Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Memorial Day Weekend

After a strong day at Kahana on Saturday, and a light one on Sunday, Memorial Day dawned with rain all up and down the windward coast. That didn't stop the Earls of Kahana (Jeff and Jim) from driving out to inspect their fiefdom - but it was pouring there, as I noticed when I finally awoke. Jetflap called the Earls from Makapuu and informed them that he was hiking to Cactus with Ken. Shortly thereafter Rehab Pete suggested a BBQ on the chatterbox, and we all headed to the East Side for meat and drinks and airtime. Great idea, Pete!

On my way to Makapuu I picked up a stranded paraglider pilot at Bellows AFB. Turns out Jetflap had hiked down from a blown-out Cactus to launch from Manics, and soon fled Makapuu to escape the squalls, riding the suction of the low clouds down the Waimanalo coastline. He soared the cloud bellies all the way to the edge of Lanikai, landing on the military portion of Bellows beach. He was escorted to the front gate with a polite but firm request not to return. Great flight, Jeff!

Bob set up a tent at the LZ, Rehab Pete brought his grill, and many generous pilots showed up bearing food and drinks. An impromptu fly-in was in the making. Unfortunately there were still some squalls offshore and conditions were switchy and strong. A few guys launched and flew the lighthouse side, but most of us soared the coolers and sampled the fine cuisine.

After a few hours the sky cleared and the conditions mellowed out, and an army of pilots rode up to Crazys and launched for an afternoon session. We soared over some really cool low clouds and witnessed a whole array of aerobatic maneuvers. Bob and Scrappy were comparing full stalls, and Skydive Chris joined in the fun too, but raised the ante with some nice SATs. Doug and Jorge and Dave saw the SATs, and then raised the ante even further with a lots of crazy tricks that I frankly couldn't identify - many of which involved pilots upside down. According to Reaper, the motto for the day was: More like Jimmy - less like Reaper.

Thirty pilots showed up over the course of the day, accompanied by spouses and friends and cute puppies. Thanks to everyone who brought tents and food and drinks, and for your time setting up and cooking and cleaning up. What a great turnout for an unplanned event! On this Memorial Day we all toasted our fallen comrades Johan and Jimmy and celebrated our shared passion for flying.

I'll post pictures and videos below if anyone wants to share - let me know.


1 comment:

Gravity said...

Aloha gang,
Great Memorial Day party yesterday at Makapuu.

Good food, good flying, cold beer, and good friends... Nice!

Here's my photos taken yesterday -