Deimos Paragliding Log Book

Date Site Name Weather
Nov 12 Woodside awesome

Amazing conditions – probably the smoothest air ever at Woodside. Jeremy and I probably got a little too close at times, but kept our distance when the clouds formed around us - super fun conditions (max 1.5 m/s) with lots of cloud action. Addison, was delayed and missed everything. Note: dark at 4:30pm these days.

Oct 27 Elk Cross

Our late start (1pm) made in difficult to launch. Kevin was ½ hour ahead of us with his 15lbs set-up, while the rest of us StevenD, Ivan and Andrei were slower as expected. The cross wind (NE) was too much on the regular launch, but manageable for just me. Ivan and Tom Chromy waiting for a lull, but it never came. Always fun to hike Elk, however I was pretty glad to not hike down – I had some weird rash starting near my unmentionables.

Oct 20 Deifenbaker West wind

Another private training session for Peter – the best way to advance your skills very quickly (if you can handle all my criticisms). We focused mostly on mastering the pre-inflation and the reverse launch.

Oct 17 Woodside Smooth

Apparently I was the only one interested in hiking today, so instead we flew Woodside all day. Conditions were a lot lighter than yesterday, but still quite fun. Both Tim and Gerry did well on their launches; however Gerry had the most interesting flight of the day when he hit probably -6m/s sink immediately left of launch (but still made the Harvest Dykes with lots of heights). Peter fired up the lazy advance pilots when he finally climbed about 500’ over the South Nob. John Clark, after flying Bridal, showed up for a Woodside sled ride. Finally flights were a little too difficult for Gerry and Tim, but Claudia managed (her fourth flight) without too much problem. Special thank to Peter for his LZ help today.

Oct 16 Woodside very nice

Kevin showed up more than half hour late, but it did not matter, the launch conditions were not quite right yet at Woodside.  Kevin went first (solo) followed by Peter and then Tim (on tandem). Peter’s launches continue to improve, but his flare still needed some work. I left Tim in the LZ to work on his launches, while Kevin and I few Jenifer and Vanessa (Kevin managed about 1000’ over in dreamy air). Round three. Although Tim was a little shaky on our tandem flight, I could not resist launching him in such perfect student conditions. I t took a few tries, but he finally had a good launch. Rob S. stole my wing so I had use Kevin’s Mantra3 to chase Tim down in the air. Kevin was supposed to spiral into the LZ, but he was not too comfortable on his new loaner (Rob’s wing) and elected to do wing overs instead. Always fun to be in the LZ on a student’s first solo flight. Both Dom and Peter did fine on their take offs and landings. The Wildcat hit the spot, especial for Dom – he had no food since breakfast.
Meanwhile Andrei, and crew had another adventure flight off Cheam.

Oct 15 Blackie Spit nice Another great night of kiting at Blackie Spit – this time Tim got a two to three hour private lesson.
Oct 13 Sumas Okay - East

Only Wally was able to play today. Plan A was to hike and Fly Elk, but Wally was a full hour late leaving Plan B - Sumas (hike and fly). This site needs some TLC: we needed about an hour to pull the weeds on the East launch, the bare minimum for a safe launch attempt. After a few practice inflations, Wally aced his launch on his new U-Turn Emotion (very exciting to watch). After three aborts and no extra time, I decided to drive down. Time for a Sumas work party (before the snow comes).

Oct 6 Bridal Smooth

A late start with a couple of nice sled rides for Peter H, and Gerry (super smooth air). Peter continues to surprise me with new ways to add grey hairs to my collection, while Gerry inches closer to his rating (he just needs a few more nice take offs, landings and baby spiral). Doug showed up at 4pm for final flights, but his gear did not make it to launch (I was upset about Amine teaching his friend, Sam, with just two solo flights) and did not remember to add Doug’s gear to my truck. In the end, both Andrei and I decided to help Amine – the wrong thing to do in my opinion.

We have to protect our sport and our sites:  encouraging new students to fly without their instructor can’t be good or safe. Perhaps some students just don’t see the value of an instructor yet, or maybe they picked a crappy instructor to start with; in any case Bridal and Woodside have land use agreements in place that are in jeopardy when this happens. Without a rated instructor present, the student will not have any insurance. I’ve been asked by HPAC to police the launch for this type of problem, something I am not comfortable doing, but doing nothing is also wrong. So here I go: It takes experience to teach a new pilot, there is a huge list of “what if this were to happen” –like a cravat, spun his wing, had a huge frontal on launch…? I’m disappointed that Amine (and there have been others I’m sure over the years) that did not follow my teachings and philosophy of our sport.  I understand the need to help your best friend fly, but in the end you could be helping him get hurt, killed or worst!

I think all we can do when this happens is:
A: Tell the “unrated instructor” and pilot that this is against the club’s rules.
B: don’t offer to drive any non insured pilots, or non WCSC members.
C: don’t offer to land any non insured pilots.

More ranting...

I've seen some sloppy practices happening lately (from other "real" instructors) - probably breaking HPAC safety standards.

Instructor Tips:
Tell your student(s) that they are not allowed to fly without a rated instructor present (until they have met the HPAC novice rating criteria).
check that all student harness have a working reserve system (HPAC Requirement).
check that all harnesses have a working speed system.

Now I can sleep in peace! (take it of leave it - your call).

Oct 2 Woodside then Bridal light

Clouds and crappy air sent us off to Woodside (mostly in the sun). Clif went first and had his best launch of the day, while me and my tandem played tag with the clouds – at one point I pulled out my compass but never needed it. I thought that it was a little too rough, so headed over to Bridal. Peter H, Tim and Doug stayed down below and kited while Brad and I did a few tandems. I could not resist the great student conditions and gave Doug and Peter just two chances to fly. Doug aced his flight (his first reverse launch), while Peter got in the air on his second attempt (it was not pretty) but flew well to redeem himself.

Jeremy W probably had the longest flight (about two hours), but the Deimos Adventure team (Laura, Zenon, Andrei, Wil and others had the coolest flight off Mt Cheam (7000’). My tandem passengers were such fun to hang with we finished the day with dinner, more paragliding talk and final some magic tricks.

Oct 1 Burnaby Mt crappy

Crappy conditions at Burnaby Mt so no flights from the top, but lots of mini lift off flights. Mohammad showed up late and had to leave early so did not progress much, however those that arrived earlier, Wade, Clif, Gerry, Addison and Tim did very well.

Sept 29 Diefenbaker then Bridal Nice

We started at Diefenbaker, but the West wind meant that we should relocate to Winskill park. My plan was to spend an hour there then off to Bridal for a couple of flights, but Addison got lost and showed up an hour late (this meant an extra hour late to Bridal later, and no second flights). Gerry worked hard on his three minute test but two minutes was his best time. Addison had some good long kiting moments, so I made the bet that after four training sessions, and two tandem flights it was time (first solo flight). We headed out to the Valley, but this time Gerry got lost! Eventually we were on launch. Andrei was “Styling” out just below launch (on his second hour) but his radio was not working so he was no help (Plan A).
Gerry did great, as usual, on his welcome back flight, so it was now Addison’s turn. His first abort practice went okay, but I guess he still was not ready – at the last two meters he tried to stop but the Vitamin saved him (small frontal and slight turn into the wind).  Once in the air, it was super smooth and easy flying conditions.

