentration, increasing effort, and helping you focus on doing something correctly, rather than focusing on how you can “screw up.” Confidence is one of the factors that determine how people interpret a surge of adrenalin. A confident pilot is more likely to interpret [opposite] Steve Farley, Instructor, Kitty Hawk Kites. [below] Doug Johnson, Morningside Flight Park. Photos by David Fynn.



the body’s arousal as preparing for action, instead of fearing for safety. It helps you see an opportunity where others see an obstacle.

Optimal Confidence Like most things in life, confidence serves us best when it comes in just the


right amount. The example above describes a pilot who actually is that good. His confidence is commensurate with his abilities. For a well- established XC pilot who has flown in similar conditions before, being confident in this situation is realistic. However, if a beginner pilot behaved the same way, in the same situation


we would say, “He’s crazy!” Over- confidence occurs when you underestimate a challenge and overestimate your ability to do something successfully. Under-confidence is the opposite problem, but it can also prevent you from achieving your top performance. All pilots struggle with being underconfident at some point. When the task is within your ability, a lack of confidence will seriously impede you from doing your best. Low confidence will make you focus more on “not screwing up” than “doing it correctly.” Research clearly indicates that a positive approach is more effective. When you focus on not “screwing up,” you are far less effective than when you focus on doing it right. You begin to shorten your breathing patterns and increase muscle tension. When muscles are tight, you develop jerky motions, rather than smooth muscle movements. Low confidence increases anxiety and interferes with concentration and decision-making.

[top] Looking east through Yosemite Valley. [bottom] Standing on launch, Yosemite Valley. Photos by Charles Fiebig.

Sport psychologists spend a good deal of time helping athletes improve and build self-confidence. Working with a mental skills coach can help an individual develop a confident state before undertaking a challenging task, that is, a state that affects not only thoughts and beliefs but physiological changes, emotional changes and physical sensations. One commonly used technique to develop confidence is the use of positive self-talk. Self-talk is the background noise, the internal conversation we have with ourselves. When the conversation is positive, it contributes to confidence and strong performance. When it is negative, it takes away from and interferes with solid performance. For example, faced with a challenge you might say, “I stink at this” or you can choose to say, “I can do this.” Let’s consider that both statements may be equally true. You may

be comparing yourself to someone who is better at a particular skill. Instead of comparing yourself, you need to determine if your skills are adequate for the task at hand. If so, focus on developing a positive mindset. How you talk to yourself can influence your performance. Acquiring this skill is difficult because many people are unaware of the automatic beliefs they use to correct and motivate themselves on a regular basis. The first part of this skill requires that you learn to monitor your automatic thoughts and beliefs on a regular basis. Let’s examine what is for many a familiar scenario. You pack your vehicle and head off to your favorite flying site. You are early and think to yourself, “This is great! I have a little extra time to get set up and check things over so I don’t feel rushed.” You feel calm and focused as you look at the sky. You think about the microphone and the rest of the headset you installed in your helmet the night before. Then it occurs to you that the helmet is where you left it, on the workbench.

What thoughts automatically come to mind? What negative judgments about yourself accompany that feeling of frustration? How do you evaluate yourself in this moment? Are you kind to yourself? Are you positive and understanding, or are you harsh and negative? These are the moments that call on you to be self-aware and to coach yourself. By engaging in negative self-talk at that moment, you are likely to make matters worse. Forgetting to get off at the next highway exit or forgetting that your intention was to stop for gas will only compound the problem. Instead, notice the internal dialogue and stop it. Focus on self-compassion and problem solving, based on your new circumstances. Let’s imagine this process is happening in flight. If you are still “beating yourself up” for a decision that leads to a bailout landing, how absorbed will you be with your own negative internal dialogue? Will the distraction take away from focusing on a challenging landing in unfamiliar territory?


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It is important to accept that these psychological processes are real and that they affect your performance. Ignoring them or shutting them out can have catastrophic results. A pilot who is feeling insecure about his abilities and does not accept himself in that moment needs to focus on problem solving. He may convey a false bravado or adopt a persona of the alpha male. This outward expression of confidence is generally considered a way of masking fear. His voice deepens, his posture becomes more upright, he begins giving orders or brags about past accomplishments. He is, in effect, trying to convince himself that he is confident. This set of behaviors is noticed by others because they are generally exaggerated, inauthentic and unusual. However, they are difficult to interrupt because the individual’s behavior is being driven by an emotional response rather than a logical one. Experienced East Coast pilots tell the tale of an unrated, untrained pilot who brought his glider to the beach. He was


determined to soar the dunes that day. His lack of experience and knowledge was obvious to others. At first, the pilots tried to dissuade him from flying. But his ego took over and he adopted the “alpha male” persona. The pilots held strong and


forbade him to fly the site, and he left the parking lot under protest. Later, he set up his glider several dunes away, upwind. Unfortunately, his decision to launch led to his own demise. His flight consisted of a one-thousand foot arc, starting on

[left] The author waiting for it | photo by David Fynn.

top of the dunes and ending only seconds later in the parking lot behind the dunes. He crashed in front of the rated pilots, as they set up their gliders. His body, bloody and lifeless, illustrated how hubris and false confidence can lead to tragedy. While this powerful example of overconfidence is memorable, it is not as common as less dramatic examples. Imagine you are in a competition and your assessment of the day is: “This task is easy.” How might that impact your performance as you prepare for final glide? Overconfidence can lead to missed opportunities while your eager competitors retain their vigilance and leave the gaggle with a good line ahead of you.

Where does Confidence come from? The more you fly, the more confident you are: “That (flying often) gives you the muscle memory you need for a sport like hang gliding.” Confidence comes from a number of different sources. The most obvious source is having successfully completed a similar task before. The first time you land in a tricky LZ you are not as confident as you are on your second or third time. Paul Voight explains that confidence is most impacted by how current a pilot is. Confidence also comes from developing and improving skills, from observing mentors demonstrate a skill, and from capturing a mental picture of the skill done correctly. Trust in the judgment of your mentors and instructors is crucial, as is listening to their advice. Other factors include the feedback and encouragement you get from those around you. Instructors, flying partners and loved ones have an impact on our confidence.

How can you improve your Confidence? Keep flying. This develops the mastery of skills and abilities needed to perform. Each time you demonstrate your mastery of a given skill, the more confident you are that you can do it well in the future. Assess your own confidence by an-

swering the following questions: When are you overconfident? When do you have self-doubts? When are you tentative or indecisive? How do you recover from mistakes? Seek out feedback from trusted sources. There is no shortage of feedback in the world of hang gliding and paragliding, but not all advice is good advice. Many experienced pilots are eager to provide feedback to make themselves feel good, rather than because it is useful to the newer pilot. More often than not, those with the most helpful information are not compelled to demonstrate the knowledge they have. Find pilots whose judgment you trust and respectfully ask for their opinion. Learn to coach yourself. Self-talk is the background noise in your mind—the words you use to judge yourself and your actions. Self-talk can be positive: “I can do this.” It can also be negative: “I’m not good enough.” Monitoring and transforming negative statements about yourself into positive statements that are true is a far more effective performance strategy. Find a role model. Even if you are a top competitor, another pilot may be more skilled than you in one aspect of flying. Develop a mental picture of how they execute that skill and do what they do. Review your best performances. Pay close attention to the feelings and sensations that go with those experiences. Bring those feelings into the present and project them into the future, as you anticipate your next task.


onfidence separates top performers from the rest of the pack. The experience of being under-confident is more common than being overconfident. Overconfidence can detract from performance by decreasing effort and mental focus. Optimal confidence affects mood, focus and muscle movements positively. To improve your flying, consider working on the suggestions given.

 WAYPOINTS  Charlie Baughman | Pine Mountain




he view was breathtaking. I was high, way above the clouds in very smooth, serene air, and all alone. I was really glad I had a camera and hoped the shots were good. I spotted Patrick climbing up to 8700’ and radioed to him, “Get your butt up here; this is incredible air.” He responded, “I’m trying, I’m trying!” During the flight, I had radioed my flying friends several times about how wonderful conditions were and apparently sounded like an exuberant little kid at Christmas. The return reply could have easily been, “Shut up. I am busy.” The forecast on Saturday, Oct. 22, in Pine Mt., Oregon, was for lift to 8000’ and a 10- to 15-mph west wind, which is straight in at launch. Pine Mt. is in the high desert in Central Oregon, over 40 miles east of the Cascade Range. The westerly winds put it in a lee side condition and it’s very dry with few trees. These conditions make for many days of good thermal flying in the summer, with cloudbase ranging from 10,000’ to 14,000’ (occasionally even higher)—excellent cross-country potential. Landing areas are plentiful at about 4300’, with flat treeless terrain usually covered with sagebrush from two to five feet tall. Pine Mt. is actually a big rocky volcanic mountain containing several long ridges. There are four main upper launches. The west launch, at 6100’, is the favorite launch for hang gliding. Paraglider pilots use the four upper launches as well as the convenient lower launches on the northwest-facing ridge, all of which are close to a parking area. I launched at 2:00 PM and found conditions to be good, especially for that late in the year. A total of five hang gliders and seven paragliders launched that day. Paraglider pilots Steve Roti and Scott Maclowry reported that they got up to 7700’, where they found the wind to be at their maximum, so they flew out and down. I got high in good lift with light turbulence. The cumulus clouds were dry and wispy at 10,000’. I worked the lift back to the Antelope Launch area and would have continued going east, but I saw no more appetizing cumulus clouds and decided to head back upwind to the ridge. I was able to reach the top of the ridge because of the superior performance of my Atos glider. The Atos VR11 glider is classified as a rigid wing hang glider. It has a very wide span with flaps, spoilerons, winglets, and a horizontal stabilizer. The flaps and stabilizer are coupled together and the setting can be changed in the air with a pull cord. Pitch and roll are controlled by weight shift movement. It has

[top to bottom] This is the early part of my flight over Pine Mountain–you can see nice cumulus in front of the Cascade Range. Getting higher over launch with paraglider Tim Reynolds out front and Bill Wood ready to launch. Above the clouds a glory has formed on a wispy cumulus.



[top to bottom] High above the clouds near Pine Mountain. This cloud is in a wedge shape indicating the convergence zone. Very high above the clouds.



an excellent glide ratio that allows me to go places. After I flew back to the launch area, I scratched for lift with Scott Michalek and Tim Reynolds and later circled up to Patrick Kruse. After some searching, I entered a strong, smooth thermal, with my climb averaging 700 fpm. I love fast climbs, especially when they are smooth. As I climbed higher and higher, I looked up for a cloud, but finding none, I topped out at 12,100’, 2000’ above the clouds. The entire climb was cloudless. However, as I was cruising around in the smooth upper layer, I noticed a glory on a cloud. The glory is an optical phenomenon that falls into the “water droplet arc” category, similar to rainstorm rainbows. The physics of the glory are not fully understood. A basic explanation is that glories are rainbow-colored rings produced by backscattering, surface wave effects and diffraction from small, uniformly-sized water droplets, such as those in clouds and fog. The colored rings are seen around the “anti solar” point, directly opposite the sun, along a line running through the observer’s location. Droplet characteristics are important in determining the type of glory formation. Smaller droplets produce larger glories. Uniform droplets have more rings, and they are more distinct as well. The glory’s angular size depends only on the diameters of the cloud droplets. The distance from the cloud has no effect on how large it looks. All of the glories in my pictures look to be the same angular size, even though I was at different distances from the clouds. The shadow itself can change size, depending on the distance from the cloud. The glider shadow in my pictures is small and off-center in the glory. The camera is not centered on the glider. it is on the left wingtip, aimed to the right and forward, and it “sees” its part of the shadow in the center of the glory. The glory sighting was mesmerizing. I had seen these before, but this time I was able to stay up at cloud height for an extended period of time while taking pictures. Most of the clouds I used to make the glory shots were elongated and wedge-shaped, going from west to east, and the cloud top billows appeared to be rising and showing a wind increase. I flew along the sunny south side of the cloud to get multiple shots. There was continuous 300 to 500 fpm lift near the cloud in clear air. I had to dive to stay low enough to get the glory shots. It was as if I were making speedy ridge runs, except I was flying upwind taking shots and downwind to line up for

another shooting run. After I made multiple cloud passes, the conditions started to deteriorate as the clouds began to dissipate. The magical air had lasted about 45 minutes. I flew back to the ridge and, as I watched my altimeter unwind, my thoughts turned to the camera. I really wanted the shots to be there when I uploaded, because no one would believe or could imagine and enjoy this story without pictures. I have had discussions about this soaring condition with Gary Osoba, a hang glider designer back in the 70‘s, when new designs were coming out monthly. Gary created some very innovative designs, currently holds many sailplane records and makes attempts to break soaring records every year. Gary had an explanation for my soaring condition. He stated: “The conditions that allowed you to climb to altitudes above the clouds and fly along in front of them, as you might do in ridge lift, are rather uncommon. First, there appeared to be a convergence of two air masses with markedly differing moisture levels. Second, the winds aloft were such that once you climbed to a position in front of existing clouds, you were able to ‘surf’ them in a thermal-induced wave. That is, the clouds line up in a manner that allows the upper winds to flow over them, creating mild wave lift and sink in a pattern.” I would like to add that I think the elongated wedge shape of the clouds was interesting, possibly indicating that a drier, colder, faster moving air mass was converging and riding up the cloud top, which increased the instability and helped form and pull the cloud into a wedge shape. After many years of flying, this flight is a strong reminder to me that the potential for new experience and discovery is always there, just waiting to be realized. In my early days of flying, I learned that even a primitive standard hang glider could go up in a thermal by using the circling method. We have come a long way since then. Advanced equipment, improved technique, and increased knowledge have enhanced our enjoyment in all aspects of flying. This flight had some phenomenal firsts for me, including the first time I’d gained anywhere near 2000’ above the lower thermal-formed clouds, the first time I’d flown next to a small cloud in clear air and consistently gained 500 fpm and the first time I’d had such a euphoric glory experience. The pleasure of this adventure was magnified by the unbelievable smoothness and buoyancy of the upper layer. Later that night, I exclaimed to my flying buddies: “I feel like a 1000 watts. You could plug a

toaster into me!”

