Low clouds/fog encouraged us (Aaron, Andrei, Grama and Paddy) to try a new site, well new for most of us – Hemlock. Once we arrived, we discovered that the history of the previous pilots had not faded but grown to stories of almost hitting the chair lift and expensive tree extraction; also the lift rate was increased to full fare. After about half an hour we were able to talk with the site manager and he agreed to a $16 a day ticket and full refund if it was not flyable – perfect. Light cross wind on launch with mixed visibility (fog). I went first on my “new” Infinity II and was tricked by sudden sink at the last 100’ and missed my spot by more than 100’! Despite my guidance Paddy also land short. By the time Aaron launch, on his brand new Air Wolf, conditions were back to normal (no wind) but over shot his spot landing in an empty parking lot (his plan B LZ). After many attempts, Elena step down to let Andrei take his flight. Time was ticking so I decided to trade lunch for a couple of cookies and the best granola bar ever (complements of Aaron’s mom). Aaron generously let me fly his Airwolf – after a couple of practice inflations I launched. Right off I could tell this wing was one of the most maneuverable wings I’ve ever flown: very easy to do huge wing overs, but to my surprise big ears are self clearing. With a minimum of extra turns, I was only able to try a few SIV tricks before spot landing – a super fun wing! It’s hard to tell how good a wing is without thermals and other wings to compare to, so Aaron will have to be my test pilot once he returns to La La Land. I guess the Infinity was not to happy to be orphaned in Canada, and almost deposited Aaron in the bushes (just short) of the spot, but a few “come on baby” and he landing near the spot. Andrei , after many attempts, finally launched and was dropped five metres in the Plan B LZ – either caused by too much brake (sin #1), rotor, or his old wing going parachutal. In the end Elena got to ride down the chair and would get to fly Hemlock another day.
In summary Hemlock is not for new pilots.
We were surprised to see a new gate at Sumas, but no problem, both Andrei and Marshall brought their hiking legs (as usual). Slight cross wind on launch, but we all aced our launches in the thick winter air. I always enjoy the smoothness of a winter flight, kind of like powder skiing on an empty run – time for some wing overs and other fun tricks. Sadly probably the last flight for 2009. My log book say that I did more tandems this year than solo flights 130 in total.
had one of my favorite solo flights of the year. Quite
a few pilots showed up last minute at Exit95, with hope
of sharing a ride up Sumas, I guess, but Woodside was
the place to be.
Alex B launched first and had a great ½ hour+
flight getting just above launch, and eventually a
rough landing (report to follow). A nervous Clif followed
with a nice launch, but struggled to stay up. New
student Sandra and I had a solid launch, but there
was no lift to be found. Second flights: once Wally,
and Clif were on their way to the LZ, the sun came
back out, leaving me no choice but to fly. Some light
thermals at first but in no time I was at the clouds.
To my surprise there were three eagles already inside
the cloud. The clouds were not too dense so I was
able to maintain a constant view of the ground. Wally
became our volunteer driver (after he lost his special
break toggle) forcing me to take one more flight on
my Magus. Felt like an early spring flight –
fun but cold on the fingers.
weird start to the day with Patti needing stitches,
a few last minute sign ups, and finally gear being left
at the LZ; but somehow we all had a great day. Peter
and Patti took turns getting high in the fat cool air,
while the other pilots John, Alex B and Clif tried to
remember how to launch. The peer pressure was too much
for Clif and I eventually helped him with a “high
wind forward” launch (not the way I like to do
my launches, but it worked).
P&C messed around too low and finally landed at
Riverside, while the rest landed at Harvest Dykes. I
top landed and waited for the boys to arrive. Watched
a scary launch, by a “new” pilot - if you
don’t crash then it wasn’t a bad launch
Just when I though my boys are better, John proved me
wrong when he turned too early (on his reverse) and
almost hit the trees on his right (perhaps he’ll
write up his story for all to learn from?). After everyone
was I flying I joined them for about an hour of super
smooth soaring) and some nice landings.
took awhile, but finally it stopped raining. Today’s
Deimosians included: Babushka (AKA Grama, AKA ACRO Girl,
AKA Elena K), John, Alex B., and my newest student Dean.
Wally showed up too, but was too tired to fly (from
sewing his wing back to health until the wee hours).
Our first round included a mandatory abort (due to the
long time away from any training or high flight). Babushka
went first being the senior pilot (weird eh?), then
the rest. I was reluctant to launch due to my sore back,
but eventually the call was too strong to ignore and
Dean and I were finally airborne. Second flights were
a little more exciting with everyone trying some baby
acro, including Andrei. Check out the pilot of the week
for more details…
Hedley, Iron Mt
suffering another loss at Settlers, I was a little depressed
and not quite ready to fly – turns out conditions
were unsafe for new pilots so only some of the intermediate
pilots flew. After a quick lunch, we played at Iron
Mt, but eventually the conditions were too strong even
for me – lots of fun while it was on.
day of soaring with everyone getting two or three more
long flights and some more small XC flights –
no pilots made it to Keremeos.
arrived just in time for the afternoon flights: Deimosian’s
in tow include (Andrei and Babushka, Elena –T,
Andrew, P&C, Art and my self. After watching quite
a few bad launches, my boys and girls did me proud with
lots of fine launches, XC flights and smooth landings.
The high lite for me was flying with the Peter’s
around the mine (finally).
Art’s family made some big announcements and followed
it up with a huge pork meal – yummy stuff!
conditions for Kumar and Yue li tofday – each
getting lots of air time.
could hear the wind in the trees when we first arrived
(not a good sign); but by the time we finished trimming
back the weeds conditions were fine for Gerry’s
first Sumas flight. Gerry’s first abort was fine,
but on his second (forward launch) he panic and almost
stalled his wing. I should have doubled check his set
up (after his abort), but instead I left it up to him
and he had a few problems (full report coming soon).
Once clear of launch the conditions could not have been
smoother. After about half an hour I tried some small
XC but sank out – another very nice day of flying!
Laura could not join us on time and managed her our
adventures at Bridal.
windy for the second weekend in a row, and Whidbey seemed
high risk, so I called for another training session,
this time at Blackie Spit. Louise was first in the air
followed by Svetlana. After some “discussion”
Louise discovered the power of the D-Riser – the
best way to handle high wind launches. Next week we
plan to fly in the USA!
first met at Diefenbaker, but the west wind meant a
little more driving – this time to Gary Point
(the kite capital of Richmond)! While Laura and Elena
T were battling the wind gods, I was focusing on my
newest student Svetlana. I think everyone got some air
time if they wanted it or not.
took a chance that the upper winds would not destroy
our chances of flying, since the WEB cam showed zero
wind at Bridal; however by the time we were at the Bridal
LZ the wind was already too much(15 to 20 mph). So instead
we spend a few hours kiting in Agassiz.
was great at 3:30, but when the boys (and girl) arrived
at 6pm, it was a little too late - the wind was more
SE. For Kumar, Alex B, JC and Elena they manage some
nice inflations and the odd flight (Hans had car trouble
Woodside then Bridal
A frustrating start to the day with three tandems
not bothering to show up, followed by some students
arriving late and not ready to fly – easy work
for my driver Hans he got to stand around for almost
two hours. Spring conditions today – weird mixed
up thermals, every now and then, likely caused by
the light east wind. The difficult conditions on launch
were too much for some of the students from the other
school; but my boys did slightly better and managed
to climb about 1000’ over launch. Elena (Grama)
and I had a fun flight and would have flown XC to
Harrison if Patti had managed a better flight –
maybe next time. Lighter conditions at Bridal for
Kumar, Ryan, Bill, Gerry, Elena and Lawrence getting
a couple of nice soaring flights.