Note to all:
the more training hill time you can get the better – flat ground kiting does not come close to getting the bugs worked out of your launch. Just because you flew sometime this year does not mean that you are in tune with your gear – an hour of practice (within 48 hours of your high flight) could save six months later.

Sept 26 Blackie Spit great

As usual, great conditions at Blackie Spit tonight. My newest student Tim did great, (three hour private lesson) and needs just one more day at Diefenbaker for his first solo flights, maybe this weekend (if the weather permits).

Sept 25 Bridal cross

With strong South wind coming, I placed my bets on Bridal and it worked. Gab, Brad and I managed all the tandems, although not to the same standard as the flights from a few weeks ago. Peter got to try a few more aborts on launch while we waiting for conditions to improve. Finally it was time for Peter’s first solo, some tense moments just before lift-off, but no problems after that. My newest student Mohammad, backed out after our pre-launch run (too scary he said) which put Addison back on for another tandem. Good progress from Addison and Doug (solo inflations), but the conditions were not student friendly, even Elena elected to drive down with just one more good landing to get her rating. Clay had a 9 out of 10 landing, for his welcome back flight – not so good. If you are too high on final, head to the golf course.

Sept 22 Bridal Light

Light student conditions at Bridal, but Brad and I did our best to keep everyone happy. Doug, Addison and Peter were showing some skill, but the zero wind launches, on flat ground were not very impressive (in my humble opinion).
In the end Peter and Addison had their first tandem flights – but no solo flights, expect for Andrei. I hope Friday will yield some good training conditions for this Saturday’s high flights. New students should sign up for Friday.

Sept 17 Garry Pt Perfect

Perfect training conditions at Garry Pt, with Gany, Elena and Andrew (Robie canceled last minute). Garry Pt is one of the easiest places’ to learn the art of the reverse launch – too bad there wasn’t a hill there (you could probably fly).

Sept 15 Bridal calm

I was reluctant to head out today (with rain coming in the afternoon)– but I had a visiting pilot on a mission to fly every continent, so I did my best to keep him happy. Elena T tagged along too. Easy launch conditions for the first flights but then stronger East wind in the LZ so time for lunch. Around 2pm it was calm again - perfect for Elena’s first “Speeral “ as they say in Germany. My secondary mission was to fix the water tank and web camera – the tank should be collecting water again, but unfortunately I had to take the camera back with me.  As usual back home at 9:30pm.

Sept 11 Woodside then Bridal Smooth

A great day for smooth tandem and student flights. We started at Woodside, with Brad and I doing a couple of nice tandems (Brad (and Peter) get my low save of the day award). Andrew was pretty excited to test out his new wing (U-Turn Airwolf), and for most of his flight he was above most of the pilots (a good start - he will be hard to catch after a few more flights). Later we moved to Bridal for a few more sled rides and acro flights. Elena had another attempt at her rating but missed her spot landing by just a few meters. James did well on his second solo, and Robie and I had a very fast take off for his introduction to the world of paragliding. Addison was our sacrifical driver - thanks.


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Sept 10 Blanchard Easy

After many trips to Blanchard, I finally deemed it worthy of a sled ride.
Andrew only managed big ears on his new Airwolf, due to scratching a bit too low; and I had a similar story. We got back just in time to start training Addison and Robie, but they changed their minds last minute. Hopefully Louise got a nice long flight due to our sacrifice.

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Sept 4 Bridal Windy

Andrew's flight was not convincing enough to fly the other students, so we spent many hours playing with the SW wind (in the LZ). One more trip up at 5pm showed the same conditions – so time to head home. Great progress from every one: Dom, Elena T, Gany, Robie and Wade.

Aug 30 Blackie Spit Perfect

Only Doug showed up tonight - so a private lesson. In just a couple of hours Doug managed his first Deimos style reverse launch.

Well done.

Aug 29 Woodside

Moderate to windy conditions

Better conditions to start with, but soon it became too strong for most. Gab and I headed up with one last set of tandems . Another great launch from Gab (with me as ballast), but on my turn Dom let go of us at the worst time sending us almost into the trees, but at the last second I was able to save the wing and cleared launch with a few quick wing overs – 9.98 on my crash scale. We were quickly back up at 6000’ and struggling to get down.  My passenger barely keep it together, as a result, sat down after landing, taking us for a second flight at ground level adding a few extra grass stains. I probably should have did a D-Riser flare in hind sight.

Thanks to Brad M, Brad H, Gab, Al for your help - lots of happy customers!

Aug 28 Woodside Magical

Some of the best flying conditions ever at Woodside – some pilots flew above the clouds at 6000+ feet.
We were busy with 16 tandems and were mainly on schedule all day – one my passengers showed me her breakfast just before landing – always a fun moment – but still she said it was the best experience of her life. Thanks to Jim and Gab for the assistance when needed.

Aug 27 Diefenbaker Nice

Great train conditions today – with lots of great training flights for Doug, Addison , Dom, and James.

Aug 25 Bridal Dreamy

Another great day of flying at Bridal. I was first up and in no time was over upper launch, however the slow pokes, Gerry, Wally, Laura and Wil had to work much harder. Wil’s radio was set to the wrong frequency and we could not find his keys, so I needed to do one more extra trip – in the mean time Gerry and I share a pretty big Titanic ride. Laura’s / Rob’s attempt to fix her broken line cause some problems with Laura’s wing – it collapsed while in the spiral (10%). Full report to follow.   

Aug 24 Woodside then Bridal A little mixed up

Jeremy W and Wade join me on my last minute idea to fly. I needed to show Rhys and his cousin Woodside before our big event this weekend. Dana was very reluctant to fly, and the result was my worst launch of the year (barely cleared the low bushes), but later at Bridal conditions were much nicer.

Aug 23 Bridal Dreamy

A dreamy afternoon of flying with Peter, Claudia, Andrei and Clif. Peter tried very hard to convince Claudia to join us on our XC flight, but she had her own agenda. Clif finally escaped launch but not for quite so time, but had a nice 2.5 hour flight. Andrei was also on his own agenda – maybe to Gloria and back? Peter and I discovered that some my turn points (Arch) particularly was hard to tag – we both stop short many times at just 20’ feet away. Eventually Peter and I ran the course to the “Ludwig Gap” and back, just in time to top land. Claudia out did herself and managed her first top landing (after a few fly by’s), but lost most of her “bonus points” with me when she had a poor launch (with selective hearing). Still it was one of my favorite flying days this year!

PS> Andrew flew St Benny to Sea Bird Island - probably his longest FV flight ever!

Aug 21 Bridal Mixed A surprising nice day of flying with lots of tandems and students flights. JC aced his spot landing and needed one more (uneventful) launch and spot landing for his novice rating, unfortunately the wind was a little too cross for his final flight and his rating abated him (again). Clif got his biggest collapse to date (60%), while others (Karin, Laura, Wade, Andrew, Gab, Ryan and Dom) had enjoyable flights.
Aug 20 Burnaby Mt East then SW

Another fun night at BM. I set the bar pretty high with both the best glide and best kite record on my second flight, but Peter, with a questionable landing (including hands and one elbow) bettered me by a couple of meters. Patrick and Andrei were also very close. In the end I decided to give Peter the best glide prize, Patrick the best kite and Wil and myself the team award. Many thanks to Wil for his very nice donation, and all the others supporters. We now have an extra $50 for future projects.

