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JUNE 2013 Volume 45 Issue 6 $6.95






Hang gliding and paragliding are INHERENTLY DANGEROUS activities. USHPA recommends pilots complete a pilot training program under the direct supervision of a USHPA-certified instructor, using safe equipment suitable for your level of experience. Many of the articles and photographs in the

ON THE COVER, Wolfgang Seiss snaps a cover in Australia. MEANWHILE, Flying mini-wings in

Hawaii | photo by Loren Cox.

magazine depict advanced maneuvers being performed by experienced, or expert, pilots. These maneuvers should not be attempted without the prerequisite instruction and experience.

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.

SENT TO USHPA HEADQUARTERS IN COLORADO SPRINGS. All advertising is subject to the USHPA Advertising Policy, a copy of which may be obtained from the USHPA by emailing



editorial submissions from our members and readers. All submissions of articles, artwork, photographs and or ideas for articles, artwork and photographs are made pursuant to and are subject to the USHPA Contributor's Agreement, a copy of which can be obtained from the USHPA by emailing the editor at or online at www.ushpa. aero. HANG GLIDING & PARAGLIDING magazine reserves the right to edit all contributions. We are always looking for well written articles and quality artwork. Feature stories generally run anywhere from 1500 to 3000 words. News releases are welcomed, but please do not send brochures, dealer newsletters or other extremely lengthy items. Please edit news releases with our readership in mind, and keep them reasonably short without excessive sales hype. Calendar of events items may be sent via email to, as may letters to the editor. Please be concise and try to address a single topic in your letter. Your contributions are greatly appreciated. If you have an idea for an article you may discuss your topic with the editor either by email or telephone. Contact: Editor, Hang Gliding & Paragliding magazine,, (516) 816-1333.

published monthly by the United States Hang Gliding and Paragliding Association, Inc., 1685 W. Uintah St., Colorado Springs, CO 80904, (719) 6328300, FAX (719) 632-6417. PERIODICAL postage is paid at Colorado Springs, CO and at additional mailing offices.

POSTMASTER Send change of address to:

Martin Palmaz, Publisher Nick Greece, Editor Greg Gillam, Art Director

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

C.J. Sturtevant, Copy Editor

COPYRIGHT Copyright (c) 2013 United States Hang Gliding and Paragliding Association, Inc., All Rights Reserved; no part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise without prior written permission of the United States Hang Gliding and Paragliding Association, Inc.

Staff Writers Steve Messman, Dennis Pagen Christina Ammon, Ryan Voight, C.J. Sturtevant

Terry Rank, Advertising

Staff Photographers John Heiney, Jeff Shapiro



















Free Flight in the 21st Century USHPA's Strategic Plan ������������������������������������������������by James Bradley


2013 USHPA Awards Call for Nominations ����������������������������������������������by George Sturtevant


The Things You Can Find If You Don't Stay Behind �������������������������������������������� by C.J. Sturtevant


The Answer is Peeing in the Wind Size Makes a Difference �������������������������������������������������������by Andy Pag


FEATURE | My Digital Co-pilot The LK8000 ���������������������������������������������������������������������by Eric Carden


FEATURE | Paragliding State Distance Records The Results Are in for 2012 ��������������������������������������������������by Steve Roti


FEATURE | Glider Nuts Uh... yeah. . . . . . . . . . . . . . by Unknown Science Fiction Author


Now, THAT Hits the Spot Spot-landing Competition ������������������������������������������by Stacy Whitmore

The Wills Wing Experience

500 West Blueridge Ave . Orange, CA 92865 . 1.714.998.6359 .



Talking to friends while flying in Hawaii is a good time | photo by Loren Cox



he editor’s page shot epitomizes the feeling we experience when we get to share the air with our friends. I just returned from flying with Jeff O’Brien, and Jeff Shapiro, and the hooting and hollering that goes on when you get to core up, or spiral down, with great friends is one of a kind. It is rare in our relatively solitary sport that we have an opportunity to share these moments, and that’s what makes them so special when we do! The June issue starts off with a very important piece detailing the new strategic plan for the United States Hang Gliding and Paragliding Association. James Bradley has helped guide a successful process to re-examine our direction in the coming years in order to guarantee a thriving free-flight community in the future. It is also time again to submit award nominations to USHPA for pilots, communities, landowners, and businesses that have been going above and beyond this year. Take a look, and nominate someone in your area who personifies the qualities of each of the awards! C.J. Sturtevant is back with a biwingual look at road tripping through the USA with The Things You Can Find, If You Don’t Stay Behind. Often one doesn’t have to go very far to have a great trip. Also, two pieces of gear are reviewed in this issue: Eric Carden reviews the LK 8000 and Andy Pag sets the record straight on one of the questions most often asked by nonpilots—how do you pee in the air? Stacy Whitmore presents spot-landing competitions for the upcoming season. This newto-the-USA competition format may be just what your club is looking for to create a fun-based flying event. A found manuscript titled Glider Nuts was submitted and appears in this issue, and as always, the back page features Steve Messman with another great piece, Life Inside the Box. Hopefully you are sharing climbs and a glide with your friends, and enjoying all the sun offers as frequently as possible!

ERRATA Several photos in Christina Ammon’s article about hike and fly were misattributed. They were in fact taken by Peter Barry. Thanks for your understanding, Peter, and great shots!





FreeFlight is expected. FreeFlight offers very powerful flight-computer functionality including these key features: • Fully integrated full-color terrain, road and airspace maps • True acoustic, integrated and graphic variometer • A vast array of measured, calculated, informational and strategic user-fields

• Fully customizable for the individual user • OLC optimization • IGC, KML and XML recording with replay on device • Full Dropbox integration • Live tracking (on devices connected to cell network) • One-button tracklog emailing and/ or transfer to OLC • Logbook/tracklog sharing over WiFi to Mac/PC • Optimized for multi-touch

Currently FreeFlight is being offered on the App Store for the introductory price of $33.99 with upgrades available for advanced features. More information on FreeFlight can be found at: iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch are


in the US and other countries. All

FreeFlight is next generation flight

other registered marks, and product

software for iOS devices. It is capable

and service names, mentioned herein

of accepting external sensor data

belong to their respective owners.

from the Flytec SensBox that extends


trademarks of Apple Inc., registered

functionality beyond flight planning


and navigation to a full-function

Since the first iPhone was released

flight computer. To take advantage

in 2007, launching the smartphone

of this additional functionality, iOS

revolution, pilots have been asking for

devices equipped with Bluetooth 4

a flight-instrument app. The problem

LE must be used (iPhone 4s or later,

has been that, as sophisticated as the

iPod Touch 5G, iPad G3 or iPad Mini).

iOS and Android devices are, they

Currently Apple is the pioneer of BT4,

lack the necessary sensors and/or the

however, the most current generation

resolution and update rate required

Android devices are already equipped

for flight-instrument functionality.

with BT4 hardware; as Android adds

There have been numerous apps cre-

support for BT4 an Android version of

ated for flight planning and naviga-


tion (e.g. iGlide, LX8000 and XCSoar)

modes (automatic, semi-automatic

but until now a smartphone/tablet

and manual) and will record fully

flight instrument has not been pos-

compliant IGC flight records ideally

sible. That is all about to change!

suited for competition scoring, world

Flytec USA is very pleased to

record attempts, online contests as

announce the Flytec SensBox. The

well as many other outdoor activi-

Sensbox is a highly sophisticated

ties such as climbing, downhill and

compact sensor package that is

backcountry skiing, cycling, speed-

capable of measuring location

flying, etc. Recordings are auto-

and three-axis motion in 3D space

matically saved to an SD card making

and sending all necessary flight mea-

flight recording virtually limitless and

surements to a smartphone making a

downloading effortless. Flights can

complete, full-functioning, flight

be read via the mini USB port or from

instrument possible. The measured

the SD card. Firmware updates and

values include GPS position, three-

user configuration can be saved to

axis acceleration, three-axis gyro,

the SD card, greatly simplifying the

magnetic heading, ambient tempera-

configuration and upgrading of the

ture and high-sensitivity altimeter/

instrument with a Mac or PC.

variometer. All measured values can

The SensBox is very rugged

be displayed correctly, even if the

and water resistant. It’s compact at

platform is exposed to a centrifugal

4.75x2.5x0.68”, very light at 4.8 oz.

FIRST SUPER CLINIC SET TO LAUNCH June 22nd -June 29th; Ruch, OR. Train with some of the nation’s best instructors, at one of the most popular sites in the country, during the 11th annual Rat Race Paragliding Competition. Kari Castle and Ken Hudonjorgenson will head up the instructor team to train in the mornings, and then watch the competition action unfold on top of Woodrat Mountain. After the competitors have launched, you’ll be able to train at a premiere flying venue. Go to to reserve your spot. Attendance is limited. More information: Mike Haley, 503-7047004,, or

acceleration in a curve (horizontal or

and powered with an internal lithium

vertical). Similar systems are used in

battery that is charged via the mini

large commercial and military aircraft,

USB port. The SensBox can alterna-

Mescal 4. The large and extra-small

but at a very high price tag.

tively be loaded with data-logging

sizes are now certified, completing

firmware that records at 20Hz (20

the MESCAL4 series and accom-

data to a smartphone or tablet over

times per second) for advanced

modating pilots whose all-up weight

the latest generation Bluetooth 4.0

flight-characteristics testing and aero-

ranges from 55kg to 130kg. More

Low Energy. Bluetooth 4.0 LE was

batic maneuver recording.

information:, or

The SensBox sends all measured

chosen because of its substantially reduced power consumption, improved

Expected pricing at the time of this writing is under $500. For

ease of pairing and greater stability.

more information please visit www.


The SensBox is also equipped with or contact us directly at

Eagle Paragliding has taken over as

FlyLink® network, which will allow

800.662.2449 or

the exclusive US importer of U-Turn

simultaneous wireless communication

paragliding products. U-Turn has

with additional external devices such


as airspeed sensor, engine/electric-

Moyes announces DHV certification

since the beginning. Their Thriller

motor monitor and control, helmet

in all three sizes of their top-end

became the favorite ACRO wing of

audio, etc.) The first flight instrument

racing hang glider, the Lightspeed

the world’s top pilots, and the LTF-B

app for smartphone/tablet that inter-

RX series, thanks to Gerolf and

rated Blacklight has received excel-

faces with the SensBox is FreeFlight

Wolfgang Genghammer from Skyline.

lent reviews. Check out the U-Turn

by Butterfly Avionics (see subsequent

Certification information for the RX3:

line—ask your local dealer about

DHV 01-0469-13; RX3.5: DHV 01-

U-Turn gliders, or contact Eagle

article). The SensBox can also be used as

been innovating with their designs

0467-13; RX4: DHV 01-0468-13. For

Paragliding at 805-968-0980, or

stand-alone basic flight instrument

more information, go to www.moyes.

providing altitude, digital, integrated

and acoustic variometer, speed,

Bronze Safe Pilot Award

magnetic heading, GPS position,


Mark Cahur, USHPA member #61833,

time, barometric pressure and flight

Skywalk announces the complete cer-

has successfully completed 100 safe

recording. Flight recording has three

tification of their EN/LTF-A wing, the

paragliding flights.



Photo by Paul Voight

STRATEGIC PLAN: FREE FLIGHT IN THE 21st CENTURY Communication | Externally,

by James Bradley


trategic planning is attempting to avoid unpleasant surprises in the future. We want to provide a guarantee that hang gliding and paragliding will be thriving. What steps can USHPA take to make sure this happens? When the new Strategic Planning committee met in Seattle last fall, we set out to create a plan that will function within USHPA’s limited resources, starting with those of our own committee. Rapid prototyping engineering provided a model. We decided to create the best plan we could in a constrained amount of time, put it in place, pay attention to what ensues, and then listen, learn, adjust, and try again. This approach freed us to spend little time on the “how to do this” of this question, discussing theories of strategic planning and so on, and allowed us to move as quickly as possible to the issues that are of strategic importance to USHPA. We still needed guidance, however, which led us back to USHPA’s mission statement.

The Old Mission Statement USHPA’s mission statement of growing the membership did not ring true to us. The goal of 10% growth per year did not seem like a benchmark we could use to evaluate and prioritize actions. Growth is difficult to control and



achieve in any time period. We posited that a large increase in our membership might come from something no one could anticipate at this time, like hang gliding or paragliding being positively featured in a reality TV show, or a sea change in how Americans look at risk. More important, increasing membership would not drive us to address our developing concerns with airspace and airliners, or the advent of drones, all of which we feel are obvious and crucial strategic issues. We even envisioned the possibility that growing the membership in a particular year might endanger the sport in the future. For these and related reasons, we felt the old mission statement needed to be revised.

A New Mission Statement After deliberation, USHPA determined that “a mission statement should be a concise description of the impact you want to have.” Consequently, we resolved: USHPA’s mission is to ensure the future of free flight.

We believe this statement frames the correct goal and expressed what we think it means in six bullet points, listed alphabetically: Advocacy | USHPA will interact, proactively when possible and reactively when required, with agencies, organizations and individuals whose interests affect our sport.

USHPA will advance the positive awareness of hang gliding and paragliding among the non-flying public. Internally, the organization will cultivate a culture of communication and transparency. Community | USHPA will promote a sense of community among its members. Flying sites | USHPA will support the development of new flying sites and the preservation of existing sites. Learning | USHPA will support learning, in part by providing an organizational framework for instructor and pilot training and certification. Safety | USHPA will steadily foster a culture of safety. Collectively, the mission statement and its expression form clear guidance. All of USHPA’s activities and programs need to fit under one of these bullet points. Anything we are doing that does not meet that requirement is something we should eliminate. Ideas and activities that pass this test can then be prioritized by how well they support our mission.

The Issues With this guidance in place, we set out to identify strategic issues. Then we prioritized them according to importance to the mission and opportunity for impact. Staying mindful of our limited resources, the lowest priority issues should not be addressed at this time, because we have to work within constraints in order to make sure we accomplish the most important. This is a key concept. Tier 1: These topics warrant immediate new action, resources and attention, and offer a potentially large return on investment in support of the mission.

Airspace: Address interfaces and potential problems with airliners, general aviation, military planes, and drones—near misses, collision avoidance, regulation. Accident reporting: Return to reports we can all use to be safer, without creating a large liability risk. A new accident reporting system is being finalized with a functioning reporting system anticipated to be up and running later this summer. Communication: Encourage the organization to be more transparent and more communicative within its limited resources. Instruction: Improve our instructional program, help more instructors make a decent living, and find methods to retain more students to become longterm pilots. Data: Acquire and catalogue data that provide us with critical information. Tier 2: These topics need continued resources and attention, but we do not recommend major additions to current efforts. Board and committee governance: Committees have traditionally met the day before each board meeting and then presented proposals to the board for action, often the next day. This model, while logistically convenient, does not allow for membership input, extended thinking by committee members, or preview by the board before issues are voted on. Community: The most successful flying sites foster a feeling of community. Socializing and barbecues are just as important for persuading students to

Our issue list may not be complete. We welcome your input. If you think we have missed something, please contact anyone on the committee or USHPA headquarters.

become long term pilots as flying. How can USHPA help? Competition: Some issues have already been addressed by the recent amendment to the national team selection process. The Outdoor Alliance and the Outdoor Retailer Show: If we can align ourselves with larger outdoor groups, we may be able to achieve more leverage in land-use negotiations than we can alone. We also will gain visibility and may even attract excellent pilot candidates from other sports. Site development and preservation, including interaction with the Foundation for Free Flight: As we are seeing right now at the Point of the Mountain, this issue needs vigilant attention at all times. Tier 3: These are currently the lowest priority topics. No effort should be expended on them now. They will be re-evaluated when the committee meets again. Development of new revenue sources. Possible relocation of USHPA headquarters.


or a more detailed discussion of these issues, please go the members’ section at and download the full plan. There is a lot of work left to do, by both the Executive committee and the staff at headquarters, to determine what actions should be taken and how resources should be allocated. We hope we have given useful guidance to both groups and have established a prioritization of crucial issues. The Strategic Planning committee will evaluate our progress during the season, meet again this fall, assess what we have learned, and try again.

Committee members who participated in creating this plan (alphabetically): Bill Bolosky, James Bradley, Josh Cohn, Rich Hass and Martin Palmaz. James Bradley can be reached at jb183 at me dot com.

Martin Palmaz, Executive Director Jeff Mosher, Program Manager Robin Jones, Communications Manager Eric Mead, System Administrator Beth Van Eaton, Membership Services Terry Rank, Office Coordinator

USHPA OFFICERS & EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE Rich Hass, President Ken Grubbs, Vice President Bill Bolosky, Secretary Mark Forbes, Treasurer

REGION 1: Rich Hass, Mark Forbes. REGION 2: Jugdeep Aggarwal, Josh Cohn, Pat Hajek. REGION 3: Corey Caffrey, Dan DeWeese, Rob Sporrer. REGION 4: Ryan Voight, Ken Grubbs. REGION 5: Donald Lepinsky. REGION 6: David Glover. REGION 7: Paul Olson. REGION 8: Michael Holmes. REGION 9: Felipe Amunategui, Dan Tomlinson. REGION 10: Bruce Weaver, Steve Kroop, Matt Taber. REGION 11: David Glover. REGION 12: Paul Voight. REGION 13: TBD. DIRECTORS AT LARGE: Dave Broyles, Bill Bolosky, Steve Rodrigues, Dennis Pagen, Jamie Shelden. EX-OFFICIO DIRECTOR: Art Greenfield (NAA). The United States Hang Gliding and Paragliding Association Inc. (USHPA) is an air sports organization affiliated with the National Aeronautic Association (NAA), which is the official representative of the Fédération Aeronautique Internationale (FAI), of the world governing body for sport aviation. The NAA, which represents the United States at FAI meetings, has delegated to the USHPA supervision of FAI-related hang gliding and paragliding activities such as record attempts and competition sanctions. For change of address or other USHPA business call (719) 632-8300, or email 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.

