Hang Gliding & Paragliding Vol43/Iss12 Dec 2013

Page 1

DECEMBER 2013 Volume 43 Issue 12 $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

ON THE COVER, Tom Weissenberger flies over Iquique, Chile. Photo by Jean Luis de Heeckeren / Red Bull Content Pool. MEANWHILE, Foundation for Free Flight site enhancement project, Snow King Resort, in an evening light | photo by Rebecca Bredehoft.

instructor, using safe equipment suitable for your level of experience. Many of the articles and photographs in the 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 advertising@ushpa.aero.



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

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 executivedirector@ushpa.aero Nick Greece, Editor editor@ushpa.aero Greg Gillam, Art Director art.director@ushpa.aero

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 copy@ushpa.aero

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 Christina Ammon, Dennis Pagen, C.J. Sturtevant Ryan Voight

Jon Stallman, Advertising advertising@ushpa.aero

Staff Photographers John Heiney, Jeff Shapiro

















Fund-raiser Fly-ins Foundation for Free Flight ������������������������������������������� by C.J. Sturtevant


Migration A Zen Tale ���������������������������������������������������������������by Christina Ammon


Wasatch Milk Run �����������������������������������������������������������������������������������������by Ryan Voight


FEATURE |2013 Red Bull XAlps The Epic Full Story ����������������������������������������������������������� by Hugh Miller


FEATURE | Sky Carnival The Coupe Icare �������������������������������������������������������������������by Andy Pag


FEATURE | The Highland Challenge . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . by Michelle Haag


Thinking Outside the Blocks Part II: East and West ��������������������������������������������������� by Dennis Pagen


Pilot's Partner What Does It Take? ��������������������������������������������������������� by Sue Sparrow

Photo by Luis Herrera





he December issue is packed with amazing content to teach, guide, entertain, inspire, and inform. As in every issue the cast of contributing characters sets forth to bring their adventures, ideas, and undertakings to life through their writing and imagery in hopes of helping the membership flourish on various levels. Dennis Pagen returns once again for another installment in his series, “Teaching Outside the Blocks.” Pagen’s contributions to the realm of instruction in free flight are truly and deservedly legendary. Regardless of what wing type you fly, it’s worth your time to digest his lessons. Ryan Voight reports in with a guide on how to fly one of the best “milk runs” the Rocky Mountain west has to offer. His analysis breaks it down so visiting pilots can step up and fly Inspiration Point like a local. Andy Pag chimes in from the road with a trip report on the annual free-flight version of Burning Man—France’s Coupe Icare, where the international free-flying circus comes to life for a glorious weekend of costumes, food, revelry, trade show, and flying galore. Chris Ammon sends in an ode to the days of [Low and Slow] magazine with look into the Zen nature of free flight. The Red Bull XAlps is a paragliding and hiking race through the length of the Alps. Some would argue it is one of the most grueling and unique races in the world, and the full report with stunning photos provides a glimpse into the heart of the Alps. This year the USA sent two teams to suffer and thrive, in the form of Honza Rejmanek and Stephan Haase and their support crews. Honza’s and Stephan’s individual stories are on tap for an upcoming issue, but in the meantime check out the action in Hugh Miller’s article. And first-time contributor Michelle Haag reports on what it takes for a new H-3 to “cut the cord” and venture out into unknown territory at the Highland Challenge in Ridgley, Maryland. The USHPA office and magazine staff would like to wish you the best during the holiday season, and the best of luck in the coming year!






the cell-phone market. Their iPhone

If you have ever been on a flying

Vault not only looks as rugged as

trip with expensive electronics or

anything out there, it has a nice

camera gear, chances are you have

Pelican feel that will make yours

had a Pelican case with you. Pelican

stand out from all the other cases.

set the gold standard for adventure-

For more information go to www.

travel electronics protection, and


their new offerings hit that mark as well. The UL S130 can protect a full


movie studio in a backpack. If you

PocketFuel is an energy product that

travel with a computer and a camera,

is easy to consume while flying and

this is the pack. It has a bomb-proof

maintains a real food taste with the

laptop compartment and a very

needed energy boost. PocketFuel is

well padded camera area, while the

a blend of sugar, nuts, seeds, dried

Pelican U 160 is a photographer-

fruits, and protein derived from

focused hard case backpack that will

plant-based whole food ingredients,

protect high-end DSLRs better than

primarily the nut butters. These pro-

any other product in the market-

teins are highly absorbable, making


it easy for the body to process their

Pelican has released a full line of

USHPA is now registered with AmazonSmile. Amazon donates 0.5% of the price of your eligible AmazonSmile purchases to the charitable organization of your choice, which in this case is the United States Hang Gliding and Paragliding Association. If making purchases through Amazon, please consider using this program http://smile.amazon.com/.



beneficial nutrients. For more infor-

cell phone cases as well to lend their

mation check out

legendary protective engineering to


Introducing the new USHPA custom Visa Platinum Rewards Card.

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

No annual fee.

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

Ongoing contributions made when you continue using your card.

Low Introductory APR on purchases and no balance transfer fee for 6 months.**

Enhanced Visa Platinum benefits, including 24/7 Emergency Customer Service, 100% Fraud Protection, Auto Rental and Travel Accident Insurance and much more.

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

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





A report on, and an invitation to take part in, some fine, philanthropic flying opportunities 10




hances are good you’re among the 99.5% of USHPA members who missed the recent FFF fund-raiser fly-in; it was at Morningside, in New Hampshire, on the weekend of October 5 and 6. In spite of a weather forecast for rain, more than 50 pilots showed up and flew hundreds of flights; there was a

LEFT Russ Wisdom, Gus Johnson, Randy Leggett

and Doug Sharpe pose with Randy’s bus at the FFF fund-raising fly-in at Morningside Flight Park. RIGHT Pilots approaching. Photos courtesy Foundation for Free Flight.

close-to-even split between hang gliders and paragliders, with a bit more weight on the hang gliding side of the equation. With a better weather forecast, a bit more advance notice, and no conflicts with the USHPA BOD meeting being less than a week away and on the far side of the continent,

maybe you or I could have been there. But even though the sky remained stubbornly gray all weekend, the forecast rain never materialized, nor did the wind. Perfect conditions for bomb-drop and spot-landing contests prevailed! Actually, there was only one, ongoing contest: Pilots purchased a “bomb” for a $5 donation, then took the free shuttle up to launch at either the 250 or the 450. Once airborne they’d fly over the 150, where a basket sat in the middle of a tarp on the

Martin Palmaz, Executive Director executivedirector@ushpa.aero Eric Mead, System Administrator tech@ushpa.aero Ashley Miller, Membership Coordinator membership@ushpa.aero Jon Stallman, Communications Manager communications@ushpa.aero Beth Van Eaton, Program Manager programs@ushpa.aero

USHPA OFFICERS & EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE Rich Hass, President president@ushpa.aero Ken Grubbs, Vice President vicepresident@ushpa.aero Bill Bolosky, Secretary secretary@ushpa.aero Mark Forbes, Treasurer treasurer@ushpa.aero

REGION 1: Rich Hass, Mark Forbes. REGION 2: Jugdeep Aggarwal, Josh Cohn, Pat Hajek. REGION 3: Corey Caffrey, Dan DeWeese, Rob Sporrer. REGION 4: Bill Belcourt, Ken Grubbs. REGION 5: Josh Pierce. 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 info@ushpa.aero. 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.



Pitching In to Support our Sports: How to Make an Annual Gift by Lisa Tate, FFF trustee Annual giving helps the Foundation for Free Flight continue our efforts to save flying sites. As a 501c3 nonprofit organization, we are committed to our donors. The Foundation for Free Flight seeks to help individuals and families reach their philanthropic goals through their involvement with free flight. Your generosity helps preserve the sports of hang gliding and paragliding for years to come. To make an annual gift, you can: Mail your contribution to: Foundation For Free Flight Attention: Executive Director, Donnita Hall P.O. Box 1290 Windsor CA 95492 Go online (www.foundationforfreeflight.org) to learn more about the Foundation’s role in supporting free flight, and to make a secure contribution. A Special Reminder: You may also send gifts of stock, mutual funds, or other securities. These types of gifts not only help further the Foundation for Free Flight’s mission—they also provide contributors with significant tax benefits. Any gift you make will be greatly appreciated by the pilots and clubs that benefit from the FFF grants you make possible.



LEFT A hang glider getting dropped off behind paragliders waiting on launch. RIGHT The hangar at

Morningside Flight Park. Photos courtesy Foundation for Free Flight.

summit. Top points were earned by landing the bomb in the basket, lesser points for hitting the tarp. But all points were forfeit if the pilot didn’t land with his or her feet within the delineated bull’s eye in the LZ. Nonflyers could purchase a bomb and entrust their favorite pilot to make an accurate drop and landing. And in fact, that’s how FFF trustee and hang glider pilot Gus Johnson won the contest. He’d injured his hamstring and wasn’t able to fly, so he gave his bomb to Heath, who scored a perfect drop and landing, winning a free shuttle-ride card for Gus. Gus passed his prize on to Liz, a student pilot who will be making good use of it as she continues her lessons this fall. Although there was no entry fee for the event, the combined bomb purchases, T-shirt sales and donations raised $1000 for the Foundation for Free Flight. We shoulda been there… FFF fund-raiser fly-in #2 is coming up soon: January 24-26 at Wallaby Ranch, an aerotow hang gliding park near Orlando, Florida. Although I was not able to get a carved-in-stone agenda for what’s going to happen that weekend, given the Malcolm Jones/Wallaby Ranch record for putting on a good party, you can be assured it’ll be fun. As I write this in mid-October, the agenda includes Friday evening dinner and festivities at Wallaby Ranch, plenty of flying and some fund-raising contests on Saturday and Sunday, and the annual Foundation for Free Flight trustees’ meeting on Saturday, including an open discussion about the history of the Foundation and the current projects being supported by the FFF.

Host your own



Go to www.USHPA.aero or call 1-800-616-6888 •

Training Events and Demos

Spot Landing Contests

Friendly Competitions

Fly-Ins and Cook-Outs

Community Awareness

Enjoy full coverage event insurance, branding opportunities, access to free online and print advertising, organizational and support tools, community involvement, increased local support and participation.




AREA 1 (“75’Slope Training Launch”)

fication must be by a duly recorded

AREA 2 (“150 Slope Launch”)


Every so often, something truly

AREA 3 (“250 Slope Launch”)

momentous occurs within our little

AREA 4 (“450 West Launch”)

tors of hang gliders, paragliders and

niche sports, and we are given hope

AREA 5 (“450’ Southwest Launch”)

other low-speed aircraft an ease-

that hang gliding and paragliding are

ment across Tract One for access and

not going to be pushed off the map

egress to Areas 1-5. In the event that

Each area is clearly delineated

by powerful entities that covet our

with distances and bearings, and

Grantor, its successors and assigns

launches and LZs. Morningside Flight

is marked on a map. (Reading the

shall designate specific areas for such

Park celebrated such a momentous

descriptions put me in mind of a

access and egress, then the easement

occurrence at their fly-in last October,

treasure map: From the turtle-shaped

granted herein shall be restricted to

when John Harris announced that

rock go 10 paces toward the lightning-

such areas.

he’d signed a Deed of Restrictive

scarred tree, then…)

Covenant with the state of New

After clearly designating the physi-

Hampshire that assures Morningside

cal areas, the document spells out the

Flight Park will remain a hang gliding

terms of the covenant as follows:

99 years (New Hampshire law limited

This restrictive deeded covenant and easement is intended to burden, to be appurtenant to, to run with, and to touch and concern the real property described above. This restrictive

and paragliding flying site for at least The Restrictive Covenant deeded

deeded covenant is intended to be

the covenant to a maximum of 99

herein is more particularly described

binding on the Grantor and on the

years). That’s an amazing accomplish-

as follows:

Grantor›s successors and assigns for


AREAS 1-5 are reserved for the

a period of ninety-nine (99) years

launching and landing of hang gliders,

from the date of the recording of this

Covenant is six pages long, but it’s

paragliders and other low-speed flight

Deed of Restrictive Covenant. Any

worthwhile taking a look at how the

aircraft. No building or other im-

subsequent owner of the land of

document spells things out. Text in

provement may be erected on Areas

which Areas 1-5 constitute a portion,

italics is taken verbatim from the cov-

1-5 which would interfere with the

may extend this restrictive covenant

The actual Deed of Restrictive

enant. It begins, in typical legal-speak, KNOW ALL PERSONS BY THESE PRESENTS, that FLIGHT PARKS, LLC

activities reserved in the preceding

beyond the initial ninety-nine years

sentence. All owners of the land upon

set forth herein.

which AREAS 1-5 are located must

In plain English, this says that hang glider and paraglider pilots are guar-

a North Carolina limited liability com-

keep the 5 areas free and clear of

pany with a principal place of business

any vegetation which might interfere

anteed the use of the five protected

at PO Box 1839, Nags Head, North

with such activities. Nothing set forth

(surveyed) areas for 99 years. The

Carolina, GRANTOR, for valuable

herein is intended to prohibit any

landowner may move the designated

consideration, hereby places certain

other use of Areas 1-5 so long as such

launch or landing areas, but must

restrictive covenants on the use of,

other use does not interfere with the

provide an equivalent alternative. The “deed restriction” on the property

five (5) different areas of land, each

launching and landing of hang glid-

one of which is a portion of Tract I as

ers, paragliders and other low-speed

grants pilots the right-of-way to cross

described in a Warranty Deed from


all property to reach the five pro-

Lonesome Dove Holding Company to

Grantor, its successors and assigns

tected areas.

