Page 1

w w

The United States Hang Gliding and Paragliding Association, Inc.

MAR CH 2008 Volume 38 Issue 3 $4.95

Photo © Olivier Laugero / Red Bull Photofiles

USHPA, Publisher: Nick Greece, Editor: Greg Gillam, Art Director: Martin Palmaz, Advertising: Staff writers: Alex Colby, Steve Messman, Dennis Pagen, Mark “Forger” Stucky, Tom Webster Staff artist: Jim Tibbs Staff photographers: Josh Morell, Jeff O’Brien OFFICE STAFF Paul Montville, Executive Director: Rick Butler, Information Services Director: Martin Palmaz, Business Manager: Erin Russell, Office Manager: Michelle Burtis, Member/Instructor Services Administrator: USHPA OFFICERS and EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE Lisa Tate, President: Riss Estes, Vice President: Rich Hass, Secretary: Mark Forbes, Treasurer: REGION 1: Rich Hass, Mark Forbes. REGION 2: Dave Wills, Urs Kellenberger, Paul Gazis. REGION 3: David Jebb, Rob Sporrer, Brad Hall. REGION 4: Steve Mayer, Jim Zeiset. REGION 5: Lisa Tate. REGION 6: Gregg Ludwig. REGION 7: Tracy Tillman. REGION 8: Gary Trudeau. REGION 9: Felipe Amunategui, L.E. Herrick. REGION 10: Dick Heckman, Steve Kroop, Matt Taber. REGION 11: Gregg Ludwig. REGION 12: Paul Voight. REGION 13: Dick Heckman. DIRECTORS AT LARGE: Leo Bynum, Riss Estes, Mike Haley, Jon James, Dennis Pagen. EX-OFFICIO DIRECTOR: Art Greenfield (NAA). The United States Hang Gliding and Paragliding Association Inc. 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.

HANG GLIDING & PARAGLIDING magazine is published for foot-launched air-sports enthusiasts to create further interest in the sports of hang gliding and paragliding and to provide an educational forum to advance hang gliding and paragliding methods and safety. Contributions are welcome. HANG GLIDING & PARAGLIDING magazine reserves the right to edit contributions where necessary. The Association and publication do not assume responsibility for the material or opinions of contributors. HANG GLIDING & PARAGLIDING editorial offices email: ALL ADVERTISING AND ADVERTISING INQUIRIES MUST BE SENT TO USHPA HEADQUARTERS IN COLORADO SPRINGS.

Gliding & Paragliding magazine. Hang Gliding & Paragliding magazine welcomes editorial submissions from our members and readers. We are always looking for well written articles and quality artwork.

Feature stories generally run anywhere from 1500 to 3000 words. If your topic demands more or less than this, you should discuss options with the editor. 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. You are The USHPA is a member-controlled sport organization dedicated to welcome to submit photo attachments, preferably jpeg files smaller the exploration and promotion of all facets of unpowered ultralight than a megabyte. Calendar of events items may be sent via email to flight, and to the education, training and safety of its membership., as may letters to the editor. Please be concise Membership is open to anyone interested in this realm of flight. Dues and try to address a single topic in your letter. Your contributions are for Rogallo membership are $270. Pilot memberships are $75 ($90 greatly appreciated. If you have an idea for an article you may discuss non-U.S.). Dues for Contributing membership and for subscription- your topic with the editor either by email or telephone. Contact: Editor, only are $52 ($63 non-U.S.). $15 of annual membership dues goes to Hang Gliding & Paragliding magazine,, (516) the publication of Hang Gliding & Paragliding magazine. Changes of 816-1333. address should be sent six weeks in advance, including name, USHPA number, previous and new address, and a mailing label from a recent For change of address or other USHPA business, call (719) 632-8300, or issue. You may also email your request with your member number to: email

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) 632-6417. PERIODICAL postage is paid at Colorado Springs, CO and at additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Send change of address to: Hang Gliding & Paragliding magazine, P.O. BOX 1330, Colorado Springs, CO 80901-1330. Canadian Post Publications Mail Agreement #40065056. Canadian Return Address: DP Global Mail, 4960-2 Walker Road, Windsor, ON N9A 6J3 DISCLAIMER OF WARRANTIES IN PUBLICATIONS: The material presented here is published as part of an information dissemination service for USHPA members. The USHPA makes no warranties or representations and assumes no liability concerning the validity of any advice, opinion or recommendation expressed in the material. All individuals relying upon the material do so at their own risk. Copyright © 2008 Hang

The United States Hang Gliding and Paragliding Association, a division of the National Aeronautic Association,

is a representative of the Fédération Aeronautique Internationale in the United States.

HDEPTSFEATURES THE HIDDEN hazard of aerobatic hang gliding




























Enter the “wing mines” of California and discover the intricacies of custom inlayed hang glider design.

Explore some of the dangers of flying a hang glider up-side down. by John Heiney. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24

CLOUD CONSCIOUS PART 4 THUNDERSTORM VARIATIONS Thunderstorms take center stage in this educational series on clouds. by Dennis Pagen . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28

by Rich Collins. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30

now what? What do you do if you’re in the air but wishing you were on the ground?

by Chris Santacroce . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37

ON THE COVER Jeff O’Brien snags another cover flying his Wills Wing Sport 2 over Marshall Peak, California.

X-Alps from the middle of the pack Nate relates what it’s like to take the family on a summer flying vacation that just happens to cross the Alps. by Nate Scales . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 42


March 2008: Hang Gliding & Paragliding – www.USHPA .aero

March 2008: Hang Gliding & Paragliding – www.USHPA .aero


HANG in there Part 2 | Socal lessons learned Looking back at lessons learned after traveling to the 1974 hang gliding nationals. by Mark “Forger” Stucky. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 47

travel | BRAZil Explore parts of Brazil with Jamie and the infamous Jonny Durand Jr. and Chris Smith.

by Jamie Sheldon . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 49

travel | NEW ZEALAND A team from Jackson Hole heads for a winter escape down under.

by Scott Harris. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 53

GALLERY A summer semester competing in the Alps inspires photographer Greg Babush.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .56

WELCOME TO THE THIRD DIMENSION Raise your airborne awareness to the dimensions that surround us.

by Tom Webster. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 62


March 2008: Hang Gliding & Paragliding – www.USHPA .aero


[right] Jon Hunt launches a speed wing at Shadow Mountain, Wyoming. Photo by Nick Greece


s I sit indoors hiding from the single digit temperatures wreaking havoc on snow laden launches, thoughts of the coming flying season arise--checking winds aloft, performing line and hang checks and covering terrain under wing. The rebirthing of flight rituals-dusting off equipment, completing perfunctory after-winter safety inspection and dialing up flying friends from the old directory to see who’s in and when and where we’re meeting-- will be most welcome. We’ll gather at the usual spots and listen to favorite tunes as we race to launch in a pre-flight inebriation, happily caught in the moment. As we wait for cycles to build, conversations will revolve around pivotal issues of the day--which direction looks best, what the winds aloft are like, and did Bill Murray have the greatest comedic role of all time in Caddyshack, or did Chevy Chase edge him out in Fletch? Whether supine or prone, we have many things in common: the friends we meet, the sites we see from above or on retrieve when we sink out, and the adventures we have on our journeys. Hopefully this magazine will act as a time capsule for these moments and provide a place where communities nationwide will share stories and experiences that keep the flying glow ablaze. We have an amazing flying community in the States, steeped in a history of accomplishment, camaraderie, uniqueness, and fun. As we launch the March issue of the USHPA magazine, our goal is to provide a link to wonderful sites and individuals who reflect the DNA of the USHPA family. I encourage all of you to contribute thoughts and experiences to inspire your fellow pilots on their missions under wing and hope that this issue helps sustain everyone until the warmer, friendlier skies are upon us!

March 2008: Hang Gliding & Paragliding – www.USHPA .aero




mousse-bag, and quick links. Sizes: Small/Medium and Medium/Large. 1,80 meter is the transition point from S/M to M/L. More information: www. Submitted by Sup’Air-USA





Initially developed for speed-riding, with its small, removable seat plate and its removable 12 cm Mousse-Bag, this harness lends itself to all forms of free flight that don’t require a reserve parachute: ground handling, waggas and lightweight flying as well as for tandem passengers. Light ( 1.4 kg. basic and 2.3 kg. full options) and close fitting, you will forget it is there! Its two quick release buckles make it easy to put it on in any circumstances (even during winter when geared with skis and gloves : no leg loops to step into). Accelerator pulleys. An original and eye-catching design. Two “V” designed buckles with an integrated safety clip-in system. Removable seat plate for more precise weight shifting. When the mousse-bag is removed, its pocket can be zipped flat to reduce the harness’s volume to a minimum. An easily accessible stuff sack is integrated into the harness’s back to allow the wing to be carried on the pilot’s lap without removing the harness (for use on chairlifts and such). Easily on and off via two quick releases buckles. A reserve parachute can be attached to the main maillons. 12 cm Mousse-bag under the seat and the lower back. The KUICK is delivered with a stuff-bag, seat plate,


Niviuk has a new Speed-Riding wing named the SKATE. Comes in four sizes - 8, 10, 12 and 14 m2. Easy to handle in all situations, highly resistant to roll, a wide speed range and a unique profile provides the ability to glide parallel with the ground in all relief. With three risers and a trim system, which allows easy and effective adjustments to

map at SPOT can call for help, even if you’re in a remote area hundreds of miles from the nearest cell phone tower. And because it uses GPS to locate and track your position, they’ll know exactly where you are. Unlike satellite phones, the price is right. The SPOT unit costs around $150, and basic service is only $99 / year. SPOT can send a check-in message to your family and friends. This means that it can also be used for casual communications, just to let someone know where you are. It’s designed to work with Google Maps, so the message your friends receive as an email includes a hyperlink that instantly displays your position on a map or aerial view. The email also includes a text message that you can customize from a website. SPOT only has four buttons. Before a flight, you set up a list of email addresses or cell-phone text numbers that you want to receive your “check-in” button messages. You then set up another list of the angle of attack, the SKATE can be contacts that you want to receive a “help” securely set to follow the inclination of message; most likely this would be your the slope while preventing any unwant- ground crew. A separate “911” emered take off. It comes with a stuff-sac and gency button contacts local emergency inner bag. It is also available as package personnel. which includes the SKATE, split-leg Submitted by David Guidos reversible harness/backpack, stuff-sac, 2 AIRWAVE SPORT 4 self-locking biners and inner bag. More Using new technology fed down from information at Submitted by Sup’Air-USA our World Champion winning competition wings we managed to create an SPOT SATELLITE MESSENGER intermediate glider with significantly An exciting new communication ca- higher performance. Improved pitch pability is now available for pilots. It’s and roll stability make this extra perforcalled SPOT (Satellite Personal Tracker), mance easy to use – it literally floats to and what makes this product unique is the top of the stack with minimal inputs that it uses satellites, so its coverage area and glides away from the pack. Certified includes most of the world (coverage to the new European Standard EN 926 March 2008: Hang Gliding & Paragliding – www.USHPA .aero


Eagle Paragliding launched their new web site just before the first of the year. The new web site has lots of great videos and stories. There is a great account of the paragliding competitions which took place in Valle De Bravo in January. Check the eagle calendar for this years events. Visit the website at Submitted by Eagle Paragliding

people who have test flown it report performance that will satisfy pilots coming off a higher-rated wing. When you look at this wing it is fairly obvious that it is closely related to the Trango 3 - tested by Gleitschirm Magazine to be the highest performing Serial Class wing on the market. Visit for more information. Submitted by Eagle Paragliding


as well as to the German LTZ it passed with an amazing test result of 21 A and only 3 B (Size M) which equals a very safe, medium skill 1-2 glider. Visit www. for more information. Submitted by Eagle Paragliding


The time has come to replace the Summit 3, and its successor is already certified in all sizes - welcome to the new Summit XC! This new wing is intended for frequent fliers with a passion for XC adventures. It has the performance to do the job, and the docile behavior to do it in relaxed style. Our designers consider it the ideal wing to make the move from DHV 1-2 into the DHV 2 class, whilst

Celebrating 10 years of making Flight and Dreams come together! HORIZON ET 180 & 160 The easy-to-fly novice hang glider with performance that makes it a fun-to-fly glider for intermediate pilots! Easy landing, excellent directional stability for towing. Excellent slow-flight handling and sink rate

Radial curved tips, VG system for performance Streamlined kingpost and downtubes included

FREEDOM 170 The new, easy-to-fly hang glider with the perfect combination of features and flight performance! Very easy landing, excellent slow-flight handling. Quick set-up, kingpost hang system

Radial curved tips, 35% double-surface Streamlined kingpost and downtubes included


The NEW high performance, single-surface glider!

View our aircraft and find a dealer at HANG GLIDERS  ULTRALIGHT TRIKES & WINGS North Wing Design

3904 Airport Way

March 2008: Hang Gliding & Paragliding – www.USHPA .aero


East Wenatchee, Washington 98802



286.7 10

March 2008: Hang Gliding & Paragliding – www.USHPA .aero

moved to where they would have the best chance to fly far. According to this format, Quixada appeared as the best starting site; on the first week of the expedition Rafael Saladini and Marcelo Prieto had already gotten close to Will Five years after the Canadian pilot Gadd’s mark, setting continental reWill Gadd set the record for the longest cords with flights of 257 miles (414 km) distance flown by a paraglider after a and 247 miles (397.7 km). tow-launch from Zapata, Texas—263 The distance world record has been miles (423.4km)-- three Brazilian pilots chased by numerous teams all over the finally broke his record with a flight of world. Last year, the brothers Aljaz and 286.7 miles (461,5 km)! Frank Brown, Urban Valic flew 264 miles (426 km) in Rafael Saladini and Marcelo “Ceceu” South Africa, but as they went back a Prieto took off on Wednesday, the 14th few miles to land on safe terrain, the of November, from Quixada, Ceara, FAI only counted the distance from Brazil, at 7:20 in the morning and flew takeoff to landing, meaning their record together for 10 hours, landing in the was not certified. Now, the brothers’ vicinity of Luzilandia with the world goal is to break the 300 mile (500 km) record in their hands--if they can pass barrier. And they are not the only ones. the demanding Federation Aeronatique However, this will not be the year for International (FAI) ratification process. South Africa, or the brothers’ Valic, to The day started with clouds and the hold the paragliding open distance title. entrance of a front that left some rain The record chasing concluded with Ewa in the area. About seven pilots took off Wisnierska setting the female German that morning, while others chose not to fly after considering the relatively poor conditions. The first part of the flight was difficult, causing some pilots to land early. But the three members of the record-hunting expedition XC Nordeste, organized by the Brazilian paraglider manufacturer Sol for the fourth consecutive year, continued flying in better and better conditions. At 1:00 pm they were already at 173.9 miles (280 km). By 4:45 pm Frank Brown reported to Sol that the trio was at 5900 feet (1800m) and passing the 263 mile (423 km) mark of Will Gadd with one hour of flying ahead. The group decided to land together at 5:45 pm and to share the world record. They had covered 286.7 miles (461.5 km) on their Sol Tracers! Will Gadd’s record was the only one the XC Nordeste hadn’t broken yet. open distance record at 186 miles (300 Since their first expedition in 2003, they km). Rest assured, the Swiss, Germans, had set world records of open distance Slovenians, South Africans, and others and declared goal on tandem paraglid- will return next year for a shot at the er, declared distance on solo paraglider title. Until then the Brazilian paraglidand the South American record for dis- ing triumphant reigns supreme. tance. As a matter of fact, this year the Submitted by XC Nordeste applied a new format and started the flights from the best possible takeoff in the area based on the conditions for the day, so that the pilots


March 2008: Hang Gliding & Paragliding – www.USHPA .aero

“Really big flights like this ignite my imagination and make our horizons as pilots and humans larger. We’re lucky little humans to be alive in an era when things like this are possible, fantastic. I’m sure we’ll all be looking at the possibilities from our home sites with bigger minds, as well as the 500 km (300 mile) mark! I’ve seen Frank and Marcelo chase the record over the years, they have really put the time and energy into the goal. A huge “Hell yeah!!” from me to all three pilots. Good luck with the paperwork.”



- Will Gadd [near left] The record breakers celebrate. From left to right: Marcelo Prieto, Frank Brown and Raphael Saladini. All photos courtesy of SOL Paragliders.





Al Roker, the Today Show weatherman and all around good sport, took part in a special Today Show sequence of on-air personalities attempting “extreme” sports. Matt Lauer tried his hand at kite surfing. Al, the Today Show’s resident teller of tales of the sky, appropriately determined that he would hang glide. After checking the sites and several hang gliding facilities, Roker decided to go to Wallaby Ranch. To the uninitiated, the name “Wallaby Ranch” might suggest that Al was going to Australia. Not so. Wallaby is located outside Orlando, Florida. The Today Show crew, along with junior birdman, Al Roker, boarded a southbound plane, headed for what many consider to be the ultimate hang gliding park. For frequent visitors, Wallaby delivers time and again. Wallaby’s aeropark is easy to miss. The entrance, located on a country road, is hidden by a thick border of pines. The drive to the facility meanders through the pines to reveal a large grassy field, the landing zone. The buildings are a collection of shelters or wooden structures called “hooches,” some built by Malcolm Jones, Wallaby’s owner. The hooches are clus-


tered around an area towards one end of the landing field where the trees have been given dispensation to grow. The area resembles a small island village, complete with tree houses and crude habitats reminiscent of communal living. Some say it looks like structures put up by “guys with tools and some boards.” The large dining hooch that’s available to all offers a big screen TV, DVD player, and space to access the free wireless internet. It’s also a good spot to sip sodas, drink brews, and relax in the shade, bug free. Breakfast is served around 10a.m., cafeteria style, with a menu determined by the cooks. The menu for the 3p.m. afternoon meal is also determined by the cooks. The food is wholesome and delicious—just like any home-cooked meal. Wallaby’s clientele is international and interesting, with diverse levels of wealth and education, but all are drawn to their love of hang glider flight. The atmosphere is akin to a great summer camp. Instructional flights start at 8:00 a.m. A band of golf carts and similar vehicles buzz about taking folks to the appropriate launch area, determined by the prevailing wind. Gliders and tugs appear together, and the training flights get underway in an exhilarating whirlwind of early morning activity. The students are all on adrenaline highs. Each takeoff, flight and landing is watched for technique. If conditions are right, more advanced pilots gather around noon to get towed up into the thermals. Once thermic activity begins, the topless dream machines, whose pilots invariably sport aerodynamic bug-like helmets, flock to the skies. The real flying starts as they

are pulled by the dragonflies into the sky. Once released, they keep going up, colored specks against the white clouds. Wallaby is Malcolm Jones’ kingdom. He is a kid at heart in love with things that fly. During his tandem with Al on the Today Show, Malcolm remarked that the sky is his office. It’s clear that Malcolm loves what he’s doing, and the 30,000 safe and successful tandem flights under Malcolm’s belt prove that he is very good at it.

Al Roker emerged from his first tandem flight an unabashedly thrilled initiate. He wanted to head right back up. Al later told Malcolm he planned to return to Wallaby with his family. Al’s enthusiasm brought Matt Lauer and his wife to Wallaby to take lessons while they were vacationing in Florida. Matt also loved it. Obviously, the Today Show folks “get” Wallaby Ranch. For those who haven’t visited,it’s time to meet the kin. For those who have,it’s about time to return. And, by the way, Al and Matt… Welcome to the family!

