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AUGUST 2013 Volume 45 Issue 8 $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, another Salt Lake masterpiece | photo by Ryan Voight. MEANWHILE, Nate Scales flying the Big

Lost River Range | photo by Nick Greece.

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





















Focused on Safety HGMA Overview �������������������������������������������������������������by Mike Meier


Pilots who Make Goal Podcasters ������������������������������������������������������������������������� by Judith Mole


Head Space Risk & Mental Toughness �������������������������������������� by Patrick McGuiness


Seeing Green Air Shark Encounter ��������������������������������������������������� by Soren Braddock


FEATURE | Keen to Learn Living Namaste ���������������������������������������������������������������� by Jeff O'Brien


Flying In Three Parts ���������������������������������������������������������������� by Brad Barkley


FEATURE | Hike & Fly Competitions Some Unexpected Lessons �����������������������������������������������������by Andy Pag


Fabulous Fall Fly-ins Around the USA ���������������������������������������������������������� by C.J. Sturtevant

‘It’s time to buzz the tower.’ 500 West Blueridge Ave . Orange, CA 92865 . 1.714.998.6359 .

World Class Performance Since 1973

Flying in the "back bowl" at Cayucos with Charlie Beaudoin | photo by Adam Dobbs





ugust heat has hopefully led to gloriously flyable days, easy landings, and celebratory barbeques. The summer days wane towards fall as the days shorten, so make sure to get out on the hill and make the most of flying. The August magazine is packed with content! Starting with another classic cover shot by Ryan Voight and ending with one of Steve Messman’s last reports, this issue is sure to entertain and inspire. Mike Meier checks in from the Hang Glider Manufacturers' Association with a brief history for those who are new to the sport, and a look at where it’s going. Patrick McGuinness is back with another piece on the psychology of advanced flying and cross-country techniques. Sorren Braddock chimes in about his journey across the USA with his wing, his lady, and his trusty brown Ford van. The American road trip to chase the wind still beckons. Jeff O’Brien reports from Nepal where he and Jeff Shapiro were the first hang glider pilots to tow up in front of the Annapurna range, and the first to foot launch from the popular Sarankot launch in Pokhara. More importantly, they were there to check out the Keen to Learn scholarship program run through the Cloudbase Foundation. Pilots visiting communities have an opportunity to help, and this project is a perfect example of how to do it! Andy Pag is back with a piece on the “common man” hike-and-fly competition in Annecy, France, proving that hike-and-fly competition is not just for the supreme Redbull X-Alps athletes. C.J. Sturtevant created the greatest fun fly-in resource compiled in one place for those trying to track down like-minded individuals at fall events across the country. From Pennsylvania to Wyoming to southern California, this piece highlights not-to-miss events and the communities that host them. Earmark this one for many summers to come as these events provide fun measured by the gallon! Hope you’re summer is one giant convergence of good times! Please send in your photos and reports so we can share them around the communal campfire—the USHPA magazine.





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HGMA Overview & update by Mike Meier, HGMA President he HGMA is an international association of hang glider manufacturers that administers a set of airworthiness testing standards for hang gliders. Those of you who have come into the sport of hang gliding within the last 20 years may not be as familiar with the Hang Glider Manufacturers Association, its purpose and its history, as the old-timers who have been around since the 1970s and 1980s. The beginnings of the HGMA date back to December of 1973, when a group of hang glider manufacturers met in Westchester, California, to talk about forming an industry association and developing construction standards for hang gliders. At that time, there


were design, construction, stability and structural issues in the new sport and industry of hang gliding that had important implications for pilot safety as well as for the possibility of federal regulation of hang gliding. Although the first few attempts to develop and administer such standards were not successful, eventually, in 1977, a viable manufacturers’ association came into being, and meaningful hang glider design and testing standards were developed, based initially on the FAA standards for certifying light airplanes. Today, the HGMA is an international organization administering a highly evolved set of standards that constitute the current industry’s definition of what represents airworthiness in a hang glider and how to test for and document it. Although it would not be




accurate to claim that all issues relating to hang glider design that bear on pilot safety have been completely addressed, it is true that modern hang gliders have an extraordinary record of demonstrated airworthiness when operated within manufacturer-recommended limits and in reasonable and appropriate weather conditions. In the 1970s and 1980s, the HGMA had a substantially higher public profile than it does today. This was true for a number of reasons, one of which was that glider design issues that had implications for pilot safety were still a more significant concern at that time. Another primary reason was that there were a far greater number of manufacturers competing with one another, and HGMA certification was perceived as important by the marketplace and, therefore, conferred a competitive advantage. Today, an appropriate definition of hang glider airworthiness and how to test for and document it is no less important than it was 35 years ago. But the issues of glider design and certification have receded somewhat from the foreground in the minds of most pilots, because we simply don’t often see accidents that are attributable to a design or airworthiness deficiency. For the last 20 years or so, the HGMA has been operating sort of quietly in the background, continuing to administer its airworthiness program and provide the industry with a highly structured means to test for and document the airworthiness of new hang glider designs. There is a great deal more information about the HGMA, including a complete list of HGMA-certified gliders, basic and advanced Frequently Asked Questions, and a complete copy of the HGMA Airworthiness Certification Standards on the HGMA web site at

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by Judith Mole ED SCHWARZ


PODCASTERS Geoff Minshull and I have been doing paragliding podcasts since June 2008. Geoff originally came up with the idea because we needed to investigate podcasting for our online conferencing work and had to look into the feasibility of recording these remotely. This gave us the idea to try it out with paragliding first. There were three major reasons we thought paragliding podcasts would be useful for the free-flying community: Our former club, the Derbyshire Soaring Club, had well attended talks and club meetings, so when we moved to the Long Mynd area, we were a little shocked to see club talks attended by



only one or two people. In a club as geographically dispersed as the Long Mynd, how could we get useful information to pilots? At the same time, some clubs were running the same talk (Going XC, Meteorology, etc.) every year, which seemed a lot of hassle. Some talks and speakers were highly recommended, but impossible to get to see. Recording them would allow people to have access to this information, regardless of physical location, and free up speakers and club committee members to develop local and up-to-date talks instead. People have different learning styles. Much of the information we have included in the podcasts is available in books and magazines, but some people prefer to listen, rather than read. Because the podcasts are online, you

can listen to them as many times as you want, when and where you want. In a live talk many people miss information and are unable to have it repeated. Our first podcast was on XC flying, with Kai Coleman, a former British record holder who has a vast amount of experience in this area. The podcast was well received, and this encouraged us to produce more. At the beginning, we had a lot to learn—how to record, edit and publish the podcasts were all unfamiliar to us. Sometimes we still have quality issues during the recording; since most are recorded remotely, we have little control over the presenter’s Internet connection, background noise, availability of a headset, etc. Overall, however, the quality has been improving significantly. Our thinking on topic choice has so far been based on what

we perceived to be possible gaps in a pilot’s knowledge (e.g. alpine flying, flatland flying, flying in wave and competition scoring); useful information (e.g. psychology talks by Anja Kroll and Tony Spirling, lightweight gear) and general information that would make people better equipped to make choices (e.g. guiding, coaching). There are also a number of general podcasts, for example, “Preparing for the X-Alps” and “The Red Bull X-Alps: The Inside Story.” We have made 32 podcasts to date; they seem to be very popular. Although it is impossible for us to get accurate statistics (because, for example, we are unable to get figures for iTunes downloads), we do know that up to late February 2013 we had over 83,000 downloads from our site. People often quote phrases at each other from the podcasts, and they have, we’ve been told, made a difference to their performance. There are also a number of BHPA schools that make the podcasts recommended listening for their students. However, one of the nicest bits of feedback we have received was that the English tutor of the air traffic controllers at Brest Airport in France uses the podcasts as listening materials on their course. He mainly uses David Thomson’s podcast on coaching, so

maybe all the air traffic controllers in the area speak with a strong Glasgow accent! The podcasts are, of course, free, and there is no advertising on our site. Because people can download them, they can listen to them at home, in the car, on a plane, or even sitting on a hill waiting for it to become flyable. We will continue with the podcasts in the future and have lots of ideas for topics and speakers. However, if you think of a good topic or have a suggestion for a presenter, please email us at And, finally, an appeal for some feedback. All the presenters to date have offered their knowledge and views freely, but they record these into a vacuum. When doing a talk face-to-face, it is easy to gauge understanding, whether something needs to be further explained or if everyone has “got” it. Until we get some feedback, we don’t know how well received the podcasts are. So please, if you see one of the presenters and you liked his or her talk, tell them so. And if you really liked it, buy them a beer! All podcasts are available from id=123. You are welcome to provide links to this page (i.e., not to the podcast directly) from your own web site.

Martin Palmaz, Executive Director 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.




by Patrick McGuiness

RISK, MENTAL TOUGHNESS & PERFORMANCE After years of flying XC, your training has become ingrained. You instinctively spot the closest LZ within a reasonable glide angle. You feel the right side of the canopy lift as you enter a thermal. Pulling on the brake toggles and shifting your weight gets you in; you rise at 700 feet per minute. The rate of lift increases to 900 fpm; you tighten the circles and find the core. With increasing altitude, a steady current blows you further downwind. Your early training conflicts with the game you’re playing now; you recall



hearing “never go beyond the LZ.” You remain in the core, feeling anxious, struggling to “let go” of your attachment to the safety of the last LZ in sight. You coach yourself to relax, stay calm and focus. Yet, with each 360, you visually lock on to the last clearing and assess your glide angle once again, reluctant to let go. Now out of range, you hear the words of your friend and new mentor, “When in doubt, go deeper.” You’re committed; there’s no road or LZ in sight—only trees, undeveloped land and bodies of water.

You step on the speedbar and prepare to glide. You’re flying with the big dogs now. This is amazing! I can’t believe I’m doing this. I can’t believe I get to fly with these guys. You’re in the zone now, linking thermals and long glides. You haven’t even looked at the ground in three hours. Feelings of gratitude, inspiration and euphoria flood your mind and body as you appreciate the moment. Worry drifted away several thermals ago and has been replaced by curiosity. An hour later, the weather pattern

is becoming more stable. Thermals are weaker and the wind picks up. As the thermals begin to split apart, you enjoy the challenge of putting together the pieces of the puzzle. Over time, you realize you’re gradually getting lower with each glide, and a mild anxiety begins to develop. What if I have to land? The next thermal is strong for 1000 feet but then breaks apart. You feel your muscles tense as you frantically search downwind for the second half of the thermal. You detect turbulence and quickly jerk your right brake toggle, forcing your weight to one side in an effort to regain your climb. But your efforts are in vain; you fall out. You find yourself staring at the ground, searching for a meadow or a bare patch of land amidst the trees. Your heart rate, muscle tension and respiration rise in direct proportion to the rate at which you’re sinking out. Suddenly you realize you’re “flying scared”—never a good thing. This is the time when mental toughness is crucial. Monitoring your thoughts and emotions, you make a conscious decision to direct your attention to finding a thermal instead of thinking about: What if I don’t? It’s time to “bring it.” You focus on your breathing and consciously relax your muscles in order to get your head in the game. A thready pulse of turbulence hits the canopy, and you begin to relax. Rather than jerking your lines, you experience the sensations and movements of the glider and respond with gentle inputs. Slowly working the jagged bits of lift, you start to make gains. Gradually the lift becomes more consistent, elevating you to cloud base. Now you know what it means to “bring it.” Possessing mental skills and using them in situations like this forges mental toughness.

Psychology of Risk & Mental Performance What is there to know about the psychology of risk, and how can it help you perform at your best? One way to find out is to get familiar with what is known about the subject and then have a conversation with an elite pilot who’s well acquainted with risk—someone who performs at his or her potential and, in so doing, raises the bar for the sport. Gavin McClurg is one of those pilots. The experience he gained from flying in the Alps, the Himalayas and across deserts prepared him well for expeditions of ever-increasing commitment. He recently flew the length of the Sierra range in California with other pilots on the longest bivy flight in North America. Gavin recounts his experiences, similar to those described in the opening story. He states, “You have to know your limits. Learning to understand and make decisions about flying based on your skill level, the actual risk and your ability to perform is crucial to managing your risk as a pilot.”

Mental Errors in Assessing Risk If you toss a coin, and it lands on tails nine times in a row, you might begin to believe you are “due” for a heads on the next toss. In reality, each coin toss is an independent event. Therefore, even if you get tails 40 times in a row, you still have no better than a 50% chance of the coin’s landing on heads the next time. Experiments on human behavior show that even if you’re armed with this knowledge in advance, you might be surprised to discover that with each additional tail, you are more willing to put money on the chance that the next toss will land on heads. Humans have the ability to rationally calculate accurate statistical predictions, only to turn around and

use flawed reasoning to arrive at wrong answers. Mike Meier, who has written extensively on accidents, risk and free flight, explains how this happens by using his own experiences. Top landing a hang glider during a production test-flight at Marshall Peak in San Bernardino, California, he describes coming in hot, with an excellent approach. He executed everything just right and then felt his left wing and nose drop suddenly, causing him to crash. He had performed the same landing many times before, in worse conditions with higher performance gliders, without incidents. He came to the conclusion that he was at greater risk on the previous landings (even though nothing went wrong) than he was during his crash. The odds had simply run out on the day he crashed. His point is that having had no accidents while exposed to risk can lead a pilot to a false sense of security.

Understanding and Accepting Risk Free flight is not safe. It’s an activity that comes with a measure of risk. Participating in such a sport calls on

you to accept that risk, in exchange for the exhilaration of the moment and the feeling of satisfaction after the fact. When you set out for a day of flying, you’re not choosing between being safe and being at risk because, by definition, “safe” means there’s no chance of harm. Instead of preventing risk, you’re constantly making choices to minimize it. What are the risks involved in hang gliding and paragliding? What is the probability that you’ll have a serious accident? What commonalities were documented among the accidents in recent years? How many were hang glider pilots? How many were paragliding pilots? How many were beginners? Intermediate? Advanced? The logical complexities quickly overwhelm the human brain. Common sense says that the sport can kill you. Yet you made a decision to join a community of free-flight pilots. Why? Fancy explanations will be thrown around shortly, but the answer is, “because you really wanted to.” Then, somehow, you made sense of the risks to which you were exposing yourself. Still, most pilots feel uncomfortable

by the tendency of outsiders to characterize them as daredevils. Many pilots believe they’re in more danger on the drive home, and voice this opinion to critics. Unfortunately, research suggests this is not the case. The most established statistics estimate that hang gliding is five times more dangerous than driving a car. One fatality per thousand pilots (beyond the student level) occurs each year. In theory, actual risk is objective. It can be calculated, provided we account for all variables. Each pilot’s perception of risk, on the other hand, is subjective and may be close to, or very different from, the actual risk. For example, a beginner pilot taking a tandem lesson for the first time will experience a high level of perceived risk, even though the actual risk is low. Experienced pilots have a more realistic perception, because theirs is more similar to the actual risk than the beginners’ perceptions. This doesn’t mean that experienced pilots truly understand the risks they are exposed to. It simply means that the discrepancy between the two is smaller. There are often significant gaps between perceived and actual risk among solid pilots. Accepting risk requires understanding that even though something bad can happen to you, you’re willing to pursue the activity anyway.

