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Top landing at Stanwell Park

Oz Report - Sat, 15/03/2014 - 00:34

Gerolf posts this picture of Noma landing on top at Bald Hill.

Categories: Worlds 09

Reflections on both the New Carbon Combat 12.7 and the 2014 Pre-Worlds

Oz Report - Fri, 14/03/2014 - 23:29

Paris Williams <<pariswilliamsphd>> writes:

The day-three days before Day One of the Pre-Worlds. The place-the famous (and infamous) El Peñon near Valle de Bravo, Mexico. After several hours of racing around the local hills and valleys on the new Combat 12.7, delightfully winding my way up through the fierce, snaky bullet-thermals for which this region is so well renowned, I found myself pleasantly surprised by the ease with which I found myself gently touching down into the main LZ in spite of the turbulent, switchy conditions. At that moment, a single word erupted from my lips-"Finally!"

Reflections on the New Combat 12.7

Finally, the moment I've been waiting my entire flying career for. Finally, someone has made a glider designed for lighter pilots that was more nimble and pilot-friendly than any competition glider I had ever flown while clearly matching the performance of the big gliders. As a lighter pilot (I weigh between 67-70 kg, or between 145 and 155 lb.), it has always been a struggle coming up with a workable setup that has allowed me to keep up with the "big boys."

It has generally been held as a truism in our sport that the smaller gliders simply don't keep up with the bigger gliders. As a light pilot, if you really want to be able to match the performance of the bigger gliders, you better just get used to flying gliders that are a little too big and stiff for you and carrying around a lot of ballast so that you can keep up with the heavier pilots on glide.

There's been a lot of speculation as to the reasons for this. Perhaps it's because larger gliders have more favorable Reynold's numbers (which has to do with the density and viscosity of the air relative to a given wing); or because they have higher L/D since they generate more lift while not generating a comparable amount of additional drag (for example, the parasitic drag of the control frame and the pilot doesn't increase when going from a smaller glider to a larger glider, whereas the overall amount of lift does); or perhaps it's because manufacturers simply put more effort into the bigger wings since there are more larger pilots on the market. But for whatever reason, this is a problem us lighter pilots have always had to contend with.

But now, after my first flight on this little glider, I suspected that this historical deficiency had finally been broken. And as the PreWorlds began, and I found myself flying head-to-head with the other gliders, my suspicion was quickly validated. There was simply no doubt about it. I found myself gliding right alongside the best of the bigger gliders without having to wear any ballast, and most surprising of all was the climb.

I had the good fortune to be flying with some of the very same pilot/glider combinations I had just flown with at the Australian Nationals in Forbes, and there was no doubt about it that in spite of now being on a smaller glider (I had been on the 13.2 in Forbes), my climb had significantly improved, and I'm pretty certain that I could even fly more slowly, go figure. With some of the same pilots who had been able to sit on top of me at Forbes, I found that our roles had reversed, and I found myself now sitting on top of them with surprising ease. And the real beauty was having all of this performance without the need to carry an ounce of ballast (which is always a bit of a drag, especially when landing at these altitudes-7,000 to 10,000 feet MSL), and without the need to destroy my shoulders trying to battle a stiff glider in wild conditions. I just couldn't get over how much performance I was experiencing right alongside such sweet handling. Finally!

By talking with other pilots over the years, I've learned that Combats have developed a reputation for being not so easy to land. And in my opinion, there's a good reason that this reputation had developed. I remember being surprised by how challenging it was to land the very early Combats well, especially those manufactured up until around 2001 or 2002. Actually, I still own a 2002 Combat as my personal fly-at-home glider, and there's no doubt about it, it's a bit tricky to really "stick" a light-wind landing well on the thing. But in the past few years, this has dramatically changed, only it seems that the word hasn't gotten out.

I remember several years ago when first flying the new higher-aspect, tailed Combats, how pleasantly surprised I was by how easily and crisply they flare, and how wide and forgiving the flare window is. And I found that the 12.7 takes this ease of landing to a whole new level.

