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Hangola September 29 - October 3, 2005


Woodstock Thursday
pilot airtime, alt gain, xc link to report
Gary Smith Two + hrs, 3200 over report
Adam, Hubbel, Joe


Florida Report
pilot airtime, alt gain, xc link to report
Lauren Tjaden landing practice report


Ridgely Friday
pilot airtime, alt gain, xc link to report
Christian 1 and a half hour flying, 5K', cold report
Marc Fink got so high I froze and was so thermally I couldn't get down report
Paul Adamez 1 hour and 3700' report
John Simon So today was only about 4700' and 500 fpm report
Steve K, Heather, Dawson, Marlene, Joe G., others


Redwing Saturday
pilot airtime, alt gain, xc link to report
Gary Cargen over 3500 report
at least 8 others


Oregon Ridge Saturday
pilot airtime, alt gain, xc link to report
John Middleton successful class report
students all flew


Fisher Road Saturday
pilot airtime, alt gain, xc link to report
Joe Brauch some lift report 1
report 2
Matthew 1:10 and 900 over report
Larry, Pete, bags


Ridgely Saturday
pilot airtime, alt gain, xc link to report
Dan Tomlinson just under an hour and 4100 msl report
Christian Titone 25 mile course report


501 Saturday
pilot airtime, alt gain, xc link to report
Doug Rogers early evening flight report


Team Challenge (Tennessee) Report
pilot airtime, alt gain, xc link to report
Scott Wilkinson Bill Priday report


High Rock Sunday
pilot airtime, alt gain, xc link to report
Steve Kinsley almost report
Skip 3k' over


Manquin Sunday
pilot airtime, alt gain, xc link to report
Hugh McElrath first flights back report


Ridgely Sunday
pilot airtime, alt gain, xc link to report
Dan Tomlinson 9 miles report
Christian Titone flew to Massey report
Cragin scored a couple of hours for the weekend
Ric, others


Powered flight Sunday
pilot airtime, alt gain, xc link to report
Tom Gartlan 45 minutes report


New Zealand Report
pilot airtime, alt gain, xc link to report
Jim Rooney photos report


Ridgely Monday
pilot airtime, alt gain, xc link to report
Christian Titone not as good for me but Ric did well report


Flight Reports

wrhgc Re: Ridgely
Christian Titone
Oct 1, 2005 8:24 AM
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I tried to reply late last night but was having computer problems. I camped out last night at Ridgely. Great day yesterday: 1 and a half hour flying but I could have flown for 3 hours, just got too cold. The Mill is cold all the time and it was around 40 at 5000 feet..

Today looks like a perfect Ridgely day..

Hope to see you here soon.



chgpa yeehaw I am getting it!
Lauren Tjaden
Thu, 29 Sep 2005 16:10:30 -0400
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Tuesday I had landing lessons with Kevin here at Quest. I took out my Sport instead of my Litespeed, so I could experiment without fear. Angel (my Litespeed) has far more opinions than Griffin (my Sport) about how she prefers to be flown and landed.

In retrospect, I should have worked on my landings long ago. I just didn't know that they needed work. Literally, in 60 or 70 landings, I would maybe have one beak or set down the control frame. I would just usually run a few steps, unless it was windy. My keel never slammed into the ground; my glider never performed a full stall, but I had safe, consistent landings.

Angel pointed out the flaws in my technique. About half the time, I would manage a decent landing. The other half, I would whack. My legs are covered with bruises from various flights. This was hint that it might be time to fix the flaws.

Kevin pointed out that I needed to flare at the BEGINNING of the flare window, not the end. I was also forgetting to stare at the horizon. This was my main focus for Tuesday. All my landings were -- as usual on beloved my Griffin -- "acceptable". I never set down the frame, much less beaked.

I started to figure out the timing Kevin wanted a little by the end. Bo, Awesome Bob, Steve Kroop, and Paul all had fun yelling things at me, as well as Kevin. So many chiefs, too bad there was only one Indian. Kevin maintained a good attitude, even when I swore violently at him. (He decided the way to make me flare when he wanted me to was to run in front of me, though I solved the problem by turning as we wove our way down the runway).

