ST. PAUL, MINN. — Happy New Year, all!
Jon Szarek wrote to say, “I noticed that you lead off Product Lines
[in October 2004 with] a bit about the release of the Sport 2 135. We have
been looking for a medium to (low) high performance glider for my wife Toni
for the last two years. She only weighs 105 pounds and is 5’4″ so our options were
severely limited.” Jon and Toni looked at the Eagle, Ultra Sport 135, the small Sting
(118 sq. ft.), and the LaMouette Topless 121 sq. ft. “Simply put, there just wasn’t
a good glider for her to transition from her Falcon,” Jon continued.
Rob Kells and Steve Pearson kept telling them to be patient because
‘something’ would be coming. “When Rob came out for Demo
Days at the beginning of September Toni had a chance to demo,” says Jon. “She towed
up and spent two hours and 45 minutes darting all over the sky above Morningside.
She was ecstatic upon landing. Handling is good — though she takes 10 pounds of
ballast when the wind is over 7-10 mph — and foot launching is easy with the 60-inch
downtubes.” Wills is no doubt smiling, as they should be.
I’ve also heard good comments about Pura Vida Flying (“Pura Vida” means “Pure
Life”). The DVD flick stars top pilots Bo Hagewood, Kari Castle,
and Chris Muller and features original music. Marketed under their business
name Lone Palm Motion Pictures, all creative efforts were handled by GW Meadows
and his wife, Jan. In the production you travel to Costa Rica for three weeks of
hang gliding, paragliding, kitesurfing, and other adventures.
You can see a trailer of the movie on the JustFly.com Website. Enjoy!
Many years ago the rule in the American Baseball League was that that Yankees would
win and everybody else would fight it out for second place. The hang gliding analogy
of late is that Manfred Ruhmer would win and everybody else would do his or
her best to beat him — or at least learn from him. Well, aspiring contest winners,
2005 may be your year. The undisputed champion contest flyer is taking a year
off’to teach. He’s enjoying the experience of teaching folks that which comes
so naturally to him after 16 years of the comp circuit.
Talk About a Long Glide’ This official report makes for good aviation reading
and speaks to the value of being able operate a glider — even if it is a huge and
heavy one. The pilots of an Air Transat Airbus A330 glided to a landing in the Azores
after responding incorrectly to a fuel leak over the Atlantic Ocean, according to
the official report released recently. The pilots, reacting to what they thought
was a fuel imbalance, fed fuel into the leak, and soon succeeded in inadvertently
pumping all their fuel overboard, far from land. The report said the pilots acted
from memory rather than utilizing a checklist, so they never saw a “Caution” note
in the Fuel Imbalance checklist that might have caused them to consider that the
real problem was not an imbalance but a fuel leak. But
they saved the airplane… The investigators said that Captain Robert Pich’s
skill in conducting the subsequent engines-out dead-stick landing saved the lives
of the 306 passengers and crew on board. The glide began at 18,000 feet, lasted
19 minutes, and traversed 65 nautical miles. Bet they were glad to see that airfield!
is my client these days, I keep an eye open for organization news of interest to
the soaring crowd. A new “Tribute to Ultralight Pioneers”
exhibit in the EAA AirVenture Museum highlights the three decades-old ultralight
movement. The exhibit will feature eight ultralights from
the EAA collection, including a Kiceniuk Icarus V from 1973 and Larry Mauro’s
Solar Riser (a solar-cell-powered Easy Riser biwing hang glider) along with a
series of pioneering powered ultralights. EAA’s world-class
museum will feature expanded information at visitors’ fingertips via an interactive
touch screen display. If you can’t go to Oshkosh, Wisconsin, the on-screen presentation
will be made available on the “virtual museum” at www.airventuremuseum.org.
In parting’Bill Bennett continued to attract news after his death in a trike
accident in October. No less a journal than the New York Times carried
a readable story by Douglas Martin. You can see the entire article at — www.nytimes.com/2004/11/17/sports/othersports/17bennett.html?oref=login&oref=login
(Registration but no payment is needed). ‘an excerpt follows.
“William Edward Norman Bennett was born in Korumburra, Australia, on Sept. 26, 1931.
He served in the Australian Royal Navy as a machinist, and afterward continued to
pursue activities related to water, in particular water-skiing. He was ranked eighth
in the world in barefoot water-skiing in the 1960s.” “Even
then, the path to hang gliding was being established. First, Francis Rogallo, working
with his wife, Gertrude, developed a ‘flexible kite’ for NASA to use for spacecraft
reentering the atmosphere.” “John Dickenson, an Australian
electronics technician, saw a picture of the Rogallo invention in a magazine, and
used it as the basis for making the first human-carrying gliders in 1963, according
to the Smithsonian. Mr. Bennett and his friend Bill Moyes, friends of Mr. Dickenson
through water-skiing, took up the sport; Mr. Moyes began making and selling hang
gliders in Australia, Mr. Bennett in California.” A worthy
written tribute, but personally, I’m still bummed that Bill couldn’t make the Moyes
Boyes Reunion at Wallaby near the end of October. Bill would’ve been in his glory,
telling tall tales and flashing his trademark grin after a joke.
So, got news or opinions? Send ’em to: 8 Dorset, St. Paul MN 55118. Messages or fax
to 651-450-0930. E-mail to Dan@ByDanJohnson.com. THANKS!
ST. PAUL, MINN. — Happy New Year, all!