Sunday, September 28, 2008

Colors and Clouds

I went to Inspo today. The colors are just about peaked. There were scattered storm cells around that later popped and crackled. The cells seemed to stay back behind launch. About 15 bags showed up and I got inspired to get ready. Most all the bags got up. It was kinda scary because the cells began to fully develop with spread out, lightning and all. I launched after the spread-out shut things down, but I figured a little would be better than nothing. I ended up with 25 minutes or so and landed just as the storms began dropping verga on the front side.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Utah's Flying Club

I rarely go to the UHGPGA club meetings (the Utah hang gliding, para-gliding club), primarily because I haven't been flying the Point too much lately and the Point of the Mountain seems to be the club's main area of interest. However, I was somewhat motivated to go Thursday because of a prompt I received via email from John R. There has been a lot of discussion regarding the basic use of the big green sodded area at the newly remodeled North Side, and I was under the impression a critical discussion - vote was on the agenda for the night regarding landing protocols etc.. I even arrived early so I could pay my delinquent club dues. I think I would fly at the Point more if the landing zones were safer and free from student pilots kiting their bags. I was impressed by the first discussion of the night regarding the South Side of the Point. Steve Mayer brought a plan forward that is supposed to help alleviate some of the congestion and confusion due to the high numbers of pilots and broad range of pilot skills that are represented at the Point. It seemed to be a well thought out concept. I was further impressed by Steve's effort to endear the hangs that were present. I thought Steve went out of his way.

But I was looking forward to a discussion that would at least begin to put some sort of logic in place for the North Side's landing procedures for both the bags and hangs. I was under the impression that all this money spent to create a fabulous flight park would yield more than just a two acre sodded play pen for the bags to kite in. Oh well, should we have expected more? Yes, we should expect more. We should expect the leaders of "the club" to respect and have a like interest for both bags and hangs. No matter the difference in numbers between the bags and hangs, it should be a safe flying site for both rather than a $700,000+ practice area for the multitude of para-glider instructors. We should expect a well thought out plan to be a part of this new public flying site. Instead we were told by our regional USHPA Representative - "let's just get out there and see how things work out". Isn't that what we have been doing? Isn't that the problem?

So for the rest of the meeting we were rushed from one subject to the next. It seemed as though our illustrious leader was on a mission to minimize and roll over any idea put forward. Is it just me? I don't know, but I must say it sure seems like there was a concerted effort to minimize the issues and "see ya later".

I remember a flight I had a few years back at the North Side. It was a scratchy evening and I was bobbing in and out of traffic low on the primary ridge. I realized I would be landing at the bottom soon, as each pass I fell below the ridge lower and lower. There was a big Suburban parked right smack in the middle of the lower LZ loading up bags. Several times as I passed overhead I yelled at the SUV, "landing", "hey, MOVE YOUR VEHICLE!". The only response was the driver looking up yelling back obscenities and with both hands giving me the finger. He continued to take his time, and just as I was setting up for a sketchy landing between the edge of the berm and his SUV, he peeled out in cloud of dust. Hangs and bags - kinda sad.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Jeff the Jet

The gang converged on the South Side Saturday morning. A total of seven hangs unfolded their wings and flew. It was a strong morning with half the pilots packing up when the wind picked up. Jeff, Greg, Dave, and myself stayed later. Some of us landed just as the wind picked up close to 35mph. We were breaking down in back of the berm in nukin' conditions. Here's a spoofed vid of some of the mornings action. (The names of the Innocent have been altered).

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

A Cause For Inspiration

Last Friday Greg and I flew Inspo. I put a little Video together that turned out kinda funny. Gregs landing was actually nice! I just added some effects for meanness.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Heaven's Gold Collection

After two years its finally done! This is my fourth recording project (my last was released in 2000), a CD that contains inspirational songs that have been written over the last two decades. It's been a long time coming. All of the compositions were penned by yours truly, some of them collaborations with various writers. Soon my website should be on line. If you are interested, you can find this CD and others at - live around the end of this month!

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Towers to Barbecue

Last year about this time Cody and Dorothy put on a barbecue at their place in Logan. The only catch was you had to fly in from the Brigham City towers launch. Not very many made it to Cody's house - they allowed those who did not make it by air to join in the festivities. It turned out to be great night of food and socializing.

This year Cody and Dorothy again opened up their house for a fly-in / barbecue. The pilots, Matt, Cody, Greg and me met in Sardine Canyon where the road to the towers launch begins. Cody's neighbor Randy was kind enough to drive us up this most heinous road. We were welcomed at the top by a smooth 12 to 15 mph southwesterly breeze, which is perfect for the Towers. Cody was off first followed by Greg, Matt and me. We all soared around in the buoyant air for twenty minutes or so, before finding solid thermals. It wasn't long, we all were coring jagged little bullets. After a while, the thermals seemed to consolidate and get a bit easier to work. Cody flew out front and found a nice fatty coming off the rocks below a secondary ridge. As Cody thermalled up I joined in on the fun, and it wasn't long until we were smellin' barbecue! At around 11 grand (about 4000 ft above launch) we cut loose and headed down wind and on course for Cody's house. Greg and Matt were scratching around at launch, but soon they both climbed out high enough to turn east and over the back. Cody and I flew together and ended up high over his house. We found a thermal and took it up a thousand feet or so, drifting toward the range to the east of his house. We boated around for a while then landed in a nice barley field adjacent to the festivities. Greg was having a hard time with his radio - batteries - but later on the ground he told us he finally left the ridge with under 9000 asl managing to glide over with no problem, landing safely before Cody and I. Matt fought for over an hour on Pisgha Ridge just east of launch, but was unable to get high enough for the glide to the party. Matt landed safely in a dry lake bed. We all convened at Cody's for fun and food and lingered well after dark.



Matt's nice launch

The LZ

Our support team

Greg's support team - Jennifer