Meanwhile....other Deimosians (too many to list) were
adventure flying off Cheam and upper launch –
but you’ll need to read their flight logs for
more details. The beer went down great today - many
Whidbey then Blanchard
fun boarding crossing with an extra long interview –
even had to show my drivers license! A fun crew at Whidbey:
Zenon, Andrew, Andrei, Grama, Louise and Marshal, but
alas only the intermediate pilots could fly (and myself).
When we first got there I saw Andrew fully testing out
each side of his harness – time for some helpers
(ballast). While ground handling in high winds, I tweaked
out my back (again) trying too hard to stall my Sigma
with the D risers, so had to watch the last few hours
of fun. We finished with everyone getting a quickie
off Blanchard and some “fine” food at the
local bar. Marshall - see you in three months my crazy
conditions at BM tonight, but new students Marshall,
Kumar, Yue and Mark did pretty well considering. Only
Andrew, I think managed to fly top to bottom. Elena
T was last to roll up determined to master her reverse
launch. Leon - thanks for your help.
met Wally at 8:30am for our tree adventure. Easy 45
minute hike with some bush whacking and we were at the
base of this very high tree (+38 meters with no branches
until about 25 meters). I used climbing spurs mixed
with nailing (aid technique) to reach the top in about
an hour +. I was making good time until the branches
got in the way. Finally the wing was on the ground and
time to head back. Feeling quite tired (not use to the
climbing business) I decided to take a cool down flight.
My plan was no acro, but the wing overs were too much
fun so I added a few other tricks. Looks like Wally’s
BG will live to fly another day (just one broken line).
Jo and Lawrence continued their hospitality with a full
Auzzie style breakfast – many thanks, and then
Andrew and I went to replace the Bridal Web Camera dome.
I discovered that the bury opticals was caused mostly
from the camera lens (it has started to melt and delaminate)
– hard to say how many more years we can get out
of this camera in +50 degrees C. The small crew of Andrew,
Bradley, Elena T, Gerry (tandem passenger) and finally
Marshal, slowly made to upper launch. I was surprised
to see Wally’s truck at 1100m and no offer to
team up on the drive (I guess destiny was calling)?
Carrying all the tandem gear was a little hard for me,
but just what I needed. Before I could catch up to Wally
he called me to announce his first tree landing on Alan’s
ridge. This sounded like a SAR event, so I called 911;
but someone beat me to it – they were already
on their way. Only 4-5 hours later, he was back on the
ground in one piece - not sure about the wing (it spent
the night in the trees). At the same time Marshall was
having his own mini adventure: but that’s another
MIssion Hill, Woodside
weekend of Mayham. Lots of goofy landings at Harvest
Dykes, with Alex and others putting their wings in the
bushes or landing dangerously long. While Brad and I
had great fun with our German friends – too bad
they had to leave, a few of the girls are ready to become
pilots. The night was capped off with the usual Wildcat
action followed by a rowdy game of poker at Lawrence’s
place – I finally got to see Andrew talking at
a normal volume, but at the cost of 3-4 beers –
fun stuff. Andrew won.
conditions for Kumar, Elena T and Alex B.
woke up to my tent slapping me silly at 7am (40 kph
winds this time) – time for breakfast. Desert
Aire was closed so we had to make our own food –
no problem: oatmeal, cereal, fruit and coffee. We were
all hopeful for more flying, but in the end JC, Clif
and I sacrificed our flying to allow Peter and Claudia
and better chance on Monday.
Claudia and myself were probably the only local pilots
to get any air time this weekend. We were too lazy to
drive all the way back to Saddle so instead we went
searching for a new site now known as “Broke Back
Mt” and “Peter’s Ridge”. By
the time Clif and JC were ready to fly a huge gust front
(measuring 70 kph) blasted in, leaving us no choice
by to try and fly with just our jackets. We filled the
remaining time looking for the lost/stolen muffin (someone
just confess already!) and a few fun card games.
casual start to a casual day. We could see a couple
of pilots above launch at Woody so it became the site
of the day. Some interesting aborts from Wally, Clif
and Lawrence but eventually they left Gerry and I for
his first Mt Woodside flight. Second and third flights
were smooth and easy.
early birds Elena and Clif got the first flights, but
Stef was more than 30 minutes late and had to hang out
in the LZ and watch. Clif keep his keys so she could
not even start kiting. Once he landed Stef started warming
up. Since today was going to be Stef’s first solo
flight, I spent an extra hour with just her, but progress
was slow (jitters maybe?). Eventually Peter and the
Cheam team (Andrei, Claudia and Ryan) were in the LZ
except Wally, he had launch suck, and could not come
down. Stef had to be at work soon so up we went. A nice
launch and an extra long first flight, probably a bit
too much, but after more than a month of training I
really wanted her to fly today. Grama, Elena T, Clif
and the rest all had nice launches and extra long flights.
I rush up with Driver Hans and Elena T for one more
flight. We just barely made it (see tips report).
had a small “experience” crew today so I
thought it was time for an adventure flight (Adventure
Tom style). Before Grama could back out (with her soar
foot excuse), Wally and I had transferred her gear to
our packs, and JC and John C, took the remaining items
that would not fit. We had a nice hike up to upper Bridal,
but when we got there the clouds quickly formed delaying
our launches. This marked a good time to lower the bushes
and eat them at the same time (blue berry). Wally lead
the team, followed by John, Elena and JC – sadly
only Wally (and myself) came prepared with a compass,
but promises were made for next time.
We all had amazing flights touching the clouds as they
formed near by.
conditions (SE) but everyone seemed to enjoy themselves
(Alex, JC, Stef, John C, John Cx2, Gany and Elena T).
Once Peter and Andrew finished their Intermediate exams
they did a great job helping everyone - thanks. Leon
arrived just as we were packing up.
lame conditions (NE) discouraged me from heading out
to the valley, but since there were quite a few students,
mostly intermediate, I changed my mind. I spent the
first hour repacking Harv’s parachute (four years
over due), then headed up with Peter, Patrick, Claudia
and Andrei. I had a smooth extended flight on my Magus,
while Peter barely survived his challenge to beat me
to the ground – crazy to watch! Note to all intermediate
pilots: before going full speed on your spiral dives,
make sure you know how to exit exactly on course. Congrats
to Andrei – he just finished our intermediate
course, he just need a few more soaring flights for
NE wind this morning meant a late start for Bridal.
Students Olivier and Stef-ani were my tandems today,
while Clif and Gerry add a few more flights to their
Just when Clif thought that this landing stuff is too
easy he almost joined the JC swimming team (almost).
I find that when the East wind is about the take off
and landings are quite tricky – upper launch is
the way to go usually.
Sumas Upper Bridal
A was to fly Sumas, Elk, Upper Bridal and Woodside (The
Grand Slam), however once we learned that Sumas was
not flyable, Elena and Jeremy and I turned around and
hiked up to Upper Bridal. Some great flying there, Elena’s
best flight to date, I’m sure.
I watched Wally (who launched from Cheam with Andrew,
Andrei amd Lousie) get sucked up into a cloud, but I
used big ears and was able to avoid most of the white
stuff. My next flight with new student Brian was amazing,
climbed to about 1200m and did about an hour of XC flying.
Thanks for the free beer (from someone – Andrei?).
started at Woodside (weird to see it empty), then after
I canceled all student flights (Gany and I) flew to
1200m and finally to Harvest Market, Lousie, Ryan, Brad
Better conditions at Bridal, so everyone (JC, Elena
T, Grandma, JC, Alex, John and Clif) got to fly except
Gany (he had to go home). I had a great tandem flight
with Alice and did some XC flying, then once Elena won
the WLOFD award and JC was a close second, I decided
to play a joke on instructor Bradley: pretend to JC
and botch some novice maneuvers (severely), but Bradley
figured it out after my SAT and Heli attempts.