Aug 18 Bridal super

Great conditions for Gerry, Wade, Fedja, Paddy, Dominic and Andrew. Gerry and Paddy would still be there if I did not make them do their maneuvers. Adam, James, and Peter canceled last minute and missed some great flying.
Landing of the day goes to Paddy – he gave himself limited space to practice for his next Grouse Mt.  landings, but discovered it’s can be quite difficult.

Aug 16 Burnaby Mt Cross

Lots of pilots came out to play: Amy, the Lee bros, James, Doug, Andrew, Amine (and son)…but conditions were a little to lee side for top to bottom flights.

Aug 15 Bridal Very nice indeed!

Some of the usual: Dom showing up late, one tandem not showing up at all, but a great day of flying. All three of my tandems were really fun, with the last, Laura being the longest. We got to watch Andrew’s  and Elena’s acro show up close with smooth lift everywhere. Andrew and Wally stayed up for hours, as usual, and Wade struggle along with Elena and many others to land anywhere close to the LZ cone. Dom redeemed himself with a great launch and nice flight (Solo #3).

Aug 14 Mission Hill, Woodside and Bridal East

A tough day for me: first new student James arrived quite late, then my driver Dom (and Elena T) could not find Woodside launch, then new student James and passengers followed the wrong vehicle on our way to Bridal and ended up heading to Chilliwack. The bad weather (East wind) and all these extra delays added up to four missed tandems – and some unhappy customers. On the lighter side: John Clarke passed our Novice course, and James did his first solo flight (along with Maranda’s first tandem with me). Wade, Andrew, and Clif all did their best to help out where ever possible – many thanks!

Aug 13 Whidbey North

An extra long boarder crossing when Gerry had only driver’s license and birth certificate, but after two hours we were in. Almost flying conditions for the whole time we were there, but it was a little too much North. Lots of improvement from Wade, Gerry, Clif; and John managed to pass his three minute kiting test (Gerry was 20 seconds short).

Aug 11 Diefenbaker Great

Lots of great progress from my newest students: Donho, Paul, Peter, Gerry, Wade, Adam with near perfect conditions. Andrew was also impressive with his first tandem “flights” – I counted a 4/6 success rate.

Aug 6 Bridal Windy

While Clif and John floated around for about an hour I was testing my new Magus brake toggle (between top landings). Later, Andrei and Lawrence showed up for their lee side air flights. John aced his spot landing leaving just the three minute kiting test for his novice rating. Clif offered to drive down - saving us another drive up.

Aug 2 Bridal Awesome

A dreamy day with many pilots flying all over the range, for many hours. Both Elena and JC were set up to complete their novice rating today, they came close but no cigar – next time maybe.

Aug 1 Bridal Fogy

A fun day of flying for my newest Solo V students DongHo and Paul: we started with a few hours for ground school (launch practice) then headed up for tandems. Shane and Elena were working hard to stay up (almost an hour), while Andrei offered to drive down to save the extra drive up. Second flights were much the same with JC hitting the spot and Elena just in the green part of the LZ – Andrei was the only pilot to do any acro today. Another fun day of flying for all!

July 31 Bridal Smooth

Great student conditions today. Adam arrived one hour late but still had a nice flight. I had Wade and Alex B doing lots of maneuvers. The Cheam XC team (Laura, Paddy, Andrei, and Elena K) arrived and added a sled ride to their log books. Surprisingly, a few pilots missed the Bridal LZ – even with almost 100 flights (or more)? Like Partick L said, don’t even think about flying Grouse (or other small LZ sites) until you can land every time (properly and safely) at Bridal.

Tip of the day:

Be very careful doing your own SIV maneuvers (like B-stall, Spirals or various collapses)- best to have an expert in the "what can go wrong department" present to guide you through your last few seconds on this earth!

Too many accidents these days - time to be extra safe!

July 28 The Chief windy

A rematch on the Chief was decided. I gave our chances of only 10% while Gabby was more optimistic at 65%. Slow hiking in the heat, but we made good time.

While I was setting up for an East launch, Gabby got a South wind and was gone.
Sensing that it was almost over, I launched next followed by Andrei and lastly Paddy.
Brian’s “goofy” approach was out done by Andrei with his series of 360’s and setting up over hydro lines (even my guidance over the radio was ignored) so he landed about 50’ short of the fence and other hazards.

Tip of the day:
No 360’s under 500’, (once again) no speed bar under 500’, avoid power lines on your approach, and try to keep 7:1 distance from any buildings/trees to avoid the rotor. You should have a “what if I get a collapse now” attitude (or simply follow the advice of your instructor!).

July 26 Bridal Very Nice

When Adam did not show up on time, I decided to fly just with my intermediate student Cliff – time for a XC flight. We had just enough height to head over to the first ridge (east), with a plan to eventually fly to and return from Laura’s ridge. We did well for most of the flight but after about 20 minutes Cliff started to sink out and landed with big ears (minus the flare – report to follow?). We all headed up for more adventuring: this time with Adam (1.5 hour tandem flight) and spot landing, while Clif tried to complete his own race course. Last year’s driver Hans showed up and offered to drive, so I thought perfect, maybe Dom can fly now too. Cliff was wind technician but could not keep Dom in the air long enough for me to guide him, so back to plan A. The katabatic air surprised Dom and he landed well short of the LZ (long report to follow), while Adam did a perfect job on his landing.
Thanks Cliff and Hans for your help.

July 24 Bridal Very nice

Our day started at Woodside: only Jeremy W was able to get above launch, and the rest (John, and Clif got extended sled rides). Lots more pilots at Bridal with better conditions. Lots of ridge rule problems (John and Zenon), including some foul language from Wade. Zenon got me pretty vocal when he would not give way twice. Clarke failed to control his wing and got a big collapse at the edge and had a difficult time aborting, while Gany added another gray hair to Peter’s head with his heavy brakes right after take off. More fun in the LZ with Dom doing a low 360 and Gany flaring at eight feet. Even my super student Clif landed short. Jeremy W saved the day with his late top landing, but not until he finished is mini race course. Zenon top landed a few times - just because. New student Wade stayed an extra two hours to help drive - thank you!

Tip of the day: Top landing is a pretty risky adventure and should only be risked if an extra driver is needed (or you really need to land quickly). Better to do fly byes at 30 feet.

July 23 Diefenbaker West wind

We all had a fun time with the light conditions, even with two acts of God, Jeremy beat me in my best glide comp. Gany, Dom, Wade also did very well.

July 21 Makenzie Variable

Some quick smooth flights to start with, then a dreamy flight from the new upper launch (with Adam).
Adam was in the right place at the right time and managed his first solo flight with Master Bradley adding his fine touches for another safe student landing. JC, Paddy and myself headed up for one more “Magic” flight; Paddy and JC got pretty high but I got rotored pretty bad in the strong SW wind. Other Pembie pilots got super high but also could not even cross the river and each of them forced a top landing.

July 20 Makenzie Strong

Some extended slid rides from Paddy, JC and myself; then the East wind arrived.

July 19 Bridal Nice

Some kiting with JC, Adam, Amy and Glen – then we headed up for a tandem flight. It took a few tries but finally Amy was able to run properly and we flew for over half an hour. My second flight with Glen was easier but must shorter – no time left for Adam’s tandem.

Jul 18 Whidbey Cross

I’m seemed like a good idea to head south with the windy conditions. Paddy, JC, Cliff, Kim and I headed down. Almost soarable on the south slope, but my only attempt put me on the beach in two minutes. Lots for fun kiting but never quite soarable.