The landing conditions here at Valle de Bravo are some of the most difficult I've ever encountered, with small sloping fields loaded with obstacles, very switchy winds, very thin high-altitude air, and bullet-thermals that love to pounce just as you're turning onto final. And with the exception of one incident in which a well-timed pouncing thermal caused me to overshoot my field into the lee-side of a large brick wall on a windy day, I managed to pull-off a no-step landing every time.

I found that two factors contributed to this: (1) the stall speed is surprisingly slow on this glider, allowing me to really slow down before the flare; and (2) the nose rotates very easily in a flare, allowing for a clean, crisp flare without either the tendency for the glider to climb or the nose to drop even if you're a little early or a little late in the flare timing. I suspect the high aspect ratio and the hang point being well in front of the control frame apex contribute to these very user-friendly landing characteristics. (On a side note, I found it interesting that I had a tendency to overshoot my landings a few times, and in retrospect, I think that what was going on for me was that because this glider handles so much like an intermediate glider, I was unconsciously anticipating that it would have a short ground effect like an intermediate glider. Of course, it's not an intermediate glider but a very high performing competition glider with a correspondingly long ground effect, and this threw me off a few times. Or perhaps I can just blame the fact that I've become a little spoiled flying the wide open flatlands for too many years.)

This is the first time I've flown a fully-carbon glider (full leading edges and cross bars, that is) since flying the king-posted Predator many years ago, and I have to say it was a real joy to experience the reduced wingtip-inertia in the air (significantly lighter, more responsive handling) and the reduced weight on the ground (this glider weighs just over 30kg).

When first looking at these sleek, oval/conical leading edges, I had to wonder why it's taken glider manufacturers so long to finally take real advantage of the potential that carbon fiber offers. Having a much higher strength to weight ratio and being much more malleable than aluminum, it's about time that we move beyond simple round tubes. These oval/conical shaped tubes allow maximum stiffness along the horizontal axis, which maintains maximal trailing edge tension, while allowing maximal flexibility along the vertical axis, which maximizes handling. They also gradually decrease in diameter from the nose to the tip, which minimizes overall wing inertia. What an elegant design!

I imagine it won't be long before the other manufacturers follow suit. (I found it interesting that a number of the non-Aeros pilots have begun adding plastic and carbon tips onto their gliders which are strikingly similar to the Combat's Horner tips, and some are even using Combat tails(!)-Signs of Combat envy?

Reflections on the Pre-Worlds

So, if the 12.7 is performing and handling so well, then a question that some would naturally ask is, why did I just win the Australian Nationals on a 13.2 and then end up in the mediocre position of 9th on the 12.7 here at the Pre-Worlds. Well, I really do wish that I could blame the glider, after all, one particularly effective strategy for assuaging a bruised ego is to blame your equipment. But the truth is that my somewhat disappointing performance at the Pre-Worlds definitely can't be blamed on my glider. But I first want to reflect upon the Pre-Worlds in general before reflecting upon my own personal flying within it.

Safety first. When I first learned that the next Worlds will be held at Valle de Bravo, I was highly skeptical that this place would be a suitable arena for a World Championship. I had flown here 13 years ago in a meet with only about 25 pilots, and I recalled the wild conditions, the low ceiling and the scarcity of good landings. So I thought I'd fly the Pre-Worlds in order to assess whether I actually wanted to fly here at the upcoming Worlds.

On one hand, I found the conditions better than my previous meet here, presumably because it was about six weeks later in the year. The ceiling was significantly higher and the thermals were generally spaced closely together. This opened up more landing options and allowed us to extend our tasks much further than we had been able to do in that earlier meet. On the other hand, the conditions seemed to be significantly more turbulent, and with a much larger (and more aggressive) field of pilots, I found the start gaggle situation this time nowhere near fun and frankly quite dangerous.

As it turned out, I was nominated to be a member of the safety committee, so I was required to think a lot about how to maximize the safety in these challenging conditions. Essentially, I found that there were three primary factors that contributed to serious safety concerns: (1) large regions in which there were either no safe landings at or in which the only available fields were small and sloped; and even in the larger fields, pilots still had to contend with radically switchy, unpredictable, turbulent wind conditions and very thin high-altitude air; (2) extreme turbulence leading to an increased chance of gliders tumbling; and (3) extreme turbulence combined with dense gaggles leading to an increased chance of mid-airs. (*) Surprisingly, while launch conditions could certainly be challenging at times, this didn't present itself as a serious safety factor. With these factors in mind, the safety committee and the task committee worked together to define task parameters that would hopefully minimize the risks inherent in these factors.