Change Your Thinking and Enter the Land of Possibilities




The traditional XC strategy of never going beyond the last LZ is consistent with the natural human response to risk. Humans are more motivated by avoidance than they are by gain. This is why the mental adjustment Gavin speaks of is so profound. Committing flights require a new way of thinking. The words from his mentor, “…when in doubt, go deeper,” began a chain reaction of mental constructs shifting in his head. Gavin




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reflected, “This idea was something new. It changed my thinking.” The transformation that followed was not simply a new problem-solving strategy; it was a new way of thinking, a new mindset. The pilots flying with Gavin made the internal transformation, well in advance of any decision to go for it. Once you’ve accepted the risk, the task is to allocate as much of your mental resources to flying as possible. Liberated from the confines of fear, these elite pilots discover a world of possibilities opening up. Gavin already had been flying long distances at the time he doubled his personal best.

in the opening vignette the pilot begins to panic and search for some type of clearing. According to individuals who fly at this level, that kind of thinking will bring down a pilot. To understand why this is so, consider the psychological principles behind this assertion. You’ve learned about object fixation in your early training in relation to spot landing. The same principle is in effect here. If you focus on finding a soft place to crash, your intuitive processing will bring you to a soft place to crash. If you choose, instead, to focus on finding the elusive lift, you’ll find it.

Mental Toughness

Assuming you’re consciously making decisions about risk, advancing your physical skills incrementally and using good judgment and mental skills help

Top mental performance requires focusing on the right things at the right time. Mental toughness allows you to keep the bad head-space at bay in order to stay in a state of flow. At one moment

Flying with Confidence versus Flying Scared

you make the leaps necessary to fly at your potential. Accepting risk is a prerequisite. If you have not truly accepted the risks you take, they’ll preoccupy you at inopportune moments. “There’s nothing worse than flying scared,” Gavin points out. It’s more important to direct your attention toward catching thermals than towards what will happen if you don’t. What if the sky shuts off? What if I can’t keep up with my buddies? What if I get hung up in the trees and eaten by a bear? Once you’re committed, spending mental energy on this kind of concern is a drain of valuable mental resources. Don’t allow fears to compete for space in your head. A mentor once told Gavin, “Don’t be thinking about what ifs. Focus on flying.” Confidence is an attribute common to elite pilots and a necessary ingredient of mental toughness. It’s also a mental state based on the belief that you will



be successful. Provided you’re not overconfident, it means you really can succeed. Feeling confident is a psychological state that reduces anxiety. Anxiety is an integral part of risk awareness. A certain level of anxiety actually improves performance, to a point, but excessive anxiety detracts from performance in two ways. First, it causes muscle tension, making movements less fluid and more rigid. Jerking brake toggles on a paraglider, for example, reduces sensitivity, causing a pilot to provide too much input, which leads to overcorrecting. Tense muscles also reduce your ability to feel input from the glider. Subtle movements give you clues as to the size, shape and velocity of the lift, whereas tense muscles will not detect the information effectively. Worry is the thinking component of anxiety. Worry can be adaptive during the decision-making process, but once you’ve committed, it interferes, because it occupies mental space, leaving less space for flying. Top pilots have learned to focus on catching the next thermal, maximizing each glide, monitoring weather and navigating. When relaxed and confident, they’re simply more effective at



catching a thermal. Muscle movements become fluid, and thoughts are focused on sensing the feel of turbulence and initiating subtle input on the toggles.

In the Minds of Elite Pilots According to McClurg, “Pilots who fly at an advanced level have a high tolerance for fear.” Elite pilots are not blind to risk. They experience fear and anxiety, just like any other pilot. High tolerance does not mean they block out fear. In fact, doing so can be dangerous, because it can resurface unexpectedly. Tolerance means they handle fear well, by learning to attend to relevant tasks, rather than those they have little or no control over. Gavin explains, “You can often tell, right from the early stages of learning, if a pilot has this mindset. “ For example, when something mild but unexpected happens during a lesson, such as lift billowing into a canopy, a beginning pilot might react by tightening up. “Uh-oh, what was that?” is a significantly different response from, “Whoa, cool! What was that?” He postulates that the latter response is more indicative of a pilot who has a natural mental approach that will help him perform at

the highest levels. According to Gavin’s observations and experience, pilots who are “flying scared” are at greater risk for having a serious accident. He also believes that mental toughness comes naturally to many pilots, emphasizing that it’s built through experience and observations. Gavin entered the sport with this attitude; his hours in the air gave him the skills to take on extended flights, and his mentors fostered in him new ways of thinking about flying. All of these factors led to an extraordinary leap forward in Gavin’s flying, doubling the distance of his XC flights and, subsequently, raising the bar for other pilots.

Do You Have what it Takes? Top pilots, instructors and coaches all debate whether this mindset of mental toughness is something that comes naturally or whether it can be learned. There are convincing arguments on both sides of the issue. Elite pilots turn down the volume in their heads, increasing space available for mental resources that help them focus on what’s relevant for success. Turning it down, rather than off, allows them to continue assessing changes

of intensity. This allows their brains’ intuitive processes access to emotional meaning. A relaxed pilot can continue to use intuition to guide decisionmaking. If you find yourself “flying scared,” the best remedy is to dial it back and fly more conservatively until you feel confident at that level. Next, challenge yourself incrementally, until you can fly more aggressive tasks with confidence. Knowing and accepting your own limits is crucial. Confidence is not something you can trick your unconscious into feeling. False confidence will come and go, because your unconscious always knows if you’re truly up to the task. If you’re in over your head, your unconscious knows. Therefore, convincing your conscious mind that you’re capable when you’re not is bad strategy and a recipe for disaster. Just as blocking out fear will cause it to resurface unpredictably on its own terms, false confidence will leave you when you need it. Elite pilots like Gavin have to change their thinking and their approach to risk in order to make these quantum leaps. That transformation requires mental toughness that has been earned through hours in the air, years of problem solving and some form of mental-skills training to make the leap. Whether it’s done informally, in the context of a mentorship or with friends, or formally, by working with a performance coach, the goal must be learning to turn down the volume on worry, fear and other distractions and shine the light on optimal mental performance. If you’re determined to take an accelerated path and want help achieving your goals, find an instructor with expertise in mental performance to guide you.

Performance Psychology and Mental Training Confidence reduces anxiety, allowing for more fluid muscle movements and more intuitive decision-making. Decreased anxiety also allows for better concentration, because you are able to allocate more attention to interpreting subtle kinesthetic sensations and changes in the air. The pilot who’s attuned to subtle movements and nuances is less likely to overcorrect or botch a crucial opportunity to catch lift. Learning and practicing mental performance techniques helps you further your capabilities. The pilot in the opening scenario catches himself getting into a “bad head-space.” He consciously employs strategies to refocus and move into a more adaptive psychological state. After reaching this state, the pilot allocates maximum psychological resources to the task at hand. Once you’re committed, the most effective strategy for minimizing risk is to fly well. Understanding and accepting risk is the starting point. Accepting your own limitations follows. Flying scared should tell you to dial back on how aggressively you fly. It’s important to fly with confidence that’s real, so knowing your limitations is key. When the time comes to push yourself, consider your own tolerance of fear. Once you have committed yourself to taking action, focus on flying. Mental toughness comes naturally to many, who learn from friends, mentors and coaches. Patrick McGuinness is a life coach and a hang gliding instructor. He holds a Masters degree in applied psychology and specializes in mental performance in extreme sports. Patrick is the owner of Mountain View Performance Coaching. For more information, go to: www.

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Seeing Green Y

eah, it’s true. I’ve been seeing a lot more green lately. Green has never been my favorite color, but it’s growing on me. My lady and I spent the last year para-bumming around the Wild West—traveling in our trusty old brown Ford van, seeing beautiful places, flying over glorious mountains and meeting some friendly, cheerful people along the way. Because we feared it might be humankind’s last year to walk this green earth of ours, we thought we’d see it off right. When 12/21/12 passed and we became “survivors,” I was relieved but also a bit put off. After having pursued a romantic goal, we were left to con-



by Soren Braddock

front the reality of life continued—a life that necessitated a return to working and scheduling and watching birds soar by from below instead of above— and it all seemed rather bleak. Maybe that’s why, when it came time to usher in the new year, we did so like a couple of fuddy-duddy old fogies. Having already tucked into bed for the night (to save on heating bills), we unceremoniously shared a moment, let the reality of 2013 soak in, and then put out the lights and headed for dreamland. I dreamed of friends and family, community, and a future that would allow a reconciliation of my romantic ideals with the realities of hard times and hard work. The dream felt right; it

was like the pink streak of strawberry in Neapolitan ice cream that cools the body and eases the mind on a hot summer night. (I’ll take that and leave the white streak of bland vanilla and the brown streak of chocolate indulgence for the next sap who comes along with a spoon and some time to kill.) But what about making resolutions for 2013? Unfortunately, I awoke from my stupor a bit too late. I missed my chance to plan ahead and pledge my commitment to the lady in white: Ma Future. Though many claim hindsight is 20/20, I’d disagree, because even ABOVE After “out landing” I had climbed half way down to safety.

my hindsight seems a bit blurred and distorted. In any case, I realize now that I should have put the following on the list: Dabble in amateur arboreal work. Hey...who knows! Make friends with hang glider pilots. Work on humility; you are, after all, a lump at the mercy of the gods. Be a Boy Scout. Always be prepared. Learn to like Green. Just what the hell am I getting at, you ask? Well, it’s not just smoke and mirrors or a figment of a deranged imagination. It’s invisible, yes. It’s big, it’s hungry, it’s indiscriminate and it’s mowing down and chewing up little flying fishies like you and me. If you are in the air, you are in its lair. (Cue the Jaws theme song please,’s a friggin’ Air Shark!) A what? Exactly! Until this year, I was blissfully unaware of such a phenomenon. Only

“As fate would have it, on New Year’s Day of 2013, I took my first paraglider flight of the year, and I was spanked.” after my first encounter with it did a friend and paragliding guru enlighten me. Apparently, just as they exist in the oceans, so do rogue and sometimes ruthless powers exist in the sky. The great unknown sometimes has teeth! Truth be told, I would’ve liked to remain ignorant of this fact for the rest of my happy flying days. But, alas, my desires have nothing to do with the whims of the universe. As fate would have it, on New Year’s Day of 2013, I took my first paraglider flight of the year, and I was “spanked.” I must have unwittingly tempted the beast to the point of attack. After about 35 minutes of mellow soaring on a stable southeastern winter day, without pitching or pressure changes to forewarn me of disaster, my leading edge

folded over along 100% of its span, deep into the cord, and horseshoed. With no more than 150 feet between me and the terrain, I was left, after the first deep pump of the brakes, with a double cravat and a glide ratio reduced to the 0:150 range. Chicken Little was right to be worried. The sky was falling, and I was along for the ride. It could be argued that then was as good a time as any to toss the reserve. I wouldn’t dispute that. I will, however, tell you what I did instead: I tried and tried again to get the wing back into a flying configuration. After several deep thrusts on the controls, the right cravat gave up its hold, making something like flying possible again. I leaned into the open side as far as I could and steadied my flight path with a little additional



outside brake. With this maneuver, I was able to skirt the treetops to my left by about two or three feet and buy a bit of time. Then I went for the stabilo on the left. Because it was so thoroughly entangled, my attempts at reaching it were thwarted. As the reality of extremely limited options set in, I was left with a simple choice. I could either go in as a passenger or as a pilot. Having read many a USHPA article/ bulletin/incident report about tree landings, I saw all of them flash before my eyes during these pivotal milliseconds. The only smart thing I could see



to do was to pick the biggest, baddest, mamma-jamma of a tree on the mountain and set ’er down right on its crown. And let me tell you, my friend, that is exactly what I did. As I impacted, time slowed even further, allowing me to take in the full gravity of the situation. I realized: If the wing snags up, I live; if it lets go, I have about a hundred feet to the deck and an eternity to question the meaning of it all. The wing held. After a brief pendulum that brought me much despair, I settled gently at the top of a beautiful, behemoth red oak. I took a deep breath, said thanks to the gods, and assessed the situation. This was obviously no time to be impulsive. (Many have been hurt by succumbing to impulse.) However, I wanted down! Being an exclimber, I kicked off my shoes, swung into the nearest branch, and began to get in touch with my inner ape. By the time the first of my rescuers appeared, I had descended about 45 feet to the lowest large branch on the tree. But I was still about 35 feet up and utterly unprepared for a tree landing. The rescuers asked if I had dental floss. Huh, what for? Even though I

ABOVE Me and “mine” after a tandem out in N. Washington. BELOW Working away at extraction the next day.

was clueless (having recently moved from Arizona), the hangies were not. They threw a line, raised a harness and saw my sorry butt back onto the terra firma. Bless their hearts...true southern gentlemen! For the past few weeks, I’ve been left to ponder what happened on that most memorable of days. I’ve spoken with those who were there, pilots who have been around for ages, and searched the Internet, my memory, and my soul. After the 150-plus-hour year that was 2012, on a similar wing, in conditions that ranged from punchy to nuclear, why did I fall like a sack of potatoes on this day, while flying on one of the most benign days in many moons? I played with many ideas, some fun and some frustrating. Maybe I upset the wrathful PG gods by taking HG lessons. Perhaps Air Sharks are attracted to the aroma of females and parts of my unique clothing combination, consisting of my girlfriend’s sweatpants and dirty brown crocs, were simply too

much to resist. Maybe the wing was out of trim. Maybe I just hadn’t learned to speak the new wing’s language yet. Maybe I was rusty from the winter. Maybe I was being taught a lesson. But which? Others weighed in with comments like, “I know what was the paraglider.” And, “Sometimes, $h%* happens.” Perhaps the latter isn’t too far off. Being the brain-heavy monkeys that we are, we seem to hunger for answers. The most frustrating aspect of the ordeal, for me, has been coming up pretty much empty-handed in terms of answers. In every other flight incident or near miss in my history, I have been able to determine the cause—be it foul weather, piloting negligence or overextending my (or my wing’s) capabilities. And after identifying the cause, I have been able to glean insight and walk away content, after learning a hard-earned lesson. This time seems different. I now realize, though, that I’ve got to keep my eyes open and appreciate what life presents to me. What started out as a harrowing and embarrassing experience quickly morphed into an uplifting one. The people who came to my aid, the extra sincere words and hugs I got from family and friends, and the fresh perspective garnered by such a close call have all helped to heighten my sense of connection to this particular world. Perhaps my shift in perspective is worth its weight in answers after all. Although I’m seeing a little extra green in the cells of my glider (oak remnants) and a little more green leaving my wallet (for inspection and repair), I can afford a genuine smile and even a laugh. To be alive, intact and seeing the world in technicolor is truly a beautiful thing!