Grantor herein dated July 15, 2011 and

may modify or delete any one of the

Thank you, John Harris, for ne-

recorded at Book 1811, Page 0324 of

5 designated areas from the restric-

gotiating this contract. Morningside

the Sullivan County Registry of Deeds.

tive covenant deeded herein but such

Flight Park will be available for us,

The five particular areas are bounded

modification or deletion may only be

and our children and grandchildren,

and described as follows: The five identified parcels are named thus:


Grantor also grants to opera-


made if the area modified and/or de-

to learn to fly and to launch and land

leted is replaced with an area at least

our low-speed aircraft—in whatever

equal in size and which is equally or

form evolution takes our 21st-century

more suitable for the restricted activi-

craft—into the 22nd century. How

ties set forth herein. Any such modi-

incredible is that?!

The Foundation has three main objectives in hosting these fly-ins. First is to raise awareness of the FFF and what exactly it does for the pilot community—the FFF trustees admit that they aren’t exactly “in your face” about what the Foundation is up to. If you’re unaware of what the Foundation has been doing over the years but can’t make it to the fly-in’s open-discussion meeting, check out the FFF’s website (foundationforfreeflight.org), and be prepared to be amazed. Once you get the picture of what the Foundation is about, hopefully you’ll want to be part of the action, and that’s the second objective: raise money for the many and varied causes that are supported by the FFF. You can donate money, or apply for a grant, on the website. Finally, like most volunteer organizations, the Foundation is constantly working to increase participation in the causes and the work of the FFF. Many of the long-time trustees have “timed out”—only two consecutive three-year terms are allowed before a trustee has to step aside. By increasing its presence in the pilot community, the Foundation hopes to attract interested pilots who will become the next trustees, or new volunteers. But don’t worry, there won’t be any heavy sales pitches, arm-twisting, guilt-tripping or the like at the fly-in—if anything, the FFF trustees and officers are under-enthusiastic about recruiting. Just show up and plan to have a great time hang gliding with friends, knowing that your participation in the fly-in is supporting the organization that works behind the scenes to keep sites across the country open and safe.


Light Soaring Trike


Light Soaring Trike

Climb to cloudbase shut down engine and soar!

HANG GLIDERS  ULTRALIGHT TRIKES & WINGS ultrikes@northwing.com 509.682.4359



Ink drawings by Anna Elkins | www.annaelkins.com


here was once a pilot who prided himself on his perfect launches. His confidence was well-earned; he’d shown up on the training hill nearly every morning one August to kite his wing, and sometimes took up to a dozen short flights in a single day. He was versed in every type of inflation: forwards, reverses, Asand-Ds, just As, and he’d even become proficient in the high-wind Cobra technique. On days when the conditions weren’t good for practicing, he would sit in the tall grass with his teacher and look out over the nearby lake. Bald eagles peered down from their nests, ravens cawed from tree branches and ospreys hovered and dived into the lake. He saw these feathered beings differently now—as brethren—and had a newfound respect for their mastery of flight. He studied carefully their effortless launches and landings. While herons pecked in the shallows, and mergansers patrolled the shore, the student and teacher talked theory as they waited for the windsock to straighten. They’d deconstruct the launch sequence into tiny bits: Layout, hook in, line-check, safety-check, positioning, lean back, inflate, dampen, step back, turn, torpedo-position, and



RUN! The teacher emphasized the importance of practicing until the sequence became one fluid motion without pause. The instructor knew that flying was more than just a sequence of steps, however. It was also a matter of selfawareness, and so sometimes he’d offer up a startling psychological insight or a question. Having taught for a couple of decades, he’d encountered every type of student and could often intuit their state-of-mind. He sensed, for example, when a student needed strong commands (likely grew up with a militaristic father) or when a student responded better to lots of kudos and cheering-on (an over-protective mother, perhaps). The teacher’s insights fascinated the student. Indeed, it seemed that flying was more than flying. It was a path to self-awareness—a spiritual awakening of sorts. After each lesson, the student would stand in line at the grocery store deli almost levitating with pride. Standing in line among “civilians,” he felt apart from them and their mundane concerns. He was part of a special world now, having reached one of humanity’s greatest dreams—to fly like an eagle!— and, in fact, he now began to feel a

stronger kinship with the birds around the training hill than with those ordinary earthbound humans ordering roast-beef sandwiches in line at the deli. One day, the dozens of small flights he’d taken, and the hours of kiting paid off: His launches and landings began to look automatic, more like the ravens who launched and flared so naturally. Flying was no longer just in his head. It had entered his body. “You are ready for your first big mountain flight,” his teacher said. His inaugural mountain flight was, of course, a great success. The launch was perfect, the flight was smooth, and the landing like a feather. On landing, he savored a memory of flying alongside a red-tailed hawk. He felt he had now entered the lineage of birds.


he student’s enthusiasm for flight carried him far away from the training hill, from the days sitting in the tall grass with his teacher, from the bald eagles and herons that stalked the shoreline. He carried his confidence to every site: from the coast to the mountains, from the Alps to the Himalayas to the beaches of Mexico. Along the way, he accumulated more technical knowledge—how to

stall and recover his wing, how to spiral it, and how to fly it in the most turbulent of conditions. His knowledge of the sky became more complex as well. He could identify all the cloud types, foresee gust fronts, and predict where and when to find the best lift. Practical matters of work and dayto-day life fell by the wayside. He was like a super-hero floating above everyone who lived mundane lives on the ground—paying mortgages, mowing lawns. His life had changed irrevocably.


ne day, three years into his flying career, the student was in the Alps when he pulled up his wing in front of a crowd, turned, and ran. As he neared the edge of the launch, a gust of wind pulled him off balance and he found himself very suddenly nestled in the bushes. As he detangled the lines from a mass of thorns, he felt rather stupid, but mostly untroubled. These things happen. But a couple of weeks later he had another problem. This time he pulled the risers, turned, and ran, but the wing got ahead of him, causing him to oscillate and descend into the thick bushes below the launch. This time he was dismayed: One bad launch was an accident. Two seemed like a pattern. Hesitation began to creep in to his launches. The fluid motion he’d honed during his days on the training hill was long gone, and when the pilot pulled up his wing, he’d pause and scrutinize its position, and in that time the fabric would crumple back onto the ground. Somewhere along the way, he’d lost it: that full commitment, tempered by full caution, the drive to give it your all, but then hit the brakes if things go wrong. The ability to go from ten-to-one in a split second. How could this be happening? He could thermal up with the best pilots, and spend hours in the sky, and yet this basic move—this turning point

“Hesitation began to creep in to his launches. The fluid motion he’d honed during his days on the training hill was long gone...” between inflating the wing and turning around—was now confounding him. It was just a tiny movement, but so crucial. He tried just pulling the wing up without so much thinking, but some primal panic would take hold and his movements became abrupt and dangerous. Sometimes he’d turn and run before the wing was even overhead as if he was fleeing from a tiger. On landing he would try to mentally trouble-shoot his clumsy launch, but his memory was obliterated by the panic he felt. His enthusiasm for flying began to wane and gravity hung on his limbs like tethers. His pack felt heavier, hooking in took longer, and where he used to be the first to launch, now he was the last. At night he wondered: What was happening to his life as a bird? He thought it through. He’d been flying so well for so long. Was it a confidence issue from childhood popping up? Was it his wing? He called his teacher. Perhaps he just needed to hear the right words, some searing insight that would fix all of his problems. “Have you been practicing?” the teacher asked. “Yes!” the student responded. “I’ve flown almost every day for three years!” “But have you been practicing?” the teacher asked again. It never surprised him when seasoned students began having trouble with their basic skills. At a certain point, they stopped kiting their

wing, stopped going to the training hill to practice their launches. In fact, his beginning students were often far better at launching. The student paused. “Come back to the hill and return to the basics,” was all the teacher said. The student was disappointed. He’d learned so much and traveled so far; he could fly cross-country and land in small spots. Now his teacher was telling him to come back to the training hill? Was his life as a bird coming to an end? But he swallowed his pride and went home feeling like a failed bird. His teacher was there, coaching a new set of students, who were practicing their launches and landings over and over again. When teacher saw the student’s disappointment, he knew just what to do. He motioned to the birds—the redtails, the eagles, and the geese that had migrated all the way to Canada and returned several times over since the student left to travel long ago. “Even birds must return to their nesting grounds.” Contact Christina Ammon at christinaammonwriter@gmail.com



Wasatch Milk Run by RYAN VOIGHT




nown by many names, most sites have one: an XC route that is flown so often it becomes almost routine. At some sites this journey may only take place on exceptional days, while at other sites it might be the fallback route for an “average” day. In the Wasatch Mountains of Utah, our “milk run” is flying from Inspiration—known to locals as “Inspo”—to Point of the Mountain. The straight-line distance for this run is just a little over 18 miles, or just under 30km. While it’s not a very long distance, what makes this milk run special is the terrain you get to fly over. Inspo is only about a 20-minute drive south of Point of the Mountain and follows paved roads all the way. Launch is a scenic overlook off Squaw Peak Road in Provo Canyon, and is not overly high, at about 6680 feet— less than 2000 vertical feet above Orem’s Center Street. And if you don’t get up you’ll need just about all of that to reach the LZ… Which is one major reason this is an advanced H3/P3 site, and all visiting pilots should have a local accompany them. Launch faces SW, which is the predominant wind direction, making LEFT Heading to Mt.Timpanogas from launch | photo

by Ryan Voight.