As for the first factor (the landing situation), the safety and task committee devoted a lot of time to trying to set tasks that maximized the safety of the landing options. Of course, we're flying the mountains, and we have no control over the general turbulence, so ultimately, it's always up to each pilot to make sure they always keep themselves within an easy glide to landings they're comfortable with; but we did our best to listen to the pilots' concerns and modify the task to keep the tasks as comfortable as possible. In spite of this, however, I found that this general region presented one of the most challenging landing situations I've ever come across at a comp, and while I found it personally within my own comfort zone (though just barely at times), a number of other pilots chose to step out of the comp because of this factor, a decision I completely understand. I was fortunate to land at goal every day, with reasonably nice fields and wind indicators, and I found even these landings to be a bit challenging at times. I certainly sympathize with those pilots who had to land in small, sloped fields without any wind indicators.

As for the second factor (the possibility of tumbling), I did encounter some of the edgiest thermals I've ever encountered here (especially right over the main ridge), and I was a little surprised that no tumbles occurred at the comp. I was very surprised to hear that there had never been a reported tumble in the area at all. Some of the air here reminded me of the air I've experienced at Sandia Peak, King Mountain, and the Sierras, all of which have had numerous tumbles. That said, this isn't a factor we could do a whole lot about anyway, and found that I personally wasn't too daunted by this factor, though I have to say that there were a number of times that my attention was shifted abruptly to the contemplation of my tail and/or my parachute. I did, however, learn that this factor played a role in a number of pilots making the decision to step out of the meet, which I understand. It did become apparent that the most turbulent area in the entire region seemed nearly always to be directly over the mountain, and Jonny Durand, myself and others suggested that we set the start cylinder in such a way as to position pilots away from the mountain, but some of the task committee members didn't seem too thrilled about this idea, so generally speaking, directly over the mountain is where the start remained.

The third factor (extreme turbulence and dense gaggles combining to increase the likelihood of mid-airs) is the factor that I personally found to be the most intimidating. Given the turbulence, I found the start gaggles and the early-on-course gaggles a bit too dangerous for my taste. I'm the first to admit it. I'm really enjoying my life and wouldn't really like to see it all come to an end as some wild bit of turbulence hurtles me into another glider (or vice versa). And I found myself feeling this way even after nearly a third of the field had left the meet (due to either injuries or simply finding that their comfort levels had been exceeded). When I consider whether or not I personally want to fly here in the Worlds next year, considering that there will likely be many dozens of additional pilots and a few extra degrees of pilot aggression that typically goes along with a World meet, I find that my desire to show up dwindles away to just about nothing.

But fortunately, I believe that there are a few things we can do to make this particular factor a lot less dangerous: (1) We can set the start cylinder away from the mountain to keep pilots in areas of less turbulence; (2) we can use multiple start gates to divide the field into smaller gaggles, for example using 3-4 different start gates set 15-20 minutes apart from each other; and/or (3) the number of competitors can be limited. I personally believe that 80 should be the max (which is what we started with here), and even then, only if we also adopt these other two strategies. Unfortunately, I'm not feeling too confident that others will agree with these suggestions. For example, I was pushing hard for multiple start gates, yet the task committee continued to insist on what was essentially a single-gate race start. (They did agree to put a second start gate 30 minutes later to cover people who got stuck for some reason, but given the scoring system, a second gate so much later is so heavily penalized that this still essentially amounts to a single-gate race start-very few people would voluntarily take this second start. A few of us did intentionally take it on the last day, with my own main reason to avoid the gaggles, but not surprisingly, we got really hammered on our scores even though our times were reasonably good.)

So, unless the task committee has a major change of heart, or unless we get a new task committee (which I've been told is unlikely), we may be looking at 100+pilot race starts taking place in the heart of the worst turbulence in the area. Hmmm… the idea of staying home and covering a few casual miles with some of my local flying buddies is sounding more appealing all the time.

