Tuesday, March 05, 2013

FlyStrong Day

When we learned that it was the 5th anniversary of FlyStrong … flying strong, we wanted to put together a fly-in for him in hopes that the wind would cooperate. We have had about three weeks of strong winds and no flying, and yesterday we had a "pregame" day of a fun, brisk, couple hour flight; just in case we couldn't fly on the actual anniversary day.

Five years ago, Bill, "FlyStrong", beat cancer, and today, a ton of pilots got together to celebrate. We planned to head to Kahana a little after noon, and were were hoping the wind would die off a little. Right when we got there, it was calming down, and we got excited. It was averaging about 11 as we prepared to hike, then as we were hiking, it was down to 8 at 68 degrees; perfect.

FlyStrong launched first, and I was shortly after him. I instantly began following him around shooting video of his anniversary flight. Ka'a'awa Larry launched shortly after us, then Duck on his new F-Gravity2.

Alex and Woody were assisting and shooting videos on launch. They had the great idea for Woody to shoot Alex's launch with Alex's camera, and then Woody would hand it off to him during a fly-by shortly afterward. I'm not sure the hand-off got filmed, but I got it from my perspective, although I was too high to capture the epic tackle. When Woody tried to hand Alex the camera as he flew by launch, he sort of got in Alex's path and it ended up looking like a football tackle, knocking Woody down the hill. I couldn't help but laugh (as I do each time I replay it), then ask Woody if he was okay. He was.

As FlyStrong was flying, I could hear the smile in his voice, "it's so beautiful up here." Then he flew around and shot pictures of everyone around him, and a pretty cool self-portrait as well. After we landed he thanked everyone for coming out and we enjoyed pizza on the beach. What a good day!

Congratulations, FlyStrong!!!

Roll call: FlyStrong, me, Woody, Alex, Duck, Sidehill, Ka'a'awa Larry, Jorge, AK Brett, AK Gerry, NS Brian, NS Brandon, Roland, Luis (tandem with Woody).

On the beach: Kalei, Gaza, Laurel, JK, Laura and friends, Ginny, Sawzall, Ginger, Ike, Yolie, Divot Steve, Tommy RD, Carolyn, Howie, Motorhead, his wife, Pat (and friends), Stalker, Jen, and Mazzy.

Sorry if I forgot anyone.

Here are a few pictures that I shot.


Thom said...

The song was perfect again I am swaying to apporve the moving color and the music that goes along with it. Bonnie great re-cap! You did forget to add your name to the fliers but we all knew you were there.

So glad to see so many on a weekday. We were rewarded with some sweet needed flights.

Congrats Bill, you are a HERO. To battle a monster and WIN is EPIC!!!

I thought I was not going to be able to say this but:

It's Time to Fly Get Your Gear and Go-Pro!!! But remember the pen is still sharper than the shutter.

JJ Jameson

Alex said...

Thanks for the story, video and pictures, Bonnie! I added my video and also one of Bill's pics to your story too.

We really got lucky with the weather - I'm sure we would have had a great party no matter what, but a flying day like that was the perfect way to celebrate Bill's milestone.

It was a bit strong but we made the most of it. I got up around 2,500 a few times and finally clinched a bay crossing on my third attempt. I think I flew for three or four hours, not sure!

The camera hand off was a cool idea but we could have communicated better about how exactly that would work. Lucky Woody is a Jedi master and was able to roll with my attempt to knock him off the hill!

Anonymous said...

Dang!! Bonita!! what can i say!!! "Just Awesome!" I love the music you picked for this vid too!!! everything about it awesome!!! wow! you guys look great up there! and Congratz to Flystrong for his 5yrs! Anniversary!!! Looks like you guys had a great flight, great video and great song!!! :-) from Okay Itsme! (Kenway Kua)