Submitted by Curt Otto

Photos courtesy of Wallaby Ranch

March 2008: Hang Gliding & Paragliding – www.USHPA .aero

I recently wrote an article titled “The Wrong Color of Wing.” In that article, I made reference to an experience from my youth, one that left a very lasting impression on me. I gave examples of a couple of encounters that I experienced with both hang glider pilots and paraglider pilots that reminded me of those old and horrid feelings from long ago. Some wrote to lodge complaints. I would like to apologize to all those who were offended or angered by that article. It was not my intent to call anyone names, either intentionally or accidentally. I used an encounter from my childhood to describe a message. That message was that we are all pilots of foot-launch aircraft, that we should recognize our similarities, grow strong together, and fly together. Perhaps this pilot who wrote to USHPA said it best. “I also am a new pilot, flying hang gliders at a site that is the epitome of good relations between hang glider pilots and paraglider pilots. Please learn from the

Crestline Soaring Society (CSS) about how to foster unity among different types of pilots. Following are concrete reasons why we are so happy together. I will correlate them directly to suggestions for you, the leadership of the USHPA.” 1. Much of the leadership and many of the senior members of the CSS are biwingwal. I encourage every paid staff member of the USHPA to learn to fly each type of wing and do so regularly. 2. Said leadership never badmouths any type of wing and likely would not tolerate it. They are not divisive in any way. I have sensed no favoritism for one type of flying over another. Your article reflects the antithesis of this maturity. Please refrain from similar articles in the future.

of space to fly, minimizing conflict. Increase your efforts to expand our flying sites in quantity and quality.



4. Club members work on the site together, drive to launch together, drink beer together, cheer each other on, etc. Sponsor more dual-wing events.” I hope that we will all learn from your flying community. I’m sorry you were offended by my article, but I am happy that you support the message. You are not the only club who believes in these values of strength and unity. There are many excellent examples around the world. I believe that those are the words and the values that we should all be focusing on. That was, and remains my message. “It’s high time for us to work together, to grow strong together, and to fly together.” - Steve Messman

3. The members of the CSS enjoy plenty

PHotos: Till Gottbrath

Is progress still possible?

Nova team pilot Ingo Kallmayer during test flights in autumn over the achensee (Tyrol).


3-year warranty on materials and craftsmanship included.

Tr y the Mentor and make your opinion! Nova only replaces a glider by a new one, if the new one is clearly improved compared to its predecessor. This time the level is pretty high due to the Mamboo.

Including a 1-year full warranty. Please note: International warranty differs from regulations in Austria, Germany and Switzerland. DISTRIBUTION USA


SUPER FLY INC, | 8683 Sandy Parkway · Sandy, UT 84070 , USA Tel. 801.255.9595 · Fax 801.256.9898

NOVA INTERNATIONAL | Bernhard-Höfel-Str. 14 · A-6020 Innsbruck, Austria Tel. ++43 (0) 512 - 36 13 40 ·

March 2008: Hang Gliding & Paragliding – www.USHPA .aero






INSURANCE The new Instructor Liability Insurance program has been in place since August 1 of last year and it’s great to see how well it’s been received by our instructors. Insurance is one of those benefits that you don’t really think about too much until you need it. Of course, if you need it, it’s too late to be just starting to think about it! Our group policy for instructors covers every USHPA instructor for $500,000 for any claims related to instruction in hang gliding or paragliding. In addition, it pays all costs of legal defense at 100%, no deductible. As an instructor, there are two key things you have to do in order for the insurance to be valid: 1. You must be a current USHPA instructor with a Rogallo membership. 2. You must have every student sign at least a 30-day membership and the accompanying waiver. A full membership would be great, but a 30-day plus the waiver is the minimum requirement. As long as these conditions are satisfied, the insurance is in force, for all aspects of your teaching of hang gliding or paragliding. That includes ground school, preflight, pre-launch (kiting, holding the glider and running, etc.) launching, flying and landing (including crashing) and post-flying activities like packing up or debriefing. It only applies to unpowered flying; no powered harnesses are covered, nor are ultralights or sailplanes or balloons or anything else that’s not hang gliding or paragliding. This is individual coverage that applies to each USHPA instructor. Schools still need to purchase their own separate business liability insurance, but they’ll benefit from having fully-insured instructors working for them. With this new member benefit, the cost of a USHPA membership went up. We negotiated a very good deal with our insurers on the price, but there’s no way around the fact that insurance is a big expense. We reached a final price of $310 per instructor, which was a lot better than the early estimates of nearly $1000

each! With a mix of Pilot and Rogallo membership dues paying the bill, dues went up last fall to $75 for Pilots and $270 for Rogallo memberships. We tried to keep the cost as low as possible so that instructors wouldn’t find it an unbearable financial burden, and I think we succeeded. At present we’re about half way through our renewal cycle for instructors, and of those who had expiration dates after August 1, about 75% have renewed at the new Rogallo membership rate. Another 15% have chosen to renew as Pilot members and drop their instructor status, and the remainder have not renewed. While we hate to see anybody drop out of the instructor ranks, this renewal rate is about what we’d hoped for when we set up the program. Part of those non-renewals are the normal pattern; some of our members delay their renewals over the winter months, picking up again in the spring when flying season gets going or they start teaching. Some have moved on to other interests, or have simply quit. I’ve talked with some of the instructors who’ve switched to a Pilot membership, to find out why they made that decision. For the most part, it’s not the added cost. Some have moved on to sailplanes or powered flying and aren’t really teaching HG/PG any more. Several are raising new families and don’t have the time to teach at present, but expect to get back into it in a few years. Others just weren’t actively teaching and didn’t need to hold an instructor rating. And a handful were philosophically opposed to having insurance to cover their potential liability. We were able to get the cost of the insurance down to an affordable level because of two things. First, it’s group coverage that insures everybody. This also means that a landowner doesn’t have to wonder if a particular instructor is insured or not; if they’re a USHPA instructor, they’re covered. The other reason is that the insurance is valid only with a signed waiver. Realistically, we expect any claims to be minimal, because the waiver provides a strong defense against big claims for damages. Just as with our pilot liability insurance,

the bulk of the annual expense goes to legal defense to handle any claims that might come up. Of course, there are the occasional minor claims that come up; pilots running into parked cars, storage sheds and so on. Those are the sorts of claims that don’t cost a lot of money, relatively speaking. Still, if you’re looking at $3500 to fix somebody’s car because you just caved in the doors on one side, it’s nice to know that you have that USHPA insurance policy to pay most of the bill. You’re only on the hook for the $1000 deductible. And it could be worse! If you were to snag a power line on final and start a grass fire that burns up some farmer’s wheat field, you could be looking at a big chunk of money. We hope it never happens, but it’s good to have insurance just in case. Insurance benefits all of us because it means we’re each financially able to pay if we damage something. Without it, we’d be fighting a constant battle to convince landowners that we’re “safe enough” to have around. As an owner of an expensive asset like a piece of land, I wouldn’t want to risk losing my property to a lawsuit, just because I’d been nice enough to allow someone else to use the place for flying. Our insurance is an important key to our ability get access to flying sites, whether on public or private land. The days when you could “just fly” are gone. Land managers today are much more aware of their risk exposure, and it shows all over. Gated roads, no trespassing signs, restricted access…it’s sad, but it’s reality. Insurance is one tool we can use to demonstrate that we’re responsible, and can be trusted to treat private or public lands with respect and care. If you have questions about insurance generally, or legal exposure to risk, feel free to drop me an email. I’m not an insurance agent or a lawyer, but I can put you in touch with the folks who can answer your questions if I don’t know the answers myself. Fly safe!

Submitted by Mark G. Forbes

USHPA Insurance Committee Chairman

March 2008: Hang Gliding & Paragliding – www.USHPA .aero


Shortly after learning to fly in 1974, I began scouting around my local area for other pilots. In order to establish a flying community, I started a club and served as its president for a few years, until the other local pilots moved away. At that time, I was able to become a member of a club (MCHGA) that was only an hour away, eventually serving as its president for two years. Since then, I’ve been a loyal member of Sonoma Wings, acting as its president for the last four years. Over the years I’ve served in numerous club leadership positions and, also, as an USHPA Observer. Throughout its 30-year existence, Sonoma Wings has had to confront the same issues that other USHPA Chapters regularly encounter. We manage four sites, host three fly-ins a year, make annual pilgrimages to the Owens Valley and King Mt., and try to mentor new pilots, from newbies to experienced XC pilots. In the Greater San Francisco Bay Area, there are at least seven clubs; so working with other groups of pilots has become a way of life. I’ve worked at the frustrating tasks of acquiring new sites, placating irate landowners, maintaining good relationships with friendly land-



owners, putting on fly-ins and competitions, and trying to help this sport I love and those who want to fly in any way I can. I’m hoping that the Chapter Support Committee will be able to work with the other committees, especially Site and Mentoring, to provide other chapters the tools they need to grow and stay strong. I’m looking forward to working with all USHPA chapters, USHPA leadership, and pilots everywhere. If you have any ideas as to how we can help our chapters, I’m all ears!


MENTORING PROGRAM The USHPA Mentor Program is a developing project intended to advance pilots in their flying by pairing them with more experienced pilots. The mentors can help introduce new sites, help evaluate weather and other local conditions, develop flight plans, and help younger pilots have safe and successful flights. USHPA recognizes that a vast number of pilots quit flying, and leave the sport, after achieving their Novice or Intermediate ratings because of loss of interest. The Mentor program is designed to create a proactive approach by helping lesser experienced pilots stay engaged and further their skills. It’s not at all designed to take the place of regular instruction, but is designed to build community through knowledge sharing. “I was introduced to the sport of Hang Gliding in May of 1999,” notes Michelsen. “On return from that very first lesson, I went to the local shop, pulled out my checkbook, and simply said, ‘Set me up.’ “My initial flying centered around fixed sites in California like Dunlap, Slide, and Hull with long days in the air and longer nights around the campfire chatting, and learning from all the experienced pilots. I discovered the challenge of XC in the summer of 2001, and have been chasing the miles ever since. Finally, I found the camaraderie of com-

March 2008: Hang Gliding & Paragliding – www.USHPA .aero

petition in the form of local club comps and the King Mountain Meet. I now look forward to more such XC meets and improving my skills against the best pilots we have.” With the help of USHPA Chapters, Examiners, and the USHPA Office, Mr. Michelsen will have the task of working directly with the Office and Chapters to match Mentors with pilots, as the pilots request a mentor. He will also work with the Board and the Office on improving the program in terms of accessibility and efficiency. A USHPA Mentor is an appointment, made by a USHPA Examiner and conferred upon an Intermediate or Advanced pilot who can judge skills and make sure that their mentored pilot stays within safe boundaries for flying sites. They can also help judge weather conditions. Many of the skills and mentalities required are the same types required for rating officials, but one does not have to be a rating official to be a USHPA Mentor.





[from top right] West Rutland launch ramp. Paraglider setup area. Hang glider setup area. All photos by Mike Holmes.


Beginning in the fall of 2002, the Vermont Hang Gliding Association (VHGA) embarked on a project to guarantee ongoing access and protection of what is arguably the best Hang II, SW facing, hang gliding and paragliding site in the Northeastern United States. The preservation of this site really began in 1989 when the property was acquired by Jake Schwaiger, a local hang glider pilot and long time member of the VHGA. As time went by the question became: how could the site be preserved in perpetuity, so that future generations of pilots might continue to enjoy West Rutland’s wonder winds? Long term preservation of the site started with John Arrison,VHGA president, who approached Jake about the sale of this parcel of land to the VHGA in September of 2002. He proposed that VHGA purchase the 10 acre launch site at the top of Mt. Hanley in West Rutland,Vermont, for $1,000 per acre. The purchase and sale agreement was signed in February of 2005, and the title search on the property was completed in March, 2005. Early that year the VHGA raised $8,000 toward the initiative. In May of 2005 the United States Hang Gliding Foundation, which is now known as The Foundation for Free Flight, put in a matching grant of $10,000. At that time, the VHGA estimated that the final cost of the project would be approximately $25,000. After many hours

of negotiation between the land owner and the VHGA, the deal was finalized late in 2006 for a total price of $17,000, including property costs, surveys, taxes, and Jake’s attorney’s fees. The VHGA saved $4,000 in attorney fees by having Rick Sharp, a local pilot, paragliding instructor and Vermont attorney, execute the club’s legal work. The remaining unused funds were placed in a special “West Rutland fund” to be used for the purchase of a permanent LZ in the valley below. Other VHGA pilots also contributed to the project. Some of the most prominent were: John Arrison as the president of VHGA at the start of the project; Gary Trudeau as USHPA Region 8 Director; Peter Kelley as the main contact in Rutland who handled communications with Jake, and supervised the survey and permit work with the town of West Rutland; and Rick Sharp, the aforementioned attorney who provided all VGHA legal services free of charge. In addition, many pilots in the Northeastern U.S. were solicited by the VHGA and gave generously. These generous contributions resulted in Foundation For Free Flight being given a matching grant based on the funds that were collected. As Gary Trudeau remarked, “The project was a lot more involved than anyone thought it would be, and it took longer than we originally thought it would.” VHGA’s purchase turned out to be well worth the effort, patience, and money expended. The flying community now has permanent access to a Hang II site for the VHGA and free flight pilots from all over New England and New York!

March 2008: Hang Gliding & Paragliding – www.USHPA .aero

The Foundation For Free Flight was a vital participant in this project because it not only acted as a catalyst organization that helped put together necessary funding, but also enabled the VHGA to

progress is underway towards preserving other parts of West Rutland. The VHGA is currently working on the purchase and preservation of a permanent landing zone in the valley below. Preservation is an evolving and ongoing task of stewardship on many levels. As Rick Sharp indicates, “It is critical that the VHGA now goes on to acquire a permanent landing zone in the West Rutland Valley.” This project is likely to unfold in a manner similar to the Launch Preservation Project. Mike Holmes, the current VHGA president, is in the process of working with land owners on securing a permanent LZ. The Club’s Treasurer, Don Massoni, as well as other members of the VHGA”s build the commitment and energy nec- Board of Directors, also have put in a essary to succeed in their preservation lot of leg work on this LZ project. They project. The Foundation, its trustees, hope to get this project underway in the volunteers and friends are committed spring. Mike can be reached at mikesgnto working with USHPA clubs in the mission of long term flying-site preser- vation. Although this effort was a key component in being able to preserve Submitted by Douglas Sharpe free flight in the Northeast, even more Trustee for the Foundation for Free Flight


The project originally involved a 10 acre mountain top parcel. But as Rick Sharp points out, “there were extensive negotiations as to acreage to be acquired and quite a bit of wrangling as to the actual boundary lines, but the VHGA finally settled on a mutually agreed boundary for the parcel. The final solution allowed Jake to retain a cabin on the property while ensuring the that the VHGA got title to the main SW launch site, a SE launch site, a possible NE launch site, the top parking area and a deeded right-of-way across the acreage Jake retained to access the mountain top.” Looking back on this project, it’s critical to see it as a multi-year, multiperson, labor of love that could not have come about without the hard work and effort of many individuals. It demonstrates how site preservation can be accomplished with persistence and commitment. Gary Trudeau, the USHPA Region 8 Director, says: “Without the foundation we might never have been able to save this site for current and future pilots.”

“Without the foundation we might never have been able to save this site for current and future pilots.”

March 2008: Hang Gliding & Paragliding – www.USHPA .aero





In aviation, takeoff and landing are known as the two most dangerous phases of flight. This is never more true than when the airframe involved is a hang glider type. The narrow range of conditions appropriate to this type of wing, coupled with the no-two-are-alike nature of foot launch sites that we fly,

moved up to an Ultrasport, and finally transitioned to the wing of my dreams-a Talon. I had read all the books and articles I could find, purchased all the bells & whistles, and collected lots of flying t-shirts. What more could a pilot need? That late summer morning began with lots of excitement, as it was one of our annual Fly-Ins. I packed the Jeep, loaded up my glider and headed to our flying site in the mountains of Maryland.

put an extreme premium on pilot skill, judgment, and most importantly–local knowledge and experience with the site. What follows is a story many of us have gotten arbitrarily close to experiencing, from a pilot with the bonafides to say: “There I was, thought I was gonna…” There I was--inverted… A great way to start a story if you just stepped out of an F-14 and “Maverick” is standing next to you at the bar. Unfortunately, my predicament involved a cliff launch, multiple trees and a severely damaged Wills Wing Talon. What started as a day with lots of possibilities ended in a way that had not been foreseen. That leads us deeper into the story… I was a Hang-3, flying in a new topless super-ship with all the confidence in the world. As a former military aviator, I prided myself on rapidly moving up through the ratings. I had been our chapter’s Flight Director for two terms, preaching safety and knowing your limitations ad nauseum. During my short hang gliding training, I began my flying experience in a Pulse, quickly

The day was beautiful but a little on the breezy side. As I drove the 90-minute stretch to launch, blue skies were prevalent with white clouds dotting the horizon. I arrived and immediately started setting up, taking very little time to assess the local conditions. I had only flown this cliff launch site a handful of times, yet my primary focus was getting all my toys set up so I could throw myself into the sky to look upon the mere mortals below. Once set up, I impatiently watched two Falcon pilots launch successfully. I noticed a slight right cross in wind direction, but clearly nothing to be concerned about. I suited up and moved into launch position with assistance on both wings and my keel. Feeling more forward pressure than I was used to, I raised the nose slightly and felt the pressure decrease. Feeling confident, I yelled, “Clear!” and took my first step… then everything fell apart. The crosswind that I had casually observed earlier increased as I began my launch. The gust inadvertently raised my right wing as it cleared the cliff edge and put me into a sharp


US Hang Gliding & Paragliding Association Complete Magazine Collection M A G A Z I N E A R C H I V E 1971-2005

1971-2004 Low & Slow 1971-1973 Ground Skimmer 1972-1976 Hang Gliding 1976-2003 Paragliding 1993-2003 Hang Gliding & Paragliding 2003-2004 DVD1: 1971-1981 Hang gliding DVD2: 1982-1990 Hang gliding DVD3: 1990-1998 Hang gliding DVD4: 1999-2004 Hang gliding DVD5: 1990-1996 Paragliding DVD6: 1997-2003 Paragliding

USHPA Magazine Collection on DVD!

$30 plus shipping & handling

Order online at or call 800-616-6888 18

March 2008: Hang Gliding & Paragliding – www.USHPA .aero

ACCIDENTS left turn. Fighting with all my strength, I threw my body against the right downtube and begged my new wing to respond. Unfortunately, once it did, I suddenly realized that I was headed directly into the trees left of launch with no recourse except hitting them dead on. Reverting back to my formal training, I knew that my only option was to pull in for speed and hit the tree dead center while trying to grab something to retard my fall. As I impacted the tree, I tumbled through the foliage and came to a stop, suspended between two large trees approximately 65 feet above the ground … inverted. They accurately say that flying is hours of boredom, punctuated by moments of stark terror. I spent about five hours in that tree, so there was lots of time to reflect on the process that got me into such an unnatural position. The lessons learned that day have helped refine how I prepare for any attempt to throw myself off terra firma. Experience is a hard teacher. First comes the test, then the lesson. As I stated earlier, the day began with

lots of excitement. I knew the psychological aspects of how to deal with a flying demonstration from my military days. Extra time was put into prepping our flight gear and preflighting the aircraft. Adrenalin flows on those days so extra time was built in to make sure nothing was missed or overlooked. Unfortunately, I didn’t follow those rules when I transitioned to hang gliding. The only mental activity in which I invested that morning was how cool I would look hovering over the spectators. I hadn’t even left my house and I already had set myself up for failure. Once I arrived at the launch site, my systematic failures continued. I hurried to set up my glider before really assessing the flying conditions. Observing the pilots who were launching before me would have clued me in to the cross wind that would be my demise. As I continued down the path of destruction, I let my inexperience with this type of launch, combined with a new glider, compound my problem. Although I had flown from this site before, this was the first time in my new topless. That feel-

March 2008: Hang Gliding & Paragliding – www.USHPA .aero

ing of extra “suck” on launch was due to flying a much higher performance glider than I was used to. My decision to raise the nose until things felt “normal” put me in a high angle of attack and caused me to launch in a stall configuration. As I stepped into my launch, my angle-ofattack made me much more susceptible to a wing being lifted, and as my glider stalled once I cleared the cliff, I had no airspeed for control to turn the glider away from the trees. The final nail in the coffin was not asking my support crew for any local advice. After the accident, a few people who had been on launch asked why I had begun my launch from the backside of the ramp. Under the conditions observed, local technique dictated launching much lower on the ramp. I had made an incorrect assumption based upon my limited flying experience from this type of launch. My preflight brief to my wing-walkers was purely based on giving me a hang check and making sure that I didn’t do something stupid. I assumed I knew what I was doing, and,therefore, they assumed



the same thing. All of us knew I was wrong as soon as I cleared the edge. I have tried to keep with me, and remember every time I fly, the lessons I learned that day. And, I hope that I can transmit these lessons to other pilots with this article. I preached about knowing your limitations, yet I exceeded mine in many capacities. Now, as I pack my Jeep, I begin a mental checklist that I review repeatedly as the day takes shape. I note weather conditions at home and watch for changing conditions in the clouds or winds as I drive to our local flying sites. I try to relax my expectations of the day to allow for more introspective calmness, which tends to reduce adrenalin flow. Once I arrive, I leave my equipment in the Jeep and head to launch to see what the current conditions are so I can compare them with the conditions when I’m ready to launch. If pilots are launching, I sit through a couple of cycles to see if they’re experiencing anything different than I am. Once I have a mental picture of the conditions around me, I unload the equipment and preflight the glider.