Another fun night at Burnaby Mt.: Harv (AKA the ringer)
shows up after MIA for four plus years, and flying
his trusty Aeros Accent, clears the path and sets
the mark for the best glide – unbelievable!
Some controversy when he touched a tree on his next
flight, but I decided that his first flight should
remain valid. Jeremy came a very close second (less
a few meters), but in the end he won the grand prize
(in a draw), a new Flytec wind meter ($100+) - which
is what he really wanted. The Solo B was easy (for
me) when I simply flew almost around to the front
of the trees, only Andrew (or maybe Peter) could barely
get close enough to see my marker. The Team C event
switched between last year’s champs (Wil and
I) and the Peter and Andrew team, and few times, but
in the end the old farts were able to edge out the
young boys by a mere three feet. Almost everyone won
a nice prize including, $50 or $25 gift cards from
the running room, vegi chilli , Westcomb pull over,
Deimos shirts, X-Alps DVD and much more. In the end
a total of $310 was donated to the Bridal web camera.
Many thanks to Wil and Clif for there support and
everyone that came out a played.
See you all next year!
day started out with strong wind but later it mellowed
out, so I called the boys and girls for a 4pm start.
After just two hours we were finally on launch. The
early birds got some height (Rob, Robin and Louise)
while Wally, Clif, Lawrence, and I was forced to fly
either extended sled rides or crazy acro. Laura was
our driver this time.
private lesson for my cousin John: first a quick flight
off Blanchard and then lots of reverse and forward kiting
at Whidbey. The wind line almost made it to shore at
one point, but alas we were shut down.
Brad team were able to fly five more tandems, while
I managed the last four. An exciting day for Clif: he
needed only two more controlled flights for his Novice
rating (and some minor kiting maneuvers), so I gave
him a secondary challenge – fly longer than Wally
or Jeremy. I guess the challenge was too hard to comprehend,
resulting in his worst launch to date (50% collapse)
but he managed, somehow, to get airborne. Clif tried
very hard to pass his challenge, but you need to fly
for more than six hours to beat these guys – he
probably flew for almost three hours however. Just when
I thought Clif would get the WLOTD award, one of Dion’s
boys did a spectacular sideways skid launch, bumping
Clif into second place. Elena T took a solid third place
with her full frontal followed by the comments “what
was the sound?”; where Mike and I took fourth
place with our sloppy take off just right of the flag.
Good to see the other Deimosians (Peter, Claudia, Louise,
and Andrew) return home from their Black Mt adventures
(this time in one piece).
up with team Brad, we were able to fly ten tandems.
The Woodside flights were fun with the clouds being
just a few hundred few away – some would say less
than 500’ but no one was really checking (or caring).
Note; if the clouds are close make sure you have a compass!
Our next flights were at Bridal with another group of
tandems and solo pilots John, Jerry Clif and Grandma–
extended sled rides mostly.
very nice training conditions at Deifenbaker Park. Everyone
had some air time, but it was Nigel that caught my full
attention when he started going up and his hands started
going down (at the same time) – even my yelling
would not stop him from stalling his wing; luckily he
was on the Vitamin and the wing gently lowered him back
to the ground (from 20' up). Alex and Jerry had good
success with both forward and reverse launches.
Woodside then Bridal
conditions today at Woodside. I have been waiting for
this day to take Clif on his first Titanic ride, but
in the end we could only manage a small Titanic and
lots of wing overs – fun stuff. We had the usual
–6m/s sink just before landing but my Big Ears
keep every thing in order and a very soft (uneventful)
landing. Bridal was quite cross (south 15-20kph), but
those that flew (Wally, Peter, Claudia, Lawrence, Clif,
Karen and Eddie (but not Grandma) had up to two hours
of air time.
fine day at the office. With the help of my new driver
Mike, most pilots were able to get up to four flights
today. My second flight with Nathan was amazing, super
smooth, chased a hawk around for 10 minutes and climbed
almost to the clouds. Mostly solid launches for everyone,
including Shane, Wally, Lawrence, Patty, Andrew, Peter,
Claudia, Elena T, Gerry (first solos), Clif, and yes
Grandma. Gany did his second high flight with a “less-than-perfect”
take off (strange since we spent weeks working on it)
– sometime panic can really take over and mess
things up nicely; but in the end Andrew was able to
guide him into LZ for a nice landing (so I heard). Top
score for Andrew and Peter this weekend, stepping in
for Tonya (MIA due to rain in Burnaby – never
judge the weather at Bridal by looking only out your
kitchen window, or living window!).
student conditions today with Laura placing 1st (longest
flight about 45 minutes) and 3rd (worst launch) –
she was in a solid second position until visiting pilot
Shane clearly used up one of his luck coupons and jumped
in to first place. The A team (Andrew and Andrei) were
tops in my book for best acro and most helpful –
much appreciated. Good launches generally from JC, John,
Lawrence, Elena T, Clif, Alex B, and Grandma! Not quite
a beer day for me but a good idea no the less - thanks
busy training night with a special visit from an old
student Harv (Wally’s neighbour). Some great progress
from Elena, Gerry, John, Clifton, Alex, JC, Gany and
Nigel, however with the South wind we were forced to
share just one take off. Fun stuff!
lessons for my lovely ladies, Laura and Elena. Nice
wind conditions overall – I should try to hold
more of these private sessions; there was some nice
fun day of flying. Toler join us today, but it’s
been a long time since his last flight so he needed
some training before we could head up. After a few planned
aborts Toler, Lawrence and Wally were all in the air.
Since Wally was still stuck in the sky (a common problem
with him these days), we regrouped (with Doug and Lawrence)
and headed up for our second flights. Some of the nicest
air ever! After about an hour, and it was starting to
get dark, so I ordered everyone, including Wally, to
land. Fun stuff!
Man (Fred) took Shane and I on an adventure day up Ephistone.
Very tough road up, nasty launch, extra long glide and
tight LZ. I went first, after 3-4 aborts, and quickly
climbed above the mountain for some spectacular island
views. I saw Shane launch then head south to explore
the next ridge. Unfortunately, the air was sinking too
much to risk a return flight to launch (no LZ possible
if I failed); so I headed out to the beach in some of
the smoothest air ever. Fred landed second followed
by “I-forgot- how-to-land-this-acro-wing-because-I-have-not
-flown-since-Mother's-day” Shane (no pictures
to follow, but maybe he’ll write up something).
Meanwhile Tonya gave Lawrence a private lesson off Woodside
and Bridal (I think).
great day of flying, thanks to my new driver Hans. Layne
was able to complete the last of his maneuvers (spiral)
and receive his novice rating. Doug, Alex, Lawrence,
and John were impressed with Layne’s acro show
(although a little too exciting at times). Doug was
able to complete his first two solo flights before it
got too windy (thanks to Bob and Tonya). After a short
brake and we were back at it, this time only the “hard
core team “ of Lawrence, John and Alex got to
fly. Conditions were eventually too difficult for Elena
and I (better to drive down).
SE wind kept most of us on the flat part of the mountain;
it was only some “self taught” pilots that
tried to fly from the top. I asked/told them that they
need to wear a helmet and have HPAC insurance to train
at Burnaby Mt, but got the classic response. In my response
I took their picture for my records, which prompted
them to call the police! I showed the police where in
states (in our Burnaby Parks agreement) that you need
insurance but even then these morons would not listen
to three officers. Hopefully this won’t happen
again otherwise we could loose this site (again). This
BS took away an hour of my time, but Leon managed the
group without me (Elena, Doug, Jerry, Gany, Kumar and
not all fun a games!
