Friday, February 05, 2016

Yes, Kelly, There Really Are Flying Monkeys

Alex and I had a great flight at Kahana a few days ago. It was my first flight there for 2016. While we were folding up, this nice looking gal was smiling as she walked up from the beach towards us. She looked familiar but I just couldn't place her. She started chatting, and we were reminded that it was Kelly, Brian Howell's better half. She mentioned that she has always enjoyed reading Wind Lines and the stories which were so entertaining. I looked at Alex and demanded, "Yeah, how come you haven't written in a long time?" He gazed blankly at me, and I snarled, "Mine are only good when you fix them."

Well, Because of you Kelly, I am going to try to log some Flying Monkey Tails just for you, and any others that can stand it. This of course means that Alex will have to get out his eraser and white-out to make them legible and maybe add some of his Great Pictures. Without further prelude, here is the log from today's journey.

Monday, January 04, 2016

Vapor Trails

Air Force One's vapor trails away from Oahu had hardly evaporated, when legions of hungry pilots hustled out to Makapuu for some well needed airtime. This Sunday, Makapuu really gave it up for all us emus (flightless birds). The air when I arrived at the lookout was packed with all things flying: hang gliders, paragliders, tandems, RC planes and drones. The day looked awesome, with a high cloudbase covering the top, and a light NNE breeze to provide smooth lift. It had all the makings of a great day to head downrange.

Thursday, December 24, 2015

USHPA Film Festival and Fundraiser

We invite all local and visiting hang glider and paraglider pilots, family and friends to join us for a film festival and fundraiser on Saturday, December 26, to benefit the preservation of flying privileges at our USHPA sites. Thanks to Donna and Thom for hosting this event at their house in Kailua, complete with a big screen and projector. We will be screening the official USHPA film festival selections, as well as a selection of locally produced flying videos.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Happy Birthday Noell for the 40th Time!

Noell called me today. Frantic, she thought Ray had posted up an announcement about her upcoming 4th decade party.  He had not, too busy working,  but he did scratch it into the chat box, where it got buried.  So here it is.

WHAT:  Noell's B-Day party.

WHEN:  December 19, 2015 starting at 6:00pm and ending at 10:00pm

WHERE: 425C Maluniu Kailua, HI park outside the lane, stroll in and Macarena out.

Bring your usual elixir. Major requirement MEXICAN theme attire. Anyone showing up not Mexican will be forced to shoot a tequila and get a Frito Bandito mustache drawn on your face.

OH, ya Ray was busy don't forget so anyone that saw him kite surfing today, shhhhhhhhhh.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

TFR Dec 18-Jan 3: All sites closed except Dillingham

Flying on Oahu is restricted from 10:15 PM HST on December 18, 2015 to 9:00 PM HST on January 3, 2016, while the President is on the island. Paragliders will only be allowed to fly within a 5 nm radius around Dillingham airfield, between 9 AM and 5 PM, and only after confirming authorization from HNL ATC each day.

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Year-end Meeting, Election, Party: Sat. Nov. 14

All local and visiting pilots and friends are invited to our final quarterly meeting and party of the year. This is the last meeting of the year where we all renew our membership and vote for the poor slobs that will represent us for the next year. And there is a lot more on the agenda: important changes at the national level; a new local committee for instruction/tandem policy; and a representative from HECO will be addressing the group regarding power line safety. Joey and Robin are graciously hosting the event at their house in Kailua, and they encourage folks to show up early to play on the canal with their kayak and stand-up board, or bring your own. We will start the meeting at 6 PM sharp so we can wind up the business before the potluck and party starts in earnest. Please bring a dish to share, and your favorite refreshment, and don't forget your $20 dues for next year!

Monday, October 12, 2015

Cloud Country

For many months now we have been making the best of a dismally low cloudbase. It's been so long now that it feels permanent. It's like we're in a whole different place. Cloud Country! It's definitely a trickier kind of cross country flight when we are dodging clouds the whole time instead of just trying to max out our height at every chance. But we have to admit: the silver lining of these fluffy beasts is that they're just plain gorgeous. Fifteen pilots flew the last three days at Kahana and the clouds did not slow us down a bit, with cross country flights in all directions. I trust the day will come when we'll see the tops of our mountain ranges again, but in the meantime, I am loving the misty challenge of these cloud country flights.

Tuesday, October 06, 2015

Space Monkeys Return to Earth

Thanks to everyone for your support and good wishes while five Hawaii monkeys were blasting into space at the Owens Valley the week before last. We did our best to keep the home troops entertained. It was an unforgettable experience for us in many ways. My mind is still occupied by indelible images of that severe landscape of dusty desert and magnificent mountains, and also by myriad intense moments of fear, frustration, excitement and elation. In an effort to sort through some of those memories, I thought I’d offer a recap of the week, for anyone not already tired of hearing about it!

[Photo credit above: Aaron Colby Price. I have included a few amazing shots of views I remember seeing this week, from the Facebook feeds of some talented pilot/photographers: Aaron, Brad Gunnuscio, Matty Senior, Matt Bonney, and Chris Amonson. I wish I could have taken more myself but my hands were numb!]

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Remembering “Doc" Bill Harris

Please join members of the hang gliding, sky diving and paragliding communities at Makapuu on Sunday, September 20, to commemorate the life of our adventurous friend Dr. Bill Harris, who recently passed away after a lifetime spent in passionate pursuit of airtime. He was not only a long time mentor to many but he also never stopped learning and expanding his flying horizons. Bill’s wife Georgie will be there, and we are planning to drop flowers just offshore of the LZ if it’s flyable (and so far, the forecast looks good). If it’s not flyable, we will arrange to have them dropped from Brandt’s helicopter. Please bring some flowers and meet at the Makapuu LZ at 9:00 am Sunday, to get pilots in the air by 10:30 for an 11:00 flower drop. Hang glider pilots will be bringing cold refreshments, veggies and dip.

Talking about Paragliding

I had the privilege of making a presentation about Oahu paragliding to the Hawaii Trail and Mountain Club the other day. I chose my best 180 photos taken over the past 5-6 years on some great flying days at a dozen flying sites around the island. And I chose my best 6 videos, though we only had time to show half of them. I was super nervous about speaking in front of a group, with a microphone, but this great group of hikers made me feel at ease right away. Plus I had about a dozen pilots attend as my guests for moral support! Thanks to everyone who made it out.