I’ve also expanded my crew brief to let everyone know what my mindset is. After my hang check, but before I move my glider to launch position, I let my crew know how many times I’ve flown the particular site, what my currency is in relationship to the glider I’m flying, what I’ve seen from my assessment of

the conditions, what I’m feeling, and what my expectations of my crew are. If I haven’t flown a site repeatedly, I ask for local techniques. I also request that if anyone sees anything differently than the information I’ve briefed, they let me know immediately. I go through all of these steps before ever moving to takeoff, so my flight bubble is much more complete prior to yelling “Clear!” A pilot’s limitations change on a daily basis and knowing how to assess them can mean the difference between a successful flight and an inverted one. Factors such as mental state, fatigue, currency at a site, or familiarity with a weather condition are all combined into a risk multiplier. Knowing your limitations begins long before you ever launch and gives you an awareness that will help prevent you from putting yourself in harm’s way. Truly superior pilots are those who use their superior judgment to avoid those situations where they might have to use their superior skills.

Submitted by Joe Gregor

March 2008: Hang Gliding & Paragliding – www.USHPA .aero

March 2008: Hang Gliding & Paragliding – www.USHPA .aero


Photo by Mitch McAleer


Photo courtesy of

by C.J. Sturtevant


Last fall, when USHPA accepted my resignation as editor, USHPA formed a committee made up of members who’ve been closely associated with the magazine for many years to select the new editor. Not surprisingly, perhaps, most of the top qualified candidates for the position are about half my age – a new generation of pilots stepping forward to take your publication into the 21st century. The committee’s choice, Nick Greece, is originally from the East Coast (Glen Cove, New York) but currently makes his home in Jackson, Wyoming. Just before Christmas Nick flew to Seattle to spend a couple of days with me, transferring material from my computer – and my brain! I thoroughly enjoyed Nick’s energy and enthusiasm, his professional and “can-do” approach to the challenges inherent in our publication, and his lighthearted, upbeat attitude towards life in general. Nick gained his editorial experience with Cross Country magazine, as well as with Paraglider magazine before it merged

with Cross Country. Nick found time within his suddenly very busy schedule to answer some questions and introduce himself to us all.

“I guess I’ll have to learn to hang glide... sweet!” C.J.: What strengths and/or talents do you bring to this position? NICK: A passion for free flight, a solid network of contributors, and a firm understanding of the commonalities within our diverse community. Moreover, I am very excited to help the members showcase the amazing activities we participate in. My focus will not only be on presenting hang gliding and paragliding to USHPA members,

but also to showcase our sports to the outside world. Oh, I can also hold my breath under water for over 30 seconds. That could come in handy… C.J.: Where do you think Hang Gliding & Paragliding magazine should be headed, and to that end, what changes or additions do you intend to make? NICK: I would like to see our magazine show off the solid contributions it receives with better paper and a higher quality binding. It would be great to have a glossy magazine so the beautiful photos we receive can “pop” with clarity and inspiration. The magazine will, as always, provide USHPA news, education, and entertainment. I hope to continue to attract talented contributors and support the dedicated existing cadre. C.J.: You’re not a hang glider pilot – how are you going to make sure that hang gliding is adequately and accurately included in the magazine?

March 2008: Hang Gliding & Paragliding – www.USHPA .aero

Photo by Greg Gillam

NICK: I guess I’ll have to learn to hang glide… sweet! I’ll have to work harder for the hang gliding material until I get up to speed, but hopefully the ease with which I can secure paragliding material will free up time to focus on the hang gliding content. I hope the hang gliding community will realize that I think hang gliding is amazing and the magazine will reflect the fascination I have with watching them dice through the air and cover ground with relative ease. Moreover, a large goal of mine is to focus on our commonalities. There are so few of us in the States who understand each other – we are essentially striving for the same thing and living very similar existences during the flying season. C.J.: What are you most looking forward to as editor? NICK: The groupies and the helicopter! I’ve heard the USHPA editor gets to use the association’s helicopter for retrieve… C.J.: What’s your flying background? NICK: I learned to paraglide at Torrey Pines in 2001. I took a year off, worked in New York City, then returned to work at the Torrey Pines Gliderport for two years. After accumulating a good amount of airtime in Southern California I headed, with my glider, to Morocco and traveled from there up through the Alps. Traveling with a glider is an amazing way to see the world! I’ve been ranked among the top 10 U.S. pilots in cross-country competitions for the last several years, and now am obsessed with speed flying. I have held several paraglider site records; my longest duration flight is just over seven hours, my longest flight is 82 miles, and my maximum altitude reached was over 21,000 feet in the Andes while competing in Peru. I’m rated P-4 and hold advanced instructor and tandem ratings.

NICK: I would say hitchhiking through parts of Morocco with my glider, trying desperately to find great flying sites in the Anti-Atlas Mountains. Eventually, I ended up with a guide who only spoke a dialect of Berber, but who also had a great Range Rover to tool around in. We did a lot of pointing, nodding, and smiling! C.J.: What gets you really excited about flying?

C.J.: What are your strengths as a pilot? What do you need to work on/pay attention to? NICK: Picking a good line and visualizing airflow are strengths of mine. I could work on patience. I usually get into acro until the cross-country really heats up in late June. C.J.: What other toys are in your garage? NICK: Skis, speed wings, mountain bike, four-square ball, and a assortment of other toys that I used to play with before flying took over. You’ll receive regular updates on Nick’s development as a hang glider pilot, and all of his travels and exploits, in each month’s Editor column. Enjoy the adventure!

C.J.: What’s the best flying adventure you’ve ever been on? Photo by Josh Cohn

March 2008: Hang Gliding & Paragliding – www.USHPA .aero

NICK: The fluidity of it. It’s science and art. The constant change and wonder encountered during every flight keeps me coming back for more. I also like covering unknown terrain with a great view from the comfort of a recliner.



March 2008: Hang Gliding & Paragliding – www.USHPA .aero



Words and Images by John Heiney


March 2008: Hang Gliding & Paragliding – www.USHPA .aero



here are obvious hazards in flying a hang glider upside-down: If you misjudge your speed or pitch-rate you might over-stress the wing structure on the pull-up, possibly causing catastrophic failure. If you mismanage your energy you might come to a stop, going straight up or upside-down, tail-slide and tumble. If you lose control close to terrain you might hit the ground. If you do not manage your practice space wisely you might collide with another pilot. There is another hazard which I experienced myself in 1988, and have seen and heard reports of lately. The scenario: You are inverted, at or somewhat past the apex of your maneuver. It does not matter if you have plenty of energy as you are pulling in for speed for your next maneuver, or you are slow, or you have stopped completely. You “ball-up” (move your body’s mass maximum forward) asking the glider for its max speed. Within a few seconds you are going essentially straight downward at a speed that the designers never intended the glider to achieve. Depending on the design of the glider, you might reach a speed at which the drag-induced deflection of the airframe causes the aft area of the sail to lose tension. This can cause important parts of the stability system that depend on sail tension (such as reflex bridle or sprogs) to malfunction. I believe this can happen to any flex-wing glider. The result of this can be a loss of positive pitch pressure on the control bar. As most will agree, that is a disconcerting feeling, especially at 90 plus mph heading straight for the ground. Hang glider pilots like to, and should feel some positive pitch pressure any time we are going faster than trim. It reminds us that our stability system is working. To find, unexpectedly, no pressure in this unusual situation that obviously requires quick response will cause most of us to push out too abruptly and too far. While teaching aerobatics in Norway recently, I observed an incident that alerted me to the possibility that this potential danger might be getting worse as advancing glider designs get slipperier (go faster easier). One of my pupils, on a popular modern topless wing, towed

up and did his first two loops individually (he performed one loop, leveled out to normal flight, and then dove and did another). On his next flight he was doing his third-ever loop, and sometime after apex, but before his post-dive became vertical he pulled in all the way for another loop. Later, when he was safely on the ground he reported that he had felt no pitch pressure when he went to let the bar out for the pull-up. He pushed the bar out and the glider pitched up abruptly pulling many Gs. On the ground he heard a clunk.  The sound was possibly created by his basetube hitting his full faced helmet and chin when the excessive G-force pushed his head downward as the basetube went by, and/or by most of the batten toggles breaking on the right side, releasing the rib tension and/or the breaking of his harness backplate. He went into a nice-looking 180 degree right rolling maneuver and pulled out into normal flight. He landed safely but his glider had to be taken apart for a complete inspection.  His keel was dented under the hangpoint perch. His vario mount was broken and his chin was sore. One could speculate that the helmet’s chin guard prevented in-flight loss of consciousness which likely would have resulted in tragedy. He might have pulled 6 or 7 Gs or more? That the airframe did not fail is testament to the strength of the glider; however, the pilot’s weight was less than average. I believe that in this situation the glider is essentially in free-fall and is not really behaving like a wing. It’s falling vertically and not generating lift because its angle of attack is zero. If the pilot is able to push

“The glider is essentially in free-fall and is not behaving like a wing.”


out on the bar, against his own mass and raise the angle of attack (AOA); now the wing is generating lift instantaneously but at an AOA that is too high for the extreme speed. This results in positive pitch pressure that’s beyond the ability of normal humans to resist. The bastube moves forward violently despite the pilot’s best efforts to hold it in, and the glider pitches up uncontrollably. On a good day the glider survives the G-loading, climbs out nearly vertically and the pilot recovers to normal flight as speed decays. That is what happened to me in 1988 on the Mystic Special. I was lucky since I was flying at Torrey Pines and had very little beach clearance on the pull-up. The Norwegian pilot represents a middle scenario in which the glider sustains some airframe damage, but the pilot lands safely. The Norwegians told me of yet another pilot who had survived this series of events. The worst case is that the pilot gets knocked unconscious by the basetube, and/or the glider fails catastrophically from the excessive G-loading. An unconscious pilot is unable to deploy the reserve. Perhaps there have been some unexplained incidents in the past that were caused by this phenomenon. I don’t know if pushing out more slowly will change the outcome. It’s possible that once you’ve accelerated enough to lose pitch pressure, there is no good way back to normal flight. No hang glider testing authority requires pitching moment tests at the extreme speeds seen in aerobatic flying. It would be difficult, expensive and dangerous to the occupants of the test vehicle. To pass the tests the gliders would end up heavier, more expensive and less fun to fly. There is a reason the gliders are marked with a velocity to never exceed (VNE). March 2008: Hang Gliding & Paragliding – www.USHPA .aero

It’s important to understand that you do not need to go fast enough to lose pitch pressure in order to have a life-threatening event on the pull-up. Any time you are in a “warp-speed” dive and you let the bar out too quickly, the pitch pressure can spike resulting in an uncontrollable and abrupt pull-up. This has been referred to as “positive pitch divergence”. So, even in this more “normal” scenario, all the afore mentioned perils are possible: the basetube hitting you in the chin or face, the rapid energy bleed-off causing a stall going straight up, and damage to, or failure of the airframe. In the early days of looping flex-wing hang gliders one had to go to extraordinary means to gain the speed necessary to go over the top with a little extra energy. This involved pushing out to mush, then quickly hauling the bar all the way back while scrunching up into a “ball” to get as much mass as possible as far forward as possible. In modern aerobatic hang gliding it appears that a new skill is required. This would be: knowing how to avoid going too fast.

I wrote the preceding as a supplement to my article “The Ups and Downs of Freestyle Hang Gliding” first published in the July 1994 issue of Hang Gliding Magazine, and viewable at



Part 4 | Thunderstorm Variations by Dennis Pagen



hunderstorms are the bugaboos of aviation and we can’t ignore their threats. So this month we return to the subject with some additional dramatic photos. We aren’t covering the details of flying with thunderstorms in the area—we leave that to a future series—but providing some visual clues as to their behavior and nature. The more we know, the more we understand. The aphorism says: knowledge dispels fear, but in this case, we hope to gain enough knowledge to have a healthy fear of thunderstorms in order to avoid their awesome awful dangers.


to embedded thunderstorms. Imbedded thunderstorms are those that are hidden from a ground observer’s view by cloud cover. Look at photo 1. This photo is another one of Jeff Goin’s dramatic shots from his 737’s left seat (I owe that guy a beer!). Look at the nearly solid deck (cloud cover) below. Such a solid sheet of cloud masks the towering clouds building up above it. These clouds are probably not yet what we would classify as thunderstorms because they don’t appear to be vigorous as told by the rather smooth tops and sides. We don’t see many individual towers or turrets that indicate powerful lift as shown in photo 2. In this second photo there HIDDEN DRAGONS are multiple powerful turrets, and alThink back to when you were a child though the whole cloud isn’t very high lying in bed on a dark, creepy night, in vertical development, the storm is imagining the boogieman stirring under mature and dropping tons of rain (photo your bed. You didn’t have the guts to 1 is in temperate climes, and photo 2 in look down there, ’cause who wants to be the tropics where more humidity allows grabbed by the face and devoured with a more rapid thunderstorm evolution). an agonizing crunch? If you could have But I could be wrong—possibly the shone a spotlight beneath the bed you clouds in photo 1 have dark undersides would have seen nothing but dust bunand are producing rain. One bit of evinies and dirty socks. But you didn’t have dence for the possibility of the cloud on a spot, or the understanding to logically the right being mature is the lower cueliminate boogiemen from the realm of mulus pushing up on its left side. This possibilities. We are in an even worse effect looks suspiciously like the result of situation with thunderstorms, because lift caused by a gust front moving toward in this case we know they exist, and we the left of the photo as a result of downknow they can hide. Here I am alluding

drafts from the main cloud. I believe that the wind is blowing from right to left as indicated by the cloud tilt. Thus, we would expect most of the gust front probing to be on the downwind side, or left of the main clouds. Looking closer at photo 1 we can see other towering clouds in the background and perhaps some clear area in the otherwise solid deck. A pilot in the distance may see the tower on the horizon and not be aware of the huge imbedded clouds closer in our view. The two close clouds appear to be only about 5 miles apart (assuming the airplane is 20 to 30 thousand feet up. We would not like to be flying below the cloud deck somewhere between the two large clouds. Next, observe the hazy layer cloud spreading out near the top of the right cumulus massif. A similar cloud also exists around the left cumulus at the same level. These layer clouds are a result of the cumulus mass pushing up through a moist upper layer of air. They have no real significance other than the moist layer may be a stable layer and could slow the updrafts in the potential thunderstorm, thus limiting its power or even preventing it from becoming mature (raining with downdrafts, thunder and lightening). In the photo, we can see a shadow produced by the cumu-

March 2008: Hang Gliding & Paragliding – www.USHPA .aero





6 [1] Imbedded cumulus masses thrust up from a stratus deck. Photo by Jeff Goin [2] Thunderstorm with vigorous towers. Photo by Bruce Goldsmith. [3] Possible imbedded thunderstorms. Photo by Jeff Goin. [4-left] Cumulus imbedded in a solid stratus layer. Photo by Kevin Dawkins. [5] Cumulus towers may be hard to see even when not imbedded. Photo by Jeff Goin. [6] Mammata under a storm near St. Andre, France. Photo by Greg Babush.

lus and stratus layer of the right cloud. Such a shadow can suppress lift beneath it. So the consequence of a layer cloud around a building thunderstorm can greatly alter its strength and the position where it builds up. Of course, none of these matters can be discerned from the ground in an imbedded thunderstorm, and even if it’s not imbedded it is hard to have as much perspective as this aerial shot provides. Finally, let us note that the lower layer (stratus) cloud that obscures the towering cumulus is not a local effect, but due to widespread lifting of the air mass. Most likely it’s a result of a warm front having moved through the area. Judging from the shadow, the sun is quite high in the sky to the right of the photo, so we are looking easterly and the wind is from the south. That fits with a post-warm front assumption. Clearly the ground where the potential thunderstorms are building is in shadow. So how can there be such an abundance of updrafts to create towering cumulus? The answer is that moist, unstable air is moving over ground that is warm, so it auto-convects. With good magnification, much smaller cumulus clouds can be seen floating in the stratus layer. We cannot see the terrain, but a general rise as the airmass progresses can also produce the layer cloud and help promote a cumulus build-up at local “hot spots”— heated areas or hills. (Note that a similar effect is what causes thunderstorms to develop at night, but we’ll leave that discussion to our thunderstorm series.) For some additional shots of imbedded thunderstorms, look at photos 3, 4 and 5. In Photo 3 (which we showed before in our second part of this series) there appear to be thunderstorms building in the background. Many layer clouds exist back there and anyone flying in that area may not be able to see the embedded towers. Looking at photo 4, we see quite a few cumulus blobs building above a solid stratus deck. None of them look like thunderstorms—yet. A slight change, such as more warming of the ground as the stratus layer thins, may create imbedded storms since the air is obviously unstable. Finally, in photo 5, which appeared last month, we

March 2008: Hang Gliding & Paragliding – www.USHPA .aero

see potential thunderstorms that are not imbedded since they aren’t obscured by a surrounding stratus layer. However, the extensive small cumulus spread everywhere will block the view of some of the building towers. This photo points out the necessity to be vigilant even with regular widespread cumulus clouds studding the sky.

MAMMATTA Our final shots illustrate a particular and peculiar thunderstorm effect. Look at photo 6. Here you see festoons of cloud hanging down from the projecting bench of a thunderstorm. These formations are called mammata clouds, and you can figure out the Latin inference for yourself. Mammata clouds are formed by a downdraft in a thunderstorm meeting a powerful updraft from the ground. The cooler air spreads out along the top of the thunderstorm bench, and then little clumps of it penetrate the warmer air below, dragging cloud droplets with them. They are, in effect negative thermals which drop into the lower warmer air because they are heavier blobs pulled downward, just as a thermal is a lighter blob buoyed upward. As the heavy mammata blobs moves downward, the warming by compression and mixing with the warmer air dries out and evaporates the cloud it contains. The main thing for us to learn from mammata is that they indicate a very mature and strong thunderstorm. They only exist when the storm is advanced and has already dropped a load of rain with the accompanying downdraft. Only large thunderstorms with very strong updrafts can cause such a spreading out of the downdraft. So the words of wisdom when you see mammata are: if you’re on the ground, head for cover; if you’re in the air, bend over as far as you can and kiss your tush goodbye. Keep those photos coming. Additional thunderstorm shots from all perspectives would be welcomed for use with our upcoming thunderstorm series.