[top to bottom] Flying over a blanket of clouds with a glory. This is one of the BEST GLORIES I have– notice the tiny glider shadow in the glory. My FAVORITE picture–a good shot of a billow type cloud top and also a nice glory.







t’s 8 a.m., and I’m waiting outside an office in Le Bar sur Loup in the south of France. The office resides in a gray, square building that sits off a windy road high above the coast. There are no windows on the bottom level, and tall shrubs cloak it from view, making it tricky to see from below. Indeed, it’s somewhat fortuitous that I found it at all. Only a small brand logo, placed subtly above its red double doors, indicate that the building is the headquarters of Ozone, one of the world’s premier manufacturers of paragliding wings. It took me four U-turns before I saw it and made my way up the steep drive. Soon, Karine Marconi arrives. She’s short, with a profusion of reddish hair framing a round, welltanned face. As she lifts her dark glasses onto her head and welcomes me with a casual “Bon jour,” her face transforms into a cherubic smile. Marconi is Ozone’s Administrative Chief, and the backbone of the office. She unlocks the doors and I follow her upstairs, where she begins to fire up the system. Luc Armant, the designer who, over the last two years, has revolutionized paragliding design, will tell me later that day, “Ozone is nothing without her.” Marconi takes care of everything from a complicated order processing system to organizing birthday celebrations for her boys. As the other members of the Ozone team arrive, I sense the affec-

tion and respect they have for her in their morning salutations. From the second-floor window, I watch as a black Audi RS3 pulls up smartly alongside a row of matching white Mercedes Sprinters, the utility vehicle of choice for businesses in Europe. Dav Dagault, Ozone’s chief test pilot, designer and co-owner, gets out, and his close-cropped black hair and five o’clock stubble soon disappear as he enters the building. Armant wanders in next, humming a tune. His beard has not seen a trim in months, and his blue eyes shine beneath a nest of thin brown hair as he enters the room, smiling. A fluid dynamics and hydrology expert, he was seduced away from a career as a naval architect and engineer to work for Ozone. As he ambles toward the design loft, greeting Karine and Dav en route, his shoelaces flop. He arrests his trajectory to look through a Cross Country magazine that has suddenly found its way onto his radar. Fred Pieri, “the father of the Sharknose leading edge” and the youngest addition to the Ozone team, comes in, looking like a younger version of Armant, albeit with thicker hair. Russ Ogden, one of Ozone’s test pilots, pulls into the overflow parking lot last. He throws a shirt onto the child seat in the back of his car, puts his first cigarette of the day into the ashtray, then locks his grey station wagon

[opposite] Chamonix | photo by Olivier Laquero.



[above] Photo by Elisa Houdry. [below] At the Ozone offices | photo by Nick Greece.


and rambles across the busy mountain road. Soon the manic drumbeat of fingers on computer keyboards fills the room, and conversations turn to strategy, design, external communications. Pieri and Armant stare at a screen, talking and gesticulating with animation. Ogden reads his emails aloud as he answers them: What glider size is best for a customer who weighs 176 pounds? What color is faster, red or yellow? Dagault discusses an order regarding the diameter of pulleys that he is about to place for the Ozone factory in Vietnam with co-owner Mike Cavanagh. It’s a picture of industry and efficiency as each part of the team works on his or her area of operation. But as the thermic cycles of the sun begin to build, I notice increasing numbers of glances out the windows. At 10 a.m., Armant and Pieri stand up. Dagault shouts, laughing, as Ogden takes off his headphones


and shuts down his computer. The members of the Ozone team are about to begin their second shift: flight testing. While Dagault fires up the white Mercedes, Ogden and Armant make sure the correct gliders are on board. Pieri, meanwhile, grabs Ozone’s newest innovation, a glider that weighs as much as a gallon of water. Top-secret photos of the wing, dubbed the XXLite, have been circulating on the Internet, and I angle closer for a better look. It’s a wing that could change para-alpinism forever. Traditionally, gliders have had two surfaces. The top and bottom of the wing are sewn together at the trailing edge, forming a profile that fills with air to create wing rigidity. Companies have used lighter materials in the past to build a lighter wing, but nothing compares to Pieri’s design. The XXLite has a single-surface and weighs only 2.5 lbs. Eliminating an entire surface has created a wing which, later that week, will win a prestigious design award at St Hilaire du Touvet, the biggest free-flight festival/trade show in the world. With the whole package of wing and harness weighing just three pounds, the XXLite will give mountaineers and alpine pilots the option to fly down from the highest peaks in the world without adding energydraining weight on the way up. Now, Pieri is about to take his creation on its final test flight. Apart from that historic event, though, the excitement that infuses the group as they get into the Mercedes for an afternoon of flying is familiar. Every day, these test pilots head to the hills of nearby Gourdon to induce configurations to prototype gliders: full stalls, 50-percent asymmetrics, full frontals, and a variety of other collapses of indeter-

minate sizes that recreational pilots hope never to experience in a lifetime. Before a glider, from any manufacturer, is sent for certification from an independent testing house, such as Air Turquoise, it is put through a rigorous battery of induced events. This ensures that the relatively costly independent test will be successful. Ozone’s headquarters in the south of France, however, presents a distinct advantage: the Cote D’Azure’s temperate climate allows a massive flying window throughout the year. As soon as we arrive at launch, Ogden and Dagault pull Ozone’s newest intermediate glider from the back of the Mercedes. Within minutes, they start climbing in a mixture of thermal and ridge lift. They fly away from the hill, then begin to pull deflations, the likes of which would scare most of us into landing for a beer. Dagault has been flying at Gourdon since age twelve, and can land anywhere he wants at will. Ogden, the British Champion and a top PWC pilot, is no slouch either. Dagault and Ogden are putting two versions of the same glider through the paces, so after a good session with one, they top-land, retrieve the next version, climb up, fly out over the valley, and begin to pull more massive collapses. They both top-land half a dozen times in order to switch gliders. Armant is on launch to assist with modifications and study the in-air behavior of the gliders he delineates. He’s coming off an injury, so instead of flying, he simply watches the reactions of the wings he has designed. At first he does so alongside Pieri, but after a few sessions, Pieri leaves the observation team and pulls out the XXLite. Pieri hooks in, grabs the shoestring A risers, and gives them a tug into the airflow. The wing springs overhead and he stands on launch. He’s kiting a paraglider that looks like it left the factory before it was done. There are no internal braces or crossports, and there’s no bottom surface. Unlike any other paraglider I have seen, it is not filled with air, yet it still flies. The line attachment tabs look utterly naked, exposed to everything below. Pieri launches and begins to climb. I watch, mouth agape, while my mind catalogs the missing bits. Even though I know that Bernoulli’s principle still applies, it’s hard to believe the wing is flying. If I had not seen the in-flight photos, I might bet against Pieri’s safe return. Under Pieri’s guidance, the wing moves overhead as if searching. It’s twitchy, and seems to have light

brake pressure. Although the XXLite has controls similar to other wings, it’s clear this is a different beast. Because of the weight, it’s the wing I’d want to carry up a mountain. I’m just not sure yet if it’s the one I’d want to fly down. Pieri top-lands, sporting the ear-to-ear smile of a proud father. His baby is still early in its development, but with Pieri’s idea and the team’s collaboration, Ozone has opened the door to a new arena of free flight. Around 1 p.m., the wind picks up. It’s too strong now for valuable testing, so the lunch bell whistles and the team jostles back down the dirt track toward the Mercedes. Everyone piles in, and Dagault navigates for the grocery store, where they unload again to buy food for lunch back at headquarters. After our appetites are sated, and the communal lunch/ribbing session/debriefing is done, Ogden, the scheduled cleaner of the day, makes a “nice” cup of tea and hits dish-duty, and the drumbeat of keys arises once more in the office. In 2009, Ozone’s two-line paraglider won an Invention of the Year Award from Popular Science magazine. Some say this “dream team” of engineers and test pilots has revolutionized paragliding design. Others contend that the leap in performance enabled by the two-liner will end the competition class as we know it, and that Ozone has opened an R&D gap that other manufacturers are trying to close at the cost of safety. Regardless of one’s perspective, however, one thing is undeniable. Ozone’s extraordinary ability to combine science and art in their design has brought paragliding to the next level. And with the creation of the XXLite, their dominance through innovation has only just begun.

[below] From left counter clockwise: Dav Dagault, Fred Pieri, Luc Armant, and Russ Ogden on launch watching a pilot out front after a morning of testing | photo by Nick Greece.


Dav Dagault Fun, safety, and performance. It’s all about the compromises to improve performance without interfering with the ease of use.

[opposite top] Dav Dagault and Russ Ogden climbing above Gourdon to fly out and test gliders. [bottom] Russ Ogden discusses a prototype pod harness with Luc Armant. Photos by Nick Greece.

What is your role at Ozone? I am a shareholder in the company, a paraglider designer and a test pilot. How have you seen wing design change over the last 10 years? Designs have changed a lot in the last 10 years. It’s been great because we keep improving the performance while maintaining the same level of safety. Every level of pilot has had the chance to benefit! I think technical improvements, new technology, are the best thing a sport can get.

How long have you been flying? I started in 1988 when I was 12 years old. So it’s been over 23 years. What are some of your accomplishments? I was French champion in 1999, placed 2nd at the first Redbull X-Alps in 2003, and 1st in the French  Distance Cup in 2010. I have also crossed the French Alps in one flight and returned home by airplane the day after. Tell us about the flight that you and Luc Armant did last year? We planned nothing; that was the beauty of it. We looked at the weather that morning, and we suddenly realized it was going to be an epic day. So it was a mad rush to get all the gear together and race up to take off in Col de Bleine. Then, after Luc launched, he went west, and I launched and headed north, so we lost sight of each other after only 20 minutes. A couple of hours later, our ideas converged and we met up again along the Belledone Ridge near Grenoble, and we nearly finished the flight together. After hitting some northeast wind in Switzerland, I knew we could not fly further so we went to land. What is your philosophy for design? 28


Where do you think design is going? No one knows. There are so many new doors to open. What is your favorite food? Anything creamy, rich, tasty. I also love Indian food, anything with cheese, etc … You just got a new car. What did you get and why did you choose that one? I got an Audi RS3. It has good power, all-wheel drive to grip the snow in winter, and it’s a little more family friendly for my two kids than my previous rally car. What are your goals for the upcoming year? Keep having fun at work, and, hopefully, get some good weather to explore some new XC routes we have in mind, but haven’t been able to try yet. What part do you play in the team at Ozone? I’m mainly a part of the R&D team, technically speaking. But I feel that we are truly a “team.” We are not many, so I feel I’m part of one thing, part of the Ozone team. Anything else the public should know about Ozone and what you do? Come and visit us to know more about Ozone and who we are, what we do.



Fred Pieri I have competed in national competitions in France, but my true pleasure is in bivy-flying. I have crossed the Pyrenees, the Alps, as well as mountains in Krygyzstan in Russia and Mongolia. I always travel with the same three friends, and we have amazing adventures in the mountains all over the world.

[opposite top] The Ozone team hard at work. [bottom] The Ozone engineers spend a lot of time working together in the lab. Photos by Nick Greece.

What college degree do you have? I have a mechanical and structural engineering degree from the University in Annecy, France.

How long have you been working at Ozone? For two years. What do you do there? I’m working as an engineer in the R&D center in the south of France. Were you behind the shark nose? I had the first idea about this concept, but after I presented the idea, the whole team worked on it to make it a real final concept that we could move in order to make the product available to the public. What is the purpose of the shark nose? It creates a more stable platform when the speed system is used or the angle of attack of the canopy is lowered. That is why it is only in the R11 so far, as it currently only makes sense on a wing with a high speed range. Will the shark nose appear on serial wings? I think so. However, it is a new concept, so I think manufacturers need time to get used to it. But since a lot of advantages can be brought to free flight with this design, I think it is highly possible to see it on a serial wing. What are some of your flying accomplishments? 30


What are some of your upcoming projects? Bivy-flying again! I plan to go into the Atlas Mountains in Morocco with the same team! We want to cross a part of the Atlas range that is very rarely considered. We will start by sailing a Hobie Cat 20 from France to Morocco for two weeks, after which we’ll spend three weeks bivy-flying, and then take two weeks to return on the boat. What do you like about working at Ozone? I like the learning, the brain-storming, imagining new concepts in an environment that supports that kind of thinking. Also, we are in the air every day, so I can improve my skills. It is great to put the theory and the practice together. What do you see your part of the team as being, and how are you different from the other team members? We all work together; all of our skills are put in the same pot. I am adding a theoretical part and the ideas of one more pilot. It is important to have many types of pilots on the team in order to get a well-rounded view of what we are doing. Did you make the XXLite? I didn’t make the XXLite. I worked on it with Luc Armant from the beginning of the project. What is the purpose of the XXLite? Light weight!!! First, it’s good for pilots who like trail running, going up mountains very fast with quick, easy descents. Also, for the alpinists who are willing to carry 2.5 lbs with the chance of flying down, saving the long walk down.

What is it like to fly? It’s only slightly different from a paraglider. The brake pressure is very light and the wing moves a lot above your head, because there is no inertia to dampen the movement in the air and because there is no power in the movement or shooting of the canopy. Will we see this in production at some point or is it still a test product? For the moment the XXLite is a concept wing. We will continue to try it, show it, and improve it! It needs a lot more testing, flying, and improvements to be a real product. What do you see in for paragliding design in the next 2 years? In the next 10 years? All the designers are working on making gliders safer with more performance and less weight. So I can say, in the future, the gliders will be lighter, safer, and improved performance!



Matt Gerdes piano dropped on his head in my opinion. For me, I just love surviving a pleasurable challenge.

[opposite] Bushes | photo by Matt Gerdes.

What else are you into? I like reading, wingsuit BASE jumping, and skiing near my home in the Alps. I also love rowing my boat on the lake. Tell us about the book you’re reading. The Great Book of BASE. You should read it. Much of the content is relevant to paragliding as well. There are a few passages on the psychology of risk, some good stories, a bunch of great photos, and everything you need to know about BASE jumping, which is a very fun activity. Where do you live? French Alps. What is your role at Ozone? Director of Marketing, US / Canada Distribution What differentiates Ozone from other manufacturers? That in itself is an entire feature article. Or even a series. The shortest possible answer is that we are a company that was started by pilots, for pilots, and we all deeply care about making our sport better—not just selling wings. Unlike many other PG companies, we have our own design team, test pilots, and our own amazing factory. A lot of other companies purchase (or copy) designs, manufacture their wings in someone else’s factory, and sometimes barely even test their own wings. It’s crazy how few people realize this about the industry and fall prey to companies that are essentially just a marketing shell. Ozone is a comparatively big company these days, but we stay true to our roots and do everything in-house. We are a small family of pilots who run it and make the day- to-day decisions on products and development in general. What do you like best about flying? That’s a question that can get lots of cheesy answers. Anyone who answers “Freedom” should get a



Where are you from? California. Where did you learn to fly? In Austria and at Airplay (now Aerial PG) with Dixon White. Where do you think paragliding is going? Nobody knows for sure if the sport is shrinking or growing, worldwide, but most people seem to think it’s shrinking. I love the fact that we are still discovering new ways to have fun with the central concept. For instance, mini-wings, speed-wings, and ultra-light wings have opened up many new doors for us. There is so much potential to have fun in the air. I think pilots who are staying in the sport the longest and having the most fun are the pilots who are sampling the options and expanding their quiver of wings and their skill set. What do you think of the recent wing design debate and regulation? Let’s leave politics to the pundits. What are your goals for the coming year? Get a lot of mountain-fresh air and continue to read and learn as much as possible.