I recruited Clif to help me cut down some trees,
to help see Bridal take off better; and clean the
camera dome (first time in two years). Lawrence arrived
just in time for our first flight. Some exciting launches
from both boys, just to prove my point – practice,
practice, practice. Clif owns his own wing now, so
no more excuses (except it’s too hot).
Our third flights were canceled, as predicted by Clif,
due to a sudden 30-40 kph wind from the East. This
gave us a moment to kick back to a cold beer (thanks
hot day, but still we took the time to practice our
aborts - always a good idea when you are trying out
a new harness or wing. Easy launches from Clif, John
and myself with just a hint of lift. Things were delayed
slightly when I pulled a no brainer and forgot my tandem
wing at home, but Ivan was able to retrieve it just
in time for Stef and I to fly, then later Elena T. Lawrence
and Kumar joined in the fun for final flights, however
the katabatic wind had arrived making it too dangerous
for Kumar’s flight.
low cloud base, this morning, gave Lawrence and JC a
chance to perfect their launches. Around noon, the clouds
finally started moving upward and so did we. My first
flight was with the charming Claire, but not before
Lawrence and JC were air born (nice launches). Second
flights were more adventurous. I invited Peter to join
me (and Chris) on our way to Cheam, however, Lawrence
thought that I wanted him to follow too (not a good
idea to fly XC without checking out the LZ first). I
ended our tandem flight a little early to help guide
Peter and Lawrence into LZ1A. The heat must have been
getting to us: a big frontal (and abort) from Claudia;
and near miss from Lawrence (tried to abort) and a close
call for me when my passenger (Laura) sat down near
the edge. Almost a beer kind of day but I had to drive
so better go for a soda!
had some difficulty with our warm up training, that
later lead to extra delays and eventually no student
flights; however myself, Layne and Wil managed a flight
before the thunder started.
Winskil then Deifenbaker
West wind kept us kiting until 7pm in the Winskill field,
then as predicted, the SE wind arrived. Layne, and JC
packed up to head home, while the others, John, Doug
and Nigel, were rewarded with perfect launch conditions
– I wish we could have stayed longer!
conditions for Andrew to test out his new girl friend
(Obsession II). Clif and I spent over an hour trying
to figure out how to launch the Edel Atlas (AKA PW),
eventually rolling it up for the Aeros Accent. Cloud
base was just above launch, so easy smooth lift everywhere.
Andrew and I took turns top landing so I could fly.
a fun day. Tim, Clif, Lawrence and my tandem were all
ready to go at 1pm, but no driver. Then Steve (and his
wife) showed up (a FlyBC student) looking for a ride
up (just to look around)– problem solved. Tim
reluctantly went first , followed by the rest. My passenger
felt a bit weird and we opted to land after about 40
minutes (world's softest landing). On our next flights
Tonya and hubby, Jeremy W. join us. Lots of baby acro
by all. Jeremy saved the day by doing his first top
landing/crash to drive Andrei’s car. Clif recored
a max +6.6 m/s lift, but generally smooth air everywhere.
of the best flying days in months! Great student conditions
to start with, but then around 1pm the conditions were
too much, and time for the intermediate pilots to XC.
Most flew to Elk and back. After Clif’s sacrifice
for the team, conditions could not be nicer: we all
flew for 2-3 hours in glass off conditions. Wally set
a new flying record of more than six hours in the air!
Dinner was postponed due to one hour of post flying
talk and well-appreciated beers in the LZ. If you stayed
home today – you really missed a great day!
started a little earlier than usual, but still we could
not all fly. Probably a good thing, ‘cause it
would have been difficult to land Elena (if she did
get air born). It was expensive for me to cancel the
remaining tandems, and student flights, but the safest
move. The lucky fliers were John, Lawrence and Ed. The
Elk team were also successful with 45 minute flights
(Peter, Andrew and Andrei).
and Patty arrived a little too late for the first flights
with Louise and myself – Louse got to test fly
my Obsession while I managed a quick flight and top
landing. Next on my list, time for some XC flying for
intermediate students Louise, Patty and Laura. We first
checkout (LZ1A) then headed up. By the time I launched
Louise was below launch, but Patty and Laura were a
few hundred feet above – time to go! It took awhile
but finally Laura climbed up to join me at 1100m (Patty
landed around this time), and Louise finally left BRTO.
Once at Laura’s ridge we climbed fast to about
1000’ over the ridge and waited for Louise to
arrive. Laura and I were almost at BUTF when it was
time to head back. Just like kids in a candy store,
the girls would not follow instructions and played a
little too long. After about 15 minutes they finally
realized that the wind was picking up and it was time
to head back. Laura join me in LZ1A while Louise made
it back to BRTO. I was probably going to arrive at Burnaby
Mt. about 5 minutes late, but at Chilliwack I realized
that I had left most of the harnesses with Louise (and
had to head back to LZ1A). After all this effort, a
small number of students did not show up, providing
private 1:1 lessons for Doug, Allan and John.
was in the mood for some adventure and exercise, so
Upper Bridal was the site of the day. Hikers included
Wally, Rachael, JC and Andrew. Solid launches from all
and we were all flying in super smooth lift.
It took a long time to regroup (I had to drive up
again to retrieve my truck and drop of some more pilots).
Next were Lawrence, Louise, Andrew, Elena and Clifton.
Lawrence got the b.l.o.t.d. award and Elena joined
up on JC swimming team. Just to round off the day,
JC had a minor incident driving down Wally’s
truck. Overall, not too bad of a day.
rare NW wind was at Burnaby Mt tonight offering lots
of fun flights from the top – we should have started
BFAR event was a great success with my students taking
five out of six flying awards – congrats to Karin
(quickest and highest climb), Jeremy (best XC), Laura
(longest flight), and Owen (closest to one hour). The
party was great with tonnes of free gifts, great food
and dancing. Congrats to Wil for winning this year's
WCSC Rookie of the year award.
The West wind arrived at 9am – not a good sign.
By the time we got to launch conditions were almost
blown out. A few Deimosian’s were already in
the air, Claudia, Peter, Layne and Andrew and reports
of tough landings (some including speed bar just to
stay in front of the trees). My BFAR tandem had me
challenged with many aborts, at one point I had packed
up but then the conditions changed at it was flyable
again. One more abort, which was more like a blind-sided
tackle, and we were flying. Afterwards, I was feeling
tired so better to head home. Another fun weekend
Woodside then Bridal
mix air conditions at Woodside, so I canceled most of
the student flights – Elena had some problems
landing at Harvest Dyke (report to follow?), while Warren
had a “perfect” landing apparently; while
I took Lawerence on his second tandem to orient him
to Woodside for future flights. The latecomers Alex
B, Gany, layne and others were egar to fly Bridal so
up we went. Conditions were still too strong for the
newbies but perfect for Laura and Jeremy to join me
on a little XC adventure to Cheam and back: some nervous
moments for Laura, when she got quite low and no where
to land, but she managed a low save and recovered for
a very long flight (3+ hours). Meanwhile Andrew, Peter,
Claudia and other were above Cheam for their highest
flight ever – some were higher than 10,000’!.
After things mellowed out Tanya helped me launch Gany
and Lawrence for their first solo flights, while I got
to fly around with Tanya’s student John.
Bridal then Burnaby
extremely fun flights with Jay and Sylvia, then off
to Burnaby Mt for some evening training in light condtions.
