ST. PAUL, MINN — World Team fever is finally slowing, though most hang glider pilots I’ve spoken to feel good about TEAM USA’s achievement. We now turn to the fall season, a great time for soaring at many sites around the country. ••• One of the possibilities might be had when you and the family travel to Disney World in Florida. No, they won’t let you fly right at the big theme park; but only a scant seven miles south, a brand new site has opened. It’s also opened its arms to pilots (unlike Disney). Welcome to Dragonfly Park! Steven Speilberg has nothing to do with this park. I’ve been there and I’m excited to have a warm destination for wintertime flying as chill permeates the air way up here in Minnesota. Bill Moyes and Orlando-resident Malcolm Jones have formed a partnership to purchase a 50-acre farm which they’ve converted to an Air Park. Since getting on the property earlier this year, numerous improvements have been made. They carted off many truckloads of junk and debris. They buried power lines that crossed one otherwise ideal runway. And they’ve made accommodations at the site for a couple full-time residents, both of whom are connected to the Dragonfly ultralight tug. (Get the park’s name now?) ••• One is Bobby Bailey, the unique plane’s designer. He and wife Connie are living in an elevated "farm house" that was present. A trailer home is occupied by tug driver and local diver, Russ Brown, plus another trailer home will house a visitor or two. The group will use an open barn and other space for Bailey’s construction of aircraft. The purchase included a big ole tractor to knock down the grass on three different air strips. ••• Says part owner Moyes, "The park is a good thermal area and there have been many long flights. Towing and tuition (AussieSpeak for lessons) are available everyday." Co-owner Jones added, "The park has proven to have plenty of lift. We’ve had 35 pilots on a weekend. Many of them specked out." ••• In addition to the Dragonfly that you all know, Bailey has nearly completed his Tempest ultralight sailplane. The new soaring machine debuted at the company’s booth at Oshkosh ’93. This is the third generation of Bailey’s effort to produce such a bird (the first being the Sierra I and II). I’ll have more on this development later. ••• The Tempest isn’t a rigid wing (or is it?), but it reminds me to pass on the Rigid Wing Reader’s new address: Chuck McGill, P.O. Box 464, Olympia WA 98507. ••• In recent columns, a couple small product mentions were passed over. New Englander Scott Wise recently returned home from an extended stay at Henson’s Gap, Tennessee. This talented pilot has developed a camera-pod system. With it you can attach a radio-controlled camera to various locations on your glider. I’ve examined the system and find it has many well-thought-out features. Maybe you can become famous-for-a-month in HG mag. Wise can supply you the whole works: 35 mm camera, mount bracket, a padded protective composite pod, a remote trigger or fancy radio trigger. Prices run from the low $100’s to something over $300 for the deluxe system. However, as prices change on these goodies you should contact Wise’s Feather Free Flight Accessories at 113 Perkins Place, Bath NY 14810. You can call 607/776-2534. ••• A new windsock outfit has emerged under the direction of Judy Bitton of Washington state. Her Air Gear Manufacturing also makes LZ targets and turnpoint markers… items you can’t find at your local WalMart. For info on her goods, contact her at P.O. Box 1101, Vera Dale WA 99037 ••• To close, some preliminary info on a very exciting development. You’ve heard a few things about the Air Sports Council, a conglomeration of five associations serving sailplane pilots, balloon pilots, ultralight pilots, sky divers, and hang divers. Many believe the ASC offers tremendous potential for cooperation among the fly-for-fun crowd. Together the ASC represents over 60,000 aviators in the USA and this many check signers and voters implies real clout with various organizations. Governmental agencies, insurance companies, magazine printers… well, the list could go on, but the point is that the ASC may help true sport aviators get more site access, better insurance rates, and the like. The whole gang plans a joint convention during SSA’s annual gathering next February in Chicago. I’ll be there; will you? Interested in more poop? Ask your very own Yoo-shga! ••• That’s it fer now, diver fans. So, got news or opinions? Send ’em to: 8 Dorset, St. Paul MN 55118. Fax/Msg to: 612/450-0930. THANKS!
Published in Hang Gliding Magazine