What do you think is most important in flying? I think it’s important to try to stay in flying situations that you can enjoy. Bad judgment puts you into situations that are too stressful to enjoy. Of course, that’s assuming you know enough about flying to know when you should be stressed What is your opinion of the flying communities in the US? How do they compare to others you have seen? Local clubs are big in Europe, and there are national club titles in competitions (scores for club members at nationals are averaged and the clubs are ranked). That’s a neat concept. The flying scene in the US is great. I love visiting places with an enthusiastic local crew, and most US sites seem to have that.  You are a big part of the mini-wing development at Ozone? A part, yes. What is your background with these wings? I’ve been a big fan since we started testing them in 2006. What are your goals with this wing type? 1. Safety  2. Stability  3. Ease of use.  Every other goal for mini-wings is misguided, in my opinion. Searching for an extra few kms of speed and performance is not the path to take. What are the options for those interested in flying mini-wings?

Get advice from a real speed flying instructor, not from the internet. Speed flying is still in a WildWest phase, with a bunch of self-proclaimed experts / instructors / pros, and very few people offering safe advice. The speed flying forum at pgforum. com is a real mess. By my estimation, it’s about 70% misinformation. The flying is really fun, as long as you don’t get swept up in the hype and buy the equivalent of a comp wing when you’re a beginner or intermediate pilot. Where do you see mini-wings going in the future? They are only getting more popular, for sure. Any advice for those interested in learning how to fly them? Start simple, start large. What was the best book you read this year? Yeager, by Gen. Chuck Yeager. A must-read for any airborne risk taker!  Best trip this year? I took a skiing, eating, and relaxing road trip around the Alps with close friends last spring. Skiing powder in the Swiss Alps followed by eating Italian food on Lake Como the next day: That’s how we rolled. Where would you like to go next? I’m really looking forward to being home in the mountains!



Luc Armant the other designers from Ozone, Dav Dagault, from Col De Bleine, France, to Sion, Switzerland. In the beginning it was fun, because we each had our own ideas and leap-frogged each other many times. After Chamonix, France, I stayed with Dav as he knows that area much better than I do. 211 miles across the Alps is a spectacular journey in one day!

[opposite] Fred Pieri test flying the 2.8 lbs ultralight glider—the XXlite | photo by Nick Greece.

How did Ozone find and hire you? I was flying and trying to design paragliders in the same place, Gourdon, as the Ozone design team. I had had a slight accident before they offered me the job, so they actually had to come to the hospital to ask me to join the team.

What is your design background? I have had a passion for boats and boat design since childhood. I eventually explored my passion toward architecture by going to architecture school.  I realized this was not my path and went back to fulfill my childhood passion at boat design school. I worked within boat design industry for two years, but found there was too much work and pressure. I then focused my attention toward airborne activities where I worked for an independent investor for five years. What do you like best about working at Ozone? Designing and accounting for every detail, without the pressure to rush and fly on a prototype which is not quite ready. Tell us about some of your big flying accomplishments— Bivy flights, etc. The biggest accomplishment was to fly alone across the Himalaya. It was a pure adventure into the unknown. I spent twenty-one days flying alone across big country. I spent nine days flying across India, nine days in Nepal, and three days in jail at the border. It was my first bivy project and maybe my last, as I have had a child in the meantime, which makes extended adventures less possible. This year I had the privilege of flying with one of



What do you think is important to know before designing wings? Flying them. Before flying, I couldn’t believe how difficult PG design is without real in-flight understanding. If you could have one super power what would it be, and how would you use it? I always dreamed of having a super-power. My earliest dream was to be able to fly like Superman. Now, I would like to be able to read the air so I could consistently fly faster  than a gaggle composed of 20 top world-class pilots. Where do you think wing design should go in the future? It should be directed towards improving performance in order to make the beauty of cross-country flying more accessible, while improving the safety. Are red wings faster than blue ones? Ask Russell Ogden. He knows about colors, and we always ask him before doing a wing. If you could get rid of one country in Europe, what would it be? United Kingdom, of course! What do you see for paragliding design in the next 2 years? In the next 10 years? I don’t know about the future. Certainly we have some nice design ideas for the future, but there

is more to it than that. Politics, crises, and other uncontrollable things can strongly affect paraglider design. Where would you like to go for your next vacation? Somewhere to learn to kite surf in a warm sea with my family. How long have you been working at Ozone? Since July 2008

What translates between hull design and wing design? Nothing. They are completely different. Hull design can be designed by real 3D shaping. For wing design, you only shape profiles in 2D and then compute numbers in tables. Structural perception and calculation are also very different. What is the hardest part of designing wings? When the prototype is not solving the problem it was meant to. When you don’t manage to understand where the problem is coming from.



Russell Ogden Exciting, Interesting, sometimes scary but always fun.

[opposite] Russ Ogden test flying the next EN-B glider from Ozone. Photos by Nick Greece. [next page] XXLite | photo by Dav Dagault.

What is your biggest challenge on a daily basis? Speaking French. Like most Englishmen, I am completely inept at speaking a foreign language, but I enjoy blundering my way through. Where do you think wing design should go now? It should be free to continue as it is. We are refining wings with every generation, and freedom of design is healthy for progression of performance/ safety at all levels. Competition wings are another matter, but let’s not go there now.

Give us a bit of a flying resume, please. Started flying 1994. Paragliding instructor in Brighton (UK) for 10 years: I talked a lot about paragliding without actually doing it much. Few comps here and there. Started with Ozone in 2004. What is your role at Ozone? Test pilot. Working with the other guys, I test and trim the whole range of wings for feel, performance and safety. I deal with all things having to do with certification, making manuals, customer service, making lines, modifying gliders, general dogsbody to the designers, etc. What is your philosophy of paragliding design and testing? “In designers we trust.” Let the designers do what they do best and don’t box them in. My philosophy regarding testing is progression. Testing paragliders is a deeply interesting job, but you have to be very methodical and willing to progress slowly to do it well. I have taken my time to hone skills and keep myself as safe as possible. There is no other way, as it is unforgiving of mistakes and incompetence, especially since we test over rock, not water. Describe your job in 5 words or less. 36


If you were a car, what kind of car would you be? This is a rubbish question, and here was me thinking you are a real journalist!? Anyway, I will give you an obscure car that none of your readers will have ever heard of just so you see the futility of this question. I am a Ford Cortina Mk2 1600E. In their day they were sporty, funky and super cool. Now they are outdated, outperformed and gradually rusting away. (Google it. I owned one of these, back in the days when I had hair. I called it “the wheels of Judah.” I was a proper sugar-daddio!) If you could change one thing about the world what would it be? I would make the trading/ownership of arms illegal. What was your favorite glider of all time and why? R11 proto I had in Colombia. This is the most sublimely beautiful wing I have ever flown. But on a weekend, with a choice of any wing I care for, I will normally take a Buzz Z3. This is the wing I have the most fun with. Where is your favorite flying site? Easy! St Andre les Alps (France) for mountain flying, Chelan for flatland. If you were a Muppet, which one would you be? I am a muppet in my own right, but I guess I

would be one of those old boys sitting in the box making cynical comments. If you could teach every pilot one lesson from all the training you do daily what would it be? I have been testing for seven years now, but I still learn something new almost every day; the training process never stops. So I would say that the lesson is to never stop learning, always aim to progress. Flying is not golf; it really does matter if you are not very good at it. If you are crap, not only are you a danger to yourself, but you are irresponsible to those that care for you. You have no choice but to be as good as you possibly can be. So train as hard as you can and always try to better yourself. What should all pilots think about every time they fly? Safety and progression.





Roly Wyss kiting in the Bernese Alps | photo by Markus Zimmerman.

A Fool

and His


Are Soon Parted by ThadSPENCER

A Midwest pilot’s story of competing at the U.S. Open Distance Nationals




can think of few things I like more than flying cross-country in a paraglider. I love my wife, my kids, my friends, and I even like my work, but I will drop them all in a heartbeat if the forecast is looking good on XC Skies. I live in Minnesota. Before you dismiss me as some hayseed living in a frozen cornfield, let me tell you we have excellent flying in the Midwest. We tow, of course: our state is covered in usable tow roads. The thermals are plentiful, the scenery is magnificent, LZ’s are everywhere, and we never worry about rotor or valley winds. This season I logged over 350 miles of cross-country flying before June 1st. I’m not a big fan of race-to-goal paragliding competition. I’ve been to a few and found the format to be a strange mix of parawaiting, geeky instrument gazing, and testosterone fueled speed-bar mashing. Many people love this style of competition, but for me, racing around mountains chasing little circles on my instruments sort of ruins what I love about flying. When I fly, I want to go someplace. I want to fly so far that I land near some small town that I have never heard of. I’ve landed in golf courses, people’s backyards, farmers’ front yards, Go-Kart tracks, desolate dirt roads, horse farms, vacant lots behind gas stations, a New Age

church lawn, cow pastures, country cemeteries, and several small-town football fields. Every flight is a new challenge, and every destination is a new experience. So when I got an email from my friend Ken Hudonjorgensen telling me about the first open distance cross-country nationals being held in Utah, I got excited. What a great idea. Gather a bunch of experienced pilots, give them a T-shirt and a phone number to call for retrieval, drive them to launch, and let them fly in any direction as far as they can go. The pilot who flies the farthest wins. Headquartered at Provo’s opulent Cotton Tree Inn, the competition began with a briefing from meet director and historic Utah pilot, Ken Hudonjorgensen; famed competition pilot and paragliding sage, Bill Belcourt; and weather guru XC Skies creator, Chris Galli. I could listen to these guys talk all day. Among the three of them is a Library of Congress of paragliding knowledge waiting to be unearthed. Each is humble and kind. If asked, they will discuss at length any topic relating to the sport of paragliding. The call was for us to go to Jupiter on our first day. We loaded up the vans and headed into the mountains. The launch at Jupiter is spectacular. It’s nestled in a gorgeous tree-covered canyon with

[opposite] No more thermals landing just north of Nephi | photo by Jimmy Huang. [above] Flying back to Cascade Peak to climb for the flight South or North | photo by Nick Greece.



[above] Hike to Jupiter. [below right] Smooth glide.


vistas of distant majestic peaks in every direction. I was fortunate to be able to launch early and get established around 13K. Several people who launched with me, including Chris Galli, sank out. Disconcerting, I thought. People are sinking out, no one else is launching, and I’m up here with only a few other gliders. In the briefing, Bill had told us we needed to push to the front of the canyon with around 15K before attempting to cross over Heber Valley. Getting the prerequisite 15K was proving to be quite difficult. For the next two hours, three other pilots and I flew around the canyon, gaining altitude in the back only to lose most of it as we pushed through strong sink heading to the rim of the valley. After eight or ten attempts, I was ready for something new. What I wanted to do was try to cross the huge valley with 9K instead of the Belcourt-requisite 15K. Patience has never been my strong suit. I tend to ask myself: Why do something slowly and carefully if I can rush through it like a Ritalin-soaked 12-year-old? I sank out around 4:00pm, landing in a picturesque housing development filled with identical putty-colored homes, each sporting a white 4X4 in the drive, and yards devoid of grass or trees. Chris Galli, on the other hand, has an abundance of patience. After sinking out early, he returned to launch, put his kit back together, and sat on the hill for two hours waiting for a cycle. That’s


right. He sat there in the sun and heat for two hours, wearing something like three jackets, heavy gloves, balaclava, helmet, glasses, and an oxygen system, holding his A’s waiting for a little breeze to pull up in. At 4:30pm, he got a cycle and launched into a thermal that took him to 17K. He shot across Heber Valley and flew an amazing 106 kilometers. He and Bill both flew so far that afternoon that one of the other competing pilots volunteered to retrieve them in his private plane. Okay, I told myself. Remember this lesson. Patience is a virtue in paragliding. Slow down once in a while, and you may fly farther. Our next flight was from Inspo. It’s nice at Inspo, but it is nowhere near as beautiful as Jupiter. The view is a bit more urban. Out front you gaze upon a hazy sea of intermingling highways, suburban sprawl, schools, strip malls, and Mormon churches. The day was not without challenge. The lift was a bit rough, and at times you needed to be close to the jagged terrain, working small cores until you got high enough for the thermal to spread out. Near the Y, I noticed my Buddy Phil Russman scratching low beneath me. A small smile crept across my face. You know how it goes. It’s great to pass your buddy at a comp like this, knowing you will give him endless grief later that evening when you get back to headquarters after he does. As I continued gliding over Phil’s head, I planned what I might say. “Oh, was that you down there near the Y?” I would continue with an indifferent mocking tone: “I was so high when I went over I couldn’t tell if that speck below me was a yellow glider or a child

holding a party balloon.” But later in the flight, while on glide from Spanish Fork Peak towards Lone Pine, I spotted a pilot with a yellow GTO working light lift over the mountain I was heading for. To my great surprise, the pilot turned out to be Phil. I could not begin to understand how the little bastard got in front of me. I had been flying alone most of the day and was sure no one had passed me. We flew together for a bit, but when the lift began to die, we both decided to push out over the valley and land. Phil and I took slightly different routes and wound up landing in different locations. After packing up, I realized it was getting dark, so I decided to try to hitchhike instead of waiting for a retrieve van. So I walked out to the nearest busy road, took my glider bag off and set it to the side, and put out my thumb. I’ve learned a few things about hitching with a paraglider bag on your back. It sucks. People

driving by see the giant backpack and think you’re a dirty hobo who is carrying his life’s possessions in that strange bag. I hide the pack but keep out my helmet and stand on the side of the road with my silver full-face helmet in one hand and my thumb out with the other. This says to the passing driver that I am a motorcyclist who has had a bit of trouble with my bike. To add more appeal to the stranded motorcyclist ruse, I take out my cell phone, hold it to my ear with my shoulder and pretend to talk into it while holding out my thumb. This tells the approaching motorist that I am not a shiftless vagrant looking for a ride to the state line, but a successful motorcycle enthusiast who for the moment is stranded and using this opportunity to return a number of important phone calls. It works for me every time. But not this evening in Payson, Utah. People were avoiding me as if I were an infected character

[left top] Retrieve on final day. [bottom] Launch Jupiter. [above] Climbing between Mt Timpanogas and Cascade Peak | photo by Nick Greece.