On my tandem with Sylvia we had a very close encounter
with the local Peregrine stopping just a couple of meters
from our faces – wild stuff!
progress today with Lawrence now ready for his first
high flight this weekend. The other members of the "L
team" showed up: Louise, Laura and Lolly Poppins.
Special guest appearance from Matt Ashley and Movie
student conditions, but a hard day for Stein and I trying
to do our seven tandems – but we did.
Some interesting moments when John’s radio would
not stop transmitting, but it finally worked properly
just before landing. Lots of long landings today, from
my self, John, JC and Alex; but not as bad as the visiting
pilots (draping the Bridal sign and parked cars)!
Remember to head to the golf course if you plan to over
shoot the LZ.
Some smooth flights for Elena and not so perfect
launches from Warren and Layne, and slightly long
landings again; while I guided Laura on her longest
XC flight towards Buttlerfly and back (2-3 hours)!
Great flying from Andrew today: he launched first
and stay up for hours while every other pilot landed;
then performed a sort of top landing (not quite a
crash from my point of view).
some fun today (tandem with Dylan and Greg). Took Greg
or a short but exciting acro flight; then Dylan on a
nice XC flight to Cheam and back, then at 3000’
we started the requested Titanic but it was too much
for Dylan and we ended it as quick as possible. Wally
finished his last novice maneuver (while I guided him
from the air) – looks like he has passed the exam
so he is free to fly whenever he wants.
quite morning with Elena and Cliff doing up to three
flights each; then later Laura and Wally joined in the
fun. Lots of fun acro for Laura and Wally, which allowed
Wally to finish all of the Deimos novice maneuvers (he
just needs to pass the exam for his rating now) –
piece of cake right Wally! The high light for me was
SATing the Body guard on my first try! Tried to Heli
but the brake pressure was too high for my weak arms.
fun night despite the high winds. Warren took off a
little too early and miss out on all the fun. Every
one got a chance at keeping the wing over head, but
helpers were needed. Only Alex, Cliff and Bernhard were
actually able to “launch”.
Wally and I finished fixing his truck (new power steering
hose), Gany and Elena were ready to head up to launch
(Allan wanted to stay down and kite some more –
hard core indeed). Strong conditions eliminated all
student flights (except Wally's and our two tandems,
Mike and Jennette). By the time we launched, Mike was
already approaching the one hour mark and asked for
‘Stein acro” - maybe bitting off more than
he could chew? Some weird sinking air at about 60’
but a soft landing for me and Jennette. Next flights
included Tabatha and her brother – slightly smoother
conditions to almost 6000’ where I had to manage
an easy 50+ % collapse? My passenger was unfazed so
we headed out and did a huge spiral and some nice Titanic
style wing overs - staring at 4000'. Fun stuff. Stein
had one more tandem so I had and chance to catch up
to Wally and Louise now in the air for three hours!
I flew next to Louise to tweak her wing overs and try
the same with Wally. Wally was high enough for his first
spiral dive, but decided it was best saved for another
day – too tired I guess.
Woodside then Bridal
switched from student to advance in just 30 minutes.
We (Kumar and I) flew with Leon to Bill Best field and
got dropped hard from about 50’, but since we
were already ears the landing was very soft (love the
big ear landings). Leon had a 60+ collapse at about
80’ but recovered nicely (scary to watch). Bumpy
flying on our next flight to Harvest Market with Bernhard
with some nice climbs.
great first flight for my new student Allan, almost
touching the clouds over Woodside; but when I saw Wally
and Patty rocket upward I thought that this was getting
a little too hot and time to land. At the Koffee Kettle
we hooked up with my newest student Doug and tried to
fly tandem; however the cross, gusty conditions were
a little too much. An hour plus drive back to Burnaby
Mt to teach the dozen of so pilots now waiting patently
and watching some dangerous flying from a couple of
visiting pilots - showing the boys how NOT to fly. Great
conditions tonight with almost every pilot getting a
few seconds of air time.
managed to brake away from the office and family for
a couple of flights with Wally, Elena and Andrei –
however Wally’s work had other plans for him and
he was quite late. In the end we could only fly once
each. Wally and I, still managed to climb above launch
and do a quick Titanic; while Elena had her best flight
out flying Andrei and her first soaring flight of about
half an hour.
Woodside then Bridal
extra slow and disorganized start (student arriving
one hour late and no vehicle in the LZ) meant that all
students could not fly (too windy), however Kevin and
I both had great flights with our passengers. We eventually
headed over to Bridal for some easier flights. Peter
was wind dummy and was soaring nicely, followed by Claudia,
Layne, Wally, Alex B, Elena and finally Warren on his
first solo flight. Some tense moments when Elena’s
radio went dead and she had to land her self (she had
more than ten flights so no problem). I must have a
truck curse lately, because Wally's truck is now sick
busy night with more than a dozen pilots playing in
various wind speeds: the new students Bernhard, Iris,
Gany and Kumar all had nice little flights. Bernhard
managed his first reverse launch but later showed that
it’s harder than it looks! Thanks to Andrew, Leon,
Wil, Layne and Alex for your help.
private lesson for Wally today, but I had to cut the
day short to try and repair my truck. Wally is starting
to explore a little to much and end up missing the LZ
(slightly), while I had the pleasure of testing a new
wing by Mac PARA – Eden 4. This handles like a
Aeros Vitamin but with better glide and sink rate, launch
was straight but required some pull to bring it up –
a good choice for my school.
Last day of the comp. Timing was every thing today.
While most of the Deimosians waited for the cloud
to move before launching, we slowly watched pilot
after pilot sink out from 3000' and land. My plan
was to fly with Robin S and compare wings –
Addict vs Magus, however he had a small knot in his
lines which forced him to top land after about 45
minutes. The other leaders and I were all close to
base (6000’) but I decided to take off first
(in the lead at this point) and quickly tag the first
turn point. Once there I did a 180 and headed back
to take off to climb to base while everyone else few
directly to the Saddle (big mistake for most pilots
and almost everyone landed within half an hour). I
though I was locked in first place until (somehow)
I saw Claudio our leader ten minutes in front of me)
– I’m still not sure how he climbed out
of the shadows. I followed him to the next turn point
but arrived a little too low to climb out and eventually
landed a few km short of Claudio. I felt that I flew
perfectly and was quite happy with my 3rd for the
day score. When the dust settled Andrew finished 2nd
in his class and won $200, Louise finish first in
the women’s class and Patty finished 4th in
his class. A great "team" score for Deimos
Paragliding with five or so pilots in the top 15 spots.
Patty (Intermediate Class -4th), Andrew (Intermediate
Class - 2nd), Lousie (Women's 1st place), Tom (Overall
next day of flying started off okay, but soon a large
thunderstorm developed bringing lots of cold air and
sink. Instead we played the “who can launch in
catabatic conditions” game and then spot land
for $200. I hit the spot within 6”, but had too
much speed and required five more steps for a 13 foot
score (no money for me). Later we all headed up to the
Saddle launch and flew for a couple of hours in super
A great day of flying, however most of us had some
kind of equipment failure. For me my GPS had a bug
in it, could only be fixed by a full factory reset
(later after I landed). I spent half an hour determined
to hit a 12” turn point (instead of 200 meter)
– it was like a fun video game played at 6000’.
I felt that I was in first place and could afford
to play around, but once the gaggle showed up I had
to blast off. On my second lap I caught up to the
slower Deimosians (that were still in the air) and
we teamed up for the Saddle to Cooper launch leg.
Shade on launch killed most of the lift for about
ten of us, and forced us to land, however Andrew tried
an unusual approach and was rewarded with another
half and hour of flying and two more waypoints only
to land due to bladder control issues. At the end
of the day, Andrew was 7th overall and I was 10th.