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KEEN to Learn

by Jeff O'Brien



In today’s world it is difficult to find a charitable organization whose work is primarily motivated by altruism.


ledgling grassroots charitable efforts may direct contributions straight to the cause, but these groups sometimes lack the leadership and organizational skill to keep from being exploited. The key to sustaining pure endeavors is usually an individual, a luminary, who commits himself to a cause he is passionate about. In the lakeside Nepalese village of Pokhara, near the base of the Annapurna OPPOSITE Nick Greece over Pokhara, Nepal | Himalayas, a thriving paragliding comphoto by Jamie Messenger. munity has developed alliances with BELOW (L to R) Jeff O'Brien, the local population that benefit needy Jeff Shapiro, and Nick Greece. students from the remote surrounding countryside. As little as one generation ago, few individuals in Nepal received any classroom education. Fearful of empowering the subsistence farmer base, the aristocracy



of Nepal banned any type of formal schooling. Eightyfive percent of the population over the age of 35 in Nepal can’t sign their own names; they have to rely on a finger ink-print to identify themselves on national documents. After a lengthy bloody civil war that ended in 2006, a new era of education dawned in Nepal. Now education is seen as the way up and out, but, unfortunately, most poor families can’t afford to educate their children. Pokhara, Nepal, has a vibrant paragliding community, with more than 20 commercial paragliding companies, 15 of which are Nepali owned. As tandem hang gliding is to Rio, Brazil, paragliding is to Pokhara. Groups in Pokhara offer not only traditional paragliding operations, but also run Parahawking* and Karma Flights*. The area is known for consistently exceptional flying with a robust paragliding infrastructure. In addition to paragliding operations, Avia Club Nepal* provides scenic ultralight rides to the Annapurna Himalayan mountain range. A handful of years ago in Pokhara, accomplished paraglider pilot Isabella Messenger, one of our luminaries, developed a bond with a happy-faced young girl named Sarita, who was working at the guest house where Isabella was staying. Since the age of five, Sarita had been an indentured servant at the guesthouse—cooking, cleaning, and helping with the owner’s children in exchange for room and board. Initially, Isabella and her husband, Jamie, sponsored Sarita so she could move into a space of her own and attend school fulltime. At the same time, Isabella developed a friendship with another of this story’s luminaries, Prem Bahadur * See page 32 sidebar for more information



Kunwar. Prem, a thin, handsome man with a radiant smile and an infectious laugh, demonstrates care and genuine concern for others. He sometimes appears to be a living saint who is filled with humility and performs good deeds. He and his wife, Apsara, foster disadvantaged children in their home, treating them as their own and absorbing them into their family. In addition to being a father and counselor to all of his children, Prem teaches in one of the best local schools, the one his kids attend. Prem is a lifetime local who has a sterling reputation in his community, so he is able to identify the brightest children from the countryside whose family or social status puts them at a significant disadvantage. Some of his children come from remote villages a fourday trek away. As board members of The Cloudbase Foundation, Matt Cone and Nick Greece learned of the need and bonds being made between Isabella and Prem, and word quietly spread to Jeff Shapiro and me. In turn, we approached one of our supportive sponsors, Keen Footwear*, to see if they were willing to lend financial support. In 2011, Keen Footwear, in concert with their Hybrid Care program* agreed to provide funds for all five of Prem’s foster children to help them complete a four-year program which will result in their earning a “leaving certificate.” This certificate hopefully will be a vehicle that gives them the opportunity to provide a better life for themselves and their families. The Cloudbase Foundation* was chosen as the recipient of the Keen to Learn funds and made the facilitator of the fund distribution and project oversight. After hearing about the success of the Keen to Learn program via e-mail for over a year, Jeff Shapiro and I were determined to travel to Pokhara with our hang gliders to meet Prem and the children, see Keen to Learn in action, and experience flying in the area. My work constraints would have made it difficult for me to make the 16,000-mile trip. However, my employer, Vail Resorts*, and their charitable division, Vail Resorts Echo*, coincidentally announced their Epic Volunteer program. I was fortunate to be chosen as an epic volunteer and given the time off needed to make the journey. Certainly, hang gliders have been flown throughout Nepal, but perhaps not in any official capacity near Pokhara. Avia Club Nepal is interested in expanding their operation to include hang gliding foot-launch and aerotowing operations, as well as commercial tandem flights, so they invited us to come, fly, and provide an assessment on the viability of the area.

For months, we had been trading photos and dimensions for an aerotow-launch dolly they would make, as well as photos of the area they were proposing to tow from. A significant amount of the typewritten content was getting lost in translation, but the photos were otherworldly impressive, and we were assured our Russian tow pilot Max had decades of flying experience and would be highly competent. When we finally met mad Max, he mentioned, “Oh, I watched videos on YouTube. I find information on towing there,” he said. Getting to Pokhara with hang gliders was epic. Jeff drove 13 hours from Missoula to Denver, arriving at Alex McCulloch’s house at midnight. I met him there, and we laughed over stories with Alex until 4 a.m., when we left for the airport. We faced the typical airlinepersonnel-induced stress getting our gliders checked to Kathmandu, and 20 commercial-flight hours later, we settled into a 16-hour layover in New Delhi. The next morning we flew to Kathmandu, where a primitive baggage conveyor spit out our padded glider bags with new tears in the outer fabric, and we were met by the incredibly gracious Avia Club Nepal staff. Immediately, we were thrust into Kathmandu madness. The driving was aggressive and tight, with dozens of motorbikes buzzing between cars and trucks that were close enough to reach out and touch. Incessant honking and the jerk of stop-and-go became a pattern, as we sifted around pedestrians through the motorized mess. Think of chaotic gridlock with the cast of a Mad

Max movie surrounding you. The air was a dusty broth, and diesel tailpipes belched black smoke out the sides of vehicles into our windows, providing us with a feast we did not enjoy choking on. The city receded in the dust behind us, as we settled into hours of rumbling at comparatively slow speeds on the switch-backed two-lane “highway” surrounded by arid hills, terraced with agriculture and gradually growing in size. In Nepal, when a rock truck drives into the roadside storm water ditch, there is no such thing as an emergency response. When we came upon a marooned truck that stopped traffic in both directions, we joined two dozen men from surrounding vehicles to push, pull, toss rock chocks, mis-communicate, and, finally, coordinate to move the truck aside and open up a lane. OPPOSITE An unusually clear day over at the Monkey Six hours later and 60km from Temple above Kathmandu. Pokhara, we again came upon miles of ABOVE Jeff O'Brien in stopped traffic. Apparently the local vilPokhara, Nepal. Photos by lagers were protesting a murder. One of Nick Greece. our guides, Barun, explained that when villagers become unhappy with the government, they come down from the hills and block the highway. It is an effective way for them to get immediate attention. We heard the road ahead was blocked. Villagers and riot police armed with shields and sticks were peppering the crowd with rubber bullets, trying to reopen the road. Our guides said we would be waiting a while. Indicative of the unruffled grace of the Nepali culture,



everyone came out of their parked cars, strolled and talked, or set up a roadside picnic. I went to the roof of the jeep and lay down on the gliders. I passed the next few hours slipping in and out of dream-filled sleep cycles orchestrated by the sights, sounds, and smells of a very foreign land. I occasionally cracked my eyes at the blast of a horn or commotion, while half-consciously drifting through the transition from day to night, from light to stars, as the evening cool descended around me. Suddenly, engines started to fire and bright light hit my eyes, as driver Tsenging yelled, ABOVE Royal Enfield is the “HELLOOOO! We go!” I rolled off the bike of yesterday and today in top and climbed in the window, and we Nepal | photo by Nick Greece. started crawling through the blockage, eventually passing dozens of police in riot gear, regrouping on the side of the road. Everyone was out on the street, lined up for the parade. Exhausted, I passed in and out of sleep as we rocked into Pokhara, 12 hours after leaving Kathmandu. We awoke to a cheerful Pokhara morning with roosters crowing and mothers bucket-bathing their kids. The view from the balcony revealed 22,940’ Machapuchare TOWERING behind the foothills in the distance. Enthusiastic energy fueled a group breakfast in the garden, as we met new friends and made plans for the coming days. Next, we unpacked our gliders at Avia Club Nepal where half-a-dozen microlights were out on the grass, staging to teach students and fly tourists. We were welcomed with the incredible hospitality and genuine warmth of the Nepali people. Soon we had unveiled



our assembled wings for the local pilots to excitedly inspect. We were excited, too. It’s a feat to travel across the world with these fragile flying machines undamaged. We felt incredibly lucky. We made plans for our foot-launch flying the next morning; our flying guides said they would secure the necessary permits. Although there are 20 paragliding schools in Pokhara, hang gliding is a foreign concept, and we were told we would be the first hang glider pilots to fly in the area. We felt honored to be allowed. Pokhara spoils westerners with familiar comforts, while remaining authentically Nepali. I welcomed the quick immersion into the unfettered culture and the opportunity to un-tether myself from professional concerns at home. I smiled. It had taken Pokhara only 18 hours to infect me with relaxation, pleasure, and peace. After a quick, cold shower, it was time to go meet Prem and Apsara and the “Keen kids.” We were staying at one of the nicest hotels in town, but hot water was not one of the amenities. It’s easy to conserve water when you have to dance under a cold stream to wash off the dust. I had seen pictures of Prem and Apsara and the kids for over a year and recognized their smiling faces when we arrived. We exchanged hugs and hellos in their garden. The kids presented us with marigold leis and traditional silk scarves, before lining up to introduce themselves. Prem went one-by-one, telling us each student’s name, age, and interests, and they each took turns introducing themselves and answering our questions in English. Out of seven, there were three future doctors,

one future soccer star, two teachers, and a bank manager. The moment was powerful, and it was impossible to wipe off the ear-to-ear grin that held up the tears welling in my eyes. The children lit us up; it was invigorating to meet them. Down by the main road in a garden, Prem’s family has an open-walled classroom and a kitchen where they make and eat their meals. Up the hill a couple of blocks, they have another small gazebo classroom, more gardens, and their home. After pleasant conversation, we segued up the hill to their house. Immediately, we were in the middle of the community. We passed a tiny leather-faced woman with intricate nose and face piercings. The neighbors were out doing chores, and some would stop to greet us by bringing hands to prayer, with a warm “Namaste.” It was special to get a glimpse of local Nepali people at their homes and gardens and receive a genuine welcome. Prem’s house was bordered by a large garden with budding beans, corn, and other vegetables. All the ground surrounding each home is used for the production of food. At the end of the garden was a new solar water purifier, built with donations. Prem and his three neighbors share water from a spring which is funneled into the solar heater that boils the water to make it safe for drinking and warm for showering. It is luxurious by local standards, and Prem was proud to show us. He explained that the solar elements are fragile, and he sometimes wakes at night in a panic to make sure enough water is running through the system so it won’t overheat. In the dry months, he has to do whatever is necessary to keep the water high enough. They are hoping to get a second storage tank in the future to alleviate this concern. The additional 1000-liter tank will cost $125. Past the shower is the house, which consists of five or six small rooms in a row, with separate entrances to each. This type of structure normally houses two or three families and is well suited for Prem’s many children. Two or three kids live in each sparsely decorated room, containing simple bedding, a desk, and a small cabinet with what looks like a couple of changes of clothes. School notebooks are the biggest collection of items in any room. The kids are radiant and intelligent. We spent the evening playing and getting to know them. Omnit is a 15-year-old boy who loves soccer. His father died last year, and his two sisters had to quit school to work and support the family. Prem explained, “Omnit was not strong when he came to us.” With a widening smile, he continued, “So we are making him strong.” The kids are independent for their age and cooperatively work on family tasks. We shared a candlelight dinner of

traditional dal bhat—Nepalese rice and lentils—in the garden with the entire family The more time I spent with the kids, the more I marveled at their eagerness to learn. They are hungry for a better life. At 6:00 the next morning, Jeff flew with Max in the trike to scope out the riverbed runway at the base of the Annapurna range. When they returned, Jeff remarked, “The peaks rise so high from the valley, they are a challenge to my perception. And,” he dryly added, “the runway is short and bumpy.” We looked at each other with a wry smile. I muttered, “Well, we expected it to be full-on at some point, didn’t we?” In the afternoon we got our feet off the ground with



some traditional foot-launch flying from the paragliding launch. The local Nepali pilots welcomed and accommodated us, but since they had never flown with hang gliders, we overheard some strange questions: How can we thermal together with them, and what do they do when they take collapses? It’s always magnificent to take in a new country and continent from the air. We hooked up with Nick Greece in the Keen paraglider and cameraman Neils Dachler, flying tandem with Jamie Messenger, who was adept at putting them in the sweet spot for great filming. We played on the terraced mountains ABOVE Nick Greece over for over an hour, when a steppe eagle Lakeside, Nepal. OPPOSITE swooped in, talons extended, for a visit. BOTTOM Prem, who runs Afterward, we crossed Phewa Lake for a the Keen to Learn program, closer look at a hilltop Buddhist stupa. is all smiles | photo by Nick Greece. After two hours, we all landed at the end of the lake to celebrate a successful flight. Paraglider pilots were kiting in the LZ, including a bunch of local kids on borrowed gliders, who were deftly kiting and pushing one another off the ground. The next morning, while the town slept, we jumped in the jeep for a ride into the foothills at the base of the Annapurna range, hoping for some aerotowing. The only people on the street were pastry vendors, carrying fresh trays of chocolate and fruit croissants. We rumbled through rural Nepal with the morning sun warming us, savoring bags of steaming pastries.



Long after leaving pavement, we began to wind through the Seti riverbed and its tributaries. Eventually, the “road” became a meandering rock path through the river itself, and we splashed across axle-deep patches of running water to the tow paddock in a river-bottom meadow. The tow plane was already on site, surrounded by most of the kids from the nearby hillside village. It was a clear morning, and we fixated on the Annapurna range with Machapuchare as a focal point in the middle. Five peaks to the north were more than 20,000 feet above where we were standing, and the view was a challenge to our perception. The scene was other-worldly; the peaks felt like magnificent deities, stoic and snowcovered, providing timeless watch over the world. As more villagers came to see the strange equipment we’d brought, we surveyed the scene. The runway seemed short and bumpy. We were concerned about bouncing out of the cart that our hosts had built from our e-mailed instructions. We had confidence in the power of the 582 motor on the trike, but didn’t know about the speed of the wing we’d tow behind. Max hadn’t towed gliders for 20 years. I had constructed a weak link on the trike side from line I’d hung on the day before in the hangar to figure out the breaking load. Every component of the operation was unproven and the situation, coupled with a few dozen villagers looking over our shoulders as we set up, had Jeff and me pretty buzzed.