[above] Flying along the 89, Bill and Chris took the deep line along the high plateau while I took the center line  just north of Indianola | photo by Jimmy Huang.


in Steven Soderbergh’s Contagion. What the hell am I doing wrong? I wondered. I’ve got my helmet out and the fake cell phone calls going, Why won’t these people stop to give me a ride? Not only are they not stopping, they are swerving their giant 4X4 pickup trucks into oncoming traffic to avoid my side of the road. And then it hits me. The T-shirt I am wearing is one of my favorites. It’s bright red with large white letters across the chest spelling COMMUNIST. When I hang out in Minneapolis with my liberal friends, this shirt is a funny, completely acceptable form of self-expression. But in the conservative red state of Utah, I am a communist. There ain’t no irony in wearing a shirt that promotes the idea of communism in this God-fearing church state. I thought about turning the shirt inside-out, but I sent a text to Judy, our retrieve coordinator, instead, and was soon heading back to Provo in a van with Phil. When I asked Phil how he passed me on the flight, he told me he skipped the whole Spanish Fork Peak route and just got high and shot across the valley directly to Lone Pine Ridge. Okay, two lessons. Don’t wear your Communist shirt when flying in areas with conservative values, and don’t waste time taking the long route if you can fly a more direct line. On our third flyable day, the conditions at Inspo


suited my impulsive, clumsy flying style perfectly. After launching, I found it hard to gain the altitude needed to begin heading south. Instead of taking a breath and patiently waiting for a stronger cycle to come through, I left low and decided to see if it was better down the ridge. It turned out that even a broken clock is correct twice a day. I got it right this time. It was better down the ridge. After a couple of nice climbs, I was passing the Y and nearing the peaks in front of Springville. Instead of taking the slow grind and working the terrain leading to Spanish Fork Peak, I got high in the mountains near Springville and went on the long glide over the valley, heading toward Lone Pine Ridge. I arrived at Lone a bit low and began searching for lift. Finding none, and getting lower, I pushed farther south, finding a nice thermal moving up the face of the hill. This is great, I thought. All I do is keep flying the direction I want to go and I’ll find lift! The next climb took me high enough to transition to the radio towers; from there, another climb got me over to Loafer Mountain. Getting high on Loafer was the sketchiest part of the flight. Near the top, the lift became broken and the air rowdy. After getting batted around for a while, I had the altitude I needed to go over the back toward Indianola. As soon as I made this transition, everything got better. The air was smooth, the views were amazing, and the mountains on the north side of the valley had a cloud street above them running as far as I could see. As I made my way toward the cloud street, Phil came over the radio announcing he was near the top of Loafer and would be heading my way. After linking up, Phil and I flew down the valley as far as the sun would take us, dipping under the street when we needed lift and pushing out toward the valley when the clouds were pulling too hard. Our flight ended at Spring City— a distance of 92 kilometers and a flying time of 5 1/2 hours. On the drive back, we found an amazing Mexican supper club in a sleepy ranch town, had a wonderful meal and drank the last cold Dos Equis they had in stock. A perfect day. Okay, next lesson. You’re a rock star. No need to learn anything. You got this mountain XC wired! Our last flyable day was again at Inspo. I launched into a nice cycle and was soon circling above launch with Bill, Chris, and Freddy. As the thermal began to slow, the three of them dove deep toward Cascade. I followed their sleek two-line airships for a bit, but as we got in deeper, I thought

maybe my pokey little 2-3 might have a harder time pilot who attended had a great time and was given four days of amazing flying and seven days that getting back out front if we didn’t find any lift back were rich with opportunity to learn new skills and there. So I changed course and headed for the line become better pilots. Each morning at the pilot I had taken the day before. Bing! Bam! Boom! The briefing, Ken arranged for several of the previous climbs I needed were in all the right places, and the days’ flights to be viewed in Google Earth on the conditions felt as they had the day before. Soon I large projection screen. He asked the pilots who was tanked up in front of Springville and heading had flown them to talk everyone through the flight. out over the valley to take the shortcut over to Lone This was a great way to see how other people make Pine Ridge. I connected with a pilot who was in a blue glider. choices that help them fly farther as well as an invaluable shortcut towards unraveling some of the It’s nice to make a lengthy transition with another mysteries of world-class mountain XC. pilot—like having a good friend join you on a long I strongly recommend this competition to walk. Plus, you can watch his flight and see who anyone interested in becoming a better pilot and to has a more buoyant line. As we approached Lone, any pilot interested in flying longer cross-country we found a little thermal out over the flats. It was flights. Thank you, Ken Hudonjorgensen, Bill a nice climb, between 300 and 400 feet a minute. After the long glide, it felt good to be making circles Belcourt, Chris Galli, Dave Wheeler, and all of the amazing volunteers for hosting this fantastic event! again. But what am I doing in this weak little bag of air when I know there are better climbs to be had I really look forward to attending next year. next to the hill? I said to myself. Leave this sorry little climb and get over to that mountain and show these fools what you can do! So I left the thermal and my traveling buddy and headed over to Lone. When I got there, I found nothing, so I pushed farther south to see if the area where I had found lift the day before was working. Nothing. I was getting low, very low, and it was becoming obvious that I had made a big blundering mistake. As I continued to scratch above scrubby trees and scree, I noticed my friend in the blue glider was about a grand up, doing just fine in that nice little thermal over the flats. Soon I was on the ground, cursing the day I ever took up this ridiculous sport. Who leaves perfectly good lift in hopes of finding better lift somewhere else? An idiot like me, I thought. Clearly the day was different. Had I read the conditions more accurately and slowed down, I would still be in the air instead of watching a group of graduate students from B.U. dig little holes in the field where I landed. (l learned later that the holes were from extractions of soil samples taken for a study they were doing to test the effects of various fertilizers and their ability to break down over time.) One thing about this sport that I admire is that no matter what level pilot you are, no matter how brilliant you think you have become, a humbling experience is hovering in the background to show you what a dumb-ass you really are. No matter how much we think we know about flying paragliders, there is always more to learn. The O.D. Nats were a smashing success. Every

[below] Landing out after 40 miles to the south looking back towards launch | photo by Josh Cohn.



Sis NAFETY o Accident by RyanVOIG


Confident or Cocky?

[left] Looking back into the higher ranges.


and paraglider pilots: some have a stronger sense of “self-preservation” than others, but none of them have a true “death wish.” We all want safe landings. Confidence. As pilots, we tend to be a confident Along with skill, knowledge, and judgment, bunch. And who can blame us? Every time we fly we need confidence to be safe pilots. It would be we take our fate into our own hands. Every time we fly we’re reliant on our skill, knowledge and highly dangerous to fly if you were afraid to make judgment to get us down safely. any inputs, second-guessing every decision. Confidence is defined as faith or belief that But sometimes we can be over-confident, one will act in a right, proper, or effective way causing us to become cocky. Cocky is defined as ( The real mind-twister is boldly or brashly self-confident (Merriam-Webster. this: If we weren’t exceedingly confident that we com). Confidence is good, but being cocky can get could get ourselves down safely, would we still us into trouble. Being cocky can cause us to fly in launch? I’ve often been surrounded by hang glider risky conditions, to make less-than-safe decisions


“The longer we fly, and the longer we go without an accident, the more risk we are in, because we are in danger of becoming cocky.”

during our flight, or to fly equipment that does not match our own skill. How do we go from being confident to cocky? Unfortunately, it’s easy—almost a side effect of doing our job well (staying safe). Every time we fly without an error, mishap or calamity, our confidence is reinforced. The longer we fly, and the longer we go without an accident, the more risk we are in, because we are in danger of becoming cocky. A real-life example that I’ve been dealing with lately: I’m a newish P2 pilot. I’ve also been flying hang gliders all my life. I’ve noticed that I’ll fly my

hang glider in much worse conditions than my PG. Am I safer on a hang glider? Are the conditions less bad, depending on my choice of aircraft? Or is it that in one aircraft I’m new and I know it, and in the other I’m so experienced I feel “safe,” even when I may be at very high risk? I’ve also noticed that the more PG flights I take, the more comfortable I feel. As a P2, I’m limiting my flying to light-wind sled rides and smooth ridge lift days. I’m getting pretty good: my launches and landings have all gone well, and I haven’t had any of the scary C words happen. I find myself feeling as if I’ve got the hang of it,

[above] Aerobatics require an unusually high level of confidence. Being confident in such high skill proficiency is a dangerous game! Here author Ryan Voight flies head-on, inverted, with paraglider pilot Kristjan Morgan. Don’t try this at home! [opposite] Flying FAST and LOW can be a lot of fun, but are you SURE you have the skills to manage the risks? Photos by Ryan Voight.



[above] Confidence in one’s ability to find and work lift isn’t necessarily bad… but overconfidence can put you low over un-landable terrain, as author Ryan Voight finds himself here. [below] Here author Ryan Voight misreads the windsock, and now must land his topless glider downwind at high altitude | photo by John Glime.


and I’m ready for more. Higher launches, some thermic air. Maybe even an epic summit hike-andfly from 11,000-ft Lone Peak. BUT—Do I really have the hang of this, or have I just been flying in easy conditions? Does having good launches and landings in light conditions mean I’m ready to fly in thermic air? I think not. It’s entirely natural—and necessary—to be confident in our skills and knowledge. But if we


don’t keep that confidence in check, we can get cocky and find ourselves needing new underwear (at best), an ambulance (hope not), or worse. So how do we remain confident, without becoming cocky? Finding an answer to this question can literally be the key to your survival in these sports. Personally, I’m still searching. What’s worked well for me, as an instructor, is evaluating conditions as I would if I were going to launch

a student. If you had to explain weather conditions—what the air will FEEL like—to someone, what vocabulary would you use? When I find myself using words like sporty, rocking, strong, bumpy, turbulent, or windy, should I fly, even though I’d recommend that others don’t? The same standard works for equipment. Are you flying in (or considering) equipment that you wouldn’t recommend to someone of similar ability? Maybe you think there’s something that separates you from other students. But is that relevant? Does cockpit time in a Boeing 737 make you a more experienced hang glider pilot? Does my life in hang gliders make me a more experienced P2? If I think I could do great on a DHV 1-2 wing, but

I wouldn’t recommend it to another P2, should I really be flying it? What do you do to keep yourself confident but not get cocky? If you don’t have an answer to that, it’s time to do some reflecting! Remember: Safety is No Accident!

[above] How confident are you conditions are safe? Here Karl Yates, and photographer Ryan Voight, were sure enough to fly. Poor choice? Probably…

Ryan is a second-generation hang gliding instructor and flight school owner. He has been flying since he was still wet behind the ears, and he’s the youngest person to ever earn the Hang 5/Master rating. He currently resides near Point of the Mountain in Utah, and flies hang gliders and paragliders as much as he can.



Hang Gliding

Finishing School Part VI

by DennisPAGEN




indicator. Keeping your attention on your over a mountain, plowing through sink, surroundings is the key to awareness and eluding another glider coming from We continue our guide for all past, present safety. A hang glider control bar is not behind, escaping a storm, getting down and future Hang II—Novice—pilots. position sensitive—it takes a noticeable in too strong lift and looking good on amount of movement to make a noticeYouTube with your tongue flapping in the by Dennis Pagen able airspeed change. I like to think of wind. Here are some problems with going “positions-to-fly” as much as “speeds-to-fly” fast: Things go by faster, closing speeds hang glider is not a one trick for all applications. are faster, decisions may need to be made pony. Yet many pilots treat it as quicker and there is a possibility of roll ossuch. Yep, all they do is trot back FAST TIMES cillations, otherwise affectionately known and forth, when all the while the poor Why do you need faster speeds? It is barely as pilot-induced-oscillations (PIOs). All thing is yearning to canter, run and gallop, possible that some newer pilots are as old of these potential problems can be and at least once in a while. Not only does a as I am, but, if so, they can remember are necessary to overcome in order to be a hang glider have a slower speed regime the old Schwinn bicycles with only one consummate and totally safe pilot. around minimum sink rate airspeed and gear. They were of robust construction So how do we achieve our consumbest glide airspeed, but it also can be but sure weren’t good going up steep hills mate and safe goal? First, let’s use the flown much faster. And it should be, in (you had to stand up and climb stairs on gradual approach—the key to learning many situations. the pedals), or down hills (your legs were most things in hang gliding. The next This month we are going to explore our wind milling at a hernia pace). Eventually, time you fly with altitude and space to gliders’ speed regime with the intended we had three-speeds, and, finally, tenspare, try pulling in your base tube three goal of being able to use its entire breadth speeds on which we could ride more inches (a middle finger’s length) or a few with confidence and control. efficiently. miles-per-hour faster than you have before. Similarly, efficiency is one of the Fly at this speed long enough to stabilize, ASSUMING THE POSITION reasons we need to learn to use all of our get comfortable and realize that the world Chances are you have been flying for a glider’s speed range. Another reason is as you know it ain’t going to end. In genwhile using “trim” speed and perhaps safety. Perhaps a better analogy for the eral, you should find your glider more rea bit more. This speed is your glider’s safety issue is paddling kayaks. If you are sponsive (quicker to initiate a roll control) slower range. We are going to start with going through whitewater and merely and stable (at least directionally—it wants fast speeds, because that is where most steer, you have little control. The secret to stay on heading better) at this faster developing pilots need work and experiis to keep paddling, and your boat will speed. OK, that small increase shouldn’t ence. What is fast? Well, let’s use anatomy respond quickly to your control inputs. present too many problems. Once you are in a way you perhaps aren’t accustomed Same thing with a hang glider: When comfortable with this speed, try another to. If you are flying prone, the slow range the grit hits the span, you need speed for three-inch increment of increase. is with the base bar anywhere from your control. For the most part, you should be nose to, say, your upper chest. This posiOther reasons for knowing how to fly going straight ahead in your first experition is shown in figure 1, using a model fast include penetrating out to a landing ments at higher speed. Note that you may from the Pahlvoit modeling agency. The field in higher wind, escaping a venturi start feeling a lot of bar pressure if you moderate-to-fast range is with the bar anywhere between your upper chest and your navel. The really fast range, we’ll call shhmokin’, is with the bar from your navel down to where your arms run out of length—past the area Victorians couldn’t bear to contemplate. The actual airspeeds the bar positions relate to don’t concern us too much here, because, first, they will be different with different wing loadings and glider designs. And, second, it is best to learn to fly by feel, not by looking at an airspeed

Photo by Ryan Quinn




are flying a single surface glider or an intermediate glider. They are designed to provide lots of pitch feedback for the early days when you need it. However, as you continue to increase speed, you will probably experience greater and greater bar force (it wants to resist your pulling in for speed). Don’t think that the glider is telling you not to pull in; it’s just got a one-track mind for ease of learning, ease of soaring and extra pitch stability. But this heavy pitch property is what is partially responsible for the tendency to oscillate. The roll control gets easier than you are used to while the pitch gets harder. There is a tendency to put in too much roll control too late. What can a poor boy do? The answer is to practice well clear of the terrain. If an oscillation starts, try to sit still on the bar and let it dampen out (that’s why you need terrain clearance). If the PIO doesn’t immediately slow down, put the bar back to trim position and let it die out. Then try pulling on speed again. The idea is to continually practice flying faster until you no longer experience PIOs. Your glider won’t change, but your response time and control inputs will. Although some gliders


are a bit more prone to PIO than others, it is mainly a pilot problem, so the solution is with you, the pilot. Practice fosters perfection. Continue this speed increase until you feel comfortable flying at shhmokin’ speeds. You never know when you may need it. On a recent flight I was flying my single–surface Target. We were soaring heartily, but the wind increased and made penetration more of a challenge on the single surface. When I was ready to land, I grabbed a thermal to 800 ft over (not a spectacular day) and headed out. I had to fly with the bar at my waist to make any headway, and it took almost eight minutes to reach the primary landing area (which I just barely did). Had I not been able to fly steadily at higher speeds, I would have had to choose less desirable landing options. I’m happy and comfortable with flying as fast as possible. We all should be. Note that we aren’t recommending turns at these higher speeds at this stage of the game. Mainly you should be learning to fly straight ahead fast, although below we have you try a few shallow banks. Again, we remind you to do all this practice away from the terrain. We


know that in the early stages of learning you want to maximize your airtime on your sled rides. OK, but for a few seconds on each flight we strongly suggest you try a little bit of flying just a tad faster than you have flown before. You won’t lose too much extra altitude, and you will gain experience as well as confidence. Once you start soaring, you should already be a bit familiar with how your glider acts at higher speeds. And then you will have the altitude and airtime to really practice speed flying. Do it for your safety, your future development and your mother.