A super fun day for me however plagued with lots of
small errors in decision and various equipment problems.
started the session by reviewing some kiting videos,
then head off to Blackie Spit.
Good conditions for the boys (Wally, Warren and Gerry),
but slow progress for most – I think the Sigma
3 is just too old / difficult for the boys now.
brought his colleague Alex to try and persuade me to
fly tandem (instead of my new Magus XC) – a futile
attempt my friend. Instead I flew to Elk and back in
record time. Andrei put on a nice acro show (on Elena’s
Mission Hill then
usual we started the day at the Mission Hill, then Subway,
then Woodside Harvest Dykes, then Koffee Kettle then
finally take off. The reverse launch conditions eliminated
all but Andrei, Wally and of course Leon. Hour plus
flights for the first two trips and finally another
solo flight for John to a “new” Harvest
Dykes LZ on our third trip up. (Gerry and Elena got
to watch the show and did not fly). The high light was
a "close call" from Wally - report to follow?
conditions today for JC, Kumar, Gany and John. The high
light was watching my newest student Stephanie break
sin #2 – don’t turn too quick (tip report
of work and no play. Warren, Gerry and our newest student
Stephanie were working hard in the Bridal driving range,
but the West wind was taking forever to arrive. Finally
around 3pm we headed up. After Tonya’s problem-manic
launch I decided to cancel all student flights. Time
for Gerry to take his first flight. The light thermals
and sharp turns were a little too much so we ended the
flight short. I was surprised how fast our approach
was so I decided to land in the tall grass instead (which
cushioned our rough landing).
A quiet day to start with just Elena and Wally as
my flying buddy’s. Extended slid rides to start
with, then when conditions got too strong for new
students, I helped Peter (intermediate pilot) with
his first valley crossing. With some difficulty, Claudia
managed to find us near Hicks hill and get us back
just in time for final glass off flights. It would
have been a perfect day for Elena if she did not miss
up her launch and landing (pilot report to follow
fun day with tonnes of flying. Peter went to Elk and
back, and Wally flew forever. Some first flights for
Tonya’s student John and Elena, and more flying
for Gany, and for Layne (almost done his novice rating).
south wind, but we were intimidated by the honds of
icy wet butts of the 50 teenagers and never flew from
the top. Great progress from all. One tense moment when
Cliff forgot about “sin #1” don’t
fly too slow, but I was able to stop him with a sharp
hands up (just in time).
strong west wind arrived a little early for Elena and
she missed her window to fly solo (her second from Bridal).
This time the big boys were complaining about the bumps
and finally landed after just a couple of hours of air
time. The high light for me was watch “acroman”
Andrew try his first asymmetrical spirals. At around
4pm I call the day off, but not before Pete, Andrew
and Louise had their chance at launching my tandem wing
(check out Claudia's
of my favorite days: first flights for John and Elena,
great lift for the rest of the big boys and girls (Wally,
Jeremy, Andrei, Peter, Layne, Andrew, Louise, Claudia).
Later I flew tandem with Wally’s nephew Gordon
to Cheam and later landing Wally’s back yard.
A late dinner at some U-tube PG videos to round out
the evening at Wally’s.
conditions for the boys with many flights from the top
(Peter, Eric J, Warren, Gany, Andrew, Clif, John and
of keen pilots today: Alex B, Warren, Layne, Clifton,
John, Gabby and Ben; however the morning East wing and
later strong NW wind keep us in the school kiting. A
visiting school added some excitement when I heard on
the radio “get ready for a tree landing”,
luckily it all worked out. We went up one last time
around 7pm, hoping for calmer conditions, but in the
end only Gabster flew – a little too dangerous
for my liking (so no more student flights).
a day of climbing with my family, I meet up with Carsten,
Jeremy W and Murray for a flight off the First Peak.
Baby smooth conditions and a small crowd of twenty for
Jeremy’s virgin flight off the Chief; while the
rest of us had to hike down (due to an approaching rain
system that changed the wind to NE). I’m not use
to all this hiking and excercise!
of my favorite birthdays: climbed Snake and Memorial
crack with Dave, then after yet another gross McDonald’s
meal, hiked and flew off the Chief with Little Dan.
The only bad part of the day was that I needed drive
back to White Rock to try and sort out a gear mix up
at Burnaby Mt.
Mission Hill then
wind today and a late start with my instructor Brad,
meant that we had lots of time to train at the Mission
Hill. Technology can be good and bad sometimes: I did
not refresh my view of the Deimos sign up sheet and
missed Elena’s reservation (hence no wing for
her today). Tickly conditions at times on launch, but
eventually Alex B. and Cliffton got to take their first
flights for 2009. Great launches and landings. Wally
flew for almost three hours and was “too tired”
to fly again! Great tandem flights for both Brad and
I lasting for more than half an hour each with some
little XC action. Peter was a super hero, flying to
Butterfly and back to top land saving us from an extra
drive up; but even super hero can be crushed by Mother
nature. After I called the day done, he decided to have
one more quicky, however the gust front arrived and
he was soon parked –a big ear/ speed bar wing
over landing in the golf course, in the end, was his
only way out.
epic day with pilots going far, wide and wet. Peter
and a few others made it to Elk and back; Zenon finished
his final maneuvers (spiral) to complete our novice
course; John C and I had a great tandem, and many hours
later another great tandem with Ganny; Leon had a hard
time getting JC to make his final turn and he ended
up splashing in the near by pond (Felix would had been
proud, however no free underwear show this time). Elena
had a few attempts at launch, but no luck this time.
The day was finally called due to strong thunderstorm
conditions (which forced Owen to land at Rosedale).
Huge Wild Cat evening to boot.
Woodside then Burnaby
day started at Woodside was a simply flight with Jim
to get re-certified, unfortunately I had to leave for
BM just when the conditions were turning on –
probably my hardest two hour drive yet. It seems like
everyone and their dog wants to train with Deimos these
days (making the hill slow between launches). Great
conditions for all that turned out: lots of high flights
especially from Alex R.
Mission Hill then
conditions (West at the Mission Hill) so headed to Woodside.
We heard of strong cycles at Woodside so we keep on
driving. The crew of Andre, Elena, Zenon, Louise, Rick,
and Jeremy were waiting patiently once we arrived (with
JC, Wally, Andrew and Leon in tow).
The signed off pilots got high fast while the almost
signed off pilots boated around take off for an hour
or two. Finally it was JC’s turn, but conditions
were still too strong in the LZ, so time for Elena and
I to fly tandem. Three aborts and we were just about
to drive down when the wind switched and we were back
on or were we? Once in the air we sank fast, barely
clearing the bushes (9/10 on my almost crash scale).
On our second flights the boys had mixed flights, but
most were over an hour long in smooth soaring conditions.
Still too strong in the LZ for JC, so we flew tandem.
Later Peter, Claudia and Pattie arrived and spec’d
out with Wally and Tonya flying for more than a hour.
Some pretty happy faces in the Wildcat afterwards.
busy night, but this time we had very nice conditions:
my first test flights had me high enough to almost thermal
above and climb away (almost). Great progress from all
the old and new students: Alex B, Alex K, Andrew, Elena,
Wally, Gerry (new), John Clarke, Jon, Louise, Nigel,
Warren and a last minute (new) student Eric. A guest
appearance Mark T. Since it looked like a low percentage
chance of flying on Saturday (I decided to stay up extra
late and join the crew for drinks afterwards. Many thanks
to all my helpers - it would be 10x harder without you
The SW wind was no problems for my keen students
(Warren, Zenon, Louise, John and Ian). I tried to
convince Zenon to write his novice exam instead of
kiting, but the stress was too much (even though no
one has ever failed it, he though that he would be
Good progress from all – looks like a few more
students will be flying solo this weekend (weather
next day had a perfect start – smooth West wind
and a flat lake. I started off with some baby acro and
finally trying some Heli’s and SAT’s with
no success (the Vitamin flies like a rock). Time for
a death spiral and ultimately a short swim to shore
– funny stuff.