Yesterday I ventured out to Quest again and set up, but Quest is supposed to be closed on Wednesday and all the tow pilots hid when they saw me. Kevin is pretty amazing, because he came up with an exercise anyhow. He tied bungees around my downtubes where he wanted my hands to be (Ralph's idea). Then we ran the Sport on the flat and I got to practice feeling exactly when the stall began at the root of the glider.

But today I got to actually fly again. I flew 5 patterns in extremely hard conditions. The wind was light and all over the place. I was SO much better, I mean, than I have EVER been, much less on Tuesday. All the landings were much crisper and a couple were "rock star". Woohoo woohoo I am learning! I mean you should have seen that glider stop! I have never been so happy. Of course I need to go out and work tomorrow morning and get my new feel solidified.

I flew the Sport this afternoon so I didn't have to set up Angel -- it was supposed to storm early. I sure love Griffin but she doesn't climb or glide like Angel. I guess you can't have it both ways. Paul (Russell lent him some wheels for his Rigid since he is still gimping) and Kevin were still up when I left after bombing out. And my landing was just OK again -- though pretty soon I will have them all the time. Sorry for much ado about nothing, but I was so stoked I had to tell someone!



chgpa WS yesterday
Gary Smith
Fri, 30 Sep 2005 08:47:47 -0400
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Great day at WS yesterday. Pulled up to launch about 2:00. Nobody there. Joe was digging his basement out and pouring concrete and said he would show up about 4:00. Launched about 3:30 into 10-15 NW. with clouds streeting up across the valley. Beauty of a day. Adam and Hubbel showed up next, then Joe. All launched well and climbed out. I flew south to the gap, turned north back to the tower pulled up under a street and headed out to the WS water tower on rt 81. Topped out at 3200 over at the tower then shot back to the ridge. Spiraled down to loose altitude and landed in the primary. Two + hrs. Joe landed 15 minutes later. Joe & I hiked across the river and half way up the road to launch before we caught a ride. Several cars passed us because we looked like a couple of creatures from the black lagoon after crossing the river and hiking through the overgrown fields.

Gary Smith


chgpa Boomin day at Highland
Marc Fink
Fri, 30 Sep 2005 20:08:12 -0400
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Boomer thermals all day at Ridgely. It was one of those dreaded "got so high I froze and was so thermally I couldn't get down" days we all fear. [Laughing]



chgpa Boomin day at Highland
Paul Adamez
Fri, 30 Sep 2005 21:44:38 -0400
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Felt blah today not sure why, debated whether to fly or not and decided to fly. Still renting the Discuss while I am waiting for my U2 to come back from a sail repair. Got 1 hour and 3700', mixed it up with Joe Gregor for awhile in some meager lift, I went off looking for something better and then he later specked out, ran back to him but couldn't find what he was in. Got in a blender over the chicken houses at the end of the runway and quickly got tired of that and eventually worked my way down to a landing.

Dawson and Melanie were there, Steve K had a good flight, Christian got 1.5 in his Millenium and landed because he got too cold. Joe G. got two hours and 4000+. John Simon showed up for happy hour ( 1/2 price off all tows from 4:00-5:00P.M.) and had a long flight to cap off the day. Marc F. must of had a couple hours I think. Someone else whos name I forgot. Pretty decent day overall, wish I had been feeling better.

Oh, there's not really a happy hour at Highland, although we were trying to talk Adam into it.