March 2008: Hang Gliding & Paragliding – www.USHPA .aero

by Rich Collins

adventure into powerless flight began in 1980 as a frustrated auto mechanic. I was taking computer drafting classes at night when I learned that a hang gliding manufacturer in Santa Ana, California, was looking for design help. The company, Wills Wing, told me I didn’t have enough design experience but offered me a job in the sail loft, cutting patches. Curiosity compelled me to capitulate, and my adventures in the wing mines began. I started out cutting leading edge pockets. Wills Wing had switched from a chord-wise layout (SST’s, and Raven sail panels were cut parallel to the keel) to a span-wise layout for the Harrier and the Duck. This meant they could put the patterns on huge tables that allowed us to walk around the sails instead of crawl. This dramatically increased the speed at which sails could be cut. I quickly learned that a slight distraction with a smokin’ pair of scissors created a lot of wind sock material. And be careful with that hot knife! For those who don’t know, if you look closely at your seams (as all pilots should), the exposed edges of the cloth appear to be melted. This insures that the cloth won’t fray. When the cloth is cut in an area that will be exposed to the wind, it must be heat-sealed. It takes a steady hand to keep the hot knife from melting the cloth too much. As one might expect, many of the employees in this place were a bit eccentric. Most were pilots-- so if the conditions were killer-- production might suffer. Many lived in their cars behind the shop. I spent some time back there myself. Hard work and hilarity strangely co-existed down in the mines. One minute Rob Kells would cruise by the sewing machines singing a merry tune and the next, Mitch McAleer might cut into a sail, scream an expletive, and March 2008: Hang Gliding & Paragliding – www.USHPA .aero


[above] “Dangerous Dave” Gibson looping at Elsinore. Photo by “Dangerous Dave”.


chuck his scissors across the loft. And, of course, there were occasional arguments over what radio station to play. In spite of all the personalities involved, Steve Pearson was able to maintain some basic level of order. But the perks were obvious if you wanted to fly. Like Mike Meier walking up to you in the alley behind the shop, giving you his old harness, and saying the company will pay for half of your lessons! Plus, Hang Flight systems was located across the parking lot! After Dan Skadal hucked me off of Crestline’s 5000 foot peak, I was hooked for life. I also had the honor of hanging out with not just the factory skygods, but many of the then hang gliding illuminati. National champs, world champs, and record breakers were steady drop-ins at the Wills Wing mine. Through it all, what I liked best about working in the wing March 2008: Hang Gliding & Paragliding – www.USHPA .aero

mines was getting to see the occasional custom sail inlay. Any change from the standard blue and white was a welcome sight for all lofties. One year we got to make five custom red, white and blue bottoms for the world team. The bottom surface has always been the artist’s canvas. Moreover, from Annie Greensprings wine to Red Bull energy drink, the bottom is also a good place to advertise. I remember seeing one glider that had a custom inlay of a teddy bear and balloons. And it’s always nice when you get to see your work in the magazine. Just ask Juan Corral, he does John Heiney’s gliders. “Dangerous” Dave Gibson joined the Wills crew around this time. He was a champion aerobatic pilot and a legendary loftie with a history of cutting Comets like a machine in the UP wing mines (as well as doing loops down to final approach). He cut the custom of all customs. Using a hot knife March 2008: Hang Gliding & Paragliding – www.USHPA .aero

like a paint brush and a layout of an HP bottom surface, he created a Mona Lisa called “The Cosmic Messenger.” It had two big white W’s that changed into a rainbow as it went across the center and finished in a swirl with colored gliders on the other side. The rest of the sail was covered with stars, planets, and other heavenly bodies. I have seen a few custom bottoms during my years as a loftie, but Dave’s glider was, and still is, far beyond. It’s a timeless masterpiece! After five years in the Wills Wing mines, the canary stopped singing so I decided to seek employment elsewhere. But friends who were still at Wills Wing reported that Mitch McAleer had made a custom bottom with all camouflage cloth, R. C. Dave created an HP with giant triangles called “Jaws” and Jamie Lasser, along with loftie Martin Maldinado, built the “Dead Face Diver”--an HP with the logo from the


[above] RC Dave flying the “Pizza” glider while John Heiney flies Dave’s magenta and blue “Arrow” wing. [right] John Heiney on one of many Juan Corral “Butterfly” Dreams. Brad Kushner flies another in close formation. Torrey Pines, California. Both photos by John Heiney.


Grateful Dead’s “Steal Your Face” album, including wings that went red, orange, yellow. Years later I bought the glider just for the inlay and hoped to do the first ever glider-to-glider transplant by stitching it onto my Sport, but someone tossed it out and it now sits at the bottom of a landfill. A few years after I left Wills Wing, Mitch walked up to me in the Elsinore landing zone and offered me a job cutting gliders for Ultra Light Products (UP). UP had just opened a shop in Lake Elsinore, managed by Bob Shutte, and was looking for some experienced help to build their new glider called the Axis. So, I put on my tool belt and went back down into the wing mines. Mitch and I put together some real nuggets. For instance, we made two “arrow” gliders. UP was in the habit of putting their initials on all of their gliders. Mitch replaced the initials with an outlined arrow symbol and splattered them all March 2008: Hang Gliding & Paragliding – www.USHPA .aero

over the bottoms. One glider had them all going in the same direction, and another in all different directions. A couple of years ago, I returned to Wills Wing. This time I realized that it might be my last opportunity to make my masterpiece glider and get it at an employee price. Wills Wing has changed dramatically over the last twenty years. In the early years the sail panels were stuck together and then drawn and cut. Now, their sails are designed on computers; they are machine drawn and cut on a 40 foot long air hockey table that sucks the cloth down and holds it in place. The sail assembly process today is more like putting together a giant puzzle. After building so many sails for others, I finally had a chance to build my own work of art, titled “Re-entry.” I wanted hotrod flames with the classic tear drop shape. The high aspect March 2008: Hang Gliding & Paragliding – www.USHPA .aero

ratio of the wing meant they had to be short and fat, and I tried to slip them between the ribs. I used the same flame shape and reduced each one 20 percent as they progressed towards the crossbar junction. One of the benefits of repeating the same shape is that I can make many smaller ones of different colors out of sticky backed dacron and spatter them wherever I want, and I can change it over and over. I had asked Wills Wing for a red leading edge to match the bottom and was cautioned against it. Nine ounce dacron isn’t as durable as mylar cloth, but I insisted. This glider is mainly about looks; I even went so far as to use a red or black felt pen to color the white stitching on the bottom. I created my masterpiece on a Wills Wing Talon, because if you’re going to have flames, they should be on the fastest ship up there. Unfortunately, Paul Diehl and I were pressed for time


[above] John Heiney looping the “Pyramid” Axis 15 at Torrey Pines (sail designed and sewn by the late Roger Hyde). [below] John Heiney approaching the old LZ at Elsinore (circa 1985) on one of Juan Corral’s many custom 220 Dream designs. Photos by John Heiney.


while we were making “Re-entry.” We well knew that building a glider should never be rushed. The layout of the right wing went more smoothly than the left, resulting in a slight difference in the seams. I was out of practice and, because of time constraints, I just had to hope for the best. When I went to pick up my finished glider, I peaked at the test flight tag and saw a slight turn noted. If a glider has a turn it’s usually caused by the sail, and corrected for in the frame adjustments. The rest of the build went as it should thanks to my fellow miners, some of whom have been there for decades. I also offer my sincere thanks to my friend Bob Trampenau of Seedwings for his help on this project. I already have some interesting ideas for my next custom bottom. I believe most, if not all, hang glider manufacturers are willing to do custom sail inlays for a price. So, the next time you plunk down the big bucks for your new glider, don’t build something ordinary; consider a custom design. You are spending your hard earned money; go ahead, express yourself!

March 2008: Hang Gliding & Paragliding – www.USHPA .aero




hether you’re flying a small ridge soaring site or thermalling deep in the mountains, there may come a point in time when you decide that you NEED to get down. Sometimes it’s because the clouds are too big, the wind is too strong or the lift is too powerful. Either way, you wish you were on the ground. Many pilots use incorrect techniques to deal with these situations increasing risks and the possibility for uncontrolled, forced landings. Why are we SO prone to using the wrong descent techniques? The intuitive responses to many things in paragliding are often completely wrong. Beginning drivers often swerve the wrong way when they slide on ice, and skiers naturally lean back before they realize that control comes from putting their center of gravity further forward than seems normal. Students of many sports must re-learn behaviors, that are intrinsically un-natural, in order to perfect the necessary techniques for mastering a discipline. A few examples to illustrate the point: Nothing feels better than pulling big ears when we start to get blown back. It’s quick, it’s easy and most of us know how to do it. Since little technique is involved, there isn’t much chance of not getting the manuever correct. Here’s the problem: if you are parked (no forward speed) and you pull big ears, you will start going backwards (negative ground speed). Don’t believe it? Wouldn’t manufacturers test high-end speed using big ears if they made the glider go faster? They don’t. Admittedly, big ears sometimes work to solve penetration prob-

by Chris Santacroce


lems because you can descend into lesser wind at a lower altitude. However, when the wind is really strong, big ears can easily work against you. Pushing the speed bar when coming in to land in strong wind seems to be effective. But is it? Let’s just say that you are in a strong headwind and you have one mile an hour negative ground speed pointed into the wind. Pushing the bar will make your ground speed-zero, then positive. Why wouldn’t we just push full bar and get some nice forward ground speed going? Any guesses? It’s because the glider COULD deflate and COULD rotate as much as 180 degrees and you

“The intuitive responses to many things in paragliding are often completely WRONG.” COULD end up pointing downwind with half the glider open and meeting the ground going 50 mph. Wouldn’t it be better to touch down going backward, do your best to manage the glider and then do a cartwheel or a nice long drag across the field at the very worst? Assuming that you are now interested in the subject, here’s a comprehensive look at the techniques that are available and how and when to use them. Disclaimer: no single person’s advice in this sport should be treated as gospel.

Stay open-minded, listen to all of the available opinions and continually update your picture of how things work. If you are new to the sport, defer to your instructor’s advice. He/ she is in charge of making you into a well-educated and well-rounded pilot.

BIG EARS Big ears are great especially if you need to make a steep descent into a restricted landing area or if you want to get down and have ample forward speed. Pushing speed bar with the big ears pulled in feels more stable then without them and can often get you down in a nice comfortable manner. Get your instructor to coach you through big ears and speed bar and how to use them together (hint: big ears first, then speed bar, in that order). If you are a rank beginner and you get into some air that is too strong for you, the big ears will make you feel better. However, don’t overuse the big ears. If the air is really bad, “flying the glider” by adding and subtracting brake, as needed, will prevent big deflations better than big ears. People DO take big deflations with big ears pulled in. Finally, if you have negative air speed, use speed bar as appropriate and then start using larger big ears as the wind abates and your forward speed gets better.

SPEED BAR Speed bar is increasingly useful, as the gliders get more stable and efficient. Hook it up every time you fly and use it even when you don’t need it. This way, you will have it adjusted perfectly and will know how much speed bar you can



reasonably push in time of need. Avoid using speed bar when close to the ground. The odds that you will have an asymmetric deflation or a full frontal deflation increase as you push the bar further and further. My experience, as a maneuvers coach, has taught me that roughly half of the people will release the speed bar once the glider deflates while the other half will lock their knees straight engaging full speed bar in response to a deflation. Sometimes, pilots will carve several circles as they recover from a deflation before realizing that they are still pushing full speed. Train yourself to let off the bar when the air is turbulent. When you really need the speed bar, you may need to push it continually for ten or twenty minutes. During that time you will also need to be diligent about maintaining your course directly into the wind via weight shift. Have faith: when flying the world’s slowest aircraft you may need to be patient.

B-LINE STALL Some manufacturers discourage the use of B-line stalls entirely because of the forces on the equipment. Consult your owner’s manual on the subject. IF you want to be able to use the B-line stall in time of need, try to log at least 15 repetitions “over the water” with the help of a qualified instructor. The B-line stall can go bad in a number of ways. Pull too much or pull too little and you could have a really complicated outcome. When you pull the B-line stall you lose your forward speed, so don’t do it when you are close to a hill. Don’t do any B-line stalls at low altitude. Its advantage is that you can achieve a good decent rate and stay pointing one direction (into the wind).



Many people under-estimate the effectiveness of searching for descending air and making average circles in that area. Aggressive circles with big ears of any kind should be totally avoided. You can only use circles when you have good separation from the hill. You will want

to be very proficient at making circles already before using them as a decent technique in an emergency. You ought to be able to exit your circles into the wind so that you can get back to the speed bar if you need to quickly return to focusing on your forward penetration.

IN GENERAL… Don’t hurry! A big gust front is coming, the wind just picked up… Many,

“Many, many pilots have hastily used all of their available maneuvers to get down in a big hurry only to land in the strongest part of the gust front.”

many pilots have hastily used all of their available maneuvers to get down in a big hurry only to land in the strongest part of the gust front. Often, a hurried descent can result in mismanaged maneuvers. In some cases it may be better to wait and plan your descent after considering all of your options. When it comes to aviation, most tasks have to be done correctly the first time. This is the case in general aviation, skydiving, paragliding, and BASE jumping. When you need to make an emergency descent, do it right, the first time. The best place to work out your emergency procedures is over the water at a maneuvers course. Enroll in one and spend some time practicing all of these maneuvers each year.

March 2008: Hang Gliding & Paragliding – www.USHPA .aero


East Coast HG Championships

West Coast PG Championships

Chelan XC Classic

Casa Grande, Arizona

Ridgely, Maryland

Woodrat Mt., Ruch, Oregon

Chelan, Washington





April 20 - April 26

June 1 - June 7

June 8 - June 14

June 29 - July 4






FOR CLASS 1 & 5: $225 before April 15 $275 after FOR SPORT CLASS: $175 before April 15 $225 after

$325 before April 15 $395 after Closes June 8

HG&PG | Best 4 of 6 days

REGISTRATION $495 before March 15 $545 after



MORE INFO Dustin Martin at


REGISTRATION $80 before April 30 $100 after or $25/day

Land use fees, snack at launch, retrieval, T-shirt, sign-in and awards parties, great atmosphere.

T-shirt and barbecue




Paragliding Rat Race

Chelan Pre-PWC & XC Open

Hang-On HG Nationals

Owens Valley US PG Nationals

Woodrat Mt., Ruch, Oregon

Chelan, Washington

Lakeview, Oregon

Bishop, California





July 6 - July 12

July 28 - Aug 2

August 17 - August 23

Sept 14 - Sept 20





$395 before April 15 $450 after

PG XC, race to goal.

Opens March 15 $295 postmarked by May 15 $350 May 16 - July 31 $425 after

PG XC, race to goal.



INCLUDES Land use fees, daily lunches, retrieval, T-shirt, sign-in and awards parties, mentoring program.

REGISTRATION Opens March 15 $285 before June 26 $325 after



March 2008: HangParagliding Gliding & Paragliding – www.USHPA .aero Photo courtesy of Aerial

Breakfast smoothie, signin & awards parties.





March 2008: Hang Gliding & Paragliding – www.USHPA .aero

Photo by Nader Couri

March 2008: Hang Gliding & Paragliding – www.USHPA .aero


(or, How I Spent My Summer Vacation) by Nate Scales




MIDDLE OF THE PACK Photo © Olivier Laugero / Red Bull Photofiles

o r the third time in one day I was trying to get out of the Chamonix Valley. I had tried to fly out in the late afternoon glass off, but the restricted airspace on Mt. Blanc forced me out of the lift and into the valley.  After landing, I regrouped with my support team; we studied the map and agreed that I needed to continue on foot— on a road leading through the town and over the mountain. When I got to the edge of town, the road was posted with a sign showing a pedestrian inside a circle with a slash. Although I don’t speak French, there was no pretending I didn’t know what the sign meant.  By this time the sun was going down and no other path close to the course line was visible.  As I was standing there looking at my swollen feet, up came a local resident, Guillame, pushing his motorcycle. He claimed he knew of a path over the mountain that would lead to the route. But after following the path for a mile, we discovered that it was a dead end. By now it was 9:30p.m., and we were engulfed in darkness. Guillame apologized profusely and renewed his search.  As we walked back down the lane, he spotted a driveway that he swore would lead to the trail. After that piece of advice, he wished me luck and bid me adieu. This lead was promising. At the end of the driveway I spotted an old rope attached to an increasingly steep hillside that was completely overgrown with thorn bushes.  I realized I was in for pain, either from plowing through the thorns or torturing myself by going backwards.  Since time was of the essence, I “bit the bullet” and trudged through the bushes into the forest and over the mountain, wondering the entire time where and if I was ever going to come out of the woods.  At the break of dawn I finally emerged at a clearing where, to my utter amazement and delight, I found my support team peacefully asleep in the motor home. Four months have passed since I completed the X-Alps adventure race across Europe. My body is healed, the feeling has returned to my feet, and my toenails are starting to grow back.  I can now exercise free from pain. I think about the event every day; it’s my theory that this race is the closest to childbirth that a man will ever experience. The event was hard--brutally hard.  The X-Alps was the first time I ever have felt so frustrated that I sat down in a field and sobbed uncontrollably while hitting myself over the head with my walking sticks.  My feet developed so many blisters and sores that I didn’t know where to stick the tape.  When I went flying, I was so exhausted that the minute I sat down my body March 2008: Hang Gliding & Paragliding – www.USHPA .aero

a u t o m a t ically tried to fall asleep. I hoped and prayed for turbulence that would jack my adrenaline to keep me awake.  If the flight were smooth, I filled my mouth with water from the Camelback and sprayed myself in the face to keep awake.  Parts of the race and the maneuvers that were required to continue the competition were especially memorable to me. For example, on the afternoon of the 4th day I was trying to get around the Marmolada turn point in the Dolomites, an area that consists of nothing but cliffs, canyons and forests.  The evening lapse was keeping me up, but it was not going to be possible to make it around the turn point before the day was over.  Since the terrain is so steep and extreme, I thought it would be better to land up high, instead of walking through the night.  As I was setting up my approach above a small alpine saddle, I noticed another glider coming in to the same notch.  Much to my surprise, it was Vincent Sprungli, the French legend. After the two of us folded our gliders and radioed directions to our support crews, we built a campfire, swapped stories, and watched the sun disappear behind the inspiring landscape.  The next morning Vincent and I had an easy walk out a ridge to a perfect grassy takeoff 4000 feet above the valley floor; we took off easily and quickly went to base at 9000 feet.  The course led us around the south side of the Marmolada, which is a massive cliff plunging down into a canyon and back up on the other side to about 8500 feet.  The canyon runs up to a pass in the middle and then drops off again on the west side.  When I got to the entrance, the clouds were building quickly and had already engulfed the peak and spread across the canyon--a two mile long tunnel with cliffs on both sides, cloud above and canyon below.  My moment was now or never.  I climbed up to base, stuck my right wing tip on the cliff face and headed in, thinking light thoughts.  Because cloud had completely shaded the entire canyon, there was no lift. I

was gliding towards the saddle, sinking the whole way. I cleared the pass by less than 40 feet  and shouted for joy as I flew out of the shade on the other side. The next turn point was the Eiger in Switzerland. The conditions were not great for flying; there was high pressure and no thermic activity to speak of.  I tried to walk up a mountain and glide, hoping and praying for any bit of lift.  My wife (who was my team mate) was great; she kept saying,“This is your chance; don’t hold anything back; give it all you’ve got!” Because the weather wasn’t always cooperative, I had to walk a lot.  I got up at 5:00a.m., was out the door by 6:00a.m., and kept moving down the course until about 2:00a.m. the next morning.  The night that I walked into Grindewald (the town at the base of the Eiger) was Swiss Independence Day. (I didn’t know the Swiss ever had been repressed by anyone!)  The Eiger was outlined by the light of a full moon, and the face of the mountain was completely illuminated by the massive fireworks display being launched from the town below.  Although it was a bit of a “bummer” to be on foot in such awesome flying country, it sure was a cool walk! The race ended 48 hours after the first pilot landed on the raft in Monaco, 16 days after it began. Only five pilots (out of 30 who started) completed the course.  The end may be the most painful part of the entire event for those of us who didn’t finish.  For the entire time my complete focus had been on getting to Monaco. I hadn’t had to deal with anything in life except walking and flying; my team provided me with food, clothing, and shelter when I needed it.  Life was simple and organized around one goal. Then the game was over, and I was forced to come back to reality. Although the X-Alps presented the greatest mental and physical challenges I’ve ever faced, it was also the coolest event I’ve been a part of.  I see the X-Alps as being more than a race. It’s an opportunity to travel through magnificent mountains, meet amazing people, and push yourself to limits you never thought possible.