Jul 17 Woodside then Bridal Gusty

For a change we started at Woodside with Gerry and my tandem passenger Anthony. Nice flight, but it was Gerry that had his first eagle experience (maybe he’ll post a flight report). Next flights were at Bridal. Not as rough as yesterday but still relatively active. This time Gerry wisely helped with the driving. We grabbed a quick meal at the Wild Cat then headed up for some very nice soaring flights. Gerry’s launch was very much like Matt’s (from Saturday), small collapse and some over steering but no tree action. I got to fly for only ten minutes then top landed before it became too light. A fun day.
Gany trained hard for about three hours then had to head back home (so no flights for him today). Cliff flew too!

Tip of the day for new students:
For your first ten flights, it’s best to train with us on Friday then show up late on Saturday (4pm) – the smoothest conditions at Bridal are typically 2-3 hours before sunset.

July 16 Bridal Strong

A little too windy today – but great for kiting tests (but no one passed despite trying for two hours). Both John and Cliff (AKA Phil) came within a minute or so of their respective task (3 and 5 minutes).
Martin landed after an hour (“no fun factor”). A couple hours later I flew and landed after 30 minutes with the same story. A few hours later we tried again with Guy and Matt. Matt narrowly escape the trees with his 40% asymmetrical (not enough brakes after he turned), but Guy was not as lucky and needed about an 90 minutes to escape the “bushes” just right of launch. Thanks for the free dinner Guy!
There was still time for a 20 minute sled ride – but I had enough and elected to drive down.

July 15 Blackie Light Light conditions at Blackie today for Dom's private lesson. Peter dropped by to complete the Advance exam, and later Wade to transfer his reserve to a new harness.
July 14 Bridal Windy

The air was (again) like being on the open sea, +4 up and – 4 down every 30 seconds. Lots of small collapses for me, and a stiff neck made it an easy decision to go land. Cliff followed in a little later but missed up his landing due to his low wing over; but “almost Novice rated” John was almost on the spot. We went back up for a second flight, but this time hunger made us head home early.

July 10 Bridal great

Cliff and I buzzed the launch for about an hour waiting for my tandem to arrive. Cliff stayed up while I landed to greet my passenger Joanne. We were just heading up when Alex showed up then again and Elena T showed up. Please be on time otherwise we all lose out. Very buoyant (but sometimes rocky conditions). John and JC join in on the second flights, with JC getting the launch of the day award. I wanted to do one more tandem flight with Alex, but was it was getting late and I was not feeling up to a high G flight so I flew solo instead (thanks to Cliff he drove down after his 4+ hour flight).

July 9 Bridal Nice

A fun day of flying with just Gerry and Cliff. High light was watching Gerry do his first frontal and spot landing.

July 7 Bridal Cross, then nice

I kept moving the start time out until I was forced to make a decision – so we went for the 2:30 start. Lots of east wind, but we all flew. Clif made the ultimate sacrifice allowing Gerry, Shane and I about one hour of nice soaring conditions. Some exciting moments when Shane showed me his new ultra low top landing approach. A visiting pilot blew his first  launch attempt and had a 60% collapse on his Gin Bandit (the wrong wing for a pilot with less than 30 flights – It’s DHV 2!) and landed hard just over the edge. His second attempt was better but struggled with the LZ this time and landed in the tall grass. Sure teaching your self is cheaper at the start but it may cost you a lot more later.

July 5 Blackie Spit Light

Some mixed up conditions at Blackie, not to mention a late start, but great progress for my new students: Amy, Glen, Dom and Adam. Amy and Glen should be taking their first high flights this weekend.

July 4 Bridal Light

Similar conditions as on Saturday, so we stayed at Bridal. Launching tandem was difficult from the lower launch so I elected to use the high launch and had an easy launch. Our second flights were stopped to help Wally out of a near by tree. My tree kit was at the bottom so I used the outhouse kit to belay Wally safely down – he was close enough to us that we could see his set up before he took off his safety tether. Wally's bad day was not over yet, his truck was also damaged and was completely out of brake fluid. We got a lift back down with Derek, and then headed back up for repairs and more risky business. My fuel reserves were running low and to avoid a third disaster, I pulled off the highway at the Sumas LZ to take a nap, but to my surprise was woken up by Ryan (he got too 6000’ in Lumby).

July 3 Woodside and Bridal Windy and light

Windy conditions at Woodside for my tandems, after some legal discussion from my stand in ”future lawyer” driver, we were airborne - a really fun flight with Chris lasting for more than 30 minutes. Driver Will had some elaborate story and failed to show up in time for the first flights. The Jeremy’s did well on their launches and managed to avoid the other new pilots than did not know ridge rules.

Most of us headed over to Bridal for second flights. JC had his first chance to get signed off, but missed the crop circle by just a few meters. A few more tandems, and solo flights then it was Will’s chance to fly. He did fine, for such light conditions (Vitamin rocks), but forgot to flare or use his landing gear (probably due to ground rush) and landed pretty hard. We finished with a fine dinner and lots of dancing – also a few performances from my daughter(s) and later myself on piano!

July 2 Bridal light then blown out

A noon start with just Will, Clif and JC. I went first and was having fun soaring the clouds, but when the others finally launched the lift was gone. Clif did his newest tricks and then we went up for another.  Not willing to take another slid ride, we waited for the sun to arrive. In that time I quizzed JC and Will, then we watch Cliff try to rescue himself from a tree (he would have fallen to the bottom of the rope or lost his leg or both if he was really in a tree). Eventually the South wind arrived, quite strong, so we drove down.

Tip of the day:

Unless you practice your tree rescues monthly, best to simply secure yourself, lower your dental floss and wait for the rescue team.

June 30 Bridal Awesome

Such great conditions, too bad everyone had to start so late. P&C were on a huge XC to Elk, Lugwig, Elk – while the rest of us (JC, Paddy, Gerry, Andrei) boated around launch. I got to fly a new wing on every flight (U2, Obsession, Magus XC, Sport 4, and Addict 2) : Obsession was still my favorite; Sport 4 was pretty good all around; Addict had a terrible launch, marginal performance, but pretty good speed bar system.

June 29 Bridal Very Windy

Aaron’s number one student, Laura  waited an extra day for dreamy flying conditions, but ended u p with an extended sled ride. New driver Dom, Jeremy W and I (on tandem) managed one of our quickest flights ever (3-5 minutes). Jeremy got above launch then was flushed. Later we went to Bill Best field for some kiting, fun stuff but way too windy for high flights. After some dinner, we headed up to Bridal for another quick flight (better air this time).

June 26 Bridal Awesome

An adventure day with JC was planning, but I was not sure if he could handle it.
Wally, Will, Laura, Adam (tandem) and I arrived to light conditions. Wally went first and disappeared for a long, long time (but did not land). I launched with Adam and together we browsed all my favorite thermal trigger points for about half an hour. JC was waiting in the LZ so we headed down.
Pilots were all 1000-2000’ over launch now. I caught up to Will and Wally which gave JC about thirty minutes to warm up. Next JC and I did some Yo Yo Acro: I would demonstrate, JC would copy, and we would climb back up and repeat. In a span of thirty minutes JC was transformed into an ACRO junky. It sucked to drive down with more flying still left, but I was way too hungry.

