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Home Explore Hang Gliding and Paragliding Volume 44

Hang Gliding and Paragliding Volume 44

Published by carinaelven, 2015-07-27 22:13:37

Description: Hang Gliding and Paragliding Volume 44 - Issue 3- March 2014


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YEARS ON THE COVER, Flying in the WARNING Hang gliding and paragliding are INHERENTLY DANGEROUS of Alps often includes glides by crosses activities. USHPA recommends pilots complete a pilot training on summits | photo courtesy Red Bull. program under the direct supervision of a USHPA-certified instructor, using safe equipment suitable for your level of MEANWHILE, Over Rock ‘n Roll experience. Many of the articles and photographs in the Corner with Mount San Gorgonio 26 miles magazine depict advanced maneuvers being performed by off and San Jacinto at 45 miles | photo by experienced, or expert, pilots. These maneuvers should not be attempted without the prerequisite instruction and experience. Jonathan Dietch.HANG GLIDING & PARAGLIDING magazine is published for foot- ADVERTISING ALL ADVERTISING AND ADVERTISING INQUIRIES MUST BElaunched air-sports enthusiasts to create further interest in the sports SENT TO USHPA HEADQUARTERS IN COLORADO SPRINGS. All advertising isof hang gliding and paragliding and to provide an educational forum to subject to the USHPA Advertising Policy, a copy of which may be obtainedadvance hang gliding and paragliding methods and safety. from the USHPA by emailing [email protected] HANG GLIDING & PARAGLIDING magazine welcomes HANG GLIDING & PARAGLIDING (ISSN 1543-5989) (USPS 17970) is Martin Palmaz, Publisher [email protected] submissions from our members and readers. All submissions published monthly by the United States Hang Gliding and Paraglidingof articles, artwork, photographs and or ideas for articles, artwork Association, Inc., 1685 W. Uintah St., Colorado Springs, CO 80904, (719) 632- Nick Greece, Editorand photographs are made pursuant to and are subject to the USHPA 8300, FAX (719) 632-6417. PERIODICAL postage is paid at Colorado Springs, CO [email protected]'s Agreement, a copy of which can be obtained from the USHPA and at additional mailing offices. Greg Gillam, Art Directorby emailing the editor at [email protected] or online at www.ushpa. [email protected]. HANG GLIDING & PARAGLIDING magazine reserves the right to edit all POSTMASTER Send change of address to: C.J. Sturtevant, Copy Editorcontributions. We are always looking for well written articles and quality [email protected]. Feature stories generally run anywhere from 1500 to 3000 words. Hang Gliding & Paragliding magazine, P.O. BOX 1330, Colorado Springs,News releases are welcomed, but please do not send brochures, dealer CO 80901-1330. Canadian Post Publications Mail Agreement #40065056. Advertisingnewsletters or other extremely lengthy items. Please edit news releases Canadian Return Address: DP Global Mail, 4960-2 Walker Road, Windsor, [email protected] our readership in mind, and keep them reasonably short without ON N9A 6J3excessive sales hype. Calendar of events items may be sent via email to Staff [email protected], as may letters to the editor. Please be concise and COPYRIGHT Copyright (c) 2014 United States Hang Gliding and Paragliding Christina Ammon,try to address a single topic in your letter. Your contributions are greatly Dennis Pagen, C.J. Sturtevantappreciated. If you have an idea for an article you may discuss your topic Association, Inc., All Rights Reserved; no part of this publication may bewith the editor either by email or telephone. Contact: Editor, Hang Gliding & reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by Ryan VoightParagliding magazine, [email protected], (516) 816-1333. any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise Staff Photographers without prior written permission of the United States Hang Gliding and John Heiney, Jeff Shapiro Paragliding Association, Inc.

MARCH 2014 FLIGHT PLAN 7PILOT BRIEFINGS 9 GALLERY 20 CENTERFOLD 34 RATINGS 58 CALENDAR 60 CLASSIFIED 62 THE 1 6810 2013 USHPA Awards 24 Get Your Glider Ready The cream rises to the top. For Flying Season by C.J. STURTEVANT by RICH JESUROGA36 Beyond the Scoreboard  28 Transition Flying the 2013 Paragliding HG401 Techniques and Concepts World Championship. by RYAN VOIGHT by ARNOLD FRANKENBURGER 44 Point Rat48 Cross-country League A Friendly Community Event Northern California's 2013 season. by MICHELLE McCOLLOUGH by JUGDEEP AGGARWAL 54 Thinking Outside the Blocks PartV: Speed-to-fly Reality Check by DENNIS PAGEN

Make memories. Don’t dream them.500 West Blueridge Ave . Orange, CA 92865 . 1.714.998.6359 .


FLIGHT PLANM artin Palmaz and I recently at- This issue is focused around education, tended the Outdoor Retailer show, mentoring, and competition. Ryan Voight which offers a peek at the plethora of continues his HG401 series, this time offer-gadgets retailers will stock on their shelves ing insights on transitions, or working fromin the coming year, and where trends in the prone to upright. Dennis Pagen chimes inoutdoor industry are debated, and, some with the fifth installment of his Thinkingsuggest, formed. One aspect of free flight Outside the Blocks series, this month de-often considered a negative when discuss- mystifying the principles of MacCready’sing our sports as they relate to other recre- speed-to-fly theory.ational pursuits is the time commitment.For example, pilots get to the hill but are Jug Aggarwal provides the details onunable to participate in the activity due to last season's Northern California Leaguea various number of reasons ranging from Meet, which has been successfully runningweather to land-use issues. for years now. Jug does one of the best jobs in the world at hosting informal, fun, and But (yes, you knew there would be a but), competitive events on weekends all through the summer. If you live anywhere near thesedon’t the \"times in between\" add significant events, make a point of taking advantage of these unique opportunities to fly withvalue? Assuredly, the peak experiences of an friends on the weekend while getting an informal thermal clinic from following theactivity are what deeply satisfy our needs on gaggle around the course.a number of levels, but I postulate the times On the competition scene, USA team member Arnie Frankenberger sends ain between are when the deepest reflection synopsis of the 2013 Paragliding World Championships in Bulgaria where our teamand growth occur. These in-between times struggled in tough conditions, and Michelle McCullough reports from the Point of theare when we develop and share our common Mountain, Utah, where a new race series is taking the North Side by storm.history in a sport that is essentially a solitary We've packed this March issue full ofendeavor. Hang gliding and paragliding do stories that can teach, inspire, entertain or inform. Hopefully something resonates, andtake more time to participate in, generally, sends you on an adventure or sharpens your skills or helps pick an award winner fromthan many other sports, but that should not your community who we can celebrate on a national level in 2014!necessarily be considered a weakness. In thisincreasingly high-paced world in which wereside, a sport that demands more time andcommitment might be just what the doctorordered. The March issue features C.J. Sturtevant'sannual USHPA awards article, a rundownof who went above and beyond in freeflight, and in our association, for 2013. Asalways we hope you’ll take a look to not onlycelebrate 2013's winners but also to considerwho in your community would be a worthynominee for 2014.left Photo by USHPA's award-winningphotographer Rebecca Bredehoft. HANG GLIDING & PARAGLIDING MAGAZINE 7

Get your USHPA custom Visa Platinum Rewards Card.The card with Flare.Submit your own image or • No annual fee. • $50 donation by the bank, to USHPA,choose one of these custom when you first use the card.*USHPA Platinum • Ongoing contributions made when you Rewards Cards. continue using your card. • Low Introductory APR on purchases and no balance transfer fee for 6 months.** • Enhanced Visa Platinum benefits, including 24/7 Emergency Customer Service, 100% Fraud Protection, Auto Rental and Travel Accident Insurance and much more. • Earn points at hundreds of participating online retailers redeemable for name- brand merchandise, event tickets, gift cards or travel reward options.Use your own photo. Apply today at: The USHPA Visa card program is operated by UMB Bank, N.A. All applications for USHPA Visa card accounts will be subject to UMB Bank N.A.'s approval, at its absolute discretion. Please visit www. for futher details of terms and conditions which apply to the USHPA Visa card program. Donation made when card is used once within 90 days of issuance. After this period a low variable APR will apply. Powered by CardPartner. The #1 provider of affinity credit card programs.8 HANG GLIDING & PARAGLIDING MAGAZINE