EVERYTHING IN MODERATION The moderate-to-fast speeds we mentioned earlier are a piece of cake, since you have already been through them in your practice. Remember to transition from faster to slower flight gradually to avoid zooming and possibly stalling (it doesn’t matter much how fast you pull in, once you are familiar with fast flight). Use these speeds (the bar from your upper chest to your navel) for several important flight encounters: This is where you should fly when going through the sink between thermals, or when heading

out to land in sink or a headwind. In such a musician who practices enough to hit conditions, you will reach your destinathe right chord without thinking about it, tion higher with greater than trim speed. you need to train your muscle memory to Try it; you’ll like it. Here’s another bonus set the right airspeed, without having to to getting above the landing field higher: consciously monitor it at all times. You have more time to set up the landing Check out stalls by first flying steadily at trim speed. Now slowly push the bar leisurely, but also can practice more fast out (forward) until you feel the bar force flight. resist you quite a bit more and perhaps The second situation in which to use fluctuate a little. If you held this near-stall this moderate-to-fast speed range is when or stall position, the glider might wallow you encounter turbulence. The reason for from side-to-side or drop the nose. Return this is two-fold. First, more speed gives you better control to keep your wings level the bar to trim at any time to resume when a turbulent gust lifts a wing. Second, steady (non-stalled) flight. Practice this stall familiarization many times in your more speed is a guard against a sudden early learning, and you will come to regust from behind or above, robbing you spect it but not fear it. It’s the unknowns of airspeed which means a stall and no we have to fear, not the knowns. In the control. We cannot promise new pilots words of the father of one of my early girlthat they won’t hit a surprise thermal that friends: “Familiarity breeds contempt.” I barrels through like a rogue elephant. But don’t know if he was warning me or what. we can all be prepared by knowing when The next thing to try—again at and how to carry more airspeed. altitude with plenty of clearance—is a It is also with these moderate speeds stall in a turn. Enter a reasonably banked that you can begin learning turns at coordinated turn, then slowly push out speeds other than near trim. Be careuntil the turn slows and the inside wing ful when trying turns at higher speeds, feels as if it’s grabbing or getting hung up. for they may dive a bit and you’ll lose The glider should resist your input and extra altitude. But such turns are easy to perhaps dive to pick up proper airspeed control—your glider is very responsive at (some beginner gliders just mush in the moderate speeds. In addition, it is with turn or may even flatten out). Try these moderate speed turns that you’ll learn the stalls in both directions and at various best (and safest) way to set up landing, bank angles. We can’t emphasize this because you can use them to control your height and also to have a safety margin practice enough, for what you are really in the turbulence that can lurk near the doing is learning the limits of turns—efground. ficient turns—for later use when thermaling. Just like practicing piano exercises, these little trials will jump-start your SL-O-O-W SPEEDS progress to intermediate and advanced For sure, you have had plenty of slow skills. flying, because that’s what you do from Next, become aware of the difference day one on the bunny hill. But now in roll input; it requires turning at slower that you are flying higher, you can (and speeds (you should already have noted should) explore it a little more. First, let’s this if you tried turning at faster speeds). try stalls—if you haven’t done so—with Next try flying as slowly as you can withplenty of ground clearance, please. This out stalling. The glider should continue to exploration and familiarization is very fly at a steady state and not give a varying important to make you consciously aware pitch force through the base tube. This of how your glider behaves in a stall and airspeed is probably close to your miniwhy you don’t want to let it do so near mum sink airspeed in smooth conditions. the ground. Also, it begins to train you At this airspeed and bar position, with subconsciously to recognize an impendplenty of terrain clearance, try to perform ing stall and thwart it automatically. Like

a shallow-banked coordinated turn. You may find that you need quite a bit of roll force to start the turn. This type of turn may be used in very smooth and light lift to minimize your altitude loss, but because you are close to a stall, you cannot safely use such a turn near the terrain. Next, try to fly at this slow airspeed and perform a steeper banked turn. You may find that your glider hesitates or resists going into such a maneuver, because, the truth is, the steeper you bank, the more airspeed you need. So trying to bank steeply at such a slow speed is kissing a stall, and your glider is designed to resist such a naughty thing. Our final point to note in all of this speed variation is that you may be thinking that to soar, you need to fly as slowly as possible. While it is true that beginner and intermediate gliders do get their minimum sink rate quite close to stall, other factors are involved. The main one is that even in ridge lift, there tends to be texture to the air. Eventually, you will learn to slow down and turn in the areas that are showing lift or lifting better. That’s assuming you are then flying a bit faster in the not-so-good stuff or zero or sink. In general (except in the smoothest glass-off/wonder winds/magic air), it is better to keep a bit of extra speed so you can control efficiently in the bumps and slow the glider down when you hit lift. When you learn to thermal later, you’ll find that this method is the key to safety and success when scratching in weak thermal conditions. There’s as much meat in this piece as there is on the Iowa State Fair Grand Champion hog (or Dairy Princess). But it’s meat that’s good for ya (not meaning to pass judgment on the hog or princess). Digest it, cogitate on it, dream of it, and then go out and fly it. It will give you something to do besides takeoff, glide and land. The truth is, the more you incorporate this stuff into both your conscience and sub-conscience through practice, the more you will use it automatically when the time comes. And the time will come sooner or later, for better or worse.




Birds of a Feather

Cade Palmer over Jackson Hole, Wyoming. [opposite top] Indian Valley | photo by Charles Fiebig. [bottom] Flying in the wispies in Castullucio, Portugal | photo by Wolfgang Seiss. [previous page] Wolfgang Seiss banks it over in San Donato, Italy.







A classic kiting session in Switzerland. High winds and a low hill make a great day possible | photo by Andreas Busslinger. [opposite top] Wolfgang Seiss over San Donato, Italy. [bottom] Wolfgang Seiss grabs another great shot in Italy.



Andreas Busslinger takes a self portrait on tandem while flying near Interlaken, Switzerland. [opposite top left] Near Interlaken, Switzerland. [top right] Flying in the Swiss Alps with Team Advance. [bottom] Judith Zweifel going for an acro lap. Photos by Andreas Busslinger.


By Mike Semanoff

SERVICE is one of the great-

motivates us to be the most unique

entire night before. It was an amazing

est displays of gratitude anyone can

philanthropic based aerial demonstra-

experience for everyone involved.

demonstrate for another person. The

tion team in the country.Â

act of service sends a ripple of positiv-

On October 29, Inspiration RX

ity in all directions. It not only impacts

hosted a paragliding event at the

Damien Hansen from Utah Paragliding,

the one performing and the one re-

Point of the Mountain in Salt Lake City,

Bill Heaner from Whole Body Green,

ceiving, but also those who are watch-

Utah, where local paragliders gave

and Jake Walker, who provided

ing, reading, or distantly related to any

free rides to disabled veterans. This

tandem flights and helped create a

of the participants. No one can ever

event provided us with an opportunity

true VIP experience for our wounded

know the full ripple effect that one act

to reward the service members who


of service can have on the world.

have had their lives changed forever

Inspiration RX was born from the desire to inspire and boost the morale of our wounded veterans and their


A big thanks to Chris Santacroce from Superfly, Jonathan Jefferies and

while serving our country. Within two hours of sending out an

For more info about Inspiration RX, please visit

email through the VA Recreation de-

families. Inspiration RX creates special

partment, over ten people signed up

events, aerial demonstrations, and

for the event and twenty-two people

other media opportunities that form a

confirmed within two weeks. One

foundation for us to make a difference

group drove over 300 miles for the

in our community. This is the core of

event and one participant told us he

what Inspiration RX is about and what

was so excited he couldn’t sleep the


[below] Mike Semanoff launching with club vice president John Russell giving a hand. [opposite top] Jake walker flying the front tandem and Damion Mitchell flying tandem in the background. [bottom left] Jonathan Jefferies with pilot Dave Dixon's falcon on his head. [bottom right] Chris Santacroce on launch with his first guest.






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Fresno CA San Francisco CA Citrus Hts CA Laguna Niguel CA Victorville CA Hermosa Beach CA Los Angeles CA Manhattan Beach CA Detroit MI Jeffersonville IN Ypsilanti MI Randolph VT Norfolk VA Upper Marlboro MD Benton KY Rockville MD Ringgold GA Tallahassee FL Harvest AL Knoxville TN Atlanta GA Warner Robins GA Palm Beach Gardens FL Palm Beach Gardens FL Dalzell SC Lewisville TX New York NY Orleans, Ont Quito Fernie, Bc Oakland CA Mountain View CA Citrus Hts CA Mountain View CA San Jose CA Laguna Niguel CA Victorville CA Los Angeles CA Littleton CO Jeffersonville IN Ypsilanti MI Randolph VT Doylestown PA State College PA Benton KY Athens TN Ringgold GA Tallahassee FL Harvest AL Knoxville TN Atlanta GA Warner Robins GA Palm Beach Gardens FL Palm Beach Gardens FL Dalzell SC West Lake Hills TX New York NY Orleans, Ont Quito Fernie, Bc Berkeley CA Richmond CA Modesto CA Crestline CA San Diego CA Howell MI Amherst MA

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Park Lane James Beyersdorf Lucien Niccore Al Motlagh Jason Nemake Bob Nickle Raghu Tirukkovaluri Jeannette Nelson Chandrasekharan Jayakumar Theresa Hahn Gabriel Tamaska Alden Bird Jason Karoos Andrew Dimiceli Richard Hall Jr Erica Dashow Stephen Sweat Kristopher Mcintosh Robert Brakefield Iii Ahmed Elalfy Nicholas Kahn Brian Livingston Caleb Nighthawk Ethan Nighthawk Patrick Nugent Seth Higgins John Merryman Kim Cooper Alan Arcos Jodi-lee Kelt Eric Day Yi Zhu Lucien Niccore Dmitry Lepikhin Adam Cole Al Motlagh Jason Nemake Raghu Tirukkovaluri David Graham Theresa Hahn Gabriel Tamaska Russell Kelley Milko Videv Michael Pattishall Richard Hall Jr Robert Rowlands Stephen Sweat Kristopher Mcintosh Robert Brakefield Iii Ahmed Elalfy Nicholas Kahn Brian Livingston Caleb Nighthawk Ethan Nighthawk Patrick Nugent Tom Keller John Merryman Kim Cooper Alan Arcos Jodi-lee Kelt Gregory Eaddy Andrew Vernon Terry Strahl Donald Coe Jr Gergana Bounova Trevor Gildersleeve Timo Friedrich


Dan Fleming David Yount Diana Koether Rob Mckenzie Rob Mckenzie Greg Dewolf Greg Dewolf Greg Dewolf Tracy Tillman Gordon Cayce Gordon Cayce Dean Slocum Douglas Johnson John Middleton Jennifer Copple Daniel Guido Diana Koether Malcolm Jones Gordon Cayce Gordon Cayce Jennifer Copple Gordon Cayce Diana Koether Gordon Cayce Jennifer Copple Brian Leisenring Bryon Estes Bryon Estes Daniel Zink Ryan Voight Harold Johnson Eric Hinrichs Diana Koether Eric Hinrichs Eric Hinrichs Rob Mckenzie Rob Mckenzie Greg Dewolf Mark Windsheimer Gordon Cayce Gordon Cayce Dean Slocum Paul (sunny) Venesky Zack Marzec Jennifer Copple Diana Koether Diana Koether Malcolm Jones Gordon Cayce Gordon Cayce Jennifer Copple Gordon Cayce Diana Koether Gordon Cayce Jennifer Copple Jeffrey Hunt Bryon Estes Bryon Estes Daniel Zink Ryan Voight Jon Thompson Patrick Denevan Eric Hinrichs Rob Mckenzie Dan Hardy Lisa Colletti Greg Black





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York Fairfax Raliegh Mccalla Greensboro Flintstone Tallahassee Leakey Delmar Princeton Elma Fernie, Bc Jackson Trenton


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Nicholas Mazzoni Jonithan Brantley Mike Jernigan Denise Worpell Jeff Parrott Russell Marter Kristopher Mcintosh Terry Mason John Morse Cathleen Oconnell Timm Phillips Jodi-lee Kelt Walter Kirby Jennifer Copple


Jon Thompson Hugh Mcelrath Jon Thompson Gordon Cayce Jon Thompson Daniel Zink Malcolm Jones Sam Kellner Daniel Guido Greg Black Jon Thompson Ryan Voight Bart Weghorst John Stokes




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Ashland Seattle Anchorage Palmer Bellevue Ridgefield Big Lake Portland Seattle Fairbanks Willows Berkeley San Francisco Mill Valley Gilroy Fremont Santa Rosa San Jose Palo Cedro Oceanside Honolulu Van Nuys Santa Barbara Kahului Escondido Palm Desert Laguna Beach Haiku Albuquerque Morrison Roy Draper Boulder St George Salt Lake City Edwards Edwards North Salt Lake Albuquerque Holladay Eagle Mountain Thornton Missoula Jackson Wilson Hackett Newport