Before we flew, the matriarchs of the village asked if they could welcome us and give us a blessing in their tradition. We stood in a line as the mothers of the village placed silk scarves around our necks, offered each of us a flower, and placed a bindi on our foreheads. (A bindi is a bright smudge of red applied over the sixth chakra to retain energy and strengthen concentration. It is also said to protect against demons and bad luck.) We were honored to receive the blessing and felt the power and presence of the people and the place. The wind began to puff up the valley, as the first wisps of clouds were forming on the peaks. It was time to fly. While Jeff finished working on the cameras attached to his glider, the two of us conferred quietly, as we’ve done so many times before. Flying friendships are the tightest I’ve experienced. You bond over every emotion and experience on the ground, and those bonds are fused when you share the exhilaration of the air. The ineffable scenes and transcendent moments can be relived in detail by speaking just a couple of words between one another, punctuated with a smile. Stress-filled decisions are finalized on a feeling, after diligent analysis dissolves. Since our arrival at the runway, I felt good. I felt confident, willing to actively meet the unknowns. I’d have a go first. As my friends helped me ready at the end of the runway and as I attached to Max in the warmed-up airplane, I said, “You know, after all this consideration, I think this might be a non-event.” And it was. Once we were 500 feet over the river in the smooth morning air, I relaxed. “Everything is perfect,” I replied on the radio, when they asked me how I was doing. For the second time on the trip, my ear-to-ear grin was holding up tears in my eyes. I was flying over a place 8000 miles away from my home, with an unequalled view of some of the highest mountains on the planet.

Max flew beautifully, but the tow was eventful at times with harsh breaths from the mountain pushing me down into the prop wash. I was able to hold on and get back in line without breaking a weak link. I noticed climb rates slowing, and Max waved me off at 8200 feet. I flew toward the nearest sunny spine to get established. The sky was quickly filling in with a bank of cumulus around 11,000 feet, giving me white windows to peer through, as I looked up at the summits more than 10,000 feet higher. There was a magic hour when the sky was mostly clear, but still had enough energy to sustain me. I worked my way up to the cold at cloud base while I waited for Jeff to join me. Jeff had a successful tow, but Max didn’t have enough fuel for the trike to take Jeff up as high as he’d taken me. The sky didn’t have enough energy to bring Jeff the rest of the way up, so we had separate experiences. After an hour, I crossed the valley to the south and

CLOUDBASE FOUNDATION Room and board and educational expenses for each Nepali child run approximately $1000 per year. The Cloudbase Foundation is the best way to distribute additional donations to Prem for the children. More information can be found at: and

Links to items marked with an * Cloudbase Foundation: Parahawking: Karma Flights: Avia Club Nepal: Keen Footwear: and

Vail Resorts: Vail Resorts charitable foundation:



made circles, maintaining altitude over a hilltop village. Women in scarlet-red flowing dresses stopped working in the terraced fields for a moment to look up when my shadow passed over them. Kids squealed excitedly and ran in circles in their play field, calling up to me. I could hear construction and men breaking rocks with sledgehammers. It looked like a beautiful existence. Judging by the expansiveness of the terraced fields covering the surrounding mountains, the village has probably existed in much the same manner for hundreds of years, established by tens of generations. Eventually, I came back to land where we started, and the villagers were still gathered to see the show. Jeff and I disassembled our wings and encouraged the kids to try on our gear and lie under the gliders and pretend to fly. Late in the afternoon, we returned to Prem and Apsara’s garden to give each of the kids a pair of Keen shoes we’d brought from home and invite everyone out to dinner. After outfitting each child with a new pair of Keens, we played pickup games of table tennis and soccer in the yard. Learning more about the circumstances that brought these children to Prem was “heavy.” Sarita has two siblings, Samjini and Raj Kumar, who are living with Prem and benefitting from the Keen to Learn program. Their family’s story is a classic example of the intense poverty in Nepal. Their mother was married to their father as part of a land deal, when their mother was 11 and their father 31. She bore eight children; two of them died young. Both parents are illiterate and never received any formal schooling. When Sarita, their first child, was born, they couldn’t afford to properly feed and clothe her, so they brought her to Pokhara, hoping that by leaving her with a rich hotel-and-restaurant-owning family as a servant, she would at least have her basic needs cared for and perhaps be given some schooling. Things were going OK for Sarita, who was scratching a living off the land in the village, until her mother had an accident four years ago. She fell out of a tree while picking produce and suffered a bad head injury. As a result, she started having hallucinations and wild mood swings. The village “doctor” declared her to be a witch who could endanger the rest of the villagers—a classic reaction in the villages to any sort of mental illness. Subsequently, the village repossessed the family’s land and made them leave their shelter. The entire family arrived on the doorstep of Sarita’s ten-foot-by-eight-foot rented room in Pokhara, with nowhere else to turn. It was a desperate time for her and her siblings. Samjini and Raj Kumar are now thriving with Prem, and their

education will hopefully be enough to lift up their entire clan. During our dinner that evening with more than 20 at the table in the restaurant, I would never have guessed the laughing kids across the table from me, eating their weight in food, came from such a bleak past. Our next morning was a repeat of the previous day’s flying, except Jeff went first. We were out earlier, hoping to get photos of the mountain range without clouds, and it was unusually clear. Max had more fuel this time and suggested we check out the feasibility of a ridge deeper, toward Annapurna I. Jeff had a good tow, but broke a weak link when random turbulence struck. I waited my turn to tow, while Jeff worked in the lee of the spine he was on. He was maintaining, but reporting rough conditions. On tow, Max kept me in the valley, away from any rotor behind the surrounding ridges. Jeff radioed he was hanging on, but getting a good thrashing and said he was going to try a different area over a village out in the valley. We were far apart when I caught sight of him, so I decided to hang on as high as Max would take me. A couple of times without warning, the mountain would breathe on me, disrupting the mostly peaceful tow. But I was able to hang on as Max towed me deeper into the mountains. When our climb rates neared zero at just over 9000 feet, I pinned off. Since I was just above the ridge top, conditions weren’t too rough, and I began working the sunny faces. The surrounding scene was stunning. Blooming rhododendron forests blanketed the hillsides with brilliant pink, red, and fuchsia blossoms. I flew a mile down the ridge a couple of hundred feet over the vibrant colors, open-mouthed, awestruck. Among the beautiful rhododendron, I spotted an isolated homestead at 10,000 feet. After working up the ridge, I slowly circled low over the three simple structures on the perimeter of a small yard in the middle of utter isolation. A couple was sitting at a table in the yard, likely having tea, while a third family member worked with an ox next to a shed. They all stopped to watch me as I continued to circle, watching them. A dusting of snow covered the shady side of the scene. I wondered what it was like to subsist in this unbelievably raw place, with one of the best views on the planet. The clouds eventually built at the same level as the day before, so getting on the peaks wasn’t an option. They seemed too sacred and forbidding to fly on anyway, so I relished the opportunity to just take in the view. Jeff was over a hilltop village in the valley, watching the villagers go about their day. I heard on the radio that Max was on his way back up with Neils and his camera

to rendezvous with me, and I enjoyed BELOW Jeff Shapiro launching at Sirinkot, Nepal. the panorama while I waited for them to ascend. It turned out that the leeside turbulence was strong down low, tossing Max and Neils about. They abandoned their flight, leaving me to my whim. I decided to go on a tour toward Pokhara. A couple of climbs later, I radioed that I had enough altitude to make it home, and I would see everyone at the lakeside LZ. Jeff was going to have Max tow him up on Max’s flight home and make the reasonable cross-country flight as well. Another unhurried hour of flying later, Jeff and I landed at the lakeside LZ in Pokhara. Relaxing under the sun in the field, watching paragliders fly, and feeling the breeze off the lake, I was filled with a peaceful sense of gratitude and fulfillment. Every facet of the adventure and experience we had hoped for had been realized. It is evident the funds Keen provides is producing, along with the help of invaluable local partners, good deeds. The locals unconditionally welcomed us, and we were fortunate enough to fly and take in vistas that are now branded lifetime memories. The Keen funds will continue to sponsor a select few students, while Prem and Apsara, with help from Pokhara locals Isabella and Jamie Messenger, and Cloudbase Foundation board members Matt Cone and Nick Greece, are willing to create the capacity to invite more needy children to live with them as their own and assist them socially and scholastically. Please make a difference by making a donation of any amount to The Cloudbase Foundation for this, or any of the many other worthwhile projects that benefit children in the areas where we fly. Thank you.










LEFT The author on final approach. OPPOSITE Steve Wendt helping the author load his glider onto the truck.

by Brad Barkley

What I didn’t know then was the best part—that flying would heal me in ways no psychiatrist or office full of diplomas ever could.

Part Two

Part ONE


e looked like a psychiatrist from a movie, with his corduroy pants and sweater vest, his tweed blazer and horn-rimmed glasses—about all the only thing missing was a German accent. But this was no movie; this was me, sitting in his office, surrounded by diplomas and textbooks. The doctor spent a moment looking at my chart, then peered at me across the top of those glasses, his bushy white eyebrows lifting. “Tell me, Mr. Barkley,” he said, “are you still afraid of your mailbox?” I sighed, not wanting to explain again what I’d already explained. Again. No, it wasn’t my mailbox I’d been fearing for the last six years, but rather its contents, which on most days contained yet another letter from yet another lawyer. Trouble layered on trouble. A nasty divorce stretching out over years, an ex willing to obliterate anyone or anything—jobs, friends, children— out of some misplaced sense of revenge. “In 20 years of doing this,” my lawyer said, “I’ve never seen anything like it.” But inside me, there were no jokes, no humor in what I’d lost, the missed years, the tens of thousands of dollars wasted on lawyers and bullshit. Here I was in my late forties, starting life over again in a one-bedroom apartment with a sleeping bag on the floor, bank accounts empty. Lately, though, things were looking up, because despite all I’d lost, I had one important thing back—my life. I also had a good relationship with my nearly grown kids, and had a new (and amazing) wife after five years alone.



But now I had this psychiatrist staring at me over his glasses, as I muttered some half-answer about the mailbox. And after all the court battles, all the money flushed away, all the sleepless nights and ruined days and lost friends, I knew one thing, deep in my bones. I wanted…to fly. I’d been one of those kids, you know the kind. Every toy I owned was airborne—boomerangs, balsawood airplanes, Frisbees, model rockets, plastic parachute men launched from the roof, water rockets, kites made from Christmas wrapping paper or garbage bags. What hadn’t ever really occurred to me was that I could be the one up there in the clouds, not just the toys I bought or made. Not then, and not now. That is, until one late night when I was flipping through cable channels and came across a documentary about hang gliding, and something inside me opened like a dark curtain, revealing a notion I’d always known and never noticed. I sat there, watching the guys in their harnesses, under their wings, turning above the green landscape, and suddenly those images seemed like the answer to a question I hadn’t known I’d been asking. I called my wife Kristin out from the kitchen of our new house, and pointed at the screen. “I’m going to do that,” I said. “I need to do that. Want to do it with me?” She smiled and nodded, squeezed my hand. “Sure,” she said. “Looks fun.”

Steve Wendt wasn’t speaking to me. Not that he was mad, but rather he was thinking, I knew, about what to do with me. We rode in a golf cart along the bright green grass at Blue Sky Flight Park in Virginia, where all summer my wife and I had been coming to learn to fly, making the five-hour drive and staying several days at a time, whenever we could, as much as we could. Kristin was doing great, making flights up to 250’, until an old gymnastics shoulder injury sidelined her. “Keep going,” she’d told me, and I had. And I’d made progress, graduating via Steve’s scootertow teaching from the Condor, to the smaller Condor, to the Falcon, getting higher and higher flights, doing some shallow turns and then some 180’s and 360’s, progressing toward my first truck tow and my first high-altitude flights. I was getting there. And then I’d screw up. Three steps forward, two steps back, all summer long. Some of the students I’d started with were truck-towing already, buying their first gliders and harnesses, learning to use a vario, getting their first extended flights. What, exactly, was wrong with me? Even Steve, an amazing instructor who’d brought me this far, was running out of answers. “I see flashes of brilliance in your flying,” he’d told me, “and then….I don’t know.” “I know, I know,” I said. “I’m pissed at myself.” “I don’t blame you,” he said. “I’d be pissed at myself too.” My problems seemed undiagnosable. As Steve had reminded me, often my

fights were great—good launches, good control, proning out, one-step landings. Sometimes three lessons in row like that, flight after flight, my confidence growing. Then….two steps back. I’d tighten up, freeze up, be gripped by something that wasn’t exactly fear, but felt like paralysis. Kristin and I went over and over all the technique we’d learned—and it was there, finally, that I found my answer, not just to my flying faults, but to everything holding me back, keeping me grounded. These were not new ideas, and I had learned them in many different places. I knew that Buddha had famously asked, “How deeply did you learn to let go?” And St. Paul said, “Do not be anxious about anything.” And Lao Tzu said, “When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.” Hell, even the Beatles had been telling me, for years, “Let it be.” But those had always been just words to me, just ideas. Only now I was holding onto so much—years’ worth of anger, regret, wasted efforts, wasted youth, wasted money, wasted time. All of that stuff, weighing me down, holding me back…. Until finally the words of Steve Wendt, another great teacher, started to sink in: “Let the bar out…don’t grip the downtubes…relax, relax, relax.” These were no longer just words in a book, no longer just ideas, not the abstraction of some psychiatrist talking about my fears and regrets, but something in me that stood between me and the sky. Words only mean something when they sink into your bones. And, I really, really wanted to fly. And so slowly, lesson by lesson, I learned how to let go. Of the past, of the regrets, of the anger—of my whiteknuckle grip on the downtubes—and suddenly all of these things were the same. Relaxing let me fly, higher and higher, and letting go became something to do with my hands, not just my mind. Letting go allowed me, in the words of Lao Tzu, to become what I

might be. And what might I be? A hang glider pilot—and it seems now like the best thing in the world to be.

Part Three

I’d spent three days camping out, waiting for the right conditions. One evening I was on the truck, harnessed up, listening to Steve’s final instructions when a sudden gust front blew up and we had to abort. Another night in the tent, another windy morning, another turbulent day. Finally, on a Thursday evening, Steve gave me the green light for my first truck tows. In light, smooth, south winds, we taxied out to the runway, did a horn check, went through the safety checklist one more time, and Steve said those words I’d been waiting months to hear: “Nose is hot. Your call.” I took one last deep breath, and said, “Go to cruise!” We started moving, the ground rushed by, my finger touched the nose release— then, a horn beep, a quick pull, and I was up and away, concentrating on keeping the nose of the glider pointed at the truck. Release, turn, fly back, land—on my feet! My heart pounding. I was doing it. I towed up four times, one after another, nearly a thousand feet above the kind of beauty that only a Southern summer evening can hold.

I wanted to fly all night. But, with the sun starting to set, it was time for my last flight of the day, time for it sink in that I’d finally achieved what I’d been seeking all those months—the ability to let go and relax my way into the air, flying the way I’d flown in dreams when I was an eight-year-old boy building kites at the kitchen table. After we loaded up the glider for the last time that night and Steve was about to taxi for the tow road, after he helped me go over my safety checklist for a final time, he added one more piece of advice, one I think I’ll always remember. “Don’t forget to look around,” he said, “and enjoy the view.” And so I launched, watched the truck as it reached the end of the tow road, and pinned off. I did a slow 360, then remembered his words, and looked around. The July evening felt cooler by now, the sky orange-blue and swirling with swallows. Then I passed through a moment that became a snapshot in my mind—off one wingtip, the setting sun, and off the other, the pale moon, already above the horizon. There I was, between the sun and the moon, the past and the future—becoming what I might be, and, finally, flying. Brad Barkley lives and works in Western Maryland. He is the author of four novels and three short-story collections.