PILOT BRIEFINGSNOVA ION 3 widths depending on the loading of Martin Palmaz, Executive Director the specific section of the wing. The [email protected] announced the release of the Ion 3 sits between the Prion 2 (LTF-A)Ion 3, their new LTF-B intermediate and the Mentor (high-end B) in Nova’s Eric Mead, System Administratorparaglider. They claim that it performs product line. For more information [email protected] than half a point better in glide check, or www.calculations then its predecessor due Ashley Miller, Membership Coordinatorto its innovative SmartCells. The new [email protected] is to make the cells different Beth Van Eaton, Program Manager2015 is the year of YOU. [email protected] SEND US YOUR CALENDAR PHOTOS. USHPA OFFICERS & EXECUTIVE COMMITTEEBecause you're awesome! Rich Hass, President [email protected] Ken Grubbs, Vice President [email protected] Bill Bolosky, Secretary [email protected] Mark Forbes, Treasurer [email protected] REGION 1: Rich Hass, Mark Forbes. REGION 2: Jugdeep Aggarwal, Josh Cohn, Jon James. REGION 3: Corey Caffrey, Dan DeWeese, Alan Crouse. REGION 4: Bill Belcourt, Ken Grubbs. REGION 5: Josh Pierce. REGION 6: David Glover. REGION 7: Paul Olson. REGION 8: Michael Holmes. REGION 9: Felipe Amunategui, Larry Dennis. REGION 10: Bruce Weaver, Steve Kroop, Matt Taber. REGION 11: David Glover. REGION 12: Paul Voight. DIRECTORS AT LARGE: Dave Broyles, Bill Bolosky, Steve Rodrigues, Dennis Pagen, Jamie Shelden. EX-OFFICIO DIRECTOR: Art Greenfield (NAA). The United States Hang Gliding and Paragliding Association Inc. (USHPA) is an air sports organization affiliated with the National Aeronautic Association (NAA), which is the official representative of the Fédération Aeronautique Internationale (FAI), of the world governing body for sport aviation. The NAA, which represents the United States at FAI meetings, has delegated to the USHPA supervision of FAI-related hang gliding and paragliding activities such as record attempts and competition sanctions. For change of address or other USHPA business call (719) 632-8300, or email [email protected]. The United States Hang Gliding and Paragliding Association, a division of the National Aeronautic Association, is a representative of the Fédération Aeronautique Internationale in the United States.Go to for details. HANG GLIDING & PARAGLIDING MAGAZINE 9

ASSOCIATIONUSHPA's 2013 Award WinnersThe Cream Rises to the Top the entire hang gliding and/or paraglid- ing community. Eventually, consensusby C.J. Sturtevant ties. It’s the cream of the hang gliding is reached, and the award-winners are and paragliding crop that, shaken into named. Here’s the 2013 list.If you’re old enough to remember the the general mix, keeps the whole groupdays before milk was homogenized, robust, full of energy, worth paying at- Photographer of the Yearyou’ll know what I mean: The top tention to.several inches in every bottle of milk de- Ask anyone who pilots a hang glider orlivered to your door by the milkman was Each year at the fall BOD meeting, a paraglider what most captivates thema layer of thick, rich cream that, if you the USHPA Awards committee reviews about flying, and you’ll almost certainlyknew what was good for you, you did the many dozens of emails from pilots get some variation on the theme of ourNOT pour off onto your cereal before who realize that their flying buddy is unique visual perspectives, the scenicyour parents came down for break- someone who enriches the entire com- beauty of the places we launch fromfast! That cream had to be shaken up munity. The committee members dis- and fly over. The Bettina Gray award isand mixed in with the rest of the milk cuss the nominations, perhaps add their presented each year to a photographerevery time before serving; if somebody own personal knowledge of candidates, who best captures the spirit of free flightskimmed it off, everybody else was left and then select the nominees they feel in his or her images. This year, however,with a thin, pale, weak substitute for are most deserving of recognition. This the Awards committee, unable to rankthe real thing (sorry, all you skim-milk is never an easy task, as the nomina- the photos of one talented lady abovedrinkers...) tions make it plain that each and every the other, declared a tie and named both nominee is perceived as the “cream” in Desiree Voight and Rebecca Bredehoft And so it is in our flying communi- his or her own club or group, or within as the 2013 Bettina Gray Photographers of the Year. Their expertise and vision10 HANG GLIDING & PARAGLIDING MAGAZINE

More fun, Less Work. OPPOSITE Photographers Desiree Voight (left) and Rebecca Bredehoft (right). LEFT Videographers Eric Blum and Chris Hilliard. magazine as well.”are clearly displayed in the selection of BEST PROMOTIONAL VIDEO 31&38m2their photos included at the end of thisarticle. More and more these days, pilots are Call for special demo program. using video to showcase the many Desiree Voight has been totally im- aspects of our sports that still photosmersed in the hang gliding community cannot capture. A few years back,for many years. Being a pilot herself, as USHPA created the Best Promotionalwell as the wife of a pilot, daughter-in- Video award to recognize the videog-law of one of hang gliding’s icons, and rapher whose work meets the highestoccasional driver, Desiree has frequently standards in aesthetics, originality, andfound herself in the right place at the professionalism, and portrays hangright time with the right vision to gliding or paragliding in a positive lightcapture many world-class hang gliding and in a manner that will captivate bothand paragliding photos. Her nomina- pilots and the general public.tors indicate that she has a great eye forthose “magic moments” in hang gliding, The 2013 award goes to Eric Blumand point out that her constant presence and Chris Hilliard, co-producersin the flying community allowed her to of Sierra Safari. Extreme mountaincapture the “day-in and day-out opera- paragliding and vol-bivouac flights aretions” of her former home site at Point beyond the skill level and endurance ofof the Mountain. Desiree’s photos have the majority of pilots. But even if there’sbeen published in USHPA’s magazine no chance we’ll ever get there, this videoand calendar, and in numerous other brings us right into the picture; withpublications that showcase free flight. only a bit of imaginative effort we can experience the exhilaration of flying over Rebecca Bredehoft seems to be spectacularly remote areas, or experi-always on the road, traveling to sites encing the gut-wrenching trepidation ofaround the globe to compete or fly recre- those moments when only the utmostationally, and she always has her camera skill and a good dose of luck keepsclose at hand. A nominator describes the situation from going really bad.her images as “a mixture of unbelievable “Breathtaking scenery, professional pho-composition, texture and technical abil- tography, gutsy paragliding,” wrote oneity that create a true feeling of place and nominator, but there’s a greater depth toour sports. She frequently contributes this film than those terms can Cross Country magazine’s eye-candy View the video online at https://vimeo.pages, and has had numerous photos com/m/55400127 to see for yourself.published in Hang Gliding & Paragliding The USHPA Awards committee unani- mously and enthusiastically selected Sierra Safari as the Best Promotional Video of 2013. HANG GLIDING & PARAGLIDING MAGAZINE 11

LEFT Rob Kells Memorial award-winner, Steve Pearson. BELOW Jon Stallman, recognized for exceptional service.Rob Kells Memorial Award ishly made himself available for advice to for the gliders, which make us dealers uncounted pilots over all these years.” and repair guys look good.”It’s highly unlikely that any hang glidingmember of this association is unaware “Steve designed the Condor trainer, “In the last two decades, Steve hasof Steve Pearson’s too-many-to-list the Falcon and the new Alpha, all of revolutionized hang gliding training,contributions to the hang gliding scene which have been instrumental in making making entry to the sport easier than itin the US and around the world. His learning to hang glide easier, safer and had ever been before, which has possiblymany nominators wrote pages about more fun.” done more to grow the sport than anySteve as a driving force in the evolution other individual ever has. Steve hasof hang gliding over more than three “It would be hard to find a member bettered the sport in nearly every aspectdecades. Here’s what some of them have who hasn’t flown a glider that Steve of hang glider design, from performanceto say: wasn’t involved in designing. His deep- to handling to ease of use, but it is his down interest in what we want as pilots work to make the sport easier and safer, “Steve’s contributions to the myriad is evident in how he listens to others and and more fun for new pilots that is mostWills Wing designs over more than 35 continues to be caring yet professional in notable, and makes him totally worthyyears have resulted in the safest possible all aspects.” of the Rob Kells Memorial award.”evolution of glider design progression,literally (in my opinion) allowing the “My personal faves regarding Steve “Steve has made a lot of people’ssport to survive.” include his making the Falcon at a time dreams come true, and to him we not when common sense indicated single- only owe an award of this nature and “Steve has devoted his life over the surface was dead—yet it revolutionized prestige, but also a huge debt of grati-last four decades not only to improving our training, making it safer by a great tude. When I fly, I feel like I have wingsthe safety, user friendliness and perfor- amount. Equally significant is his very sprouting from my back—I don’t feelmance of hang gliders but has unself- professional documentation (manuals) like I am piloting some aircraft. It takes a very special combination of features to produce that feeling of intuitive and natural flying. “ Because Steve’s dedication toward making hang gliding fun, safe, acces- sible and rewarding for pilots of all skill levels is closely aligned with Rob Kells’s philosophy, USHPA finds it so totally appropriate to present the 2013 Rob Kells Memorial Award to Rob’s friend and business partner, Steve Pearson.12 HANG GLIDING & PARAGLIDING MAGAZINE

3 NEW Ways your Sport to SupportExceptional Service just follow the links at“Our sites are what keep our sports,” declared one of Jon Stallman'snominators, and then he and several Shwag OUTothers began enumerating the manyways Jon has been instrumental in keep- With new print-on-demand free flight alive. Here is an abbrevi-ated list of what convinced the Awards Bone UPcommittee that Jon has indeed offeredexceptional service to the pilot commu- With the best books and DVDs available, shipped from over the years. SMILE : ) *In a project that spanned over threeyears, Jon developed the Bidwell Park Start ALL of your shopping at in Chico, California. He workedpatiently and meticulously with city Buy ANYTHING ELSE at smile.Amazon.comofficials to change a local law, and (even a rubber chicken)conducted the required environmental-impact and risk-mitigation studies. and Amazon Smile will donate 0.5% of your purchase to USHPA! *After a fire swept through thePotato Hill site last year, closing it toparagliding, Jon worked closely withthe US Forest Service to “reinvent”this popular thermal site, and started afund-raising project to pay for the im-provements. Within an amazingly briefperiod of time, he’d raised over $3300to help pay for expanding the existinglaunch area, erecting a shade structureand, as one nominator puts it, “install-ing fancy European-style turf over theentire launch.” He also organized vol-unteer work parties to provide the sweatequity. Finally, he negotiated access toproperty that provides a significantlylarger and safer LZ. All of this with “un-believable optimism and good humor.” “Characters like Jon are rare,” ob-serves one nominator. “Free flight cannotsurvive without the likes of Jon to putthe effort into developing and preservingour flying sites.” The Awards committee agrees,and enthusiastically presents Jon withUSHPA’s 2013 Exceptional Serviceaward.