Some reflections on my own flying… So, according to a lot of people's standards, coming in 9th place at the Pre-Worlds isn't so bad. But I tend to hold a very high bar for myself, and considering how pleased I was with the glider I was flying, I have to admit I was somewhat disappointed in myself. I've always been fond of saying, "There are two kinds of days in a comp-good racing days and good learning days." Well, let's just say I had a lot of good "learning days" at this meet.

As I mentioned earlier, I was not having any fun in the start gaggles, so I did my best to hang out in less crowded thermals in the vicinity while waiting to start. While this was fairly peaceful, these peripheral thermals generally weren't taking me as high as the thermals located over the mountain (where the main start gaggles formed), and they were usually further away from the start position, which resulted in me having a relatively poor start nearly every day. In other meets, I've usually been pretty good at catching up after making a poor start, but given how dynamic the air was here, I was unpleasantly surprised at how rapidly a somewhat poor start would turn into being 10-15 km behind the lead gaggle. So, the typical pattern for me on most of the days at this comp was to blow my start, fall behind, then fly very aggressively in an attempt to catch back up (diving low into the bottoms of mountains, skipping weaker thermals with the intention of holding out for a stronger one), which then unfortunately resulted in my having to make low saves in weak lift and falling even further behind. Ouch! My usual tactics just weren't working out so well. The only exception to this was the day I won (day 4), in which my aggressive flying did pay off.

While getting stuck low is always the risk you take when flying aggressively, the common reward is that you avoid wasting time in weak lift, spend more time gliding, less time climbing, and leap ahead quickly. And this is a particular tactic that I generally consider myself to be quite skilled at. But for whatever reason, at this place and at this meet, I just kept rolling craps again and again, and I found myself having to make low saves in weak lift again and again. By the fifth day, I found that I had pretty much lost my confidence with using this strategy here, and I began to back off the gas pedal and fly somewhat more conservatively. So considering that I was still blowing my starts due to an unwillingness to duke it out with the start gaggles, and now that I'm flying more conservatively, the result is what you would expect-making goal every day, but not particularly fast.

So what did I learn? Well, I think it's important to acknowledge that cross country racing is not unlike playing chess with dice. On one hand, there is a lot of strategy, and good decision making is essential if you want to do well; but on the other hand, there is always some element of luck. And when learning from your mistakes, I think it's important to try to discern what was an actual mistake and what was simply a bit of bad luck. To win a big meet, I think it takes a fair bit of both, a lot of good decision making combined with some good luck.

 Just a little over a month earlier, I won Forbes, a "big meet" by most pilots' standard, and I'm the first to admit that while I feel I did make a lot of good decisions (and a few not-so-good ones), there was no doubt some luck on my side. Now that I'm reflecting on the Pre-Worlds, I find that I actually feel pretty good about most of my decisions, for the most part. I feel that I took appropriate calculated risks, although they unfortunately didn't always work out so well (some genuine bad luck, I believe), and I felt I generally shifted gears (speeding up and slowing down) in a way that was mostly appropriate for the changing conditions. I feel like I generally did the best I could with what was presented to me at any given moment.

So why did I finish in 9th place and not on the podium? I think that essentially there were three major things that added up to losing those 6 to 8 places: (1) My conscious decision to avoid the start gaggles, a decision I actually don't regret at all-looking at how much I'm enjoying my life at the moment, the risk/reward ratio of mixing it up in those gaggles just simply wasn't worth it to me. (2) I did make one terrible mistake that cost me dearly, when I went diving into goal on task 3, thinking that I had won the day, only to discover too late that I had completely forgotten about the last waypoint(!) That was a serious "hero to zero" moment that resulted in me going from possibly winning the day to not making goal altogether. I don't think I've ever made a mistake that bad in my entire flying career. Perhaps I can blame it on just having spent a little too much time over 14,000 feet And finally (3), some genuine bad luck. On most of the days, I simply found myself seriously out of sync with the thermals/clouds. Any experienced pilot knows that thermals come and go in a kind of rhythm, and there are those wonderful days where you keep hitting the thermals right as they're amping up, and then there are those frustrating days where the thermals keep petering out just as you get to them. This comp consisted of a few too many of these latter days for me.