HIKE & FLY Competitions by Andy Pag

Inspired by the X-Alps, Andy Pag tries out a weekend hike-and-fly competition and learns a few surprising lessons  38



’m not in quite the shape I’d like to be. I don’t really exercise, and a lump of flesh has been hanging round my stomach since I turned 30. Now I’m staring at 40, and this summer I found myself staring at the Red Bull X-Alps live tracking Web site, wondering how anyone can race 1000 km, 640 miles, with a paraglider on his back. The race appealed to my inner child. I could hear him saying, I’m going to do that one day, even though my inner child is more likely to be craving the X-box than the X-Alps. So while I was in France this summer, I obeyed his little voice long enough to sign up for the

recent. Like the X-Alps pros, competitors in Bornes to Fly carry a live tracking beacon about the size of a matchbox that relays their GPS position via the cellphone network to the competition Web site. Knowing that friends would be tuning in to watch, I decided I had to do some training.

Bornes to Fly race in Annecy—a three-day version of the X-Alps, open to all comers. Participants were mostly club flyers with experience in cross-country mountain flying as well as seriously fit hikers. I had the pleasure of seeing my name on the starting list along with Martin Muller and Victor Sebe, two X-Alps competitors who were using the three-day event for training. Across Europe, especially in France, this type of race is becoming increasingly popular. Bornes to Fly, which starts at the Bornes Massif in the foothills of Mont Blanc, the highest peak in the Alps, is one of the most

Under-Prepared I downloaded Couch-to-5km, a phone app designed to get you off the settee and running three miles non-stop in just eight weeks. Since I only had three weeks to prepare, I fast-forwarded the program and completed my first ever three-mile run just two days before the competition started. It’ ll be fine, I told myself, hoping the other competitors would be elderly Frenchmen carrying baguettes under one arm and a bottle of red wine in their glider bags. But they weren’t, LEFT The long highway. Two competitors keep up the pace and, by the time we got to the first turn along the highway. Much of point, I was already last. the hiking was on footpaths The course was announced just half and back roads. ABOVE an hour before the start, in order to give Hiking in the rain. Andy Pag organizers the latest weather forecasts on the long, slow climb over Col des Aravis into rain and for determining a suitable route. We icy headwind, walking with were due rain on the first two days, with Andrew MacGillivray. clearing skies for the final day. Being at the back meant I was saved from making any crucial decisions and was able to follow local expertise. Most of the other competitors were from the surrounding region but some were from all over Europe. The most difficult part, physically, was the second turnpoint: the Parmelan. Each turnpoint also served as a takeoff, but, of course, there was no guarantee that when you got there the wind would be blowing the



right way. After I tagged the 400m cylinder around the Parmelan, I had to continue climbing to get to the launch. The route kept getting steeper, at times more than 45°. I scrambled up, grabbing branches and digging in my hiking poles wherever I could. Lightheaded and on the verge of being sick, I finally arrived at launch behind a couple of gliders I ABOVE Race start. Martin watched take off. The flight was short. Muller leads the field from the The best I could do was milk little lift start, on the one-hour run to bubbles to slow my descent rate and the first launch and turnpoint. glide as far as I could. OPPOSITE Hiking up to Mont Lachat, turnpoint 3, Because of the weather, all but one taking a break in the shelter of of my flights was a sled ride. Only the an antique forest cabin with X-Alps veteran Martin Muller made a my flying partner Andrew turnpoint from the air. For the rest of MacGillivray. us, it was hike and sled. If I’d known how physically demanding the race would be, I’d never have entered. But after finishing it, I felt glad and proud of how my little legs had coped. On each of the three days, I went further than the distance of a marathon, with flying making up only a small part of my journey. I was carrying 25 pounds on my back and



climbed over 5000 feet every day. In the end, I finished a creditable 30th out of 60. Getting High. The momentum of the event really drove me, even though I gave up racing others for position from the start. The challenge of playing with the mountains motivated me. When I’m flying, I often feel the landscape becomes a 3D playground to explore freely, and that game continued for me during this event, even when I was on the ground hiking. I also experienced an incredible dopamine high that came from pushing my body to work so hard for so long. A few times I was euphoric from the exercise, buzzing away as I walked. Judgment Dreadful After landing on both of the first day’s flights, I realized that if I hadn’t been so fatigued, my mind would have been working better, and I might have been able to make more of the lift bubbles that hinted at a climb. In fairness, no one else was doing much better, but I

concluded that taking time to recover from the climbs before launching would help me to think more clearly in the sky. Bad judgment caused by fatigue didn’t just occur in the air. On the second day, I teamed up with three other pilots; we hiked up to a launch we thought we could use to bypass a 12-mile road hike and thereby leapfrog some of the other competitors to the next turnpoint. As we arrived, the gentle takeoff breeze fell away, replaced with rain, followed by hail and 20mph gusts from the back that threw icy air down on us. We sat there hoping it would clear, but our thinking was totally delusional. With hindsight, I’m embarrassed to admit that I even considered flying might be an option in such volatile conditions. But exhaustion and desperation brought me to that point. The dread of having to hike another 12 miles was enough to skew my thinking and bend my acceptable risk boundaries. After 20 minutes of being bombarded by hail, I finally made the

“When I’m flying, I often feel the landscape becomes a 3D playground to explore freely, and that game continued for me during this event, even when I was on the ground hiking.” long overdue decision to walk back to the road. Supporters I had no supporter, but I completed almost all the race circuit of hiking and flying with a friend. The organizers of the event strongly recommended having an assistant for safety reasons, but to be truly competitive, you must have an active assistant. The best ones keep you fed, hike with you, check the weather and live tracking,



and come up with a race strategy for you when you’re too tired to think straight. The job is exhausting and just as athletic as competing; no one should underestimate it. Getting top ranking in a race like this unequivocally requires a team effort. Since I didn’t have my own supABOVE The essential gear: porter, others stepped in to assist me Woody Valley Voyager+, along the way by offering rides at the light weight and supremely end of the day, helping lay out wings, comfortable. I copied X-Alps giving advice on how other pilots were veteran Toma Cocanea’s strategy of changing my approaching the route, and telling me socks regularly throughout the locations of the best takeoffs.

the day. Hiking poles are a must and a plastic bag keeps the dirt locked away when you stow them for flying. I drank about a gallon of water a day, easy to refill my water bag from springs throughout the mountain. A lightweight folding poncho is invaluable when rain threatens.


Hike or Fly? Racing smarter will get you farther than racing harder. On the final day I sat it out on launch for longer than others, hoping that by waiting for it to turn on I could move up a few places. It sort of worked, but another pilot further up the field used the same tactic


to much better effect, climbing a handful of places to finish in 11th place. Throughout the race, I was constantly scanning the hills around me, looking for launchable slopes, estimating how far I could fly from them compared with how far I could walk in the same length of time. A rule of thumb is that any flight has to deliver an overall glide ratio of 20:1 for it to be worth the detour. It also depends on how closely the course line sits to the valley trail you’re on and whether there are good landing options along the course line. In weak lift, another rule of thumb helps. It takes about 12 minutes to walk a kilometer and two minutes to fly it. The difference is 10 minutes. With a glide ratio of 10:1, you’ll lose 100m over that same kilometer. In a climb, if the lift is weaker than 100m/10minutes (about 30ft/minute), you could be travelling faster by walking. In practice, the rule is: if you aren’t going up, you should go forward—a very different approach from traditional racing, where staying in the air and making goal is more important.

A Lesson for America? This kind of competition is proving very popular with pilots in Europe, where a range of events stretches from three to seven days. But so far, no events like this occur in the US. Judging by the interest shown by US pilots in our two national X-Alps teams, there’s definitely a desire for this type of racing. I finished in the middle of the pack, driven on by will power as much as stamina. If I can do it, anyone can. Remember that it isn’t compulsory to have an iron-man attitude in order to enjoy the flying and hiking. For race organizers, the logistics of a hike-and-fly event are easier than they are in a traditional competition. There’s no worry about shuttles or retrieves, as competitors bring their own support crew, and there’s no need to cater or house competitors, as they will be out on the course for three days. Entrance fees can be correspondingly low. Bornes to Fly, for example, costs just €60, about $100. Plenty of sites around the US could lend themselves to this kind of racing. Mountains with meadows are ideal, but desert hills could work, too, for a more extreme version. Do-It-Yourself Pilots itching to try hike-and-fly competitions shouldn’t wait for someone to start a competition here in the US. And there’s no need to hike-and-fly your way across Europe. It’s easy enough to set an overnight weekend task with friends at your nearest cross-country site. It helps to have some local knowledge and some good maps of the area as well as a dearly beloved to be your

assistant. Approach setting the task with an experimental mindset and see how different pilots try to crack the same problem. Start modestly and keep it safe. The competitions use live tracker devices, but those can be replicated easily enough with smartphone apps or Spot trackers. I would be wrong to say, it’s easier than you think, but I guarantee you’ll be surprised by what you can do.

ABOVE The winners’ podium: Muller and Sebe, first and second. Third place goes to Guillaume Kajpr and Loren Le Car, a couple flying together on a tandem. BELOW Finally after two days of rain, some clouds and thermals. Sadly a low base and 20mph headwind meant my plan to make up places didn’t quite pan out.



Fabulous Fall Fly-ins H

ere it is August already, and before you know it another summer flying season will be coming to an end. Luckily for all of us road-trippers, there’s a feast of Labor Day and fall fly-ins hosted by clubs around the country, most of them in areas with plenty of attractions to build a vacation around, and visiting pilots are enthusiastically welcomed to join the fun. All but California’s Lake McClure Octoberfest (HG only) and



by C.J. Sturtevant

BAPA’s September event (PG only) are biwingual. Grab your map and your calendar, and start planning your next get-away!

California In northern California, the Bay Area Paragliding Association (BAPA) schedules several fly-in options, from August right on through the fall, at sites throughout the state. On the August 24-25 weekend pilots rated P-3 and above will be gathering at

Dunlap (nearish to Yosemite) for some flying and feasting—bring a potluck dish for supper on Saturday. Two weeks later, on September 7, parapilots of all levels (including students and anybody interested in becoming a student) are invited to a playday at Ed Levin Park in Milpitas. There’ll be flying, kiting, spot landing, prizes and a picnic supper at the end of the day. Later in the month, September 21-22, the party is at Potato Hill, near Stonyford. and P-2s and above are in-

LEFT Getting ready to take off at Dunlap | photo by Linda Cook. ABOVE After clearing the front ridge at

Big Sur, relax and enjoy the view of the ocean and the LZ | photo by Kim Galvin.

vited; plan on contributing a potluck dish for Saturday’s supper. BAPA’s season grand finale is on October 26-27, when pilots (P-2s and up) and their families are invited to the annual Monster Mash fly-in at Big Sur. Kim Galvin says, “Because of the beauty of this coastal/mountain site, the nearby sandy beach and the well-appointed campground, Big Sur attracts family members and nonflying friends. We award prizes for best costumes, the best jack o’lanterns, the MVD (most valuable driver), and more. We have a big potluck dinner, candy and prizes for the children/ trick-or-treaters. You are almost guaranteed to have beautiful weather, with spectacular sunsets, occasional whalesightings and smooth-as-glass sledders. If we’re lucky (which we have been for the past several years, but I’d hate to jinx it by bragging), we can extend our flights by catching thermals in front of launch or by soaring the front ridge.” Although BAPA is a paragliding

club and the fly-ins have in the past attracted only paraglider pilots, meet organizer Dave McMillan says hang pilots are invited to attend all but the Potato Hill event (Potato Hill is not a hang-friendly site). All events are free. You can contact Dave at david_m_ Also in the Golden State, The

Mother Lode Sky Riders’ annual hang gliding Oktoberfest fly-in is on Columbus Day weekend, October 12 and 13 at Lake McClure, about 50 miles east of Modesto. Meet organizer Glenn Zapien points out that midOctober’s weather “is always awesome, providing fat thermals and smooth lift. Everything is usually green, with brisk mornings, leading to pleasant afternoon flying.” The weekend festivities include live music by a small local band, plenty of food and beverages, and T-shirts available for sale. A $30 entry fee allows pilots to compete for medals “of Olympic proportions,” says Glenn, in numerous categories, including the whack award, longest duration, most waypoints accomplished, XC distance, spot landing and



LEFT Pilot Victoria Smith (center) surrounded by her

girlfriends in the McClure LZ | photo by Glenn Zapien. BELOW LEFT Tom Johns landing with prizewinning accuracy and style. BELOW RIGHT Bikers

in Chelan at the start point in the Chelan Falls soccer field park. Photos by Lori Lawson. OPPOSITE TOP Parapilots hike up to this launch on Pine for fabulous evening glass-offs | photo by Nico. BOTTOM Sand Turn launch | photo by Johann Nield.

San Diego Zoo. The remaining “second Sundays” for 2013 are August 11, September 8, October 13, November 10 and December 8. For more information contact organizers Brian McMahon ( or Bob Kuczewski ( speed gliding. The club website, has links to a site description, driving directions for getting there, GPS coordinates for the site and the LZ, lodging options and suggestions for non-flying activities. You can contact Glenn for more information at 209-543-4617, or Down in southern California,

at the Torrey Pines Gliderport in San Diego, the Torrey Hawks host a monthly “second Sunday” fly-in through December, and all USHPA pilots rated H-4/P-3 and above are invited. These events are free, but there’s



a $7.50/day (or $150/year) fee to fly at Torrey Pines at any time. On the event days, there’ll be free food for club members and guests (membership in the Torrey Hawks club is free, and is not required to fly at the site or during the fly-ins) and, if you’re unlucky (?) enough to sink out to the nude beach below launch, most likely there will be somebody available to help hike your glider back up via the steep trail. Should you make the drive to Torrey Pines only to find the day isn’t flyable, other outdoor activities within walking distance of the glider port include hiking, swimming and surfing, and San Diego offers plenty of urban activities, including the world-famous

Washington The last weekend of September (28-29) is a perfect time of year to experience flying the famous Chelan Butte, with gentler thermals but still plenty of good lift available for both hang gliders and paragliders. By late September the sunshine has also mellowed, and bike riders will enjoy pleasant temperatures for a scenic 10-mile ride, suitable for mountain or fat-tire bikes. Participants can sign up at the Chelan Falls soccer field LZ for either or both events; entry fee is $35, and those intending to fly must be USHPA members. The flying segment con-

sists of spot-landing and target-drop contests at Chelan Falls Park on the Columbia River. Pilots are scored on their landing accuracy and style and may make as many attempts as they wish, with their three best landings and bomb-drop points counting for their final score. “Bombs” will be issued at sign-in, although lateregistering pilots have scored points with dropped shoes, water bottles, spare harnesses and granola bars (but no anvils, hammers or actual explosives, please). The biking portion is a morning 10-mile ride from Chelan Falls Park up Hwy 150 to the city of Chelan, across the Dan Gordon Bridge and back to the Chelan Falls Park via the old Chelan Falls Road. Serious competitors race the course, while many others choose a slow, leisurely sightseeing pace. Pilots and non-flyers are welcome to sign up for the race. For information about the event, contact Lori Lawson, 425-898-8163, tom. If you need more information about Chelan (hotels, camping, shops, restaurants and activities), call the Chelan Chamber of Commerce at 1-800-4-CHELAN or 1-800-424-3526.

