Monday, April 13, 2009

Rising from the dead

Rejoice! Many wind-weary local pilots were reanimated this Easter weekend as spring's first breath of moderate trade winds wafted ashore at both Makapuu and Kahana. Almost two dozen pilots got into the air at one or both sites over the two days, to mark the official opening of the flying season. At least that's what I'm optimistically calling it.

On Saturday, a dozen pilots flew multiple sorties from Manics and Crazys, alternately plumbing the depths of the bowl and straining against the low ceiling of clouds surrounding hang launch. Pete's new students Jason and LeeAnn started their training with tandems from Jorge and Ray, and long-suffering frequent visiting student Larry continued his tutelage with a tandem from Pete.

After lunch, six of us headed out to Kahana to score even more flights at a second site - going for the double header! Larry, fresh back from a successful slew of training flights on Maui, made his first soaring flight at Kahana in the afternoon. Larry generously treated all the pilots to drinks and dinner at Bobo's later on. Jeff and I were happy to revive the Pounders cross country tradition, under the lowest cloudbase ever, followed by the obligatory revival of the Obsidian Stout tradition. Thanks to Pete for the retrieve and to Larry for the cold refreshments.

On Sunday, I stayed home to hunt for Easter eggs and tax write-offs, but many pilots flew both sites again. As the day wore on and the pile of tax paperwork grew around me, I'd gaze out the window to see several wings cruising the low cloudbase at Kahana. I counted seven: Thom, Jared, Maui Bryan, Jim, Hillbilly, Rich and Berndt. I guess I missed all kinds of excitement out there. Thom told me that just after he launched for his first flight, he inadvertently spiraled his wing as he reached down to fix his stirrup while gripping a brake handle, and he barely missed the hill. Missing the hill is definitely the easy way to learn that lesson. Later on, I heard Rich got too low on his landing approach and had to skid in for a downwinder on the boat ramp! Another lucky injury-free lesson. I stopped by to share a cold drink on my way to Easter dinner with the in-laws - thanks, Thom!

The chatterbox was crackling with plans and reports of Makapuu flying as well: Dave and Pete posted plans, while Scrappy and Nick posted reports of great flying in what sounded like brisk conditions out there. Later on I heard that Jorge, Frank and visitor Brian flew at Makapuu as well, so that brings us to seven pilots at both sites on Sunday!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

We had great flights at Kahana, yesterday, my addiction has become so bad that I blew off my family easter egg hunt on Waimanalo Beach, Donna and the kids watched Nick & Scrappy put on a hell of a show, I caught the tail end of that, way to go Acro monkeys. If it fliable today I will be filing an EXTENSION (Alex).