“It’s my theory that this race is the closest to childbirth that a man will ever experience.”

Photo © / Red Bull Photofiles

March 2008: Hang Gliding & Paragliding – www.USHPA .aero


Photo Š Olivier Laugero / Red Bull Photofiles

Photo © Olivier Laugero / Red Bull Photofiles

Photo by Nick Greece

I can honestly say I gave it everything. I didn’t make it to Monaco, but that doesn’t tarnish my experience of the race. I feel privileged to have been given the opportunity to try. In 16 days I covered 685 miles (385 walking and 300 flying). It would not have been possible without the help of many people:  my teammate wife, my dad, who was baby sitting our 1 year old daughter, Super Fly and Advance for the glider, and all of my friends who gave me financial and moral support. Thank you.


March 2008: Hang Gliding & Paragliding – www.USHPA .aero

HANG IN THERE PART 2 | SoCal Lessons Learned


fter only a few months of flying from the Kansas foothills, Gary Osoba, the president of the Pliable Moose glider company invited me to be a part of their team for the 1974 U.S. Nationals at Escape Country, California! I was a neophyte pilot so competing was out of the question. If my Dad was willing to let me go then I sure wasn’t going to look a gift horse in the mouth. We arrived at Escape Country, a couple of days prior to the start of the competition. Escape Country was Utopia to me, a private park dedicated to motocross and hang gliding with everything from a smooth training hill to a 1,500 ft AGL launch! It was late in the day so we only had time for a quick trip to the top of the intermediate 500-foot launch. I did my typical new site stall on launch and as Gary helped carry the glider the 50 feet back up to launch he emphatically growled that next time I would take off, “pull the bar into your stomach and keep it there until the landing flare – understand?” I understood. He forgave me for breaking that promise when it became apparent to me that I was going to impact behind the training hill if I didn’t slow down. Later, I watched plenty of launches and learned that it was perfectly OK to start the launch run with slack harness lines and allow the glider to rise during the acceleration. My launches instantly improved. One day we were flying at the Palos Verdes “Domes” site and an impromptu spot-landing contest began. The competitors put their ante in a pile under a Frisbee and the pot was split between

by Mark “Forger” Stucky whoever landed on it. I wasn’t competing but decided to zero in on the spot myself. I had a nice bead on the target as I lined up for final. I fixated on the spot and completely failed to notice a large bush just to my left. My wingtip hit it and I immediately cart wheeled. In the years since, I know of numerous landing approach accidents in all types of aircraft that could have been avoided had the pilot done a better job scanning for obstacles. This is especially important when you are setting up your landing approach at an unfamiliar field. It is imperative to not just clear your approach path for hard to see power lines and fences, you should also clear alternative paths in case you suddenly discover something wrong with your intended approach avenue. My last major lesson learned came with my first truly high flight. The “Lookout” launch at Lake Elsinore was 1200 feet above the valley floor and conveniently located at a gap in the guardrail that lined the parking lot of the Lookout Restaurant. The wind was blowing straight in nicely and I launched smoothly. I had read about the tendency for pilots on their initial high flights to mistakenly confuse the apparent decrease in ground speed as an impending stall due to being so removed from the terrain. Many pilots overcompensated by the apparent lack of movement over the ground by diving all the way to their LZ. I had a nice launch and headed straight out towards the LZ in accordance with the plan laid out by Gary. Within seconds I was hundreds of feet

March 2008: Hang Gliding & Paragliding – www.USHPA .aero


[left] Launching from the Lookout restaurant parking lot above Lake Elsinore. Photo by Dan Poynter, courtesy of ParaPublishing.

high, enjoying a gentle warm breeze and totally enveloped in the beauty and serenity of the freedom of a high flight. Finally, this was what I dreamt hang gliding to be. But after what seemed like only a minute, I suddenly noticed that the LZ was very close to the horizon. I was going to be hard pressed just to make it out of the small housing subdivision I was flying over. I made a hard turn for the closest field and tried to stretch my glide. I came up tantalizingly close, settling into the back yard of the final home on the street, the nose plate of my glider resting neatly on top of their fence, the rear keel nestled nicely in a small tree, and my feet suspended several feet above the open mouth of a wildly yapping dog. The new and improved seat I was in came with the added security of two non-releasable leg loops and a fixed back strap, making it seemingly impossible for me to unstrap while suspended. For some reason the thought of climbing into the control bar escaped me and I eventually freed myself by doing a forward half summersault and slithering out onto my head. The drop, tuck, and roll must have impressed the dog because it shut up and


kept its distance. In short order Gary arrived and hastily helped extract the glider. His critique was a curt, “if you are in sink…speed up!” I had never considered that scenario and the concept made absolutely no sense to me. Up until that time I only knew that you maximized your time aloft by minimizing your rate of descent (flying at minimum sink speed) and if you were more concerned with covering the greatest distance through the air then you should fly slightly faster, at the speed that gives you your maximum glide angle, or best lift-to-drag ratio(L/D).. For a very clear explanation and discussion of glider polar theory, Jim Burch’s webpage “Glider Performance for Dummies” is hard to beat. Check out: The examples are all based on sailplanes, but the theory applies to all soaring aircraft. The greater the airspeed range of your glider then the greater will be the

range of speeds to fly, hence paragliders will not change their speeds as much as hang gliders. If you are obsessed with XC flying then it will be worth your while to purchase a modern integrated flight deck that can automatically compute the proper speed to fly for the current conditions. But don’t despair if you cannot afford a flight computer, I’ve flown over 100 miles in a paraglider with a mini vario and some rules-of-thumb: increase/decrease your L/D airspeed by 30% of any head/tail wind value (don’t slow below min sink speed!). If you are in sinking air then increase your best L/D glide speed by 10% for every 200 fpm of sink. For maximum efficiency in lift, do not slow down to min sink speed until the amount of lift is equal to your minimum sink rate (i.e. your vario indicates zero rate of climb). Armed with a little skill and knowledge you may be able to enjoy your first high flights and XCs without any forced backyard landings!

March 2008: Hang Gliding & Paragliding – www.USHPA .aero


henever my father has an audience, he likes to talk about my eagerness to be on the go. He says, “When Jamie was a kid, I’d say “Jamie, do you want to go?” and I always said, “Sure,” without knowing where we were headed until we were in the car and on our way. Thirty years later, nothing has changed. Two of my best flying buddies, Jonny Durand, the young Australian legend, and Chris Smith, our up-andcoming great American hope, planned a relaxing diversion in Brazil after the stress of the world competition in Texas and invited me to join. Besides, they would need a driver for the adventure as well as for the Brazilian nationals in Brasilia. With any luck, I figured I would be able to borrow a glider and steal a flight somewhere along the way. The three of us met up in Miami for the eight-hour flight to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, where we would join our host, Konrado Heilman. Konrado is a typi-

by Jamie Sheldon

cal Brazilian--a “go to the ends of the earth” to help out a fellow pilot kind of guy. Because of work commitments, he couldn’t pick us up at the airport, but sent a friend with a truck to handle all of our gear plus the six paragliders we had smuggled in for another friend. We passed the first few days in Rio with Guga and Simone Saldahna at their apartment with a superb view of both Copacabana Beach and the famous Christ the Redeemer statue up the hill. Although the wind/weather didn’t cooperate with our plan to fly the site in Rio that allows for thermaling up over the famous Christo statue, the boys were content to sip Caipirinhas on the beach and play tourist in this Marvelous City. As spectacular as the flying in Rio must be (and I truly hope to experience it next time), the guys weren’t disappointed by having to hang out in such a tantalizing city. The plan was to weave our way by car

March 2008: Hang Gliding & Paragliding – www.USHPA .aero

from Rio to Brasilia, the nation’s capitol, via a few favorite flying sites. Jonny has traveled to Brazil nearly a dozen times, so none of this was new to him. I had come down for the Red Bull Giants of Rio race a few years ago. Chris was the only Brazilian virgin; this was obvious because every time we got out of the car, he clutched his laptop bag, fearing it would be stolen. We laughed at him most of the time, but it’s true that gear is not as secure in Brazil as it is in Europe

“In Brazil, let me tell you, they worship hang glider pilots like nowhere else on the planet.” 49


[clockwise from top left] Welcoming skies over Brazil. Photo by Jamie Sheldon. Urban geometry. Photo by Jonny Durand, Jr. Launching in ideal conditions. Stopping for gas. Photos by Jamie Sheldon.


and Australia. Konrado did a great job of regaling us with stories of car-jackings along the unlit roads outside of Rio… his way of teasing the paranoid American tourists. Itamonte--a quiet site about halfway between Rio and Sao Paulo--was our first stop. We left Rio on Brazilian time just after dark…a nice early start! You quickly learn when traveling in Brazil that no one is in a hurry. Since we were going towards the town of Andrades (where Konrado has his cars repaired), we volunteered to bring one of his old cars with us to be repaired there. Needless to say, the car wasn’t running so well. While we were getting out of Rio, it wouldn’t go much faster than 25 mph (which I decided was not such a terrible thing given the bathtub sized potholes and wild drivers). We decided it was best to tow it with the good 4x4 that was carrying our gear and gliders. Hilarity ensued…kind of like towing a hang glider with a clothes line tied around the base tube…no release, no weak-link, no safety margin, just a short rope about four feet from one bumper to another. While I thought that was going well enough, Konrado and Chris, who were in the car being towed, disagreed. Thinking it might take us another three weeks to get to Itamonte, we opted to dump the car at a truck stop and drive on to Konrado’s family farm without it. The Heilman mountain spread has a great old house that could easily be a hang gliding lodge with rooms and beds enough for 20 or so pilots, and a launch just 15 minutes up the hill. Unfortunately, when we reached Itamonte launch the next afternoon, we found there would be no launching for anyone in a rush. The prevailing wind was blowing down on launch and great patience was the only hope of getting off the hill. Everyone suited up and lined up, but in the end only Konrado had what it took to get airborne that day. He must have waited nearly an hour at the ramp for a decent puff to come up the hill and make launching reasonably doable. The boys de-rigged and whined all the way down the hill. Always positive and, like all Brazilians, never in a hurry, Konrado disagreed. We found him a few hours later in a warm brown field down below, watching the setting sun, with a big smile on his face While we slept in the next morning, Konrado retrieved his old car from the truck stop. He still needed to get it to Andrade, our next flying stop, where he knew someone who would do the repairs. Now we had to haul the car the rest of the way before we could fly in Andrades. Unfortunately, a bit too much imbibing of boot-leg sugarcane alcohol by some of our group meant that Chris and I would drive it this time. Surprisingly, aside from the seats not actually being attached to the frame, it gave us little trouble as long as we kept it under 30 mph. We managed to crawl into the little town of Andrades late that night. The launch at Andrades has hosted many big competitions and it showed (in a good way, of course). The plush grass set-up area had room for dozens of gliders along with picnic tables, a small clubhouse/kitchen, and, yes, to my delight, wireless internet! Hard to imagine finding such an oasis atop this hill overlooking the little town. This would be my first time driving the Brazilian countryside without a navigator, so I was March 2008: Hang Gliding & Paragliding – www.USHPA .aero


Photo by Nader Couri


a bit nervous fumbling my way around one lane dirt roads with my communication skills in Portuguese limited to one hopefully useful phrase--”Can I have a little kiss?” Even so, I don’t believe I was as nervous as Chris, who would be having his first flight since a broken foot forced him to pull out of the world meet just a few weeks earlier. Thankfully, the launch at Andrades is beautifully steep with moderate and consistent winds. Chris let out a hoot as he launched and took off after Jonny and Konrado. My task turned out to be as easy as his, and I reached the boys’ landing field in time to radio information up to them about the wind in the LZ. We were all happy to have Chris back in the air and feeling good for the next stop, the Brazilian nationals. I’m guessing after another night of many caipirinhas in Andrades that I’m not the only one who doesn’t remember much about the drive to Brasilia. I recall waking up once or twice during the eight or so hour drive to see Chris working on his laptop while riding shotgun and Jonny sprawled on the back seat,

trying to get a few hours sleep before the big competition. Oh, it must be good to be young! People have described Brasilia and, in particular, the Promenade goal field, as a spectacular place for a competition. But honestly, you can’t possibly appreciate it without seeing it for yourself. I imagined that it would be pretty cool to come in and land in the middle of a major capital city, but the Promenade is so much grander than I ever expected. Brasilia is a well-designed city laid out in the shape of an airplane. The Promenade landing field sits right in the center of the fuselage between two four lane highways. Landing here is truly a unique experience. Imagine flying over Washington, D.C., in your hang glider and landing on the lawn in front of the Washington Monument. Of course, that would never happen here. But in Brazil, let me tell you, they worship hang glider pilots like nowhere else on the planet. Each day, the goal field was full of gorgeous Brazilian women, throngs of food and drink vendors, television crews and spectators galore.

Not getting to fly in Brasilia and land at the Promenade would have broken my heart if not for the fact that this year’s meet was plagued with very rough and windy conditions. I counted my blessings that I wasn’t in the air when an unfortunate Brazilian pilot tumbled. Either way, there is no way I’ll go back to Brasilia without a glider again. I’m dying to cruise around the high-rise apartments and government ministry buildings myself, and land between eight lanes of traffic. There just isn’t enough time to see all that Brazil has to offer. Without a doubt, the next time the boys invite me along, there will be no questions asked; I’ll be thrilled to return to any part of this beautiful and warm country!

March 2008: Hang Gliding & Paragliding – www.USHPA .aero

NEW ZEA LAND Words by Scott Harris Photos by Lauri Harris


eering out the window on the flight from Auckland to Queenstown, New Zealand, I’m in awe of the incredible scenery of the Southern Alps: white capped mountains and glaciers towering over deep green valleys and raging rivers. As we start our descent, Lake Wanaka bordered by the town of Wanaka on its southern shore reveals itself. This is to be our home base for two weeks of flying adventures. The pilot buzzes low through the Cardrona Valley, and I note the steep switchbacks and twisting roads that approach the base of the Cardrona and Coronet ski resorts. Soon the landing strip at Queenstown comes into view, and we’re on the ground breathing the warm air of summer. My traveling companions are Mike Crothers, and Blythe and Colby Cox, who are novice rated pilots from the Jackson Hole Paragliding class of 2006. My wife of eleven years, Lauri, is also with us and will be helping with photos and shuttles. We met up with Richard Van Nieuwkoop of Wanaka Paragliding and March 2008: Hang Gliding & Paragliding – www.USHPA .aero

headed to the Treble Cone Launch site. After watching the tandems launch, we set up for our first flights “down under.” When Mike pulls out his harness, he discovers his reserve is out of its container, courtesy of airport security. This is a minor setback, and soon all three of us are in the air after clean launches. Just two days ago I was in the freezing cold, short days of winter, and today we’re flying amidst the warm breezes and lush greenery of this amazing landscape! At first I fly with a gaggle; then head south to town, get low over Glendu Bluff, make a save, and eventually sink out and land at Glendu Bay. My good friend from Jackson, Smiley, who winters in Wanaka, is there to retrieve; he informs me that I have just completed the local milk run. As I fold up, we watch four pilots fly overhead and scratch around the corner to make the final leg of the flight landing in a huge grass field in town. The activities available in, and around, Wanaka are endless with great cafes, stores, restaurants, and galleries all within a short walk. As I stroll through


the town, an ad for a local helicopter operation, Aspiring Helicopters, catches my eye. I call them and learn they’re located near the base of Treble Cone and provide helicopter accessed paragliding adventures. Alex, the pilot, agrees to


meet us in the morning. That morning a low cloud base obscures the summits in Mt. Aspiring National Park so Alex suggests we go to a flank on the ridge of Black Peak. We load our gear into the storage container on the strut and up we go to cloud base. We land on a pyramid high above the Matukituki River Valley. The roar of the helicopter fades as it dives out of sight. Giving high fives all around, we prepare for our first helicopter assisted paragliding flights. Colby opens the window from the top of the pyramid while Mike and Blythe walk slightly downhill to a slope near a col. I lay out my Ozone Magnum tandem on top of the pyramid with just enough room for the glider and lines. Lauri knows the drill from our many flights together, and soon we’re airborne. The air is smooth and the views are awesome. We manage to bag six peaks by helicopter and enjoy numerous good flights at Treble Cone. We also fly at Mt. Iron and Coronet Peak. The highlight of the trip is Fog Peak, which is 6,000 ft above

the valley looking straight across to Mt. Aspiring and the Rob Roy Glacier. This launch, the most intimidating of the entire trip, is on a snowfield that has sharp, steep ridges on all sides descending to the valley below. Moreover, a crosswind that gets stronger as the sun rises adds to the difficulty. Nevertheless, Mike, Blythe, and Colby launch cleanly. Lauri and I are last, and we breathe easily once we are off the steep mountain and into the light thermals where we revel in some of the most breathtaking scenery anywhere in the world.

NZHGPA Wanaka Paragliding 0800 359 754 Aspiring Helicopters 027 437 3571

March 2008: Hang Gliding & Paragliding – www.USHPA .aero

March 2008: Hang Gliding & Paragliding – www.USHPA .aero



March 2008: Hang Gliding & Paragliding – www.USHPA .aero

[above] Griefenburg, Austria. [right] The glacier at fiesch, Switzerland.


[this page, clockwise from left] Che Golus flying in Griefenburg, Austria. Zell am See, Austria. Black and white view of the Dolomites, south from Austria. On course at the Czech Open, Pieve ‘D Alpago, Italy. Che Golus flying in Anzere, Switzerland. Another shot from the Czech Open.


[top of page] Waiting for base to rise above launch at the Swiss Championships, Anzere, Switzerland. [clockwise from above] Greg Knudson flying at St. Vincente Les Forts, France. Pilots gather for the task meeting at Schmitten Pocal, Zell am See, Austria. Launch at the pre-PWC, Poggio Bustone, Italy. Launch at the Czech Open, Pieve ‘D Alpago, Italy. [middle] Thomas Brauner explaining the task, Czech Open.

March 2008: Hang Gliding & Paragliding – www.USHPA .aero



March 2008: Hang Gliding & Paragliding – www.USHPA .aero

[left] On Course at the pre-PWC in Poggio Buston, Italy. [below] St. Vincente Les Forts, France.

All images Š Email or phone 650.644.8008 with questions



Welcome o c r a t e s to the


once said, “Man must rise above the earth, to the top of the atmosphere and beyond, for only thus will he fully understand the world in which he lives.� That’s a very perceptive comment for someone who never flew any higher than he could jump, and it means even more to us now that we can literally rise above the earth. Maybe his intent was metaphorical, and he would consider our flying exploits to be a trivial exercise. But he was on to something: for those of us who make a habit of rising above the earth, Socrates’ words have a practical meaning as well as a personal one. When we are flying, our perspective is different than when we are surveying the earth by foot. More complex information is required for us to make a shift in thinking that will drag us into a new dimension.


by Tom Webster


So, what does it mean to rise above the earth? Since we are generally stuck to the surface, we are only used to moving around in two dimensions. Altitude is a novelty in normal life-- just a curiosity compared to the practical concerns of navigating through a subway system or even sailing on the ocean. When we rise above the earth, we are suddenly free to move in any direction. That requires a different way of navigating, one that involves angles and shapes. Entering the third dimension like this can be frightening. The new rules of navigation feel strange at first, and threatening, since there’s also the prospect of getting hurt if you don’t “get it.� Luckily, high school geometry comes to the rescue.

CONES OF OPPORTUNITY If life is like a box of chocolates, then gliding is like an inverted ice cream cone. The cone we’re interested in is flatter than an ice cream cone and prone to change its shape with every twitch and gust of wind, but it is just as delicious. Let’s start with a simple scenario: you are flying high above the flatlands. The air is perfectly still. Look in any direction and estimate how far you could glide from that height. It’s the same distance in all directions so the set of all points you could reach creates a circle, and a point (that’s you) sitting above a circle defines a cone. The cone, therefore, encompasses every point in space you could possibly reach. The cone model becomes useful when you consider what happens to the cone

Love Canopy Flight?