Inspo a pretty consistent site, although you should know that getting up there is anything but easy. Because it’s a lower site, the thermals tend to be weak and/or broken. And because it’s best flown on light-wind days, there is rarely any ridge lift to help you stay aloft between thermals. This makes launch timing crucial. Launch into a good cycle, or you’ll be buying the beer and driving the car back to the Point to pick up your buddies! Usually after just one climb, reaching the Point is cake… again, why we call this the “milk run.” The Wasatch range between Inspo and the Point consists of 10-12,000ft mountains, and the dry flat valley below bakes in the Utah sun. The light SW wind gives all this hot air the nudge it needs to follow the topography up before breaking loose. As you get higher, the wind typically shifts from SW to straight west, which just happens to be what direction these big mountain “ridges” face. The combination of all these things means that, if you can get up the first time, you should have it made all day. The milk run up to the Point is simple enough, but it’s one of the most scenic journeys I know of in a hang glider, and its accessibility is tough to beat. Not quite as convenient as Point of the Mountain, but likely the most convenient big-mountain experience in hang gliding. If you can hook



that first thermal, you’ll climb and drift back onto and above Cascade Mountain, which is almost 11,000’ MSL, or 6500 feet above the valley floor. From there it’s a jump to the north across Provo Canyon/UT 189, and to Mount Timpanogos. Mount Timpanogos, or “Timp,” is the second highest peak in the Wasatch at 11,752’ MSL—only 176 feet shorter than the highest. Like Cascade, Timp is a west-facing ridge, made of a series of spines and bowls that visually aid in finding lift. The lift can be strong and rough up there, so be warned! And dress warm, getting above 15,000 feet over Timp is pretty typical. Another jump to the north takes you across American Fork Canyon/ UT 92, to Box Elder Peak. I should mention that, if the upper level winds are southerly, Box Elder Peak is in the lee of the much taller Mount Timpanogos, which means Box Elder is not a place you want to be. But if it’s west or northwest, Box Elder can be a great source of lift. One more jump to the north and you’re over my favorite, Lone Peak. The Wasatch Range is made of a



variety of different rock types, but Lone Peak’s uniquely white granitelike rock gives it an exotic, European feel. It looks as though a peak from the Dolomites was somehow transplanted smack in the middle of the Utah front range (although Lone Peak is higher than even the highest peak in the Dolomites). The vertical stone cirque of Lone is a well-known climbing destination as well, and when you spot climbers in the cirque you realize just how big the mountain is, and how small you are! From the 11,000-foot Lone Peak cirque, it’s an easy glide to “goal” at Point of the Mountain. It can also be one of the toughest choices of the journey, as surface winds can be entirely different from the upper-levels. Should you land at the North Side… or the South Side? Decisions, decisions… A gigantic game of “connect the dots,” the Wasatch milk run is one

of the most stunningly scenic journeys I have ever flown. And with the paved road to launch, and proximity to a major urban area, it’s almost too good to be true. Luckily, getting up that first time keeps us honest and humble… as does flying among such big terrain. If you are a skilled thermal pilot, make this “milk run” the top of your to-do list. And bring your camera—you’re going to want to remember this one! Inspiration is a H3/P3 USHPA insured site, and current USHPA membership is required. A local guide is STRONGLY recommended. I would also encourage visiting pilots to join the local club, the Utah Hang Gliding and Paragliding Association (UHGPGA), who pay to insure this site and keep it open. Joining UHGPGA costs $5/day, $25/week, or $50/year, and helps preserve flying at Point of the Mountain and the awesome surrounding mountain sites.








Red Bull X-Alps

The Epic Full Story

by HUGH MILLER “My legs are shot,” moans Jon Chambers (GBR),

as he tucks into a bowl of soup at the summit restaurant of the Zugspitze, the fourth turnpoint in the Red Bull X-Alps, and Germany’s highest mountain. “It was a tough three-hour climb, with lots of loose shale, and I kept slipping,” the Briton adds.



Photos courtesy Red Bull Photofiles

Outside it is hailing, and the rumble of thunderclouds envelops us. Clement Latour (FRA1) had launched half-an-hour earlier. Standing precariously on the tiny snowfield only big enough for him to lay out his wing behind him, he’d looked nervous.

“It’s hugely demanding. If you make a wrong decision, you don’t just fall back in the rankings—you might seriously injure yourself or worse.” “I don’t want to do this,” he declared, before snatching his wing above him and running out over the sheer cliffs below. He launched during a gap in the clouds and immediately pulled in his wingtips to descend faster and avoid being lifted into the clouds. The thermal air currents that keep paragliders aloft can sometimes be mercilessly strong; the cumulonimbus clouds surrounding us are evidence of that. Parachutists and glider pilots alike sometimes have been lifted to heights of 10,000m. Some have been lucky to survive, but others haven’t. Safety is Jon Chambers’s main priority, so after a discussion with his supporters, he elects to wait it out. But the temptation to fly is strong. A spectacular clearing with huge columns of cloud appears. It has taken Chambers three days of solid effort and canny decisionmaking to reach the Zugspitze. A glide down would be physically effortless and could see him 15km further down-route to his eventual goal, Monaco, while hiking will eat up more hours and take an ever-greater toll on his body. It’s a tough call, but he decides to hike. This is the Red Bull X-Alps—touted as one of the world’s toughest adventure races. And with the physical effort and tough decisions required of the participants, it’s hard for any observer not to agree. “What one can’t convey is just how mind-blowingly epic this race is,” claims Stephan Haase (USA2). “It’s the decisions. You make one decision, and a multitude of permutations lead out from it that affect the race and your ranking.” The race started in Salzburg on July 7, amid a cacophony of enthusiastic crowds who watched the athletes burst out of the city center and race up to the Gaisberg, the first of 10 turnpoints between the start and finish line in Monaco. The concept is pure madness. Athletes are required to hike or fly a straight-line course of 1031km, while carrying their flying equipment at all times, which, even with the latest technological developments, weighs eight to ten kilograms. In reality, the athletes cover a distance more like 2500km by the

time they finish. “It’s not just a physical challenge,” says race mastermind Hannes Arch. “It’s about the body and the mind. The athletes have to perform 18 hours a day for 10plus days. It’s hugely demanding. If you make a wrong decision, you don’t just fall back in the rankings—you might seriously injure yourself or worse. That’s why it’s the world’s toughest adventure race. It’s still an adventure!” Spectators were reminded of this OPPOSITE Chrigel Maurer on his way to domination. on the first day when Kaoru Ogisawa ABOVE Stephan Haase, (JPN1) drifted into a tree on takeoff. He USA 2, pushing hard. was, thankfully, unharmed and, after PREVIOUS Honza sourcing a new wing, took off again. Rejmanek and all his gear. This year, on its 10th anniversary, the Red Bull X-Alps was undoubtedly the best edition yet of the race. With a high-pressure system building, perfect paragliding conditions set up over the Alps. A light northerly airflow swept in, producing good, strong thermals that blasted athletes skywards and enabled them to make good distances by air each day. But conditions needed to be good: This year a truly difficult courseline was set, requiring pilots to cross some extremely high passes. Organizers were scratching their heads, wondering how the leaders made such quick work of it, as they bounced from climb to climb, reaching heights of up to 4000m near the Matterhorn and Mt. Blanc. Some, like Ferdinand van Schelven (NED), set personal bests. On his penultimate day of racing,







the “Flying Dutchman” flew 153km. “I looked at a new route through the Vercors with some locals and I thought, Why not? Let’s try it.” Schelven continued, “Conditions were incredible. I flew for 11 hours and, even after 8 p.m., it was going up everywhere…I was on full speed bar, trying to get down!” PREVIOUS, TOP “The good weather also brought a lot RIGHT The grueling route. of windy and dangerous conditions,” MIDDLE All smiles at the reported Max Fanderl (CAN) on his start of the race. BOTTOM blog. “We had flights in 50-plus km/h Honza Rejmanek. winds in rain and thunderstorms, but we also had some long flights during which we flew over glaciers and very beautiful terrain. We had hikes in areas we never would have gone.” Athletes took this edition of the race very seriously. Haase moved from his home in the USA to Austria in January, specifically to train for the event. Unfortunately, he was forced to quit, eventually, after blisters on his feet became problematic, resulting in his becoming at risk, as he put it, of “losing body parts.” Latour’s team spent months working on his harness,



flying the routes and preparing the Frenchman for success. As one athlete put it, “Unless you’re born in the Alps with a paraglider in your cradle, you don’t stand much of a chance in this race.” Ultimately, Christian “Chrigel” Maurer (SUI1) won the race convincingly, for the third time in a row. On the second day of the race, he launched with four others and simply flew faster and better. By the sixth

day, he was 300km clear of his nearest rival. Spectators following the race the world over were mesmerized by Maurer’s “magic moves.” On the third day, Chrigel caught a 4m/s thermal at 8:10 a.m. This is unheard of in flying. Paragliders don’t normally launch until late in the morning, when the sun has heated the slopes enough to generate lift. But here was Maurer, riding some strange convergence of winds

up high. He then glided some 20km, hugging in close to the forested slopes. Maurer later revealed his trick: He surfed a buoyant cushion of warmer air that lifts from the trees in the hours after ABOVE The Alps are full of rocky peaks to inspire. dawn. It would be easy to attribute Maurer’s success to his extraordinary talent alone. But small details—the planning, the equipment development,







the training, the checklists—also contributed to his victory. He is a professional athlete who dedicated seven solid months to the race in equipment preparation and physical training. For example, Maurer explained that throughout the winter he practiced groundhandling in 40-50 km/h winds in snowfields, ABOVE This year there in order to experience conditions that were more flyable days than were at, and beyond, his level of ability. any previous Redbull XAlps. Consequently, when he stood on a cliff’s OPPOSITE Chrigel Maurer edge with 30-40 km/h of wind, he was is the first to arrive again. He couldn't do it without his ace more experienced at handling the wing supporter, Thomas Theurillat. than he had been in the past. PREVIOUS Hiking for Theurillat, his supporter, is a moundays, flying over glaciers, and tain guide and psychological coach all while the world watches. who put Maurer through a meditation The Redbull XAlps is one of the finest races in the world. program in the evening to help him Fiesch, Switzerland. relax and recharge. Their tactic of sleeping high in mountain huts and getting in early glides before the day even “got going” also paid off. As Theurillat stated: “Twenty to 30 km might not seem like much, but over seven days that could



amount to 150 km. And we are still learning,” he added. “We have a list of things we want to change for 2015!” One of the aspects that made the race so special was the ability of its millions of fans to watch the race unfold with Red Bull Mobile Live, a site where they could track the athletes’ flights in real time and 3D. Each athlete was also given a Nokia Lumia phone on which he could blog and share pictures, giving fans a unique behind-the-scenes account. The fans’ keen interest was also observable on the ground. At the turnpoint high above Interlaken, hundreds of spectators waited for Aaron Durogati’s arrival. He top-landed and ran through a cordon of photographers and spectators to the sign-in board as a helicopter buzzed overhead, filming. The excitement was palpable. Maurer eventually won the race in six days, 23 hours and 40 minutes, almost two days ahead of his nearest rival—a remarkable feat! Then, the fight for second place became exciting and intense. Two Frenchmen, Clement Latour and Antoine

Girard, raced to the wire. Having flown different routes down the Alps Maritimes, they landed within approximately 15km of each and proceeded to run almost eight hours, non-stop, through the night. Eventually, at 03:30 a.m., Latour arrived, ecstatic but exhausted. “It’s unbelievable,” he exulted, to cheers from the crowd. Thirty minutes later, Girard arrived to equally rapturous applause. Theurillat, who stayed up to watch, shook his head. “After nine days of solid racing, no let up. How many thermals, how many glides, how many decisions have led to this point?” he asked. That the pair should arrive so close together after jostling for position most of the race was nothing short of incredible. But their physical endurance, stamina, and paragliding skill sum up what makes the race so special. For these two—for ten athletes in total—there was still one more flight to make: the triumphant descent to the landing float on Monaco’s Mediterranean Sea.





