Friday, July 20, 2018

Auckland: There and Back Again

Amelia had been begging us to send her to Auckland this summer to visit her local friends there on their winter break. She'd met them when they visited her school last year on an exchange trip. It seemed like a great plan, although it sounded like she'd need some logistical support from a parent with a flexible schedule. Which would be me. Of course I've always wanted to go to New Zealand, but I had never thought of Auckland, and certainly not in the dead of their cold rainy winter. Or when we are having such a perfectly flyable summer at home. So I really dragged my feet on booking this trip.

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

The Moonbeam (Mahina Pa'ina) Friday July 27, 2018

Calling all flyers! On Friday July 27 at 5 p.m. we are having a full moon flying get together at the Makapuu LZ. Fly until the moon comes up, then wind down at the LZ under the moonlit skies. It was a tradition in the old days, so why not bring it back? Of course the flying is weather dependent, but someone will always fly. Bring a flashlight, a cooler, an appetizer, your wife or girlfriend (maybe both), the dog, a chair and most importantly your glider. With light winds and clear skies, it is magic. See you there!

Sunday, June 17, 2018

The Clouds Will Open Wide

While our local heroes were racing, sprinting, learning and volunteering at the paragliding nationals in far off Oregon, the humble home crew scored eight straight days of cross country flying from Kahana, in a wide variety of challenging and fun conditions, from super strong to super light, from trade winds to southeast sea breezes, from long leisurely loops to mad dashes away from rain squalls. Thanks to the heroes: we probably owe this great stretch of weather to your sacrifice. And thanks to all our home front participants and retrieve drivers! We landed in almost every possible spot we know!

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

The Wings of Summer

When the winds start to pulse more gently and the sun rises up from the horizon beaming its  cloudless rays into Makapuu Bay.....then maybe summer is truly on its way. On Monday, King Kamehameha Day, which is a day off for most, my phone went off early with a call from Reece. She was finishing her morning beach walk and told me that the wind feels good and the numbers seem like a Makapuu morning. I had a few reports needing to be completed but decided I needed some air time too.

Thursday, May 31, 2018

Unforgiving of Human Error

The saying goes, “aviation in general isn’t inherently dangerous — it’s just absolutely unforgiving of human error.” For the past six weeks I’ve been trying to get up the courage to give a debrief of my paragliding accident at Makapu’u in which I shattered my calcaneus (heel bone) and broke a vertebra in my neck. It wasn’t until yesterday that I realized that my pride was keeping me from sharing my experience with others.

Thursday, May 03, 2018

Meeting and Party, Saturday May 19, at Kahana

Mark your calendars! All local and visiting pilots and friends are invited to join us for our much delayed first meeting and party of the year, on Saturday, May 19, starting at 6:00 PM. Update: this event will be at the Kahana landing zone. We have reserved two camping spots for the evening, numbers 1 and 2. Feel free to bring a tent and plan on camping. Or maybe arrange some designated drivers for carpooling! As usual this is a potluck, so feel free to bring something to share, including your favorite beverage. Looking forward to seeing everyone!

Wednesday, May 02, 2018

Winter’s Last Gasp

Many people don’t realize that we only have two seasons in Hawaii, a trade wind summer from May to October, and a stormy winter from November to April. So by that climatological reckoning, yesterday marked the official beginning of our tropical summer. But if this wet and stingy winter is really ending, at least it’s ending with a last burst of nice weather that brought us a wide variety of fun and beautiful flights. Over the last four days we have flown stellar wintertime cross country flights at three sites around the island.

That's the executive summary. For details of our flights each day, read on, and please add your own details in the comments!

Tuesday, May 01, 2018

OTB at Greenwalls

I was flying with my new Ozium 2 Pod and Delta 2 wing at 2,900 feet, following Don this morning to the Pali. Noticed cloud bank moving in. I turned and headed away from the ridge flying out towards the ocean. I was soon enveloped in the White Room and talking to myself not to panic or get vertigo. Look down at your compass and fly the compass, heading out and away from the ridgeline. Don called me on the radio and asked if I was all right. I told him I was okay. But soon, I saw the compass spinning 360, and I knew I was circling. I attempted to correct and fly a straight line but did another 360. The vario was making a steady beep indicating I was going up at a leisurely pace.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Yes We Can

Our trusty tradewinds are back, after a very long winter vacation. But they seem to be grumpy about something. I don’t know what we did to make them mad, but they’re super strong and rainy and sometimes super east. The forecasters are grumpy too. According to them, we can’t fly these days. But Oahu pilots say, Yes We Can. For each of the last 10 days, the forecast has been at least 15-25, sometimes with gusts to 40, not to mention showers, either frequent or numerous or likely, or heavy at times, or occasional or scattered, oh, and some thunderstorms. So was it sometimes rainy and gusty and probably too windy? Yes It Was. Were the trails turning into waterfalls? Yes They Were. But did we fly every day? Yes We Did.

Sunday, April 08, 2018

Time for Some PG Tuning

First we need to welcome Maui Igor to our Monkey Family.  He has always been a visiting  outer island monkey but he is now calling Oahu home.  We are honored to have him here but our weather for this cross country guru has not been cooperative.  He never complains.....yet....but continues to hone his skills and equipment. Today was no different for one of our top comp pilots in the USA and Estonia, his birth country.