Come Play with Us!



How big was it?





March 2008: Hang Gliding & Paragliding – www.USHPA .aero

and, thus, your options, when the air starts moving around. Did the wind pick up a little? The base of your cone is still a circle, but it shifted downwind a little. Did it pick up a lot? Watch out-- your cone, and all your landing options, might be behind you. Going up in a thermal? Your cone is still the same shape, but it’s getting bigger. Stuck in widespread sinking air? Your cone is getting narrower and smaller--look out below. Terminal cloud suck? Whoops, your cone has turned upside down! Thinking in terms of cones gives you a handy mental picture of how your glider moves through the air. Everything that glides, from squirrels to sailplanes, moves through its local air-mass at an angle. Envisioning a shape-shifting cone can help bridge the conceptual gap between the act of gliding and the act of getting somewhere.

our fantastic tales of adventure, and it looks almost as impressive as an iPhone. But all too often, an altimeter or variometer can make us focus too much on a number and not enough on what’s really

“An altimeter or variometer can make us focus too much on a number and not enough on what’s really happening.”

happening. The problem with altimeters is that they let you separate your situational awareness into two pieces: a geographical position and an altitude. This is usually useful, but in some situations your angular relationship to something is more important than your height ANGLES AND THE PARALLAX EFFECT above the ground. An altimeter is a highly prized posSoaring the edge of a mountain session to a soaring pilot. It can help us range is a good example. One of the find sneaky thermals, it can corroborate

March 2008: Hang Gliding & Paragliding – www.USHPA .aero

most common ways for mountain pilots to stay aloft is to float above a ridgeline, or a row of peaks, with the wind blowing perpendicular to the ridge. There is an open landing area upwind, and dangerous terrain downwind. The trick is to keep position above the lift-producing peaks while staying within an easy glide of the valley. As you climb higher above the ridge, your options expand. You are free to drift deeper into the mountain range to look for thermals, but if you go back too far, it will be hard to beat against the headwind and make it over the ridge crest to safety. This is where your threedimensional sense becomes more important than your instruments: rather than focusing on your altitude, monitor the angle at which you’re drifting back in order to see if it’s getting steeper or flatter. Determining the minimum safe angle is a matter of judgment and depends on the performance of your wing, but monitoring the actual angle gives you a good sense of “I’m feeling safer” or “I’m feeling less safe.”


The method for monitoring your angle is called the parallax effect, and it can be very precise. Here’s how it works: Line up a closer point, like a cliff edge, with a more distant point, like a road or a distinctive bush down in the valley. A tree top, flag pole, power line or antenna might also work if you have sharp eyes. Watch the relationship between these two points. If the far point starts to float above the near point, your angle is getting higher, and you can feel good about yourself. Go ahead, catch a thermal and drift with it.

If real estate starts to disappear behind your near point, you should have a curious sinking feeling, even if you are climbing. Your angle is getting flatter, and your chances of clearing the ridge are diminishing. It might be time to head straight toward the valley. If you’re soaring in a conservative way and not drifting so far back that your landing area is obscured, you can use a similar trick. Keep track of the steepest part of the ridge below you, and it will be easy to see a “foreshortening” effect if your angle is getting flatter. And here are a few details: First, as

you get higher, the wind is likely to be stronger, so using a steeper minimum safe angle as you go up makes good sense. Second, it’s hard to find steep enough terrain at some sites to make this work. Look for antennas on the ridge top to use as a near point. And third, what the heck are you doing flying so far back behind the ridge? There’s plenty of lift out front. Another good use of parallax is avoiding mid-air collisions. When an airplane is approaching, don’t panic right away. Take 5 or 10 seconds to watch the plane, and see if it’s moving

The Cone Model

Your options in no wind


Your options in a light wind from the left

Your options in widespread sinking air

Photo courtesy of

DON’T MISS OUT ON HANG GLIDING & PARAGLIDING! Interested in joining USHPA? Download an application at, or call 800-616-6888 and we’ll mail one to you! 7PMVNF*TTVF /PWFNCFS





























Renew On Time!

If your USHPA membership expires on 3/31 we must receive your renewal BY March 15th or you will miss the April magazine. If your USHPA membership expires on 4/30 we must receive your renewal BY April 15th or you will miss the May magazine.

The Cone Model

relative to the distant background. If it looks as if it is moving sideways and is maintaining that course, it will keep moving sideways until it has missed you. If it appears solid and stationary against the background, however, go ahead and panic. It’s going to hit you. Parallax is also handy for checking your climb rate without instruments, and it works great in a mountainous area with jumbled terrain. Focus high Your options in on nothe wind points of ground that are closer to you, and if you see mountains rising behind that point, you’re going up. That’s basically it.

The problem with using parallax in- idea of space-time, he got people to stead of a variometer is that you need think in terms of four dimensions rather a lot of surface relief to make it work. than three and vastly expanded our unFlatlanders are out of luck. They can get derstanding of the universe. Learning to a clue by watching the changing shape of visualize yourself in three dimensions distant rectangular fields as they climb rather than two won’t make you as smart and sink, but that’s not really accurate as Einstein, but it’s bound to make you twice as cool. enough to do much good in weak lift. These are just a few examples of the three-dimensional thought process, and they might or might not be in useful to you. Your options in wideYour options a light wind They do, however, spread sinking air from theshow left that moving around in three dimensions is fundamentally different than moving around in two. When Einstein introduced the

The Parallax Idea

x Lower pilot can’t see the X

March 2008: Hang Gliding & Paragliding – www.USHPA .aero

x Slightly higher pilot can see the X


CALENDAR Calendar items will not be listed if only tentative. 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: Sanctioned competition HG April 20-26 • Casa Grande, Arizona. Santa Cruz Flats Race. Registration opens February 1, $495 until March 15, $545 after. Includes towing. More information contact Dustin Martin at HG June 1-7 • Ridgely, Maryland. 2008 East Coast Hang Gliding Championships. Registration opens March 1, $225 before April 15, 275 after for Class 1 & 5. $175 before April 15, $225 after for Sport Class. More information: PG

June 8-14 • Woodrat Mt., Ruch, Oregon. West Coast Paragliding Championships. Registration opens February 15, $325 until April 15, $395 after. More information: HG PG

June 29-July 4 • Chelan, Washington. Chelan XC Classic, crosscountry flying for hang gliders and paragliders. Score is best 4 out of 6 days. Registration $80 until April 30, $100 after, or come for part of the week and pay $25/day. Includes T-shirt and barbecue. Best 4 out of 6 days. More information: PG July 6-12 • Woodrat Mt., Ruch, Oregon. Paragliding Rat Race. Registration opens February 15, $395 before April 15, $450 after. Introduction to competition with education and training in GPS use and competition strategies, mentoring program, evening classroom discussions, much more. Additional information: PG July 27-August 1 • Chelan, Washington. Chelan Paragliding XC Open. Registration opens March 15, $285 by June 26, $325 after. More information: HG August 17-23 • Lakeview, Oregon. Hang-on Hang Gliding Nationals. Registration opens March 15, $295 postmarked by May 15, $350 postmarked May 16-July 31, $425 after. More information: PG

September 14-20 • Bishop, California. Owens Valley US Paragliding Nationals. Registration opens April 1. Contact: or More information: www.2008USParaglidingNationals. com. Competition PG March 11-22 • Corrego do Ubá, Castelo ES Brazil. First FAI PanAmerican Paragliding Championships. Entry fee $430US by entry deadline of February 12; entries received after that date will be charged an additional 10%, or may be refused. Rules and more information at http://www.hipoxia. _ pan/index.php. PG March 29-30, April 12-13, May 17-18, June 21-22, July 19-20, August 9-10, September 6-7, October 4-6 • Dunlap, Potato Hill and Owens Valley, California. 2008 Northern California XC League. $10/task for pre-registered pilots. Prizes awarded on Saturday nights. For more information email Jug at, or go to



July 14-19 • King Mt., Idaho. 2008 King Mountain Hang Gliding Championships, in Idaho’s Lost River Range, near Arco and Moore. Open, recreation, and team classes, driver awards, raffle, trophies and more! Collectorsedition shirts designed by Dan Gravage! Free camping, BBQ’s, prizes, and tons o’ fun...PLUS some of the best XC flying the sport has to offer! For more information and registration forms, go to or contact Lisa Tate, (208) 376-7914, HG September 28 - October 4 • Dunlap, Tennessee. The 2008 Tennessee Tree Toppers Team Challenge. Pilot check-in and registration starts Saturday September 27. Competition strategies with a focus on mentoring, and fun. More information:

Fly-Ins HG PG April 19-20 • Oceanside, Oregon. Oregon Hang Gliding Association and Cascade Paragliding Club invite you to the annual Oceanside Fly-In. Fly coastal and inland sites along the beautiful Oregon coast, with a dinner and party at the Oceanside community center on Saturday night. Pilot meetings 9am Saturday/Sunday at the center, fun competitions, raffle prizes and more. Lots of adventures for non-flying family while you’re getting your share of airtime. More information: HG May 2-4 • Glassy Mountain near Greer, South Carolina. South Carolina Springtime Fly-In! Come and enjoy flying and competing in spot landing, duration, X-C, and balloon toss events at this beautiful south-facing mountain. Plaques awarded to all 1st, 2nd and 3rd place finishers in all competitions (except balloon toss). $20 entry fee for competition flying, and $10 for fun flying. Fly-In T-shirts available. Contact: Paul Peeples, (828) 553-3777, or Paragliders cannot be flown at this site due to tree restrictions at launch. HG PG May 24-26 • King Mt., near Moore, Idaho. 2008 Spring Fling at King. Welcome the mountain XC season with this fun-filled event. Open XC with 1st place cash prizes for hang gliding and paragliding. All-you-can-eat outdoor buffet, with dessert. More information from or (208) 0390-0205. PG June 21-29 • Girdwood, Alaska. Come fly under the Midnight Sun! Peak to Peak Paragliding Kay Taushcher will lead a trip (experienced P-2s and up) for some amazing flying during the Arctic Airwalkers’ annual flyin. For details see or contact Kay at (303) 817-0803 or HG July 3-6 • Lakeview, Oregon. Umpteenth Annual Festival of Free Flight. Hang glider and paraglider pilots will compete for cash prizes and a chance to catch the thermals that rise over the high desert. This year’s festival includes a flour bomb drop, as well as a pig roast for pilots and their families. Cash prizes for the hang glider trophy dash from Sugar Hill to Lakeview, and spot landing for both hang gliders and paragliders. Paraglider pilots compete to accumulate the most air miles during the contest. More information at www.

clinics, meetings, tours February 29-March 3 • Santa Barbara, California. Instructor Certification Clinic with Rob Sporrer of Eagle Paragliding. This three day clinic is open to basic and advanced Paragliding instructor candidates, and those needing recertification. More information:

March 2008: Hang Gliding & Paragliding – www.USHPA .aero

March • Governador Valadares, Brazil. Leave the cold northern hemisphere and enjoy the beauty and warmth of Brazil. February and March are the best months for soaring and consistently good thermalling with flying virtually every day. With 10 years of flying in GV we can offer bilingual guide service, USHPA hang gliding and paragliding instructor, transportation, retrieval, hotel accommodations and a warm welcome at the GV airport. Limited to 4 - 6 pilots at a time to insure personal attention and service. Every level of pilot skill welcome. 10 days: paragliding $1500; hang gliding $2000 with your glider, or with our equipment $2500 single surface, $3000 double surface. Special airfares available plus assistance with all your travel plans. Adventure Sports Tours, (775) 883-7070, email, more info at March 14-16 • Colorado Springs, Colorado. USHPA spring BOD meeting at the Doubletree Inn, COS. Annual awards banquet Saturday evening, March 15. More information: March 14-19 • California. Over the water maneuvers clinics in southern California with Eagle Paragliding. Top all around acro and competition pilot Brad Gunnuscio will be coaching with our state of the art towing set up. More information: March 29-30 • Santa Barbara, California. Thermal and XC Clinic with Rob Sporrer of Eagle Paragliding. This two day clinic is open to pilots of all levels. The clinic includes ground school, and air to ground radio coaching in our local mountains. More information: March-April • Various sites in Colorado, Utah, New Mexico & Arizona. Three-day over-the-water paraglider courses with Peak-to-Peak Paragliding. More information:, email, phone (303) 817-0803. April 4-5 • Santa Barbara, California. Tandem Paragliding Clinic with Rob Sporrer of Eagle Paragliding. Classroom and practical training at our worldclass training hill in Santa Barbara. More information: April 12 • Salt Lake City, Utah. Tandem 1 Class with Ken Hudonjorgensen. Thorough preparation for your tandem clinic with all of the study materials you will need. Contact information: (801) 572-3414, or twocanfly@gmail. com. More information: April 12-19 • Lake Atitlan, Guatemala. Join Matt Combs, Rob Sporrer, Nick Greece, and local flying guide Christian Behrenz for a flying adventure in Guatemala. Based in Pana we will explore the Volcano dotted lake for great flying as well as one day of SIV training under the expert tutelage of Jackson Hole’s maneuvers coach—Matt Combs. We’ll journey across the lake to San Marcos, by boat, to sample thermal flying under the watchful gaze of 13,000 foot volcanoes. Contact:, or April 13, 14 • Utah. Ridge soaring, side hill & top landings and high wind kiting with Ken Hudonjorgensen. Special emphasis on the asymmetric inflation technique. Contact: Phone (801) 572-3414, or email twocanfly@gmail. com. More information April 19-21 • Salt Lake City, Utah. Instructor Training with Ken Hudonjorgensen. Phone (801) 572-3414, or email More information: April 20-21 • Salt Lake City, Utah. Instructor re-certification with Ken Hudonjorgensen. Phone (801) 572-3414, or email More information:

March 2008: Hang Gliding & Paragliding – www.USHPA .aero

April 25-30 • California. Over the water maneuvers clinics in southern California with Eagle Paragliding. Top all around acro and competition pilot Brad Gunnuscio will be coaching with our state of the art towing set up. More information: April 26-27 • Salt Lake City, Utah. Tandem (T2 & T3) with Ken Hudonjorgensen. Phone (801) 572-3414, or email More information: May 1-22 • Jackson, Wyoming. Maneuvers training courses. Come tow at the beautiful Palisades Reservoir with the Jackson Hole Paragliding Team. Contact Scott Harris, (307) 690-8726, May 3-4 • Santa Barbara, California. Competition Flying Clinic with US Champion Dean Stratton and Eagle Paragliding. Review strategy and tactics for competition flying, and participate in task meetings before we fly the task together. More information: May 9-19 • European Alps. The first annual Nova XC Flying Camp organized by Nova team pilot Kay Tauscher and Peak-to-Peak Paragliding. Join Kay and some of her fellow Nova team pilots to learn XC flying skills or become a better cross-country pilot in places with amazingly consistent XC conditions. For P-2 through P-4 pilots. Space is limited and the trip is already filling quickly. More information:, email, phone (303) 817-0803. May 15-18 • Tow XC Clinic. This is the easiest way to get high and go far. With our payout winch expect to get 3000’ high and just start turning in lift. Parasoft has offered these clinics since 1999 and seen pilots rated P-2 and higher fly many miles XC. See details at lessons/xc _ clinic.php. May 15-25 • France, Switzerland, Italy. Experience the Alps where it all began! Join Luis Rosenkjer and Todd Weigand to fly world-famous sites every day: St. Hilaire, Annecy, Chamonix, Mieussy, Verbier, La Madeleine, Les Saissis and more. Luis has been guiding international pilots to France for the last six years – last year one group was able to fly from the Aiguille du Midi on Mont Blanc, launching at 12,000 feet and landing in Chamonix, 9000 feet below! More information:,, or Todd at, www.paraglidefrance. May 24-26 • Owens Valley, California. Rob Sporrer of Eagle Paragliding joins American free flying icon Kari Castle for a three-day clinic. Clinic includes site introductions, and thermal and cross-country flying with Kari in her own backyard. More information: May 28-June 2 • California. Over the water maneuvers clinics in southern California with Eagle Paragliding. Top all around acro and competition pilot Brad Gunnuscio will be coaching with our state of the art towing set up. More information: May 30-June 1 • Jackson, Wyoming. Tandem clinic. Presented by Scott Harris at the Jackson Hole Mountain Resort. (307) 690-8726, June 5-8 • Utah. Cross-country competition clinic; a friendly introduction to cross-country flying with instruction from US and North American XC record setter, and 2005 US XC Competition Champion Bill Belcourt, and Ken Hudonjorgensen. All aspects of XC & Competitions will be covered. Utah XC sites. Phone (801) 572-3414, or email More information:


CALENDAR June 6-8 • Jackson. Wyoming. Instructor clinic. Contact Scott Harris, (307) 690-8726, June 21-22 • Utah. Mountain Flying and learning how to pioneer new sites with Ken Hudonjorgensen. Phone (801) 572-3414, or email twocanfly@gmail. com. More information: June 27-July2 • California. Over the water maneuvers clinics in southern California with Eagle Paragliding. Top all around acro and competition pilot Brad Gunnuscio will be coaching with our state of the art towing set up. More information: July 18-19 • Utah. Central Utah Mountain flying and site pioneering with Stacy Whitmore and Ken Hudonjorgensen. Phone (801) 572-3414, or email More information: August 9-21 • French and Swiss Alps. Join Rob Sporrer, Jamie Messenger, Bob Drury, Nick Greece, and our local guide and weather guru for amazing flying during what is typically the most consistent part of the Alpine summer. This annual tour to the Haute Alps, will be based in Grand Bornand, at our own flying lodge, we will work on cross-country flying strategies and tactics in the finest terrain imaginable. Every night eat five star meals after our debriefs. Plan on flying at least six different sites ranging from Grand Bornand to Interlaken depending on the weather. More information: August 28-30 • Utah. Central Utah Thermal Clinic with Stacy Whitmore, Ken Hudonjorgensen & Bill Belcourt. Phone (801) 572-3414, or email twocanfly@ More information: SeptEMBER 6-8 • Utah. Thermal Clinic at Utah flying sites with Ken Hudonjorgensen. Phone (801) 572-3414, or email More information: September 13-16 • Ridge Soaring Clinic, near Grand Junction, Colorado. Otto's Ridge is an undiscovered ridge-soaring paradise. We soar above our tents in the morning, midday we tow up in building thermals, and in the evenings we enjoy glass-off flights. P-2 pilots will learn to ridge soar and tow up into thermals. Details at _ soaring _ clinic.php. September 23-28 • Santa Barbara, California. Instructor Certification Clinic with Rob Sporrer of Eagle Paragliding. This three day clinic is open to basic and advanced Paragliding instructor candidates, and those needing recertification. More information: SeptEMBER 27-28 • Utah. Mountain Flying and learning how to pioneer new sites with Ken Hudonjorgensen. Phone (801) 572-3414, or email twocanfly@ More information: October 3-5 • Santa Barbara, California. Instructor Certification Clinic with Rob Sporrer of Eagle Paragliding. This three day clinic is open to basic and advanced Paragliding instructor candidates, and those needing recertification. More information: November 1-5 and 5-9 • Phoenix, Arizona. Come to warm Phoenix for some last flights before winter. Parasoft offers pilots rated P-2 and higher a chance to improve your skills in warm thermals. Fly into Sky Harbor on these dates and we will take you flying nearby. We have hotel, transport and guiding all arranged. Details at Nov 8-15 &/or Nov 15-22 • Iquique, Chile. Flying sites w/Ken Hudonjorgensen , Bill Belcourt and local guides. A great trip to what many pilots consider to be the best place to fly in the world. Phone (801) 572-3414, or email More information:


March 2008: Hang Gliding & Paragliding – www.USHPA .aero


Use your Glider, or our STRATUS Glider!