Sky Carnival




leary-eyed and squinting, I step out of my RV late in the morning. The sun is already burning wispy clouds off the Dent de Crolles, a white rock-face rising up 3000 vertical feet from the meadows in which I’ve camped. In the field next to me, a couple of para-motors buzz around inflated pylons, while four speed riders race down a 100-yard track to a finish line. And in the sky above, Christian Moullec, a Frenchman who taught a gaggle of orphaned geese and cranes to fly, cruises in his ultralight, trailed by his flapping progeny. “Is this a dream?” one might ask. No, it’s just an average morning at the Coupe Icare Festival of Free Flying. This aerial carnival, held every September near the French town of Grenoble, is now in its 40th year. But despite having reached maturity, the festival revelry shows no sign of acting its age. The most iconic event of the festival is the costumed flying competition. Paragliding pilots don’t just don a few quirky outfits; they build carnival floats that hang from their harnesses. Some are massive constructions made of wafer-thin crepe paper that inflates as they launch, resembling Chinese dragons flying in the air under a paraglider wing. Others consist of bamboo frameworks that support paper mache sculptures, like this year’s Batman car. The spectacle has all the will-they-won’t-they suspense of the performances of early-era aviators. These magnificent men and women in their flying machines draw enormous cheers from the 10,000-strong crowd huddled tightly on slopes around the launch and landing. In order to gain favor with the judges, some participants put on a pre-takeoff show. One team, dressed as characters from the French comic book Asterix, briefly

kidnapped the event compère while they fought off Roman soldiers; another group, composed of males dressed as female nurses, chased a straight-jacketed patient around launch, before strapping him into a tandem that hurled him into the sky to provide the ultimate cure for his madness. A pilot dressed as a bank safe exploded over launch, releasing hundreds of fake bank notes over the appreciative crowd, while a foursome of Spanish pilots dressed in vulture costumes dropped chewed cardboard bones. The winner in the solo category—a pilot dressed as a pink flamingo with long stilts for legs— took off and floated in the thermal over OPPOSITE The acro session at St. Hilaire | photo by launch, while waving his long legs at the Nicolas Assael. crowd. The group prize was given to a very scantily clad team of ladies titled Carnival de Rio, who, no doubt, impressed the judges with their ability to launch in stiletto heels. Changing Gear In total, the organizers estimated an attendance of 100,000 visitors over the four days of the festival; many

“The group prize was given to a very scantily clad team of ladies titled Carnival de Rio, who, no doubt, impressed the judges with their ability to launch in stiletto heels.” HANG GLIDING & PARAGLIDING MAGAZINE


came for the trade show, where all the big manufacturers demonstrate their wares for the upcoming year and also sell off some products at bargain prices. Icaro, a brand that has recently ABOVE The grandstand. The started importing wings to the US, main St. Hilaire launch, where displayed their new tandem wing that all the costumed participants sports Nitinol, a titanium alloy, in the launch | photo by Andy Pag. leading edge. It’s lighter than nylon weed-whacker line and more resistant to kinking, so the wing can be packed away without worrying about keeping the leading edge flat. (www.icaro-paragliders.com) Norbert Barboux and Hubert Chretien won the Prize for Innovation for their EAPS (Extracteur Automatique de Parachutes de Secours) device, a system that activates an automatic reserve deployment. Barboux, a pilot and inventor, explained: The device detects when the harness is falling faster than a pre-set descent rate, or when it is exposed to a pre-set G-force, and sounds a warning signal. The pilot then has a few seconds to override the



automatic deployment with a finger switch, but, if he/ she has blacked out from the G-force or is tangled and unable to reach the handle, an actuator pulls the pin on the reserve handle, releasing a spring mechanism behind the reserve that fires the reserve out and away from the harness. EAPS also includes a few other clever features; as soon as it deploys, it sends an SMS text message to your friends, revealing the GPS co-ordinates of your location when you threw. It also comes with a remote control, so SIV instructors can jettison the reserve for pilots who are unable to do so. EAPS works with paragliders, hang gliders, and microlights. It is already for sale, retailing at €1750 (about $2300). In addition to having a weighty price tag, the device is a little bulky and heavy. Consequently, the designers are looking for investment funds to develop a smaller, cheaper version. (www.envol-mecanique.com) A Lithuanian company, Parawinch, exhibited their newest model of another type of equipment—the G7

Payout Winch. This system is entirely electrical, as opposed to hydraulic, which makes it ideal for car towing where (unlike boats) there is no hydraulic system to plug into. The engineers at Parawinch have created a springloaded drum-brake payout system that mimics the smooth effect of a hydraulic brake and absorbs tension fluctuations as pilots fly into and out of thermals. The manufacturer claims that from a pilot’s point of view the feeling is indistinguishable from a hydraulic winch. This meaty piece of kit weighs around 120 pounds and can tow up tandem hang gliders, tandem paragliders, and solo pilots. Designed with fast turn-around in mind, the electric motor recoils automatically at 600 meters per minute and can be executed while driving back to the start-point, in readiness to hook up the next pilot. The line has a thicker braided section near the end of it that will activate a switch to automatically cut off the rewind motor, making the rewind a one-button

operation for the driver. Since the country of Lithuania is as flat as a pancake, these guys have developed their gear through hard-won experience. At €5000 (about $6750) exclusive of tax, and line, the G7 Payout Winch is priced a little higher than its rivals, but the fact that it doesn’t need a hydraulic pump may make it considerably cheaper for some applications. The recoil motor draws 70 amps, so it may need a second battery to deliver the grunt. They also have a G7 Light model, which weighs in at 90 pounds and is designed for external ABOVE Jam out! Photo by Andy Pag. use only, as it doesn’t have venting in the brake drum. It bolts on to the tow hitch and doesn’t have the automatic cutoff feature, but at €3000 (around $4000), it’s a bargain. (www.parawinch. eu) Some really great instruments were displayed, too. At least half a dozen stands previewed hardware or software that combined mapping of relief and airspace with pilot assistance information, like core-finding graphics and glide-range predictions. This stuff has been around in free software for a while in the shape of XC Soar (for Android) and LK8000 (for in-car sat-nav units), but many of the devices shown have developed more userfriendly interfaces and setup procedures. Even more important, they have cracked the fundamental problems of screen brightness and size and battery life, which have, until now, relegated these devices to the world of gadget geeks. Expect to see some really



exciting instruments at your local dealers in the coming months from Flytech, Naviter and Flynet. Beyond the exhibition tents were slopes where pilots could ground handle the new and secondhand wings on sale at the Coupe Icare. A tethered hang glider that ran on rails of rope pulled into the air by a winch, along a 200-yard grass runway, was available for all to experience the ride. Comparable to parascending, this device gave an opportunity for everyone, from ABOVE Creativity is a children to non-flyers, to experience solo strength of the French and flight in a hangie. Coupe Icare highlights that | Pilots assembled in numerous bars photo by Andy Pag. and food stalls around the show to share experiences and plan adventures. Top-gun pilots, including several from the recent X-Alps, mixed casually with weekend warriors. The US was well represented with national record-holder Gavin McClurg, and the pioneer conqueror of the Sierras, Dave Turner, musing with Acro-fiend Jon Malmberg, about another Sierra Expedition next year, as they wolfed down pretzels at the Niviuk stand. Lights, Camera, Action A surefire highlight of the festival is always the screening



of new films and documentaries about flying. A panel of judges, as well as a vote by the audience for one prize winner, determine the awards. Past winners include Hanuman Airlines about Babu Sanwar’s heroic tandem flight from the top of Mt. Everest, and Scott Mason’s powerful documentary, Parahawking, about the threat to vultures in the Himalayas. The films ranged from three to 30 minutes, but each one packed a punch. The short Waga Festival Highlights by Shams provided unique visuals of the Dune du Pyla fly-in, filmed with a pioneering setup. The cameraman flew as a tandem passenger suspended below the pilot on extended spreader bars, facing backwards, resulting in amazingly smooth close-up shots of the pilots flying towards the camera, as they executed acro moves over the sand. (www.wagas-festival.com) Tom De Dorlodot and Horatio Lorens were the focus of SEARCH Africa, by Benoit Delfosse. The documentary presents the action-packed tale of the duo’s adventures from Cairo to Cape Town in paragliders and paramotors, as well as a few of their close calls with local police. The shots of their early morning flight over Victoria Falls are at once breathtaking and inspiring. De Dorlodot comments that next year they plan to continue their

series of SEARCH expeditions with a sailing and flying trip throughout the Pacific. (www.searchprojects.net) The audience prize went to the offbeat documentary Petit Bus Rouge (Little Red Bus) by Sebastien Montaz-Rosset. This French-language film with English subtitles tells the story of a group of circus performers who double as acro pilots, speed riders, base jumpers, climbers, and mountain slack-liners. If the plot sounds familiar, you may have caught the director’s previous groundbreaking film, I Believe I Can Fly (Flight of The Frenchies), which features some of the same characters. Don’t worry about not being able to follow the language; the action does most of the talking. And you can’t fail to be wowed as they leap from the roof of the little red bus as it cruises over a freeway bridge and BASE jump down to the valley floor in clown outfits. (www.petit-busrouge.com) The final scene shows the guys “skylining solo,” slacklining from a mountain peak without a safety harness, fastened between needle-peak rocks thousands of feet up in the Alps—perhaps the most striking image in adventure filmmaking of the decade. The film is available online at www.littleredbus.com. Buy it. Watch it! Light it up The grandfather of floating lanterns, a Brazilian called Tura, famous in his native country for creating beautiful balloons that drift up into the night sky fuelled by candles at their base, was also at the festival. He constructed balloons and banners with extremely light colored paper, heated with paraffin-soaked blotting paper. During the day, Tura taught a workshop in how to make floating lanterns that was open to all comers. In the evening, he distributed hundreds of small handmade balloons and orchestrated a synchronized release, filling the sky with lovely, glowing balloons that sedately drifted off on the evening breeze in a massive constellation that rivaled the stars above. Andy Pag is a freelance writer who helps run The Crash Pad, an affordable Bed and Breakfast and camping site for pilots visiting Woodrat Mountain, Oregon.







The Highland Challenge





t can be very intimidating for a new H-3 to “cut the cord” of the main landing zone and go cross country. For me, it has been a long, slow process, starting with a field I hand-picked, two miles down the road from Quest Air in Florida. For most people, that wouldn’t even count as “going XC,” but for me, it was a huge first step in leaving the main LZ and landing in an unfamiliar place. Today, I have a total of 16 XC flights, the longest of which has been 22 miles. Still small potatoes for the “old leather” XC pilots, but a far cry from landing in the next field down the road. Most of my XC flights have taken place over 2012 and 2013 during what has become affectionately known to the pilots involved as “The Charlie Comp.” The Highland Challenge (“HC”) is the brainchild of Charles Allen, who decided he wanted more buddies for XC flying and came up with a way to manufacture new XC pilots. So, in the winter of 2011-2012 he got to work. He set up a local race-to-goal OPPOSITE An aerial view competition to be run out of Highland of Ridgely Airpark, the home Aerosports in Ridgely, Maryland. This of Highland Aerosports. comp takes place on the weekends, so those of us with day jobs don’t have to take vacation time in order to participate. The comp runs for a total of eight days over four weekends. Weekends are chosen well in advance to give those with young children and other obligations plenty of time to rearrange their schedules. There’s a Sport Class for the kingposted pilots and an Open Class for the topless guys and girls. (Note: To date I’ve been the only female competitor in either class and I’d love some company!) The HC has become a great way to ensure that a group of 10-20 pilots gets together and flies tasks together on multiple weekends throughout the summer. This can be a challenge, with scheduling issues and iffy weather forecasts sometimes pointing to various flying sites as the “right” place to fly on any given weekend. There are several major reasons why the Charlie Comp is great for pilots who are new to competition: Location, location, location! Highland Aerosports is located in the middle of a peninsula on the eastern



shore of Maryland. The terrain is predominantly flat and the only industry to speak of is farming, which means that there is an abundance of landable fields unlike any other place I’ve flown to date. It even beats Florida in this respect. For many years local pilots have been going XC from Highland Aerosports with much success. However, most of the time it was simply down wind, open distance, which is limited on the Delmarva Peninsula. Sunny Venesky and Adam Elchin of Highland Aerosports have hosted the annual East Coast Championship for nine years, with many waypoints and goals on and around the peninsula. So, ABOVE Sport class gliders in the with the years of success they have had staging area. Opposite Bruce with the ECC, it made sense to the local Kavanagh, ready to go. pilots to use the same format, waypoints, goals, and scoring, for a summer-long series on predetermined weekends. Schedule: No need to get a week off work and hustle some poor sap (I mean a really good friend) to transport your glider to and from the comp location. Facilities: None of this would be possible without the support and cooperation of Adam, Sunny and the rest of the pros at Highland Aerosports. During the HC comp days, they designate one of the tugs and a pilot for the comp. If anyone has a problem with their gear, no