Paul Adamez


wrhgc Sat
Gary Cargen
Oct 1, 2005 7:24 PM
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Great Day at Redwing today! Not a cloud in the sky & litf up to 500 ft/min. Took a early flight at 12:30 just to get a extra landing in for pracitce. But when Norm took me thru a great thermal for the third time at 1700 ft I had to take it! Got to over 3500 but couldn't get any higher. the lift slowed down (I lost it ) & I landed after just under a hour. I waited a little over an hour & took another tow & got off around 2300 & got just to 3500 for another 45 min. Great day had by all that flew. I think there where at least 8 pilots that got some good air. Rodney may still be up there somewhere. He launched maybe 30 min after me & climbed on by me & was still up when i took my second flight & when I landed. (Cheater)!!



chgpa Another Grand Day at Highland
John Simon
Sat, 1 Oct 2005 01:35:45 -0400
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So today was only about 4700' and 500 fpm... not as good as last Thursday (5800' and 600 fpm) but it was even more widespread. Gorgeous day and Paul Adamez, Steve K, Mark, Heather, Dawson, Marlene, Joe G. all got some some very nice air. I'm probably missing a few folks here...

Lift was everywhere and more than a couple of us had to work to get down. Dawson had his longest soaring flight ever, about 1+15 late in the afternoon. It was reportedly punchy and strong mid-day but by the time I launched around 4pm is was just widespread and quick. I had trouble getting down at 5:15 to help Heather setup her glider, and the vis was incredible. Lots of birds, no clouds and lots of corn stalks and spiders to mark the big, wide strong lift. Totally pleasant and enjoyable out there. Heather and Marlene flew later in the day and both looked very good in the pattern with solid approaches and very decent spot landing work.

This weekend looks to be similar... hope to see you there as Heather works on her landings and I pimp some nice big fat lift.


[later John adds:]

It was a great day for XC... triangle type. Almost ZERO wind aloft but as usual I showed up late to the field. Drivers are a problem too. I suppose had I arrived earlier Steve, Paul and I could have ginned up a plan but it just never got organized. Seems like we are just lazy... I guess. I still yearn to go all the time, but I don't really enjoy going alone as much and the ride problem persists. Still a triangle would not have been too bad, oh well.

Missing XC



chgpa Oregon Ridge update
John Middleton
Sun, 2 Oct 2005 08:55:59 -0400
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We had a class on Saturday but had to stop at 3:00. Sort of a rushed situation but all my students got some flights. Winds were variable but light. At least a successful class.

john middleton


chgpa Rock Sunday
Steve Kinsley
Sun, 2 Oct 2005 20:45:35 -0400
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Skip got up (3k over). I almost did but I was too low.


chgpa Back in the saddle
Hugh McElrath
Mon, 3 Oct 2005 00:06:37 -0400
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Drove down to Manquin today (Sunday) to pick up my glider which Steve Wendt repaired beautifully for less than his estimate (he also sold my old reserve parachute, which shaved the price some more). Tex had test-flown it and found no handling problems and neither did I. Wind was from the east which made for burble coming over the trees and isolated punchy thermals. Since I was coming off a long (6 weeks) enforced hiatus from hang-gliding - and had only started towing the U2 without a strap-on tailfin a month before the accident - I waited until late afternoon when Tex pronounced it smooth enough and another pilot took a tow with acceptable results. Yaw oscillations the entire first half of the tow (Tex immediately diagnosed the problem when we debriefed afterwards: cross-controlling - this could also have contributed to my accident...). Gorgeous day with great visibility at altitude. It felt great to be back in the air (in free flight - been flying a regular airplane and the ultralite - but it ain't the same). Little nervous flying without a vario (it's with Steve Kroop in Florida being repaired/evaluated for scrapping - got dinged in the accident) - yeah, I know it's a crutch, but Robertson's Rules of Risk Management say not to change more than one thing at a time and I was at a different flying site and flying a glider which might have had changed flying characteristics - and working on a new hand position to ensure good speed and better control during the approach. In the event, Steve gave me a thumbs-up on my approach and flare to landing. Had some oscillations on final - probably more cross-controlling - gotta work on that - but keeping both hands on the control bar all the way to ground effect worked well.

Doug Henderson was there swapping his Eagle for a Falcon 2. Also talked to Jim Carrigan, the trike instructor. He is working on getting his CFI so he can sign people off for flying trikes as Light Sport Aircraft.