Photo by Jerome Maupoint



great time was had by all at the annual USHPA Awards banquet held in Colorado Springs during the board of directors meeting last March. Award recipients were present from the local area as well as from as far away as Alaska. Those awardees who could not attend were represented by their regional directors and hopefully will receive their awards in front of their fellow pilots, the ones who nominated them. As you are reading this you may be wondering if there is an award for someone you know, someone who puts in extra work for your chapter or who produces photographs or video that show our sports in all their glory. Or



maybe you think that your chapter’s website or newsletter is worthy of more applause than it receives. In fact, maybe your chapter itself deserves national recognition. And how about that instructor who taught you to fly and helped keep you safe—has he or she received a USHPA accolade? Some of the best have, but there are many more well qualified instructors out there. If yours is one of them, let him or her know your appreciation through a nomination for Instructor of the Year. Yes, there are awards for all the above…and more. And it is easy to nominate someone, or more than one someones. Submitting a nomination for any of these awards isn’t quite a no-brainer, but it’s close. Except for the

photography, videography, and newsletter or website awards, which require examples of the nominee’s work, you can complete the nomination online at Links to a more detailed description of each award, and a list of past recipients of each award, are on that page as well. You can submit a nomination at any time before the fall board meeting (midOctober), when the Awards committee reviews the submissions and makes the decisions, but earlier is better, especially if you’re gathering a bunch of testimonials for the Instructor of the Year or Rob Kells awards. Most of the award titles make the intent of the award pretty clear: Best Promotional Film, Hang Gliding Instructor of the Year, Paragliding

Instructor of the Year, Chapter of the Year, Newsletter and/or Website of the Year. However, a few awards need at least a short word of explanation. Bettina Gray Photography Award: for a photographer whose images are aesthetically pleasing, original and portray hang gliding and/or paragliding in a positive light. Commendation: for a USHPA member who has provided exceptional service as a volunteer for any number of local operations—work parties, fly-ins, comps, public relations, rescues, or just about anything that enhances someone else’s enjoyment of flying. Recognition for Special Contribution: for a non-USHPA member who would otherwise meet the guidelines for a Commendation. Exceptional Service Award: for someone who has given outstanding service

to the Association during the past year, more on the national level than local. NAA Safety Award: The National Aeronautics Association accepts USHPA’s nomination for this award, given to someone who has made a significant contribution to hang gliding/ paragliding safety. Rob Kells Memorial Award: recognizes an individual who has been a major contributor to our sports over a period of fifteen years or more. Presidential Citation: USHPA’s highest honor; the recipient is chosen by the president of USHPA from those nominated who have made significant contributions to our sports recently or over a period of years here you have it. Send in your nominations. Use the USHPA awards to tell those people who have done much for our sports that you

value their contributions. (Be sure to read the fine print on the requirements for each award, as some require samples of their work—photos, videos, newsletters—and some require written recommendations.) George is the USHPA Awards committee chairman. He says, “Last year several awards went unclaimed solely because no one nominated a photographer, a nonmember volunteer, or a chapter’s website for consideration. It’s kind of like that saying we have about whether to head out to a flying site or not—if you don’t try, you won’t fly.”


NOMINATIONS FOR THE USHPA BOARD OF DIRECTORS ARE NEEDED Nominations can be submitted online in the member’s-only section,; click on the Forms tab at the top of the page to navigate to the online nomination form. Biographical information about the nominees must be received no later than September 6, 2013 for inclusion in the November election issue of this magazine. All the currently serving directors are automatically re-nominated to run for another term unless otherwise noted below. The directors whose terms are up for election are:  R1-(AK, OR, WA) Mark Forbes   R2-(North CA, NV) Josh Cohn Patrick Hajek   R3-(South CA, HI) Corey Caffrey Rob Sporrer   R4–(AZ, CO, NM, UT) Ken Grubbs   R5–(ID, MT, WY, Canada) Don Lepinsky (not running for re-election)

R6-(AR, KS, MO, NE, OK, Worldwide) David Glover R9–(DC, DE, KY, MD, OH) Dan Tomlinson (not running for re-election)   R10–(AL, FL, GA, MS, NC, SC, TN, VI, PR) Matt Taber   R11–(LA, TX) David Glover   R7, R8 and R12 do not have an election this year..



The Things You Can Find if You Don't Stay Behind




by C.J. Sturtevant

r. Suess, beloved children’s author responsible for the above title from On Beyond Zebra, knows what he’s talking about, and his words often resonate with the kid in us grown-ups. When was the last time you ventured far from your home site, or took a flying-focused road trip? If it’s been a while, it’s time to toss your flying (etc.) toys into or onto your adventuremobile, gather your favorite travel companions and hit the road. “If you never did, you should. These things are fun and fun is good.” One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish Need a destination suggestion? Try one or more of these well-known sites that have been groomed, upgraded, or even saved from obliteration through local activism and a grant from the Foundation for Free Flight. Pilots just like you have invested sweat and dollars into making these sites some of the finest in the country, which means there’s a cadre of locals who are passionate about their site’s virtues, and

who are ready and willing to show it off to visitors. Go for the fun of flying a new site and making new flying friends, and be prepared to be inspired. Don’t leave home without your USHPA card showing you’re a current member with the requisite coverage to fly USHPA-insured sites. And if you know where you’re headed, check beforehand to see if you need to purchase a club membership or sign a waiver. Whenever possible, print the waiver at home and bring it with you—it’d be a serious bummer if it was a perfect flying day but nobody on launch happened to have the necessary paperwork on hand to allow you to get airborne. And now, “You’re off to great places. Today is your day. Your mountain is waiting, so get on your way.” Oh, the Places You’ ll Go

LEFT Dean Warren launches from Waldens Ridge, in the Sequatchie Valley | photo by Dean Funk. ABOVE C.J. on

launch at Mt. Nebo State Park | photo by George Sturtevant.



Henson Gap, near Dunlap, Tennessee Why here? This Tennessee Treetoppers-owned site is one of the nation’s “can’t miss” flying experiences, with its world-famous radial ramp and the fabulous Sequatchie Valley scenery. The Treetoppers own the launch and the land around it, with a clubhouse and campground for use of all members. The 45-acre plot below launch, which includes the LZ, is part of a land trust that, thanks to some assistance through a grant from the FFF, protects the parcel from development in perpetuity. Where to start: The club website,, has just about everything a visiting pilot would want or need to know, including detailed photos and maps of the LZs and XC routes, weather info, directions to launch, and a list of locals available to mentor visitors. Who can fly here: Pilots must be USHPA members, novice-rated or above with previous mountain experience; and must join the Treetoppers before flying at any of the TTT sites (membership forms available on the website). While paraglider pilots don’t launch from the ramp, there are excelABOVE Channing Kilgore on the Tennessee Treetoppers' radial ramp | photo by Dean Funk. RIGHT Arkansas state parks are free-flight friendly! | photo by George Sturtevant.



lent paralaunches nearby, and all TTT members enjoy the club perks. Non-flying activities in the Sequatchie Valley: There are plenty of outdoor activities to keep all the ground-bound happily occupied for days: canoeing, hiking, fishing, local historical and cultural attractions. For city amenities, Chattanooga is an hour or so away. If you’re looking for a spot to kick back and enjoy a good book or the view, the clubhouse and pavilion may be just what you’re dreaming of. What we found: Flying XC in the Sequatchie Valley is both incredibly scenic (we were there in spring, when the dogwoods were blooming—beautiful!), and relatively low stress, as LZs were plentiful. The campground and

clubhouse, just a short stroll from the ramp, offer all the comforts of home: hot showers, flush toilets, electricity, a kitchen, a large pavilion, lots of pilots to swap tales with, and of course the famous views. Hanging out with your flying buddies at the end of the ramp as the sun goes down and the crickets tune up for the evening performance is one of those “nowhere else but here” experiences.

Multiple Sites in the Ouachita Mountains in SE Oklahoma and W Arkansas Why here? As a road-trip destination, this area provides a half-dozen or more good soaring sites within a fairly small area, meaning you can probably find somewhere that faces into the

wind, or offers your preferred flavor of soaring, on any given day. And if you come from an area where hang gliding and paragliding are not embraced by the local parks department, the warm welcome extended to pilots at Mt. Magazine and Mt. Nebo State Parks (both in Arkansas) is a refreshing glimpse of how things ought to be. Where to start: The Buffalo Mountain Flyers website, http://, and the website that encompasses both Oklahoma and Arkansas, http://www., provide detailed maps and photos of the sites, and include a calendar of upcoming events with email and phone contacts for the organizers. Who can fly here: USHPA membership is required for most sites; some sites require club membership as well. Buffalo and Panorama Vista are listed on the websites as Advanced-rated sites, but check with a local to see if that information is current. George and I visited a half-dozen of the Ouachita Mountain sites several years back, but the late-March weather wasn’t very cooperative and the only airtime I managed was a sledder on my Falcon from Mt. Nebo State Park in Arkansas. We were treated like visiting royalty by the local pilots, with guided tours to several of the sites, and southern hospitality that has us hankerin’ to go back. Non-flying activities: I never pictured Oklahoma and Arkansas as mountainous areas with lots of hiking and exploring options, but live and learn! We spent an afternoon at Heavener Runestone State Park (right near the Heavener flying site), following scenic trails that were signed with fascinating information about the runestone. The Ouachita National Forest includes trails for hiking, biking, horseback riding and off-highway vehicles, and rivers for fishing in and camping next to. It’s a beautiful area, and there’s

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plenty of scenery close to roads for the less adventuresome. What we found: We were fortunate to spend several days hanging out with some of the pioneers of hang gliding in this area. They gave us the grand tour and pointed out where some original launches and LZs were, long before the improvements and re-locations funded in part by FFF grants. Yikes!! Those were definitely the bad old days! Most of the new launches and LZs are user-friendly for both hangs and paras, although some of the LZs are a long reach for paragliders—check with a local parapilot to avoid misjudging the requisite glide.

Mingus Mountain, Arizona Why here? George and I first visited Mingus back in July of 1990. Nobody had mentioned that July is monsoon season in Arizona, so my most vivid memories of that trip include a lot of sticky red mud, and buying a big blue TOP LEFT C.J. in the Andy Jackson LZ; the famous hot shower is the shiny cylinder just left of the flagpole | photo by George Sturtevant. RIGHT The 10th St. LZ, with the little town of Jerome in the background | photo by C.J. Sturtevant.



tarp to provide some shelter from the deluge when we ventured outside our little backpacking tent. More than two decades later we returned to Mingus, this time on Memorial Day weekend. Timing, apparently, is everything. Even though it was REALLY windy when we drove up to launch on Friday, several hang glider pilots and their families were already camped in the reserved-for-pilots Forest Service campground, created with some help from a FFF grant. Access is secured by a locked gate, and it’s within easy walking distance from launch. Every site has a picnic table and a fire pit, and there are the usual Forest Service-quality pit toilets nearby. Saturday was blown out, but the hang pilots were optimistic that the wind would relent enough overnight to allow flying early in the day on Sunday, so we were all ready to launch before noon. I was first off in my paraglider, and quickly climbed to over 11,600’. Wary of the forecast afternoon wind, George and I opted to be on the ground within an hour or so, quite satisfied to have snatched a bit of airtime on an otherwise windy weekend. Where to start: The Arizona

Hang Gliding and Paragliding Association’s website, http://www., has a page devoted to visiting pilots. You’ll find contact info for local pilots, and a list of the local sites and what kind of flying you can expect at each. Who can fly here: You need to be a current USHPA member to fly at all the AZHPA sites, and must purchase a visiting pilot membership and sign the waiver before you launch. It’s suggested that you print and sign the waiver, and purchase your membership online before showing up at any of the club sites. Mingus requires a H-3/P-3 rating; Non-flying activities: On our blown-out day, George and I hiked a trail that circled the mountaintop, passing below launch and coming out on the far side of the campground. With the spring abundance of wildflowers and blooming cactus, and unobstructed views out to the potential landing areas, it was an enjoyable hike and a great way to get oriented to the area. The funky little historic copper-mining town of Jerome is maybe 10 miles down the winding road from launch, and Sedona is less than an hour’s drive from launch. What we found: There’s an awe-

some concrete ramp for the hang pilots, and a large grassy slope for paraglider launches (thanks, FFF!). The bulletin board/kiosk right by the ramp contains site information and maps, a locked canister for site waivers and fees, and a warning to spectators to stay clear of gliders. Mingus can be big air, with potentially hypoxic altitude gains—locals suggest bringing an oxygen system if you have one, and warm clothes even in summer. On our late-May late-morning flight, the launch cycles and thermals were paraglider-friendly, and I was glad to have my fleece jacket and flight suit.

Andy Jackson Airpark, San Bernardino, California Why here? Andy Jackson Airpark

is one of our favorite winter road-trip destinations—it’s not an onerously long drive from our home near Seattle, and it’s flyable during the long months when the Pacific NW is cold and soggy. We park our tiny trailer in the recently enlarged camp area just a short stroll from the LZ; the $10/day camp fee includes free WiFi and hot showers (but no sewer or electrical hookups). On any decent day there will be other pilots around to provide site briefings and share rides to launch. We’ve only flown at Andy Jackson in winter, when the air can be crystal clear and surprisingly cold, and the mountaintops may be dusted with snow even when it’s T-shirt weather in the LZ. Where to start: An article detailing the history of the airpark, and the FFF’s contributions to its development, was in the August 2007 HG&PG magazine, and is downloadable from the FFF website, http://www.ushgf. org/SStories.html. Crestline Soaring Society’s website ( has maps, site protocols, a downloadable waiver and site-use agreement that you’ll need to sign before you fly, up-to-the-minute weather info, and just about everything else you’ll need or

want to know about the site before or during your visit. Who can fly here: USHPA membership is required. Pilots must be P-3 or H-3 rated, although novice pilots may fly under the supervision of a local instructor. Non-flying activities: On site, trails lead up to launches and to other interesting viewpoints on the mountain. San Bernardino is just a few miles from the airpark, with all the usual choices that you’d expect in a southern California university town. What we found: The road to launch is reasonably decent, although making the turn from the highway onto the access road is tricky—check with locals to learn the recommended technique. The LZ is groomed grass with plenty of wind indicators; a sheltered patio provides shade and outlets to plug in your computer or recharge electronics and lots of hanging-out pilots to share beers and tales with. Often the Wills Wing guys are there, testing a truckload of just-manufactured hangs. It’s worthwhile taking advantage of the campground’s shower facility, preferably when the sun’s out, just for the experience.

Villa Grove, Colorado Why here: The first paragraph

in the June 2012 HG&PG magazine article says it all: “…a short 4WD road to launch, a grassy set-up area with amazing down-range views, a sweet launch, miles-wide ridge lift, booming thermals, wave lift and smooth-as-ababy’s-butt glass-offs…unspeakable altitude gains and many miles of crosscountry flying…and a landing area that’s a thousand square miles of open, flat terrain.” Sounds good to me! Where to start: The above-mentioned article is an excellent site guide, with maps, weather info, and contact info for local pilots. Rich Jesuroga (, who co-authored

that article, adds this to help you plan a trip: “In 2011 opening day at Villa was March 18; in 2012 it opened March 21. The road is still snowed in on April 4, 2013, but we’re hopeful for an opening day very soon. In 2012 our last flight was late November. Evening glass-off flights can happen anytime during the flying season, but spring and fall both provide warm days and cold nights offering up steep lapse rates that make good potential for an evening glass. Mid-day it’s a big-air site. I’m available to fly almost every day. It’s helpful for visiting pilots to have a high-clearance 4WD vehicle. If you don’t, please come anyway. We’ll get you up the hill so you can fly.” Who can fly here: The launch and landing zones are H-2/P-2 friendly, but mid-day conditions may require Intermediate or Advanced bump tolerance and glider-control skills. Contact Rich for a site briefing. Non-flying activities: You can soak in hot springs, explore a unique



BELOW Larry Smith flying his home site, Villa Grove.

ecosystem at Great Sand Dunes National Park, check out alligators at the Colorado Gator Farm, hike or bike in the Sangre de Cristo mountains— even though Villa Grove is a tiny town, there’s no shortage of family-friendly things to do in the area. What we found: Well, actually, we haven’t been to this site yet, but after meeting Larry and Tiffany at the USHPA awards banquet last March, and emailing back and forth with Rich Jesuroga regarding this article, we’re planning a road trip to Villa Grove this summer. See you there! When C.J. and her husband George started hang gliding in 1982, they set a goal to fly at least five new sites each year. They’ve logged 250-something sites so far, and although it’s getting more challenging to find new places to fly without traveling long distances, they’re still making goal every year.




high performance with stable, responsive handling VG Sail Control · Mylar Full Race Sail available H3+ · for Intermediate and higher skill levels

Visit ATF and SOLAIRUS soaring trikes FREEDOM hang glider

1st place, 2012 Chelan XC Classic · Kingpost Class 2nd place, 2012 Spain Championship · Kingpost Class





Photo by Nick Greece


PEEING in the WIND by Andy Pag

“During this period of turbulence, passengers are advised to remain seated and not use the toilet.”


he voice is not that of a charming cabin attendant, but my own, cursing my bad timing. I’m mid flow, hanging out of the leg straps of my paraglider harness, brakes in one hand and “My Dear Watson” in the other, when suddenly the smooth glide just turned rowdy. I hate pee. Of course I like that sensation of release after I’ve been holding it in for a while, but I try to avoid physical



contact with it if at all possible. As a general rule, I’m pretty fastidious about keeping it off my clothes and skin. Some people go on cleanses where they have to drink the stuff. I’m definitely not one of those people. But I realized a while ago that if I wanted to extend my cross-country distances I was going to have to get intimate with the contents of my internal plumbing. Bladder pressure is a powerful distraction from the concentration you need while piloting. At best it stops you from making the best decisions, at worst it encourages you to make really bad ones. I once forced a top landing

onto a launch that was clearly blowing with irregular cycles because I just couldn’t take the pressure any longer. The result was some bruising, but I was lucky; it could have been worse. A fellow pilot who watched me plow in told me a story of his friend that spent four weeks in a wheel chair after his bladder got the better of his brains and convinced him to attempt a similarly risky landing.