June 23 Upper Bridal  

Another adventure day with Tom. Except for Will, I think most pilots were ready for a little hike (in the snow at times) to Upper Bridal. Even with pilots in the air Jeremy W was a little slow to launch – conditions were a little mixed up. The reverse skills (from everyone) were not quite ready for the remaining pilots, Gerry, Marshall, Laura but after a few aborts only Will was left. Figures it started picking up, but Will managed to have a clean launch. I, on the other hand had my worst launch in years: just as I was inflating a big gust hit me a knock one break out of my hand and tipped the wing hard to my right, so I grabbed the D-risers and launched backwards and grabbed the brakes later (Whidbey style). I was keen to catch up to my boys: I could hear Andrew and Peter offering lots of safety pointers, especially to Gerry and others flying near rotors (back side of the ridge). Maybe we should have a review of where not to fly at Bridal – I ‘ll post an image soon on my forum. Elena had a chance to finish her novice maneuvers but declined (air was too un-stable). After about two hours I had enough and ordered everyone to head out and land. Good landings from all. Thanks Lawrence for bouncing your truck up to Upper; and Andrew and Peter for your usual help.

Side note:

Baby acro or even real acro requires a high level of confidence and control; high wind, bumpy air usually mark a time to just do big ears and hang on; but on the other hand, you may easily find your self being sucked up into a cloud on strong day and will need a big spiral to escape, and guess what, it will probably be very rough air. Make the spiral dive your BFF (best friend for life) - your life!

PS> this is probably the last year to drive up to Upper, the WCSC has not supported my ideas to repair the road and will likely be grown over by next year. If you think something should be done about this then write to the WCSC.

June 20 Woodside strong at times

After a few brief moments with my girls this morning, then I was off to meet Alex, Lucy (his cute daughter) and boy friend. Low clouds meant a semi-private kiting lesson, for an hour or so, for Alex and Will yielding good results. The lesson must have paid off; Alex did a great job on both of his flights (but way too much for young Will). We watched a pilot spin into the Ranch, and later saw an ambulance heading that way – I hope all is okay.

June 19 Bridal Windy at times

A slow start, with Will and Jeremy arriving about an hour late. Already gusty conditions in the LZ at 11:30 – not a good sign. Strong conditions limited our launches, but eventually everyone was air born including Andrew “the hiker”. My tandems were super pumped and could not wait to fly. Vishal went first and after about ten minutes we were above launch, a great place to film Jeremy’s acro show. My next tandem, with Jima, took a few tries but eventually we were cruising at 5000’ - a perfect height for a Titanic! Vario said -26m/s! Conditions were getting a little too much, and more students arrived, so we worked on our ground handling. JC may have lasted the required 3 minutes – we will have to check his video.  New student James and I aced our launch and enjoyed the afternoon breeze, with John and JC. My last tandem was canceled due to rain, but Paul plans to return soon.

June 18 Bridal Nice

Landings are mandatory, so today Paddy was my air traffic controller doing a fine job keeps old and new pilots safe. Thanks Paddy!

The light east wind meant that a small level three force field was surrounding the LZ allowing only the “best” pilots to enter.
John Clarke was offered his novice rating if he could pass through the force field, and spot land, but even using random modulated harmonics he could not bring the force field down, and had to joined Will and Gerry in the tall grass.
Congrats, John, on finishing all of the Deimos Novice maneuvers! Two consecutive spot landings and some kiting tests and your signed off!

Novice Maneuvers (for Deimos Novice Rating Course)

* Steering with the D's.
* Weight shift turns.
* Steering with one hand.
* Twist around in harness.
* Big ears.
* Big ears 360 and wing overs
* Big Ears approach to 200 feet
* Big ears approach to 100 feet
* Big Ears approach to 50 feet
* Wing overs.
* Big ears speed bar.
* Small spiral dive (two or three turns, left and right)
* One sided Big Ears and counter steer (left and right)
* Asymmetrical deflation's and recovery (left and right).
* Full Speed bar.
* Full frontal deflation's.
* Deep Spiral dive 5 seconds (left and right)
* Small Spiral to 1000 feet
(* Required for Deimos Novice Rating)

PS> with a lot of effort, the Bridal water tank is back in its place. I need to buy some more parts before we can start collecting the precious rain water for watering the grass.

June 15 Diefenbaker Great

Great conditions (again) at Diefenbaker. New student James and Gerry were doing very well , with lots of short flights. On Gerry’s Vitamin I caught a nice thermal and started climbing, almost high enough for a 360! Jeremy W and “driver” Will R showed up just as I was headed home, so Jeremy ran the show for me.

June 13 Saddle Too Strong

Windy conditions at Cooper’s and the Saddle meant that it was time to head home. Gabby and others had limited success at King Eddie until it got to windy.  Final results will be posted later.

June 12 Coopers Great

Light conditions had Peter and I waiting in the queue (at Coopers) for stronger conditions; however Andrew was keen and launched earlier for a very slow first triangle (1-2 hours). Peter and I quickly caught up to Mr Slow Poke and the three of us teamed up for the next triangle. At one moment, at Saddle, I was almost done, even too low to make the LZ, but managed a low save and was back at 1300m. Peter and Andrew were now in front, but I was catching up quick until I sank out at Joe Gallons with Gabby (and about 10 other pilots). Luckily a +.5 m/s came by just in time and brought me up to 2000m (leaving Gabby to scratch another hour down at 300m). Time to cross to the Saddle. Sadly Peter crossed a little too early and low and was forced to land.
I carried on to Lumby ridge but all us “late” pilots were starting to land. I could see two pilots that just landed in front of me that I could probably glide a mere 500m farther, but was still hopeful for a third save, and attempted to fly towards Mt Vernon (Like Gabby did), but 15 minutes later I had to land too.
It turns out the two pilots in front were in the comp and in the end pushed me back into 10th place. Meanwhile Andrew had successfully crossed the valley towards the Camel Hump and was also coming in to land. Will gathered me up pretty quick, and then we went hunting for Andrew and others. Another fine day of flying.

June 11 King Eddie Light

Except for the last day, a super fun weekend of flying (for most of us).
Light conditions meant no task for Friday, so we headed to King Eddie for some fun glass off flights. Some interesting moments with Patrick guiding Will into the LZ, but Will must of did something right (and wrong) ‘cause in end well.

June 5 Makenzie (lower) Awesome

One for all and all for one.

Great to see everyone on time for such a long drive. A few pilots P&C, Andrei and Ryan showed up as well to add to the adventure. It was strange that none of the locals were flying but we headed up to check the conditions. A little strong and a lot of aborts between launches but slowly the intermediate pilots were out there and climbing easily. Peter, Andrei and Andrew were XC flying on my XC route, but were complaining about the air near waypoint Ridge 4 (more like it was a contest of my frontal is bigger than yours!) and headed back to launch. Once conditions mellowed out some, the remaining pilots flew Clif, JC, John and Elena T. I struggled with my tandem but we finally launch for a 15 minute flight. Jeremy and Will finally showed up, but for a change Jeremy, never got very high. Time to XC:  another round of great launches (very impressive actually), and pilots were at their respective heights – low hours were low, medium hour around 1000m and the most experienced were at 2000+ meters. I managed to catch up to Peter and Andrew and together we went to Ridge 5, but the time was getting late and the air was still mixed meant time to retreat.  It took a few tries, but both Peter and I top landed to help with the driving and launch more students. The icing on the cake was watching Will take his first solo. Probably the best collection of launches I’ve seen ever!