problem—Adam or Sunny will get it squared away and you’ll be on your way. The atmosphere at Highland is pretty laid back, and many of the competitors camp out with family and friends at the airfield in RVs and tents. There are clean facilities for men and women, with hot showers, pilots’ lounge, outdoor shade pavilion, kitchen and pro shop at everyone’s disposal. For those who travel with an entourage, there is a local B&B or a hotel not too far away. Those who live nearby simply commute, and try to make it before the launch window opens cough… Simon. The evenings after flying are quite enjoyable as well; we have cook-outs, delivered pizza night, pot-luck night, and nights out at the Pub in Denton. Mentoring: This comp has turned into a situation where you end up getting a TON of free instruction. Charlie opens up his home to all competitors the night before the first task, to put on a free instrument/procedures clinic. He reviews his own setup on the 6030, discusses staging and launch procedures in a comp, scoring, safety, etc. This is a place to ask any stupid question you’ve ever entertained in your mind but felt too embarrassed to ask. Then, at the end of each task day all the pilots congregate under the pavilion and talk about their flights. You hear from the experienced Open Class pilots about how they made goal or what mistakes they made

that kept them from goal, but you also hear from the least experienced Sport Class pilot about how amazing it felt to actually make goal…or about the mistakes they made that kept them from goal. The seasoned pilots are constantly looking for ways to improve the experience for the newbies. While this is not technically a “Team Challenge” event, I think all of the “newbs” have at least one memory of an Open Class pilot hanging out, attempting to find lift before the diminished glide of the kingposted glider put the Sport Class pilot on the ground. Collaboration: Tasks are set by the task committee and posted to the website for those pilots who may arrive late (i.e. John). To be clear, Charlie has already done the lion’s share of the work before the meeting— he has checked the weather (picking the most optimistic forecast and sticking to it), scouted out possible routes and identified possible waypoints to use. At the meeting, we all look at the weather together and adjust the tasks to accommodate the group’s input on tasks for the day. Pilots: This is a case of saving the best for last, as the pilots involved in this competition really represent the main reason for a new comp pilot to DO. THIS. COMP. Not that I’m trying to influence anybody’s opinion or anything. The core group of Open Class

pilots happens to be comprised of very mentoring people. They’ve each been flying for at least 15 years and one of them holds Highland’s site distance record of 109 miles. Not only are they each super encouraging, the Open Class pilots tend to be more excited than the Sport Class pilot when a new milestone is reached. The Sport Class pilots tend to be similarly supportive and collaborative. This year’s race was very close, with only a 60 point spread between 1st and 3rd place. This year’s comp started out with a bang, for me at least. I made goal for the 2nd time in the Charlie Comp, and it marked two flights in a row where I made goal. I had no expectations that day, but I remember Matt Christensen looking at me and saying, “You’re gonna go to goal again today.” My response was just, “I hope so.” One of the great things about XC flying, for me, has been that each flight is so different. I’d made goal in the ECC on my 13th XC flight ever, for my first goal in a sanctioned comp, just a week and a half before the first task of the 2013 HC. Out on course, I still had that recent ECC flight in my head, during which the lift was super light and there were no clouds, so I’d mostly dribbled along, just drifting into goal. As long as I was in lift, I stayed with it, just wanting to stay in the air long enough to get within sight of goal. On Task 1 of



the HC, there were clouds and abundant lift, but I kept the same mentality and drifted along in whatever lift I could find. This ended up working for me, since I made goal once again. No one else made goal ABOVE A group shot from that day, and I actually found myself the 2012 Highland Challenge. questioning whether I’d flown the right From left, Jim Messina, task, since I’d never fathomed being the Charlie Allen, Christian Titone, only one to make goal. John Dullahan, John Simon, Michelle Haag, Alex Tatom, After the first task, the Sport Class Jon Brantley, Matt Christensen. comp became anybody’s game. Greg OPPOSITE Sport class Sessa went on to win four tasks, with lined up for launch. Matt Christensen winning two and Felix Cantesanu wining Task 3 with a distance of 10.4km. I left the field another two times, but lost the lift and wound up landing just a few km outside of the start cylinder. What I found really cool was the experience of flying with several other pilots who were very close to my own skill level. Just the simple fact that I



was enrolled in the competition was sometimes enough to push me to leave the field and to keep pushing on where I might otherwise have lost the motivation. Later in the season, I have been less likely to leave the field as the number of visible LZs diminishes. The one drawback to flying the Delmarva Peninsula throughout the summer is that the crops get higher as the summer goes on. At the start of the season, the soybeans are little babies, and even the corn and wheat may only be calfheight. Mid-season, much of the wheat has been cut, the soybeans are a bit higher and the corn and wheat fields have grown to undesirable heights. Late season, even the soybeans are too tall for safe, stress-free landings… so, as a newer XC pilot who still experiences anxiety when presented with unknown LZs, the added stress of landing in high crops is a layer of stress I am better off without. I tend to use my late-season flights to practice thermaling and wingovers.

As for the Open Class, this has always been a hotly contested race. Jokes abound that Charlie should be setting better tasks for himself, but the reality is that these guys are also very well matched. On any given day, any one or all of them could reasonably be expected to make goal. It was always interesting to watch them come back and hear their excuses (oops, I mean valid explanations) for why one or another of them didn’t make goal that day. In the end, Charlie did win this year’s competition, snatching it from John Simon’s clutches at the last moment. After winning Task 1, John held the lead for the entire competition, with Bruce Kavanagh, Jim Messina, and Charlie fighting for 2nd and 3rd places. However, John only won two of the eight tasks – Charlie won four, with Bruce winning two and Jim Messina sneaking in to win Task 8 with his wife and son cheering him on from the LZ. We have had outstanding luck throughout both

summers of the Highland Challenge. Firstly, we are extremely lucky to have someone who is willing to organize the entire comp, check weather forecasts, set tasks, do the scoring, recruit willing drivers, AND fly in the comp…and to do this All. Summer. Long. Not to mention that this summer he did all of this with a newborn baby in tow. I feel safe in speaking for all pilots of the HC when I say that we are extremely grateful to Charlie Allen. Secondly, designating specific weekends as flying weekends, months in advance, is generally seen as a pretty big gamble…nonetheless, we have flown competition tasks on eight out of eight competition days in both of the first two years of the Highland Challenge. Lastly, we have been lucky to attract some of the most likeable pilots with whom to share the air and have a beer. If you’re interested in XC flying, the Highland Challenge is a great place to get started.




Outside the Blocks


PART II : East and West

Oh, East is East and West is West, and never the twain shall meet.”—Rudyard Kipling. In this line from his 1892 Barrack-room Ballads, Rudy was speaking of his adopted India in comparison with his native England. But we can use his turn of phrase to relate to flying in the eastern and western regions of the USA. I learned to fly hang gliders in the middle of Pennsylvania in 1974, but first flew out West at the 1976 Nationals at Dog Mountain, Washington. Since that time I have had many occasions to fly the high desert from Crestline to Colorado, from Albuquerque to Chelan. And, of course, the Owens Valley. From the very beginning I was struck by the differences, East and West. Compared to the green ridges of Pennsylvania and much of the East, the western sites are typically higher, dryer, less windy and often offer wide-open spaces for landing fields but also deliver butt-slapping thermals. In addition, there are many times more dust devils to contend with in the West and sometimes the need to lug around oxygen. Each side of the Mississippi offers its own sort of flying fun and burdens—different jokes (or yokes) for different folks.

THINGS THAT GO BUMP IN THE DAY One of the first things an eastern pilot learns when heading west is to deal with bump tolerance. Bump tolerance means getting used to the freight-train thermals that come chugging up from the hot desert pan. On a scale of 1 to 10, if eastern thermals are 5, western thermals can be 11. At first (and



maybe forever in certain places like the washing machine in front of Sandia Mtn., near Albuquerque), the stronger turbulence around and sometimes in western thermals is attention-getting and tension-giving. The only solution is to grit your teeth, grip your controls and rely on your cojon…er…courage. The funny thing is, often within a few days of flying in stronger thermal turbulence, the bumps don’t seem so bad. Familiarity breeds contempt, or at least consent. I recall that every time I went to a meet out West it took about two days to learn to relax, but then it was like riding the big waves of Hawaii—yahoo, bring it on! Wire-slackening (canopy-distorting) thermals are part of the game, and the game is a blast. But every once in a while… I was hit by a thermal during launch at Sandia that pushed my nose nearly vertical. I hung on for dear life as I shot straight upward and rolled into the tightest turn I could make to keep from going “over the falls.” As I spiraled away from the ground I was afraid to leave the thermal due to the expected severe turbulence or rolling air on the thermal edge. I hung on for a while and when I was finally able to look at my vario it was pegged at 3000 FPM. Who knows what my actual climb rate was? After about 3000 feet of climb the thermal had expanded and mellowed a bit; I relaxed a little, performed a more normal bank angle and started enjoying the ride. Even so, when I eventually left the thermal it juked me severely. “Going over the falls” is a hang

glider term for the way a thermal can cause the glider’s nose to pitch down rapidly when exiting the thermal. A paraglider can also get severe surges and collapses in the same manner. Figure 1 illustrates how the rising and falling air at a thermal’s border creates a tumbling effect. Note that along the edge of the “column” is usually the point where the greatest vertical shear, and therefore most danger, occurs. That’s why I stayed in that thermal until I climbed into the “mushroom cap.” For a hang glider, going over the falls can be dangerous if the pilot is flying too slowly or the “falls” is too severe. One of the defenses for a hang glider is to thermal at a steeper bank angle so any rolling effect is lessened. Another safety strategy is to leave the thermal in a bank to help mitigate the pitching forces on the wing due to the air. But sometimes you encounter a strong thermal on the side, or you wander out of the thermal sideways. In

this case a hang glider can get rolled severely. Once at Dinosaur in Colorado I was hit by a thermal that rolled me almost upside down. It didn’t scare me initially because I went right into my control process for a wingover. The glider pulled out and I went searching for that nasty thermal armed with more speed (the adrenaline and gnaw of fear came on during this phase). That was a serious thermal upset, but the same thing happened to me in the East on a powerful day. I was flying over a burned-out area minding my own business when a rogue thermal came up to smite me. It rolled me over at least 135 degrees and I again had to perform a wingover exit to avoid being flipped upside down. (In a future article we will look at this “wingover response”.) The whole point of this discussion is while the West certainly displays stronger thermals and stronger thermal turbulence, the East can also be a beast at times. In fact, the experience of western flying has improved my awareness, skill and safety. I can apply much of it to my eastern flying. On the other hand, western pilots can benefit from the different challenges offered in the East: lots of trees to put into the clearance equation, sometimes smaller landing fields, sometimes higher winds, sometimes weaker scratchy conditions. All these practices help build skills useful in the myriad situations we find ourselves as pilots. Viva la difference as the Gauls say. Let’s step outside our box a bit.