PG Instructor of the Year the group often being quite diverse, with LEFT Paragliding Instructor of the Year, Jesse many different skill levels, Jesse man-Jesse Meyer's students heaped praise aged to set up those trips so that every- Meyer. RiGHT Hang Gliding Instructor of theon every aspect of his instructional style. body got something out of it and pushed Year, Mitch Shipley.They were, of course, impressed with on his or her personal limits.” Anotherhis patience, focus on safety, the extent adds, “He introduced me to a lot of his the entire Bay Area flying community.”of his knowledge of the fine nuances of flying friends so we can fly together and One pilot, who’s been involved inparagliding, and his ability to encour- learn from each other.”age students to stretch their boundaries aviation for nearly his entire life but onlywithout losing the “safety first” priority. Several students pointed out Jesse’s recently came to paragliding, comparedBut Jesse’s style included many more frequent presence at the Bay Area flying Jesse to the numerous instructors he’sperks for his students. He organized sites, and identified him as a signifi- encountered over his flying career, andnumerous trips to a variety of flying sites cant role model: “He is consistently at concludes Jesse is “without a doubt onethat many students found especially multiple flying sites, both thermal and of the best instructors I’ve had in mybeneficial. One student relates, “Despite slope-soaring, and is a true resource to aviation career.” Just about every one of Jesse’s numer-14 HANG GLIDING & PARAGLIDING MAGAZINE

ous nominators cited his positive, You are invited to Fly a Sailplane Todayfriendly, cheerful attitude, and his love (FAST). Purchase a voucher (only $139.00)for paragliding, as major qualifications from The Soaring Society of America, Inc.for this Instructor of the Year award. and redeem it at a gliderport near you.“His passion comes through in histeaching methods, and students always You receive:leave the training hill with a smile.” • 30 minutes ground lesson • 30 minute flight lesson Jesse has clearly brought into the • An instructional bookparagliding community a well-trained • A glider pilot logbookcadre of enthusiastic and safety-oriented pilots, and in recogni- • Introductory 3 month membership intion of his outstanding instruction, The Soaring Society of America, Inc.USHPA names Jesse Meyer the 2013 • A copy of Soaring MagazineParagliding Instructor of the Year. So, Fly a Sailplane Today!Hang Gliding Instructor of the Year www.ssa.orgMitch Shipley was nominated by both Phone: 575-392-1177entry-level students and by experiencedand “lapsed” pilots who came to himfor refresher instruction. Pilots of allskill sets identified Mitch’s thorough-ness, patience, breadth of materialcovered, ability to make complex sub-jects understandable, and willingnessto share personal experiences relevantto the student’s situation as reasons fornaming Mitch Instructor of the Year.Several students found Mitch’s classes“demanding and incredibly thorough”but added that Mitch’s teaching stylemade his lessons challenging but notintimidating. “He taught me to bevigilant, to make safe decisions and,through his infectious love the sport,never to lose sight of how magical hanggliding is,” said one student. Anothersaid, “Safety is his first priority, and heimparted that aspect as a non-optionalapproach to flying hang gliders. Team Challenge participants, bothup-and-coming pilots and experiencedXC flyers, benefited from Mitch’steaching and mentoring sessions duringthe 2013 event. He “gave of his vastknowledge and experience in the formof clinics with video reviews and lec-tures on everything from landing andlaunch techniques to XC planning andexecution.” Mitch designed, constructed and HANG GLIDING & PARAGLIDING MAGAZINE 15

LEFT USHPA Chapter of the year, the Southern Para Pilots. RIGHT Santa Barbara Soaring Association webmaster, John McMahon.operates an electric tow system, the active paraglider pilots who enthusiasti- Pilots.ElectraTow, to teach launching and cally take on all the tasks that make for Although the Tater Hill Open, heldlanding skills to students who have no a strong flying community. The SPP’saccess to a training hill. New pilots board and members are always looking each summer in Boone, South Carolina,cited the ElectraTow as a major stress- for creative and interesting ways to pro- is not a club event, the SPP is one of thereducer in transitioning from tandem mote safety and education. For example, main supporters of the event. This non-aerotows to solo flight. Mitch brought the club hosts an annual parachute sanctioned event is immensely popularthe ElectraTow to the Team Challenge, repack clinic, where participants assist in with both novice pilots and those withand one experienced pilot who took the packing process to learn the proce- extensive XC experience. It’s not un-advantage of Mitch’s landing clinic finds dure and gain a better understanding of usual for SPP pilots to come out on topthat he’s “landing the ATOS VR beast how a reserve parachute functions. in both the sport and the open class—better than ever” after reviewing with with more than 70 members from fiveMitch the videos of his landings. Also, a member who is a trained states, the club can field a strong team at arborist conducts a tree-rescue clinic every skill level. “Mitch is a gifted fella who gives each year, since, as one nominator putsthis sport so much more than he gets it, “the majority of our flying sites have Club members offered several inter-back,” says an experienced pilot who has an abundance of trees.” Participants esting data bits about the SPP. Amongbenefited from Mitch’s clinics. “I hope learn the safest way to land in a tree, and those 70 members are 10 marriedyou recognize him as the Instructor of how to self-rescue if that is a reasonable couples who fly together; the youngestthe Year. He deserves it.” option. member is a 17-year-old P-4 who began flying at age 9, and the oldest is in his USHPA agrees, and applauds Retaining sites and gaining access 80s; members call 12 different countriesMitch’s many contributions to the to new ones is also high on the club’s (on every continent except Australia andgrowth of hang gliding by naming him priority list. Two new sites, Whitwell Antarctica) “home.”the 2013 Hang Gliding Instructor of PG and Hensons Gap in Tennesseethe Year. are, one nominator points out, “sister The Southern Para Pilots welcome sites to sites belonging to the Tennessee visiting pilots, and invite any USHPAChapter of the Year Tree Toppers, and there seems to be members traveling to the southeast a new-found friendship forming with states to come fly with them. The clubCompared to its rapid expansion the hang glider pilots. We are learning website,, includesthroughout the western states, paraglid- from them, and they are learning from information about the club, their man-ing got off to a slow start in the East, but us.” These new sites were cleared, and aged sites, and how to contact a clubthanks in part to the Southern Para are maintained, by the Southern Para member to go fly.Pilots there is now a strong cadre of For the club’s numerous and varied contributions toward growing the sport of paragliding in the southeast, USHPA recognizes the Southern Para Pilots as the 2013 Chapter of the Year. Website of the Year Southern California pilots enthusiasti- cally endorsed the newly redesigned Santa Barbara Soaring Association ( website as “incredibly user- friendly, with beautiful graphics and design.” One of the favorite features is the chat box, in a prominent position on the home page, and obviously a popu-16 HANG GLIDING & PARAGLIDING MAGAZINE

RAT RACE 2014 JUNE 22ND - 28TH PRACTICE DAY - JUNE 21ST ENTER THE RAT RACE, THE RAT RACE SPRINT OR JOIN THE RAT RACE SUPER CLINIC A PARAGLIDING CLINIC IN A COMPETITION SETTING MPHSPORTS.COMlar tool for organizing the where’s and Solairuswhen’s and who’s-got-a-driver detailson any flyable day (which is every day in Light Soaring TrikeSoCal, right?). ATF Nominators listed easy access torelevant information, a blog feature for Light Soaring Trikesharing photos and flying stories, smart-phone compatibility, weather links, Climb to cloudbaseand connection with tweets from local shut down engineschools that facilitates arranging rides and soar!to launch. uHAlNtGriGkLeIDsE@RSnoUrLtThRAwLiInGgHT.cTRoIKmES5&0 WINGS . 4 3 5 9 “We live in a fantastic part of thecountry, and we are fortunate now 9.682to have a fresh, new and informativewebsite to reflect our level of interest andshowcase the fun and scenery we all loveand share here in southern California,”says one nominator. “When I can’t get out to fly, at leastI can couch-fly with my smartphone,”quips another. “There are new posts every week, ifnot every day, of people sharing theirexperiences flying in Santa Barbara,posting informative articles and more.It has really become a ‘hub’ for our club,