Flow Management Some pilots chose to fly dehydrated. By increasing your fluid intake the evening before a flight, boosting it with

diuretics (coffee, tea, alcohol, etc.) that make you pee, you can flush the body’s fluids. It’s then hungry to absorb more the next day to restore equilibrium, so more of what you drink on the flying day stays in the body and isn’t sent to your bladder. It’s important to minimize intake in the run up to launch and have a well timed pre-launch tinkle in the bushes so you are starting with an empty tank. The technique of simply not drinking much before a flight works for a lot of pilots, it’s easy and intuitive to do, and means you don’t have to get down and dirty with your golden juices. But there are a couple of obvious disadvantages. First, flying dehydrated can adversely affect your concentration as badly as flying with a bursting bladder, and second, the pee-free airtime is finite. Even with the best fluid-intake management, sooner our later there’s going to be the need for some fluid out-take. If you suddenly find yourself on an unexpectedly epic flight, that runs much longer than you anticipated, imagine how, ahem, “p*ssed” you’d be if you had to reluctantly abandon it in search of the nearest terrestrial restroom. Keeping warm, with plenty of layers also slows down your body’s need to pee and many pilots claim that eating also helps ward off the urge. Once you start to feel the pressure building up, smooth movements and a good posture in your harness can help you keep the valves shut with less muscle energy and discomfort. Often the concentration of piloting means that you don’t realize how badly you need to go until you land. This isn’t particularly good for your body, or for the sport’s public relations. A few times I’ve set down in a field to be greeted by the friendly landowner and then realized that all I want to do is pee. The kindly question, “So where did you jump from?” is responded to with,

“While manufacturers give numerous warnings about the effect of UV on gear, they are strangely quiet on the subject of urine.” “Er, I can’t think straight right now. Mind if I pee in your garden?” Hardly the ambassadorial standard for the sport I’d like to be setting.

Harness the flow For men, hanging out of the harness on the leg straps makes it possible to aim down and into the wind so that the golden arch flows forward enough to clear your harness. You’ll need to keep your legs well apart to avoid the wide spray your airspeed will provoke on your liquid’s trajectory. Some people recommend aiming to the side, but when I’ve tried this it sends the wing into a turn. While seated I struggle to get my zipper low enough to get Dr. Watson pointing downwards when seated, and invariably there’s a kind of u-tube effect that holds some liquid back and causes a bit of splattering as I tidy everything away. There’s no way I could do it in rowdy air and it takes a while to get into position. No matter how desperate I am, there’s always a moment of performance anxiety that sets in, during which I have to psychologically coax my plumbing to relax. This in-flight rest-stop technique can take a few minutes from deciding to go and having everything stowed away again, so it needs a long glide. Some pilots recommend a pee bottle. Gatorade bottles have a wide opening but unless you can let go of the brakes, you’ll need to be quite dexterous to get Dr. Watson into position with just one hand. The advantage is that it prevents the risk of spraying, and you don’t need to get as far out of the harness, but you might find that if you’ve been resisting the urge for a while, a bottle won’t

hold all your reservoir and you’ll need to stop mid-flow to drain the bottle at least once. Expect some splattering but it’s a tidier solution. It’s also a little more time consuming so needs an even longer glide.

Just Do It By far and away the simplest solution is to pee your pants. Again performance anxiety (known by psychologists as paruresis) can hold you back because the idea of letting go while fully clothed is so alien to us. Breathing and focusing on relaxing your abdomen will help, and as soon as the first dribble is out, you’ve literally and metaphorically opened the floodgates. Timing is important. To save any potential embarrassment you want to get it over with well before you expect to land so your crotch and harness can dry out. Beware that the wind-chill effect of wet clothes and a wet harness can have a particularly icy impact on cold days. Even if you dry out there may still be some residual odors which won’t win you many friends in the retrieve vehicle so pack a change of clothes, and a pack of wet-wipes for after you land. Ladies’ peeing options are more limited but this is one technique that works for both genders. A female pilot, who preferred to remain anonymous (so let’s just call her Jessica Love), told me that she once soaked all the money in her pocket during an in-flight pee, and had to hang the bills out of the retrieve taxi window so they were dry by the time she got home and had to pay the driver. She didn’t say if he accepted a tip. While manufacturers give numerous warnings about the effect of UV



on gear, they are strangely quiet on the subject of urine. Regular soakings could penetrate through to the reserve and affect its longevity and ability to open. I don’t know of any pilots that make a regular habit of releasing a full geyser into their pants and harness, so this is by default more of an emergency technique, and even if it doesn’t weaken your harness material, the smell will probably weaken the flying friendships you have.

Down the Tube

size is needed. Not since my early teens have I held Dr. Watson up against a ruler. Choosing a larger size to impress bystanders on launch will win you no favors in the air, because at altitude things get colder and consequently smaller. Presumably it would be prudent to drop a few ice cubes into your underwear before using the sizing chart. The catheters come with a disposable piece of stretchy sticky tape to wrap around and secure the fitting, but while the instructions make it look easy, what it doesn’t explain is how to avoid getting hairs caught by the tape. Removal is eye-wateringly painful if you get it wrong. Superstitious pilots sometimes claim that going to the effort of putting on a catheter results in a short flight, and not putting one on guarantees a long flight. Familiarization with the kit, positive thinking and visualization are all good ways to overcome this voodoo attitude.

Diaper Rush Having a Dr. Watson is a big advantage for conveniently removing pee from the bladder in the air. A “Mrs. Watson,” on the other hand, makes the challenge much harder. There are external catheters available for women, but they rely on either sticky pads that aren’t designed to last for the duration of a paraglider flight, or on “surgical

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My experiments with a condom catheter have been spectacularly unsuccessful. Like a condom, the latex sheath rolls down over My Dear Watson, but unlike a condom it has a fitting for a tube at the end which you can pass down through your trouser leg and out, or alternatively to a bag strapped to your calf. The calf bag option is over-complicated for pilots and risks kinking the tube, but if you fly a pod harness you’ll need a hole to vent your tube. Many pod harnesses come with this already stitched into the fabric. I first experimented with a catheter when I was on a flying holiday in Spain. The first hurdle was trying to explain to a Spanish pharmacist what I was after. I can order a beer, and ask if the hotel room has a shower in Spanish, but this

sort of technical medical terminology is way beyond me (It’s “catéter para la orina,” I now know). The pharmacist initially assumed I was after normal condoms but too shy to ask outright. I managed to explain with the use of exuberant miming and had the line of customers joining in to guess what I was after. It was the lady third from the back, waiting for her phlegm-inhibiting prescription that guessed it first. The pharmacist produced a bulk box of 30, but I only wanted one, and while he said he couldn’t split the box, he took pity on me, assuming my affliction must be pretty serious to endure the public humiliation I’d just put myself through, and he gave me two for free. This sort of embarrassment can be easily avoided by ordering on-line, though expect to have to order bulk quantities. With a tube they cost a few bucks and are single-use disposable. Think about packing a plastic bag in your harness to put it all in after you land, so you can dispose of it appropriately. Sadly, the ones I got in Spain were the wrong size. It seems My Dear Watson is a mere twinkie compared to that of the average incontinent Spanish man. I’ve since discovered there is a sizing chart that you can download, cut out and wrap around Dr. Watson in various orientations to ascertain what

adhesive,” which sounds uncomfortably permanent. Astronauts use adult diapers during take-off, re-entry and space walks. The NASA-issue “Maximum Absorbency Garments” use space-age technology and can hold up to two quarts of fluids. Earthbound adult diapers aren’t quite so capable. United States paragliding champion Melanie Pfister used to fly dehydrated, but is now a diaper convert. She recommends getting the most absorbent ones in the shop but even then says, “You can only relieve the pressure on your bladder. You can’t really void it completely or you will spill. Diapers aren’t really meant to be sat in and fully voided in. It takes time for the liquid to soak in, so I find I can only pee a little bit at a time.” She keeps a plastic shopping bag in her harness to wrap it up after landing. “You rip down both sides and can remove them without taking off your pants if they are loose-fitting. If I don’t have privacy, I wrap my wing around me.” Pfister has also noticed that flying with oxygen reduces the urge to pee as she feels this keeps her warmer.


Light Soaring Trike


Light Soaring Trike

Climb to cloudbase shut down engine and soar!


Practice Pee As pilot skills improve and flights get longer, pilots invariably come up against this bladder barrier to progressing further, so it’s a good idea to be prepared and have a strategy in mind. Several SIV instructors I’ve spoken to recommend practicing each technique so that when you really need it you have the skills to pee quickly and, ahem, fluidly, even if conditions aren’t ideal. It’s worth familiarizing yourself with the different options, and developing routines to see how they fit in with your flying style and flight goals. Despite the subject being a little embarrassing it’s good to discuss it with other pilots, and seriously consider the implications on concentration and safety.



Co-P ilot


My D

by Eric Carden 26



hat do Batman, Iron Man, and James Bond have in common? They’re all mere mortals who do amazing things through superior technology and access to information. If they were hang glider or paraglider pilots, they would probably use LK8000 Tactical Flight Computer (LK, for short) or one of a handful of similar programs made to run on handheld touch-screen devices. LK has many state-ofthe-art capabilities, including plenty that don’t exist in the typical flight instruments we use. I learned of LK in late 2010 and have flown with it since early 2011. Whether you are a recreational pilot or a competitor at the highest levels, and whether a beginner or a pro, LK has plenty to offer. LK is “open source” software, which basically means that the source code is available for you to study, change, and distribute to your heart’s content. More important, though, is the fact that, like most open-source projects, it’s developed in a public, collaborative manner. This approach taps into volunteer programming labor, making it possible to build a rich product at little or (as in this case) no cost.

Paolo Ventafridda, an Italian active sailplane pilot, is the LK project leader and primary developer. He joined the XCSoar development team in 2008 and in mid-2009 “forked” from XCSoar, dubbing the spinoff project “LK8000.” This strange-looking name is a nod to LX8000, which is a similar-looking system for permanent mounting in sailplane instrument panels. Paolo donates countless hours of work to the project. Thanks, Paolo. OPPOSITE Profile of the

LK8000 hardware. WHAT LK8000 ISN’T Because LK is typically run on devices originally intended for non-aviation purposes, it usually doesn’t have access to barometric pressure or airspeed sensors. While it’s possible to run LK on a device with such sensors or to connect the LK device to sensors (or a sensor-based instrument), few hang glider or paraglider pilots do so. As soaring pilots, our most important instrument is a sensitive barometric pressure sensorbased, or “baro” variometer (vertical speed indicator), so if you use LK, you’ll probably still want at least a baro variometer, or “vario.” If greater accuracy and precision



“Atmospheric variation can cause a baro altitude error of more than 100 feet, especially during a long-duration or longdistance flight, but it’s unlikely your GPS altitude will ever be off by even 50 feet.” is desired, the Flytec 6030 is capable of sending accurate sensor data over Bluetooth to devices running LK8000. And if you need accurate airspeed data, you’ll still need an airspeed sensor. If sensors aren’t present, LK uses GPS data to estimate airspeed and compute vertical speed, but these GPS-based calculations are inherently less accurate and have more lag than sensor-based measurements. When it comes to altitude, though, I’m content with GPS-based data. ABOVE LK8000 can be paired via Bluetooth to Atmospheric variation can cause a baro the Flytec 6030 to create altitude error of more than 100 feet, a robust flight computer especially during a long-duration or solution. OPPOSITE long-distance flight, but it’s unlikely TOP Marked LZs in Google your GPS altitude will ever be off by Earth. MIDDLE My 2008 XC Scenario. BOTTOM even 50 feet. It should be noted that Brief Wide View While GPS altitude can have considerable error Circling. based on satellite constellation and relative motion. It is for this reason that many GPS units, especially those intended for aviation, are equipped with altitude pressure sensors. It should also be noted that FAA regulations and airspace are referenced to pressure altitude, meaning that it is not advisable to rely on GPS altitude for airspace avoidance. COST, SETUP, & SUPPORT My entire LK setup (shown above) cost about $150. The software is free, but you must buy your own hardware and will probably be able to install the software yourself. A few businesses sell devices pre-loaded with LK, but installing LK is so simple that most LK users do it themselves. LK only runs on devices with Microsoft Windows operating systems (OSs). It won’t run on Android or iOS (iPhone OS) devices or on any devices that use proprietary operating systems, like Garmin or TomTom personal navigation assistants (PNAs). A free program similar to LK, XCSoar (, will run on Android devices, but you probably won’t be able to work your smartphone’s touch screen while wearing your current flying gloves. You’ll also need to engineer a mounting solution. I



drilled a hole in the plastic bracket that came with my PNA (a used Mio C310X) and used a special fastener from Home Depot to attach it to a hang glider cameramount bracket. For paragliding, you could use any of a number of simple ways to secure it in your instrument pod. And, finally, you may want an external battery, because GPS receivers and big, bright, color screens are power-hungry. I use a small-ish 3.5” screen device with an external battery, and I get a total run-time of about 10 hours. Of course, you must mount the external battery and put a cable between it and the LK device. Or if you’re really industrious and your device has enough space, you could install a second internal battery. While there’s no company behind LK and no phone number to call for help, the support I’ve received has been great. The LK community uses an online forum where you can ask questions, and usually get prompt help from a developer, another user, or both. You can even request new features or software changes, and, if they make sense, they may get done. The 305-page user manual is available online, but don’t fret at its length, which is just a testament to LK’s extensive capabilities and configurability. LK is pretty user friendly and has good online (in LK itself) help, so you won’t need to refer to the manual often. And I’ll gladly share my notes on my preferred LK configuration, which may interest you, since the out-of-the-box configuration is geared more for sailplane pilots in some ways. CAN I REACH A LANDING ZONE? It’s this question that led me to LK. In March 2008, I was 65 miles downwind at cloudbase at about 6000’

AGL, with a 25-30mph tailwind. But I was staring down the middle of a large (about eight-mile diameter) unlandable area. I couldn’t see any acceptable LZs on my preferred straight-downwind course and didn’t know whether there were any within reach but perhaps out of sight, straight downwind. I was confronted with cloud streets, so I had to choose which way to jump—left or right. I went right, at which time the clouds quickly became scarce in that direction. Three sorry excuses for thermals later, in the next street, I was on the ground, 76 miles from launch with almost four hours of daylight left. I should have gone left or continued downwind. When I studied the scenario later using Google Earth, I found plenty of good LZs 10 miles or so downwind of where I abandoned the good street. Given my altitude and the strong tailwind, I could have reached LZs twice that far away! But from a 10:1 glide away, even a nice 1000’-long field would have been completely hidden by a row of 100’ tall trees on the field’s nearest edge. And from 10 miles away, I couldn’t have seen important obstacles like power lines and fences or ground cover or slope. The bottom line is that in a situation like this, you simply can’t see well enough to deem safe all the fields you can reach. So I started thinking. What if I use Google Earth to study fields (size, slope, etc.), build an XC LZ waypoint list, put that list on a GPS-enabled flight computer, and use that device in flight to know whether I have a safe LZ within reach? Unfortunately, I knew of no flight computer that adequately addressed this need. Enter LK. For each LZ on screen at once, LK can indicate whether or not you can reach it and, if so, your predicted arrival altitude above ground level given your polar, the wind, and any safety factors. An unreachable LZ’s icon is orange; a reachable one is green. You can also display on the map a line showing the edge of your glide range in every direction. So I built an extensive LZ “waypoint” file, especially focusing on the edges of large unlandable areas. Here’s a screen shot from Google Earth showing my marked LZs near one large unlandable area 70 miles downwind of launch. CAUTION: Beware of trusting the possibility of a safe landing in any LZ you can’t see. It may have been developed, grown tall with weeds/crops, etc., since you last saw it or since the Google Earth satellite imagery you viewed was collected. To the right is what I’d have seen on that 2008 flight if I’d had then what I have now. Directly downwind just beyond no-man’s land is an LZ (N12C) I could have

reached at about 3400’ AGL, or after using just under half of my altitude. LK & THERMALING I acquired LK for XC LZ help alone, but I found that it helps me thermal, too. For starters, I choose to have LK automatically toggle between normal and “circling” (tighter) zoom upon entering and exiting thermals. Nice



and hands-free. As with all LK zoom settings, I can adjust this tight zoom level in flight, and LK remembers it for the rest of the flight. But I often want to take a broader look at the map while circling. So I have LK set up so that a tap in the upper left corner of the screen switches to a wide zoom for 20 seconds, after which it automatically returns to the previous zoom. And I use “north up circling” map orientation, which automatically switches between “track up” orientation while gliding and “north up” orientation when circling. I prefer “track up” when gliding, but when circling, it causes the map to spin too quickly to read. Now, hold on to your socks. While in “circling” zoom, LK uses a higherresolution (one point/ second) track and colors the track based on lift strength. So, as you circle, LK paints a colorful, high-resolution picture of where the lift is best. Wow! Another option I recommend is “trail drift,” which makes the points in your track (as shown in circling zoom) drift with the wind (which LK calculates). Using this option, if you fly a constant bank and airspeed, you’ll draw the same circle over and over on the screen. This makes it easy to see when you’ve deviated, because you’ll have flown off your circle. This has helped me get back into the best lift more quickly a number of times. (Each time, I picture the Joker asking about Batman, “Where does he get those wonderful toys?”) Trail drift also helps you learn to make more precise adjustments (i.e., with the intended magnitude and direction) by filtering out the wind’s effect on your track, leaving only your effect visible. Another option I use while circling is to have the screen center itself on the thermal, the estimated center of which LK marks on screen. Given this option, my circle stays nearer the center of the screen instead of swinging around me like a hula-hoop. This lets me zoom in a little tighter and simplifies what I see on screen.