GETTING HIGH IN A LOW Another big difference East and West is the effects of general weather, like fronts, lows and highs. Take fronts: For reasons beyond the scope of this article, the jet stream tends to drop down over the heart of continents (and up over the oceans). The southern swing of the jet stream drags cold air masses down with it and the front of these masses are logically called cold fronts. But all states

do not equally share the benefits/penalties of cold-front passage as shown in figure 2. Of course southern states get less of the mixed blessing (fronts bring rain, cooler air, unstable conditions, sometimes thunderstorms), and usually only see coldfrontal passage in the heart of winter. To an even greater degree, western states—especially southwestern ones—rarely see the full blast of a cold front. When a cold front does pass through some of the more northern western states, it is a “backdoor front” that seldom lingers as southern high pressures move the fronts toward the east. The figure shows a typical simple cold-front event. Of course, other fronts and pressure systems can greatly complicate the picture, but this model gives us the basis for more understanding. We can surmise from the general picture that Southern California, Arizona and New Mexico may never see a cold front in a season. So how do they get unstable air? The answer is that we need to first understand low-pressure systems. I was initially awakened to a major East-West difference when I was in California competing in 1979. One of the pilots, Rich Pfeiffer, commented in the morning, “It’s going to be a great day, there’s a low-pressure system over us.” I was taken aback because in my part of the woods or world, a low-pressure system means overcast and rain. But soon, I learned it is all relative—mainly, relative humidity. In the East there is so much humidity, generally, that a low pressure with its



ride to world-record distances, but they also pull in the moist Gulf of Mexico air, leading to the storms in tornado alley (which incidentally has become more of a wide boulevard in recent times). Heat lows typically disappear or diminish during the night, but can build up daily in the absence of a change of airmass. When the mass is dry there are few or no clouds formed from heat lows, although, in truth, a western thunderstorm is really a relatively small-scale heat low. Hurricanes are also formed by heat lows over the ocean. Other flows, such as a sea breeze, caused by local difference of surface temperature, are a result of a process similar to the heat low. So out West, when we hear of a low pressure, we tend to smile—bring it on! gradually rising air results in clouds that eventually load up with moisture until it rains. A low is the bane of soaring pilots. On the other hand, a low out West is welcome because its gradually rising air makes the whole mass more unstable, promotes thermal production and increases thermal strength. But we should all be aware that low-pressure systems come in two flavors and the ones out West are different from the ones back East. The way large, powerful lows that plague the East are formed is by the movement of the jet stream. Figure 3 shows the top view of the rotating Earth. We see a jet stream bouncing southward at one point. As the flow bellies southward, conservation of momentum requires the flow to slow down with respect to the ground or rotating system. This effect is similar to being on a spinning playground merry-go-round and leaning away from the axis—your body wants to tilt sideways (retard) as you lean out, and accelerate as you lean inward. When the jet-stream air begins flowing back northward it accelerates. The result is a spreading out of the air aloft in the north-flowing part, so there is less pressure at the ground (less air piled up aloft, which is the source of



surface pressure). The lowered pressure naturally results in a surface low. The air flows inward and upward in a low, thereby eventually building up clouds. These eastern lows are typically very widespread and may persist for days, with rain and overcast skies. Flying isn’t likely. On the other hand, lows out West are heat lows. These lows are not caused by upper wind flows, but simply by surface heating. The way it works is shown in figure 4. If an area gets heated relatively higher than a nearby area, the air will expand and rise where heated, then an outflow at the top begins. The out-flowing air actually lowers the pressure at the surface because there is simply less air aloft to push down under the influence of gravity. So a relative low develops at the surface and air begins flowing inward. A general circulation sets up (that gets influenced by coriolis effect), that continues as long as the heating pattern continues. Such a heat low may be small or large. Some famous heat lows are those that set up in the Owens Valley, or the LA basin, or all along the Colorado Front Range. In fact the series of heat lows along the Front Range cause the southwest flow that hang glider pilots

FEAR OF (LEE) FLYING Here’s one for you: We mentioned earlier that generally we fly in higher winds in the East. The reasons are frontal passage and stronger pressure systems result in more wind. Another reason is that often sites are lower and less thermally in the East, so we need enough wind to generate ridge lift in order to stay up to find thermals. From a low site it is a low percentage game to launch into a thermal and try to get high enough to wait for the next cycle. In the East, we need more clearance from the terrain due to trees, and the thermals typically aren’t as strong or long-lasting as they are in the West, so the first thermal may only gain you a few hundred feet. Launching outside of a thermal cycle is an even lower percentage game since there is not much altitude to play with. Of course, once we get high we can enjoy extended or cross-country flights in purely thermal conditions. I had at least one experience that demonstrated the differences very dramatically. The 1979 US Nationals were at Crestline, California (near San Bernardino). I arrived in the night and slept in my van near launch. That morning I checked out launch for the first

time around 10 a.m. I met a very strong wind. I decided we would be blown out but waited around for others. Around about 11 a.m. the winds had picked up to about 20 mph and some locals showed up and began setting up. I was thinking, “This should be interesting.” They eventually launched, and started doing 360s in light lift with barely any drift! I suddenly realized that all the wind was anabatic flow (upslope wind due to heating of the slope), made so strong by the great height, the bare slope and the intense sunshine. We flew that meet in similar conditions and I learned another difference East and West. So it still holds that almost all western flying takes place in lighter general winds. In fact, the lighter winds and greater heating in the West lead to another curious practice that shocked me at first: leeside flying. When I first heard about pilots flying in the leeside of mountains it gave me the willies. We soon learned in the early days back East of the woes of leeside turbulence. Pilots were thrown out of control and sometimes flung into trees when caught in

the leeside of even small hills. So what gives? The answer is for some of the same reasons that heat lows predominate out West—dry, hot conditions with higher mountains—leeside flying is sometimes possible. What happens is upslope flow and thermals combine on the leeside to overcome the wind from the back, and often form a “bubble” of warm air on the lee side. Figure 5 illustrates this matter. The size and steadiness of this thermal-blocking bubble depends on the heating, the size of the mountain and strength of the overall wind. My friend Nik Yotov, meet director at the recent paragliding World Meet, calls this effect the “invisible terrain.” That’s a good enough term to steal. Essentially all the flying at this meet took place initially in the leeside bubble (the site faces south, the winds were north). The figure shows how there can be several trigger points for thermals, but these are partially affected by the terrain. At the site in question, a convergence line often formed away from the mountain that was a reliable source of long-line lift (see the figure). It is expected that this effect

may occur at other sites with similar blocking bubbles. Closer to home, the east-facing site near Denver, Lookout Mountain, is similarly flown in general westerly tailwinds. I have only flown this site a couple times, but I have heard of pilots finding loads of widespread lift well away (east) of the mountains. Also in Colorado, the south-facing site at Dinosaur is often flown with a light north (tail) wind blocked by thermal heating. Finally, the well-known Walt’s Point in the Owens Valley is flown in the morning when the early heating and thermals block the prevailing westerlies. XC pilots there tend to cross over to the east side (west facing) of the valley as the day progresses. There’s a lot to explore, but caution: You can’t generally do this at small mountains (less than 2000 feet tall), and the stronger the general wind, the less safe the practice. I will note that in the 1991 Hang Gliding World Meet in the Owens Valley a couple pilots tumbled when diving into the lee side of a canyon. No fun! Truly the East is East and the West is…for cowboys.



by Sue Sparrow



veryone agrees that pilots are unusually strong, sexy, smart, savvy, and above all— surpassingly thermalicious. So, if the chance arises to become a pilot’s partner, I advise you take it. “Partner” according to the New Webster’s Dictionary, is defined thusly: “(part’.ner) a partaker; an associate; a sharer, esp. in business; a husband or

waiting before the launch, be able to self-entertain without complaint during the pilot’s flight, enjoy driving (hopefully) long distances for the pick up and be able to navigate by using GPS, compass or just plain smell to locate the pilot after landing. One should have the patience of Job, the optimism of Pandora and the hardiness of a Tennessee mule, which

“The #1 requirement to be a good pilot’s partner is that one must not fly oneself.” wife; one who dances with another; in golf, tennis, etc., one who plays with another against opponents.” I would respectfully submit the following addition for inclusion: The #1 requirement to be a good pilot’s partner is that one must not fly oneself. One must be selfless, able to withstand long hours of hang-



comes in handy when carrying heavy equipment. One should be able to withstand hunger and thirst, bandage small cuts without fainting, and be oblivious to all temperature extremes. Having either a great memory or good list-making skills is essential to ensure no necessary equipment is left at home or on launch—an Eagle Scout-like


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

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


northwing.com 54



Visit NorthWing.com ATF and SOLAIRUS soaring trikes FREEDOM hang glider

preparedness, if you will. One should not be squeamish about drinking from a festive bottle of whatever is passed around after a particularly good day of flying. One should also be able to hold steadfast a welcoming smile, while being clasped in a celebratory landing hug by an overly excited and very sweaty pilot. To be a supreme pilot’s partner, however, one should be able to disperse storm clouds with a wave of the hand and create thermals by passing gas. One should be able to break down or repair any wing a la MacGyver in under five minutes, be able to wax poetic about even the most routine of sled rides, and navigate like Frank Worsley during Ernest Shackleton’s 1914 trans-Antarctic expedition. A supreme pilot’s partner should be able to give Steven Spielberg lessons on filming and editing flight videos. One should also be as silver-tongued as a horny Irishman in case of surprised and irate landowners. And it wouldn’t hurt, literally, to be a fully equipped paramedic. The individual personal pursuits of a pilot’s partner ideally should be only of the kind that can be taken up and put down at a moment’s notice, i.e., knitting, reading, gathering blueberries in season, swatting bugs, while either waiting on launch or in a car by the side of a road. As bathroom facilities are usually nonexistent on launch or by the side of a road, one must also have either the bladder capacity of a Saharan dromedary or, shall we say, an affinity for nature combined with an enduring lack of modesty. Above all, one must cultivate the Zen-like ability to sit through many hours of flying videos without fidgeting, as it is a welldocumented fact that if pilots are not flying, they are watching flying videos. If this proves impossible to pull off, a

BOCES-type course in sleeping with one’s eyes open is suggested as interest, whether real or feigned, should ideally be maintained at all times. New pilot partners can be identified by their intense enthusiasm and interest in all things flight-related (and, by extension, pilot-related) and their lack of preparedness for the long hours ahead. Not bringing a good book is a classic rookie mistake. Another is not bringing sunscreen/hat/sufficiently warm or cool clothing/drinks/snacks. A new pilot’s partner should initially spend some time in front of a mirror practicing very, very confident smiles to be tossed casually at their pilot as launch time grows near. Any show of trepidation is to be avoided. Some pilot’s partners are practically invisible to the larger flying community, preferring not to share in their pilot’s reflected glory. Some are ubiquitous, i.e., at every launch, party, bonfire, cookout and fly-in. Each pilot and partner pair will work these things out among themselves. The benefits of becoming a pilot’s partner include, but are not limited to, an increased ease of gift-giving, as all pilots want only the latest gear and technology, and the most important benefit of all, the eternal gratitude and admiration of one’s chosen pilot for one’s unflagging patience and good humor. In summary, a pilot’s partner is an integral part of the pilot’s kit bag. Sharing the experience of a great flight doubles the high pilots are chasing. In the end, it’s all about helping one’s pilot to have the best experience ever in the air and sharing that experience with them when they land, so they can go back up and do it again. And again. And again. And again.

Fly Costa Rica at Grampa Ninja’s B&B

grampa@paraglidecostarica.com US: 908-454-3242 Costa Rica Cell: 8-950-8676 B&B: 011-506-2-200-4824 (Between January - April)





XAlps participant banks it up on course to Monaco | photo courtesy of Redbull Photofiles.