PS> upper Makenzie is closed until the new grass comes in.

June 4 Diefenbaker Perfect

Perfect conditions tonight for James and I – lots of improvement (his second private lesson)– I think one more session and he will be ready to fly solo.

May 30

Woodside and



A slow start, with John and his daughter arriving more than one hour late. Since it’s been quite a while since his last training session we stopped off at the Mission Hill, along with Will and Jeremy W. Crappy conditions but good enough for a few good launches. Next stop Woodside. Peter and Claudia were working on their second hour in the air and were stuck out over the clear cuts just in front of launch. John’s lack of the practiced showed with a small frontal, when he brought the wing up too fast, but the wing fixed itself immediately (place plug for MACPara here Eden4). Jeremy showed us that his wing can still fly (place plug for Aeros Style-I here). I barely managed 20 minutes on tandem landing at Harvest Dykes. Bridal was next with a better launch from John, but I was not happy with his low turn into the LZ. Remember my three flying sins?
My next two tandems were super fun (with Sara and Phil) – Phil was especially comfortable in the air (the perfect solo student I believe); while Sara was conquering her fear of heights and did very well too. John had me quick on the radio when he launched with a small cravat, but handled it fine. John did a nice job on his maneuvers, and his first un-guided launch, leaving just the Titanic and spiral for his novice rating, as well as some spot landings.

James had a private lesson with Shane (conditions wre a little cross he said).

May 24 Woodside Bridal Awesome

I’m really starting to get into this solo flying stuff!
 Patrick was planning to join me on an adventure trip from Woodside to Bridal, but after he landed at Riverside I decided to go alone. Later I heard they had their own adventures when Driver Will got my truck stuck in a ditch and Patrick had to go for a long jog to retrieve his truck, at Harvest Dykes, to help with the towing. Meanwhile I barely made the crossing landing near Ludwig. A nice couple came to my rescue (to protect me from their uncle that has been known to shoot and ask questions later) and drove me back to Bridal LZ. One more “stupid” acro flight off Bridal, and then off to visit my Grama – now 96 (exactly 1/2 my real age)!

On my first Fraser crossing attempt the sun fadded while I was leaving Bear Mt, so I decied to turn back an explore Bear some more and wait for the sun.
On my second attempt I turned back to Hicks after I realized that I might splash, then slowly thermalled across, but the entire mountain was shutting down,
so that was that. Fun stuff - only needed big ears once to stay out of the "evil" sucking clouds and half speed bar to optimize my glide in -4 m/s sink. Max lift 6.3 m/s.

May 22 Blackie Spit light

Strong conditions in White Rock caused me to reconsider our adventure plans:  instead Jeremy ,Will and I went to Blackie Spit to practice our tandem and solo launches. Great progress so far.

May 21 Burnaby Mt cross

Crappy condition conditions but we did our best with what we had: we started with kiting without a harness, then eventually started some launches. Our test pilots were all have their challenges, so we never sent any students from the top. Our newest student Peter did very well, quickly catching up to our welcome back regulars, Elena T, Yeu Li, Gerry, Gany and Will R. Peter S and Andrew were priceless as usual.

May 16 Bridal light

Lot’s of Deimosian’s (14 I think) flying Bridal today in light conditions, and almost no problems with ridge rules – well done guys! Some bad planning on when to land, put Laura landing at the same time as with another pilot, so she elected to land elsewhere – probably a good call. A little later, almost the same thing happen with Elena. I had a near mid air just the day before with a low hour pilot from another school – he fixated on us in the final seconds causing us to do some emergency wing overs at 100’. If you find yourself soaring the trees on final, and others a starting to catch up to you, maybe it’s worth the risk to start big ears and force a quick landing, or do a “Laura” and land somewhere safe. Now Laura has a ridge and landing style named after her – well done! Andrei  is in second place with his new launch style (not preferred).

I guess if Andrew botched his wing overs, he would have been famous too, but no problems there – Andrew is back!

Personally I had my lowest save ever, just one minute from landing and after 45 minutes climbed back up – fun stuff – ironically once I was high again I headed out to do some acro – I guess it’s the challenge that really counts. Time to fix my truck – thanks again Wally and others.

May 15 The Chief strong

A great day of climbing (with my family) then a flight of the chief with my friends – a perfect birthday.
However, it was a little too cold to wait around the first peak to launch, and our dog Lolly Pop needed some help getting down, so I elected to not fly. Gab and Brian followed suit shortly afterwards.
I think if you waited until just before dark it may have been possible to fly.

May 14 Bridal Strong

Some delays when I forgot my tandem at home which added an extra hour of driving to my day. In the end it did not really mater (it was still east wind when I finally rolled up, and my tandem passengers were late anyhow).
Jeremy led the way in light conditions and was soon getting high near Cheam. My first passenger was suddenly feeling very dizzy so her better half was first off. Buoyant conditions allowed for some great flying and a great seat to watch Jeremy’s acro show – too bad my camera man double hit the record button so we missed filming it; followed by my best tandem landing ever!

No second tandem flights turned out to be a birthday present for me – I got to fly XC to Hicks Hill. I probably should keep a map in the truck on how to get there (it took Will an hour to find me).

Final flights included Elena K (Grama and Will), Grama hit the LZ to complete her Novice course and Will hit the LZ to start his novice training – the circle of life?

Andrei, Brian, Gab and others - thanks for the gifts, dinner, drinks...

May 12 Bridal Light

Andrei and I were just heading up when we heard a call for a ride (Laura, Will and John were ½ hour late), so we did a quick U-Turn – everyone try to be on time.
Strong conditions on launch (wind heard in the trees every ten minutes – so no need to launch just yet). We spent an hour entering the GPS marks for the intermediate route: Archibald, Alans ridge, Archibald, Take off and LZ (200m radius). When we finally launched (there were a few aborts from Andrei and Laura) we were limited to soaring the take off area and could not complete the task. I went last and watched everyone sink out while I got to play in the ultra light lift for more than an hour by myself – ultra relaxing – one of my favorite flights all year. Later, I had ridge rule problems with visiting pilots and elected to simply stay away from them. Remember if you have the ridge on your right, others must give way (turn right).
Finally I top landed to help with the retrievals.

May 9 Bridal strong

Nice conditions today at Bridal to start with, but our second flights were a lot more exciting: with Wally, Andrei and others getting to about 6000’. Just as I was telling John to “get out of there” he got a huge 50% collapse, then Elena T seconds later got a 25%, and Gerry got rocked around – the sky was getting a little too wild, so I ordered all my low flight students to the ground. Clif and Wally sent reports of rough conditions but choose to keep flying for another hour or more. Will R and I had fun on our acro flight, and later a smooth flight for Lynn on her 50 birthday. Will and I raced up to launch but it had turn strong east and Elena T, Gerry and Grama could not sneak in the final flights. That’s five days of flying in a row - time to hang with the family and do some business.  

May 8 Woodside and Bridal strong

A busy day at Woodside with lots of hangies. If you did launch you got high fast. By the time I launched (on my tandem) conditions were too strong for most pilots – this was proven when we landed at Harvest Dykes – pretty rough (penetrating to HG LZ was not possible). So back to Bridal for easier flights (so I hoped). Easy launching conditions but by the time we landed it was quite strong. Only 1 in 5 actually landed in the LZ. Laura had a spectacular frontal followed by a spin landing (again), while Lawrence struggled to find his Plan B landing. My next two tandems were progressively easier, with the last flight being my favorite of the day – very smooth.