Lots of great acro and a few scary moments (especially
from Sergei) when he locked out towards the beach and
had a hard time correcting his wing, but finally he
was at 3000’ – high enough for his maneuvers.
On our second flights all was going well accept when
it was Tonya’s turn: she aced her three maneuvers
but decided to change her dance card to one more full
stall – a big surprise to everyone and especially
Tonya when her wing refused to fly again. Her reserve
worked great however. Later, Jeremy, Claudia and Pete
all hit Bridal for some more flying, but I was way too
tired and eager to get home.
wanted to cancel the day at 6am, but since Ted and a
few others were already at Cogburn, I thought that I
should go as well. After exploring a few beaches, it
was decided that we should try Bridal for a late afternoon
flight. Some communication problems (my fault) left
Sam and Owen at Woodside for a few hours, while Wally,
Peter, Claudia, Jeremy and my self enjoyed smooth conditions
for about an hour.
busiest training night ever with about 15 students doing
their thing, too bad for the cross wind conditions.
A dreamy day with lots of first: Peter’s first
big XC to Cheam and back; Jeremy’s longest flight
(+2 hours with a low save), and Wally’s first
5th flight!? On our second flights, Jeremy and I enjoy
a pleasant Titanic ride while Peter helped Wally into
the LZ – Andrew generously offered to drive.
conditions at China park, except for the dog do-do.
Claudia, JC, Peter, Andrew and my self enjoyed the East
wind until the rain showed up.
Mission Hill then
usual, East wind at Exit 95 so we all headed to the
Mission Hill to pass the time more effectively. JC brought
his friends Fraser, Erin, Leanne to watch perhaps his
first solo flight (later). Alex showed up just as we
were leaving and missed all the valuable warm up time.
Tandem instructor Veronica had just finished her first
flight (his her sister), and was eager to fly with Erin,
soon to follow by Sean 2e, Tonia, Andrew, Amine, and
my self with Fraser – too strong for Wally and
the newbies. On the second flight, Patty, Peter, and
Claudia all joined in for more flying and most climbed
to about 1000’ over launch.
While on launch we were waited for calmer air. Finally
Wally was airborne and soaring the South knob to about
500’ over with Tonia as his wing girl; while I
had Alex and JC do a few practice aborts on launch.
Coming up: exciting times for the boys. Alex nailed
his first solo, while JC still needs to work on his
commitment and slow turns they both managed nice flights
into Harvest Dyke (with the generous help of Leon, and
sometimes Peter and Tonia as ATC). JC forgot to get
out of his harness at 300’, but remembered at
the last moment causing some scary last minute turns.
Tip report to follow from JC?
busy night with smooth South wind. No high flights,
but lots of great ground handling from: Owen, Samuel,
Warren, Alex, Wally, and Zenon.
last minute no show, meant that I had some free time
to replace some of the lines on my old Sigma. Wally
showed up with his new race car just at the right time.
SE wind was tricky tonight, especially with Klaus’s
old DHV2 wing.
paying my $10 US “user fee” (at US Customs
Office – they love my truck I guess) I was off
to catch up to Andrew and Laura. Conditions were strong
North at Blanchard, but were slowly improving. With
the local successful launch rate of 3 out of 3, meant
that it was time for me to launch. No collapses or funny
business on my launch (unlike the previous launches).
After 4-5 attempts Andrew managed to get in the air,
but missed the magic moment and let the wind push him
into the sinky air (South) and finally to the LZ eight
minutes later. Zenon arrived while we were heading back
up and managed a quick flight. Laura won points from
me for not risking her self for another eight minute
MIssion Hill and Woodside
SW conditions at the Mission Hill made it pretty hard
to train today, but the boys and girls, Ryan, Andrei,
Elena, Tonya, Laura, Wally, Warren, JC and Jeremy all
gave it their best. After about 1.5 hours I had enough
and we regrouped at the Koffee Kettle, now adding Andrew
to our list. Nice conditions meant that everyone got
to fly at least once. Warren and I had a nice tandem
flight, but staying up pass 15 minutes was hard to do.
Another fun day at Woodside (but I’m really missing
conditions (for a change) at Diefenbaker Park tonight
– this time our newest student John Clarke (no
relation) and Toller were doing lots of flights from
pilot in the air at Bridal and pilots parawaiting at
Bridal means: time for a couple of flights at Woodside.
Jeremy joined Denise (on his comp wing) while I launched
in a bad cycle and groveled below launch for about 20
minutes before the next thermal took me to about 500’
over. A great day to play with the new eagles, one followed
me for about 10 minutes just 6 feet away! I think it
like the beeping sounds from my vario. After about 1.5
hours Jeremy finally sank out and headed (slowly) to
Harvest Dykes. Surprisingly I was able to top land still
(last thermal of the day). Denis reported one scary
launch from a new pilot (perhaps teaching himself while
his instructor is unavailable)? Just a reminder –
all non-rated pilots must be with a certified instructor
until they are signed off. After a quick pick up and
drive right to launch, Jeremy got to have a nice smooth
sled ride to end off his week of flying. BTW the Bridal
pilots made it to Butterfly.
Mission Hill then
Still tired from yesterday, and the promise of more
East wind, meant a later start for the boys (Warren,
JC, Jeremy and Alex this time). The Mission Hill was
lots of fun, with everyone getting some air time.
Just an hour or so this time, and off to Woodside.
More Deimosians were already on launch (Laura, Patrick,
Andrew, Peter and Claudia). With some heckling, I
forced Patrick to launch just before the cycles arrived,
but no problem, he was still able to climb above launch.
A few interesting aborts from Jeremy, and close calls
from the girls (Claudia, Laura) but everyone enjoyed
their extending sled rides into Riverside. My first
tandem (Warren) took us right to the edge but with
a little extra push we were flying. After the second
session of launches, Alex and I took a few attempts
to launch, and with a quick run/save to the South,
we were flying – later Alex said it was the
best experience of his life - also my 500th tandem
flight! Special thanks to JC for his extra help today!
Honourable menions to Little Dan for his first big
XC from Elk to Bridal LZ.
Mission Hill then
East wind at Exit92 meant time to play at the Mission
hill. Wally, Andrew, Peter, Claudia, Jeremy, JC, Warren,
Elena, Patrick, and Paddy were all doing well, until
around noon when things calmed down. Time for high flights!
A few pilots were already high and getting higher when
we arrived. The “P-Team” (Peter, Patrick
and Paddy) were quick off the mark and were rewarded
with nice lift to about 2500’ above launch, while
Andrew and Jeremy slowly slipped into Riverside. Laura
finally launched and went high, followed by myself (with
Arne), but we were a little too late and sank out slowing.