Oregon Pine Mountain is located about

30 miles east of the city of Bend, and has been the starting point for several record-setting hang glider and paraglider flights over the years. The Desert Air Riders’ annual Labor Day fly-in (August 31-September 2 this year) is unlikely to produce any amazingly long flights, but the chances of having an amazingly fun time with lots of fine flying and hanging out with friends are sky-high. Although the fly-in is a fund-raiser for the Desert Air Riders, there is no

entry fee and no sign-up required. Participants can make donations to the site fund, and a raffle on Saturday evening helps fill the coffers. Pine is a USHPA-insured site and requires USHPA membership with a minimum P-2/H-2. Numerous launches face various directions; some require strong launching and big-air flying skills, others are novice-friendly. Free camping is available at the site and in nearby Forest Service campgrounds, and motels and restaurants are plentiful in Bend. More information on the fly-in, on non-flying things to do in the area, and on food and lodging options can be found on the club website’s fly-in page, fly-in.php. Additional site information, including GPS coordinates for launch and a tentative schedule for the weekend’s activities, is also on the website, as well as an extensive gallery of photos from past fly-ins. Hang pilot Bill Woods points out that while most of the photos in the gallery are of paragliders, Pine is an awesome hang gliding site, and hang pilots are

warmly welcomed at the site and the fly-in. Contact meet organizer Wade Holmes ( if you need more information.

Wyoming The little town of Dayton, Wyoming, located about 20 miles west of Sheridan and on the eastern edge of the Big Horn Mountains, has hosted a Labor Day hang glider fly-in at Sand Turn for ages. Sand Turn is one of our Foundation for Free Flight “rescued” sites: It faced closure several years back when the LZ was threatened, but some incredibly dedicated and hard working pilots, with a little financial assistance from the FFF, turned the tide, and the site is now secure. This is a mountain site and can offer strong conditions, big air and excellent XC potential during the summer. By Labor Day, the locals say, conditions are typically mellow enough, for at least part of most days, for both hang and para pilots to enjoy the air. USHPA membership with a minimum H-3/P-3 rating is required. The Labor Day fly-in (August 31-September 2) is rather informal, with no sign-up and no fee. It’s a big event for this little community,



and the journalists who turn out in significant force are often paired with a pilot for accurate inside information on hang gliding and paragliding (and, once their pilot is airborne, the journalists are often available to drive a vehicle down to the LZ). Sheridan has plenty of accommodation options for those who require city amenities, while the mountain, canyon, and the small towns of Dayton and nearby Ranchester offer camping opportunities for more outdoors-y pilots and their families. Local non-flying activities include fishing, hiking, guided or on-yourown tours of Tongue River Cave; Sheridan is a city of 23,000 with all the expected urban activities, including a golf course. Sheridan’s website has a hang gliding page, hang-gliding/, with maps and directions to launch and more information on the fly-in. The website also has numerous links to useful information about the area’s cultural and recreational offerings. Local pilot Johann Nield, president of Sand Turn Buzzard Squadron 274, invites you to call him at 307-751-1138 or email at wyoming- or johann@ if you want more information

Utah George’s and my favorite time to visit the Utah desert is in the fall, and the Red Rock Fall Fly-in, in Richfield, Utah, from September 30 through October 5, is on our itinerary this year. Stacy Whitmore, meet organizer, promises fall colors, beautiful mountains and flying activities for all levels and interests. Planned events include thermaling clinics, spot-landing contests, ridge-soaring tasks, morning sledders, distance challenges—in other words, a huge selection of fun flying activities to give everyone a chance to mingle and enjoy flying from central Utah’s many world-class flying sites. For those whose skills include highaltitude launches and flying, there’s Mt. Edna, Utah’s highest drive up launch at 11,700 feet, a morning thermal site with alpine meadows above the timber line that make launches in any direction possible. Edna’s main LZ is 5600 feet below launch, and these majestic vertical inclines generate thermals surprisingly early: Pilots have climbed to 14,000 feet at 9:30 in

LEFT Evening soaring at Poverty. RIGHT Looking

down on the Mt. Magazine launch and lodge | photo by by Betty Baldwin. BELOW Sunset at Mt. Magazine.

the morning from Mt. Edna! Monroe Peak was the site of the 2011 paragliding race-to-goal US Nationals. The nearly 6000 feet of vertical drop from launch to LZ is the biggest vertical of any USHPA-insured site. Monroe-based events will include morning sledders for novice pilots and spot-landing tasks that access the five landing and relaunch sites on the way down the mountain. Thermal clinics and cross-country flights and clinics will be from either Mt. Edna or Monroe Peak. Although the launch on Cove is just over half as high as its two worldclass sisters, local lore has it that it’s an amazing site to fly, with launches facing three different directions, reliable thermal triggers, evening ridgesoaring, opportunities to bench up in ridge lift to 3000 feet over launch, and seven miles of soarable ridge contributing to its amazing-ness. Spotlanding tasks and ridge-soaring tasks, glass-off flights and possibly thermal clinics will be flown from Cove. Other local sites that may be used for tasks or just fun flying include Poverty Ridge, Venice (the Richfield V), Gold Gulch, Uranium Ridge and, for those willing to hike, The Salina

Waves. The entry fee for the six-day fly-in is $60, plus $15 for club membership if you’re not a CUASA pilot. Running concurrently with the fly-in, Ken Hudonjorgenson will be offering his award-winning thermal clinic, for an additional $100 fee. Please pre-register for this clinic by contacting Stacy. Transportation is not included in either the fly-in or thermal clinic fee. Pilots will meet each day at the convention center in the Quality Inn (540 S. Main Street in Richfield, phone 435-896-5465) to organize rides to launch and other logistics. Quality Inn is offering a special pilot rate on

rooms during the fly-in. For more information or to register for the thermal clinic, contact meet organizer Stacy (Ace) Whitmore at 435-979-0225 or You’ll find a wealth of information about the local sites, and a gallery of photos, on the club website, www.

Arizona The AZHPA hosts two fall fly-ins, opening and closing the month of September. The annual Labor Day fly-in, August 30-September 2 this year, is at Mingus Mountain, near Jerome, and it typically draws pilots

from around the country. Pilots must be USHPA members rated H-3/P-3 or higher to fly at Mingus. Early September is at the tail end of the summer monsoon season, and Mingus will be offering up “big mountain” conditions. There’s lots of XC potential, and the meet organizers will set and score race-to-goal tasks for everyone to enjoy. Past years have also included spot-landing and bomb-drop contests. With launch at 7600 feet and strong mountain air, it’s not uncommon to spend a fair bit of time above 10,000 feet, so bring your oxygen. (If you don’t yet have an oxygen system, please see for a special promotion sponsored by our friends at Mountain High Oxygen, with discounts of 15% and 25% available.) The $50 entry fee for the three-day event includes camping, a T-shirt and



a dinner, and oxygen refills courtesy of Mountain High. AZHPA maintains a beautiful private campground in the tall pines just behind launch. On Labor Day weekend it’ll be crowded, but the local pilots are a friendly lot and will do everything they can to accommodate visiting pilots and their families. (“We love visiting pilots—they taste like chicken!” quips one of the organizers.) For more civilized accommodations, explore Jerome, Prescott, Cottonwood, and Sedona.  Non-flying amusements include the world-famous red rocks of Sedona, Oak Creek Canyon, the Grand Canyon, Flagstaff, the Verde Valley, Out of Africa (if you are a fan of big cats, this is not to be missed), and best of all, driving XC retrieve. You can register online at AZHPA. org, or contact Greg Porter,, for more information. AZHPA’s end-of-September event, the Dixon White Memorial Fly-in, is scheduled for September 28-29 at The Craters, east of Flagstaff. Pilots must be minimum H-2/P-2 rated USHPA members to fly at this high desert site, with two mountains and 360 degrees of launch opportunities. There’s some XC potential at The Craters, and the fly-in includes race-to-goal tasks for everyone to enjoy. Past years have also included spot-landing and bomb-drop contests. Camping is available in at least two places, one in the pines a few

ABOVE Mt. Nebo’s autumn colors. RIGHT At the

2010 Mt. Nebo fly-in. Photos by Betty Baldwin.

miles from launch and another in the stark beauty of the Arizona highmesa desert in one of the LZs. The cushy accommodations would be 20 minutes from the LZ, in Flagstaff, which has great restaurants and plenty of lodging. Ground-based diversions include exploring Sedona, Oak Creek Canyon, Glen Canyon, Marble Canyon, the Vermilion Cliffs and the Grand Canyon. Or experience the back roads and byways in the surrounding countryside by driving XC retrieve. Entry fee is $50 and includes a T-shirt, dinner, spot-landing and bomb-drop contests and rides up to launch from the LZ. Register online at, or contact meet organizer Gingher Leyendecker, gingher@

Arkansas The Central Arkansas Mountain Pilots say that late August and September is the peak of their flying season, and they host two fly-ins to make it easy for visitors to get a taste of the Arkansas sky. The End of Summer Fly-in at Mt Nebo State Park, (N35°12.839’, W093°15.072’) in Dardanelle, Arkansas, is the weekend of August 24-25. Mt Nebo is 1200’ AGL with three launches, facing northeast, east and south, and an LZ with hungry goats that keep the briars

under control and the grass “mowed.” Although there are no formal events planned for the weekend, there should be plenty of flying. You can camp on top, with a cool swimming pool and lots of good hiking trails. A P-3/H-3 minimum rating is required. For more information contact Mike Baldwin, 479-857-1054. If the weather is good, a lot of pilots will be hanging around to fly during the week after, leading into the Mt. Magazine State Park/Albright LZ Labor Day fly-in, starting Saturday, August 31, and running through Labor Day, September 2. Mt. Magazine is 1950’ AGL with a southfacing launch; it is not unusual to have 8000’ cloud base and wonder winds that will take you 1000 feet over takeoff this time of year. Mt. Magazine State Park is located between Havana and Paris, Arkansas, on Arkansas Hwy. 309 (GPS N35° 09.799’, W093° 38.524’). A minimum rating of P-3/ H-3 is required here as well. A potluck picnic in the Albright LZ is planned for Saturday evening. No sign-up or fees are required for participation in the flying, but bring something to share at the picnic. You can camp out or stay in the hotel on top of Mt. Magazine. For more information contact Mark Stump, 479-466-9125.

New Mexico The Rio Grande Soaring Association’s Columbus Day Fly-In is happening this year on October 12-14; pilots will be gathering around 9:00 a.m. at the Cox Field LZ on Fairgrounds Drive in Alamogordo, New Mexico, to arrange carpools to launch. This is a no-entry-fee event; pilots must be USHPA members rated H-3/P-3 or above, although novices may fly with local approval. The area sites include Dry Canyon, at 2400’ AGL one of the most consis-



ABOVE Alamogordo, NM | photo courtesy Robin Hastings. RIGHT TOP Looking down on the scenic Pennsylvania countryside. Photo by Shawn McDuff. BOTTOM Launch at Hyner View is directly below the spectators’ overlook | photo by Shawn McDuff.

tently flyable places in the nation and noted for its evening glass-offs and abundant thermals, and La Luz, an adjacent H-2/P-2 site with launches facing three directions. The landing zones for each site are huge and flat, and a 7:1 glide from the launches.   Alamogordo is very supportive of flying activities and is home to Holloman Air Force Base. The city offers a wide selection of lodging and dining options, a fine little zoo for kids, the International Space Hall of Fame museum, and plenty of parks.  White Sands National Monument, just a short distance to the west, is a unique and somewhat disorienting experience: Your eyes insist you’re standing among piles of plowed and drifted snow while your skin experiences oven-like temperatures. Cool off with a visit to Cloudcroft, a beautiful mountain town amid tall pines and golden aspens about 20 minutes from Alamogordo. More information about the sites,



the flying and the area are on the club website, Meet organizer Robin Hastings points out that autumn is arguably the finest time to fly in New Mexico, with conditions being mellower than summer but significant XC flights still possible. Contact Robin at, 575-5415744.

Pennsylvania Pennsylvania’s Hyner Hang Gliding Club has, according to its website, been “defying gravity since 1975,” and in spite of its name, it’s a biwingual group that’s hosting this five-day party over the Labor Day weekend (August 29 through September 2). The fly-in format is casual: Sign up when you show up, and the $25 entry fee includes camping in the 40-acre LZ—land right next to your homeaway-from home so your family won’t have to interrupt their activities to come retrieve you! And there are plenty of familyfocused summer activities to lure the non-pilots away from camp, including hiking, bicycling, kayaking and swimming in the river. Pilots must be USHPA members

rated H-2/P-2 or higher, and will need to fill out a club membership application and waiver before flying (membership is included in the $25 event fee). You can download the PDF forms at applications.php. For more information contact club

president and meet organizer Shawn McDuff , or 610-488-9478. You’ll find just about anything you’re looking for, both flying related and ground-based fun stuff and logistics, on the club website, GPS coordinates for Hyner View Park: N41°19.59’, W77° 37.42’ (41.3323°, -77.6284°)


o there you have it: way too many excellent choices for your fall flying and partying pleasure! Support your local club, or venture farther afield to a site you’ve never flown or a part of the country you’ve never visited. Believe it or not, time’s running out on the 2013 season, so go grab some airtime, toast some marshmallows, swap stories around a campfire, and store up those memories that will sustain you through the off season.





by Cathleen O’Connell


o here’s one way to spend nonflying time: create a personalized glider cover. The inspiration for this came from a fellow pilot with mad sewing skills who crafted a simple, neat, easy-on/easy-off, heavyduty cover for the practical purpose of protecting his glider and its ornately embroidered glider bag during travels to distant flying sites. Since I have no compunction about copying great ideas, I decided to replicate it as best I could, and make one for my beloved Freedom 150, the famous Soarabella, to protect her and her factory bag during transportation along the grimy roads of northern N.J. and the Hudson Valley of N.Y. But after I was done I looked upon my creation and realized it was just a soul-less bag and it could be so much more. Clearly it needed a face! So I gave it one. Now I cruise to the flight park in a “glidersnake float” in my own private parade, distracting other drivers for a moment from their phone calls and texts. I know there are many beside myself who’ve had fun modifying equipment in fun and fanciful ways (glider bags, helmets, racks). This article is meant to inspire those of you with a creative impulse but who are doubtful about tackling a similar project by assuring you that all you need is rudimentary sewing ability, a



little imagination—and a brave sense of fun. I failed to earn a sewing badge from the Girl Scouts and got through a home economics class without even attempting the apron we were assigned to make. So if I can pull off this “textile adventure” so can anyone (and likely with a lot less struggle and much better results than I managed). What you need