Attended the EAA fly-in at Petersburg Saturday. Took a class on maintaining 2-stroke Rotax engines - Paul Gerhardt and I have our work cut out for us doing the 150-hour service on the Phantom this winter.

Everyone at Manquin is mourning the loss of Bill Priday at the Tennessee Team Challenge yesterday. (He attempted to launch from a cliff without being hooked-in to his glider and nobody caught it with a pre-flight check.) Bill was an extraordinary individual and will be sorely missed. I am also sorry for the Manquin/CHGPA group that went to Tennessee - and for everyone at the meet who had to witness that sickening accident.

I wish I could say that injuries and fatal accidents are rare in this sport, but it's just not true. Yet there are people who have survived in the sport for decades, probably through luck at first, but later by developing really good judgment about risk management. All aviation is unforgiving of error, and hang-gliding is even more so. When people say "be careful", rather than just saying "yes, I'll be careful", I've taken to bending their ear with a dissertation on the elements of being careful (this applies to motorcycling as well): keeping my equipment in top shape, buying and using protective and safety gear, learning and consistently applying correct technique and procedures, operating only in favorable conditions - and when I am in good mental and physical condition for an activity which requires all my faculties. I hope this conveys to them that being careful isn't just a matter of being alert, although that's part of it; there's some rigor to it.



chgpa Fisher Saturday
Joe Brauch
Sun, 2 Oct 2005 09:59:54 -0400
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Winds light SE. Waited for a glass off that was not very magical. Got back to launch height in a little bubble then head down to the elbow and maintained ridge height for a couple of passes. Burned it in to the secondary, planned on coming over the barn parallel to the wires but it was so east I turned base and final over the road and landed on top of the spine. Still have to carry out.

Larry, Pete and myself hanging. Bacil came but had people to meet. Matthew,Elle and several others bagging. Bags did much better in the glass off.



chgpa Fisher Saturday
Sun, 2 Oct 2005 22:36:10 -0400
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Excuse me. I was out there thermalling my ass off in light lift in my PG for a good 40 minutes before the so-called glass off. I got up after everyone else had sunk out-- even the great ones: Larry and Pete. And I recall watching you scratch and try to get up while I topped out at 900 over in the light thermals and had the sky to myself till we got the nd of day light glass-off.

Got 1:10 and 900 over.

Jeesh. The one time I do better the Pete L. (actually the 2nd time) I get no credit at all. :)



chgpa Fisher Saturday
Joe Brauch
Mon, 3 Oct 2005 16:10:25 -0400
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Sorry Matthew.....
I forgot to be bi-sensitive....

Flight Report amended:

Yes, Matthew (in a bag) spanked the best hanggliding pilots in PA and myself in some very light lift. He was then joined by many other bags for a nice evening flights while I pulled the leaves off my base tube and then broke down my plumbing and trudged out carrying my 80# + of flying equipment.



chgpa The weekend at Highland
Dan Tomlinson
Mon, 3 Oct 2005 07:05:04 -0400
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Saturday and Sunday were two very pleasant days at Highland. Very few pilots there and good to excellent conditions. Saturday was a flight of just under an hour and 4100 msl. Sunday was an XC of just under 9 miles to the north for me. On Sunday I got to lead the way in front of Ric N. and Christian (sp?) for the first 4 or 5 miles and managed to stay with them for 8 miles or so. The thermals were relatively fat but light and the differences in speed in the gliders made it impossible to keep up. None-the-less, a nice weekend and a nice time.

Craig S had four flights over two days totalling a couple of hours.


wrhgc 501
Doug Rogers
Oct 3, 2005 8:26 PM
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Natalie was kind enough to accompany me early saturday eve to 501 then threw me off the mountain when she had enough of this hang gliding bulls--t. The last thing I heard as I cleared the slot was " Hey this is your F'N sport not mine! and you better make it out to Ron's cause I ain't pickin your sorry ass up at the campground!" So with that said I did the best I could and scratched above the trees until I could relax with 300' over then headed out to Ron's for a warm welcome and a cold beer!!!