Anyway, this kind of roller coaster ride (good racing days, good learning days, good comps, bad comps, mediocre comps) is one of the things that I find makes this sport so exciting and interesting, and in order to continue to learn and to enjoy myself, I find it helpful to maintain the larger picture regardless of what may happen on any particular day or particular comp. And taking this larger picture one step further, I also find it really helpful not to forgot why I was so drawn into this sport in the first place, to feel the joy of being so in sync with my glider I feel like I've grown my own personal set of wings, and to appreciate the camaraderie of working together with my flying buddies to cover miles and miles of beautiful terrain. Really, does it get any better than this?

Categories: Worlds 09

Rattling the tin cup

Oz Report - Fri, 14/03/2014 - 00:11

While I don't do a lot of reporting on paragliding, I do report on the interesting bits as seen by the latest controversy regarding the Ozone Enzo2. Of course, I can't resist the story above since the young lady launched from our old field (most likely) near Deniliquin where Tove held a couple of hang gliding competitions.


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Categories: Worlds 09

2014 pre-Worlds

Oz Report - Fri, 14/03/2014 - 00:08
Categories: Worlds 09

Oz flying

Oz Report - Fri, 14/03/2014 - 00:08

http://www.canberratimes.com.au/act-news/canberran-paraglider-is-high-as-a-kite-and-going-the-record-distance-20140311-34kls.html

Winched into the air behind a car near Deniliquin, Canberra public servant Kari Roberson was not expecting a close brush with disaster before breaking an Australian women's record for paragliding.

Nine hours and 297 kilometres later at sunset near Lake Cargelligo, Ms. Roberson descended from the heavens and contacted her husband, Matt Ellis, and her parents to say she had the record. Hours earlier her heart and canopy were racing as she skimmed along at low altitude, hoping a sudden canopy collapse would not dump her many kilometres from roads and rescue.

On a two-month break from work, Ms. Roberson had driven 13,500 kilometres across Victoria and NSW, competing at Bright, Corryong and Manilla. She flew more than 100 hours and 2200 kilometres cross-country over the holiday, including that mid-January day when she launched about 12:30pm.

Categories: Worlds 09

Redtail Attacks

Oz Report - Fri, 14/03/2014 - 00:07
Categories: Worlds 09

2014 Team Challenge

Oz Report - Fri, 14/03/2014 - 00:07

http://tennesseetreetoppers.com/

Ollie Gregory <<olliettt1955>> writes:

Also we have decided to make Team Challenge the last week of September. The meet will start September 28th. This dodges the Santa Cruz meet and, with luck, will have good weather!

Categories: Worlds 09

Registration for the Annecy FAI World Hang Gliding Championships

Oz Report - Fri, 14/03/2014 - 00:06

Stef Malbos <<stefmalbos>> writes:

Registration for the FAI World Hang Gliding Championships in Annecy has started and will be closed in 5 weeks!

All pilots and team leader have to individually register on the official website before April the 5th.

Http://airtribune.com/fr/class5-hg2014/pilots

http://airtribune.com/women-class1-hg2014/register

http://airtribune.com/sport-hg2014/pilots

http://airtribune.com/class2-hg2014/pilots

No registration will be accepted after April the 5th.

We suggest to the NACs to register the maximum number of selectable pilots in each class, so no empty spot are left when allocation is done.

To avoid unnecessary disappointment, pilots and NACs are both responsible to make sure that the eligibility criteria are fulfilled.

If you do not know if you fulfill the eligibility criteria, please register asap so CIVL will have time to check if you fill them, and if you do not, your Team Leader or NAC will have time to make an exception request.

Pilots, even if you don't know if you will be selected by your national team leader and/or if you don't know if you fill in the eligibility criteria, don't forget to register before April 5th

Again, no registration will be accepted after April the 5th.

Team leaders will be asked to confirm that the registered pilots have been selected by their NAC.