thanks to the web designer and his im- however, sees Rich’s dedication to his mense amount of input to the project.” home site, Tiger Mt., to be far beyond any presidential duties. Rich devotes Visit to see what these many hours on a regular basis to in- pilots are raving about, and to under- terfacing with the various entities who stand why the Awards committee has control the launch, the LZ, access to selected webmaster John McMahon and both of these and the airspace we fly in. his newly redesigned site for recognition It is thanks to Rich’s superb negotiating as USHPA’s 2013 Website of the Year. skills that a road-widening project was kept from narrowing the LZ to where COMMENDATIONS the challenges of simultaneous landings of paragliders and hang gliders would be Commendations are awarded to pilots beyond the comfort levels of most pilots. whose local communities and/or flying buddies have singled them out for Judith Hutchinson, pilot and MD, recognition of service above and beyond was on the scene of a serious paraglid- the norm. ing accident and immediately leapt to action. Using her medical skills she Paul Blood has taken it upon himself to maintain both the launch and the LEFT, TOP TO BOTTOM LZ at the Ellenville (New York) flying site. In order to keep the LZ groomed Commendations: Paul Blood, Rick Brown, Niels to golf-course standards, he championed Dachler, Rich Hass and Judith Hutchinson. a fundraiser to purchase a triple-finish ABOVE Tony Lang and Todd Weigand. mower and tractor, and mows several hours each week. The Ellenville flying community is grateful to Paul for their country-club-caliber flying site. Rick Brown is an instructor with the Rochester Area (New York) Flyers club who stands out for his attention to detail and commitment to safety, both with students and experienced pilots. He’s also the main man in assuring the club’s equipment is not in need of repair or replacement. Nominators cited his “infections enthusiasm” and “playful delight” about hang gliding, and his “generosity and dedication to the sport of hang gliding” as additional reasons for awarding Rick a commendation. Niels Dachler has filmed and placed into the mainstream media more free- flight material than any other member in the history of USHPA. An employee of a major broadcasting network, Niels is in position to portray hang gliding and paragliding in a positive, upbeat light, and he does so tirelessly. Rich Hass, as USHPA president, considers it part of his presidential responsibilities to help keep sites open and accessible. His local community,18 HANG GLIDING & PARAGLIDING MAGAZINE

stabilized the victim and helped coordi- Recognition for Special Contribution ABOVE Meteorologist Ginger Zee.nate emergency medical support, whileproviding significant emotional comfort Ginger Zee, a meteorologist who ap- C hances are, as you were readingto the victim, whose injuries were suf- pears daily on ABC’s Good Morning through the accomplishments andficiently extensive to require air evacu- America, has brought 21st-century hang contributions of these award-ation to a level 1 trauma center. Judy gliding and paragliding to a national winning pilots, you realized thatremained many hours at the hospital to television audience through her on-the- someone in your flying family has doneserve as advocate for the patient while scene filming of her free-flight adven- something equally worthy of recogni-other support was being located. One tures. She’s taken tandem paragliding tion. The Awards committee is accept-nominator says, “It is not the medical flights in Valle de Bravo (Mexico) and in ing nominations for the 2014 awardsskill and level-headedness that I would Colombia, been parahawking in Nepal, right now, and it’s easy and straightfor-like USHPA to formally commend as and flown tandem on a hang glider at ward to complete a nomination online.much as Judy’s immediate, sustained and Lookout Mountain (Georgia). Her Go to impulse to do whatever she could bubbly personality, and her presentation asp for a full description of each of theto mitigate the suffering of the victim. of free flight as a bit edgy and intimidat- awards, to was an element of practical positive ing but so totally worth doing, has seri- ward.asp to submit your candidate’senergy during an entirely awful event.” ously damaged the long-standing (but name and contributions, and to http:// no longer deserved) reputation of hang to Tony Lang has for several years glider and paraglider pilots as adrenaline download a (somewhat incomplete)spearheaded the fundraising efforts to junkies with a death wish. USHPA is list of the award winners since 1972.garner the cash needed to send the US extremely grateful to Ginger Zee for Nominations are accepted until earlyparagliding teams to the world cham- providing her audience an opportunity October, but if you don’t do it now,pionships and to the X-Alps. Anyone to experience the fun, the excitement, or post a reminder to yourself, thewho’s ever taken on responsibility for the magic that free flight offers those opportunity to let someone know hisraising money for any cause knows what who choose to step off into the air, or her work is valuable and appreciateda challenge it is to reach a financial goal; and is pleased to award her the 2013 may slip by (at least until next year).Tony’s fundraising drives have suc- Recognition for Special Contribution. Your nomination is not a “vote” for acessfully financed the US paragliding candidate; rather, your description ofteams’ competition expenses for the past PRESIDENTIAL CITATION why you consider this pilot worthyseveral world meets. of recognition provides the informa- USHPA’s most prestigious award is the tion the committee needs to make an Todd Weigand persevered through Presidential Citation, and its recipient informed decision.many years of negotiations with the US is determined not by nominations orForest Service to improve the somewhat committee consensus but (as the namesketchy launch at Mt. Howard, near implies) by the president of our associa-Joseph, Oregon. Accessed by the Mt. tion. Rich Hass selected Dick HeckmanHoward tram, this 8200’msl launch was as the 2013 recipient of this award, andoriginally rough, rocky, constrained by everyone who has known and workedtrees, and considered suitable only for with Dick over the past several decadesthe most skilled pilots. Todd obtained enthusiastically endorsed Rich’s choice.permission and organized the efforts to Dick’s many contributions—chairingmake the launch more user-friendly by BOD committees, serving as USHPAremoving rocks and trees and spread- president and as our delegate to the FAI,ing truckloads of topsoil. A fly-in last and working tirelessly on a huge varietyOctober to celebrate the newly improved of projects and committees—deservelaunch was compromised by an early more than a paragraph or two in thissnowstorm, but Todd assures us that, article. If you don’t already know thisonce the snow melts out in the spring, active and energetic octogenarian hangMt. Howard’s launch will be open and glider pilot, you’ll be introduced to himavailable for safe launching by a wider in a future issue of this magazine.population of pilots. 19HANG GLIDING & PARAGLIDING MAGAZINE






A s the sun climbs higher at win- a lot of abuse. the opposite leading edge going back ter’s end in the northern hemi- To inspect the sail, start with the toward the nose. This is also a good sphere, its increasing angle of time to lubricate stubborn undersurfaceincidence on the earth begins to warm glider completely set up, the crossbar zippers. I use a silicone zip stick (foundthe approaching springtime seasonal haul-back tensioned and tip wands (if on the web) to lubricate undersurfaceairmass. With the flying season rap- applicable) installed. When inspecting zippers. Closely inspect the sail-mountidly approaching this is a perfect time my glider I start at the nose and walk webbing and grommets. Once the sail isto thoroughly inspect and perform down one leading edge, go along the inspected and zippers are lubed, I cleanannual maintenance on your hang trailing edge and then back up along the sail.glider. While it is important to follow the opposite leading edge back to theyour manufacturer’s maintenance rec- nose. I start at the nose cone, checking To clean the sail, use water and aommendations, there is no substitute not only the sail material around the cotton cloth or very soft brush. A weakfor having your dealer perform an area, but also the quality of the Velcro solution of Simple Green (one partannual inspection together with you. attached to both the nose cone and the Simple Green to eight parts water) sail. Run your hand down one leading can be used on Dacron material that As a flex-wing pilot I’ve limited my edge feeling for loose stitching, small is particularly soiled. It’s important todiscussion here to flex-wing gliders and rips, tears, or broken fibers from PX rinse the sail completely. Do not use abroken down inspection and mainte- materials. Loose threads or minuscule high-pressure hose on the sail. Do notnance items into three basic categories: tears in the leading edge sail are usually use well water if your water containssail, hardware, and cables. I am not not a concern and can be easily patched. lime or if you’re using a water instructor or a hang glider dealer. Your dealer, however, should inspect Find another clean water source.Instead, I contribute the following ar- larger rips or tears. Carefully check forticle after several decades as a flex-wing abrasion around the tips, particularly Lastly, you can use Dacron sailpilot with the desire to contribute to on the outside and undersurface around tape to patch a small tear or hole in theyour safety. While I cover a broad range the tip wands. I also carefully check the sail—so long as it is not near the trailingof inspection and maintenance items, cam lever bolt attachment for abnormal edge. For small sail repairs I’ve usedyou must consult with your manufac- wear on the undersurface. Bainbridge Dacron Sail Repair Tapeturer’s owner’s manual for your specific (available on the web). Further, I’veglider. Once the inspection of the tip area used sail tape to cover and protect areas is complete, inspect the trailing edge. out near the wing tip that have begunThe Sail Look carefully for threads coming to show abrasion. If you have areas on loose, and holes or small tears near the your sail that need attention, there isToday’s hang glider sails can be made of trailing edge of your glider. The sail’s no substitute for you and your dealervarious types of Dacron, mylar and/or trailing edge is highly stressed and your inspecting your glider together.a blend of layered materials that make dealer should inspect any anomaly inup the skin of our aircraft. With every sail material in this area. After inspect- The Hardwareflight the sail gets unrolled, exposed to ing the other wing tip, move up alongthe sun’s UV radiation, sand, dirt, and When our gliders are set up, we cansea salt (along coastal areas), and rolledback up again. Over time abrasion ofsail material commonly occurs out nearthe tips from contact with the groundand along the leading edges, particular-ly from pilots still honing their landingskills. It’s no surprise that the sail takes OPPOSITE Launching from Crested Butte. Photo by Susan Jesuroga. BELOW With the sail detached from the rear leading-edge, it is possible to inspect the leading-edge tubes through the sprog pockets and undersurface center zipper. 25HANG GLIDING & PARAGLIDING MAGAZINE

