WIND LINES

   Online newsletter of the Hawaii Paragliding Association

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Tenebrous Flight Research

On the first day of the TFR, Obama gave to me: a heart ridge and an XC. Well, you know that ridge has my heart. And we actually scored several flights this afternoon, in a crazy variety of conditions out there, as the shadow of that huge ridge slowly crept out toward the shoreline. Who knew a southeast flow could work so well at a site that faces north!

Fearless Farewell

Obama made us do it. At least that's the only thing that makes sense in hindsight. I don't know how else to explain such desperate attempts at airtime in the kind of air most likely to be found in the textbook of bad conditions at Kahana. It's a crazy conspiracy!

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Reaper Hits the Trifecta

It's been a banner year for Peter Michelmore, once again, and quite the trifecta for the month of December! First, the purchase of a house. Yes, Reaper now has a big ass … mortgage! Second, being the first Hawaii pilot to be elected as Region 3 Director for USHPA, god help them. Third, as you all know, Reaper is a little crazy: but at least he's got a full deck … on this, his 52nd birthday. So, you're all invited to a house warming, with birthday candles, to celebrate our new USHPA Director!

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Perfect Peninsula

The forecast for today was amazing and perfect for our usual sites: sunny with light to moderate northeasterly trades and some sea breezes. But we awoke to clouds, a lingering frontal drizzle and a northwesterly flow. The day slowly cleared and turned on, but nothing like the prediction. We had to be flexible and creative. Let’s see … this was probably the last day to fly Kahana or Makapuu before the TFR forces us to fly Dillingham every day. So … I know! Let’s fly Dillingham!

Thursday, December 11, 2014

TFR Dec 19-Jan 4: All sites closed except Dillingham

Flying on Oahu is restricted from 10:30 PM on December 19, 2014 to 9:45 PM on January 4, 2014, while the President is on the island. Paragliders will only be allowed to fly one site on the island: flying will be limited to a 5 nm radius around Dillingham airfield, between 9 AM and 5 PM, after confirming authorization from HNL ATC each day.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Surfing the Cold Front

We have flown every corner of the island in the last week: Kahana, Makapuu, Koko Head, Makua. Now that's how we know it's winter on Oahu. Today a few adventurous souls followed the forecast to farthest Dillingham, and squeaked in a magical hour flight between frontal shower bands.

Tuesday, December 09, 2014

Four Day Weekend

 
 

Flying my head off from Friday to Monday. A rainy and exciting Kahana bay crossing, two perfect Makapuu cross country days, and a sea breeze soaring and top landing clinic at Koko Head.

Sunday, December 07, 2014

Out and Back with Alaska Jack

2014 has been fickle for giving up big sky days, but how odd is it that whenever an Alaskan pilot is in town, we get some great flights. Well, today's mission must have looked like an invasion to the poor ground dwellers trapped in their cars along all three island passes. This will be short just to keep JJJ off my back, as well as several others that also flew this great mission. Unfortunately he's already drinking his coffee.

Thursday, December 04, 2014

Dog Day Afternoon

Our flying weather has really gone to the dogs. The morning outlook on paper and charts looked promising, but the onsite reports from Kahana left us chasing our tails. The sensors at Makapuu were blowing dogs off chains, so instead of taking a left or right off the Pali, my leash dragged me to town to go to work. I finished early, around 3 PM, and I figured I'd take the scenic route and maybe catch some whales on the east shore. My glider was bored, so I let it stick its leading edge out the window to catch some air. Driving along past Sandy Beach, I habitually looked up, and there was a wing in the air. Holy Bird Dogs!

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Getting After It

After yesterday's second straight day of adventure at the End of the World, which ended with me hiking my way out of there after a scratchy sledder, I met Cade who had masterfully flown back to land next to the cars. He said something I found hilarious and awesome. It's an expression I've only heard but never used myself. It's also funny because it's kind of a consolation, like a cross country pilot who ranks high in airtime. He said: Alex, you sure do get after it. Today, many of us got after it at another rare winter site. You know, the kind of site that involves driving, hiking, waiting on the mountain, watching your buddies handle crazy turbulent air, and hiking down.