Online newsletter of the Hawaii Paragliding Association

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Summer Breeze

Summer tradewinds have finally started to fire on all cylinders, just in time for August, and we're flying everywhere all the time. Yesterday was another perfect day for many of us at Kahana, with cross country flights in both directions under high and sparse clouds, by veterans and first timers alike, including many happy visiting pilots. Most of us are making the beach landing work there well enough, with a few daredevils even managing to back their way down onto the edge of the remaining sand at the keyhole.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Cross Country Chronicles

Strong wind drove some die hard east siders to join us at Kahana yesterday. It was great to see Jorge and Maui Doug up north for a change! And great to have Woody back on the island and flying with us! The wind was a little brisk and east but that didn’t stop me, Thom and Jorge from charging to Kualoa and back. The clouds were much higher and more sparse than we’ve seen the last few weeks. We turned around at Kualoa and shot back past Kahana to Punaluu, with Maui Doug tagging along, and then three of us made it back from there. The end of the flying day was marked by a wide variety of exciting landings. Not to mention one exciting landing in the middle of the day!

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

It’s a Hard Job (but…well, you know)

The Monday morning grind begins: coffee, e-mail, phone calls, texts. Clients begging for progress on longstanding requests. Five visiting pilots in town, chomping at the bit for tropical airtime on what is probably the last good flying day for a while, as the high pressure ratchets up the wind speed. On days like this you just have to split the difference: work til noon, fly til dark, then go home and work til you crash.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Clouded Minds

Cloudbase dropped so low yesterday that I really thought we weren't going anywhere, for once. But Duck was raring to go, after a month of missing out, and I was compelled to follow, afraid of missing out for even one second. We flew the lowest ever cross country flight to Kualoa and back, below massive towering fortresses of white, darting around them and climbing between when possible, to catch glimpses of their lofty turrets many thousands of feet above.

Hello from Okinawa, Japan!

I finally flew here, just six long months after I arrived on the island. It has been difficult to pin down the paragliding group out here, seeing as everything is posted in Japanese. But I finally decided to put my best foot forward and get to it. I was able to track down the local school which caters to motor pilots, and they pointed me in the right direction.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Incurable Affliction

My name is Sidehill … and I am a flyaholic. There is no excuse for missing a day of flying, no matter what the traffic is like to get there, no matter what the weather looks like, no matter how muddy the trail is. But launching with no LZ is truly a sickness. Yes, Kahana is still open for flying, but if you're thinking of doing it, you better be able to top land, or land out, because the beach is minuscule. The keyhole is gone, and the walk from the trees to the water is two or three steps. A few did make it to the beach yesterday, and thankfully there very few campers and no one was on the beach. It was on the sketchy side as the following debriefing will attest.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Apres le Deluge, Moi

Don and I enjoyed a first postdiluvian flight at Kahana yesterday, an aerial survey of the flood damage. In addition to the beach having been completely washed out, and some ironwoods being toppled by the outflow, there are huge mudslide scars scored into all of the surrounding ridges from Kaaawa to Punaluu.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Calm Before the Storm

After four long wingless days in Kauai with the family we were headed to the airport. We were driving through Anahola, and Donna cautiously looked over to me, not sure if she should say it, but then she did: There are two wings in the air. Sure enough, I watched Joe and Courtney fly over my head. Argh, so hard to enjoy watching others fly when I haven't had a fix for four long days. Joe did chat an offer to lend me a wing and harness. Thanks, Joe. I declined in order to spend some time with the wife and kids.

Wednesday, July 09, 2014

Smokey and the Bandits

Aloha 'Ol Smokeys! Well, today was a little smokey, with the fires in Wells Canyon, Brewster, and a few remnants from McNeil canyon fires. This morning was a bit strong and North on launch so the task commitee almost called off the days task just to give everyone a much needed break. Forty plus hours of flying, and more than that for us volunteers, plus 100+ degree heat and dry hot weather really takes it's toll. Even Jorge looked worked after yesterdays task, and he even said to me "Reaper, I'm taking a month off from tandems when I get home, whew".

Wednesday, July 02, 2014

Alone in the sky

Yesterday I enjoyed a solitary little round trip in the sweetest light easterly conditions, thermaling under a low cloud base and hopping the ridges down to the little hill before Pounders that we call Sucker Hill, before turning back for a slow return to Kahana. It's a fun challenge to see how far we can go in that direction before trying to make it back, especially on days that are less than perfect for it, with lower cloud base or more easterly flow. But next time I hope to have more company!