BELOW Circling Zoom’s

Colored Track, Trail Drift Off. OPPOSITE TOP Glide Range After Next Turnpoint. MIDDLE Following the Blue Arrow. BOTTOM Automatic Selection of “Best” LZ.



To see a video of LK (with my preferred configuration) in action while thermaling, go to http:// or scan this barcode with your smartphone. OTHER LK8000 FEATURES A few more LK features are worth mentioning. First, LK handles task navigation well, including turnpoint cylinders, start gates, ETA, goal arrival altitude, task “optimization,” and more. LK can automatically advance turnpoints for you and automatically zoom (in and out) as you approach and tag turnpoints. And LK saves an IGC-format log of each flight. LK has robust handling of airspace areas. If you want, LK can display them on the map and warn you when you’re approaching or entering one. You can even display a chart from a horizontal viewpoint showing any airspace areas in the immediate vicinity and ahead on your current track. The LK team will create, if it doesn’t exist already, topography and topology (water, towns, roads, etc.) data for any flight area on the planet. You don’t just get a blank map; the road data is fairly scarce, but it’s better than nothing. In addition to LK displaying (if so configured) the wind speed and direction numerically on screen, it also places an arrow (pointing at you) on the map indicating wind speed and direction, making it easy to see the wind relative to your glider and relative to the terrain. And while the track line on screen shows your direction of travel over the ground, your glider icon is “crabbed” to indicate your heading. LK uses configurable safety factors when calculating arrival altitudes. For example, you can have LK always use a certain minimum MacCready (MC) setting and/or an “efficiency” percentage (e.g., “90%” means 10% less L/D than predicted by your polar). LK even detects and shows when terrain interferes with your glide (showing how much more altitude you need to clear the obstacle), and you can set a minimum terrain clearance you want at all times. When flying a task, you’d sometimes like to know how far you can reach (on a single glide) after tagging the upcoming turnpoint. Can you make it back across a gap or to a valley turnpoint and back to the ridge? LK includes an option to draw your glide range around the upcoming turnpoint, assuming you fly straight there (and, of course, accounting for wind, your polar, and

your MC setting). The red-and-white line in the image to the right indicates this. LK also has a nifty little blue arrow that shows your ideal on-glide ground track, taking into account how far you’ll drift downwind while circling to gain the remaining altitude you need to gain to make goal. Just make the MC setting equal to the expected average climb rate in thermals ahead, and LK does the rest. This is a nice feature for maximizing course efficiency. In the screen shot to the right, you can see that with about 1200’ of climb remaining, seven miles remaining, an expected average climb rate of 300fpm, a 14mph crosswind, and my guess at the polar for a stock topless hang glider, your ideal on-glide ground track is 13° upwind of a line directly to the next turnpoint. LK scans the area once per minute, finds the best landing option (generally the LZ you could reach at the highest AGL altitude), and remembers it. If desired, you can have LK always show on the map the name of the current best LZ choice, the bearing and distance to it, and the predicted arrival altitude. A thick line will also be drawn from you to that LZ. So you could basically keep your head in the air (instead of on the ground) as long as you see an acceptable arrival altitude for the current best choice LZ. By the way, the red area in this screen shot is a “do not land” area marked as “airspace” (to make it visible on the map). You can use LK with the Condor soaring simulator ( I do this, and it’s a great way to get (and stay) familiar with LK. (And LK gives me a competitive advantage in online multi-player Condor races.) As with any equipment, the more you use it, the more familiar with it you’ll become and the more value you’ll get from it. And by doing my configuration experimentation on the ground, I don’t waste precious airtime doing it in flight. There’s no published limit to the number of waypoints LK can handle. The user manual simply recommends that you not exceed 5000 if using large maps and airspaces. Five thousand! And LK offers the ability to save a separate “profile” for each unique combination of waypoint, airspace, and topography/topology files and other configuration settings. So LK only uses the files and settings specified in the profile in use. I’ve created profiles for each area in which I fly, so I simply select the appropriate LK profile at startup, and voilà! CONCLUSION I’ve barely scratched the surface of the features of LK while, hopefully, hitting the high points. I’m impressed

with LK and think you will be, too. A pilot who doesn’t need precise airspeed data could be well equipped with instruments with only LK and an audio-only vario. LK offers plenty of useful capabilities that you won’t find even in the most expensive flight instruments. Whatever your skill level or goals, LK has something to offer. You’ll find LK on the web at There



likely the development team will continue this trend. The project could always use another developer, beta tester, or even a source of feedback, especially one who represents us foot-launching types! Feel free to contact me about LK. I’ll be happy to answer questions. The human mind (mine at least) simply can’t handle all the in-flight processing needed to maximize both safety and performance. So let LK or a similar product improve your flying by doing some of the thinking for you. Don’t just be Bruce Wayne… be Batman! you can get the software, which you can “test drive” on your PC, as well as the user manual and other information, such as screen shots, briefings, testimonials, etc. You’ll also find a Forum link, which is the best place to go for answers to questions you might have. The LK team has engineered several changes over the past two years to make LK, which has been largely used by sailplane pilots, better for hang gliding and paragliding. The more of us who use LK, the more

Eric is a mechanical and aerospace engineer and H-4/P-2 pilot in Huntsville, Alabama. He started hang gliding in 1993 and has since also flown paragliders and powered ultralights, serving as an instructor in various aircraft types. He has also done some computer programming work, including writing a small amount of the LK8000 code. Eric Carden |

Yearafter afteryear, year,working workingfor foryou you Year Mt. Howard, OR——NPS NPSBiological BiologicalAssessment Assessment Mt. Howard, OR Embreville, LegalAssistance Assistancefor forLZ LZ Embreville, PAPA——Legal MingusMt, Mt, AZ——Launch Launchand andCampground Campground Mingus AZ KingMt, Mt,IDID——XC XCSite SiteGuide Guide King HGNational NationalTeam Team HG Meet Director Training Meet Director Training

2003 2003

2004 2004

P.O. Box 518, Dunlap, CA 93621



Pointof ofthe theMt, Mt,UT UT— —Permanent Permanent Flight Flight Park Park Point AndyJackson, Jackson,CA CA— —Tractor TractorPurchase Purchase Andy Lake Elsinore, CA — Legal Assistance Lake Elsinore, CA — Legal Assistance

2005 2005

West Rutland, VT — Launch Site Purchase West Rutland, VT — Launch Site Purchase HG & PG International Competitions HG & PG International Competitions Sand Turn LZ, WY — Land Purchase Sand Turn LZ, WY — Land Purchase Elsinore, CA — Site Preservation Elsinore, CA — Site Preservation Henson’s Gap, TN — Legal Assistance Henson’s Gap, TN — Legal Assistance USHPA — National Park Service Managment Policy USHPA — National Park Service Managment Policy

HG & PG National Teams HG & PG National Teams PG Aero Tow Research Grant PG Aero Tow Research Grant 2003 Centenial of Flight 2003 Centenial of Flight



2006 2006

2007 2007

HG & PG International Competitions HG & PG International Competitions Andy Jackson, CA — Site Preservation Andy Jackson, CA — Site Preservation Telluride, CA — LZ Preservation Telluride, CA — LZ Preservation Miller Canyon, AZ — Site Preservation Miller Canyon, AZ — Site Preservation Lake Elsinore, CA — Site Preservation Lake Elsinore, CA — Site Preservation Legal Assistance Legal Assistance

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Mt. Mt.Equinox, Equinox,VT VT——Site SiteOpening Opening&&Ramp RampImprovements Improvements Bidwell Park, CA — Site Preservation Environmental Review Bidwell Park, CA — Site Preservation Environmental Review Buffalo BuffaloMt, Mt,OK OK——Launch Launch&&LZLZImprovements Improvements The Lake ThePulpit, Pulpit,PA PA——Launch LaunchImprovements Improvements Lake Elsinore, Elsinore, CA CA — — Site Site Preservation PreservationLegal LegalAssistance Assistance King Mt, ID — Shower/Restroom Mingus King Mt, ID — Shower/RestroomProject Project Mingus Mt, Mt, AZ AZ — — PG PG Launch LaunchImprovements Improvements Tiger Mt TigerMt, Mt,WA WA— —LZ LZParking ParkingExpansion Expansion Mt Sentinel, Sentinel, MT MT — — Grassland GrasslandRestoration Restoration Dunlap, Dunlap, CA CA — — Site Site Improvements Improvementsfor forPG PG Snow Snow King, King,WY WY — — Launch LaunchImprovement Improvement Adaptive Adaptive PG PG Training Training Protocol ProtocolGrant Grant Kirkridge, NJ — Launch Road Project Kirkridge, NJ — Launch Road Project HG HG International International Competitions Competitions

2008 2008

2009 2009

Kitty KittyHawk, Hawk,NC NC——Soaring Soaring100 100Event Event Lookout LookoutMt, Mt,CO CO——LZLZMaster MasterPlan Plan Aerobatic Judges Training Event Aerobatic Judges Training Event HG HG&&PG PGInternational InternationalCompetitions Competitions Able AblePilot Pilot— —Disabled DisabledPilot PilotProject Project

2010 2010

FarView Tow Site, OH — Site Improvement FarView Tow Site, OH — Site Improvement John Wayne Airport, CA — HG Display John Wayne Airport, CA — HG Display Big Springs, TX — National TV Film Shoot Big Springs, TX — National TV Film Shoot Wallaby Ranch, FL — Scooter Tow Clinic Wallaby Ranch, FL — Scooter Tow Clinic Tenn Tree Toppers Team Challenge Tenn Tree Toppers Team Challenge HG & PG International Competitions HG & PG International Competitions

2011 2011

2012 2012

“Live the Dream” Film “Live the Dream” Film Villa Grove, CO — Launch Road Villa Grove, CO — Launch Road Woodrat Mt, OR — Fiasco LZ Project Woodrat Mt, OR — Fiasco LZ Project Whaleback, CA — Launch Improvements Whaleback, CA — Launch Improvements Hillcrest, MO — Butte Site Improvements Hillcrest, MO — Butte Site Improvements High Rock, MD — Launch & LZ Improvements High Rock, MD — Launch & LZ Improvements GLIDING & PARAGLIDING MAGAZINE 33 HG & PGHANG International Competitions HG & PG International Competitions










Paragliding State Distance Records by Steve Roti








Jack Brown




Eagle River


Niviuk Icepeak 6


Britton Shaw




Mt. Magazine


Ozone R11


Dean Stratton (tie)




Nine Mile


Ozone R11


Jimmy Huang (tie)




Nine Mile


Ozone EnZo


Nate Scales




Bald Mountain


Niviuk Icepeak 6


Jaro Krupa/T




Enjoy Field


Sky-Country SpaCe


Thad Spencer/T






Ozone Mantra M4


Stephan Haase




Kingsbury Grade


Niviuk Icepeak 6


Thad Spencer/T






Ozone Mantra M4


Chris Galli






Gin Boomerang 8


Nick Greece




Phillips Ridge


Ozone EnZo


nother big year for paragliding distance flights, with records falling in 10 states. Was it the weather, the wings, or the pilots? I’d say all three played a part in the long flights this year. The above is a quick summary of last year’s state records; the full record list is available on the USHPA website. All of the records were set between May and September. Three were tow launches; the rest were foot launches. For the first time, we had a flight of over 200 miles in the US. When I started tracking state distance records in the mid-1990s, flights of over 100 miles were rare. Last year we recorded a number of them.



Alaska The National Weather Service described the 2012 weather in Anchorage, Alaska, as having been “the second wettest year on record and the coldest year since 1982.” But that didn’t stop Jack Brown from extending his own state record to 68 miles. He writes, “I managed to add 26 miles to my last record flight. Not much more distance but extremely technical, with some of the most jaw-dropping scenery on the planet.” Arkansas Britton Shaw broke the state record by flying from Mt. Magazine, Arkansas, to Springfield, Missouri. He reports: “I checked XC Skies and saw an epic Arkansas soaring forecast. The previous days had been too blue for my bump tolerance. (I have more comfortable flights on days filled with nice clouds.) After launch, the sky was epic as far as I could see and the lift was nice at altitude, so I planned to fly fast. During the flight, the air was super nice for me. I was able to fly straight for 20- or 30-mile stretches on 50% speed bar, ground speeds 40-50mph.” TOP Record flight in Alaska. When Britton finally got tired and RIGHT Record flying in decided to land after six hours and 143 California. miles, he says, “With lift in abundance,



it was actually difficult for me to find sink. I had to fly several miles out from under the cloud street before I could get sink. There is no doubt I could have stayed under the street and flown for another 1.5 hours. That’s how epic the day was!” California There were four record flights by three pilots on

two different days in California, during 2012. On September 15th, Dean Stratton flew 161 miles and Aaron Price 157.1 miles from the Nine Mile launch near the southern end of the Sierras past the northern end of the White Mountains, well into Nevada. Aaron took some nice in-flight photos. Dean wrote, “After seeing Nick, Nate and Farmer push hard this year, I decided to get off the couch and put in a little

effort. So, you may be changing the CA record again soon UNLESS I get a bigger, more comfortable couch in which case...well, you know. ;)” Less than a week later, Dean did it again—this time flying with Chin Chien Huang, AKA Jimmy. After taking off from the Nine Mile launch on September 21st, both pilots flew 168 miles in eight hours. Dean reports, “Jimmy and I landed close





enough to each other to share the record. It will go down again, but it will have to wait until next year; there’s just not enough daylight this time of year.”

OPPOSITE, LEFT Matt Beechinor on his long ride home. RIGHT Nate Scales gets the royal retrieve. THIS PAGE Jaro Krupa flying the flats.

Idaho Idaho was another state with multiple record flights in 2012. I heard about the first one from Tony Lang who posted July 1st on Facebook: “Congratulations to my good friend Matt ‘Farmer’ Beechinor, who flew his paraglider approximately 190 miles from Sun Valley, Idaho, well into Montana, for the new US foot-launch record as well as the new Idaho state XC distance record. Farmer said he spent the night in Butte, Montana, and found his way home the next day. The flight was approximately 8.5 hours with altitudes close to 18,000 feet! He will be smiling for a while. (Matt’s ride home took longer than the record flight.) When I asked if he had any photos from the flight he replied, ‘The only photo I have from the experience is of hitching a ride with some raft guides—one of seven hitchhike rides it took to get home.’ ” Then, on August 1st Nate Scales posted on Facebook: “Here is a link to a cool paraglider ride I had yesterday across Idaho and into Montana. Thank you to everyone for your calls and enthusiasm; I wish you had all been with me.” His flight, launched from Bald Mountain, Sun Valley, took him 198.4 miles to the northeast. He landed south of I-90 between Butte and Bozeman, tantalizingly close to the 200mile mark. Nate added, “A beautiful day of flying in the northern Rockies; you would have loved it. The climbs were nice and the wind was mellow. I think 220 mile is possible.” And to top it off, Nate’s friend Mike Pfau picked him up in a plane and gave him a ride home. Illinois Jaro Krupa broke the century mark in Illinois with a 104.2-miler on May 15th. His flight started from a towing field south of Chicago and ended three hours and 45 minutes later, south of South Bend, Indiana. Jaro wrote, “Blue sky, not a single cloud, front was



pushing from northwest, so we had a good wind, rest was pure luck. You know how it is to fly with no indication. On ground we had pretty good-sized dust devils forming. Zipper (Ron Stanley) was kind to chase me. Good day with good average speed. Love a paraglider: You pack it in a backpack and fly long distances. Amazing!” Minnesota Thad Spencer (you’ll hear more about him later) set a new state paragliding distance record for Minnesota early in the season on June 2nd. He tow-launched from Cosmos, near the center of the state, and landed near Owatonna in southern Minnesota. Thad flew 92.7 miles in four hours and 35 minutes on his Ozone Mantra M4. Nevada Stephan Haase launched from Kingsbury Grade, Nevada, and more-or-less followed Highway 395 north-northwest. He landed 124.8 miles away near Ravendale, California. Stephan is already thinking about his next flight farther north. “Alturas, California, was in view and so was Lakeview, Oregon. I really feel this goal is possible as I got hung up on launch and at Slide Mountain for a total of two hours less flying time.” On the retrieve: “The raddest part was seeing a particular Jeep below me near the last 30 km. The Jeep belongs to Rony Huf, who chased me the first time I gained the Nevada record. We didn’t have much time



to fly together last year, so it was great and strange that Rony was here again. Good thing my brother was also there and chose to chase me and help navigate Rony. They reported the SPOT tracking was easy to use and helped them decide which roads to take. I had no idea they were coming for me, so I had planned to bivy somewhere high and relaunch the next day.” South Dakota On May 20th Thad Spencer towed up near Bowdle, South Dakota, and flew 78.6 miles in five hours and 50 minutes, before landing near Wessington, South Dakota. Steve Sirrine wrote, “We have been having some challenging weather and decided to consult XC Skies a bit further out OPPOSITE Stephan Haase takes the record in Nevada. than normal. We found a sweet spot in Watch Stephand in the XAlps South Dakota. It worked out nice since this summer. THIS PAGE Thad has been chasing the Minnesota Thad Spencer in South Dakota. record, and I have wanted to put a NEXT PAGE Final glide more respectable record on the books just south of Rawlins | photo by Nick Greece. for South Dakota. Wisconsin is next!” Utah Chris Galli’s 199.8-miler from the Jupiter launch near Park City, Utah, came just five days after Nate Scales’s 198.4-miler in Idaho. Chris, the renowned creator of XC Skies, wrote, “Here are the stats from the new state distance record I set on August 5th. For about 48 hours it was also the new US foot-launch record, until Nick Greece took it with a few more miles. :)” Chris flew for six hours and 40 minutes on his Gin Boomerang 8. Wyoming Chris Galli was busy last year. On May 29th he tow-launched from Chalk Creek, Wyoming, in the southwest corner of the state, and flew 165.7 miles in four hours and 52 minutes for a new state record. He paralleled I-80 east past Rock Springs and got relatively close to Rawlins. Saving the longest for last, Hang Gliding & Paragliding editor Nick Greece wrote this about his August 7th flight, “I flew from Phillips Ridge to 20 miles north of Wamsutter, Wyoming, on I-80. 204.6 miles on an Ozone EnZo.” It’s the US foot-launch record and Nick and Jon Hunt, who flew just over 200 miles with him on the same day, were the first to break the 200-mile barrier. Nice flying, Nick! Now get back to work.