North Wing A.T.F. Soaring Trike


509.886.4605 March 2008: Hang Gliding & Paragliding – www.USHPA .aero


CLASSIFIEDS 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 info@ushpa. aero. 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. BUY-

INSPECTED RESERVES - For HG or PG $199+up. Used Quantum, all sizes $475+up. Some trades accepted. (262)-473-8800,, www.,

BUSINESS & EMPLOYMENT NORTH WING DESIGN - is accepting applications for metal shop/wing and trike airframe mechanic. Also accepting applications for sail maker and sewing machine operator. Send App. To: 3904 airport way, E. Wenatchee, Wa. 98802 or Fax 509-886-3435 (www.northwing. com)

HARNESSES HARNESSES - 5’0”-6’5”. Cocoons $125+up. High Energy Cocoons $200+up, Pods $200+up. Inventory, selection changes constantly. Some trades accepted. (262) 473-8800,,,

SCHOOLS & DEALERS ALABAMA ATLANTA PARAGLIDING - 20 years of experience, top instructors, top pilots and very consistent weather conditions all year around, make us your best choice on the east coast. (404)-931-3793 LOOKOUT MOUNTAIN FLIGHT PARK - The best facilities, largest inventory, camping, swimming, volleyball, more. Wide range of accommodations. hanglide. com, 877-hanglide, (877)-426-4543,


THE HANG GLIDING CENTER - PO Box 151542, San Diego CA 92175, (619)-265-5320. MIKE BUTLER HANG GLIDING SCHOOL - Training hill just 30 minutes west of Yosemite National Park.Wills Wing and Flytec dealer. (209)-742-8540 MISSION SOARING CENTER - Largest hang gliding center in the West! Our deluxe retail shop showcases the latest equipment: Wills Wing, Moyes, AIR, High Energy, Flytec, Icaro. West Coast distributor for A.I.R. Atos rigid wings including the all-new VX Tandem Atos. 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, leading the way since 1973. TORREY PINES GLIDERPORT - Come soar in San Diego! This family-owned and operated flying site offers USHPA certified instruction, advanced training, equipment sales, tandem flight instruction, motorized pg/hg instruction and site tours. We also have an extensive pg/hg outfitting shop offering parachute repacks and full-service repairs. Bring your family for our amazing sunsets and dining at the Cliffhanger Cafe. Importers for Paratech and Independence gliders. We also carry AustriAlpin, Center of Gravity, Crispi and Sup’Air. Check us out online for sales and questions at: www.flytorrey. com, or call toll-free at 1-877-FLY-TEAM (359-8326). Also, tune in to the Internet Paragliding Talk Show at every Tuesday 9-11:00 a.m. (PST).


FLY HIGH PARAGLIDING.COM - over 10 years of experience, offers P-2 certification, tandem flights, towing, new and used equipment, the best weather to fly in USA. (480)-266-6969.



EVEN-UP TRADES - Looking to move up from your beginner or novice glider, but can’t put up cash? (262)-473-8800,,,

AIRJUNKIES PARAGLIDING - Year-round excellent instruction, Southern California & Baja. Powered paragliding, clinics, tours, tandem, towing. Ken Baier (760)-753-2664, `

FALCON 140 - 10 hours on this hot pink and purple beginner glider. Parachute, training wheels, helmet, cacoon harness, and vario come with it. $2500 OBO. (316)-772-9147.

DREAM WEAVER HANG GLIDING - Competitive prices, state-of-the-art equipment. Complete lesson programs. Northern California Mosquito harness dealer. Ideal training hill. tandem instruction. USHPA Advanced Instructor Doug Prather (209)-556-0469, Modesto, California.

AIRTIME ABOVE HANG GLIDING - Full time lessons sales and service Colorado’s most experienced! Offering foot launch, tow and scooter tow instruction. Wills Wing, Moyes, North Wing, AIR, Altair, Aeros, High Energy, Finsterwalder, Flytec, MotoComm, and more sold and serviced. Call for more info (303)-674-2451, Evergreen Colorado,

EAGLE PARAGLIDING - SANTA BARBARA offers the best year round flying in the nation. Award-winning instruction, excellent mountain and ridge sites., (805)-968-0980

GUNNISON GLIDERS - Serving the western slope. Instruction, sales, service, sewing, accessories. Site information, ratings. 1549 County Road 17, Gunnison CO 81230. (970)-641-9315, 1-(866)-238-2305.

FALCONS CLEARANCE SALE - School use, one season. Falcon 1s and 2s. All sizes $1,250-$2,500. (262)-473-8800,,, MOYES LITESPORT - Like new, only three flights. Blue/White. Harness, helmet, radios, oxygen, vario, windsocks. Paid over $6,500. Everything goes for $3500 OBO. Contact Mike at (949)-375-6493. WILLS WING TALON 150 T1 - excellent condition, carbon fiber leading edge inserts, many options, low hours, priced to sell $3700, (908)-693-5238



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 world-famous 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,


FLY ABOVE ALL - Year-round instruction in beautiful Santa Barbara! USHPA Novice through Advanced certification. Thermaling to competition training. Visit www. (805)-965-3733.

March 2008: Hang Gliding & Paragliding – www.USHPA .aero

PEAK TO PEAK PARAGLIDING LLC - THE Front Range paragliding school, located in Boulder, Colorado. Offering excellent state-of-the-art instruction. Specializing in over the water & safety training. Equipment & tandems. Phone 303.817.0803

FLORIDA ATLANTA PARAGLIDING - 20 years of experience, top instructors, top pilots and very consistent weather conditions all year around, make us your best choice on the east coast. (404)-931-3793 FLORIDA RIDGE AEROTOW PARK - 18265 E State 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, QUEST AIR - #1 site for US competition & the biggest flights on the East coast. No-wait, 1-on–1 lessons from first tandem to advanced XC training. Towing 8amsunset everyday. All amenities including on-site accommodations, time-honored clubhouse, pool, hot tub and private lake. Demos, rentals, sales, storage & repairs. Minutes from Orlando in Groveland, FL. Phone (352)-429-0213, fax (352) 429-4846,, 1-877-FLY-QUEST WALLABY AEROTOW FLIGHT PARK - Satisfaction Guaranteed. Just 8 miles from Disney World. Yearround soaring, open 7 days a week, six tugs, no waiting, every direction. 50+ nice demos to fly, topless to trainer gliders: Laminar, Moyes, Wills, Airborne, Airwave, Exxtacy, La Mouette, Sensor; also harnesses, varios, etc. Ages 13 to 73 have learned to fly here. No one comes close to our level of experience and success with tandem aerotow instruction. A great scene for family and friends. 10 motels & restaurants within 5 minutes. Camping, hot showers, shade trees, sales, storage, ratings, XC retrievals, great weather, climbing wall, trampoline, DSS TV, ping pong, picnic tables, swimming pool, etc. Flights of over 200 miles and more than 7 hours. Articles in Hang Gliding, Kitplanes, Skywings, Cross Country and others. Featured on numerous TV shows, including Dateline NBC, The Discovery Channel & ESPN. Visit us on the Web: Please call us for references and video. 1805 Dean Still Road, Disney Area, FL 33837 (863)-424-0070, phone & fax,, 1-(800)-WALLABY. Conservative, reliable, state-of-the-art. F.H.G. INC., flying Florida since 1974



ATLANTA PARAGLIDING - 20 years of experience, top instructors, top pilots and very consistent weather conditions all year around, make us your best choice on the east coast. (404)-931-3793

CLOUD 9 SPORT AVIATION - Aerotow specialists. We carry all major brand hang gliders and accessories. Cloud 9 Field, 11088 Coon Lake Road West, Webberville MI 48892., http://members. Call for summer tandem lessons and flying appointments with the DraachenFliegen Soaring Club at Cloud 9 Field. (517)-223-8683, DFSCinc@aol. com,

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

HAWAII FLY HAWAII - Hawaii’s hang gliding, paragliding/ paramotoring school. Mauna Kea guide service. Most experience, best safety record. Big Island of Hawaii, Achim Hagemann (808)-895-9772, flyhawaii.htm, ALOHA! ISLAND POWERED PARAGLIDERS/THERMALUP PARAGLIDING - The Big Islands only choice for USHPA certified instruction. Both free flight and powered tandems year round. Dvd of your flight included. One on one lessons from our private oceanside launches and training facilities. Contact Yeti, (808)-987-0773, or Aloha PROFLYGHT PARAGLIDING - Call Dexter for friendly information about flying on Maui. Full-service school offering beginner to advanced instruction every day, year round. (808)-874-5433,

INDIANA CLOUD 9 SPORT AVIATION - See Cloud 9 in Michigan

MAINE DOWNEAST AIRSPORTS - paragliding & hang gliding instruction using tandems & scooter towing for easy safe learning. Quality equipment sales., in _ a _, Marc (207)-244-9107.

MARYLAND HIGHLAND AEROSPORTS - Baltimore and DC’s fulltime flight park: tandem instruction, solo aerotows and equipment sales and service. We carry Aeros, Airwave, Flight Design, Moyes, Wills Wing, High Energy Sports, Flytec and more. Two 115-HP Dragonfly tugs. Open fields as far as you can see. Only 1 to 1.5 hours from Rehoboth Beach, Baltimore, Washington DC, Philadelphia. Come Fly with US! (410)-634-2700, Fax (410)-634-2775, 24038 Race Track Rd, Ridgely, MD 21660,, hangglide@aerosports. net. MARYLAND SCHOOL OF HANG GLIDING - Sales, service, instruction since 1976. Specializing in Foot Launch. (410)-527-0975 Proudly representing Wills Wing & Moyes

March 2008: Hang Gliding & Paragliding – www.USHPA .aero

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

NEW YORK AAA MOUNTAIN WINGS INC. - New location at 77 Hang Glider Road in Ellenville next to the LZ. We service all brands featuring AEROS and North Wing. Email, (845)-647-3377 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!, (845)-744-3317. SUSQUEHANNA FLIGHT PARK COOPERSTOWN NY 40 acre flight park. 160’ training hill with rides up. 600’ ridge-large LZ. Specializing in first mountain flights. Dan Guido mailing address 293 Shoemaker Rd Mohawk Ny 13407 Home (315)-866-6153 cell (315)-867-8011

NORTH CAROLINA ATLANTA PARAGLIDING - 20 years of experience, top instructors, top pilots and very consistent weather conditions all year around, make us your best choice on the east coast. (404)-931-3793 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,

OHIO CLOUD 9 SPORT AVIATION - See Cloud 9 in Michigan

PUERTO RICO FLY PUERTO RICO WITH TEAM SPIRIT HG! - Flying tours, rentals, tandems, HG and PG classes, H-2 and P-2 intensive Novice courses, full sales. (787)-850-0508,


CLASSIFIEDS SOUTH CAROLINA ATLANTA PARAGLIDING - 20 years of experience, WASHINGTON top instructors, top pilots and very consistent weather conditions all year around, make us your best AERIAL PARAGLIDING SCHOOL AND FLIGHT PARK choice on the east coast. - Award winning instructors at a world class training fa(404)-931-3793 cility. Contact Doug Stroop at (509)-782-5543 or visit


ATLANTA PARAGLIDING - 20 years of experience, top instructors, top pilots and very consistent weather conditions all year around, make us your best choice on the east coast. (404)-931-3793 LOOKOUT MOUNTAIN FLIGHT PARK - Just outside Chattanooga. Become a complete pilot -foot launch, aerotow, mountain launch, ridge soar, thermal soar., 877-hanglide, (877)-426-4543. TENNESSEE TREE TOPPERS - #1 Club in America. Home of the world famous Radial Ramp, great XC, easy launch, huge LZ. Just North of Chattanooga.

TEXAS AUSTIN AIR SPORTS - Hang gliding and ultralight sales, service and instruction. Steve Burns (512)-236-0031, Fred Burns (281)-471-1488,, WWW. AUSTINAIRSPORTS.COM. GO...HANG GLIDING!!! — Jeff Hunt. Austin ph/fax (512)-467-2529,, www.flytexas. com.

UTAH AIR REVOLUTION FLIGHT SCHOOL – WITH BILL HEANER AND THE REVOLUTION INSTRUCTOR TEAM - Learn true wing mastery from some of the greatest instructors in the world. We offer P1-P4, T1-T3, tandem flights, USHPG Instructor Certification and paramotor training. Camping and hotels within walking distance from our shop. Contact Bill Heaner (801)-541-8341,, www.rpmppg. com/school/facility/. 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)-576-6460 if you have any questions.

VIRGINIA BLUE SKY - Full-time instruction at Blue Sky Flight Park near Richmond. Scooter, platform and aerotowing available. All major brands of equipment, with Mosquitos and Doodlebugs in stock. Steve Wendt, (804)-241-4324,


WISCONSIN FREEFLIGHT AVIATIONS – The Midwest’s largest hang gliding school. Using both aertow tandem and onsite training hill, 7 days a week, April through November. For the traveling hang glider pilot, rental equipment is available. (920)-728-2231,,

WYOMING JACKSON HOLE PARAGLIDING - Come to Paragliding Paradise and enjoy alpine flying at its absolute best. Ten sites in a ten-mile radius including the Jackson Hole Mountain Resort. Lessons and Guide Service Daily. Maneuvers Training at the Palisades Reservoir on Tow Tuesdays. (307)-690-8726 (TRAM).

INTERNATIONAL COSTA RICA - Grampa Ninja’s Paragliders’ B&C (bed and coffee) We offer rooms and/or transportation and guide service. Lessons available from USHPA certified instructors. Open January through April. United States: 908.454.3242. In Costa Rica: 506.877.5604 (January through April) BAJA MEXICO - La Salina: PG, HG, PPG by, He’ll hook you up! site intros, tours, & rooms bajabrent@bajabrent. com, (760)-203-2658 MEXICO - VALLE DE BRAVO and beyond for hang gliding and paragliding. Year round availability and special tours. Gear, guiding, instruction, transportation, lodging - all varieties for your needs. www.flymexico. com 1-(800)-861-7198 USA

PARTS & ACCESSORIES ALL HG GLIDERBAGS, harness packs, harness zippers and zipper stocks. Instrument mounts and replacement bands. Mitts, straps, fabric parts, windsocks, radios. Gunnison Gliders. 1-(866)-238-2305 BIG EARS PTT - $99.95. Includes speaker and microphone, radio connection, sealed finger switch. Choose the full-face or the open-face model. www.bigearsptt. com (805)-965-3733. CRITTERMOUNTAINWEAR.COM is your one stop website for paraglider equipment and accessories. You can find a full line of backpacks, stuff tarps, flight suits, clothing, GPS and vario holders, flight decks, ballast containers, radio holders, tow bridles, windsocks, boots, helmets, hook knives, varios, wind speed meters and much, much more. Everything you need to have the ultimate day flying your paraglider. Critter Mountain Wear also imports and distributes lightweight wings and harnesses from Nervures. 1-(800)-686-9327

FLIGHT SUITS, FLIGHT SUITS, FLIGHT SUITS, Warm Flight suits, Efficient Flight suits, Light weight Flight suits, Flight suits in twelve sizes. Stylish Flight suits (503)-657-8911 FOR ALL YOUR FLYING NEEDS - Check out the 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. 1-800-664-1160 for orders only. Office (325)-379-1567. GLIDERBAGS - XC $75! Heavy waterproof $125. Accessories, low prices, fast delivery! Gunnison Gliders, 1549 County Road 17, Gunnison CO 81230. (970) 641-9315, orders 1-866-238-2305. HALL WIND METER - Simple. Reliable. Accurate. Mounting brackets, and control-bar wheels. Hall Brothers, PO Box 1010, Morgan, Utah 84050. (801)-829-3232, MINI VARIO - World’s smallest, simplest vario! Clips to helmet or chinstrap. 200 hours on batteries, 0-18,000 ft., fast response and 2-year warranty. ONLY $169. Mallettec, PO Box 15756, Santa Ana CA 92735. (949)-795-0421, MC/Visa accepted, www.mallettec. com. OXYGEN SYSTEMS - THE WORLD CLASS XCR-180 operates up to 3 hours @ 18,000 ft. and weighs only 4 lbs. Complete kit with cylinder, harness, regulator, cannula, and remote on/off flowmeter, only $450.00. 1-(800)-468-8185 RISING AIR GLIDER REPAIR SERVICES - A fullservice shop, specializing in all types of paragliding repairs, annual inspections, reserve repacks, harness repairs. Hang gliding reserve repacks and repair. For information or repair estimate, call (208)-554-2243, pricing and service request form available at www.risingair. biz, TANDEM LANDING GEAR - Rascal™ brand by Raven, Simply the best. New & used. (262)-473-8800, www.,, http://stores. WHEELS FOR AIRFOIL BASETUBES - WHOOSH! Wheels™ (Patent Pending), Moyes/Airborne & Wills Wing compatible. Dealer inquiries invited. (262)-473-8800,,, WINDSOKS FROM HAWK AIRSPORTS INC - 1673 Corbin Lake Rd, Rutledge, TN 37861, 1-800-826-2719. World-famous Windsoks, as seen at the Oshkosh & Sun-N-Fun EAA Fly-Ins., www.

March 2008: Hang Gliding & Paragliding – www.USHPA .aero

PUBLICATIONS & ORGANIZATIONS BIRDFLIGHT - Otto Lilienthal’s genius in scientific observations and analysis, documented in this work, became the basis for the experimentation of the early pioneers in aviation. The “hero” of the Wright brothers, Otto is considered to be “The Father of Gliding Flight.” Lilienthal’s definitive book has been out of print for almost a century, but is now available to everyone. 176 pages, 16 photographs, 89 drawings and 14 graphs. $19.95 (+$5 s/h) Call USHPA 1-800-616-6888 or order off our Web site PO Box 1330, Colorado Springs CO 80901. *NEW* CLOUDSUCK : The Life and Death Struggle for the Hang Gliding World Record. Davis Straub tells the story of the dramatic 10-year race to fly “farther than anyone has ever gone in a hang glider.” From the historic 1990 flight that first broke the 300-mile barrier, through ten years of adventure and challenge, this is a first-hand account of the driven individuals who struggled against each other and against nature to set the next hang gliding world distance record. PRICE: $17.95 Call USHPA 1-800-616-6888 or order off our Web site www.ushpa. aero. PO Box 1330, Colorado Springs CO 80901.