easily appreciate their good looks and provides you with the ultimate check- carbon fiber, it is not possible to ascer-sleek design. However, sometimes we up of your glider’s structure. Note, tain the structural integrity of a carbon-may not fully appreciate the intricacies however, that if you have an advanced fiber component of your glider throughof the airframe underneath the sail. No glider that uses two sprogs per wing, a simple visual inspection. It is best toannual inspection would be complete it is possible to inspect the entire contact the manufacturer of your gliderwithout a comprehensive examination airframe without removing the sail. To if you have a question about a carbon-of the glider’s airframe and hardware. do this, lay the glider upside down on fiber component on your glider. Also saw horses, detach the sail from the note that airframes made from 7075 Depending on your glider, a com- rear leading edge and simply and care- T6 tubing are far more susceptible toplete “sail-off-the-airframe” inspection fully manipulate the sail leading-edge corrosion from salt water than 6061 T6 pocket to inspect the entire leading- aluminum used in earlier model gliders.ABOVE, TOP The upper and lower nose edge tubing through the sprog pockets If your glider has been exposed to saltplates should be flat and symmetrical with and the undersurface center zipper. water, or if you’re a routine coastal flyer,each other, sail-attachment webbing should be Similarly the crossbar can be largely ac- consider pulling the sail from yourclean of frays, Velcro sticky-back hook-and-loop cessed through the undersurface center glider, giving it a thorough inspectionmaterial should work almost as well as new. zipper. Check each tube for creases, and fresh water flush (particularlyUse a very stiff brush to clean Velcro “hooks” dings or dents. through the inner tubing). In addition to the airframe, check the other hard-material. BOTTOM Cut and round the While you can inspect the outer ware components on your wing.corners when using sail tape to repair small surface of advanced materials such astears in the sail. Check all the bolts along the nose plate and leading edge/crossbar junc- tion, and check that the plates are straight and symmetrical. Be sure to inspect the wear on your hang loop and the hang loop attachment to the glider. If you have a kingpost glider, check the center bolt of your kingpost and ascertain that the bolt hole in the keel is not elongated, particularly if you’ve had hard landings. Check the crossbar center section hardware, bolts, and the crossbar hold-down cable. Remember to check the haul-back cable attachment for wear or kinks in the haul-back cable. Also check the control bar apex attach- ment bolts. Check the VG block, the VG rope, and that all pulleys function properly. Sight down the downtubes to be sure they are straight. The control bar’s corner brackets are a key structural component of your glider, yet they are most susceptible to damage from the ground, particularly from less-than- perfect landings. The ball lock pins that are used to secure the downtubes to the basetube control bar corner bracket are critical to the structural integrity of the glider. If a ball lock pin is hard to remove it’s possible that it is bent, and the glider should not be flown until it26 HANG GLIDING & PARAGLIDING MAGAZINE

and the corner bracket are replaced. Are The Cables cable above what is considered normal.the markings on your VG cord fading? Replace it, and the corresponding cableNow is a good time to redo them with While the sail provides the skin to our on the other side of the glider.small marks using indelible ink. aircraft and the airframe its struc- ture, the steel cables are critical to the Lastly, the bottom side wires carry If your glider is equipped with structural integrity of hang gliders and the highest load in-flight. Give them ansprogs, insure that they are straight no significant loss in cable strength can extra look. When I’ve had a season ofand within factory specifications. be tolerated. The cables are tensioned, flights with repeated wire slappers dueDepending on where you fly, springtime de-tensioned and rolled or stowed each to turbulent conditions I replace myair can be turbulent and you’ll be grate- time we set up, fly, and break down. side wires. Check for wear on the haul-ful knowing your dive sticks are within This inherently introduces some degree back cables where they come in contactspecs if you encounter rowdy air. Check of cable fatigue. Even a single broken with other parts of the glider.your owner’s manual to determine how strand can significantly compromise theto correctly measure sprog settings. If integrity of a cable. But more impor- Conclusionyour glider utilizes reflex lines for pitch tant, a cable that has been bent severelystability, check your owner’s manual enough to have taken a permanent There really is no substitute for you andto determine the exact length of your curve when de-tensioned, no matter your dealer inspecting your glider to-reflex lines as your sail may change how slight, must be replaced before the gether. If you live in an area where youshape with age. If the lengths of your glider can be flown again. Repeated have a long winter layoff from flying,reflex lines are outside the manufac- tensioning/de-tensioning of the cable getting your glider out and meticulouslyturer’s specification, consult with your will induce fatigue at that part of the going through it will help to get youdealer before flying your glider. Check cable that has been compromised and back in the hang gliding mindset. Onthe upper-surface ribs against the it might at some point fail. Check all your first flight back, you’ll be confidentbatten profile template and true them cables and be sure all tangs are straight. knowing that your sail is in good shape,accordingly. If you have a tang that is bent, chances the airframe and hardware on your are you may have placed a load on the glider are sound and you are ready for the start of a new flying season.Liberty 148  158 Visit NorthWing.comhigh performance with stable, responsive handling ATF and SOLAIRUS soaring trikesVG Sail Control · Mylar Full Race Sail availableH3+ · for Intermediate and higher skill levels FREEDOM hang glider1st place, 2012 Chelan XC Classic · Kingpost Class2nd place, 2012 Spain Championship · Kingpost ClassnHAoNrG tGhLIDwERinS gU.LcTRoAmLIGH5T0TR9IK.6ES82.4359 27HANG GLIDING & PARAGLIDING MAGAZINE


HG401TransitionAdvanced Techniques & Concepts by r ya n voig htT he word “transition” can be used in talking about about when NOT to transition. There is a specific time in many things, but when we hear it in hang gliding it every landing where it is near impossible to maintain control has almost an iconic meaning. We fly our gliders in of the glider and transition, and that is on final carrying the prone position, with our hands on the basetube. additional airspeed. With airspeed comes bar pressure, and We land our gliders with our bodies upright, and our letting go with one hand while there is bar pressure results in at least a pitch “bobble” where the nose pops up, or worse still hands on the downtubes. To get from A to B we “transi- an accidental heading change—the one hand you’re still hold- tion.” ing on and pulling in with is on one side of the control frame, pulling your weight toward that side and turning the glider. As simple as that may sound, it ain’t! To better understand Knowing when not to transition, we can clarify that we want a topic, it’s useful to ask the W (and one H) question words: to transition either before we turn on final and then pull in for What, When, Which, Where, Why, and How. Who is a extra speed, OR near the end of the ground-skim phase of the W word as well, but in this case that is obvious—you, me, landing when we’ve bled off the extra airspeed and are nearing whoever the pilot may be. trim speed and there is little or no bar pressure. Starting with WHAT—the transition is working from WHICH is the next question we face, because we must prone to upright. Does that mean body position, hand posi- choose—transition before final or after ground skim. Both tion, or both? If I keep my hands on the basetube but rock my have their pro’s and con’s and neither is a simple choice. body upright, have I transitioned? I would say no, because I Transitioning before pulling in for speed gets the transition can’t really flare with my hands on the basetube, so I can’t be done early, leaving you less to have to do while performing done yet. How about if I move my hands to the downtubes your landing. It does, however, come with a catch: Pulling in but don’t rock my body upright? Again, I probably don’t want for speed can be more difficult when flying from the uprights. to land like that, so I can’t be done yet. So what I’ve come Notice I said more difficult and not impossible; it CAN be to realize is that “the transition” actually consists of two done. In terms of physics, the glider feels your weight hanging elements, sometimes done simultaneously, but often done at from your harness mains and hooked in at the hang loop. different times. Either way can be effective with practice; I When flying prone, pulling in to full arm extension puts use both, depending on the situation. the basetube about at your belt buckle, which is just a little farther forward than your harness mains. When upright, we WHEN to transition is an easy answer: The transition can pull in until the basetube contacts our body—and when needs to be completed—both parts as described above— it does, our harness mains will be just barely behind the base- before it’s time to flare. Unfortunately that is not very spe- cific… because that could be the moment before you flare, or 10 seconds after launching. To narrow it down let’s first thinkOPPOSITE Flying near the ground while prone means we still need to work a transition in before it’s time to flare—and if something goes wrong our injuries will likely be much worse. 29HANG GLIDING & PARAGLIDING MAGAZINE