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Nickolaus Saint Geoffrey Silverton Isaac Moerlein Shannon Jardine Hung-fu Ting Matt Smith Patrick Daniels Brian Jackson Ryan Newstrum Alex Legrismith Gregory Michael Luc Dupont Robin Cushman Theodore Gough Andreas Krause Jan Bielawski John Fitzgerald Medei Kitagaki Mark Lascelles Adam Fischbach Michael Fujioka Maurycy Sarosiek Andrew Quine Jasmeet Jernaill Skip Winrow Tom Abdelnour Jonathan Briggs Chris Hoyte Steven Crandell Cobus Burger Michael Magill Paula Bullington Mark Gross Choli Ence Christopher Hardemon Walter Atkinson Sonya Seaman Eric Pande Brian Bode Andrew Hodge James Hill Brian Moore Jaren Williams Matt Duperrault Tim Bickley Jeremiah Clark Jim Freess

Kevin Lee Marc Chirico Peter Gautreau Peter Gautreau Marc Chirico Kelly Kellar Frank Sihler Dan Combs Denise Reed Peter Gautreau Kevin Lee Kim Galvin Gever Tulley Julie Spiegler Jeffrey Greenbaum Klaus Schlueter Max Marien Wallace Anderson Nick Crane Max Marien Pete Michelmore Tyler Sporrer Tyler Sporrer Robert Edwards Max Marien Chad Bastian Douglas Stroop Daniel Randall T Lee Kortsch Timothy Meehan Kevin Hintze Jonathan Jefferies Granger Banks Stacy Whitmore Stephen Mayer Gregory Kelley Gregory Kelley Kevin Hintze T Lee Kortsch Stephen Mayer Kevin Hintze Tyler Sporrer Andy Macrae Scott Harris Scott Harris Ron Kohn Gregory Kelley

These July 2011 ratings were erroneously omitted from the November issue. Apologies to everyone who wondered where their name was. - A.D. CITY


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Branford Powhatan Washington Acme Gettysburg Arlington Paterson Bloomingdale Phillipsburg Wenzanbach Montreal, Qc Tualatin Ashland Palmer Bellevue Big Lake Seattle Fairbanks Wasilla Willows Berkeley San Francisco Mill Valley Gilroy Santa Rosa Palo Cedro Oceanside Honolulu San Diego Van Nuys Santa Barbara Kahului Laguna Beach Haiku Albuquerque Snowmass Village Roy Draper Salt Lake City Draper North Salt Lake Albuquerque Holladay Eagle Mountain Thornton Missoula Jackson Teton Village Wilson Chicago Branford Conshohocken Washington Baltimore Acme Gettysburg Pensacola Paterson London Wenzanbach Montreal, Qc Bellevue Ashland San Jose Berkeley Santa Rosa Simi Valley


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Victor Jose Figueroa J Hilton Lester Didier Godat Vincent Bertoni Judith Hutchinson Ranko Sucevic Slavko Obradovic Ben Sporn Eugene Gordon Welsch Jonas Irene Tam Mary Buford Nickolaus Saint Shannon Jardine Scott Stabbert Patrick Daniels Ryan Newstrum Alex Legrismith Robin Mccarty Gregory Michael Luc Dupont Robin Cushman Theodore Gough Andreas Krause John Fitzgerald Mark Lascelles Adam Fischbach Michael Fujioka James Roy Maurycy Sarosiek Andrew Quine Jasmeet Jernaill Jonathan Briggs Chris Hoyte Steven Crandell Adrian Dreeling Michael Magill Paula Bullington Christopher Hardemon J D Cutler Eric Pande Brian Bode Andrew Hodge James Hill Brian Moore Jaren Williams Matt Duperrault Flynn Moffitt Tim Bickley Sebastian Procek Victor Jose Figueroa Judy Mccarty Didier Godat Grayson Brown Vincent Bertoni Judith Hutchinson Andrew Olson Slavko Obradovic Thomas Donaldson Welsch Jonas Irene Tam Brian Franklin Andy Pag Karla Hankel Luc Dupont John Fitzgerald Bryan Davidson



Benoit Bruneau Justin Boer Granger Banks Max Marien Jonathan Jefferies Ron Kohn Benoit Bruneau Dean Slocum Terry Bono Luis Rosenkjer James Reich Dan Combs Kevin Lee Peter Gautreau Marc Chirico Frank Sihler Denise Reed Peter Gautreau Frank Sihler Kevin Lee Kim Galvin Gever Tulley Julie Spiegler Jeffrey Greenbaum Max Marien Nick Crane Max Marien Pete Michelmore Roy Zaleski Tyler Sporrer Tyler Sporrer Robert Edwards Douglas Stroop Daniel Randall T Lee Kortsch Alejandro Palmaz Kevin Hintze Jonathan Jefferies Stephen Mayer Kevin Hintze Kevin Hintze T Lee Kortsch Stephen Mayer Kevin Hintze Tyler Sporrer Andy Macrae Scott Harris Matthew Clos Scott Harris Kevin Hintze Benoit Bruneau Terry Bono Granger Banks Kevin Hintze Max Marien Jonathan Jefferies Stephen Mayer Benoit Bruneau Wallace Anderson Luis Rosenkjer James Reich Marc Chirico Kevin Lee Robert Cook Kim Galvin Max Marien Bruce Kirk


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Peering down at the gondola in Steamboat Springs, Colorado | photo by Dan Bruce.


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Shahane Poghosyan Scott Jepson Jacobus Pino Ubaldo Morales-talavera Charlie Koryn Sergei Ryazanov Njord Rota Bertus Geertsema Dave Pugh Shad Coulson Randy Weber Orly King Vinay Venkatachalapathy Matt Gebhardt Ivan Fazio Luc Dupont Gregory Hunter Duane Kinsley Josh Frank Adam Robinson William Bredehoft Christopher Drews David Robinson Paulo Miranda



Simi Valley Calabasas Idyllwild Oceanside Delmar San Diego Glenwood Springss Scottsdale Tucson Colorado Springs Harrisonburg Eagleville Seattle Medford Monte Rio Berkeley Solana Beach Albuquerque Salt Lake City Salt Lake City Billings Jackson Jackson Saugus


Bruce Kirk Brad Hill Max Marien Robin Marien Roy Zaleski Max Marien Max Marien Chandler Papas John Kraske Kevin Hintze Laszlo Lovei Chris Santacroce Marc Chirico Max Marien Charles (chuck) Smith Kim Galvin Philip Russman David Prentice David Frank Kevin Hintze Andy Macrae Scott Harris Scott Harris Magno De Barros




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Atherton San Francisco San Jose Milpitas Berkeley Berkeley Berkeley Milpitas Menlo Park Santa Barbara Albuquerque Salt Lake City Cottonwood Hts Phoenix Evanston Dover Whitman Alvaton Germansville Trevose Youngstown Greer Fayetteville Columbiana Cumming Kissimmee Houston Syracuse Syracuse Brooklyn Astoria Patchogue Fpo U Saddle River Mountain House Atherton Fremont Newport Beach Santa Barbara Phoenix Boise Milwaukee Worcester Sharon Alvaton Springboro Trevose Youngstown Greer Fayetteville Columbiana Cumming Kissimmee Frisco Houston Syracuse Syracuse Sunnyvale Newark Victorville Newport Beach Conway Gladstone Peculiar Middletown Cambridge Concord


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Alvaton Mechanicsville State College Wellington Hoboken Neerpelt Orleans, Ont Roseville Cool Lake Elsinore Berwick


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Edmund Jin Lisa Raney Thomas Salge Joe Felice Bela Gipp Amirpasha Moghtaderi Travis Golden Priti Hansia Spencer Boucher Michael Brookins Jonathan Peake Matthew Bittner Stephen Gal Jarrad Duxbury Martina Vaskova Michael Cavalieri Ilya Rivkin Danny Young William Hnyla Joseph Nieves Greg Dzurinda Steve Gonzalez Walter Jensen Kaye Alvarez Scott Brown Daryl Waraksa J D Michaux Shane Donahoe Mark Donahoe Mike Milyavsky Bill Diomis Jay Jansen Branda Roy Leya Deren Diosdado (don) Macasaet Edmund Jin Richard Xu Joseph Mandracchia Michael Brookins Jarrad Duxbury Lee Collins Bret Daniel Jack Carrozzo Griffin Ian Hochstetter Danny Young Jessie Oliver Joseph Nieves Greg Dzurinda Steve Gonzalez Walter Jensen Kaye Alvarez Scott Brown Daryl Waraksa Greg Fergus Anthony Gonzalez Shane Donahoe Mark Donahoe Vivekanand Kini Jerry Rowell Joel Rempfer Joseph Mandracchia Paul Dickinson Jerry Accardo James Bradford Micah Beckman Nathan Fitzgerald Sara Richard

Patrick Denevan John Simpson David Yount Patrick Denevan Barry Levine Barry Levine Barry Levine David Yount Richard Palmon Zac Majors Mel Glantz Kevin Koonce Kevin Koonce Diana Koether Rich Cizauskas Edward Germain Edward Germain John Alden Randy Grove William Umstattd John Alden Jennifer Copple Gordon Cayce Oswaldo Lopez-armas Gordon Cayce Oswaldo Lopez-armas Gregg Ludwig Rick Brown Rick Brown Greg Black Greg Black Bryon Estes Brian Leisenring Greg Black Richard Palmon Patrick Denevan Harold Johnson Rob Mckenzie Zac Majors Diana Koether William Dydo Rik Bouwmeester Tony Covelli Greg Black John Alden Matthew Taber William Umstattd John Alden Jennifer Copple Gordon Cayce Oswaldo Lopez-armas Gordon Cayce Oswaldo Lopez-armas Jeffrey Hunt Gregg Ludwig Rick Brown Rick Brown Patrick Denevan Arturo Melean William Helliwell Rob Mckenzie Philip Morgan Philip Morgan Philip Morgan Daniel Germain Jr Daniel Germain Jr Daniel Germain Jr


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Danny Young John Shurte David Stevens Christoper Sparks Nikolay Stoyanov Ann Triki Kim Cooper Johnny French Jr Jason French Greg Launt Jesse Fulkersin


John Alden Steve Wendt Thomas Johnson James Tindle Greg Black Carmela Moreno Bryon Estes Christopher Valley Christopher Valley Zac Majors Thomas Johnson




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Portland Seattle Sammamish Anchorage Vancouver Eatonville Corte Madera Sparks Santa Clara San Francisco Concord Soda Springs Redwood City Sacramento Chino Hills San Clemente Murrieta Morongo Valley Goleta Fullerton Oak Park Los Angeles Santa Barbara Eminitas Glendale Lakewood Surprise Chandler Phoenix Goodyear Aurora Park City Pleasant Grove Bayfield Bountiful Saratoga Springs Thornton Kamas Red Lodge Jackson Jackson Wichita Minneapolis Edina Greenville Ferndale Stamford Danbury Ashfield Worcester Brattleboro


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William (tip) Knight Iii Andrew Kern Darryl Stevens Sean Merewood Domenick Alessi Bryan Bright Lewis Byington Patrick Joyce Sesh Narayanan Alexander Smook Tracy Tucker Michael Overhauser Amit Shah Dave Turner Marty Bivens Craig Wexelberg Jeff Miglionico William Northrup Chris Clontz John Choi Daria Saeidi Shinsakw Arima Scott Boniface Stephen Phillips Adam Steele John Cook Margaret Tarr Alvaro Tafolla Garrett Baker William Adomeit Chris Montes Greg Brewington David Shallenberger Hon Schlapfer Keith Peterson Jason White Charles Moore Steve Bowman Brad Hauge Matthew Annetts Katharine Donan Jerry Jones Mitchell Lemieur Steve Markusen Daniel Poeder Adam Lepczak Miguel (aquiles) Vasquez Julio Londono Gerry Lempichi Robert Cantuaria Douglas Oatley Ii

Maren Ludwig Marc Chirico Marc Chirico Jake Schlapfer T Lee Kortsch Ross Jacobson John Ryan Scott Amy Jeffrey Greenbaum Jesse Meyer Wallace Anderson Carlos Madureira James Burgess Jonie Millhouse Rob Mckenzie Rob Sporrer Magno De Barros Philip Russman Tyler Sporrer Kyoung Ki Hong Doug Gotthard Jonathan Legg Rob Sporrer Bryan Rice Jonathan Legg Kay Tauscher Carlos Madureira Carlos Madureira Carlos Madureira Carlos Madureira Granger Banks Kevin Hintze Patrick Johnson Jake Schlapfer Kevin Hintze Kevin Hintze Kelly Kellar Christopher Grantham Andy Macrae Nicholas Greece Scott Harris Rob Mckenzie Steve Sirrine Christopher Grantham Kevin Hintze William Fifer Benoit Bruneau Benoit Bruneau Benoit Bruneau Luiz Fernando Costa Heath Woods







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 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

Broadlands Dunlap Avon Kill Devil Hills Deland Ft Lauderdale Port St Lucie Rowlett El Paso New York Brooklyn New York New York Flushing White Plains Ghent Northport Vancouver, Bc Kfar Hachoresh Kwun Tong Kln Sai Kung Nt Ankara Dubai Portland Seattle Issaquah Sammamish Astoria Camas Anchorage Vancouver Eatonville Corte Madera Sparks Mountain View Los Altos San Francisco Soda Springs Sunnyvale Santa Clara Sacramento Chino Hills San Clemente Murrieta San Diego Morongo Valley Goleta Oak Park Los Angeles Santa Barbara Glendale Lakewood Surprise Chandler Phoenix Goodyear Aurora Park City Pleasant Grove Bayfield Bountiful Saratoga Springs Kamas Red Lodge Jackson Jackson Wichita Minneapolis Edina Greenville Ferndale Tisbury Stamford


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 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

Bridgeport Danbury Ashfield Brookline Worcester Broadlands Dunlap Avon Deland Ft Lauderdale Port St Lucie El Paso New York Brooklyn New York New York Flushing White Plains Ghent Vancouver, Bc Kfar Hachoresh Sai Kung Nt Ankara Dubai Issaquah Camano Island Wasilla Anchorage Corte Madera Saratoga Sacramento Chino Hills Tehachapi Surprise Jackson Lonoke Watertown Ghent Ankara Medford Draper Saratoga Springs Steamboat Springs Frisco Phoenix Vail Centerville Auburn Ghent Ankara


