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.

The Clouds of August

August was a prolific month for flying despite the continued plague of low clouds and humidity and hurricane scares. I sometimes think the story of flying on Oahu is really the story of clouds and wind. This El NiƱo summer has brought an unusual amount of moisture so it’s been cloudier than ever, though not so windy. I finally managed to collect the best of my cloudy photos for August, taken during a month of flights from Kahana, Makapuu and Dillingham.

Wednesday, September 09, 2015

Ike to Maunawili

Today was another one of those unpredictable days. The range looked gorgeous but the sensors were spitting out North winds. Ike stopped by my house and twisted my arm into flying Makapuu. Alex was yearning for the Knob but I wasn't biting on that one after being vexed there the day before. We talked him into a Makapuu flight. I was the first to launch and flew out over the lighthouse to start the mission. This was the last shot I got of Ike before he went down range. He was charging.

Thursday, September 03, 2015

Battle to Survive The Owens

I was starting to prep my gear for the up coming Owens Valley PG Nationals, while Kalei was taking these pictures she said, "You look like your going to battle, you look like a gay storm trooper". Well, unfortunately I think she's hit it right on the helmet. We will be launching around 6,000 feet and have potential altitude gains to 17,999 feet. It will be cold and the ride up to these elevations could be fast and furious. The more I have been gathering information and gear for this trip the more I wonder, What the Hell am I doing??!!!

Tuesday, September 01, 2015

Dirty Window Pains

First, I am glad the editor did not correct the spelling in the title: because flying here, lately, has been a pain. You can't forecast the good days, and when you try, well, you're left wearing your purple outfit with no place to go. The trails are muddy as we hike up between the window washings, and the inside of my pod is dirty and needs a little more than windex.

Monday, August 17, 2015

President Stepping Down

Oh God, No!!!! It's not what you think!! As most everyone knows, our club is a Reverse Dictatorship. So Alex does not have a choice: he has the job for life, whether he wants it or not. But this story is about another kind of stepping down. These days many EN-D pilots are stepping down to the EN-C range, for a variety of reasons, but improved safety and performance on EN-C gliders is pretty much the top justification. Alex had his inaugural Makapuu flight on Sunday and displayed the new colors of Air Force One.