tube. The challenge comes in the anatomical workings of the tells the glider to fly faster. Looks funny, feels weird, but ithuman shoulder. In the orientation that we hold the down- works great!tubes while upright, it’s impossible to pull the downtubes backbehind our shoulders. This “problem” is exaggerated in single- A third technique that can help is, instead of holding thesuspension harnesses that do not get our bodies as upright, downtubes in the conventional way—with your thumbs point-because it means our shoulders are quite a bit farther forward ed up—move your hands onto the leading edge of the downthan our harness mains, and the limits of our shoulders only tubes and with your thumbs pointed down. This makes it solets us pull in a little bit. There are a few common “solutions” you can “push” your body forward. This technique can achieveto this: Because of the rake of the control frame, holding extreme speeds even in the upright position, but there’s athe downtubes a bit lower when pulling in (but returning big catch: It adds another step into your landing sequenceyour hands to shoulder level before flaring) moves our hands because you need to get your hands moved back to the trailingforward a little more, giving us a little more pull-in. This edge of the down tubes with thumbs up before you can better for some than others because of different body Personally I don’t favor this method, but some swear by it.types and glider/control-frame sizes. For some, sliding theirhands lower just puts their arms at full outward extension There are a few other tricks too, but what’s most importantand doesn’t help them pull in at all, AND severely handicaps is practicing all of this stuff safely IN FLIGHT. That meanstheir roll control as well! But for some, this technique works getting lots of ground clearance in smooth conditions andwonders. getting upright and figuring out what works and how you can fly fast enough from the uprights. Some body/harness/wing Another useful “trick” is to use your lower body. Pulling in combinations can be a real challenge, but it’s a needed skill andwith our arms moves our body forward as a whole, but what worthy of the time and effort to figure it out. It IS possible,the glider “feels” is moving the center of mass of our body, but like anything else, it takes practice.right? So if you pull in until your shoulders won’t let you pullany more, pulling your legs forward—albeit an awkward posi- The other side of WHICH is doing your transition late,tion—moves your body’s center of mass forward more, which when the glider is at trim just before you flare. With our hands on the basetube pulling in is a much more natural movement, so many feel they have more control. I’ll agree it30 HANG GLIDING & PARAGLIDING MAGAZINE

is certainly easier to pull in this way, especially for someone nothing “wrong” with that. It is a higher risk option, becausewho hasn’t put the time in practicing and working out how to it leaves us transitioning (flying one-handed) while we arefly fast from the uprights in their current gear configuration. low and slow, with very little margin for error or the unex-(We all learned it at some point, but most of us fly different pected. The MOST risk comes from still flying in the pronewings and harnesses now.) I also know that we’re human, and position near the ground—even if you prefer to pull in fromhumans tend to like what they know, feeling most comfortable the basetube, doing half the transition and getting your bodywith things that are familiar. Once we graduate the training upright helps minimize risk because if something goes wronghills, we begin accumulating real airtime. Nearly all of this and you impact, at least you’re not doing it head first. A reallyairtime is flying prone and on the basetube. As pilots fly more nice compromise between transitioning early or doing it late isand more they become increasingly comfortable flying on the to get your body upright and move ONE hand to a downtubebasetube, and flying upright doesn’t feel as nice. Physics and up high, and leave the other on the basetube. This “one-up-aerodynamics say we should have equal control over our wing one-down” position feels really secure in rough conditions,whether upright or prone, as long as we can find a way to shift and feeling secure helps us stay calm and deal with things asour weight effectively in either position. All that said, some they come up in a smooth and rational manner (which is verychoose to fly their entire approach from the basetube and important!)move their hands up at trim right before they flare, and there’s WHERE can refer to “where do we transition?” as in upOPPOSITE This pilot opted to transition after turning on final and before pulling in for extra airspeed. Now allshe has to do is keep the wings level, round out, be patient through the ground-skim phase and wait for timeto flare. Why make landing more complicated than that? ABOVE A look into competition pilot Dustin Martin’stransition in a single-suspension point harness. With his hands still on the basetube he rocks his body upright until the slider on the harness moves forward, and only then does he smoothly switch his hands. HANG GLIDING & PARAGLIDING MAGAZINE 31

high or down low (see above), but I like to think of “WHERE we need it. My friend Tom Lanning shared a great video onI will put my hands.” Do I move the left one first, or the right? YouTube of some really talented pilots flaring from the baseAm I going to try to move one hand and then the other right tube and doing no-step landings in no wind, even on mid-’90safter, or maybe fly an extended period of the approach with high-performance gliders which weren’t the easiest to land. Ifone hand up and keep the other on the basetube? There are a you think we need to get upright to land on our feet, check itlot of options here, and each has its situation. The big picture out. Make sure you watch Jonny Szarek not only flare fromof what we need to accomplish never changes—we control the the base tube, but stick the landing while still zipped up inglider through an approach, carrying speed into a ground- his pod harness. Anyway, we get upright to minimize risk, toskim, and flare to stop our forward motion. What changes on make flaring easier and more forgiving, and in case we need tonearly every flight and landing is what we need to do in order do a running landing because flaring isn’t an option anymoreto accomplish that, and that is why there is no one way for all for whatever reason.landings. Now we can actually talk about HOW we get the transi- WHY we transition seems obvious, but isn’t. Most think tion done! The thing to remember about the transition is thatwe need to get our bodies upright so that we get our landing we are changing body position and orientation. We need togear under us. However, if you watch a properly flared glider, continue flying the glider as we do this, but also do it withoutit rotates nose-up and the keel comes down almost vertical. unwanted control inputs. Imagine the glider is a giant bird.When flying prone our bodies are roughly parallel with the We want to accomplish our transition without the bird feel-keel, which means if we stayed prone through a perfect flare ing a thing. Hang gliders are controlled by weight shift, andwe would rotate with the glider and still land on our feet. another way of saying “weight shift” is balance—the key to aBUT—as I mentioned earlier, flying prone near the ground is smooth transition is keeping your body and glider balanced.risky. Also, we have very limited flare authority from that low There are times when we can let go with one, or both, handson the control frame, making timing critical (and unforgiv- because things are balanced, but there are a lot of times weing). With our hands on the uprights, we have much more can’t. The trick is finding—or even creating—those bal-authority, which means we have more margin for error should anced moments. We also need to be realistic in how long or32 HANG GLIDING & PARAGLIDING MAGAZINE

frequent these moments are, and this is highly dependent hand that is staying on the basetube over to the middle. Thison the conditions. In smooth conditions we might easily get way you can use that hand to pull in without pulling youra long enough moment to rock our body upright, transition weight asymmetrically and telling the glider to hand, and still have time to transition our other hand.In more turbulent conditions, we might need to rock up- “The Transition” is, like much in aviation, something thatright during one balanced moment, switch one hand during SEEMS simple in concept, but proper execution is a realanother, and need yet a third moment to get the other hand challenge. It is a time when a lot of landings go wrong, andup. If it’s really turbulent, those three moments are far apart, one way to spot a truly skilled pilot—someone who is ablewhich means starting while up higher and giving ourselves to fly his or her glider though the entire approach, managingmore time—and a better chance—to complete the transition heading and airspeed, and making a complete body and con-smoothly. Occasionally we don’t get the balanced moments trol configuration change invisible. It is a skill that can alwayswe need, and we have to create one—which might make doing use more practice, and any improvements made improvepart of our transition AFTER we’ve pulled in for speed sud- our landing quality and overall safety. This spring, as I workdenly sound like a less-bad option than nearing the ground off the winter rust, I will make a conscious commitment towith both hands still on the basetube. A trick I was taught to focusing on my transitions, and I will practice them up highkeep the glider balanced while letting go with the first hand first. I’d encourage you all to join me, and encourage yourwhile there is still bar pressure is, before letting go, slide the friends to do the same. Smooth transitions and soft landings in 2014!OPPOSITE Steve Pearson shows us the upright position a cocoon harness allows, which makes pulling inand flying the approach from the uprights much simpler. ABOVE Expert pilot Dave Gibson starts his late transition by moving one hand to the uprights before he even rocks his body upright. Not an easy feat— doing this smoothly requires a lot of practice! 33HANG GLIDING & PARAGLIDING MAGAZINE

Scott Beery California Windmills


BEYONDSCOREBOARDthe by A r n old F ra n k e n bur g erFlying in the 2013 Paragliding World ChampionshipsI love flying paragliders and nowhere more so than in the valley floor, is accessed by a Cold War-era chairlift built to competition. Competition events can take you to serve the employees of the nearby military plant. The plant is far-flung corners of the world, surround you with still in use; explosions coming from the test range can regu- like-minded pilots, and push your flying to the limits. larly be heard on launch. The takeoff is on the south-facingThe focus and intensity of competition paragliding can slope of the Balkan Mountains, while the prevailing wind inbe immense, while also allowing for camaraderie between the region comes from the north. Lee-side flying is possible atthe competitors. There is nothing like battling in the air, the site due to higher mountains behind takeoff blocking thefollowed by sharing stories and a beer later in goal. The north wind and anabatic flow up the south-facing slope.shared rush is amazing. I haven’t been flying competitionsfor all that long, but I am totally hooked. The prevailing north wind, valley winds, and numerous The World Championships take competition paraglidingto a new level. Every two years, countries from around theworld send their best pilots to compete for the honor of call-ing themselves World Champion. Also unique to the eventis the fact that you are not only competing on an individuallevel, but also as a member of a team representing your coun-try. This year Josh Cohn, Nick Greece, Eric Reed, ArnoldFrankenberger, and Marty DeVietti represented Team USAat the 13th World Paragliding Championship in Sopot,Bulgaria. Sopot is a unique flying site set in the Rose Valley regionof Bulgaria, one hundred miles east of the capital, Sofia. TheRose Valley produces a large percentage of the world’s roseoil used in perfume. The valley is bordered by the BalkanMountains to the north and a smaller chain of hills to thesouth. The takeoff, situated approximately 3000 feet aboveLEFT A start gaggle during the competition. ABOVE Eric Reed representing America at opening ceremony. Photos by Nick Greece 37HANG GLIDING & PARAGLIDING MAGAZINE

