Wednesday, July 07, 2010

July 4th Weekend Campout & Fly-in Report

The long 4th of July holiday weekend featured some sweet flights and late-night parties for a committed crew of campers and flyers at Kahana. Ray and Noell filled their campsite to the brim with family and flying friends, and lots of other folks came out to share the air with us for at least one of the three days. Thirty pilots joined us over the course of the weekend, along with a diverse assortment of family members, friends and furry companions.

I had planned to bring my kids to join the campers for at least one night, and I was also hoping that I could crank out lots of tandem flights. I started the weekend with sixteen flights logged with pilot passengers, and that left me nine to finish up for my license. Nine tandem flights in a weekend seemed like a pretty tall order, but I'm nothing if not optimistic. And I do love working on my tandem top-landings!

On Saturday, the weather started out cloudy and breezy, but cleared up by the end of the day. I hung out with the kids for the afternoon and saw it begin to clear up, but we had to leave early for a cousin's graduation party. After we left, a handful of intrepid pilots managed to sneak in some nice flights to officially commence the weekend's flying and festivities.

Sunday's more northerly flow encouraged pilots to head across the bay: only Reaper and Thom made it all the way over there, while Jim got to the other side briefly and opted to come back. Bill flew with an American flag dangling below him - just to remind us what the holiday was all about. I flew a couple tandems with Jessica, with a top-landing in between, and Joey flew a tandem as well. It was nice to get two in one session, but my goal of finishing the tandem flight requirement this weekend was looking a lot less realistic.

On Monday we welcomed Stefanie back to the air over Kahana, after a very long hiatus, along with some high profile friends who were helped into the air by Pete and Dave. Mad Dog made it to Kualoa in between the numerous squalls that were blowing in. I flew a tandem with Larry, and then after landing to avoid some incoming squalls, I trudged back up the hill with Sharky for the last session of the day, as the sun was starting to get low behind the hill, and the afternoon was drawing to a close.

But even as late as it was, I had not given up hope on my goal for the weekend. And with Sharky's gracious cooperation and encouragement, I proceeded to crank out flights and top-landings like a factory, plopping my stalwart copilot down all around the low open flank of the north launch ridge. Our first top-landing was a bit inelegant to say the least, and some of my aborted approaches were a bit exciting, but I finally managed to bring us back to launch five times in a row, to accumulate a record seven tandem flights in one day, and finish out my 25 flights.

I was wiped out and ready to give up after the fourth successful touchdown, but Sharky demanded that we go for one last top-landing to clinch the 25th flight, even as it was starting to get dark. Thanks for the encouragement, and for being such a great sport, Erich! I owe you big time - along with all my previous passengers. I look forward to lots more tandem fun with anyone who's willing to strap themselves on.


Alex said...

I linked Pete's pictures in at the top of this article - and I know lots of other folks got some good shots too. If you haven't already uploaded your pictures and shared the link, please do so here and I'll include them.

Flash said...

Thanks for a great time in the air this weekend everyone! Didn't take that many pictures, but here is a link to a few:

Anonymous said...

Congrats Alex on the completion, 7 in one day tops Jorges 6 at MPU a week ago.

Now that you have passed your test Maile & Kalei have been asking for your number.....have not given it to them...yet !!!!!!

Logan should be the next pilot in the family hope to see him up there soon.


Brazilian Ray said...

congratz, Alex! it was a lot of fun!

Sharky said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sharky said...

Gratz Alex, I owe ya at least that for all the launch assistance and encouragement you've given in my on again off again flying career.

Learned a lot about approaching for top landing! The one involving the close brush with the tree stump was a blood rush experience! :P

Classic Quote:
"Sharky, hold on, let me adjust to get my radio antenna out of your back"

"uh, Alex, I sure hope thats your radio antenna dude..."

I think I'm really back this time gang! It feels good to make flying a priority again.

-=)Sharky :)

MauiDoug said...

LOL... Good one Sharky!