John Hopkinson Rick Jacob Stephen Schank Nickolas Lopez Matthew Siegmann Trent Jones Robert Streeper Philip Walker Wes Blaney Zhanna Hakhverdyan Sibte Hassan Jasmine Balmat Tom Quisel Harshavardhan Gurudev Daniel Croft Christoph Meier Craig Asher Simon Beaumont Ira Yifa Chu Chen Tai Dominique Simoneau A Onur Ertas Rada Mandich William (tip) Knight Iii Andrew Kern Shannon Moyle Darryl Stevens Kevin Fisher Jeff Edes Sean Merewood Domenick Alessi Bryan Bright Lewis Byington Patrick Joyce Andrew Konstantinov Lukas Marti Alexander Smook Michael Overhauser Jon Lovering Mohammad Toossi Dave Turner Marty Bivens Craig Wexelberg Jeff Miglionico Paul Laikind William Northrup Chris Clontz Daria Saeidi Shinsakw Arima Scott Boniface Adam Steele John Cook Margaret Tarr Alvaro Tafolla Garrett Baker William Adomeit Chris Montes Greg Brewington David Shallenberger Hon Schlapfer Keith Peterson Jason White Steve Bowman Brad Hauge Matthew Annetts Katharine Donan Jerry Jones Mitchell Lemieur Steve Markusen Daniel Poeder Adam Lepczak William Straw Miguel (aquiles) Vasquez


Rob Sporrer Luis Rosenkjer Kevin Hintze Peter Humes Kevin Hintze Rob Sporrer Jonathan Jefferies Ron Kohn Hadley Robinson Benoit Bruneau Benoit Bruneau Benoit Bruneau Benoit Bruneau Benoit Bruneau Jesse Meyer Ciaran Egan Samuel Crocker Dion Vuk Hadi Golian Steven Yancey Steven Yancey Murat Tuzer Kevin Hintze Maren Ludwig Marc Chirico Marc Chirico Marc Chirico Matt Henzi Maren Ludwig Jake Schlapfer T Lee Kortsch Ross Jacobson John Ryan Scott Amy Wallace Anderson Wallace Anderson Jesse Meyer Carlos Madureira Klaus Schlueter Klaus Schlueter Jonie Millhouse Rob Mckenzie Rob Sporrer Magno De Barros Bryan Rice Philip Russman Tyler Sporrer Doug Gotthard Jonathan Legg Rob Sporrer Jonathan Legg Kay Tauscher Carlos Madureira Carlos Madureira Carlos Madureira Carlos Madureira Granger Banks Kevin Hintze Patrick Johnson Jake Schlapfer Kevin Hintze Kevin Hintze Christopher Grantham Andy Macrae Nicholas Greece Scott Harris Rob Mckenzie Steve Sirrine Christopher Grantham Kevin Hintze William Fifer Benoit Bruneau Benoit Bruneau

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

David Lopes Julio Londono Gerry Lempichi Aine Friend Robert Cantuaria John Hopkinson Rick Jacob Stephen Schank Matthew Siegmann Trent Jones Robert Streeper Wes Blaney Zhanna Hakhverdyan Sibte Hassan Jasmine Balmat Tom Quisel Harshavardhan Gurudev Daniel Croft Christoph Meier Simon Beaumont Ira Yifa Dominique Simoneau A Onur Ertas Rada Mandich Alan Geroy Bob Stockmann Steven Carr Thomas Fredericks Lewis Byington Marco Pontil Dave Turner Marty Bivens Michael Reid Travis Tarr Jason Griffiths Lawrence Williams Alex Sander De Souza Christoph Meier A Onur Ertas Michael Jahn Daniel Mcmanus Paul Whitmore Dan Bruce Chuck Leathers Maria Aguilar Garrett Gardner Richard Eunice Marcos Rosenkjer Christoph Meier A Onur Ertas


Benoit Bruneau Benoit Bruneau Benoit Bruneau Rob Sporrer Luiz Fernando Costa Rob Sporrer Luis Rosenkjer Kevin Hintze Kevin Hintze Rob Sporrer Jonathan Jefferies Hadley Robinson Benoit Bruneau Benoit Bruneau Benoit Bruneau Benoit Bruneau Benoit Bruneau Jesse Meyer Ciaran Egan Dion Vuk Hadi Golian Steven Yancey Murat Tuzer Kevin Hintze Marc Chirico Delvin Crabtree Scott Amy Scott Amy John Ryan Jeffrey Greenbaum Jonie Millhouse Rob Mckenzie Jonie Millhouse Carlos Madureira Scott Harris Pete Michelmore Luiz Fernando Costa Ciaran Egan Murat Tuzer Nick Crane David Hanning Bill Heaner Robert Hecker Gregory Kelley David Prentice Gregory Kelley Jonie Millhouse Kari Castle Ciaran Egan Murat Tuzer

South from Steamboat Springs | photo by Dan Bruce.

9 10 10 10 10 10 10 11 11 12 12 12 12 12 12 12 12 13 13 13 13 13 13 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 5 5 5 6 7 7 7 7 8 8





CALENDAR ITEMS will not be listed if only ten-

tative. Please include exact information (event, date, contact name and phone number). Items should be received no later than six weeks prior to the event. We request two months lead time for regional and national meets. For more complete information on the events listed, see our Calendar of Events at: CLASSIFIED ADVERTISING RATES - The rate for classified advertising is $10.00 for 25 words and $1.00 per word after 25. MINIMUM AD CHARGE $10.00. AD DEADLINES: All ad copy, instructions, changes, additions & cancellations must be received in writing 2 months preceding the cover date, i.e. September 15th is the deadline for the November issue. All classifieds are prepaid. If paying by check, please include the following with your payment: name, address, phone, category, how many months you want the ad to run and the classified ad. Please make checks payable to USHPA, P.O. Box 1330, Colorado Springs, CO 80901-1330. If paying with credit card, you may email the previous information and classified to For security reasons, please call your Visa/MC or Amex info to the office. No refunds will be given on ads cancelled that are scheduled to run multiple months. (719) 632-8300. Fax (719) 632-6417 HANG GLIDING ADVISORY: Used hang gliders should always be disassembled before flying for the first time and inspected carefully for fatigued, bent or dented downtubes, ruined bushings, bent bolts (especially the heart bolt), re-used Nyloc nuts, loose thimbles, frayed or rusted cables, tangs with non-circular holes, and on flex wings, sails badly torn or torn loose from their anchor points front and back on the keel and leading edges. PARAGLIDING ADVISORY: Used paragliders should always be thoroughly inspected before flying for the first time. Annual inspections on paragliders should include sailcloth strength tests. Simply performing a porosity check isn’t sufficient. Some gliders pass porosity yet have very weak sailcloth.

If in doubt, many hang gliding and paragliding businesses will be happy to give an objective opinion on the condition of equipment you bring them to inspect. BUYERS SHOULD SELECT EQUIPMENT THAT IS APPROPRIATE FOR THEIR SKILL LEVEL OR RATING. NEW PILOTS SHOULD SEEK PROFESSIONAL INSTRUCTION FROM A USHPA CERTIFIED INSTRUCTOR.




SANCTIONED COMPETITION HG MARCH 17 - 26  Valle De Bravo, Mexico. Just after the PWC Superfinal. Come race at the most consistent place on earth to fly, Valle de Bravo. We will host a full FAI Cat 2 weeklong event for Hang Gliders. Categories: Open FAI 2, Open Woman FAI 2, Sport (king post), Sport Woman (king post). More information: Manuel Ruiz, 52 5539994334,, or HG APRIL 14-20  Rob Kells Memorial Competition / USHPA Sanctioned Hang Gliding Race to Goal Regional Competition. Located at the Florida Ridge. H4 or foreign equivalent, aerotow rating, XC and turbulence signoffs, extensive aerotow experience on the glider flown in the competition, and a 3D GPS. Registration: 12/14-3/14. Entry fee $250, tow fees $375. Trophies to be awarded. More information: James Tindle, 786-417-8778, HG APRIL 22-28  Flytec Race and Rally / USHPA Sanctioned Hang Gliding Race to Goal Competition. Starting at the Florida Ridge Flight Park. H4 or foreign equivalent, aerotow rating, XC & turbulence signoffs, extensive aerotow experience on the glider flown in the competition, and a 3D GPS. Registration: 12/14-3/22. Entry fee: $300 tow fees: TBA. Trophies and day prizes. More information: Jamie Shelden, 831-261-5444,, or flytecraceandrally. HG June 3-8  East Coast Hang Gliding Championship / USHPA Sanctioned Hang Gliding Race to Goal Competition. Highland Aerosports Flight Park, Maryland. Pilots need a H4, or H3 with meet director approval, XC, Turb, AT ratings, previously flown in USHPA aerotow comp or have written approval prior to registering from the safety director and a GPS. Pilots must have successfully aerotowed their glider model in competition conditions at least 10 times. USHPA H3 & USHPA membership with aerotow sign-off required at least 7 days prior to start of the meet. Prize money TBD by entries. More information: Highland Aerosports, 410-634-2700,, or PG JUNE 17-23  Rat Race/Sprint National Paragliding Competition / USHPA Sanctioned Paragliding Race to Goal National Championship. Woodrat Mtn., Ruch, OR. Pilots need a P3 with USHPA radio frequencies. There will be two independently scored groups in the event with each side having stand alone NTSS points. Rat Race will carry the National moniker and will allow paragliders tested by DHV with and LTF Class of 2 & 2/3 or by EN with a certification of C & D. The Rat Race Sprint will only allow paragliders tested by DHV with a LTF Class of 1, 1/2 & 2, or by EN with a certification of A, B. Entry fee: $425 to 4/15, $475 to 6/1, $495 after 6/1. Trophies will be awarded. More information: MPH Sports, or


HG July 2-7  2012 Midwest HG Comp / USHPA Sanctioned Hang Gliding Race to Goal Competition. Registration: 12/01 - 4/30 Entry fee: $300, tow fees TBD (see webpage). Guaranteed prize money $2,000. Trophies will be awarded. More Information: Krzysztof Grzyb, or Gary Solomon, 630-533-1288,, or HG july 9-14  2012 King Mountain Hang Gliding Championships / USHPA Sanctioned Hang Gliding Open Distance Competition. King Mountain, Moore, ID. All the elements of a fun Fly-In with some competition and learning experience thrown in the mix. More information: Connie Work, 559-338-2621, connie@, or HG july 15-20  Texas Single-Surface Shoot-Out / Texas Shoot-Out / USHPA Sanctioned Hang Gliding Single Surface Class Race to Goal National Championship. Carter Memorial Airport, Luling, TX. Competition will have 3 categories with trophy for first place for each: 1-Single-Surface, R2G, National Champion; 2-Open Class, Topless, double surface gliders; 3-Sports Class, Kingposted, double surface gliders. $250 entry fee. H3 rating or greater with Aerotow sign off required. Please refer to meet specific rules for further info. More information: Joel Froehlich, 210-3815193,, or www.joefroehlich. HG JULY 22-28  Big Spring – US HG Nationals / USHPA Sanctioned Hang Gliding Open Distance National Championship and USHPA Sanctioned Hang Gliding Race to Goal Competition. Big Spring Airport, Big Spring, TX. Best weather, great locals, excellent facilities, tons of airtime, and long flights. Longest continuously sanctioned competition in the US. $350 entry fee. Trophies to be awarded. H3 with aerotow signoff required, along with current aerotow experience on glider to be used during the competition. More information: David Glover 405-830-6420,, or HG SEPTEMBER 9-15  Santa Cruz Flats Race / USHPA Sanctioned Hang Gliding Race to Goal National Championship. Francisco Grande Resort, Casa Grande, AZ. $300 entry fee, and tow fees (TBA). Trophies & day prizes to be awarded. H4 or foreign equivalent with Aerotow, Cross Country & Turbulence signoffs required, along with a 3D GPS and extensive aerotow experience on the glider to be flown in the comp. More information: Jamie Sheldon 831-2615444,, or

NON-SANCTIONED COMPETITION HG JULY 29 - AUGUST 4  Boone, NC. Tater Hill Open. Cross country race for paragliders and hang gliders with concentration on new XC pilots. Includes clinics by world-famous pilots, TBA. We will utilize a unique scoring system so everyone has a chance to win. Registration opens May 1st. $200 entry fee includes rides up the hill, retrieve on competition days, T-shirt, and awards party Saturday night. We will be giving away lots of prizes and money for top placing pilots. More information:, or contact Meet Director Bubba Goodman at 828-7739433.

FLY-INS HG JULY 5-7  Lakeview, OR. Umpteenth Annual Festival of Free Flight. Three days of fun and competitions with cash prizes for Spot Landings, Sugar Hill Run, Accumulated Distance, and a special “Golden Hammer” award for the strangest landing! More information: Audrey E. Henry, 877-947-6040, ahenry@, or www.lakecountychamber. org.

clinics & tours january 21 - february 12  Medellin,Colombia.

Colombia: is the hot new international destination for paragliding. Come enjoy the majestic mountains of Colombia. Improve your thermal and X-C skills with US foot launch record holder David Prentice. We will fly multiple sites throughout Colombia, starting in Medellin then moving on to Roldanillo, site of the 2011 world cup. More Information: David Prentice, 505720-5436,, or january 29 - february 5  Talpalpa, Mexico. P3 Class. Get more than the P2 group when you also fly San Marco, Colima, and Jocotopec--all less than an hour from our hotel. You must already be a P3 pilot or completed a Mexico trip with Granger over the last 20 years! See details at We pick you up at airport in Guadalajara and take you flying at World Cup Tapalpa for 6 days. We include site fees, a private hotel room, breakfast each morning and guide service and instructional tandems for $1,500. Avoid the gaggles in Valle and get longer---2,500’-- easy flights and top landings with Parasoft PG. Take a look at our You Tube videos at grangerbanks. Details at http:// _ mexico.php january 29 - february 5  Get more than the P2 group when you also fly San Marco, Colima, and Hocotopec--all less than an hour from our hotel. You must already be a P3 pilot or completed a Mexico trip with Granger over the last 20 years! See details at php January 29 - February 6  Join the Eagle Paragliding staff for a week of flying in Colombia. Pilots of all levels are welcome, and the biggest staff on paragliding tours anywhere will continue to give you the attention you need to achieve your goals. We will team fly Cross Country, and offer tandems to give you the experience you need to get to the next level as a pilot. The tour cost is $2000. More information:, or call 805-968-0980. February 3-7  Southern California. Let’s go

warm up and get ready for the spring flying season with Ken Hudonjorgensen. More info: 801-5475269, or

FEBRUARY 15-25, MARCH 15-25  Brazil. Fly Governador Valadares. 10 days, $999 includes flying, guiding, transportation and hotel. Fun flying for all levels of skill with thermaling and x-c coaching everyday. We will pick you up at the airport and take it from there. PG & HG led by biwingual, bilingual master rated USHPA instructors. Longest running tours since 1998 by resident pilot. for complete article. Contact: Adventure Sports,, or 775-883-7070


FEBRUARY 20 - MARCH 4  Yelapa, Mexico. Join us

for maneuver clinics with Brad Gunnuscio, America`s top all around pilot, in an incredible tropical setting. We'll be doing basic SIV courses as well as advanced maneuver 3 day clinics. Come play & fly in Yelapa with state of the art towing equipment. Yelapa is a great place to bring a non flying partner or family as we tow & land right off the beach. or Les Snyder 001-52322-209-5174.