Poor Wally (standing on take off all by himself) was
still waiting for his flight, so I rushed up with a
Vitamin and together we few off into the sunset; however
no so romantic this time. When we turned the corner
into Harvest, the East wind was quite strong and Wally
was almost park. Hands up and point your toes were ordered
and together we moved slowing towards the Dykes. I deemed
the conditions to be too much for Wally at the Dykes
so we jumped the trees to the next field. I had Wally
on ears and everything was looking fine until he decided
to release the ears and aim for the middle of the field
–a bad plan because this LZ is surrounded by trees
and hydro lines. My orders to turn (before hitting the
lines) were not followed exactly until I used some enthusiasm
(remember my three second rule)? Finally a nice soft
landing at the 2/3 mark. Time for beers at Earls.
season has started: we had a full house with two new
students: Alex K and Warren (Solo V) and not so old
students Stephen Smith, Elena and Andrea, JC, Jeremy
W, and lastly Wally. I could not have done it without
the generous help from Samuel and Owen (the water Jedi’s).
Afterwards Jeremy and I had a romantic dinner at the
local pub – while I marked his novice exam. Just
a few more maneuvers, a few spot landings, and a wild
Titanic ride is all that’s left for Jeremy (to
get signed off).
Mission Hill and later
An exciting day of flying with almost everyone getting
We started (right on time) at the Mission Hill with
JC, Jeremy W, Andrew and Wally, then once Stein arrived
we headed over to Woodside. Still lee conditions on
launch, but pilots were still launching and climbing
high. I convinced Andrew to launch early and he was
rewarded with an epic flight (almost 4000’ up)
followed by Jeremy with his extra long reverse launch
(scary). Eventually it was too strong for Wally and
so time to check out the 12 year old Edel. (solo).
On our second flights Laura joined us, followed by
everyone and finally Wally (solo flight #2). This
time it was Jeremy W who scored the epic flight while
I flew with Wally for about 40 minutes. Laura had
an interesting long landing, maybe she will post her
story? It took a lot longer to get home this time:
I had to drop off a few desperate (and still buzzing)
pilots back to the Mission Hill, - next time we should
take at least one car to Woodside. Another fun day
at the office!
from Peak Emergency Response Training conducted another
amazing first aid course with the following students:
Wally, Tonia, Fedja, Ian and myself. Last minute cancellations
from Rob P, Gabriel and Wil.
conditions for new and old Deimosians: Jeremy C, Laura,
Karin and Alex W. Jeremy finished on a good note - kiting
his DHV2 wing for a full minute on a reverse launch.
Blanchard / Whidbey
dreamy trip to Blanchard and Whidbey, this time with
the skilled crew of Tonya, Wil, Patrick, Andrew and
While Patrick raced off to Whidbey, Tonia, Andrew and
Wil enjoyed the smooth air of Blanchard (extended sled
Always nice to see pilots in the air on the drive into
Whidbey. I was surprised to see Andrew sitting in his
car for more than 30 seconds after we arrived (nervous
jitters maybe, or finishing his food), but later I saw
him running to the restroom – so his priorities
were back in line – fly, fly, fly! It took about
an hour for the boys to finally sort out the conditions
and get in the air, but by this time the ridge was full
with a dozen plus pilots. I had a hard time flying tandem
with Jeremy (being about 5 kph faster than the rest
of the pilots and always needing the ridge ban for lift).
Patrick finally complained that he had enough (five
hours of soaring is his max I guess) and headed home.
We followed a few hours later, but not before I got
to play with Tonya’s Discovery. The 60+ minute
boarder wait was worth it this time!
Woodside and Bridal
met Al and friends on the way down from Woodside (too
windy they said) so we decide to hike up Bridal just
to take a looks see. Jeremy had a great launch followed
lastly by Wall-E and I. Super smooth air despite the
blown out conditions at Woodside. The LZ is a mess these
days, probably better to land in the driving range next
were excited about flying Blanchard, but the 1 hour
US boarder wait was too much, plus Woodside was reporting
Peter, Little Dan and I were able to safely drive to
the 3.5 km point then after being passed by an empty
truck (from an unnamed pilot) and a 20 minute hike,
we were on launch – a little exercise was appreciated
actually. Peter was first off to join the gaggle, followed
by myself, but only after Dan graciously let me play
through. Peter’s Style was king of the sky, for
about two hours, before he was ordered to land. I got
the only collapse of the day on my old Sigma4 while
buzing the take off, and Dan sunk out on his new Delight.
A nice stress free day mixed with gas station and McDonalds
food – a classic Deimos flying day!
guess Sumas may have been a better choice, but I wanted
to visit my favorite site - Bridal falls. My long time
friend Rolph was visiting and hopeful for a tandem flight,
also joined by the beatiful Rebeca , Jeremy and Wally.
Some exciting momments when my truck started sliding
backwards at the 1/4 mark, but nothing a set of chains
could not fix! As usual, I recruted my boys for some
peat moss work, then after about an hour we all decided
it was beer time! Earls this time!
private lesson for Wally. Even with lots of hard packed
snow, and cross wind, he managed a few nice flights.
However, his last flight was a little more eventful
requiring a trip to Brain's place and back. - I left
my tree kit at home in favor of driving the Mazda 3
- so much for saving gas!
and I post holed our way up to launch in about 45 minutes.
Once there I was ready to start hiking back down, but
Dave though otherwise. The cycles were far from consistent
(classic rotor actually) but on a nice cycle Dave kited
his wing for a second or two then stepped off –
looked easy so I decided to fly too. Conditions seemed
to be switching from some East wind to lots of North
West maybe 15kph max. For the first few seconds I went
up, but then the next two minutes were all about getting
the hell away from the hill without hitting any trees.
Even with the 4:1 glide I still managed to clear the
hill and finally big ear into the LZ. I’ll add
this one to my “not so fun” collection.
of exciting kiting moments at the Dyke (expecially for
Jeremy) before we decided to fly off Sumas; however
once at the gate it was determined that is was still
to windy, so we checked out a new hill near the mushroom
farm (but too cross), so back the the Sumas LZ. Wally,
Jeremy, Patrick and Paddy all kited in perfect conditions.
Hopefully we'll get to fly longer than 10 seconds tomorrow!
The only Deimosians to fly were from the Elk Adventure
team (Laura, Wil and Little Dan) - more details to come?
was there with bells on (1/2 hour early too)! Tough
conditions, but he finally managed at least six in a
row from the south slope - a fun session not too muddy.
futile attempt for an early start resulted in the normal
45 minute delay - (road conditions, accidents and other
fine excuses used as usual).
The sun was already on Woodside but for adventure
and a sure flight, Bridal was decided as the best
call. To my surprise Wally showed up just as we were
gearing up, and luckily I had a spare wing for him.
Almost no progress driving up, so this meant that
Aaron, Little Dan, his friend Steve, Patrick and I
had to hike up from the very bottom. The last ¼
was a little harder going, in knee deep snow, but
no problem really. Once on launch we worked hard to
clear most of the snow away for a clear take off –
this was paramount; otherwise our air speed would
never reach +22 kph. Aaron aced his first attempt
and had a nice easy flight. Next Wally made a couple
of attempts but his commitment was not quite there
(feeling a little sick). Steve and I had a slow first
attempt, but our second attempt was fine (a little
long by my standards actually). Later I discovered
that Steve really did not want to walk down, so that
motivated him to run faster. Patrick went next without
any problems. Little Dan discovered two broken lines
and wisely decided to join Wally in the hike back
Once at the Wild Cat we discovered that Wally’s
snow shoes never made it back to my truck and were
probable stolen – a bad way to end a great day.
Update: as it turns out Aaron was “confused”
about which snow shoes were his and when he landed
and saw Wally shoes already in my truck, accidentally
left his shoes in the LZ – looks like you don’t
need to be older the 45 to be senile (or maybe just
living the soft life of LA LA Land makes you senile,
or maybe it was the jet lag!), in any case we can
go back to thinking that all people are good.
" The wind gods
decide where we can fly, we just have to listen to them
Deimos Paragliding Inc.
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