The Law of Gravity was a natural law. It was codified

Glider Nuts T

his is the story of two people, Franklin Barnes and William “Billy” Woeful, who were seemingly determined to kill themselves having fun. Neither of them actually died—at least, not during this story. They did eventually die, of course. None of us are gonna get out of this thing alive. Frank died of old age. Billy got squashed crossing the street one day. He thought that the crosswalk signal was telling the truth, and got in the way of a guy commuting to work from the suburbs. The commuter was running late, and didn’t have enough spare time to stop for each and every red light. This was accepted practice in the region. No one would have noticed or cared, if Billy hadn’t gotten in the way. At the time of this story, all Frank and Bill wanted to do (before dying of old age and auto mishaps) was to live life to the max. This put them at odds with most people around them. You see, they lived in a society almost pathologically obsessed with safety. Risky behaviors were discouraged (red-light running excepted). Laws were passed forbidding all manner of dangerous activity: parallel parking without a seat belt, leaving tall ladders accessible and in plain sight, selling food prepared with trans-fatty acids, and so on. Naturally, everyone had the utmost respect for the Law of Gravity.



in 1687, when an ingenious man named Isaac Newton “discovered” it while watching an apple come unattached from a tree and subsequently got stuck to the Earth. Isaac was what they called a “natural philosopher.” A natural philosopher was someone who studied how the world worked. Isaac was also an accomplished theologian. A theologian is someone who studies religion. Isaac lived at a time when theologians studied nature in order to learn more about God’s creation. After a while, they learned stuff that contradicted their owner’s manual for the Earth. This caused them to give up on the whole “study-nature-to-better-understand-God” idea. The owner’s manual they were using at the time was called the Bible. There were other owner’s manuals out there. But, that was the one Isaac and his friends preferred. They thought the other ones had too many errors in them. The Law of Gravity specified that everyone must

remain stuck to the Earth, or to some suitable object that was also stuck to the Earth. Frank and Bill was not content to spend all their time in such places. They liked to get high above the Earth and float around up there. They found this to be relaxing. The device they used to get unstuck were pretty basic: an aluminum framework made out of hollow tubes, covered by the same sort of cloth used to move sailboats around. They strung a few wires here and there to hold it all together. The thing was steered around by pushing and pulling on a triangular-shaped “control frame” that stuck out underneath. The whole contraption looked something like this:

This idea of detaching from the Earth and floating around in a hang glider made little sense to all the safety-obsessed people around. They were convinced that Frank and Bill were Loony Tunes.

“I'm building an aircraft here, dammit. I'll not be rushed about it!” Looney Tunes was an old-fashioned cartoon series

starring make-believe animals acting like silly humans. The most famous of these animals was a pig. The pig’s primary job was to tell everyone watching that the show was over. The pig could do this because he was proficient in American English. Although, he did have a stutter. The people who made up these crazed anthropomorphic farm animals concluded that Frank and Bill were totally nuts. To protect themselves from any associated harm, they demanded that Frank and Bill participate in expensive insurance schemes, sign elaborate legal waivers, and so on. Read aloud, the legal waivers sounded like something written by a crazed anthropomorphic cartoon pig. Frank Barnes was not really crazy. He was a fairly

safety-conscious guy, actually. But he did love to skirt the Law of Gravity. He knew that the penalty for violating this law could be quite severe. Still, every chance he got Frank would strap his hang glider to the roof of his car and drive to the top of some mountain hoping to get unstuck from the Earth for a while. Once upon a time, Frank actually got paid to get unstuck. He had been a pilot in the Department of Defense. This was an organization that used aircraft to transport people and stuff to places other than where they were. Some of the stuff they transported was explosive. They did this to persuade other people to agree with them. Frank got tired of trying to persuade people in this way, and he went back to school to study something else. A fellow student intrigued Frank with stories about hang gliding, and Frank eventually took up the sport. Billy learned about hang gliding as a teenager. He was visiting a famous beach in California when he saw someone jump off the cliff high above and actually survive the ordeal. That someone was using a primitive homemade hang glider. The beach was filled with people who didn’t believe in clothing. Most of them were female. When the hang glider landed safely on the beach, many of the cloth-hating humans began bouncing up and down in excitement. Billy resolved to take up the sport immediately. The hang gliders Frank and Billy used now were

much more advanced than the homemade thing Billy had seen at the beach decades before. These hang gliders were actually produced in a factory. They were rolled up like a carpet and delivered to the customer that way. Hang glider pilots stored and transported their gliders rolled up, too. The average person would never suspect that the long, skinny bag on top of their cars actually contained a high-tech, passive, anti-gravity device. Frank and Bill had to assemble their aircraft every time they flew. It would take Frank 45 minutes to unfurl his wing, stick all the loose parts in all the right places, and verify that all was correct. Billy was much quicker. He could set up his hang glider in less than half that time. Billy would watch Frank plod along methodically through his interminable set-up procedure. Then, just when it looked like Frank was finally done, he would walk around checking the whole thing over again. Billy figured Frank was suffering from some weird obsessive-compulsive disorder. Sometimes he’d tried to snap Frank out of it by offering motivational comments, “Christ, you’re still not set-up yet?” Frank would respond, “I’m building an aircraft here, dammit, I’ll not be rushed about it!” And so on. Now, putting together the glider was only the first

step. All you got when you were done was a set of wings. There was no place to put the pilot. This was a problem. Pilots solved this problem by hanging a harness underneath the wing. This would function as their cockpit. They could lie face-down—like Superman—and enjoy the spectacular view from underneath their wing. The whole setup looked like this:

The harness idea was simple and worked well most of the time. But, it did create a failure mode unique to hang gliders. You see, some pilots would occasionally forget to



hook their cockpit onto the wing. Others would remember to hook in, all right. But they would later remove their cockpit from the wing and wear it around, like some sort of weird trench coat, before flying. If they forgot to connect back up to the wing, the subsequent launch sequence would not go well. “Launching” is how hang glider pilots refer to the act of getting unstuck from the Earth. Now, it turns out that a hang glider can get unstuck just fine without a cockpit. Sometimes, it even flies better (without having a pilot around to muck things up). But the un-attached cockpit will quickly get stuck back down. And the enclosed pilot could get significantly damaged in the process. This sort of thing happened with enough regularity that hang glider pilots had a standard phrase for it: “launching while unhooked.” Over time, hang glider pilots figured out ways to make this happen less often. The technique Frank liked best was to never, ever, never remove his cockpit from the wing once he had fully assembled his aircraft. If Frank needed to pee before launching, he would exit the cockpit and get back in once the maneuver was complete. This made sense to Frank, since he had done this many times in the military. Take a pee before flying, that is. Never once had he removed the cockpit from his aircraft and dragged it across the tarmac to the latrine. But that was Frank. Most other hang glider pilots preferred to detach their cockpits and mill around in them before flying. They thought getting in and out required too much effort. They would just make sure the aircraft was re-assembled properly prior to launching. The procedure for doing this was called a “hang check.” A pilot would perform a hang check by lying down prone just prior to launching. If the strap connecting their cockpit to the glider stopped their face from smacking into the ground, all was good. One Saturday morning, Frank and Bill rode together

to the top of Mount Sarkonrepulo. “It’s gonna be thermonuclear today!” observed Billy on the way up. He was not predicting Armageddon. He meant that all the air molecules—vigorously heated by the sun—would be going up so fast that people would have a hard time getting stuck back down. They found the top of the mountain covered in hang gliders. Things went slower than usual due to the cramped conditions. By early afternoon, both pilots were set up and ready to launch. While awaiting his turn, Billy unhooked from his glider to step out from under the wing. He wanted to see if any of the pilots



who had already launched were still unstuck. Billy saw all sorts of people floating around up there. Birds, too. He saw two red-tails circling with one gaggle of gliders. A mature bald was circling around with another glider. Off in the distance he could make out a tower of turkey vultures rising at least a thousand feet above the valley floor. Three more hang gliders were making a beeline for that spot. That was all he needed to see. Billy rushed back to his glider and moved it quickly to launch. He remembered to do his hang check, and lay down prone. The Earth reminded him that he should have hooked-in first. Billy had forgotten to hook back into his glider be-

cause he was tired. Frank had noticed the circles under his eyes when they hooked up that morning. “You look fatigued,” said Frank. “Buzz off,” said Billy. Billy had gone to bed really late the night before. He did this because he was having too much fun drinking beer. He didn’t want to stop until he was no longer having fun. This took time. As a result, Billy’s brain was operating at reduced efficiency. In fact, a fair number of synapses had decided to take the morning off. The ones still around were complaining about the extra workload. This made Billy’s head hurt. Billy sponsored an internal survey and concluded that his brain was working well enough, “I’m here to fly, so I’m gonna fly.” Even as he said this, his subconscious began working up a counter-argument. Billy’s subconscious recalled an event that had made the news not long before. A young girl named Phyllis had been driving home from a dance party. Like Billy, she had elected to stay up late because she was having so much fun. Phyllis’s synapses decided to catch a little rest on the drive home. They all did so simultaneously— just as her car was crossing a bridge with an 18-wheeler coming the other way. The civil engineers who designed this bridge had made it slightly crooked. No one ever found out why. The centerline moved out of position just as Phyllis, her car, and the truck were about to pass one another. The truck driver happened to be awake and alert. He drove off the bridge to avoid damaging the car in front of him. The Law of Gravity directed the truck to the river below. A bunch of the water molecules got scared and jumped out of the way. Some of the suddenly exposed Earth got frightened too (it was a BIG truck)

“The Earth reminded him that he should have hooked in first.” and went along with the water. The water and Earth coordinated their escape plan, forming a shape that looked like this:

The river returned after the danger had passed. The truck driver ceased operations for all of eternity. Phyllis’s car continued forward in linear motion until the noise from the truck woke her up. She slammed on her brakes, wondering what the oncoming lane was doing on the wrong side of her car. The police showed up. They performed a check to ascertain Phyllis’s medical fitness to drive. The girl’s body and brain were filled with molecules that make you sleepy. This was considered irrelevant. They only wanted to see how many alcohol molecules were in her body. This is how many alcohol molecules Phyllis had in her body:

Billy felt compelled to conduct another survey: “Should I really be doing this?” Getting up from the ground after his failed hang check, he looked at all the gliders in the sky. Everybody was specking out! He could barely see any of the circling gliders, they were now up so high. He heard a pilot yell “clear” at launch and turned to watch him go straight up on an invisible column of rising air. Billy immediately cancelled the survey, hooked in to his glider, forgot to do a hang check, and launched successfully. Frank shook his head after watching Billy’s launch. It

was sloppy and scary. But as usual, it was good enough to get him successfully unstuck. Frank turned around and started crawling into his own harness, which was still attached to its glider. Frank took much longer than Billy in preparing to launch. First he did a hang check. Then he gathered what they called a wire-crew—two fellow pilots to help him control the wing as he stood near the edge—and prepared to jump off the mountain. Frank did yet another hang-check at the top of the launch area. Then delivered an elaborate and detailed pre-launch briefing. His wire crew rolled their eyes and ran for their gliders once Frank finally yelled, “Clear!” The game was on. Frank and Billy had a standing

bet going; who could soar down the valley the farthest before getting stuck back to the Earth.

Phyllis didn’t drink alcohol. Since Phyllis hadn’t actually touched the truck with her vehicle, the police concluded that she had not been involved in an accident. Since there were no alcohol molecules in her body, she had broken no law. It was legal to drive with any concentration of sleep molecules in your body. The police instructed Phyllis to move along and stop wasting their time. They needed to get to work determining if the truck driver had been using his cell phone, and if he had any alcohol molecules in him. Billy’s uneasiness grew as his subconscious started doing the math. By this time, all the alcohol molecules had been processed from his body. But he still had tons of sleep molecules floating around in there. Billy was, like Phyllis, operating at reduced efficiency.

Now, the preferred way to get stuck back down after a hang glider flight, was to land on your feet. Like a bird. There is nothing more impressive and satisfying than performing a well-timed foot landing. There is nothing more frustrating and embarrassing than performing a poorly-timed foot landing. Terabytes of YouTube server space are devoted to documenting the tragicomical results of the latter. Frank didn’t want to be on YouTube. Even worse, a botched landing could result in bent aluminum, the replacement of which would cause a diminution of the beer fund. Frank’s beer fund was diminutive enough as it was, so he always flew with wheels. Frank saw wheels as beer insurance. Billy couldn’t care less what they showed on YouTube. He had no use for wheels. He thought they were an unnecessary drag. Not a drag in the ‘60’s sense, but one of the natural-physical kind. Billy knew that his glider



“Wheels are just a crutch that prevents you from perfecting your landings.” had to plow through literally bazillions of air molecules to keep him unstuck from the Earth. His wing was designed to pitch most of those molecules downward. According to Newton, this would make Billy’s glider go up in response. Up is good. Billy wholeheartedly endorsed this unidirectional abuse of air molecules. Wheels, on the other hand, scattered the air molecules every which way. This haphazard scattering of air molecules would rob the glider of energy, dragging it down. Down is bad. Billy would end up getting stuck back to the Earth prematurely. Reducing drag was considered one of the best ways to delay such a travesty. Serious pilots would go to great lengths to eliminate unnecessary drag. Some became total drag-Nazis. These guys only cared about one thing: the incoherent scattering of air molecules. Wheels, serving no role in making the glider go up, became a key target for their efforts. In their research on the dangers of wheel use, drag-Nazi scientists uncovered clear evidence that wheel use actually compromised safety. Billy summarized their findings to Frank one day: “Wheels are just a crutch that prevents you from perfecting your landings.” Needless to say, there were no drag-inducing wheels cluttering up Billy’s streamlined control frame. Billy’s flight was actually going remarkably well. His adrenal glands had initiated chemical warfare against the sleep molecule army. Epinephrine had flooded into his body, preparing him for action. This triggered a general dopamine release, which caused his remaining synapses to stop complaining and drove the sleep molecules into total retreat. His glider, optimized for low-drag operation, slipped through the air with great efficiency. Billy was having great fun. Billy flitted effortlessly from cloud to cloud. He noted that whole world was going up. Plastic bags. Corn stalks. Small farm animals. “It’s brain-dead soarable,” he muttered in seeming disbelief. But as the sun got lower in the sky, everything started settling out in inverse order of mass. Everything, except for Billy. Billy was working to stay unstuck now. Eventually, he would need to pick a suitable spot—a landing zone, or LZ—to get stuck back down to. To ensure he would go farther than anyone else, he had taken the standard precaution of avoiding any area that appeared easily landable. While the Earth sucked pretty much everywhere, it clearly sucked even worse at these places. Everyone



knew that LZ suck was the number one cause of premature landings. Hoping to delay the inevitable just a little longer, Billy had picked a marginally landable field over which to make his last stand that day. He had seen birds circling down there. This usually indicated an area where the air molecules were going up. Up is good. As he got lower, he noticed that the birds were flapping. “Scumbags!” He searched around for air that was still going up fast enough to keep him unstuck. All he could find were bug farts. Those birds were circling around in bug farts. “S.O.B.s!” He diligently worked every fart, praying that some Mothra-like creature would let out one last ripper. It wasn’t happening. Billy was going down. As he drifted down below 200 feet, Billy began to register mild concern: “I might actually have to land in this place.” The field he had picked was non-optimal. It was encrusted with three-foot-tall weeds and bushes. Rusted out cars and trucks decorated the bald spots. Billy was sinking out over an old abandoned junkyard. At 87 feet, Billy began the transition from survival mode to landing mode. Prudence required that he identify a landing area. He settled on a nearby bald spot that was missing its car. But he hadn’t given up all hope. He noticed that the air was turbulent, and judged that a low save was still possible. “If you’re still in the air, you still got a chance.” At 16.4 feet, Billy reconciled himself to the fact that he was going to be landing. “Blast!” He began to turn his glider into the wind. The Earth interrupted his maneuver. There were no wheels on his glider to interfere with the attachment process. His control frame immediately got stuck to the Earth. The glider rapidly followed. And soon thereafter, Billy. The glider bent one of its tubes. This damage was minor and easily repaired for $67.98 after tax. Billy bent his arm badly enough to require the use of advanced space-age materials. It cost a lot more to repair him. Frank had launched directly after Billy. But his flight wasn’t nearly as spectacular, and he ended up on the ground much earlier. Frank’s landing was also nonoptimal. But his aluminum and arm had been saved by the wheels. He was folding up his glider, making it look like a rolled up carpet once again, when his cell phone rang. It was Billy. He was looking for a ride to the repair

shop. “Dude... you need to start wearing long pants when you

fly. Take it from me, I know. You gonna wheel that thing in, tear your knees up good one day,” slurred Billy during a moment of lucidity. Frank was visiting Billy in the hospital. “Wheel it in” is what hang glider pilots called it when,

instead of landing on their feet, they slide in on the wheels. Billy, aided by helpings of morphine, had identified doing this while wearing shorts as an unsafe practice. Frank had his own theories on the proper use of protective clothing while flying, “I think long pants are merely a crutch that prevents you from perfecting your landings.” “Who needs crutches? I thought this was a broken

arm,” said a young blond girl who had just walked in. She had a nametag pinned to her all-white outfit. It said:

“So, what happened to your knees?” “Nothing.” Frank turned and studied the device currently plugged into Billy’s left arm; confirming that the control settings were in the proper range and all the readouts were nominal. Phyllis chuckled. “You a hang glider, too, huh? That’s how this guy ended up here, I’m told.” She observed that flying a hang glider must be a difficult and dangerous activity, “I would never be caught dead in one of those things.” Phyllis was irony-challenged. Frank caught the irony okay, but left it alone. “Well, I have flown a lot of different things, and I don’t think hang gliders are death traps. You just gotta respect the operating limits of the aircraft. They can be as dangerous or safe as you want to make them. It all depends on your goals.” Phyllis didn’t know what the heck he was talking about. This was signaled by her eyes, which began focusing toward infinity. Working around doctors all day long, she had developed automatic verbal strategies for responding to such situations. One of these kicked in now. “Oh.” Encouraged by the uncharacteristically positive re-

Phyllis was a nurse. She had come in to check on Billy’s vital signs: his blood pressure, temperature, and so on. Billy’s temperature and blood pressure were normal. Frank’s blood pressure was temporarily elevated, as was his temperature. Phyllis’s blood pressure was slightly elevated, her temperature was normal. Her sleep molecule concentration had dropped to the normal daytime range. Phyllis looked up from her patient and eyed Frank.

sponse, Frank continued. “You should try it some time. See for yourself. You could go up tandem. With another pilot. He does all the flying and you get to see what it’s like. The view from up there is fabulous. And you can stay up for hours on a good day.” Frank waxed philosophic on the truth and beauty inherent in using a hang glider to get unstuck from the Earth, “This is the most fun a human being could possibly have. Legally.” Phyllis observed that her primary goal was to survive a long, long time, until she was all wrinkled up and most of her parts had stopped working quite right. She could have fun in other, less dangerous ways. “I think I’ll just stick to driving,” she said.





Photos by John Brower

HITS THE SPOT. by Stacy Whitmore







ne often hears that all that is important in a flight is a good launch and a good landing. No matter what else we do during the flight, is not a success unless we launch and land successfully. My first instructor, Thomas Stankowski, took me to fly a site near the Arizona-Utah border called “The Usual.” He did a “doughnut” in the middle of a cactus-lined road with his Toyota, drawing a circle with the wheels that was very visible from above. Then he said, “This is your target landing area. If you can land in this circle, you are on your way to becoming a good pilot.” That evening I took my first soaring flight, flying for almost an hour. Thomas got on the radio on the far side of dusk and directed, “OK, hot shot, time to see if you can land where I told you to.” I was on a natural high that can only be understood by those who recall their first soaring flight— but slightly less fulfilling, thrilling and memorable than when I (call it beginner’s luck) nailed the very center of the doughnut Thomas had carved out to welcome me back to terra firma. The fun and exhilaration of landing on the “right spot” (or the one you aim for) is one of the reasons for the introduction of the first USHPA-sponsored Accuracy Landing Competition. It will be held at Point of the Mountain, near Salt Lake City, Utah, on September 27 and 28, 2013. Hang gliders will

compete on the 27th and paragliders on the 28th. There will be circular landing targets even more visible than Thomas’s doughnut, composed of concentric circles, starting with a radius of 7.5 feet, increasing to 15 feet and 30 feet, clearly visible from launch. There will be a target right in the middle, the point at which you hope to touch the center as you land, because it feels so good when you land where you aim. After my first free flight, I knew I wanted to fly for the rest of my life. A very important part of me had been set free, and I loved the feeling. But I knew this sport I had fallen in love with would require serious effort to learn what was necessary to keep me safe and allow me to continue to enjoy the wonderful world of air. Important skills essential to flying safely are the ability to judge glide ratio in differing conditions and to control your descent so you can land safely. A prerequisite for flight in every responsible instructor’s teaching program is being able to determine an unobstructed area with clean airflow and to land safely. Confidence in knowing you can land safely adds to the enjoyment of each flight. Some pilots stop working on landing skills as soon as they leave their instructor’s watchful eye, considering it a beginner’s skill. However, those who continue to work on all the basic skills as they acquire more advanced flying competence find confidence and fulfillment along with increased safety. Pilots who are consid-

ering competing will put more effort into their landing skills and, as a result, become safer, more competent pilots. Are you amazed when one of your non-pilot friends asks you questions like, “How high does the cliff you jump from need to be?” or “How much does it hurt when you land?” Wouldn't it be great if the public could be invited to an event that allowed them to watch many launches and landings and see firsthand some of the things our sport is about? An accuracy landing competition is very spectator-friendly and would help educate the public. Spot landing competitions are widely popular with the public in Europe and Asia, with many spectators and fans following the competitions, both in person and online, cheering for their favorite pilots. The World Championships in this type of competition have been around for several years, but the United States has yet to be represented. USHPA has created a NTSS (National Team Selection System) designed to pick our best pilots for international competitions. The upcoming National Accuracy Landing Competition will give us one of the necessary prerequisites for selecting the best pilots to represent the US in these international competitions and perhaps be the start of a tradition that will continue each year. Hopefully, this event will encourage more local contests that will build a spot-landing ethic into the character of both hang gliding and paragliding.





by Jim Tibbs


everal years ago, hang glider pilot Bob Gillisse landed in an open field near a vineyard in Ruch, Oregon. He introduced himself to the vineyard’s owner, Matt Sorenson, and learned that it was called LongSword. From that day forward, a long-standing relationship grew between the local flying community and LongSword Vineyard. Bob spent his days off assisting Matt in whatever way he could, and Matt extended a warm welcome each time Bob landed in his field. Eventually, both hang glider and paraglider pilots learned of Matt’s hospitality and began landing there as well. Over time, pilots landing at LongSword LZ were greeted with a complimentary glass of wine. Patrons of the vineyard would sit upon the patio outside the LongSword tasting room to enjoy the fruits of Matt’s labor, while witnessing the spectacle of free fliers landing their craft nearby. Bob has since moved across the country, but a special relationship continues to exist between the local free-flight community and the winery known today as Fly High and LongSword Vineyards. In May of 2012, an untimely frost damaged a number of plants within the vineyard, substantially reducing the yield for the season. Matt intended to harvest the surviving grapes, but a reduced yield meant reduced income, resulting in lower wages for professional harvesters. After learning that Matt needed help harvesting the grapes, the local free-flight



community stepped up to do what they could, volunteering to assist with the annual harvest as a token of their appreciation for all of those years of hospitality. Word spread like wildfire via the Internet “grapevine.” And on the morning of the harvest, the number of hang gliding and paragliding pilot volunteers representing members of RVHPA and the newly formed local hang gliding chapter of Southern Oregon Air Riders (SOAR), peaked at around 30 or 40. Several SOAR members agreed to meet at 10 a.m. in the LongSword parking area on the morning of the harvest. It was the typical sunny fall day in the

Applegate Valley, with just enough crispness in the air to warrant the donning of long-sleeved flannel shirts. When we arrived, Matt met with us to give last minute instructions on harvesting grapes. “Get aggressive,” he told us. “Don’t be afraid to pull the leaves off the vines. Sometimes you’ll miss large clusters of grapes if you don’t. And, most important, remember: This is a marathon, not a sprint. If you rush through, you’ll be

ABOVE LongSword owner Matt Sorenson poses with Philippe Blanc and his parents who were visiting from France. BELOW A mountain of harvested grapes is ready to be hauled away for processing.

burned out by afternoon.” Soon after, we were in the trenches filling buckets with juicy and delicious Chardonnay and Pinot Noir clusters, learning the art of the harvest. Matt was absolutely right about missing the clusters; it was very easy to pass by large bunches of grapes hiding behind the palm-sized leaves. We had to get aggressive! Early in the afternoon, we returned to the tasting room patio for lunch. The RVHPA group grilled hamburgers and the LongSword staff provided us with delicious coffee and fixings for sandwiches, with muffins and pastries for dessert. By then, most of us had shed our flannel and were down to T-shirts. As we enjoyed our lunches in the shade of the patio canopy, we compared notes regarding the new muscles we’d discovered. Following lunch, we returned to the vineyard for the afternoon shift. The numbers had thinned to about half of the morning’s peak, as several volunteers returned to their Sunday afternoon responsibilities. But with two-thirds of the vineyard left to harvest, the energy level was still surprisingly high for those of us who toughed it out. By 5 p.m., the remaining volunteer pilots numbered fewer than a handful. We’d reached the halfway point, and Matt reassuringly informed us that the fruit in the final rows was thinner than what we’d been harvesting. So we

RATINGS ISSUED IN FEBRUARY wrapped up the picking for the day and returned to the patio, where the friendly LongSword staff treated us to a glass of delicious sparkling Accolade. It was evident from the moans and groans of those who lingered, all of us members of SOAR were now very SORE! The following day, Monday, the number of volunteers was down to a precious few. It was the beginning of the workweek, and many had returned to their regular jobs. One member I arranged to meet there was Philippe Blanc, a recently rated H-2 pilot who is now a resident of Ashland, Oregon. Philippe’s parents, Jean Claude and Mauricette, accompanied him. They were visiting from his hometown of Versailles, France, and wished to experience a southern Oregon grape harvest before returning home. By the time I arrived, they were already in the trenches and obviously enjoying the experience. Despite the fact that the surrounding area was shrouded in cloud cover and drizzle, the sky overhead was clear and sunny. The four of us were the few remaining representatives of the flying community to work until well after noon. At that time, we took a break in the tasting room to visit with Matt and sample his wine. Philippe’s parents planned to leave in the next day or so, and they wanted to purchase a few bottles of Matt’s vintage to take with them back to France. They made their selections and went on their way, so we returned to the harvest. Eventually, blue skies gave way to drizzle, and we continued with the last few rows of vines to be picked. Later, two representatives of the hang gliding community, and later still, a local paraglider pilot, joined us. By 5 p.m., we had at long last reached the end of the final row. There was still some work remaining to be done, which entailed gleaning the vineyard for the missed grapes from the first sweep, but that could wait for the following day.



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


Rick Weber Olga Gorev Christopher Carrillo Brent Miller Jacob Federico Brett Atkinson Lujiang Xue Jeffrey Bennett Robert Pringle Mihai Baltag Brent Stewart Christopher King M Josephine Hessert Tim Young Rick Weber Chet Gallaway Thomas Rudolph Alejandro Perez Spencer Wood Jeff Baughman Christopher Carrillo Mihai Baltag Tim Young Douglas Nolan Donald Mccue Luis Celis Cj Giordano Christopher Mathews Duane House Mario Luppa


John Heiney Patrick Denevan Robert Booth Robert Booth Robert Booth Robert Booth Patrick Denevan Greg Dewolf Greg Dewolf Mark Knight Daniel Zink Michael Appel Michael Appel Malcolm Jones John Heiney Harold Johnson Patrick Denevan Patrick Denevan Robert Booth Robert Booth Robert Booth Mark Knight Malcolm Jones John Simpson Daniel Gravage Derreck Turner Daniel Zink Matthew Epperson Daniel Gravage Jon Thompson



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

John Tierney Theresa Hastings Collie Davidson Martin Mortensen Aaron Rainey Duarte Tadeu Donaciano Caswell Marc Siedband


Marc Chirico Christopher Grantham Kevin Hintze Jason Shapiro Wallace Anderson Wallace Anderson Jesse Meyer Jeffrey Greenbaum

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

Bud Heishman Arjang Hourtash Allen Thoe Emily Reinys Jon Murphy Teresa Harter Udaya Sun Chelsey Higgins Jean-noel Michel Jan Zschenderlein Robert Schmitt Richard Crombie Okaylee Peterson Justin Hawkins Paul Emerson


Mitchell Neary Jeffrey Greenbaum Wallace Anderson Jeffrey Greenbaum Fred Morris David (dexter) Binder George Merk Jonathan Jefferies Jerome Daoust Hadley Robinson T Lee Kortsch Kevin Hintze Stephen Mayer Chris Santacroce Sean Buckner

Matt expressed his sincere appreciation for all the help with the harvest, and we responded with our own gratitude for the hospitality he’d extended over the years to our ongoing air invasion. Hopefully, our fine free-


P-1 P-1 P-1 P-1 P-1 P-1 P-1 P-1 P-1 P-1 P-1 P-2 P-2 P-2 P-2 P-2 P-2 P-2 P-2 P-2 P-2 P-2 P-2 P-2 P-2 P-2 P-2 P-2 P-2 P-2 P-2 P-2 P-2 P-2 P-2 P-2 P-3 P-3 P-3 P-3 P-3 P-3 P-3 P-3 P-3 P-3 P-3 P-3 P-3 P-3 P-3 P-4 P-4 P-4 P-4 P-4 P-4 P-4

Eric Hill Sean Wells Allison Cushman Max Marcus Teddy Gilaad Wayne Henning Arlin Van Gorp Paul Van Groll Michael Marino Christopher Nicosia Carlos Mathison John Tierney Theresa Hastings Collie Davidson Martin Mortensen Duarte Tadeu Dana Hoffmann Donaciano Caswell Oleg Ace Teresa Harter Matthew Prudente Jean-noel Michel Jan Zschenderlein Robert Schmitt Richard Crombie Justin Hawkins Paul Emerson Eric Hill Sean Wells Allison Cushman Max Marcus Teddy Gilaad Wayne Henning Arlin Van Gorp Paul Van Groll Michael Marino Jesse Dominick Robert Irwin Asaf Kerem Norman (scott) Macleod Duarte Tadeu Matthew Prudente Emily Wallace Joshua Taylor Russell Wilkins Sean Wells Joshua Pierce Teddy Gilaad Mike Craig Ivor Petrie Patrick Terry Peter Hardy Jakob Uszkoreit Bruce Hachtmann Luu Vuong Do Troy Gustafson Jeffrey Sanchez Andrew Rayhill







Kevin Hintze James Reich Christopher Grantham Kyoung Ki Hong Dale Covington Kyoung Ki Hong Kyoung Ki Hong Stephen Nowak Benoit Bruneau Peter Humes Miguel Gutierrez Marc Chirico Christopher Grantham Kevin Hintze Jason Shapiro Wallace Anderson Jeffrey Greenbaum Jesse Meyer Wallace Anderson David (dexter) Binder Max Marien Jerome Daoust Hadley Robinson T Lee Kortsch Kevin Hintze Chris Santacroce Sean Buckner Kevin Hintze James Reich Christopher Grantham Kyoung Ki Hong Dale Covington Kyoung Ki Hong Kyoung Ki Hong Stephen Nowak Benoit Bruneau Jerome Daoust Rob Sporrer Jesse Meyer Rob Sporrer Wallace Anderson Max Marien Bill Heaner Rob Sporrer David (dexter) Binder James Reich Andy Macrae Dale Covington Jerome Daoust Andy Macrae Chris Santacroce Max Marien Wallace Anderson Jeffrey Greenbaum Jesse Meyer Rob Sporrer Jerome Daoust Bradley Chastain

flight community will continue to make ourselves available for similar efforts as need arises. After all, doing the right thing for our friends and neighbors, like harvesting grapes, is a marathon, not a sprint.