Categories: Worlds 09

Birds in Paradise fatal crash

Oz Report - Thu, 13/03/2014 - 08:30
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http://www.hawaiinewsnow.com/story/24945600/breaking-kauai-county-officials-investigating-fatal-ultralight-aircraft-crash-details-at-hawaiinewsnowcom

Firefighters have recovered the bodies of the pilot and passenger involved in Tuesday's aircraft crash in Waiakamoo Valley in Polihale.

Officials haven't released their names, but several friends identify the pilot as Gerry Charlebois, the owner of Birds in Paradise, a powered hang glider school and tour company on Kaua'i.

Friends say Charlebois was not just well-known and respected, but describe him as "Hawai'i's ultralight pioneer".

Peter Michelmore, the Hawai'i regional safety director for the U.S. Hanggliding and Paragliding Association, called news of Charlebois' death shocking.

"It would be like hearing that the best surfer in the world just died surfing. Gerry Charlebois was probably one of the world's top ultralight pilots," said Michel More, who has known Charlebois more than 20 years.

Categories: Worlds 09

Rattling the tin cup

Oz Report - Thu, 13/03/2014 - 00:27

I don't just report on competitions (and other areas of hang gliding), Also use the Oz Report and things I find out because I am reporting to push for changes in the competition systems. You'll notice that there was a long list of improvements that could be made to the 2015 Worlds in the last issue of the Oz Report (along with a report about the how well the organizers did).

The Oz Report is an activist rag. I use it to make improvements in our community, in our competitions, in our flight parks.

He is looking for your help, as are we.

How to send money to the Oz Report without a credit card fee: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gEu-9i-07zQ

Please, help us out. Support something that you find useful so that it can continue to be there for you.

You can send $20 or $30 or more for a yearly subscription/donation. To pay for your subscription with Dwolla, or your credit card or PayPal account:



or

With PayPal please click the Send Money tab to send the money and eliminate credit card fees by clicking the "I'm sending money to family an friends"  if your PayPal account is connected to your bank account and not just to a credit card:

The email address would be http://ozreport.com/emailer.php?toName=davis&code=646176697320617420646176697373747261756220646s7420636s6q

If you’d rather just send a check for $20  or $30 (US Dollars, only please) or more, please feel free to do so. The mail gets forwarded to me wherever I’m at.

Payable to:

Davis Straub (Not to the Oz Report)
PMB 1889 PO Box 2430
Pensacola, FL 32513

If you send a physical check, be sure to send me your email address so that I can register you as a subscriber.

These are our supporters (if you are not on the list and have donated to the Oz Report, email me and I'll make sure that you are recognized): http://ozreport.com/supporters.php. Some of you who I've missed in the past did write to me and made sure I knew just how important the Oz Report was to them. If I've missed you, please do tell me.

Come over to the Oz Report support web page and sign up to support us: http://ozreport.com/support.php. Or click here:

You can also use Dwolla (The best way to move money. No percentages. No hidden fees. Just 25¢ per transaction or free for transactions $10 and less.)

Categories: Worlds 09

Pre-frontal at Quest Air

Oz Report - Thu, 13/03/2014 - 00:26

Mid level clouds covered Quest Air both Monday and Tuesday until late in the afternoon. Then they dissipated and we had blue sky overhead, which got us to get in the air quickly and we successfully soared.

I took the new Wills Wing T2C 144 with add on tips, carbon inserts, and eight additional 1/8 battens for an hour flight in smooth conditions with lift ranging from less than 100 fpm up to tiny bits of 300 fpm. Up at 1000' to 4000' AGL the wind was about 10 mph out of the southwest and there was well defined streeting which allowed for following lines of lift.

While others have mentioned that they didn't like the feel of the tips at first, but soon got used to them, I didn't notice anything different about the glider (I'm a blunt instrument apparently). As always the T2C 144 was easy to handle and had no problem tracking at higher speeds with 3/4+ VG on. I kept the sink rate near 100 fpm in the lift line and stopped for lift that showed a positive climb rate.

I've had three no or very light wind landings now with this new glider, all of them barefoot run in as my left shoulder is not happy with aggressive flaring at the moment. The glider slows down so I don't have to run that far. As always the T2C is an easy glider to land.