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

Shawn Lucke Michael Moses William Sprague Garrett Mcguckin Takeo Eda David Mumper Alvin Nguyen Ken Chang Robert Davis Stephen Arcangeli Tiya Tiyasirichokchai Alexey Gagarin James Kin Fung Chan Kory Griggs Mark Henline Stephen Jarosek Leon Van Seeters Chris Hosie Tom Vancil Jeffrey Gobeli Scott Trueblood Christopher Bruno Ric Caylor John Herr Malcolm Laplante William Laplante Valerie Long Michael Vinson Terron Vawter Senan Geraghty Sebastian Domingo Mark Healey Keenen Fryman Bobbi Webster Nishant Patel Arlin Dan Johnson Frank Kenyon Ben Cox Sean Kluttz Natacha Vassmer Daniel Scroggins Sara Fort Peter Feltham Shawn Lucke Orion Walton





Jeff Beck Barry Levine Eric Hinrichs George Hamilton Patrick Denevan David Yount Patrick Denevan Patrick Denevan David Yount Michael Jefferson Michael Jefferson Dan Deweese Rob Mckenzie Dan Deweese Mark Windsheimer Kevin Koonce Mel Glantz Christopher (kit) Martin Tracy Tillman Peter Berney Greg Black Randy Grove Randy Grove Gordon Cayce Greg Black Greg Black Christopher (kit) Martin Gordon Cayce Gordon Cayce Christopher (kit) Martin Christopher (kit) Martin Christopher (kit) Martin Christopher (kit) Martin Gordon Cayce Christopher (kit) Martin Christopher (kit) Martin Gordon Cayce Gordon Cayce Gordon Cayce James Tindle Jeffrey Hunt Greg Black Daniel Guido Jeff Beck William Dydo


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

Michael Moses Alexey Gagarin Keith Kraemer James Kin Fung Chan Kory Griggs Stephen Jarosek Tom Mccolly Ryan Mccolly Leon Van Seeters Chris Hosie Tom Vancil Jeffrey Gobeli Alysia Palm John Herr Valerie Long Michael Vinson Terron Vawter Senan Geraghty Sebastian Domingo Mark Healey Keenen Fryman Bobbi Webster Nishant Patel Arlin Dan Johnson Frank Kenyon Ben Cox Sean Kluttz Igor Brodetskiy Brandon Bartell Dmitry Goubar Brian Gutwein Jeffrey Hemrich Steve Toney Scott Blake Leon Van Seeters Brad Barkley Scott Corl Cory Barnwell Paul Sydor Evan Tasios Jerry Dainton Jay Jansen Leon Van Seeters Jonathan Small Joshua Mcmillan




Barry Levine Dan Deweese Greg Dewolf Rob Mckenzie Dan Deweese Kevin Koonce Jeff Shapiro Jeff Shapiro Mel Glantz Christopher (kit) Martin Tracy Tillman Peter Berney Gordon Cayce Gordon Cayce Christopher (kit) Martin Gordon Cayce Gordon Cayce Christopher (kit) Martin Christopher (kit) Martin Christopher (kit) Martin Christopher (kit) Martin Gordon Cayce Christopher (kit) Martin Christopher (kit) Martin Gordon Cayce Gordon Cayce Gordon Cayce Bryon Estes Greg Black Bryon Estes Greg Black Korbet Mceniry Harold Johnson John Heiney Mel Glantz Steve Wendt John Alden Gordon Cayce Steve Wendt Jon Thompson Gregg Ludwig Bryon Estes Mel Glantz James Tindle Greg Black


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

George Wolters Kathy Case Bruce Martin Kai Clancy Reza Imani Shakibaei Patricia Bailey Randolph Ruffin Heather Amaryllis

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

James Brown Iv Alia Brown Cambria Nelson Ali Asghary Karahroudy Greg Aiello Sabrina Relaix Joel Bakamis John Hill Jessica Pfund Michael Lin Heather Black Brian Thivierge Trevor Meeks Huy Vu Tobias Treml Miguel Jose Huerta Mark Foster Ryan Nelson Michael Rapp Bence Pascu Philip Chamberlain Jason Pfund Mario Hermoso Joel Munger Lothar Schmidt Kohl Kinning Tom Willenbrecht Simon Hoepfner Charles (jack) Norris Jr Brandon Chandler Richard Pritzlaff Brent Frogget James Souza Brandon Reid Jonathan Strickland Erikk Hurtt Michael Miedrich



Matt Henzi Douglas Stroop John Kraske David (dexter) Binder Seyed Alireza Amidi Namin Samuel Crocker Shane Denherder Shane Denherder


Brad Hill Brad Hill Stephen Mayer Seyed Alireza Amidi Namin Jeffrey Greenbaum Wallace Anderson David (dexter) Binder Mitchell Neary Christopher Grantham Christopher Grantham Rob Sporrer Shigeru Harada Shigeru Harada Jesse Meyer William Laurence Marcello Debarros Jerome Daoust Rob Sporrer Christopher Grantham Carson Klein Max Marien Christopher Grantham Christopher Grantham Bo Criss Granger Banks Kay Tauscher Brian Decker Granger Banks Carlos Madureira Wallace Anderson Kay Tauscher Stephen Mayer Etienne Pienaar Mitchell Neary Jonathan Jefferies Etienne Pienaar Mike Steen

If you


the 2014




RATINGS ISSUED IN AUGUST P-1 P-1 P-1 P-1 P-1 P-1 P-1 P-1 P-1 P-1 P-1 P-1 P-1 P-1 P-1 P-1 P-1 P-1 P-2 P-2 P-2 P-2 P-2 P-2 P-2 P-2 P-2 P-2 P-2 P-2 P-2 P-2 P-2 P-2 P-2 P-2 P-2 P-2 P-2 P-2 P-2 P-2 P-2 P-2 P-2

Eric Marceau Greg Runyon Andrew Kaspick Doug Streeter David Ulrichs Navid Mirani Tanvir Raj Bhasin Alexey Galda Kevin Xingrong Chen Scott Settlemier Geoff Wright Dominick Cacciatore, Jr Jens Peterson Quinn Campbell Gary Frost Lisa Frost Ruslan Kudryavtsev Piotr Wicik Caroline White George Wolters Kathy Case Bruce Martin Robert Redman Kai Clancy Reza Imani Shakibaei Cambria Nelson Ali Asghary Karahroudy Adam Young Torsten Hasselmann Chris Brabeck Jarrad Wycroff Jason Chang Joel Bakamis Jessica Pfund Michael Lin Heather Black Huy Vu Tobias Treml Thomas Portwood Merrill Moses Miguel Jose Huerta Shane Easton Eric Van Name Bunok Kravitz Jecques De Rham




Joseph Seitz Andy Macrae Andy Macrae Andy Macrae Andy Macrae Seyed Alireza Amidi Namin Jeffrey Greenbaum Jaro Krupa William Fifer Joseph Seitz Joseph Seitz Terry Bono Robert Hastings Christopher (kit) Martin Anthony (bud) Wruck Anthony (bud) Wruck Ray Leonard Philippe Renaudin Steven Amy Matt Henzi Douglas Stroop John Kraske John Kraske David (dexter) Binder Seyed Alireza Amidi Namin Stephen Mayer Seyed Alireza Amidi Namin Mitchell Neary Wallace Anderson Max Marien Mitchell Neary Jesse Meyer David (dexter) Binder Christopher Grantham Christopher Grantham Rob Sporrer Jesse Meyer William Laurence Rob Sporrer Max Marien Marcello Debarros Max Marien William Purden Jr Marcello Debarros David (dexter) Binder



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


Curt Scott Ryan Nelson Bence Pascu Jason Pfund Mario Hermoso Joel Munger Lothar Schmidt Kohl Kinning Tom Willenbrecht Simon Hoepfner Todd Wickard Julie Harris Richard Pritzlaff David Cox Klaus Obermeyer Brent Frogget Chuck Mccown James Souza Jonathan Strickland Erikk Hurtt Michael Miedrich Eric Marceau Greg Runyon Andrew Kaspick Doug Streeter David Ulrichs Philip Morgan Sabine Dlugosch Navid Mirani Tanvir Raj Bhasin Alexey Galda Kevin Xingrong Chen Rand Kmiec Peter May Justin Caulfield Gaston De Zarraga Sara Dickhaus Dominick Cacciatore, Jr


IL MI NH NH MA VA VA PA Stewart (andrew) Sumpton FL Carlos Mathison FL Roland Sanguino FL Quinn Campbell GA Gary Frost TX Lisa Frost TX Ruslan Kudryavtsev NY

David (dexter) Binder Rob Sporrer Carson Klein Christopher Grantham Christopher Grantham Bo Criss Granger Banks Kay Tauscher Brian Decker Granger Banks Charles (chuck) Woods Gregory Kelley Kay Tauscher Brad Gunnisco Rob Sporrer Stephen Mayer Christopher Hunlow Etienne Pienaar Jonathan Jefferies Etienne Pienaar Mike Steen Joseph Seitz Andy Macrae Andy Macrae Andy Macrae Andy Macrae Britton Shaw Steven Yancey Seyed Alireza Amidi Namin Jeffrey Greenbaum Jaro Krupa William Fifer Joseph Seitz John Dunn


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

Piotr Wicik Forrest Crowell Jr Travis Potter Jacob Pratt Wade Ogg Wilson Nolan Alexander Hohenzollern Benny Abruzzo Sr Cy Rill Kranak Matthew Annetts Tatiana Steiler Alexey Galda George Huffman

Ignacio Soteras Gutierrez Cheryl Beach Derek Baylor C J Brockway Lori Dirks Julie Williams Steve Owens Juan Silva James Schur Ron Oliver David Hach Ayhan Donmez Ali Sabuncu Bryan Miller Jim Sorensen John (jack) Brinckerhoff





Philippe Renaudin Douglas Stroop Douglas Stroop Marc Chirico Marcello Debarros Marcello Debarros Etienne Pienaar

Charles (chuck) Woods Max Marien Nicholas Greece David Hanning Jaro Krupa Matthew Ingram Terry Bono Carl Dennis Denise Reed Denise Reed Marc Chirico Marc Chirico Robin Marien Max Marien Ron Peck Etienne Pienaar Alejandro Palmaz Murat Tuzer Murat Tuzer Christopher Grantham Rebecca Bredehoft Steve Sirrine

Charles (chuck) Smith David (dexter) Binder David (dexter) Binder Terry Bono Jeffrey Greenbaum Luis Ameglio Luis Ameglio Christopher (kit) Martin Anthony (bud) Wruck Anthony (bud) Wruck Ray Leonard






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: www.USHPA.aero 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: www.USHPA.aero 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.




Aerotow race-to-goal competition. More information: Jamie Shelden, 831-261-5444, naughtylawyer@gmail.com, or santacruzflatsrace.blogspot. com.

clinics & tours NOVEMBER 15 - MARCH 15  Valle de Bravo, Mexico. Daily hang gliding and paragliding at the winter flying paradise in Central Mexico—Valle de Bravo. Base packages $895 PG, $1195 HG. Sunday to Sunday includes airport transportation, lodging, flying transportation and guiding. 20 years of providing service. FlyMexico! More information: Jeffrey Hunt, 512-467-2529, jeff@ flymexico.com, or http://www.flymexico.com. DECEMBER 1 - JANUARY 31  Valle de Bravo,

Mexico. Fly south this winter! Come fly the worldclass air of El Peñon in Valle de Bravo. Advanced instructor David Prentice, with over 21 years of experience and 14 years guiding tours in Valle de Bravo. World-class lodging and logistics, the best valued tour in Valle de Bravo, airport pick-up, local transportation, in-air guiding and XC retrievals included. We fly twice a day every day. More information: David Prentice, 505-720-5436, earthcog@yahoo.com, or earthcog.com. DECEMBER 5 - 15  12/5/2013-12/15/2013; Brazil Join us for 10 days of paragliding in Brazil with Nick Crane and Paracrane. From Rio, flying over the tropical forest and 3000-foot granite domes, with toucans and monkeys below; an XC flight towards the statue of Christ, soaring the condos along the beach; enjoying a frozen açai drink by the ocean. A road trip will include awesome lesser-known sites; we’ll stay in historic colonial towns along the way to Governador Valadares, world-renowned capitol of Brazilian paragliding. Airport pick up and drop off, all transportation, lodging, guiding included. Price: $2200 for 10 days More Information: Nick Crane 541-840-8587 nick@paracrane.com, or http:// www.paracrane.com/braziltour.html. 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 rob@paraglide.com, or www.paragliding.com.

December 7-13, January 11-17, February 8-14 & MARCH 8-14  Costa Rica. Come

fly over the tropical forest of Costa Rica! For the 8th year advanced paragliding instructor Nick Crane will be leading paragliding tours for pilots of all levels. We have pioneered and have unique access to many of the best sites in the country, some of the most beautiful sites anywhere. Transportation, rooms, guiding and coaching for all levels, from P-1 to P-4. Prices are $1295 for one week, with discounts for couples or two-week tours. More information: 541-840-8587, nick@paracrane.com, or www. costaricaparagliding.com.

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 twocanfly@gmail.com, or www.twocanfly.com. JANUARY 18-26, JANUARY 26 - FEBURARY 3, FEBRUARY 8-16 & 16-24  Roldanillo, Colom-

bia: Eagle Paragliding and Paraglide Utah are teaming up to offer four weeks of unforgettable flying in Roldanillo, Colombia. This is the worldclass site where the paragliding pre-worlds will be held just before our tours. These tours are for pilots of all levels. We will be offering coaching on thermaling, XC flying and tandem XC flying, and will be setting race-to-goal tasks daily for those interested. We have been offering tours for over a decade all over the world. The number of highcaliber staff members supporting pilots at Eagle clinics and tours is unprecedented. Let Rob Sporrer, Brad Gunnuscio, and the rest of our staff of instructors support you in achieving your goals for the week. Visit www.paragliding.com, or contact us directly at rob@paraglide.com, or 805968-0980. 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, granger@parasoftparagliding.com, or http://parasoftparagliding. com/tapalpa-mexico-trips/.