mountain passes combine to create complex weather patterns between the last turnpoint and goal. The last 15 km of thewith many convergence lines. The north wind has a tendency race consisted of full-bar racing, along a line of lift and turbu-to wash through the passes and create regions of sink and lence. After 15 minutes of white-knuckle hanging on to the Bturbulence in the local area. This flow, along with others in risers while trying to keep the wing open, I was happy to bethe valley, also serves to create convergence lines in a variety over goal and able to relax.of places in the valley. Overall, these conditions make for acomplex and, at times, unpredictable flying site. Sopot delivered another interesting and challenging day for Task 5, a 129-km flat triangle whose first leg took us to The unique meteorology and topology of the site led to the west. The crux of the day turned out to be the decisionsome interesting flying and some memorable tasks. Twice, of whether to follow the mountains on the north side of thethe start of the race saw us flying low and fast over beautiful valley or take the more direct route to the turnpoint. Theterrain to the east of launch. Green hills and stunning peaks direct route looked to be the fast and safe option, especiallyto the north made for a spectacular race setting, although the since we had been burned on previous days by sink near theshallow slope and high speeds focused the mind on the task mountains, created by the north wind. As it turned out, byat hand and allowed for only brief moments to soak in the staying high in the mountains the effects of the north windsurroundings. The final glide during Task 4 also provided a could be minimized, making this the fastest line by 20 min-unique experience. A convergence line set up along the course utes or more. We didn’t predict this result while analyzing theABOVE Dennis Pagen opening the competition for the FAI. OPPOSITE Task meeting | photo by Nick Greece.38 HANG GLIDING & PARAGLIDING MAGAZINE

task before the start. and excellent retrieves made a world of difference. Even when we were unable to fly a task, due to wind over But like everything in life, this sport has its ups andthe back at launch, we were able to find unique flying oppor- downs. The 2013 World Championships illustrated thistunities. The team had a great evening soaring session on the fact. We had less than ideal conditions and spent long daysbeautiful grassy slopes of a nearby north-facing pass, which on launch, waiting for the weather to improve and the northis topped with a monument to the military victory of 1878, wind to subside. At least we were entertained on launch bywhen Bulgaria gained its independence from the Ottoman dust devils pulling gear into the air and kids flying kites in theTurks. Flying in smooth ridge lift in such a stunning setting wind blowing over the back! Due to the conditions, we onlywas a nice change of pace from the intensity of the competi- managed five tasks in 12 days.tion. I n the end, Team USA did not have a great result at In addition to the flying, another enjoyable part of the the 2013 World Championships. A combination ofevent was sharing the experience with my teammates. Staying mistakes, fickle flying conditions and some bad lucktogether, sharing meals, strategizing on launch, and working led to a result clearly below our expectations. Wetogether on retrieve brought the team closer together and were 23rd out of 38 teams.amplified the camaraderie that normally exists at competi-tions. Having the support of a team manager also added a There were a few positive results during the dimension to the Worlds. Rob Sporrer did an amazing In Task 2, the team came in 7th and Josh came in 3rd for thejob, allowing us to focus on flying. His organization of all of task. In Task 4, Team USA came in 3rd with all team mem-the logistics, ability to provide information along course line, bers arriving at goal in good time and Eric leading the charge 39HANG GLIDING & PARAGLIDING MAGAZINE

in 6th. Unfortunately, we failed to spread these good results As disappointing as the result was, we did learn a few les-around. In Task 1, none of team made goal, putting us behind sons in the process. Under the conditions, a more conservativethe leaders by an insurmountable gap. strategy would have served the team well. Teams that wereABOVE 140 pilots start the race from similar areas | photo by Nick Greece. OPPOSITE TOP The US Team.From L-R: Josh Cohn, Eric Reed, Nick Greece, Arnie Frankenberger, and Marty Devietti. Photo by teamleader, Rob Sporrer. BOTTOM Goal Day 4 | photo by Josh Cohn.40 HANG GLIDING & PARAGLIDING MAGAZINE

able to place two pilots in goal each day were at the top of the shade cycle, while the other half scattered in search of liftthe overall ranking. Racing was less important than survival and landed. Adding insult to injury, I was able to pack up andduring the five tasks in Sopot. walk to the road just as the sun reappeared, and the surviv- ing gaggle climbed out and continued to goal. Even though A prime example of a poor result producing a learning this was a disappointing end to the day, a valuable lesson wasexperience is my performance in Task 3. After blasting along learned. In rapidly changing conditions, having the field inthe 116km course for 80K, I found myself at the front of the front of you, with all of the information they can provide, canpack as the sky clouded over and conditions weakened. Half be worth its weight in gold. I am still working on masteringof the gaggle was able to divert to a weak climb and survive 41HANG GLIDING & PARAGLIDING MAGAZINE

Jeremie Lager Profile of the 2013 Paragliding World Champion:the all-important skill of knowing when to push and knowing Last summer’s paragliding World Championships inwhen to let others be the aggressors. The ability to learn from Bulgaria delivered very difficult and varying conditions,the decision-making of fellow competitors is one of the most and when it was all said and done French pilot Jeremievaluable lessons of competition at all levels. Lager had proven he is worthy of the crown. At 27, Lager was an alternate who took the place of Luc Armant only In the end, the result was only a small part of what made a two weeks before the event and clinched the title to capcompetition like this special. Two weeks full of memories with off the French domination of the event. Lager is a skia great group of pilots was the real reward. It was an honor instructor for Meribel Ski Area in France where he livesand a pleasure to represent Team USA at the 2013 World with his wife and two children slopeside. He started flyingChampionships. in 1998 at the age of 13, in the paragliding school owned by his father, Jaques, who taught him. None of this would have been possible without the gener- When Jeremie started competing in France, he pickedous support of all the donors, and the tireless efforts of Tony the brains of Patrick Berod and also learned from theLang, Matt Beechinor, and The Foundation for Free Flight. Valic brothers. Jeremie attended Pole Espoir, a board-The cost of sending a team to the World Championships is ing school in the French Pyrenees that trains kids, agedsizable, and the US paragliding community stepped up and 14 to 17, the art of flying without an engine. The studentsmade it happen. Thank you! Take a look at www.usparaglid- attend academic classes during the week, and on for further information on the history of the US ends and Wednesdays they go flying with coaches whoTeam and the fundraising effort. mentor them. Charles Cazaux (2011 World Champion), Simon Issenhuth, Laurie Genovese, and many otherThe 2015 World Championships will be held during January of young up-and-coming French pilots whom you will2015, in Roldanillo, Colombia. The results from events in 2013 undoubtedly see in the top echelons of the paraglidingand 2014 will determine the US team for the event. You can racing community also attended this school.find the current US ranking on the USHPA site at www.ushpa. Jeremie had flown in Bulgaria in 2008 at a PWC, andaero/compresults.asp this experience gave him confidence in knowing when to push and when to hold back. High and always leading ABOVE 2013 world champion, Jeremie Lager. and in a good position, Jeremie was able to take climbs to the top and control the lead gaggle. OPPOSITE Eric Reed flying around a Bulgarian The team was supported by ABAC, an engineering com- monument in Beklemeto pass on a practice day | pany in France that helped finance Niviuk when it was photo by Josh Cohn.. created. The CEO of ABAC loves paragliding and is happy to support the team of top-notch pilots: Lucas Bernadin, Jean-Marc Caron, Honorin Hamard, Maxime Pinot, Simon Issenhuth, Joel Debons, and Jeremie Lager. Jeremie advises new pilots to take it slowly and fly safe wings as beginners, because there are so many things to learn before stepping up to the fastest equipment. He also says up-and-coming pilots should fly in many differ- ent places to learn various techniques, and seek oppor- tunities to fly in competitions with much better pilots to learn more quickly from those who know. Jeremie’s personal goals for the coming year are to win the Superfinal, attempting to take the double crown, and get more into adventure flying, aerobatics, and exploring.