Welcome back Andrew; congrats to Lawrence for completeing his novice rating; and Peter for his first Woodside to Bridal crossing (via Green Hill); and Cliff for his first time over Achibald.

May 7 Bridal advance

I was pumped to climb 15 pitches on the Chief, but Aaron was done half way up the first pitch, so we headed out to the Valley. Normally I would not have went, but since Aaron only gets up to Canada once a year, it seemed like a good idea. His launch went well, but a sudden gust front from the east wedged him high above launch and deposited him close to Annis road.

May 6 Bridal strong

An interesting day with lots of strong lift – not for students. For one pilot the LZ was suddenly a little too small so they tried a downwind spin landing. Remember if you find yourself too high over the Bridal LZ, then head to the golf course.

More mayham when Ryan was spotted landing out, causing Jim to call me on the radio that one of my students may be in trouble. If you are planning to land out, I suggest you make an announcement (long before you land) to one of your flying buddies so they can stop the Search and Rescue procedure.

One new student (from another school) fixated on me and my tandem while on our base leg and we almost had a mid air, then he rolled up at the wrong end of the LZ (with his buddy). I asked them to move but they did not comply. After you land you MUST move you gear to the East end of the LZ – it is not safe to force pilots to fly 20’ over you to land.

May 5 Bridal Nice

We almost headed up to launch, but decided to wait 30 minutes for the fashionably late Elena T. Nice conditions for launching, but I could hear the doom music from Star Trek as the rain front approached. It hit Woodside pretty hard, but we were mostly dry at Bridal. I watched Gerry and Elena for a while then Will and I drove the trucks down. Jeremy W gave up the best flight of the day to drive Wally’s truck down while I got to play XC coach with Elena – probably a little too early, ‘cause she almost hit a tree trying to follow me. Clif was a great help launching last, but not before helping Elena launch (I’m slowly cutting Elena’s apron strings – soon to be signed off – but first she must figure out her remaining maneuvers).

April 25 Bridal Light

Too much East wind, but we still flew. I took a couple of loads up including one with Andrew (he came out “just in case”, but mostly to help out). Slow going on launch with west cycles coming only now and then; but eventually P&C, Patrick, Clif, Marshall, Elena_T, and JC all had a few flights. The LZ score was a little bit poor with about 50/50 pilots hitting the LZ. A few more close calls with Andrew’s ditch, but everyone survived. (Too bad the club won’t try to cover the ditch; I think we have to wait until the next accident – I find this quite dangerous).
On my first flight I caught a strong thermal (+ 6.7 m/s) but bailed after just five minutes to help launch the next load – in hind sight Andrew could of launched the boys  (and girls) while I flew to Cheam.
Second flights were very smooth and buoyant, once you finally took off. On my second launch, I almost did an “Andrei” but stopped right at the edge (barely) – the east wind can be tricky.

April 23 Woodside Super

Everyone was on time today, which allowed us three flights. JW, Clif and Marshall were maintaining but after about 30 minutes it was time to head to the LZ. On our next flights JW, Clif were about 1000’ over launch; another interesting launch from Marshall and he was now above launch too. I was just laying out my wing when I saw Marshall head towards Harvest Dykes by himself (a good call because he was a little too low and the air was bumpy at times). To fly or not to fly, that is the question – not to fly won when I heard that Jeremy followed Marshall towards the LZ. Clif was less than two meters from the LZ target, which was the missing ingredient for his Novice rating. A customary handshake and we were back on launch. Clif struggled with the stronger conditions but finally clear launch, while Marshall “graciously” drove down the truck. The three of us played around with our speed bars for about an hour until I notice our near zero ground speed, and a wall of rain approaching. We were about 1500’ over so just barely safe enough to fly directing behind the Nob and onward to Harvest Market. JW was the lowest a felt the early effects of the rotor (from being too low on the backside of the Nob).

Click here for an image of where to properly fly from Woodside to the Harvest Dykes (third image) -

Bigears to the ground was called as we all were almost parked 100’ above the LZ. JW found a new LZ but was okay. It pays to be self employed on some days (or un-employed)!

April 17 Bridal Awesome

Another lazy start to a great paragliding day. We met at Exit 95, and then headed to the Dykes for some practice, but the wind was so light it seemed best to just head to Bridal. Once on launch it was still 10k east so time to wait. Finally I convinced JW to test the air – which he complied with another 3+ hour flight. Except for a goofy launch from JC, all the other students Elena T, Grama, John, Andrei did very well. It was a great pleasure for me to see them coring up in the same thermal and flying for more than an hour. My tandem felt sick early so we landed after just 15 minutes; but later I (almost) caught up with Peter and JW below Cheam. Again it was Brian and Andrei that rescued the trucks. An awesome flying day indeed!

April 16 Bridal Very nice

Great student conditions today. My 1:30 start time was perfect, if we started any sooner Wally’s 7+ hour record would be in jeopardy (by Jeremy W). In the end there were three trips up with Jeremy W snubbing all rides and finally top landing, saving me a drive back up; but it did not matter ‘cause we still had to get Wally’s truck (Andre gets the rescue points again). Between flights I help cut the grass in the LZ, but even though the LZ is slightly larger I think, only 60% Deimosians were in the mowed area. JC and I finished with his first Titanic – fun stuff – and free beer from Wally even better!

April 15 Blanchard Very nice

I had to make a quick stop at my Zip Harness storage locker, then JC and I were off to Blanchard. Great conditions allowed JC to get almost above launch but a few late turns and he was off to the LZ for probably his best landing ever! Second flights were much the same – what a beautiful place, too bad the Boarder Police make things so difficult.

April 9 Bridal Snowy, Sun

“Best day ever” – says Jeremy. It will be epic – says Tom, but Peter says “it was okay (I guess)” - a  hard man to please these days. My vario said +5.1 m/s up – but hard to tell in such smooth lift. Earlier flights were about 20 minutes long, but then at 6pm the sky finally cleared and Louise, Ryan, Jeremy W, Peter, and Patrick all got pretty high (and cold) - Clif was abandon in the LZ and missed out - but he already had two flights. After quite a few attempts I got my Magus to top land, followed by Peter to save an extra drive up. Wally and Andrei helped by driving giving up the best fligts of the day.

April 4 Hedley, Sumas Dykes windy

Our cabin was so nice it was hard to get going. First JC and I went shopping for breakfast and lunch supplies then we made a huge meal for all. Marshall arrived just in time but was not hungry. Our attempts to fly Hedley we ruin by 40mph winds from the North. In the end the Sumas Dykes was the place to be – great conditions.

April 3 Iron Mt Sunny

Our early start did not really pay off: both Hedley and Iron Mt were too strong to fly, so instead I put on a short tree rescue clinic. After two hours there was a quick change in the wind so we headed up to Iron Mt. We found a great place to kite and later met the owner of the entire mountain (Shelby) – he was happy to see us but asked that all future pilots email him first before flying or landed by the river (so that they can move the cows and horses to a safe field). Eventually it was time for some high flights: Jeremy W went first followed by John and JC, while I drove down. Jeremy W. flew a little too far down the hill and missed the next flight. In the end only John managed two flights and the rest of us only one. The evening was capped with a great pizza dinner and a movie at our “Castle Cabin”.