Use industrial-strength thread and denim-grade sewing needles. A regular sewing machine will be OK. Mine is the kind recommended to teach little kids how to sew—really basic, almost a toy. Get a tarp from a home-improvement store. I used an inexpensive blue covering but better quality is available for those of you with confidence in your abilities. Just make sure your sewing machine is powerful enough for the material. The tarp must be big enough to cover the length and girth of your glider IN ITS BAG. (This cover does not replace your bag – it protects your bag.) Use industrial-strength, selfadhesive Velcro—lots of it, because it needs to reach along most of the cover. How to make the basic cover

My biggest character shortcoming— impatience—was my biggest challenge with this project. I didn’t measure anything and just eyeballed it as I went along. So of course it required a lot of re-construction at each step. I did it the hard way but I want you to do it the smart way: measure, then cut. You want to wind up with a long rectangle big enough in both directions to cover the length and girth of your glider in its bag—with a small margin for sewing the edges. Create the bag inside-out: Fit the tarp around your glider/bag with the right side in, and tape it together with

easily removable brown tape into a tube from the nose to about three or four feet toward the middle (depending on the length of your glider). Ultimately it will slide over the nose of your glider like a sock, with flaps that will later adhere to each other with Velcro. Sew the front section together and remove the tape. Then put the partially constructed cover back on your glider, again inside out, and mark off the excess tarp. You want it to fit snugly or you will have tarp flapping against the roof of your vehicle flaying off the paint. This is where measuring will help. If you measured carefully in step two you may not need to do any paring back. It took me a few fittings to get it rounded in the “nasal area” and snug throughout. Sew a nice hem along the length of the open flaps. This will keep them from fraying with use. Turn the bag right side out. Apply the Velcro along the inner flap on one side and the outer flap on the other. Position the Velcro so that the flaps will close together securely and snugly around the glider in its bag. (It took me several rows of Velcro to get it right. What a waste—I should have measured!) I found that the glue even of the industrial-strength Velcro did not hold sufficiently with use so I sewed mine to secure it better. Note that the adhesive will stick to your sewing needle so you may need to replace it if it gets too gummy. The Velcro may also fray your thread as you sew it in so you would need to re-thread it as it shreds. Enjoy the challenge: remember that you’ll have a one-of-a-kind masterpiece if you persevere! Now you are done with the basic construction. If, like me, you did not achieve perfection, that doesn’t mean you failed. It’s a glider bag cover,


for goodness’ sake—how bad can it be? Just fix it! Use tape, use glue, use buttons—whatever works. Don’t be proud. For example I needed to add fasteners at strategic points to keep the Velcro closed at highway speeds so I added a few snaps in the middle and a buckle at the tail. (I even considered using bra hooks.) Do what you need to do. Voila! This is the serviceable, basic glider cover.

meant to be.) Eyes: Cut out two circles in light material, and two smaller circles of dark cloth. Glue the dark circles in over the light ones. You can make them normal or cock-eyed depending how you position the dark circles. You can sew or draw red zigzag lines in the white portion to make them bloodshot. Glue these together and onto the cover—now you have a face! Tongue

Now, how to make it come alive

Draw upon your inner whimsy and decorate. Originally I thought the blue tarp and glider shape lent itself to an elegant Blue Shark. Ultimately my skills were revealed to fall far short of this ambition so I just attempted the snake, which is very simple. (Plus isn’t 2013 the Year of the Snake? It was just

Cut out a long rectangle and two small triangles of red material. Piece them together into a viper’s forked tongue. Hem it to keep it from fraying in the wind. Rip open a small space in the front seam of the cover, shove the flat end of the tongue into the “face” and re-sew the seam. The tongue flickers at low speeds but at around 50 mph it

sticks comically to the side of the face! This is probably the simplest design you can make. But go ahead and attempt that shark. Or any other creature you can imagine. Put the two eyes on one side and you have a glider flounder. Make a snub nose and it’s a pig. Buck teeth and floppy ears become a rabbit. Yellow beak, white front panel, angry eyes—an eagle. Don’t worry about the effect of profile drag on gas mileage if your cover has elaborate features. The glider itself has pretty much decimated your mileage already so why worry? Be inspired! Even with the most basic equipment and absolutely no sewing skill you can still vivify any creature that haunts your imagination. Then scare those kids at the flight park as you drive up to launch!





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Jonathon Severdia Brian Goodman Alan Kaatz Joseph Vella Michael La Tour Sheldon Butler Derek Davis Ian Brubaker Michael Stein Jim Blount Ricardo Vassmer Ulrich Vassmer Tim Hudson Heidi Stump Alvaro Villa Jason Stone Mark Van Dyke Jonathon Severdia Maxwell Mileck Brian Goodman Brent Miller Jacob Federico Joseph Vella Walter (terry) Heatlie Keith Trimels Max Kotchouro Jim Blount Ricardo Vassmer Ulrich Vassmer Tim Hudson Heidi Stump Alvaro Villa Ted Sullivan Jason Stone Krista Taylor Daisuke Morii Ulrich Vassmer Scott Isbell Gilles Trawalter Jim Mcnamara

John Matylonek Eric Hinrichs Eric Hinrichs Michael Jefferson Greg Dewolf Greg Dewolf Greg Dewolf Greg Dewolf Andy Thompson Jennifer Copple Derreck Turner Derreck Turner Jennifer Copple Jason Anderson James Tindle Jason Anderson Andy Torrington John Matylonek Barry Levine Eric Hinrichs Eric Hinrichs Robert Booth Michael Jefferson Greg Dewolf Mark Windsheimer Rhett Radford Jennifer Copple Derreck Turner Derreck Turner Jennifer Copple Jason Anderson James Tindle Jason Anderson Jason Anderson Eric Hinrichs Mitchell Shipley Derreck Turner Malcolm Jones Charles Glantz Malcolm Jones




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Ian Barton Derek Zwagerman Daniel Mark Claude Williams Rick Ely Brandon Cox Derek Falkenhagen David Hertel


Nick Crane Kevin Lee Greg Babush Greg Babush Rob Sporrer Marc Chirico Wade Maxwell Scott Amy

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

Derek Mccallister Brent Taylor Blake Delaney Mollie Starks Trent Drenon Vitalii Umanskyi Tim Ansell Aron Kormout Robert Shields Konstantin Aptekarev Wade Ogg John Dorrough Peter Ryan


Steve Roti John Kraske Andy Macrae Kelly Kellar Kevin Lee Jesse Meyer Rob Sporrer Wallace Anderson Dave Turner Jesse Meyer Daniel Ribas Carson Klein Max Marien



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

John Martillo Adam Finn Rex Pebsworth Esperanza Nunez Eric Van Name Trevor Davids Bader Altrarwa Raj Joshl Hans Schafer Massimo Mascaro Ryan Sims Christopher Carnahan Kristin Knisely Steven Shrinkle Charles Mcclees Franck Techoueyres Shawn Cordon Richard Pethigal Kevin Millard Eric Bader Sam Baker Daniel Mcnulty Dominic Zanzucchi Christopher Dunham Dennis Lanphar Christopher Loidolt James Yaru Steven (abbott) Smith Chelsea Paulus Timson Garrett Thomas Hensley James Culver Rob Curran Vern Streeter Sophie Dougher George Huffman Tim Garvey David Blocksom Osama Idlibi Daniel Starsmore Bryan Upchurch Wesley Womack Dmitriy Grigoryev Tom Martinson Neil Batho Luke Blair Tim Macmillan Milan Pariyar Rajesh Bomjan Ashish Gurung Seckin Ozatmaca Muhammed Koyun Ian Barton Derek Zwagerman Daniel Mark Claude Williams Rick Ely Derek Falkenhagen David Hertel Blake Delaney Trent Drenon Jon Murphy Vitalii Umanskyi Tim Ansell Robert Shields Wade Ogg




Stephen Nowak Chris Santacroce Max Marien Max Marien Max Marien Max Marien Hadi Golian Hadi Golian Rob Sporrer Max Marien Max Marien Chris Santacroce Christopher Grantham Max Marien Max Marien David (dexter) Binder Philip Russman Rob Sporrer Darius Lukosevicius Granger Banks Nik Peterson Kevin Hintze Tanner Patty Aaron Cromer Sean Buckner Justin Boer Nik Peterson Ryan Taylor Sean Buckner Granger Banks Andy Macrae Andy Macrae Matthew Beechinor Andy Macrae Samuel Crocker Peter Humes Max Marien Max Marien Max Marien Luis Rosenkjer Luis Rosenkjer Luis Rosenkjer David Prentice James Reich Fred Morris Kevin Hintze Hadi Golian David Hanning David Hanning David Hanning David Hanning Murat Tuzer Nick Crane Kevin Lee Greg Babush Greg Babush Rob Sporrer Wade Maxwell Scott Amy Andy Macrae Kevin Lee Fred Morris Jesse Meyer Rob Sporrer Dave Turner Daniel Ribas


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

John Dorrough Salvatore Pecoraro Peter Ryan Andrea Whitfield John Martillo Adam Finn Allen Thoe Esperanza Nunez Bader Altrarwa Raj Joshl Hans Schafer Christopher Carnahan Kristin Knisely Charles Mcclees Franck Techoueyres Shawn Cordon Richard Pethigal Bradley Balser Sean Linehan Kevin Beverly Kevin Millard Eric Bader Sam Baker Daniel Mcnulty Dominic Zanzucchi Dennis Lanphar Christopher Loidolt James Yaru Steven (abbott) Smith Chelsea Paulus Thomas Hensley James Culver Vern Streeter David Foster Sophie Dougher George Huffman Tim Garvey David Blocksom Sean Brenner Daniel Starsmore Bryan Upchurch Wesley Womack Dmitriy Grigoryev Tom Martinson Neil Batho Luke Blair Tim Macmillan Milan Pariyar Rajesh Bomjan Ashish Gurung Seckin Ozatmaca Muhammed Koyun Charles Moore Jeff Shelman Brett Neyhart Louis Fabbri Jr Rick Peckham Shaun Macleod Carrick Macleod Shannon Moyle James Groebner Kris Miller Scott Stabbert Sam Sturgeon Michael Hafer Vitalii Umanskyi




Carson Klein Bob Hammond Jr Max Marien Jonathan Legg Stephen Nowak Chris Santacroce Wallace Anderson Max Marien Hadi Golian Hadi Golian Rob Sporrer Chris Santacroce Christopher Grantham Max Marien David (dexter) Binder Philip Russman Rob Sporrer Sean Buckner Charles (chuck) Woods Rob Sporrer Darius Lukosevicius Granger Banks Nik Peterson Kevin Hintze Tanner Patty Sean Buckner Justin Boer Nik Peterson Ryan Taylor Sean Buckner Andy Macrae Andy Macrae Andy Macrae Max Marien Samuel Crocker Peter Humes Max Marien Max Marien Luis Rosenkjer Luis Rosenkjer Luis Rosenkjer Luis Rosenkjer David Prentice James Reich Fred Morris Kevin Hintze Hadi Golian David Hanning David Hanning David Hanning David Hanning Murat Tuzer John Kraske Delvin Crabtree Gerry Donohoe Bob Hannah Jake Schlapfer Nick Crane Nick Crane Marc Chirico Michael (kim) Smith Gerry Donohoe Marc Chirico Scott Harris Mike Steen Jesse Meyer


P-3 P-3 P-3 P-3 P-3 P-3 P-3 P-3 P-3 P-3 P-3 P-3 P-3 P-3 P-3 P-3 P-3 P-3 P-3 P-3 P-3 P-3 P-3 P-3 P-3 P-3

Kia Ravanfar Jesse Pennepacker Gavin Fridlund David Koski Alexander Malo Michael Gabor Kurt (erik) Johns David Sacher Peter Ryan Giles Fabris Jean-noel Michel Esperanza Nunez Douglas Carlson Richard Pethigal Aaron Mckeage Kevin Millard Sam Baker Daniel Mcnulty James Yaru Shawn Walker Christo Johnson Nikolay Tomayly Dan Decarlo Tim Garvey David Blocksom Marcus Jakob



Hadi Golian Jerome Daoust Marcello Debarros Rob Sporrer Hadi Golian Max Marien Hadi Golian Rob Sporrer Max Marien Max Marien Jerome Daoust Max Marien Stacy Whitmore Rob Sporrer Chris Santacroce Darius Lukosevicius Nik Peterson Kevin Hintze Nik Peterson Andy Macrae Chris Santacroce Jaro Krupa Jerome Daoust Max Marien Max Marien Luis Rosenkjer


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Daniel Starsmore Dmitriy Grigoryev Mark Carter Tom Martinson Milan Pariyar Rajesh Bomjan Ashish Gurung Seckin Ozatmaca Muhammed Koyun Carl Bevis Brian Jackson Steven Miller Johan Prinsloo Philip Wilson Richard Kennedy Bart Strege Richard Pethigal Matt Bickley John Harlow Shad Coulson Sano Babu Sunuwar Milan Pariyar Rajesh Bomjan Ashish Gurung Seckin Ozatmaca Muhammed Koyun




Luis Rosenkjer David Prentice James Reich James Reich David Hanning David Hanning David Hanning David Hanning Murat Tuzer Lawrence Wallman Kelly Kellar Wallace Anderson Max Marien Hadi Golian Jonie Millhouse Rob Sporrer Rob Sporrer Darius Lukosevicius Darius Lukosevicius Kevin Hintze David Hanning David Hanning David Hanning David Hanning David Hanning Murat Tuzer

NOMINATIONS FOR USHPA BOARD OF DIRECTORS NEEDED Nominations can be submitted online in the member’s-only section, https://; 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 August 15, 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.




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 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


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 1-4  Cali, Colombia. The World Games are organized and governed by the International World Games Association (IWGA), under the patronage of the International Olympic Committee (IOC). The 2013 edition will take place in Cali, Colombia, over a period of 11 days from July 25 to August 4 2013. 32 official sports will be featured, including Parachuting Canopy Piloting and Paragliding Accuracy, while AeroMusicals (Aeromodelling) is present as a demonstration sport. More information: Faustine Carrera +41 (0)21 345 10 70 , or HG AUGUST 12-18  Arangoiti-Navarra, Spain. The 2014 FAI Pre-European HG Championship. A cat-2 event that is open to all pilots. More information: Jose Manuel (Juaki) Sanchez Garcia,, 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 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 HG PG SEPTEMBER 28-29  The Craters, Flagstaff, AZ. Dixon White flew away 5/30/04. Join us to celebrate his life, and enjoy the classic Crater conditions. Everyone who loves to fly should join us. Call or email, or 928699-9362.

clinics & tours 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


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 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

SEPTEMBER 26-28  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

SEPTEMBER 28-29  Utah. Mountain Flying

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 January 19-26  Tapalpa, Mexico. P-2 pilots

will fly word-class sites with 2500-foot vertical near Guadalajara. Enjoy four different drive-up sites within an hour of your luxury hotel room: Tapalpa, San Marco, Jocotopec and Colima. Avoid Valle crowds! Airport pickup, private hotel room, breakfast, site fees, guiding and coaching for six days of incredible flying for $1600. More information: Granger Banks,, or http://parasoftparagliding. com/tapalpa-mexico-trips/.