Point RAT A Friendly Community Event by M IC H E L E M c C U L L O U G H44 HANG GLIDING & PARAGLIDING MAGAZINE

L ast summer, a new and engaging competition for the city of Draper than ever before. There was the occa- Utah pilots—The Point Rat Series, a cumula- sional land-out, which is a huge part of distance flying and tive race-to-goal event—was introduced at the an important lesson to learn. When going XC, a pilot must Point of the Mountain, Utah, in conjunction be aware of all potential landing options; training to keepwith the Utah Hang Gliding and Paragliding Association options open and flexible will cultivate a strong ability to fly(UHGPGA). Designed with the intention of giving pilots farther and land safely. The routes created kept pilots withinan opportunity to practice using their flight instruments range of safe and accessible landing areas, even if they weren'tfor course navigation, learn tactical course planning and considered as such before. encourage increased airtime and community, the Serieswas a wonderful success on all fronts. (http://www.uhgpga. FS, the official CIVL XC competition scoring softwareorg/event/point-rat-series/) (, was used in conjunction with GAP 2011 scor- ing parameters ( to score the Masterminded by Neil McGarry, with scoring support event. They used lapsed time starts, and participants werefrom Nate Johnson, the Point Rat Series uses scoring and required to download their tracklogs in the correct format. Ittask-setting concepts commonly seen in XC competitions. was decided to make all cylinders 400m and all starts “exit”However, some interesting variations from the usual week- cylinders, mostly for ease of entering the task into the flightlong race event keep pilots learning and expanding their instrument. As many of the group had not used their instru-abilities. ments in this way, it became a huge sharing environment as more experienced club members stepped up to impart their Each month of the summer, starting in May, a new task knowledge to the newer guys and gals.was released that was active for the entire month. Pilots wereallowed to complete the course as many times as they liked As the tasks were run, many things were learned. Neilduring the month, with their fastest time at the end of month received input in designing the routes from Jim Hull, Ricbeing their final score. In order to spread the scoring respon- LeBlanc and Karl Yates. The tasks were designed in sprintsibilities, pilots were asked to email only the tracklog of theirfastest time by the last day of each month. At summer’s end, LEFT Blake Pelton and Loren Cox working athe lowest score was dropped, after which a cumulative scorewas tallied to determine the winners. There were multiple thermal together over the grassy POTM launch.categories in both paragliding (A, B, C, D, Open, Tandem,Women) and hang gliding (Single-surface, Topless and ABOVE Blake Pelton and Loren Cox turning andKingpost).  drifting towards the upper bench. The POTM is The format of this event encouraged pilots to see the sametask through different eyes, as conditions varied throughout a great place to learn to track thermals with thethe month. Some days produced buoyant conditions, withpilots getting stinking high and hitting all turnpoints in one wind. Photos by Neil McGarry.climb, while lighter days had people scrambling back to theridge between every few turnpoints to tank up. As the taskwas repeated, routes became more efficient as optimized flightpaths between cylinders were found. We often hear talk of the importance of knowing whatgear to fly in, and this event was great at showcasing how andwhen to use this skill. By approaching the same route in avariety of conditions, pilots learned when it was advantageousto be mashing bar or slowing the roll to make the most oflight conditions. Many participants commented on how thetask kept them engaged and, therefore, encouraged them tostay in the air longer than usual—sometimes completing thetask multiple times in one evening. Personal achievements were also reported in flying outof the comfort zone of the ridge, venturing farther out into 45HANG GLIDING & PARAGLIDING MAGAZINE

style, keeping them shorter and achievable, but with some One of the most vitalchallenges to keep participants on their toes. The longest pieces to the longevitytask, 21 km, was given in August and won by Ric LeBlanc and growth of a pilotin a time of 58:52, while the shortest task was called in is a strong community of mentors within a sharing- and learning- based environment. July at 10.1 km, won by Neil McGarry in 20:51. The quickest task was the first, in May, with Neil McGarry finishing the 11.6 km in 15:58. On average, there were 10 turnpoints to a task, which sent pilots dashing back and forth across the sky, hoping the ridge lift was still working well out into the valley and showing us how amazing the flying is at the Point of the Mountain.  To encourage participation, there was no entry fee, al- though membership in the UHGPGA was required. The UHGPGA generously donated $600 to the event, to be divided as prize money; contributors donated all time. When the series wrapped up at the end of September, the winners selflessly donated their winnings to throw a giant BBQ and party at the hill to honor all participants, organizers, supporters and the UHGPGA. Chris Hunlow went all out—cooking salmon, steak and chicken tacos. And, of course, beer and all the other party accoutrements were plentiful. In all, 18 participants with varying levels of experience and glider types competed, and everyone came away with greater knowledge, new boundaries and closer friends. The overall winner was creator Neil McGarry, who was able to complete the task multiple times each month, flying his Advance Sigma 8. Throughout the event, lessons were learned by the organization resulting in some rules being created and/ or clarified. All participants were expected to follow FAA regulations, the main issue being landing after official sunset. It was also determined necessary to make an official rule to limit pilots to a single, designated launch. It is not the same race if you come into the ridge from a mountain flight 4000' AGL and tag all the waypoints. This is also the case in any competitive XC event; all pilots must launch from the same starting place.46 HANG GLIDING & PARAGLIDING MAGAZINE

Based on the knowledge the organization gained this start and race the course side-by-side. Next year, the eventyear, there have been discussions about making other will also offer T-shirts for sale, but there still will be nochanges to the format. One of the main concerns is that if cost to enter the event. Proceeds from the shirts will bea pilot hadn’t been able to participate during the first few allotted to the prize money and shirt designer. months, he/she had no chance of competing in the overallstandings. Therefore, some people who would have been At the end of the season, with a successful eventinvolved weren't motivated to join. In order to combat this, having been completed, the Point Rat Series creators anda variation in the rules is being considered: Only one task UHGPGA are excited to share their event concept withwill be released each month, but pilots will be able to run other flying clubs and sites. One of the most vital pieces toany route at any time and submit their best time for the the longevity and growth of a pilot is a strong communitytask, instead of for the month. With this change, if a pilot of mentors within a sharing- and learning-based environ-shows up in July, he or she can still run and submit times ment. This format has been very successful and has taughtfor the May and June tasks. the community much through a huge variety of experi- ences. The creators and UHGPGA would be thrilled to The other idea on the table (because race starts are see other clubs adopting the much fun and educational) is to designate a day eachmonth that looks favorable to have a group start time. To Many thanks to all who participated in the race series,submit this task for scoring, a pilot isn’t required to hit the to those who invested their time and ideas in the creationactual start time, but we want to see everyone lined up to of the event, and to the UHGPGA for their amazing and generous support of their club members. ABOVE Steve Forslund returning to the famous POTM upper bench | photo by Neil McGarry. 47HANG GLIDING & PARAGLIDING MAGAZINE

Northern California Cross-country League 2013 by JUGDEEP AGGARWAL48 HANG GLIDING & PARAGLIDING MAGAZINE

301 Tracklogs112 Registered Pilots76 Participating Pilots4187 Total Miles FlownD espite having lost access to one ficult when the pilot skill levels range of the main league sites for half from skygod to muppet. This year the of the year, 2013 was still a league reduced the focus on the racingcrazy good season for the Northern aspect and pushed the distances. I amCalifornia Cross-country League, still not sure we have it right, but it iswith newbies coming out along with important to make the tasks doable forthe stalwarts. most pilots, so it becomes a rewarding experience instead of an endurance test, But what made it so fun? Was it the only suited for the very best. There wererecord numbers that came to almost over three tasks with best distancesall of the events, the record number of over 60 miles and three tasks wherepilots in goal, the record total distance the best distances were under 20 miles.flown? Maybe it was the unquantifiable The variability of the weather and theaspects of the league that made it such a sites result in a huge range in flownhuge success—the mentoring program, distances.the online tutorials and additional webpages—or maybe it was just the old- The tasks are built in three parts,fashioned camaraderie that keeps the with the first part set on easy courseenergy so great amongst participants. lines across easy terrain, with the aim ofNot sure what it was, but the format is ensuring that even the most junior pilotworking, and pilots are having a great can experience the fun of competingtime whilst improving their skills. without being overtaxed. The second part of the task is usually a little more There is definitely a pilot commu- involved, with perhaps a valley crossingnity that wants fly-ins that help push or two and getting into more challeng-pilot skills and explore the local area of ing terrain. This section is meant to testour flying sites. How better to do this the more able pilots. The final part ofthan with your friends? It also seems the task is set up across more commit-that once pilots have found the league ting terrain, where the aim is to staymeets, they just keep coming. Whether in the air to avoid a horrendous walkit is the camaraderie, the flying, the out. These legs are set to give the betterinformal learning environment, or bet- pilots a run for their money.tering their personal distances, folkskeep coming. With a goal of “a fly-in Whilst the skill levels of the pilotswith a mission,” these league meets also are clearly not equal, the competitionprovide a forum for training for the is set up so pilots are only compet-larger sanctioned competitions. ing against their equally skilled peers. Hence, three categories have been set Task-setting has always been dif- up: those flying competition and EN D gliders (Category 1), those flying ENCLEFT Cruising over Gravelly Ridge | photo by gliders (Category 2), and those flyingReavis Sutphin -Gray. HANG GLIDINwGw& PwA.RfAlyGLmIDaINsGtMeArG-uAZsINaE.com49

ABOVE William Deley climbing out over the race. For this, pilots get to compete and used. Non-competing pilots are alwaysButte Valley | photo by Reavis Sutphin-Gray. be scored in the tasks that are scored in welcome, since they help map out the an identical way to the bigger competi- air for competing pilots.BELOW Pilot briefing at Whaleback | photo tions. $5 of the fee goes to a commu-by Jugdeep Aggarwal. nal pot, which gets split between the Regular attendees have gotten into drivers and any large vehicles that are the swing of things, reducing the taskEN A and EN B gliders (Category 3). load on the organizer substantially.This has resulted in a much leveledplaying field. One of the key objectives of theleague is to allow those pilots whocannot make all 17 tasks an oppor-tunity of winning. So, similar to thePWC league, pilots’ final scores aretaken from their own scores for halfof the tasks set, enabling a pilot towin, even if he or she did not attendall tasks. Clearly, however, it is moreadvantageous to attend as many tasksas possible. Since this is really only a fly-in witha mission, registration costs have beenkept to a modest $15 per person, per50 HANG GLIDING & PARAGLIDING MAGAZINE

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