CALENDAR ITEMS will not be listed if only tenta-

tive. 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: CLINICS & TOURS 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. For more complete information on the Clinics & Tours listed, see our Calendar of Events at: CLASSIFIED ADVERTISING RATES - The rate for classified advertising is $10.00 for 25 words and $1.00 per word after 25. MINIMUM AD CHARGE $10.00. AD DEADLINES: All ad copy, instructions, changes, additions & cancellations must be received in writing 2 months preceding the cover date, i.e. September 15th is the deadline for the November issue. All classifieds are prepaid. If paying by check, please include the following with your payment: name, address, phone, category, how many months you want the ad to run and the classified ad. Please make checks payable to USHPA, P.O. Box 1330, Colorado Springs, CO 809011330. 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) 6326417 HANG GLIDING ADVISORY: Used hang gliders should always be disassembled before flying for the first time and inspected carefully for fatigued, bent or dented downtubes, ruined bushings, bent bolts (especially the heart bolt), re-used Nyloc nuts, loose thimbles, frayed or rusted cables, tangs with non-circular holes, and on flex wings, sails badly torn or torn loose from their anchor points front and back on the keel and leading edges. PARAGLIDING ADVISORY: Used paragliders should always be thoroughly inspected before flying for the first time. Annual inspections on paragliders should include sailcloth strength tests. Simply performing a porosity check isn’t sufficient. Some gliders pass porosity yet have very weak sailcloth.

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



CALENDAR SANCTIONED COMPETITION HG June 2-8  Highland Aerosports, Ridgely Airpark, Ridgely, MD. East Coast Hang Gliding Championship/USHPA Sanctioned HG Race to Goal XC Regional Comp - AT. Requirements: H4, H3 with meet director approval, XC, Turb, AT ratings, previously flown in a USHPA aerotow competition or have written approval(acquired prior to registration) from meet director, and a GPS. Pilots must have successfully aerotowed their glider in competition at least 10 times. Must have USHPA membership & H3 aerotow sign-off minimum 7 days prior to start of the meet. Entry Fee: $525, $575 after 4/15 OPEN; $425, $475 after 4/15 SPORT. Registration dates: 3/31-6/02. Prize money TBD from entries. More information: Highland Aerosports 410-634-2700,, or HG JUNE 16-22  Sandia, NM. Sandia Classic/ USHPA Sanctioned HG Race to Goal XC Comp – FL. Requirements: H4, Turbulence, Cliff Launch, XC, Restricted Landing Field. Entry Fee: $300. Registration dates TBD. More information: Andrew Vanis, 505-304-5306, andrewvanis@, or PG JUNE 23-29  Woodrat, OR. Rat Race/Sprint PG Competition/Sanctioned PG Race to Goal XC Regional Comp – FL. There will be two independently scored groups in the event with each side having stand alone NTSS points. Rat Race will allow PG’s with an EN certification of C & D. The Sprint will allow PG’s tested with and EN certification of A, B, & C. Entry fee: $450 until 4/15 then $495. More information: Mike Haley, 541-7022111,, or HG JULY 7-14  King Mountain, Moore, ID. 2013

King Mountain Championship/USHPA Sanctioned Race to Goal & Open Distance Fly-In – FL. Requirements: H4 or H3 with H4 sponsor, turbulence sign-off, USHPA membership, and standard safety equipment. Entry fee: $100. Registration dates: 1/1-7/7. All the elements of a fly-in with a huge dollop of learning experience, then add a smidgen of competition, stir it up with an unbelievable amount of camaraderie and what you get is a recipe for the most fun you can have while expanding your horizons. This year we are going to try something new, we are going to have both race-to-goal and open distance at the same competition. Come join the fun! More information: Connie Work, 559-338-2370, connie@, or

HG AUGUST 4-10  Big Spring, TX. Big SpringU.S. Hang Gliding Nationals/USHPA Sanctioned HG Race to Goal National Championship & Open Distance Comp – AT. Requirements: H3 USHPA rating, current experience aerotowing on glider to be used during the competition. Entry Fee: $350; towing Fees: TBA - similar to previous meets. Registration Opens: 4/1. Trophies to be awarded. Best flying conditions for a competition anywhere in the world! Great locals and excellent facilities. Tons of airtime, long flights, high cloudbase. Longest continuously sanctioned competition in the US! More information: David Glover, 405-8306420,, or PG AUGUST 25 - September 1  Inspo, Jupiter, Monroe, UT. Utah O.D. Nationals and Mentoring Comp/USHPA Sanctioned PG Open Distance National Championship – FL. Nationals & Mentoring Comp with three levels of competition including mentoring teams. Requirements: P3 with RLF & good kiting skills. Entry Fee: $428; late fee after 7/1 $495. Awards for all three levels & all participants. SPOT locators with live tracking required. More information: Ken Hudonjorgensen, 801572-3414,, or twocanfly. com. HG SEPTEMBER 15-21  Francisco Grande Resort, Casa Grande, AZ. Santa Cruz Flats Race/ USHPA Sanctioned HG Race to Goal XC Comp – AT. Requirements: H4 or foreign equivalent for open class, H3 or foreign equivalent for sport class, aerotow rating, XC and turbulence signoffs, and extensive aerotow experience on the glider to be flown in the competition. 3D GPS required. Registration dates: 4/15-8/15. Entry Fee: $325; Tow fees: TBA. Trophies and day prizes. More information: Jamie Shelden, 831-2615444,, or HG PG SEPTEMBER 27 & 28  Salt Lake City, UT. Spot Landing Nationals/USHPA Sanctioned HG & PG Accuracy Spot Landing National Championship – FL. USHPA-sanctioned HG & PG Accuracy Spot-landing National Championship. Hang gliding nationals held on September 27th and paragliding nationals held on September 28th. Entry fee is $75. Registration from 11/1/12 to 9/15/13. For more information: Stacy Whitmore,, or, or 435-979-0225

NON-SANCTIONED COMPETITION HG PG JUNE 30 - JULY 5  Chelan, WA. 32nd Annual Chelan Cross Country Classic: Six days of soaring in the peak summer season. Enjoy camping, swimming and of course flying from world famous Chelan Butte. Open distance, outand-returns and triangles. Trophies awarded in all classes for both Hang Gliding and Paragliding. Early bird special: $90 online until June 15th. Entry includes t-shirt and BBQ. Questions: contact or visit our website at (Entry $100 after June 15th.)

HG JULY 3-13  Annecy, France. 2013 Women’s Pre- World Championships. Class 1, Sport, 2 & 5, in the famous and scenic area of Annecy. More information: en/ . HG JULY 14-20  Golden, British Columbia. 2013 Canadian National Hang Gliding Championships in the heart of the Canadian Rockies. Launch off famous Mt. 7 and fly the big mountains of the Rocky Mountain trench. 100+ miles and 14,000’ cloud base await you! Camping and HQ at Muller Flight Park / Golden Eco Adventure Ranch. HPAC insurance mandatory; temporary memberships for out-of-country pilots will be available. More information: Ross Hunter, 2hunters@telus. net, or HG PG JULY 28 - AUGUST 3 Boone, NC. Join us at the end of July 2013 for the 8th Annual Tater Hill Open. A paragliding and hang gliding competition in the beautiful mountains surrounding Boone, North Carolina! This time of year offers an opportunity for some great cross-country flights. We’ve seen 40-50 mile PG flights in past years. The elevation at Tater is around 5000’ ASL so it offers a unique chance for foot-launch flying on the East Coast. Competition scoring is handicapped so everyone has a chance to win. Focus on newer and upcoming pilots wanting to learn or improve their crosscountry skills. This year, as in the past, Kari Castle will be here to offer clinics on her unique perspective on everything to do with flying. Hope you can join us! More information: Bubba Goodman, 828773-9433, or PG AUGUST 18-24  St. Paul-D’Abbotsford, Quebec, Canada. Come flatland flying at the 2013 Canadian PG Nationals, being held ~35 miles east of Montreal, Quebec. Multiple launches off an old eroded volcano offer potential for XC flying no matter the wind direction. Open distance, out-and-returns, and triangle tasks possible. FAI cat 2 sanctioned. $275Cdn entry fee and limited to 100 pilots. More information: Eric Olivier, 514961-1295, or

FLY-INS HG PG JUNE 14-16  Eagle Rock, VA. Come join the “Skywackers” ( SW Virginia Hang Gliding and Paragliding Association ) for our fly-in. Eagle Rock is nestled between the Blue Ridge Mountains, the James River and the tracks of the Norfolk Southern Railroad. The mountain has SE and NW facing launches within walking distance of each other. A well maintained road to the launches can be driven with a 4WD vehicle. Free camping is available near the launches or in fields at the base of the mountain. A convenience store and gas station can be seen from the launch. We look forward to flying with you in June. More information: Larry Dennis, 540-529-1638, ksh3@, or

PG JULY 23-25  Richfield, UT. Richfield Pioneer Day fly-in. July 24th Morning 6000-foot sledder from Monroe Peak, pancake breakfast, and then a parade. Afternoon thermaling, evening soaring from Cove Peak, and fly out together at sunset, landing near the park for hamburgers, drinks and fireworks. Bring the whole family and celebrate Pioneer day in Central Utah, many activities for flying and non-flying fun. More information: Stacy (Ace) Whitmore, 435-979-0225,, or


HG PG AUGUST 17-25  Moore, ID. Free annual Idaho event just east of Sun Valley. Paragliders, hang gliders, sailplanes, and self-launching sailplanes are all welcome. Awesome glass-off and cloud bases at 17,999’. Fly to Montana or Yellowstone. Wave window. Campfire, potlucks, star gazing, hiking, mountain biking and fishing. Free camping at the glider park. Big air and big country. Lions, tigers, and bears...oh my! Spot locator with tracking function or equivalent required. Call John at 208-407-7174. Go to for directions and more info. See the pictures from prior Safaris in our gallery. For film clip about the event search YouTube King Mountain 2011 Safari. More information: John Kangas, 208-407-7174, j _, or PG AUGUST 23-28  Sakarya, Turkey. The Bogazici Paragliding Club of Istanbul hosts its 8th Annual International PG and PG Accuracy Festival in Sakarya. Costs: PG & Accy comp pilot, 120 euros; Non-flying guest (same room as pilot), 60 euros. Non-comp instructors with two or more paying students are free! Fees include all transport from central Istanbul and at the festival, room, food, awards dinner, concerts, games, family fun and more! 1st prize is a new wing from NOVA. Other prizes are Brauniger discount certificates, harnesses, Charly helmets, boots, and more. The more pilots we get, the more prizes we can award! More information: Robert W Hand (BHPA) +44-779-892-0521,, or PG SEPTEMBER 30 - OCTOBER 5  Richfield, UT. Richfield Red Rocks Fall fly-in. Fall colors and beautiful mountains and flying activities for all levels and interests. Thermaling clinics, spotlanding contest, ridge-soaring task competition, morning sledders, distance challenges, and maneuvers clinics. Low pressure, fun flying activities to give everyone a chance to mingle and enjoy flying from Central Utah’s many world-class flying sites. The mountains will be dressed in the fall formal colors, and flying from verts of 6000 feet is breathtaking. More information: Stacy (Ace) Whitmore, 435-979-0225,, or



clinics & tours JUNE 1-2  San Jacinto, CA. Learn or improve

your thermaling skills on this two-day clinic. $190 for both days. Includes two afternoons of theory and practice at Soboba, day fees, rides up to launch, pizza and soft drinks in the evening. Requirements: USHPA P-2 rating, radio, wing, harness, helmet, vario. On-site camping for $5/ night. Limited to 20 pilots. More information: Jerome Daoust, 951-654-4513, EyesToTheSky@, or soboba-thermal-clinic/.

JUNE 7-9  Jackson Hole, WY. Tandem Certification Clinic presented by Scott Harris and Jackson Hole Paragliding at the Jackson Hole Mountain Resort. Fly tandems from the top of the aerial tram, 4139 vertical feet above the valley floor. More information: Scott Harris, 307-690- 8726,, or www.jhparagliding. com. JUNE 9-11  Napa, CA. Over-the-water ma-

neuvers clinics in Northern California with Eagle Paragliding. America’s top all-around acro and former National Champion Brad Gunnuscio will be coaching you over the water with our state of the art towing set up. Eagle is known for high quality tours and clinics with lots of staff, and this clinic is no exception. More information: Rob Sporrer, 805-968-0980,, or JUNE 13-15  Napa, CA. Over-the-water maneuvers clinics in Northern California with Eagle Paragliding. America’s top all-around acro and former National Champion Brad Gunnuscio will be coaching you over the water with our state of the art towing set up. Eagle is known for high quality tours and clinics with lots of staff, and this clinic is no exception. More information: Rob Sporrer, 805-968-0980,, or June 15-16  Utah. Mountain Flying and learn-

ing how to pioneer a new site in Utah with Ken Hudonjorgensen. Phone 801-572-3414, email, or

July 5-7  Utah. Instructor Training with Ken

Hudonjorgensen. Phone 801-572-3414, email, or

AUGUST 2-4  Torrey Pines Gliderport, CA. Earn

your T-1, T-2, or T-3 rating with the tandem instructors at Torrey who fly the most tandems per year! More information: Robin Marien/ Gabriel Jebb, 858-452-9858,, or

AUG 7  Utah. Instructor Re-certification with Ken Hudonjorgensen. Phone 801-572-3414, email, www.twocanfly. com.



AUGUST 11-13  Napa, CA. Over-the-water maneuvers clinics in Northern California with Eagle Paragliding. America’s top all-around acro and former National Champion Brad Gunnuscio will be coaching you over the water with our state of the art towing set up. Eagle is known for high quality tours and clinics with lots of staff, and this clinic is no exception. More information: Rob Sporrer, 805-968-0980,, or

SEPTEMBER 26-28  Napa, CA. Over-the-wa-

AUGUST 15-17  Napa, CA. Over-the-water maneuvers clinics in Northern California with Eagle Paragliding. America’s top all-around acro and former National Champion Brad Gunnuscio will be coaching you over the water with our state of the art towing set up. Eagle is known for high quality tours and clinics with lots of staff, and this clinic is no exception. More information: Rob Sporrer, 805-968-0980,, or

SEPTEMBER 28-29  Utah. Mountain Flying

AUGUST 25 - September 1  Open Distance

XC Nationals and Mentoring Competiton. Paragliding OD Nationals and a mentoring competition for those who are new to competition; Inspiration Point, Jupiter and Monroe, Utah, wherever the weather tells us to go. Register and pay before July 15, late fee after. Phone 801-572-3414, email:, or www.twocanfly. com.

SEPTEMBER 13-15  Dunlap, CA. Foothills of the Western Sierras. Dunlap Thermal and Cross Country Clinic with Eagle Paragliding. Dunlap offers some great flying in the foothills of the west side of the Sierras. This trip is one of our favorite 3-day excursions. Join us for some nice flying with some great people. More information: Rob Sporrer, 805-968-0980, or SEPTEMBER 16-30  Owens Valley, CA. Geared

for strong P4/H4 pilots. Fly one of the best sites in the US with one of the best pilots in the world. Kari Castle is a bi-wingual pilot and a 3-time world champion, world-record holder with multiple national champion titles under both of her wings. Let Kari’s 32 years of flying and 25 years of living/flying the Owens Valley be your guide! I will help customize your 3-4 day adventure to fit your needs whether you want one-on-one or a group setting. We will work on everything from take offs to landings, high altitude launches, dust devil awareness, reading the sky, how to map a thermal, goal setting and cross country. For more information contact:, 760920-0748, or sign up at

SEPTEMBER 22-24  Napa, CA. Over-the-wa-

ter maneuvers clinics in Northern California with Eagle Paragliding. America’s top all-around acro and former National Champion Brad Gunnuscio will be coaching you over the water with our state of the art towing set up. Eagle is known for high quality tours and clinics with lots of staff, and this clinic is no exception. More information: Rob Sporrer, 805-968-0980,, or

ter maneuvers clinics in Northern California with Eagle Paragliding. America’s top all-around acro and former National Champion Brad Gunnuscio will be coaching you over the water with our state of the art towing set up. Eagle is known for high quality tours and clinics with lots of staff, and this clinic is no exception. More information: Rob Sporrer, 805-968-0980,, or

and learning how to pioneer a new site in Utah with Ken Hudonjorgensen. Phone 801-572-3414, email, or www.twocanfly. com.