JANUARY 25 - FEBRUARY 16  Medellin - La

Pintada - Roldanillo, Colombia Looking for experienced pilots who want to have fun paragliding in Colombia and don’t want to spend a lot of money on a “clinic.” This is not a trip for newbies or those wanting training. If you have mountain thermaling and XC experience, this is the trip for you. From $450 a week, including daily transport, hotels, and more. Choose from 1 to 3 weeks. Fly around Medellin (Week 1), Road trip to La Pintada (Week 2), and XC in Roldanillo (Week 3). More information: Mark Gilliam 312-857-4455, bot@botbotbot.com, or http://www.botbotbot.com.

JANUARY 29 - FEBRUARY 17  Roldanillo-Medellin, Colombia. Join one of our most accomplished South American and now US established pilots, Luis Rosenkjer, as he leads you on an epic adventure in a marvelous land of friendly people and consistent flying weather. We start in Roldanillo, a worldwide known paragliding Mecca due to its amazing flying conditions and then to Medellin, a large modern city with world class restaurants and nightlife also recently named city of the year, http://online.wsj.com/ad/cityoftheyear, surrounded by numerous paragliding options. Our trips are distinguished by the personal attention of our guides and by our luxurious accommodations. More info: Luis Rosenkjer, 404-9313793, luis@atlantaparagliding.com, or www. paraglidingtrips.com 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, granger@parasoftparagliding.com, 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. hanggliding.com

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. comflycenterofgraity@gmail.com, 315-256-1522


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



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

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



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

FLY ABOVE ALL - Year-round instruction in

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


San Diego CA 92175, 619-265-5320.

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

North wing ATF trike for sale with stratus wing 182,MZ 34/35 engine,electric starter and emergency parachute. Asking $7200. Obo no shipping. Call Robert at (661)240-5328

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







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

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

MIAMI HANG GLIDING - For year-round training


coastal San Diego flying year-round! We have live music and BBQ festivities every Saturday during the summer months. We offer USHPA-certified instruction for all ratings, as well as Tandem, Instructor and SIV clinics. Call us for details on our domestic and international clinics and tours. We have expanded product lines to include Ozone, SkyWalk, Sup Air, Independence, Little Cloud, Woody Valley, Niviuk, Paratech, MacPara, Dudek, Plussmax Helments, Crispi Boots, GatorZ, GoPro, Flytec, FlyMaster, Ki2Fly and much more! Speed flying your thing? Come test fly our new mini wings from Little Cloud. Our full-service shop offers reserve repacks, annual glider inspections, repairs and more. We also carry an extensive used inventory of certified gliders and harnesses. Check us out at flytorrey.com or give us a call at 858452-9858.

WINDSPORTS - Don’t risk bad weather, bad

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

fun in the sun. 305-285-8978, 2550 S Bayshore Drive, Coconut Grove, Florida 33133, www. miamihanggliding.com. WALLABY RANCH – The original Aerotow flight park. Best tandem instruction worldwide,7-days a week , 6 tugs, and equipment rental. Call:1-800WALLABY wallaby.com 1805 Deen Still Road, Disney Area FL 33897


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

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. aerosports.net, hangglide@aerosports.net.

MICHIGAN Cloud 9 Sport Aviation (hang gliding equipment), North American Soaring (Alatus ultralight sailplane and e-drive systems), Dragon Fly Soaring Club (hang gliding instruction), at Cloud 9 Field, Webberville, MI.More info: (517) 223-8683, Cloud9sa@aol.com, 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, tchangglider@chartermi.net. Your USA & Canada Mosquito distributor. www.mosquitoamerica.com.

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 mtnwings@verizon.net, www.mtnwings.com

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


Connecticut areas. Area’s exclusive Wills Wing dealer. Also all other brands, accessories. Area’s most INEXPENSIVE prices! Certified instruction/ service since 1979. Excellent secondary instruction! Taken some lessons? Advance to mountain flying! www.flyhighhg.com, 845-7443317.


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. cooperstownhanggliding.com 315-867-8011

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




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, www.kittyhawk.com






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

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

TEXAS FlyTexas / Jeff Hunt - training pilots in

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

UTAH CLOUD 9 PARAGLIDING - Come visit us and check

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

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

Rooms, and/or guide service and transportation. Lessons available from USHPA certified instructors. USA: 908-454-3242. Costa Rica: (Country code, 011) House: 506-2200-4824, Cell: 506-8950-8676, www.paraglidecostarica. com.

Paragliding Hang Simulators-$150-$175. Durable aluminum, handmade by certified welder, female pilot! Also, hitch hangers-$150+. See kufadesigns.com/parasim.html for info.


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, www.hanggliding.com.

PUBLICATIONS & ORGANIZATIONS SOARING - Monthly magazine of The Soaring

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

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

WANTED WANTED - Used variometers, harnesses, parachutes, helmets, etc. Trade or cash. (262) 473-8800, www.hanggliding.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. www.flymexico.com 1-800-861-7198 USA

PARTS & ACCESSORIES 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









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

DELORME INREACH | $299.95 inReach enables you to send and receive text messages, trigger an SOS for help, and track your GPS coordinates, wherever your trip takes you. It keeps you connected when off the grid.



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 blue 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

ultimate weather book again and

birds, who soar over mountains

again as your brain attempts to

and jungles, and who look upon

wrap itself around one of the

strange new lands and exotic

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-

Paragliding: For the beginner or

hensive guide to thermal flying.

experienced pilot.

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




by Jon Stallman


e know there was a day when it all worked for you. When your training clicked, the conditions were perfect, the stars aligned, and you soared to new heights (real or imagined). Send in your tale of "The 1" flight you'll never forget, and we'll print it right here. You'll be entered into the annual drawing for a USHPA soft shell jacket!

Years back, Alaskan pilot Wil Brown

convinced me to: “LET GO…see beyond the nest.” He continued, “Who cares, anyway? It’s just a hike if you land out, and you like to hike, right?” I had been hungry for years to fly XC—a XC flight with a real idea, plan, and maybe even a goal. I marvel at the sky-gods who go far and return to camp at midnight after an epic retrieve. I’m not new to this game of flying, but I had not been able to put all the pieces together for a real XC flight in a paraglider. At our local distance flying spot, Potato Hill, on the east side of the coastal range in California, I had been stuck in the fish bowl for years and was slowly learning the ropes of leaving the bowl and heading north. We flew tasks through the Northern California Cross-Country League where Wil and others schooled me on programming my instruments, devising a strategy to actually get to the points I diligently loaded into my GPS, and keeping my mind on the game of XC. For years, I merely chased pilots around the sky as, one-by-one, they vaporized into the distance, at which time I found myself alone and thinking...how do they do that? I felt like a child learning to count, using a pencil to draw a dot-to-dot picture, taking into consideration cylinders, weather, drift, gaggles, crossings, clouds, wind, terrain, landing spots, grumpy land owners, pot growers, the goal, and countless other mind-boggling challenges, while trying to fly a bedsheet in turbulent air. While my picture is, to this day, far



from complete, I can detect a pattern. However, my friends might see my dot-to-dot artwork as a Shell Silverstein character whose head is connected to his arse at times, resulting in his landing out in some forsaken place requiring an epic hike. The 1 for me arrived on a day in the Owens Valley a few years back. It was the grand finale of the annual NCXC League, based out of Bishop, CA, famous for big air. On day two, a 74K task, the sky was perfect, my mind was tuned up, my instruments set, and all my friends were encouraging a good task: “See you in goal.” Dusties were ripping through launch. Thirty-or-so pilots were already in the air marking the start cylinder. My launch was strong and deliberate… like the day ahead. I managed the first climb and tagged the start cylinder with a strategy that meant I would be in the game. The next waypoint was 15 miles north along the White Mountains. While climbing to 12,000 feet, I was arcing in thermals, laughing with friends, and connecting the dots from ridgeline to ridgeline. TAG! The next cylinder was back south another 15 miles into the wind, requiring pilots to fly across immense canyons and spires of rock, spinning from thermal to thermal. I was doing it! Passing one of my mentor friends, Timo, I ripped out a big fist- pumping wave. I was so stoked! As I watched from thousands of feet up, pilots dropped down, one by one, gliding out the alluvial debris that fan to highway 6, running parallel to the

Whites. (Normally, that would be me.) I WAS STILL UP and IN THE GAME…YAHAAA! The next cylinder was out in the valley. I climbed high, glided out…TAG… and back to the range. I was on the homestretch, alone, four hours into the flight, far behind the main gaggle, but still in the game. I worked each ridge, rock, and face that gleamed in the setting sun, as if I were wearing heat-seeking infrared goggles. Getting low as I approached one of the bigger rock faces, I aimed for it, hoping for a last-ditch climb. Two birds in my thermal suddenly got tossed upside down and started tumbling and flapping…oh boy!…hold on...it’s comi…WHACK! My wing wadded up, whipped around 180 degrees, and snapped back open with a huge headwhipping jolt. Wohhooo… This is where I usually check out and find my happy place in a field out in the valley. But this time…back in the game! I pressed on and climbed as high as I could for the final glide out from the Whites to Benton for goal. I thought I was going to make it… no…yes…no…one more thermal along the way…and YES! After fifteen years of flying and three of trying to fly a task, I spiraled down into the landing field. “I finally MADE GOAL!” I shouted. My longest, highest, and first time in goal! Later, I learned the whack I took jolted the batteries in my GPS, stopping my track log at that point in the flight. There was no task score for me that day. But I had a big personal score—the dots finally made a pretty picture—The 1.

Another Exceptional Year for North America‘s Largest Importer of Paragliding Gear and Accessories At Super Fly we are constantly reminded of how fortunate we are to have the best customers in the world. It’s your enthusiastic support that makes us the largest, most respected importer of paragliding gear in North America. Our office staff make us all look good by taking care of our customers with a smile and fantastic attitude while we put on hundreds of SIV flights and hosted hundreds of miles of instructional tows. Our students have gone on to become world class instructors, competitors and all around great sportsmen in the world of footlaunched flying. We couldn’t be more proud. And honored. The holidays are here now and we’re super-stoked to bring you the best our manufacturers have to offer, from the big stuff like wings and harnesses to the smaller but oh-so-essential gadgets to fill your holiday stockings. So, thank you once again for a brilliant year full of exceptional accomplishments, safe flying and great adventures. Sincerely,

Your Super Fly Team

This Year Super Fly Has Your Gift-Giving Holidays Covered! Super Fly has been carrying the full line of awesome since 1998. Check out our web store for all your holiday gift-giving needs. From stocking stuffers to the big stuff and everything in between, we’ve got you covered. Our all-new web store is sure to have the perfect gift for all the special pilots on your list. Advance EPSILON 7 Excellent launch characteristics, exceptional stability and light weight make for a great motor wing with EAPR certification. Slightly different line diameter and Advance Hybrid motor risers mean that you will be flying in safe, certified style. The Epsilon 7 can be ordered in the motor configuration and can also be retrofitted to meet paramotor certification standards.


Gin Yeti Ultralight weight - split leg weighs in at .5 kg without buckles and reserve bridle routing

Naviter Oudie 2


$300 .6 kg with buckles and reserve bridle routing - one size fits all and EN/ LTF certification.

Top Performance EN-B $4100

Super Fly, Inc • 8683 Sandy Pkwy Sandy, UT 84070 • info@superflyinc.com •

Personal Gliding Assistant provides everything a pilot needs in one simple package. $1000

801. 255. 9595

Turn static files into dynamic content formats.

Create a flipbook
Issuu converts static files into: digital portfolios, online yearbooks, online catalogs, digital photo albums and more. Sign up and create your flipbook.