Doug and Natalie.


wrhgc 501
Tom Gartlan
Oct 3, 2005 9:30 PM
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Well that's incentive.

Sunday Mickey was tired of me puttsin around the house and said I needed to fly. Pat and I went to a local grass strip and took off around 5pm. Power to 1500agl wandering about and occasionally circling in additional lift, thermalled to 3300 then powered up through the red sunset lit inversion to 4500 to a blindingly bright blue sky. Engine off and prop folded, I dropped through the inversion. The decent slowed at 3500agl to a mere 50fpm down or maintaining. From there we doodley dooed down to the field. 45 minutes after takeoff I was flaring next to my truck right where I left it.



chgpa Bill Priday's death
Sat, 1 Oct 2005 21:58:30 -0400
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Most of you have probably heard the news by now. Bill Priday is gone. The first launch of the first day of the meet, and someone dies. Not a good start (as if we cared about the meet now). We're all still suffering from that hollow emptiness that lingers after something so horrible.

I saw Bill launch. I watched him pick up his glider, answered his radio check, and watched him move up to launch. I saw him pick up his glider, yell clear, run, and drop from sight below the edge. I ran up to launch, along with several other people, just in time to see Bill's glider do a graceful hammerhead---fly straight up, almost back to launch. At that point I thought Bill was in the glider. Then glider fell off to the side, and I saw an empty control frame...a sight I'll never forget...and a sick feeling of dread filled my stomach.

I'm still asking, asking, asking, over and over, asking myself and could we all be looking right at Bill---watching his every move, and not even notice there were no harness mains attached to his keel? How can our eyes be so useless? There were 5-6 people (maybe more) at launch with Bill. He had a wire crew. I'm blaming nobody and everybody, myself included.

There were too many new things here. Too many new things, and they caught up to Bill. A new site, flying with GPS and radio for one of the first times (Bill was futzing with these just before he launched), a competition setting, 30-40 gliders packed into a small launch area, pressure to get to launch and get off...too many new things. I felt pressure to launch, for the first time since I started flying. I didn't like it one bit, and it wasn't easy to ignore it and take my time. It felt dangerous. The sky was opening up after a cloudy, crappy morning. It got sunny, started blowing in. Excitement levels went up.

When we arrived at launch, there were only two spaces left near launch to set up...a small hole in the middle, which I took, and a clear space right next to launch, which Bill took. He was enthusiastic, gung-ho, possibly overly so. But that was Bill. The guy lived for flying. He loved it more than anything, and it was so obvious to those of us around him. The end result? An ocean of gliders, with Bill at the very front. He wanted out of there, and to be in the air. He just forgot to hook in. I don't even think he did a hang check. I don't know how or why. Nobody else noticed he wasn't hooked in. Nobody else checking. We all just let him go right off the cliff. It was a big drop---higher than High Rock. He should never have been first off launch at a site he'd never flown. He didn't see anyone launch first. He just went.

A group of local pilots pulled his glider from the trees, with very little damage. (Gliders don't land hard when they're empty.) It took the EMTs a while to get him out of the woods. He didn't stand a chance---he died instantly (I say this based on the severity of his injuries, which were extreme.) The meet was cancelled today. We all broke down. There was no way I was going to fly after that, no way. I don't even know about the rest of the week, and neither do the others in our group.

< snip >

With a heavy heart,


chgpa NZ Photos
jim rooney
Mon, 3 Oct 2005 14:59:00 -0400
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Following Sparky's lead, I've posted some pics up to webshots....

It's all low rez stuff as I'm still stuck on dialup.

If you want to read my blathering about NZ, got to



chgpa Another Grand Day at Highland
Tue, 4 Oct 2005 20:56:09 -0400
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Gotta love the great flying conditions. I got 1 and a half hours on Friday, did a 25 mile course on Saturday and flew to Massey on Sunday. Monday was not as good for me but Ric did well.. Love life and the Mill.

Christian :D


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This page last updated October 16, 2005