GORGEOUS 2.5 ACRES IN FLAGSTAFF. Surround- *NEW* FRESH AIR RIDERS - The Fresh Air Crew have ed by beautiful homes with access to National For- won awards at the Banff Mountain Film Festival for their est. Close to town yet only minutes to paragliding and ability to convey the spirit of the adventure sports they hang gliding. Call Debra White at Dallas Real Estate document. Call USHPA 1-800-616-6888 or order off 928-853-0761. our Web site PO Box 1330, Colorado Springs CO 80901. CUTE 3 BEDROOM 2 BATH with 2 car garage on 1 acre horse property in Flagstaff. Has been rented for *NEW* INSTABILITY 2 DVD Bruce Goldsmith’s new $1450 mth. Only 279,900. Call Debra White at Dallas film is set to become the new benchmark in SIV instrucReal Estate 928-853-0761. tion. In 1992, the Airwave designer co-presented ‘Instability’, a film which helped thousands of pilots gain VIDEOS & DVDS insight into tips and tricks learnt by the professional test pilots. Call USHPA 1-800-616-6888 or order off AWARD WINNING VIDEO - “1976 Dog Mountain U.S. our Web site PO Box 1330, Colorado National Championships” 150 Vintage Hang Gliders. Springs CO 80901. All types of weather, some “white knuckle” take offs and landings. A must have for your video collection *NEW* Never Ending Thermal - Never Ending Thermal is an ‘Endless Summer’ for the free flying generaand love of flying. Send $34.00 includes S&H. Check tion. The action-packed documentary features the ador money order to Orca BC address: ORCA BC, PO Box ventures of Venezuelan pilots Herminio Cordido and B, Onalaska, WA 98570 Jorge Atramiz as they embark on an around-the-world 877-454-8862. flying odyssey. Call USHPA 1-800-616-6888 or order VIDEOS FROM USHPA – off our Web site PO Box 1330, Colorado Springs CO 80901. *NEW* BROKEN TOE ACRO Broken Toe Acro is a full

instructional-encyclopedia for Paragliding SIV and Acro *NEW* CONDOR TRAIL, Paragliding the Central An- maneuvers. Each chapter is approximately 6-14 minutes and contains descriptions of the maneuver, explades - the guidebook to paragliding and traveling in the nation on how to (and how not to!) perform it, as well Central Andes. It’s packed with 256 pages of maps, site descriptions, local lore, free-flight contacts and photos, as in-flight examples from many simultaneous camera angles. All instruction and narration is by Enleau and all the information you need to plan your own Andean Ann O’Connor, leading experts in Safety-in-Flight trainparagliding adventure. Most of the launch and landing access throughout the Andes is done with cheap pub- ing. 2 hours and 40 minutes running time! Call USHPA 1-800-616-6888 or order off our Web site www.ushpa. lic transportation. Condor Trail gives you bus routes to aero. PO Box 1330, Colorado Springs CO 80901. catch, areas to avoid, traveler tips, and contacts for the local flying communities throughout Ecuador, Peru, Bo*NEW* DARE DEVIL FLYERS - The ninety four minlivia, Northern Argentina, and Northern Chile. Call USHute digital video docupicture covers all thirty years of PA 1-800-616-6888 or order off our Web site www.ushhang gliding and all seventeen years of paragliding. The PO Box 1330, Colorado Springs CO 80901. docupic features competition in the extreme sports of Aerobatics Hang Gliding, Speed Hang Gliding an high FLY THE WING! Hooking Into Hang Gliding - By Len altitude Cross Country Paragliding. Wing mounted POV Holms. This is the perfect book for those curious about cameras provide the docupic with an in the air thrill ride the sport of hang gliding. Written at a level which will not swamp the reader with a daunting amount of tech- from the Rocky Mountains to the Pacific coast. Narrator Bobby Carradine threads us thru the three decades. nical details, you will learn about hang glider wings and the skills needed to fly them. 84 pages with pho- Call USHPA 1-800-616-6888 or order off our Web site PO Box 1330, Colorado Springs CO tos and illustrations. $12.95(+$5 s&h). Call USHPA 1-800-616-6888 or order off our Web site www.ushpa. 80901. aero. PO Box 1330, Colorado Springs CO 80901. *NEW* FLYING OVER EVEREST - Follow the antics and adventures of the late Angelo D’Arrigo and his efSOARING - Monthly magazine of The Soaring Society forts to fly a hang glider over the summit of Mt Everof America Inc. Covers all aspects of soaring flight. Full membership $64. SSA, PO Box 2100, Hobbs NM 88241. est. Call USHPA 1-800-616-6888 or order off our Web site PO Box 1330, Colorado Springs (505)-392-1177, CO 80901.

*NEW* PARAGLIDING: GROUND HANDLING TECHNIQUES - From the team that brought ‘Paragliding: Learning to Fly’, arguably the best tuitional flying DVD for new pilots currently available, comes an in-depth and up-to-date study of the black art of ground handling. Call USHPA 1-800-616-6888 or order off our Web site PO Box 1330, Colorado Springs CO 80901. *NEW* PARAGLIDING: LEARN TO FLY DVD - This DVD brings to life many of the hard-to-visualise concepts which are so important for us to understand, like airflow around hills and mountains, turbulence and convergence, dynamic and thermic lift, plus aerodynamics like lift and drag, speed to fly and so on. The production team have spent months on the 3D animation and video sequencing. Call USHPA 1-800-616-6888 or order off our Web site PO Box 1330, Colorado Springs CO 80901. *NEW* PARAHAWKING - Nestled in the heart of Nepal’s foothills, and set against the backdrop of the majestic Himalayas, the city of Pokhara has played host to a remarkable story. Call USHPA 1-800-616-6888 or order off our Web site PO Box 1330, Colorado Springs CO 80901.

*NEW* PERFORMANCE FLYING DVD - When it comes to making paragliding films, Jocky Sanderson doesn’t pull any punches. Jocky’s latest film, produced with Ozone’s test team, hones in on the finer piloting REAL ESTATE *NEW* FLYING WITH EAGLES - In 2005, Twice world skills of flying XC, Acro and SIV. $42.95 Call USHPA 10 ACRES IN THE BEAUTIFUL LOST RIVER VAL- champion Louise Crandal had enjoyed her fill of com- 1-800-616-6888 or order off our Web site www.ushpa. petitions and now wanted to move onto new challeng- aero. PO Box 1330, Colorado Springs CO 80901. LEY, close to King Mt HG/PG site. Super glass-offs! es. After visiting Scott Mason in Nepal, she became enFenced. Partial payment toward well/septic. Don @ thralled with the possibility of training and flying with an *NEW* RED BULL X-ALPS DVD - Red Bull X-Alps 2005 208-554-2405. finishes in Monaco!This stunning DVD features over 70 eagle at home in Europe. Call USHPA 1-800-616-6888 OWN 10 OR 20 ACRES next to paragliding/hang glid- or order off our Web site PO Box 1330, minutes of footage, including pilot interviews and wild POV camera angles. Call USHPA 1-800-616-6888 or ing site in Beautiful Flagstaff AZ. Pristine property with Colorado Springs CO 80901. order off our Web site PO Box 1330, wide open views. To view go to www.northernarizonamls. Colorado Springs CO 80901. com. Enter listing #s 123164, 123165, or 125465. Call Debra White, Dallas Real Estate 928-853-0761.

March 2008: Hang Gliding & Paragliding – www.USHPA .aero


CLASSIFIEDS RISK & REWARD - By JEFF GOIN. This 70 min DVD exposes the causes and cures in a fun, action-packed adventure. You owe yourself this inside look that could easily save your life. Three years in the making Risk & Reward gathers wisdom from a long list of instructors. Spectacular video from around the world sheds light on essential concepts with clarity and realism. $29.95. Order yours at *NEW* SPEED/SECURITY DVD - Speed to Fly and Security in Flight are two great films designed to help you progress in flying, packed with stunning air-to-air footage. $48.95 Call USHPA 1-800-616-6888 or order off our Web site PO Box 1330, Colorado Springs CO 80901.

MISCELLANEOUS “AEROBATICS” POSTER — Full color 23”x 31” poster featuring John Heiney doing what he does bestLOOPING! See under store/misc for example. Available through USHPA HQ for just $6.95 (+$5.00 s/h). USHPA, PO Box 1300, Colorado Springs CO 80933. (USA & Canada only. Sorry, posters are NOT AVAILABLE on international orders.) *NEW* APPAREL - NOW AVAILABLE - T-shirts, Fleece Vests, Fleece Jackets, Denim Shirts, Polos, Baseball Caps, Fleece Hats & Fleece Blankets. Call USHPA 1-800-616-6888 or order off our Web site PO Box 1330, Colorado Springs CO 80901.

DVDS-VIDEOS-BOOKS-POSTERS — Check out our Web store at WORLDWIDE INTERNET PARAGLIDING TALK SHOW — WWW.WORLDTALKRADIO.COM. Listen live or to the archives! Live Tuesday 9-11:00 a.m. (PST). Call toll-free, 1-888-514-2100 or internationally at (001) 858-268-3068. Paraglider pilots and radio hosts David and Gabriel Jebb want to hear about your stories, promotions/events or insight; they also take questions!

STOLEN WINGS AND THINGS STOLEN WINGS are listed as a service to USHPA members. Newest entries are in bold. There is no charge for this service and lost-and-found wings or equipment may be called in to (719)-632-8300, faxed to (719)-632-6417, or emailed to for inclusion in Hang Gliding & Paragliding magazine. Please call to cancel the listing when gliders are recovered. Periodically, this listing will be purged. GPS GARMIN 76 CSX. The last day of the Rat Race, after the track log information was downloaded, someone picked up my GPS from the table. It had white tape in the upper left corner with my pilot number 326 written on it. If you discover that this GPS in your possession, please contact me at USHPA. Martin 800-616-6888. This GPS was borrowed from a friend, so it would be an enormous relief to have it returned.


STOLEN FROM THE ANDY JACKSON AIRPARK CALIFORNIA, MAY 14TH 2007. FALCON 195 #25038. Silver leading edge, red bottom surface white trailing edge. If found please contact Rob or Dianne through or (909)-883-8488. GEAR STOLEN FROM MEXICAN PILOT IN MEXICO NIVIUK HOOK XXS (45-65Kg) wing, in orange and white, s/n C20664, and an Ava Sport XS harnes, in blue and black. The reserve is a Firebird R5 S; I don’t have the serial number of these last two. If this equipment is found, contact me or her directly: Vinda Levy, +52(312)3097665

PHOTO SUBMISSION GUIDELINES Horizontal photos in slide or digital format with a MINIMUM of 3120 W x 2400 H pixels (7.5 megapixels), although 3900 W x 3000 H pixels (11.7 megapixels) is preferred. Please submit unaltered at the preferred resolution, if possible. Only submit photos taken after January 2006.

2009 Calendar Photos

HANG GLIDING & PARAGLIDING PHOTOS NEEDED WE NEED YOUR PHOTOS! Please send us your best-composed, most colorful horizontal-format 35mm slides or digital photos as candidates for the 2009 calendar project. Launching, landing, soaring, setting up, breaking down – if your photo represents the thrill and beauty of why we y, send it in. Don’t delay! Take advantage of winter’s down time and dig out those outstanding photos that you’ve been wanting to show off. Since our calendars are printed large format, we prefer digital submissions at the preferred resolution (3900x3000) or slides for the best reproduction possible. Please read the photo submission guidelines carefully. Contact Martin with questions at 1-800-616-6888 /


GRADIENT ASPEN - My paraglider equipment was stolen from my vehicle on November 7th in San Diego, California. The wing was a red, gradient Aspen 26m, SOL Large CX harness, SOL 33 CELL reserve, Ozone red and gray backpack. REWARD no questions asked $250 or please contact me with any information regarding the equipment. David Thulin 307-690-5792 or Thank you.

Each submission MUST INCLUDE: Signed contributor agreement (1 per photographer) photographers name, mailing address, phone, email address AND a photo caption, location, site name, pilot name, wing type, month & year of photo. Submission info & forms are found at: Please submit digital photos on CD or DVD if possible, but FTP is also available at the link above. Submissions deadline is May 31st. Send your photos to: USHPA Calendar, Attn: Martin Palmaz, PO Box 1330, Colorado Springs CO 80901-1330. All contributors will receive conrmation of receipt and photos will be returned upon completion of the project.

March 2008: Hang Gliding & Paragliding – www.USHPA .aero


H-1 H-1 H-1 H-1 H-1 H-1 H-1 H-1 H-1 H-1 H-1 H-1 H-1 H-1 H-1 H-1 H-1 H-1 H-1 H-1 H-1 H-1 H-1 H-1 H-2 H-2 H-2 H-2 H-2 H-2 H-2 H-2 H-2 H-2 H-2 H-2 H-2 H-2 H-2 H-2 H-3 H-3 H-3 H-3 H-3 H-3 H-3 H-3 H-3 H-3 H-4 H-4

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

Vann Pelham Jon Shoop Aaron Schneider Charles Fiebig Jonathan Kaplan Wyatt Lienhard Aleksandr Simma Matt Gordon Matthew Hendershot Samuel Grello Kenzan Boo Nathan Goshgarian Adam Newman Rafae Ramirez Preston Wood Rick Venglarcik Scott Tait Anthony Dilisio Charles Okeeffe III Leland Brummett Mario Luppa Dan Towne Trevor Knight Cakra Wicaksono Chris Hardin Steve Clapper Jon Shoop Marcelo Luz Erick Idy Mitchell Sorby Kelley Brow Dell Cross Scott Tait Justyn Brown Leland Brummett Mario Luppa Dan Towne Trevor Knight David Dodd Gideon Grady-patinkin Al Norman Larry Howe David Suits Jason Mansfield James Bowe Shane Gorman Jean-joseph Cote Frederick Pishotta Gary Mau Jade Gianforte Monte Cole Manuk Kerovpyan


San Francisco Truckee Sunnyvale Palo Alto Incline Village Berkeley El Cerrito Palo Alto San Francisco Oakland Simi Valley Redondo Beach Lancaster Tucson Scottsdale Tucson Wakefield Stephens City Winchester Tappahannock Tampa Wildwood Atlanta Denton Folsom Vacaville Truckee San Francisco Beverly Hills Wichita Ozark Menasha Wakefield Madison Tappahannock Tampa Wildwood Atlanta Ennis High Falls Alamo Grass Valley Santa Cruz Forest Ranch Morgan Hill Captain Cook Lunenburg St Augustine West Orange Chattenango Vacaville Ellenville



Patrick Denevan Ray Leonard Patrick Denevan Patrick Denevan Kurtis Carter Justine Yang Justine Yang Patrick Denevan Patrick Denevan Justine Yang Justine Yang Lynden Vazquez Lynden Vazquez Eric Smith Eric Smith Eric Smith Malcolm Jones Steve Wendt Steve Wendt Gordon Cayce Malcolm Jones Gordon Cayce Gordon Cayce David Broyles George Hamilton Patrick Denevan Ray Leonard Patrick Denevan Andrew Beem Andrew Beem Chris Price Tommy Thompson, Sr Malcolm Jones Jon Thompson Gordon Cayce Malcolm Jones Gordon Cayce Gordon Cayce David Broyles Greg Black Mike Butler George Hamilton Patrick Denevan John Ryan Jim Woodward Bill Soderquist Jeffrey Nicolay James Prahl James Tindle Daniel Guido Brian Foster Greg Black

March Gliding & Paragliding – www.USHPA .aero Nick Greece2008: surfs a Hang gust. Photo by Jon Hunt.


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-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

1 2 2 2 2 2 2 3 4 4 9 10 13 1 1 1 1 1 2 2 3 3 3 3 4 4 4 4 4 7 9 10 12 13 1 1 1 1 3 3 3 3 3 4 4 4 4 13 13 3 4 4 13 13

Christina Ammon De-hwei Oshaughnessy Norbert Borschel Grover Knight Nick Nayfack Mandi Nayfack Chadwick Spencer Tracey Harrap Myron Cook Billy Carpenter Mark Garber Ariel Diep Jill O`reilly Steven Acord Leif Short Forrer Suzie Teerlink Christina Ammon Ben Mcewen De-hwei Oshaughnessy Chadwick Spencer Nickole Sciortino Bahman Rad Colleen Krause Tracey Harrap Shiraz Contractor Doug Whitmore Lisa Dickinson Myron Cook Billy Carpenter Joshua Sonner Mark Garber Ariel Diep Jef Field Jill O`reilly Doug Marshburn Donald Comstock J. Kirk Linton Scott Harding Traig Trumbo Vic Enright David Baldwin Jr Heidi Chu Ron Schooler Scott Towne Joe Lambrecht James Strickland Nicolas Saldarriaga Petr Hala Carlos Olivera Antonio Cardenas Chris Jacobsen Dan Roland Adrian Austin Fiona Austin


Ashland Fremont Palo Alto Las Vegas Oakland Oakland Reno Paia Salt Lake City Clearfield Dayton Alpharetta Oxford Issaquah Juneau Juneau Ashland Portland Fremont Reno Honolulu Sante Fe Springs San Diego Paia Phoenix Richfield Murray Salt Lake City Clearfield Marion Dayton Alpharetta Albany Oxford Bellingham Medford Lynden Ashland Malibu Thousand Oaks Santa Barbara Thousand Oaks San Diego Colorado Springs Salt Lake City Colorado Springs Boulder Czech Republic Ontario Santa Barbara Murray Aspen West Bay, Doha Doha




Jonathan Jefferies Wallace Anderson Wallace Anderson Ron Peck Jeffrey Greenbaum Jeffrey Greenbaum Dale Covington David Binder Dale Covington Jonathan Jefferies Kenneth Munn Luis Rosenkjer Chad Bastian Bob Hannah Carson Klein Carson Klein Jonathan Jefferies Kelly Kellar Wallace Anderson Dale Covington Pete Michelmore David Jebb Gabriel Jebb David Binder Carlos Madureira Stacy Whitmore Kevin Mcginley Dale Covington Jonathan Jefferies Robert Chevalier Kenneth Munn Luis Rosenkjer Ciaran Egan Chad Bastian Delvin Crabtree Rick Ray Delvin Crabtree Kevin Lee Rob Sporrer Rob Sporrer Irene Revenko Rob Sporrer Gabriel Jebb Stephen Mayer Etienne Pienaar Stephen Mayer Granger Banks Luis Rosenkjer Gabriel Jebb Rob Sporrer Jonathan Jefferies Royal Owens Kim Galvin Kim Galvin



Dead Horse Point, Utah. Photo by Leroy GrannisMarch 2008: Hang Gliding & Paragliding – www.USHPA .aero


March 2008: Hang Gliding & Paragliding – www.USHPA .aero


by Steve Messman



he southwestern slope of the mountain was just beginning to work, the much-desired result of the heating mid-afternoon sun. Slowly at first, the air began to flow past my ears so that I could hear its gentle rush. I was well above the tree line, but began to smell evergreens, their relaxing scent lifted on columns of air that rolled up the stone face of the mountain. As well, I could see the white, cottony seeds of the fireweed plants traveling straight up. Indeed, these were good signs. I sat for another 30 minutes. The movement of the air became quite consistent. I watched for clouds. The only ones visible to me were building toward the west. Those were huge, tall, but miles from my location. Above, I found only wisps that formed quickly and dissipated. It was beginning. Warm air continued to flow upward, now so consistently that I could time its cyclical movement. Each cycle of lifting air lasted at least 60 seconds. Each was approximately five minutes after the one preceding. It was time. I prepared my wing and myself. In minutes, I was ready to launch into what definitely looked like great pre-frontal conditions. Today promised to be one of those that would deserve special note in

my logbook. I waited for the next cycle. With one word, “Clear!” followed by a single step, I launched effortlessly into air that beckoned with open arms. The resultant marriage of wing and wind was extraordinary. In minutes, I was a thousand feet over the top of the mountain and going up. I looked ahead. The formation of wonderful cumies was now at full strength. I had never seen such beautiful flat-bottomed clouds with such perfectly formed fluffy tops. I headed downwind, toward the closest and most perfect cloud. My cross-country adventure had begun, and the fifty mile mark was easily within reach. The cloud cover grew thicker. I could see street after street in any direction I chose. Every thermal I hit offered nothing less than 600fpm up and topped out at seven grand, at least. Often, I was at eight grand when I decided to leave declining lift. I maintained my downwind course to maximize speed, glide, and of course, distance. As devastating as a doctor’s diagnosis of stage-four prostate cancer, I heard it. Tat tat tat tat tat. The sounds overwhelmed me, faster, louder, increasingly intense. Huge drops of rain bounced off my helmet and off my eyewear. Wetter.

Larger. Colder. The lift that had been everywhere at 600 up was now sink. Lots of it! Everywhere! At least 1200 down! Worse, my wet face began to be pelted by ice. Chunks of it battered my helmet and tore at my wing’s surface. It was the worst sound I had ever heard. Rat tat tat tat tat Machine-gun fast, the ice bounded off my wing and my body faster than Keith Richards could pick a guitar. Tat tat tat tat. I looked up at my wing. It began to evaporate in front of my eyes. I could see clouds through windows that shouldn’t have been there. I stopped flying, and began to fall–fast. I grabbed at the air hoping for something to hold on to. My hands found nothing; everything around me gone with the wing. I grabbed for something, frantically, again and again! Finally, contact! I opened one eye, then the other. One hand held a fistful of blanket; the other, a hunk of pillow. I looked up, and saw only the rain that pelted my bedroom skylight. I wanted to fly so badly. But, it’s winter in Washington. What did I expect, except to fly in my dreams?

March 2008: Hang Gliding & Paragliding – www.USHPA .aero

Hang Gliding & Paragliding Vol38/Iss03 Mar 2008  

Official USHPA Magazine

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you