Tuesday, October 18, 2016

2016 HPA Turkey Shoot! Plus, Year-end Meeting & Party!

Dave had the excellent idea to revive our very old tradition of a one day flying event, the kind where we get everyone together at one site and have some serious fun in the air and on the ground. Spot landings, bomb drops, balloon hunting, and whatever else we can dream up. Turkey shooting? Maybe! So we're going to plan on doing it the day of our upcoming year-end meeting and party: Saturday, November 19, 2016. Fun starts at noon. Flying site to be determined depending on weather. Followed by year-end meeting and party at Pete's house in Enchanted Lakes. Stay tuned for updates on location and timing!

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Fun strong wind wild lift lines at Kahana

Thanks again Alex for showing up when I had a break from work for a somewhat easy crossing to find ourselves going up WAY out over the wild blue yonder. Always fun to explore unexplained lift lines almost a mile off shore. Aloha.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

The Omak Stampede: Chelan Nationals 2016

50 feet, 40, 30, oh crap, I am landing. I cranked a hard right and barely made it around into the wind to land in a wheat field by the edge of the road. This competition flying makes you willing to cut it close. Wondering how I flew so far, yet landed so short, 138 miles, 1 mile short of goal. Lulled by the fading lift and the promise of a high arrival by my flight instrument. I love this craziness. What follows are some of the highlights and lowlights of Alex, JK and my foray into the annual self imposed abuse of competitive paragliding. The lead up predicted bad weather for the week, but optimism and motivation was high. Along for the fun were Igor from Maui, Scotty from the Big Island, Motorhead Paul and a host of the usual characters.

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Helmetless to Hairball

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.