FEBRUARY 2-9  Tapalpa, Mexico. P-3 pilots

will fly word-class sites with 2500-foot vertical near Guadalajara. Enjoy four different driveup sites within an hour of your luxury hotel room: Tapalpa, San Marco, Jocotopec and Colima. Avoid Valle crowds! Airport pickup, private hotel room, breakfast, site fees, guiding and coaching for six days of incredible flying for $1600. More information: Granger Banks,, or http://parasoftparagliding. com/tapalpa-mexico-trips/.


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



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:


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®

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



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.

Photo courtesy of

Timothy Alimossy

Real Estate Salesperson | NYS Lic. No. 10401238145

(607) 351-4755 | H2 Pilot


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





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.

FLORIDA FLORIDA RIDGE AEROTOW PARK - 18265 E State Road 80, Clewiston, Florida 863-805-0440, www. GRAYBIRD AIRSPORTS — Paraglider & hang glider towing & training, Dragonfly aerotow training, XC, thermaling, instruction, equipment. Dunnellon Airport 352-245-8263, email 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

- 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.

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

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.

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


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,

VIRGINIA BLUE SKY - Full-time HG instruction.

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




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.

TEXAS FlyTexas / Jeff Hunt - training pilots in

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

UTAH CLOUD 9 PARAGLIDING - Come visit us and check

out our huge selection of paragliding gear, traction kites, extreme toys, and any other fun things you can think of. If you aren’t near the Point of the Mountain, then head to 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.

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, , WINGS OVER WASATCH HANG GLIDING - Salt

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

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,




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

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,

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@


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.

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

Daydreams Paragliding and Lake Tahoe Paragliding need certified (P4, T3, Tandem

Instructor), experienced tandem paraglider pilots to work with us in and around the Lake Tahoe area. Qualified pilots should contact us at: or www.

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,

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

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









NEW USHPA T-SHIRTS! | ONLY $12.00! Get ‘em hot off the press. 3 Designs. Black shirts with graphics back and front. Only $12!

SPOT-2 MESSENGER | $99.95 USHPA members receive 10% off the retail value of the membership every year on Medivac+. The Medivac+ program with GEOS can be used in conjunction with the SPOT.



Top shelf soft shell jacket embroidered with USHPA logo

Now you can wear the same

and name of the association on the back.

navy polo shirt we wear to the country club. Where we work our second jobs. USHPA logo embroidered proudly on the chest.



Our black baseball cap is made with sueded twill and brandishes the association logo proudly. Keep the sun at bay, the USHPA way.



Choose a 10-pack of either HG or PG on luxurious metallic card stock with matching

The ultimate coffee

4x9 inch envelopes. Inside is blank.

table book - part 2!

FLYING SITES OF THE ALPS | $56.95 Is there some reason you wouldn't buy this book? OK, maybe you don't fly in Europe, but you know you want to. Buy the book!






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



This thorough guide by Dennis

Excellent illustrations and a

Pagen is a must have for any

companion DVD make this

paraglider's library. Get started,

paragliding tome a must-have

keep flying, or go back and

as an introduction or a

review. An excellent reference.

refresher reference.

EAGLES IN THE FLESH | $14.95 Erik Kaye's nonfiction adventure


UNDERSTANDING THE SKY | $24.95 You'll read Dennis Pagen's

story about men who become

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birds, who soar over mountains

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and jungles, and who look upon

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most complex topics in the his-

cultures while flying like Eagles

tory of topics.

and partying like Vultures.

THERMAL FLYING, NEW EDITION | $52.95 Get the new version of

FLYING RAGS FOR GLORY | $47.95 The A to Z of Competition

Burkhard Marten's compre-

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Nearly 300 pages illustrated with 500 diagrams and photos.

PUBLICATIONS ACROBATICS. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $41.95 AND THE WORLD COULD FLY. . . . . . . . . . . . . $32.95 ART OF SKY SAILING - A RISK MGMT MANUAL. . . . . . $14.95 ART OF SKY SAILING - A RISK MGMT MANUAL & DVD. . . $55.00 AVIATION WEATHER. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $24.95 BEST FLYING SITES OF THE ALPS. . . . . . . . . . . . $47.95 BIRDFLIGHT . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $19.95 CONDOR TRAIL . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $24.95 CLOUDSUCK. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $17.95 EAGLES IN THE FLESH. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $14.95 FLY THE WING. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $12.95 FLYING RAGS FOR GLORY. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $47.95 FUNDAMENTALS/INSTRUCTION. . . . . . . . . . . . $12.95 HANG GLIDING TRAIN. MANUAL. . . . . . . . . . . . $29.95 INSTR. MANUAL (HG or PG). . . . . . . . . . . . . $15.00 THE ART OF PARAGLIDING. . . . . . . . . . . . . . $34.95 TOWING ALOFT . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $29.95 PG-PILOTS TRAIN. MANUAL & DVD. . . . . . . . . . $39.95 PERFORMANCE FLYING . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $29.95 SECRETS OF CHAMPIONS. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $29.95

SLOVENIA: GUIDE BOOK. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $31.95 STOLEN MOMEN TS 2. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $55.00 UNDERSTANDING THE SKY. . . . . . . . . . . . . . $24.95 FLIGHT LOG BOOK . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $2.95

DVD BIG BLUE SKY. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $29.95 BORN TO FLY. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $34.95 FLYING OVER EVEREST. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $47.95 FRESH AIR RIDERS. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $22.95 FROM NOWHERE. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $41.95 LIFT. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $19.95 LIFTING AIR. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $39.95 NEVER ENDING THERMAL. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $41.95 PARAHAWKING. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $35.95 PARAGLIDING:LEARN TO FLY. . . . . . . . . . . . . $44.95 PARAGLIDING: GROUND HANDLING TECHNIQUES . . . . $35.95 PARAGLIDER TOWING. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $24.95 PARTY/CLOUDBASE. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $24.95 PERFORMANCE FLYING . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $42.95 PLAY GRAVITY. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $41.95 PLAY GRAVITY 2. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $38.50

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.

RED BULL X-ALPS 2007. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $45.95 PURA VIDA FLYING . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $24.95 RISK & REWARD. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $29.95 THE PERFECT MTN. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $36.95 SPEED TO FLY/SECURITY IN FLIGHT. . . . . . . . . . . $48.95 SPEED GLIDING . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $24.95 STARTING PARAGLIDING. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $29.95 STARTING HANG GLIDING . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $29.95 STARTING POWER PARAGLIDING . . . . . . . . . . . $36.95 TEMPLE OF CLOUDS. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $31.95 THREE FLIGHTS. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $37.95 WEATHER TO FLY . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $39.95

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



ON GLIDE TIME I find winters in the Northwest downright depressing. The days, weeks, and months are filled with clouds, wind, and rain. I’ve always assumed the winter season, at least in my part of the Northwest, as a cause for the pilot’s version of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). I can easily wander about the house for days being moody, depressed, and uncaring. I’m not whining—too much. I know full well that the weather, and the general situation, are far worse in other parts of the world. I grew up in northern Indiana. I know those winters can be fierce. Certainly, there is not a lot of flying in those flatlands this time of year. Here, where I live now, the winter days are simply wet. I live for those days when the rain isn’t falling and when the winds are just right, but between those all-too-few, perfect days, there is only time—lots and lots of time. Quite often, and sadly, I spend far too much of that time feeling sorry for myself because I can’t fly at my local sites. I spend time in self-pity because I can’t get away from my personal situation. I spend time lamenting the high cost of gas, and the distances I have to drive to do anything at all. I spend time being envious of those who can get and do winter in warm, sunny, flyable places. Then come the days that reinforce lessons learned long ago, as this one did. The sun came out, and the clouds drifted away. There was sudden chatter about the east side working during tomorrow’s early morning. My wife and I were out of bed at 5:00 a.m. We were out the door by 6:00, driving as fast as legally possible to a favorite flying site

by Steve Messman

and a favored beach. Along the way, we stopped for coffee and rolls, and we spent time sharing the morning while sitting on a picnic table in a still-closed park. We spent time watching the sun rise slowly over the canal, and listening to waking birds. We spent time taking pictures of water that rippled pastel rainbows, and of sleeping ducks that bobbed on rose-colored shadows. We spent time with each other. We arrived at the flying site around 9:00 that morning. It was already packed with local pilots. I hadn’t seen several of those people since Christmas, so we spent time getting reacquainted. We talked while laying out our wings, while waiting for the perfect moment, while winging our way to the bluff’s edge. It was time well spent. My thoughts shifted, and I remembered how much of my recent time had been spent so poorly. Time. It is the only gift that is given


freely to absolutely everyone. It is never taxed. It can never be returned to the giver. It can never be stolen from us. We can look forward to more of it being made available with every successful breath until the second that our bodies die. Time is a gift that is ours to spend as freely as it was given and in any way that we choose. We can spend it by being sad and depressed. We can spend it in anger; we can spend it while wallowing in self-pity; we can even spend it in seeking revenge for some past wrong. Or we can spend it wisely. Time is a magical gift that having once been given must also be instantly spent. You cannot bank time. You cannot save it. You cannot collect it in a jar or your purse or a safe-deposit box. The only thing you can do with time is spend it—immediately. But the best and most magical part is this: While you can’t bank time, you can bank what time purchases. I gave thought to how much time I had spent in the lightless caverns of anger and in the mind-sucking pools of self-pity. There was no satisfaction there; those places offer nothing to take home, and they return nothing from such a precious investment. The same amount of time spent on more productive ventures would have provided a valuable return on my investment. If only I would have spent my time studying, reading, writing, watching videos, cleaning my gear, inspecting my equipment, or planning, my personal rewards could easily have been increased knowledge, deeper understanding, and a more positive direction. Those are rewards you can put in the bank. Time is a gift that all of us are given in absolutely equal shares. The secret of that gift isn’t in the having. The secret is in the spending.

EN-Certification: EN-Certification: EN-Certification: Available sizes: Available Available sizes: sizes: Number of cells: Number of Number of cells: cells: Surface Area: Surface Area: Surface Area: Product Weight: Product Product Weight: Weight: Fun Quotient: Fun Fun Quotient: Quotient:

B (all sizes) BB (all (all sizes) sizes) XXS, XS, S, M, L XXS, XXS, XS, XS, S, S, M, M, LL 51 51 51 21.7 — 30.9 m22 21.7 21.7 — — 30.9 30.9 m m2 5.1 — 6.2 kg 5.1 5.1 — — 6.2 6.2 kg kg XXXF XXXF XXXF

Weight ranges: Weight Weight ranges: ranges: XXS: 60-80 kg XXS: 60-80 XXS: 60-80 kg kg XS: 70-90 kg XS: 70-90 XS: 70-90 kg kg S: 80-100 kg S: 80-100 S: 80-100 kg kg M: 90-110 kg M: 90-110 M: 90-110 kg kg L: 100-130 kg L: 100-130 L: 100-130 kg kg

in in fo@s fo@s uu per per fl fl yy in in cc .c .c om om •• w ww w per per fl fl yy in in cc .c .c om om

801-255-9595 801-255-9595 801-255-9595

Call, click or stop on by: Call, Call, click click or or stop stop on on by: by:

Super Fly has everything Super has everything SuperweFly Fly haseverything) everythingfor flying. (and mean (and we mean everything) (and we mean everything) for for flying. flying. Tools, toys, top-of-the-line gear. Tools, toys, top-of-the-line gear. Tools, toys,today. top-of-the-line gear. Get yours Get Get yours yours today. today.

Nova has done it Building on strong foundation set phenomenal Nova it again! again! on the the and strong foundation set by by the the performance phenomenal Mentorhas 2, done the new MentorBuilding 3 goes above beyond with surprising Mentor 2, the new Mentor 3 goes above and beyond with surprising performance Mentor 2, the new Mentor 3 goes above and beyond with surprising performance improvements and familiar stability, compactness and precision. improvements improvements and and familiar familiar stability, stability, compactness compactness and and precision. precision. Brake travel is shorter. Cornering is tighter. Efficient thermalling has never been Brake travel shorter. is tighter. Efficient thermalling has been Brake relaxed. travel isisOutstanding shorter. Cornering Cornering tighter. thermalling has never never beena more stabilityisacross theEfficient entire speed range while showing more relaxed. Outstanding stability across the entire speed range while showing more relaxed.better Outstanding across the entirespeed! speed range while showing aa significantly glide ratiostability and improved top-end significantly significantly better better glide glide ratio ratio and and improved improved top-end top-end speed! speed! Mentor 3’s small aspect ratio brings a high level of safety and stability, easy handling Mentor 3’s small aspect ratio aa high of and easy Mentor small aspectcollapse ratio brings brings highA level level of safety safety and stability, stability, easyB handling handling behavior3’sand improved recovery. safe and predictable high-level glider. behavior and improved collapse recovery. A safe and predictable high-level behavior and improved collapse recovery. A safe and predictable high-level BB glider. glider. More than just a better glide ratio (increased by 0.60 across the entire speed range) More than just glide ratio (increased by across the speed More just aa better better ratiomore (increased by 0.60 0.60better acrosshandling the entire entire speed range) range) Mentorthan 3 provides a moreglide relaxed, comfortable, behavior. Mentor 3 provides a more relaxed, more comfortable, better handling behavior. Mentor 3 provides a more relaxed, more comfortable, better handling behavior. 3-D Shaping: Helps achieve a cleaner leading edge by connecting convex 3-D Helps achieve 3-D Shaping: Shaping: achieve aa cleaner cleaner leading leading edge edge by by connecting connecting convex convex fabric pieces onHelps the nose. fabric pieces on the nose. fabric pieces on the nose. Optimized Stabilo: Small changes, significantly reduced drag. Optimized Optimized Stabilo: Stabilo: Small Small changes, changes, significantly significantly reduced reduced drag. drag. New Leading Edge Shape and Intakes: Enhanced design yields decisive New Edge and Enhanced design yields decisive New Leading Leading Edge Shape Shape and Intakes: Intakes: glider characteristics and internal pressure.Enhanced design yields decisive glider glider characteristics characteristics and and internal internal pressure. pressure. New brake geometry and reefing system: Reduced line length, more New brake and reefing system: Reduced New brake geometry geometry reefing system: Reduced line line length, length, more more comfortable brake travel,and improved handling overall. comfortable brake travel, improved handling overall. comfortable brake travel, improved handling overall.

Revolution Revolution Through Through Evolution: Evolution: Nova has done it again! Building on the strong foundation set by the phenomenal

Photo: Photo: Photo: Thomas Thomas Thomas Defner Defner Defner

Hang Gliding & Paragliding Vol43/Iss08 Aug 2013  

Official USHPA Magazine

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