Thursday, December 02, 2010

Aloha and Mahalo from Dave Zbin

First and foremost, I have to thank the best flying community on the planet. You guys really do rock! In the three short years I've been flying, I've managed to launch in a lot of great places and meet some cool people. I've dragged my XXL wing to Mexico, Portugal, Switzerland, all over the west coast, and even to Cleveland, Ohio. (Yes, they have a small ridge soaring site on Lake Erie!) So I'm not just blowing smoke when I say the HPA is truly world class. Seriously. There is a welcoming, helpful spirit to your group that is amazing.

I'll probably forget some of the specifics, but thanks for rides from Thom, Pete, and John. Thanks for the launch assists from Duck (last August at Kahana), and Sandy & John twice at Cactus, and Allan at Manics. Site intros and radio support from Alex, Thom, FDave, Larry and One Eye. And warm welcomes from Harvey (who I knew from his Pacifica days), and just about everybody else too. And a HUGE thanks to Thom & Donna for the amazing hospitality. The BBQ crew, the cleanup crew, and the entertainment. Wow.

I enjoyed two and a half great flights at Makapuu. The first day, I launched Cactus with SandyJune and John. Scratched out a nice hour plus, that included several visits with the goats above Waimanalo. A couple days later, I struggled in high winds at Cactus, but Sandy and John were very patient and helpful, and finally I got cleanly off, only to see that my split A on one side was somehow wrapped around the B's, C's, and brake. Weird, never had that before! I was able to pull the brake out and get it free, and the glider seemed to be fine. Conditions were epic, and Alex, Thom and crew had already headed downrange. I considered flying with it as-is, as the slight rigging error seemed pretty benign. But I didn't want to be that guy you read about, who after a disaster, says "Yeah, I noticed it. But it seemed OK so I kept flying." So I left the primo conditions and hit the LZ. Larry helped me quickly sort out the crossover. And luckily for me, Reaper was just heading out to Manics. "Ball it up and hop in!" he said, and so I did.

We watched two tandem wings launch. Funny, three wings came down! Anyway, Larry gave me some tips about Manics, and was soon off. Allen (who had just come back from an epic XC roundtrip), helped me lay out. I got popped up and lost my footing, and spun around but tripped on a rock. Luckily, I had practiced kiting on my back at Sandys, (no joke), and I managed to keep it flying straight while I got up and off for my third and best Makapuu flight yet. Pictures from that flight are linked to the shot of Berndt at the top of this article. Thanks to all who were part of that day.



Anonymous said...

Dave, You related to Joey Zbin?

Good to see you out there. Next time.

Dave 'fireman' Taratko

Thom said...

Aloha Dave,

Keep us posted on your visits, you can come back anytime now since you left the flying here got shut off, nuken wind today and through the weekend.

Glad you had some great flights we will take you down Green Walls next time.

MauiDoug said...

Great flying with you Dave! I'm glad you got to soar Makapuu! See you next time, much aloha :-)

DaveZ said...

Thanks guys.

Dave- Yeah, Joey's my brother. Do you know him?
He's doing better, finally home from the hospital.

sandy said...

It was great to finally meet the face behind the chatterbox moniker! I was more than happy to assist you and John with your launches -- payback for all the many many times Don, Alex, Ray, Bob and so many others helped me with mine.

Here are a couple pics from our first flight:

Looking forward to flying with you again in the friendly skies over Oahu.

Anonymous said...

Dave Z.

Yeah, I have known Joey since the flight attendant days at Continental back in the '80's.

I missed the fundraiser, but threw in some cash for a friend in need.

I heard got out a couple of days ago. I hope all is good.

F Dave

DaveZ said...

Sandy- Thanks for the great pics!

F Dave - Small world! I talked to Joey yesterday, he's doing ok and very appreciative. I'm coming back in January to see him through the next surgey (and maybe get in a flight or two!) so I'll be in touch. Cheers.