Saturday, June 11, 2016

Helmetless to Hairball

It was something like this, only better.
This is going to be a poorly written stream of consciousness, because it’s past my bedtime, but I’m in a mood to trot out the day’s tale. 

John and I have been off-island for a few weeks, so we haven’t been flying in quite some time.  I didn’t even realize today was a holiday until late last evening so I wasn’t fully prepared for the thought of flying today, and I certainly didn’t have all my gear together.  The weather looked pretty crummy in the morning anyway with rain hitting all parts of the island.  I stopped checking the weather for a while but then finally noticed around noon that it was looking pretty dry though from the infrared I predicted increasing moisture after 5 pm .... 

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

All Flying at Makapuu Suspended Permitted!

As of tomorrow, June 1, flying is suspended at Makapuu until we get our renewed certificates of insurance from the RRG. The RRG staff are slammed with a backlog of 600 renewals and it's a new procedure for everyone involved. Both the Hawaiian Hang Gliding Association and the Hawaii Paragliding Association are in touch with USHPA, and we have been told they are hopeful to get the paperwork handled within a week. Thanks for your understanding and patience. We will keep you all posted. In the meantime feel free to contact me with questions. And for first-hand details and discussion, please join me for an emergency pot-luck BBQ meeting at my place Friday at 6 PM (or whenever folks can make it).

Update 6/1: Kahana certificate received June 1 in the nick of time!

Update 6/2: Makapuu certificate received June 2, but still waiting on C&C permit renewal.

Update 6/3: Dave Goto reports permit renewal complete! Makapuu is a go.

Wednesday, April 06, 2016

Bob Johnson Birthday Party

Well, I can't believe it has been seven years. Seven has always been a significant number, this year the significance will not be one of luck but of destiny. This past year Polly, Bob's mother, embarked upon her final flight to join him. The family has asked us to spread her ashes at Kahana where they will be reunited with her son's.  Bob's sisters, nieces and nephews from the mainland and Maui will be joining us for this celebration.
We will be camping and partying all weekend long. As usual all are invited and strongly encouraged to be there for this fly-in to honor Bob's and Polly's Birthdays. Details to follow in the Comments section below.

Tuesday, April 05, 2016

Generosity of Earth and Sky

After a couple of flying trips to the French Alps over the years, and many great trips to Woodrat and Chelan and the Owens Valley, I thought my heart would not have room for another deeply beloved flying destination. Then over the past couple of years I started to hear about epic cross country flying in Thailand, of all unlikely sounding places. I never imagined I’d go there myself, but when I mentioned it to Dorothy, she encouraged me to try and make it happen. Against many odds and logistical hurdles, everything came together at the last minute for me to join a paragliding tour there in March. And after ten days of flying, feasting and relaxing in that magical kingdom, I can say I’m truly in love with everything about that place.

Friday, March 25, 2016

Threats and Errors

Wind Lines has so many cool stories about adventurous flights in paradise. This is not one of those. But, it may change the way you fly and make you a better pilot. This is an article about a safety system that is practical and that works. You might wonder how a guy like me comes up with something like this. I've made mistakes and I'm certainly no pillar of safety. But, I do have the advantage of 30+ years of Air Force and airline training. Although not everything applies to our simple solo pilot pursuit, some things do. This approach to safety applies directly and I think free flight can really benefit from it. You probably already apply these principles, but applying them within this systems approach will greatly improve your decision-making skills as a pilot. This is intended to be used before you launch and while you fly. It's also effective in understanding why things sometimes go wrong and how to prevent them from recurring.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Meeting and Party, Saturday, March 26

All local and visiting pilots and friends are invited to join us for our first quarterly meeting and party this year, at 6 PM on Saturday, March 26. We usually aim for February but we are running a bit behind! The party is potluck, as usual. Pete has graciously offered his freshly renovated house as a venue. Somebody please post the address! 

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Really Big Ones

The swells pounding the North Shore yesterday were apparently the biggest in 10 or 20 years depending on who you ask and how you measure. Drew says the waves were the biggest he has ever seen. There were no safe beach landings to consider, and many sections of highway were continually getting covered by sand and rocks from the crashing surf. There were emergency crews everywhere. Six pilots headed out to try and surf the skies above that coastal carnage, and three of us were lucky enough to drop in and score some serious long rides.

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.