March 27 Deifenbaker Great

Great conditions for JC, Marshall and my newest student Adam. Sunny came out but just to watch, hopefully we’ll see her again for a tandem flight.

March 20 Elk East

Another noonish start due to the East wind: Although conditions were slowly turning around at Bridal, we decided to fly Elk for a change (or die trying as it turned out). I notice Clif’s face turning pick in just the first ¼ of the trail, but he was eager to fly this new site, and he kept going, almost the same with Alex (but minus the pink glow). If Clif successfully aced his reverse launch and landing, he would have completed his novice rating. Reports were filtering down that conditions were light on top, but 2+ hours later, when we finally arrived; a very strong 30 mph South wind was present – that’s when I dropped the first F bomb, followed by Jeremy's double F bomb 20 minutes later. Our option to wait and see, were eliminated when no one had a working head lamp with them. A great view, and sore legs were our only rewards today.

March 19 Bridal Nice

Even with the 1pm start, the East wind was still too much. So Adam, Clif, Jeremy W and Wally all kited at the school until we heard that pilots were flying. Smooth conditions, so everyone but Adam flew (he still needs some time on the training hill).

March 18 Bridal Very nice

A late start but still lots of great flying for all.
My newest student Adam, somehow missed us at Exit 95, so I told him to wait for us at Bridal LZ. Marshal was back from his adventures and wanted to fly, so he did a few practice launches before his real one. His start was a little too fast but the Vitamin did it job (again). I was quite surprise to hear from Stein that Marshall was still flying after almost ½ hour (some kind of magic lift 300’ over the LZ). John and Elena (Grama) were also caught in the buoyant air and had a 30-40 minute flights. Lawrence had a nice flight too, but missed up on his “swoop” landing slightly; while I had one of my easiest take offs with Adam, and even climbed above launch for some time. Kevin and others managed to get real high, some all the way to Butterfly and back. An interesting acro show from Stein (sadly not caught on film).

March 14 Sumas Cloudy

It was a little too windy to head up to launch, so we did about 30-40 minutes of kiting near by. Despite the good conditions, Wally’s launch attempt did not go as planned – resulting in an hour delay. A slight west wind arrived destroying the last of our launch attempts. No flights today, but nice to get out in the mountains.

March 7 Bridal Cloudy with showers

Again plagued by alcohol poisoning, some of the Deimosians could not fly today: first it was Alex then the Jeremy’s at lunch. When we first arrived at launch conditions were the best I’ve seen all year. Claudia went first followed by Peter, then John, however by the time JC and Jeremy W were ready the conditions were becoming quite wet so time for a break. Lots of great adventure stores shared at the Wild Cat, then back up for more flying. This time Lawrence joined us. Interesting conditions with the clouds blowing in and out. Everyone had good launches despite the SW wind. In the end Peter had the longest flight about 25 minutes. No acro show from me today – time for a few flights on my Obsession I guess.

March 6 Bridal Sunny

This time it was Jeremy W that did not show up. When I arrived at Bridal, Wally’s truck was already packed, but since the conditions were lame, I decided to hike up (burn off some extra energy).
Second flights were better with most pilots staying up almost an hour – but I headed over to Cheam and was rewarded with almost an 1.5 hour long beautiful and smooth flight.

March 5 Bridal awesome

A frustrating start to my day: my newest student decided to sleep in and not show up to our meeting spot; followed by Bell not wanting to reset my cell phone unless I pay $20; but finally it was Wally who came to the rescue and took the afternoon off saving me some hiking time. We had some great flights (about 1000 above launch) and only landed to pick up Dave Merrick and later Alex B. Dave made it to just below Cheam, while Wally only landed because we needed a second driver.

March 3 Woodside Nice

The clear skies took about three hours longer than estimated, which gave me and my new friend Ilkka a chance to add some steps to the Woodside launch and repair the bathroom toilet seat. The bathroom door was also pulled off, perhaps someone else can repair it?

Great soaring conditions, but the visibility was too poor so we waited until 4pm, then Ilkka was off on his Obsession for his first flight in Canada. I decided to forego my sleddie so to get back home before 8pm. Another fine day in paradise!

Feb 28 Bridal Falls Nice

Great student conditions today. While Wally and I moved some wind socks around, the rest of the world was watching hockey. At 4pm we were rewarded with some light thermic flying for our second flights and Klaus graciously drove my truck down saving an extra trip. Another fine day in paradise.

Feb 7 Bridal Falls Cloudy
A noon start was called (hoping that the sun would show up). Slight East in the LZ so up we went. Good launches from all with Peter leading the way, followed by Elena K, Wally, Claudia, myself and finally Andrei. Lots of baby acro shows, with only Elena forgetting which lines are for Big Ears. Klaus drove the Wally mobile saving us from a third trip up (although P & C and Wally were very close to trying a third flight). I cleaned the washroom and did lots of general site work around the LZ and take off - all ready for my new students (starting soon).
Jan 23 Bridal Nice

Maybe Andrei was right, hard to say looking back on the day.  At 7am I changed my outgoing message to meet at Exit 95 but forgot to save it, so when Peter, Paddy, Andrei, Wally and Andrew called in, they all heard the wrong message. Determined they all met at Exit 95 anyhow. Even Karin was there (minus her wing). I thought Bridal was the best choice, with the East wing being so light, but when Andrei and Ryan stopped at the Sumas LZ and they almost threw a mutiny, but ended up joining up with the rest of us.
Easy launching conditions at Bridal, but the slight east wind proved to be too much for half the crew, with most landing short (or spot landing on the Driving T’s depending on your point of view).  With four trucks, we quickly zoomed up for our second flights. I watched Andrew launch then I set up to fly my Magus. Seconds after in the air I heard that Andrew was hurt and the Ambulance was called. These are the words I hate to hear the most. It turns out he landed six feet short of the LZ and hit the hidden ditch- his instinct to put our his right foot first was a big mistake. With an incredible amount of pain, we managed to load him up into the Ambulance.  Surgery is planned for tomorrow (broken in two spots). Perhaps we need to cover the ditch (culverts)?

Jan 16 Diefenbaker Park fine

Only JC could make my last minute training session - so a private lesson for him. Looks like JC has been practicing - looking good with both forward and reverse launches.

I got to play with my Magus for the first time this year - I could really notice the glide performance. Time for some big air, I can't wait!

Jan 10 Sumas Flyable

The first warm day (9 degree C) and we had lots of pilots out (P&C, A&E, J&C, Ryan and Wally).
Wind in the LZ was up to 25kph but we went up (to launch) anyhow. Almost no wind on launch, so while we waited we cleaned up the launches – looking good! Maybe next time we can install a new sign – maybe the WCSC will pay for it?
Since Ryan was the most senior he went first (adding his own Klingon cries as he almost face planted – due to a extra fast run).  Most of the launches were goofy due the weird East meets West conditions. Claudia bailed and walked out will a sore ankle (report to follow)? Leaving me. I was not too keen to fly, but since Claudia and Elena had three others for hiking company – I decided to fly. Goofy launch and landing – check the Deimos forum for full details.

Jan 3 2010 Sumas too Windy

Our fist flight for 2010 will need to wait - too windy today, but we all enjoyed an easy walk to launch (without our packs).

Once there we could of flown, but after returning to the truck, it was still blowing 20+ mph from the North, and about the same in the LZ - so probably the best call.




" The wind gods decide where we can fly, we just have to listen to them "






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