OCTOBER 3-7  Owens Valley, CA. Women With

Wings only. Geared for P3 and P4 pilots. Back by popular demand! This year I’ll be limiting the number of pilots to keep the instructor to pilot ratio down as well as keeping pilots with similar skill level and goals together! Sign up early to secure your spot!! Owens Valley with Kari. Fly one of the best sites in the US with one of the best pilots in the world. Let Kari’s 32 years of flying and 25 years of living/flying the Owens Valley be your guide! We will work on everything from take offs to landings, high altitude launches, dust devil awareness, reading the sky, how to map a thermal, goal setting and cross country. More information: Kari Castle 760-920-0748, or kari@

OCTOBER 4-6  Bishop, CA. Owens Valley Thermal and Cross Country Clinic with Eagle Paragliding. We have had great success in the Owens Valley with our groups. The eastern side of the Sierras and the White mountains are our playground for this clinic. We have had participants go over 60 miles in these clinics. View photos and videos from previous clinics at More information: Rob Sporrer, 805-968-0980, or OCTOBER 13-14  Owens Valley, CA . Owens Valley with Kari Castle. Fly one of the best sites in the US with one of the best pilots in the world. Kari is a bi-wingual pilot and a 3-time world champion, world-record holder with multiple National Champion titles under both of her wings. Let Kari’s 32 years of flying and 25 years of living/flying the Owens Valley be your guide! I will help customize your 3-4 day adventure to fit your needs whether you want one-on-one or a group setting. We will work on everything from take offs to landings, high altitude launches, dust devil awareness, reading the sky, how to map a thermal, goal setting and cross country. For more information contact:, 760920-0748, or sign up at

OCTOber 18-21  Owens Valley, CA . Owens Valley with Kari Castle. Fly one of the best sites in the US with one of the best pilots in the world. Kari is a bi-wingual pilot and a 3-time world champion, world-record holder with multiple National Champion titles under both of her wings. Let Kari’s 32 years of flying and 25 years of living/flying the Owens Valley be your guide! I will help customize your 3-4 day adventure to fit your needs whether you want one-on-one or a group setting. We will work on everything from take offs to landings, high altitude launches, dust devil awareness, reading the sky, how to map a thermal, goal setting and cross country. For more information contact:, 760920-0748, or sign up at October 24-27  Owens Valley, CA. Women With Wings only. Geared for P2 and P3 pilots. Back by popular demand! This year I’ll be limiting the number of pilots to keep the instructor to pilot ratio down as well as keeping pilots with similar skill level and goals together! Sign up early to secure your spot!! Owens Valley with Kari. Fly one of the best sites in the US with one of the best pilots in the world. Let Kari’s 32 years of flying and 25 years of living/flying the Owens Valley be your guide! We will work on everything from take offs to landings, high altitude launches, dust devil awareness, reading the sky, how to map a thermal, goal setting and cross country. More information: Kari Castle 760-920-0748, or kari@ NOVEMBER 8-26  Iquique, Chile. Where can

you ride thermals everyday of the year? Only in Iquique! Soar endless sand ridges high above the Pacific Ocean, then land on the beach next to our 4 star hotel! Your guides, Luis and Todd, have been multiple Iquique XC competition champions and have pioneered many new sites and XC routes over the last 15 years. Join them on a paragliding trip of a lifetime where most pilots gain more airtime and flying skills in one week than they normally would in an entire year! Instructional days available at the start of the trip focusing on building pilot skills. With amazing XC potential, many clients have flown 100 km flights! With over 18 years of combined guiding experience in Iquique, they guarantee you will fly everyday, or get money back!More information: Todd Weigand,, or

NOVEMBER 8-26  This year we have divided

the tour into 4 different segments: Instructional Days, Iquique Days # 1, 2 and 3. Our Tour leaders are: Todd Weigand, Luis Rosenkjer and Ken Hudonjorgensen. The entire tour will be packed with instruction for all levels of paragliding (including P1thru P4). For anyone wanting to fly this is the tour to join. The last tour will focus more on XC. Phone: 801-572-3414, or email: twocanfly@, .

NOVEMBER 8-10  Santa Barbara, CA NInstruc-

tor Certification Clinic with Rob Sporrer of Eagle Paragliding in Santa Barbara, California. This three-day clinic is open to Basic and Advanced Paragliding Instructor candidates, and those needing recertification. We invite you to apprentice with us anytime to get as much hands on experience as possible before the clinic. More information: Rob Sporrer, 805-968-0980 rob@, or


NOVEMBER 8-10 & 12-14  Yelapa, Mexico. SIV/

maneuvers clinic. Join us for another great learning and fun experience in beautiful tropical Yelapa. Tow up and land on the beach in a warm friendly location with lots of great places to stay and eat. Brad Gunnuscio, world-class xc, acro pilot and USHPA Instructor of the Year will be teaching the courses. Cost: $750 for three-day course with an extra day for weather. More info:, brad, 801707-0508 or Les in Yelapa at: 011 52 322 2095174, or

NOVEMBER 11-12  Santa Barbara, CA.Tandem

Paragliding Clinic with Rob Sporrer of Eagle Paragliding in Santa Barbara, California. We will be doing classroom and practical training at the best year round training hill in North America. More information: Rob Sporrer, 805-968-0980, rob@, or

DECEMBER 6-8  Santa Barbara, CA. Santa Barbara Thermal and Cross Country Clinic with Eagle Paragliding. Santa Barbara offers some of the best winter mountain flying in the USA. Our mountain flying season starts in September and ends the beginning of May. More information: Rob Sporrer, 805-968-0980, or January 8-12, 2014  Southern California. Let’s go warm up and get ready for the spring flying season with Ken Hudonjorgensen . Phone 801-572-3414, email, or

New York State’s Finger Lakes Good News–The flying’s great here! Start by landing in your ideal home with New York’s leading REALTOR®

Photo courtesy of

Timothy Alimossy

Real Estate Salesperson | NYS Lic. No. 10401238145

(607) 351-4755 | H2 Pilot


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

HARNESSES FLY CENTER OF GRAVITY CG-1000 - The most affordable single line suspension harness available. Individually designed for a precise fit. Fly in comfort. www.flycenterofgravity., 315-256-1522



SCHOOLS & INSTRUCTORS ALABAMA LOOKOUT MOUNTAIN FLIGHT PARK - The best facilities, largest inventory, camping, swimming, volleyball, more. Wide range of accommodations., 877-HANGLIDE, 877-426-4543,

ALAska AK Paramotor - Paragliding & Paramotor School. Year-round: USHPA+USPPA certification. Novice, Refresher, Training, Equipment. Frank Sihler 907-841-7468


paragliding and paramotoring school on the Arkansas/Oklahoma state line in Fort Smith. More information:

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


EAGLE PARAGLIDING - SANTA BARBARA offers the best year round flying in the nation. Awardwinning instruction, excellent mountain and ridge sites., 805-968-0980 FLY ABOVE ALL - Year-round instruction in

beautiful Santa Barbara! USHPA Novice through Advanced certification. Thermaling to competition training. Visit 805-9653733.


San Diego CA 92175, 619-265-5320.

Mission Soaring Center LLC - Largest hang gliding center in the West! Our deluxe retail shop showcases the latest equipment: Wills Wing, Moyes, AIR, High Energy, Flytec, Aeros, Northwing, Hero wide angle video camera. A.I.R. Atos rigid wings- demo the VQ-45’ span, 85 Lbs! Parts in stock. We stock new and used equipment. Trade-ins welcome. Complete lesson program. Best training park in the west, located just south of the San Francisco Bay Area. Pitman Hydraulic Winch System for Hang 1s and above. Launch and landing clinics for Hang 3s and Hang 4s. Wills Wing Falcons of all sizes and custom training harnesses. 1116 Wrigley Way, Milpitas, CA 95035. 408-262-1055, Fax 408-262-1388, mission@, Mission Soaring Center LLC, leading the way since 1973. www.hang-gliding. com


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

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, www.

COLORADO GUNNISON GLIDERS – X-C to heavy waterproof

HG gliderbags. Accessories, parts, service, sewing. Instruction ratings, site-info. Rusty Whitley 1549 CR 17, Gunnison CO 81230. 970641-9315.


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 fly@, www.graybirdairsports. com. LOOKOUT MOUNTAIN FLIGHT PARK - Nearest

mountain training center to Orlando. Two training hills, novice mountain launch, aerotowing, great accommodations., 877-HANGLIDE, 877-426-4543.

MIAMI HANG GLIDING - For year-round training fun in the sun. 305-285-8978, 2550 S Bayshore Drive, Coconut Grove, Florida 33133, www. Quest Air Hang Gliding - We offer the


best instruction, friendliest staff, beautiful grounds with swimming pool, private lake and clubhouse, lodging, plus soaring in our superfamous, soft, Sunshine State thermals. Come fly with us! 352- 429- 0213, Groveland, FL, www.


WALLABY RANCH – The original Aerotow flight park. Best tandem instruction worldwide,7-days a week , 6 tugs, and equipment rental. Call:1-800WALLABY 1805 Deen Still Road, Disney Area FL 33897


why 5 times as many pilots earn their wings at LMFP. Enjoy our 110 acre mountain resort. www., 1-877-HANGLIDE, 1-877-4264543.


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




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

MICHIGAN Cloud 9 Sport Aviation (hang gliding equipment), North American Soaring (Alatus ultralight sailplane and e-drive systems), Dragon Fly Soaring Club (hang gliding instruction), at Cloud 9 Field, Webberville, MI.More info: (517) 223-8683,, www.DFSCinc. org. 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 Rd in Ellenville next to the LZ. We service all brands featuring AEROS and North Wing. 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!, 845-7443317.

Let's Go Paragliding LLC - Paragliding flight

school offering USHPA-certified instruction for all levels, tandem lessons, tours, and equipment sales. 917- 359-6449

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


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-FLYTHIS,




Flying tours, rentals, tandems, HG and PG classes, H-2 and P-2 intensive Novice courses, full sales. 787-850-0508,

TENNESSEE LOOKOUT MOUNTAIN FLIGHT PARK - Just outside Chattanooga. Become a complete pilot -foot launch, aerotow, mountain launch, ridge soar, thermal soar., 1-877-HANGLIDE, 877-426-4543.


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

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


SPECIALTY WHEELS for airfoil basetubes, round

Lake / region 4 area. Certified HANG GLIDING instruction, sales, service. World class training hill! Tours of Utah’s awesome mountains for visiting pilots. DISCOUNT glider/equipment prices. Glider rentals. Tandem flights. Ryan Voight, 801-5992555,

VIRGINIA Daily lessons, scooter, and platform towing. AT towing part time. Custom sewing, powered harnesses, Aeros PG , Flylight and Airborne trikes. More info: (804)241-4324, or

UTAH CLOUD 9 PARAGLIDING - Come visit us and check

out our huge selection of paragliding gear, traction kites, extreme toys, and any other fun things you can think of. If you aren’t near the Point of the Mountain, then head to http://www.paragliders. com for a full list of products and services. We are Utah’s only full time shop and repair facility, Give us a ring at 801-576-6460 if you have any questions.

basetubes, or tandem landing gear.(262)4738800,

PUBLICATIONS & ORGANIZATIONS SOARING - Monthly magazine of The Soaring

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

BLUE SKY - Full-time HG instruction.


PARK- Award winning instructors at a world class training facility. Contact: Doug Stroop at 509-7825543, or visit

INTERNATIONAL BAJA MEXICO - La Salina: PG, HG, PPG www. by, He’ll hook you up! site intros, tours, & rooms, 760-203-2658 COSTA RICA - Grampa Ninja’s Paragliders’ B&B. 

Rooms, and/or guide service and transportation. Lessons available from USHPA certified instructors.  USA: 908-454-3242.  Costa Rica: (Country code, 011) House: 506-2664-6833,  Cell: 506-8950-8676,  www.paraglidecostarica. com.

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. 1-800-861-7198 USA

FlyTexas / Jeff Hunt - training pilots in

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

Gunnison Gliders – X-C, Factory, heavy PVC HG gliderbags $149 Harness packs & zippers. New/used parts, equipment, tubes. 1549 CR 17 Gunnison, CO 81230 970-641-9315


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. 1-800-6641160 for orders only. Office 325-379-1567.

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

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

NEW! HERB FENNER is coating paragliders at Torrey. You can expect “Instrument Varified” results in UV A/B, Waterproofing and porosity. “Your Enhanced Glider Stays NEW Longer”, RISING AIR GLIDER REPAIR SERVICES – A full-service 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, billa@

WANTED Cash for your used harnesses, parachutes,

helmets, etc. Cal atl Rik 269-993-7721, or www.

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









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Be sure to renew your USHPA membership online to participate in the USHPA Green initiative. Online renewal is only available to current members, and members who have been expired less than 3 years. Members who have been expired more than 3 years will not have access to online renewal.

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ACCESSORIES IPPI CARD. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $10.00 GREETING CARDS. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $16.00 LICENSE PLATE FRAME (PARAGLIDING ONLY). . . . . . $6.50 MAGAZINE BACK ISSUES. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $6.95 ORNAMENTS (PARAGLIDING ONLY). . . . . . . . . . $12.00 RATING CERTIFICATE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $10.00 USHGA / USHPA STICKERS. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $1.00





just love living in boxes. I always have—ever since I was a little kid and found my very first refrigerator box. It was the best! The walls were devoid of anything, be it pictures or windows, and therefore, it contained nothing to distract a little boy from playing with his toys. The bare floors were, literally, cool on my feet, and during an Indiana summer this was almost as good as air conditioning. Those boxes were great for a number of real reasons. They contained only the toys I wanted. There were no parents allowed, and no brothers either. It was quiet. It was private. And it was mine. That box could become a bedroom, a castle, a hideout, or whatever I wanted it to be. I furnished it with my own small chair. I put my toy barn in there. And I brought in the occasional “pet,” Silver, (You know. Hi Yo Silver. Away!) or the sock monkey that my mom made for me. What brings me to this discussion is that now, as an adult, I’ve discovered there are still certain boxes that are equally important for many of the same reasons. Of course, I’m not speaking of refrigerator boxes, but instead, those mental boxes that we all find ourselves playing and working in almost every day. Just like my refrigerator box that contained only me, a toy horse, and a stool, I use mental boxes to accomplish exactly the same things; I find privacy there, and I find quiet time, relaxation, and control. One of my favorite pastimes is shooting a bow. I spend hours launching arrows at a target in my yard. While shooting, the world as I know it ceases to exist, and an entirely different



by Steve Messman

world takes its place. That’s the world of the box. It’s a private place: quiet, relaxing, and without distraction. That world is contained entirely inside of an imaginary box that extends from my eyes directly to the target. Like taking toys into my refrigerator box, I only allow items inside my archery box that are important to successful shooting. That box contains my left hand and arm. It contains the physical sense of touch in the first three fingers of my right hand, my cheek, and my ear. (Recurve bow shooters will know what I’m talking about.) Finally, my mental archery box contains the bow, the arrow, and my thoughts. That’s it. Nothing else is allowed inside the archery box. I consider everything extra—sounds, other people, talking, and music—as distractions that are dangerous to have inside that box, and I will not permit them in. Flying a wing is exactly like that. While under my wing, I live in a box. That flying box is large, of course, spreading from wingtip to wingtip and from the top of my wing to my feet, and like that refrigerator box, it defines my physical flying boundaries. What I take in that box with me, and what I allow to come in, all have considerable significance to my safety and success as a pilot. While inside the box, I find all that I am seeking, be it relaxation, privacy, quiet, sport, challenge, or control. I find there the sense of security and freedom that I knew as a child. I no longer sit in that tiny chair on a cardboard floor, but in a harness supported by strings. I no longer rest my head on cool cardboard, but on clouds. And I don’t corral my toy horse, Silver, inside the box, but hawks and eagles, seeds, sounds, and smells enter and exit as they will. I no longer crayon

the sign that says “No Parents Allowed.” Instead, I imagine into existence the sign that excludes trees, wires, and poles. Where mom or her advice might have, at times, been welcomed, pending disasters like limbs and poles have no place inside my flying box. The box does a great job of keeping them out, and when such distractions do make an unexpected appearance near, or heaven forbid, inside my box, I adjust quickly. I love being a kid. Playing inside of boxes is so much fun. Maybe, someday, I’ll bring that sock monkey along for a ride in my paraglider box. Photo by Loren Cox


Introducing the new USHPA custom Visa Platinum Rewards Card.

The card with Flare. Submit your own image or choose one of these custom USHPA Platinum Rewards Cards.

No annual fee.

$50 donation by the bank, to USHPA, when you first use the card.*

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Earn points at hundreds of participating online retailers redeemable for namebrand merchandise, event tickets, gift cards or travel reward options.

Use your own photo. Apply today at: The USHPA Visa card program is operated by UMB Bank, N.A. All applications for USHPA Visa card accounts will be subject to UMB Bank N.A.'s approval, at its absolute discretion. Please visit www. for futher details of terms and conditions which apply to the USHPA Visa card program. Donation made when card is used once within 90 days of issuance. After this period a low variable APR will apply. Powered by CardPartner. The #1 provider of affinity credit card programs.

EPSILON 7 is Complete Pleasure The new EPSILON 7 is a coherent and complete package, confidently continuing the EPSILON series, catering for the thermally- inclined recreational pilot. True to our 25 year philosophy, a genuine ADVANCE product, fully meeting our own high requirements, finished down to the last detail. • Simple and compact • Direct and precise • Same pilot demands as the EPSILON 6 • About 5 kg for the 26 • Expanded weight range

Advance Axess 3 Air 2nd Rev, Swiss Precision

Plus Max Optional Chin Guard & Ear Covers

Flytec Sonic Vario Helmet Mounted

Ascent Wrist-mounted GPS Vario

Yeasu FT-270 Radio Rugged Reliability

Gin One-G Fast-Opening LIght Weight

Gin Verso Best Selling Light-weight Convertible Harness/Rucksack

Learn to fly! Need equipment? We have everything you need for paragliding… At Super Fly it’s all about the pilot. You are at the center of everything we do.

Nova MENTOR 3: Ultimate EN-B Glider! “The development took longer than we expected, and the result is better than what we hoped for”, says Nova. As a follow up to the wildly successful Mentor 2, we suspect newest version promises to be one of the best EN B paragliders ever made. Go Pro HD Hero 3 High Performance Digital Camera Gin Genie Lite Light weight Convenient Performance

Building on the Mentor 2 planform, Nova has squeezed extra performance out of the new wing by re-shaping the wingtips, reducing the amount of brake lines, and using 3D shaping technology for the airfoil. The changes result in a 0.6 increase in glide ratio over its predecessor- the largest improvement Nova has ever made from one generation to the next. • Considerably higher performance than Mentor 2; minimum +0.6 L/D • SAME demands on the pilot as Mentor 2

FlyMaster Nav GPS/Vario Flight Computer

• More comfortable brake tension • The ultimate XC-paraglider in the EN-B category.

Beamer 2 Slow, Steady Control Gin Combi Rescue Container Flight Deck

Question? Just call or email us!

801. 255. 9595

Hang Gliding & Paragliding Vol43/Iss06 Jun 2013  

Official USHPA Magazine

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