MARCH 9-12  Bay Area, CA. Four day instructor certification clinic. Eight instructor candidates limit, but if more requests come in, a 2nd clinic administrator might be added. This clinic will be done with more content and time to add better fundamentals and to allow for some added topics. Please contact Jeff for clinic qualifications. Participants are requested to do three or more apprentice days prior to the clinic with any certified instructor. Clinic cost is $800. More information: Jeff Greenbaum 415 310-7411, airtimesf@, or APRIL 20 - May 11  Bir, India. Join Jeff Cristol and Adventure Tour Productions paragliding in Northern India, flying the world famous site of Billing/Bir. Jeff has been visiting India since 1990 and flying in the Indian Himalaya since 2003. This site is located between Dharamsala and Manali, with a 100km out and back to the Dalai Lama’s residence considered the standard milk run. Visit during the spring and avoid the crowds that over run the site every fall. The Tibetan colony of Bir with many centers of Buddhist learning, adds to the depth of the already overwhelming cultural experience that is India. Please visit to read Jeff’s article about flying Bir, or contact Jeff at 970-729-0078, or email at jUNE 1-3  Jackson Hole, WY. Tandem Clinic presented by Scott Harris at the Jackson Hole Mountain Resort’s Aerial Tram, 4,139 vertical feet. More information: Scott Harris, 307-690-8726,, or june 8-10  Jackson Hole, WY. Instructor Certification Clinic presented by Scott Harris at the Jackson Hole Mountain Resort’s Aerial Tram, 4,139 vertical feet. More information: Scott Harris, 307-690-8726,, or www.jhparagliding. com.



SEPTEMBER 28 - october 4  Owens Valley, CA. Fly one of the best sites in the US with one of the best pilots in the world. Kari Castle is a Bi-wingual pilot and a 3-time world champion, World Record holder with multiple national champion titles under both of her wings. Let Kari’s 30 years of flying and 23 years of living/flying the Owens Valley, be your guide! I will help customize your 3-4 day adventure to fit your needs whether you want one on one or a group setting. We will work on everything from take offs to landings, high altitude launches, dust devil awareness, reading the sky, how to map a thermal, goal setting and cross country. For more information contact: kari@, or 760-920-0748, or sign up at www. OCTOBER 12-15  Owens Valley, CA. Fly one of the best sites in the US with one of the best pilots in the world. Kari Castle is a Bi-wingual pilot and a 3-time world champion, World Record holder with multiple national champion titles under both of her wings. Let Kari’s 30 years of flying and 23 years of living/flying the Owens Valley, be your guide! I will help customize your 3-4 day adventure to fit your needs whether you want one on one or a group setting. We will work on everything from take offs to landings, high altitude launches, dust devil awareness, reading the sky, how to map a thermal, goal setting and cross country. For more information contact:, or 760-920-0748,or sign up at OCTOBER 19-22 & 26-29  Owens Valley, CA. Fly one of the best sites in the US with one of the best pilots in the world. Kari Castle is a Bi-wingual pilot and a 3-time world champion, World Record holder with multiple national champion titles under both of her wings. Let Kari’s 30 years of flying and 23 years of living/flying the Owens Valley, be your guide! I will help customize your 3-4 day adventure to fit your needs whether you want one on one or a group setting. We will work on everything from take offs to landings, high altitude launches, dust devil awareness, reading the sky, how to map a thermal, goal setting and cross country. For more information contact: kari@, or 760-920-0748, or sign up at www. NOVEMBER 2-6  Owens Valley, CA. Fly one of the

best sites in the US with one of the best pilots in the world. Kari Castle is a Bi-wingual pilot and a 3-time world champion, World Record holder with multiple national champion titles under both of her wings. Let Kari’s 30 years of flying and 23 years of living/flying the Owens Valley, be your guide! I will help customize your 3-4 day adventure to fit your needs whether you want one on one or a group setting. We will work on everything from take offs to landings, high altitude launches, dust devil awareness, reading the sky, how to map a thermal, goal setting and cross country. For more information contact:, or 760-920-0748, or sign up at


Mission Soaring Center LLC - Largest hang

Nanolight Soaring Trike: Corsair Black Devil motor, La Mouette topless hang glider wing, plus reserve. Recently flown, in good working order…flies great! $3500 OBO. Contact Larry @ 702-807-9453 or

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 wings- demo 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 408-262-1388,, Mission Soaring Center LLC, leading the way since 1973.



HG instructors, winch tow operators & experi-

enced sales people wanted. We will train you if qualified. Must have good references & be good with people. Positions available from May thru Nov 30th. F/T or P/T, living arrangements available. Mountain Wings, Ellenville, NY 845-647-3377,



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

ALAska SKYDANCE PARAGLIDING and PARAMOTOR SCHOOL - Year-round; USHPA + USPPA certification. Novice, refresher training, equipment. Frank Sihler 907-841-7468

CALIFORNIA AIRJUNKIES PARAGLIDING - Year-round excellent instruction, Southern California & Baja. Powered paragliding, clinics, tours, tandem, towing. Ken Baier 760-753-2664, EAGLE PARAGLIDING - SANTA BARBARA offers the

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

FLY ABOVE ALL - Year-round instruction in beautiful Santa Barbara! USHPA Novice through Advanced certification. Thermaling to competition training. Visit 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. THE HANG GLIDING CENTER - PO Box 151542, San

Diego CA 92175, 619-265-5320.

have been working hard to bring you more! Let's start with the LIVE music and off the charts BBQ festivities happening every Saturday during the summer months. For all you snow birds, call us this winter for details on our domestic and international thermaling clinic/ tours we are now offering. Speed Flying your thing? Come test fly our new mini wings from Little Cloud. USHPA certified instruction for ALL ratings including Tandem and Instructor Clinics, SIV and PPG. We have expanded product lines to include Triple 7, Little Cloud, Aircross, SkyWalk, Niviuk, Ozone, UP, Plussmax Helmets, Paratech, Independence, Crispi Boots, Black Hawk Paramotors, GatorZ, FlyMaster, GoPro, Flytec, Ki2Fly, Sup Air, Dudek, MacPara, Woody Valley, Maillon Rapide, and much more! Our full service shop offers reserve repacks, annual glider inspections, repairs and more. We also carry an extensive certified used invemtory of gliders and harnesses. Check us out at or give us a call 858-452-9858.

TORREY PINES, SAN DIEGO Beach Cottage (2BR) furnished vacation rental; whitewater views! FLYING: TP (20mins); Lake Elsinore (60mins); Soboba (90mins); LaSalina, Baja MX (90mins). Cheaper than Hotel! 760-203-2658/email 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,

COLORADO GUNNISON GLIDERS – X-C to heavy waterproof HG gliderbags. Accessories, parts, service, sewing. Instruction ratings, site-info. Rusty Whitley 1549 CR 17, Gunnison CO 81230. 970-641-9315.





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

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

GRAYBIRD AIRSPORTS — Paraglider & hang glider towing & training, Dragonfly aerotow training, XC, thermaling, instruction, equipment. Dunnellon Airport 352-245-8263, email, LOOKOUT MOUNTAIN FLIGHT PARK - Nearest

mountain training center to Orlando. Two training hills, novice mountain launch, aerotowing, great accommodations., 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. 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, WALLABY RANCH – The original Aerotow flight park. Best tandem instruction worldwide,7-days a week , 6 tugs, and equipment rental. Call:1-800-WALLABY 1805 Deen Still Road, Disney Area FL 33897


5 times as many pilots earn their wings at LMFP. Enjoy our 110 acre mountain resort., 1-877-HANGLIDE, 1-877-426-4543.


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

INDIANA CLOUD 9 SPORT AVIATION - See Cloud 9 in Michigan


time 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,, hangglide@aerosports. net.

MICHIGAN Cloud 9 Sport Aviation (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,


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.


NEW YORK AAA MOUNTAIN WINGS INC. - New location at  77 Hang Glider Rd in Ellenville next to the LZ. We service all brands featuring AEROS and North Wing.  845647-3377,, www.mtnwings. com. FLY HIGH, INC. - Serving New York, Jersey, and 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., 845-744-3317. SUSQUEHANNA FLIGHT PARK - Cooperstown

New York Serving the North East since 1978. We have the best training hill in New York. Dealers for Wills Wing and others. Trade-ins welcome www.   315-867-8011

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.

OHIO CLOUD 9 SPORT AVIATION - See Cloud 9 in Michigan


tours, rentals, tandems, HG and PG classes, H-2 and P-2 intensive Novice courses, full sales. 787-8500508,


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

TEXAS FlyTexas / Jeff Hunt - training pilots in Central

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

UTAH 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 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

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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.

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WANTED - Used variometers, harnesses, parachutes, helmets, etc. Trade or cash. (262) 473-8800, www.




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Aviation Depot at 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. 1-800-664-1160 for orders only. Office 325-379-1567. gliderbags. Harness packs & zippers. New/used parts, equipment, tubes. 1549 CR 17, Gunnison, CO, 81230, or 970-641-9315.

NO LONGER FLYING? Become a Contributing Member Participate in elections! Receive the monthly magazine!

Application at

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. SPECIALTY WHEELS for airfoil basetubes, round

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

PUBLICATIONS / ORGANIZATIONS SOARING - Monthly magazine of The Soaring Society

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REAL ESTATE Sedona, Arizona - Private 235' red rock butte with contemporary home for sale. Borders National Forest. Private launchsite and LZ for paraglider. Excellent ridge soaring. See for more information, or contact Bruce Tobias, RE/MAX Sedona,, 928-204-1950 or call

1-800-616-6888 Interested in joining USHPA? Download an application at or call 1-800-616-6888



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Gunnison Gliders – X-C, Factory, heavy PVC HG

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.

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@


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 for more information.


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U S H P A . A E R O / S T O R E



This thorough guide by Dennis

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by Steve Messman



day when I could look below to watch a cloud as it was being formed, and then I could fly to it. There was one moment when I reached out from my harness and drug my hands through the edges of one of those clouds. That cloud. That’s the one I need a handful of to place in my box. I would place a jar of thermal in my safe deposit box. I was an unrated pilot. My instructor was in the landing zone, and I thought I would be joining him all too soon. As I prepared for landing, I noticed that I was getting higher. I rode that thermal and very tentatively circled a few times. My flight was probably extended by only five or six minutes, but for me the exciting part was that it was extended at all. Since then, I have discovered that thermals rule! A jar of thermal is a definite must. I definitely need to collect an eagle’s cry, or maybe its laugh. We were circling in the same thermal so closely together that I could see the detail of its feathers and make out the colors of its eyes. The eagle stayed with me as long as it wanted. I felt somehow connected to that magical creature. We were brethren, circling, feeling the same tugs on our wings, scouring the sky for even stronger lift. Suddenly that bird let out a cry that jarred me back into truth. He pointed himself downwind and left me behind like I was mired

Launch in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil | photo by Dan Bruce.

t began as a pretty mundane chore. My wife and I decided to change banks, and it became my job to relocate the safe deposit box. I took everything home instead of transferring it to the new one. I took the opportunity to purge that box of old information and replenish it with new. Besides the normal lists and appraisals, our safe deposit box also contains black and white negatives and color slides of our children in their very early years. Pictures of our boys in their first days, on their first bikes, wearing their first cowboy hats, catching their first fish. The loss of these particular items would be catastrophic, so we protect them. I became lost in the memories of so many years ago, and as usual on these reminiscent trips through the past, my thoughts began to drift toward flying. I wondered. What are my most precious and irreplaceable flying items? What, if I could, would I place in a safe deposit box that was designed especially for pilots? I would protect a handful of cloud in my box: not any old cloud, but the first one that ever dampened my face. I remember everything about that day. I remember the mountain, the types of clouds, and which direction they were floating. There were times during that



in a cloud of mud. But that cry. That definitely belongs in my box. Along those same lines, I would also enjoy having a turkey vulture’s wrinkle. I’ve long admired these soaring birds. I love to fly with vultures, often so closely together that I can see the wrinkles in their heads. I am always wary of them, as I know they can fly in places where I cannot, yet I study them to see how their wing feathers twitch in the breezes and how they turn their heads to perceive clues carried by air, those smells and motions that will always remain largely imperceptible to me. I would like to collect the sound of a raven’s flapping wings. How many times have I sat on a mountain top waiting for the exact moment to launch? How many times have I waited for the clues provided by birds? By streamers? By clouds? By insects? How many times have my thoughts been interrupted by the powerful, whooshing sounds of a raven beating back the silence of the mountains? And how many times have I dreamed of following that sound to the next ridge? Or to the next bit of lift? My safe deposit box would get full very quickly. Its contents would grow without effort. A bottle of apprehension. A pouch of fear. An envelope stuffed with practice. And bags of smiles. Lots and lots of smiles.



Speed Range

Glide Ratio

Sink Rate



AXESS 2 AIR • Light & Compact • Comfortable • Safe

• New EN C performance-class glider. • More dynamic, more precise, more agile handling with high stability across entire speed range. • Significantly higher glide ratio and a higher top speed provide increased XC-potential and “Fun Factor”. • New airfoil with three line levels = pitch stability and high collapse resistance. In-stock now


The AXESS 2 AIR is a very light and comfortable compact harness with an airbag. Suitable for everyday use as well as for Hike & Fly and travel. The innovative selfcontained airbag provides a full level of protection at takeoff because the airbag does not need external airflow. This LTF/EN certified light harness comes with an integral reserve pocket.


Super Fly:

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Advance Impress 3 A new generation harness. Based on the LIGHTNESS concept.


December 11-18 January 1-8 January 8-15

$2200 includes everything except air fare and meals.

Learn more Call, Click or Visit…

Time For Your Annual Re-Pack And Gear Inspection Beat the seasonal rush, get your gear inspected and re-packed by our industry professionals in time for your winter trips! Call for special pricing and shipping deals.

• New design • Only 4.7 kg • Perfect aerodynamics

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Buy Online & Save Our online store has it all. It’s year-end. Check out all our closeout and used-gear specials! Learn more

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Hang Gliding & Paragliding Vol42/Iss02 Feb 2012  

Official USHPA Magazine