There is a front coming in Tuesday night so I broke down the glider in the evening in 74 degree zephyrs as the sun lowered itself in the west. I took my time as it was so completely pleasant to be surrounded by the warm air, feeling the sun as it peaked behind the approaching clouds. Packing up a glider is a ritual which is best experienced quite late in the day.

Categories: Worlds 09

Dutch Open 2014

Oz Report - Thu, 13/03/2014 - 00:26

Sander van Schaik <<sander>> writes:

The Dutch Open 2014 will be held from May 11-17 in Greifenburg, Austria. The competition will make use of Track and Trace, via http://livetrack24.com.

Registration is Saturday night May 10th. Costs is 125 euro (includes a tee-shirt)

Additional info and participants: http://www.zeilvliegen.nl/

Registration: http://tinyurl.com/dutch-open-2014

Categories: Worlds 09

2014 UK and French Hang Gliding Nationals

Oz Report - Thu, 13/03/2014 - 00:25

Lorenzo Labrador <<lorenzolabrador>> writes:

The British Hang Gliding and Paragliding Association's Hang Gliding Competitions Panel and the French Free Flight Federation are pleased to announce the arrangements for this year's competition to select the 2014 British and French National Class 1 and Class 5 HG Champions, to be held in Laragne Monteglin, France, from 10-16 August 2014.

This will be a joint competition and will serve as an open Cat 2 event that will attract a number of international pilots. The sites of Chabre and Aspres will be used and the competition's headquarters will be at the Town Hall of Laragne. We expect to have a great competition and and even better atmosphere, so come join us this summer in Laragne!

British and French Hang Gliding Nationals 2014 and Chabre Open. 10-16 August Laragne-Monteglin, France.

Meet Director: Nick Pain

Contact: <british.nationals>  http://bhgc.wikidot.com/latest:brit-french-nationals-2014

Categories: Worlds 09

Thermik 2014

Oz Report - Thu, 13/03/2014 - 00:25

Mark Arnold <<mark>> writes:

The lower ATOS VR with an E lift harness, has spoilers (didn't know A.I.R. was doing this) fully deployed. Combined with the flaps wonder what the descent rate is. More and more like a sail plane.

Categories: Worlds 09

Aeros Winter Race 2014

Oz Report - Thu, 13/03/2014 - 00:11

http://hg.sffa.org/aeros_wr/

Thomas Weissenberger <<tomtom>> writes:

Today the Aeros Winter Race should have started like confirmed by the Slovenian organization. Also good weather forecasts are predicted for all four flying days this week. 55 pilots have registered and pre-paid 30 € since November, booked their holidays and made room reservations. On the 6th of march the comp dates were confirmed for this week: 'We will start with the competition on the first set of dates, the registration will start on Tuesday, march 11!' Then 6 hours later the information was that the comp is postponed to one week later. Official statement: 'Aeros asked to move the competition start on the SECOND set of dates, so the registration will start on Tuesday, march 18! The main reason is pre-worlds in Mexico and lack of time for some pilots who fly there, to come to Slovenia in really short time between the comps.'

As the technical delegate of the Austrian Hang Gliding League and international comp pilot this procedure is ridiculous and simply unacceptable! It is showing how unprofessional Aeros and the organization are taking this sport, even asking for money in advance!

A) The dates of the pre-worlds were well known long before.

B) There are just three pilots registered out of 55 who were in Valle: Gerd, Achim and Sasha.

C) The decision favors now three pilots to a kinda privileged status to postpone a whole comp which dates were known far before!

D) The so called lack of time is just a logistic issue and even manageable, like Sasha would have been ready to be there today. Even these two German pilots left Mexico one day earlier than her. It is just a matter of doing the planning right and in time. Like Aeros should do!

E) The weather this week looks great, so this decision is totally incorrect sportive wise!

F) It is likely impossible and unfair to make people change their holidays + room reservations in that short time of just five days, even seeing good weather on the screens. How should they justify it?

G) Now other pilots can take their places from pilots who already pre paid! This is the so called sportsmanlike treatment of Aeros!

H) Pilot's statements:

- 'pre-worlds date has been known for a long time..'

- 'how many pilots do you expect coming from pre-worlds? 2?'

- 'Your decision is totally disrespectful. First of all: Mexico PreWorlds date was organized prior Aeros Winter Race date. I expect that reservation dates ought to be chose in case of force majeure. Secondly you are not sure about the weather on second date. We paid reservation cost. Many participants already booked their vacation, and some pilots should not be better than others who want to participate in this race. Everybody can choose their priorities. My proposal for you, think twice about this decision. If race will be moved to another week, due to facts ( that are not force majeure) I will ask my reservation back....'

- 'Uf, thanks to Aeros from pilot, who will take my place. Anyway in this sport I’m “nobody”, but there is a question bothering me, how can organizer realize the change in last 2 hours for the race in Mexico planned so long ago, also I don’t remember any more when I did my application for this AWR? Since Aeros team decided this and explained the reason, could you please share to me “nobody audience” the list of the pilots arriving from Mexico so I can emphasize my complex... Only hope for me is if anybody can join me next week in Vipava valey for some flying company and my entrance fee will be spend for a beer to anyone.'

- 'you loose more pilots than you win. And you risk the whole comp weather wise!? Pretty high gambling here...'

- 'Can't understand the decision.... I am off for the second date.'

Well, pilot's reaction tells it all. Now I just can recommend not to attend this comp next week to condemn this suspect behavior by teaching them a lesson they don't forget. Pilots should also claim back their pre paid money, this organization is not worth one single cent! Also the high pressure is fading and the upcoming rainy weather next week does not look promising at all. Well, this is actually just a light version of my wishful thinking for hail, pouring rain and Bora on this organization down till Ukraine!

Categories: Worlds 09

Birds in Paradise fatal crash

Oz Report - Wed, 12/03/2014 - 14:06

http://www.seattlepi.com/news/article/Motorized-hang-glider-crash-kills-2-on-Kauai-5307730.php

Two people died Tuesday on Kauai in the crash of a motorized, seated hang glider owned by a company that markets itself to visiting travelers even though federal regulations prohibit the aircraft from being used for tours or thrill rides.

The identities of the victims aren't known, Kauai County said in a statement.

The light sport aircraft crashed on the side of a mountain near Polihale Beach, Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Ian Gregor said. The site is in Waiakamoo Valley below Kokee in the western part of Kauai, the county said.

The aircraft — an Evolution Trikes Revo — is registered to Birds in Paradise LLC, a company that advertises scenic flights for tourists billed as introductory flight lessons rather than aerial tours. A message left on the company's answering machine was not immediately returned Tuesday.

http://www.birdsinparadise.com/our-team.php

Categories: Worlds 09

Rattling the tin cup

Oz Report - Wed, 12/03/2014 - 00:03

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Categories: Worlds 09

Our own corrupt speed trap on highway 301

Oz Report - Wed, 12/03/2014 - 00:01

Well known speed trap as we drove through it after flying to the north.

We have driven many times through this town after flying to far north Florida along highway 301.

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/11/us/need-for-speeders-puts-tiny-florida-city-on-brink-of-erasure.html?hp

But, as it turns out, surprised motorists are not the only ones getting burned. So many speeding tickets were churned out for so many years and with such brazenness that this city of 477 residents came under scrutiny — and not just for revenue raising with a radar gun. Now, Hampton, an 89-year-old city, is fighting legislative momentum to wipe it off the map, after a state audit last month uncovered reams of financial irregularities, shoddy record-keeping and missing funds.

The state attorney, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and the Bradford County Sheriff’s Office recently opened a criminal investigation, focusing primarily on the actions of the city’s three former full-time employees — the city clerk, the maintenance operator and the police chief.

“If half of this is remotely true, they’ve used the city as a personal pocketbook,” said the Bradford County sheriff, Gordon Smith, who routinely butted heads with John Hodges, Hampton’s police chief.

Categories: Worlds 09

New toy at Quest Air

Oz Report - Wed, 12/03/2014 - 00:00

Mart Frutiger, the Quest Air manager, couldn't resist a half priced bargain:

Don't know exactly what they are going to do with this here (other than give pilots the chance to drive the thing), but it sure looks like a great new toy as Quest Air expands its operations.

Categories: Worlds 09
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