Tuesday, July 31, 2007

A Chattanoog newspaper had a story about our local flying site, Lookout Mountain flight park. They have some nice pictures linked with the story.
Check it out


Monday, July 30, 2007

We got back from our journey safe and sound saturday night. What a trip. Over 2,500 miles in 4 days. That wasn't the kicker tho'. I had to start putting all that training to practical use sunday morning, at sunrise. I heard alllll the people that know me, laughing----Hard ! :^{)
Someone sent this to me in an email, and it was so incredible that I just had to pass it on.
Was your on the page, click on the mini-cam in the side bar to the right. I know John Stokes, from S.O.A.R. knows all about this, and He has a golden eagle of his own.
Will post things, as I see them happening. Gentle breezes


Friday, July 27, 2007

This is part of the Continental Divide in New Mexico, that we passed through yesterday. It has been a long time since I was in school, and I'm sure I knew what that exactly meant~~at one time. To refresh my memory, I Googled it and found this.
A continental divide is a line of elevated terrain which forms a border between two watersheds such that water falling on one side of the line eventually travels to one ocean or body of water, and water on the other side travels to another, generally on the opposite side of the continent.
Most of the water here in the U.S. flows into the deserts and inland, and never reaches the oceans.

Places like this, you can almost imagine what it must have been like 300+ years ago for the Indians. I think I see a nice place to put a homestead.

This is a gorgeous area.
This area is on the outer borders of the Navajo Reservation. Lot of souvenir shops, and craft shops.
Geronimo lived here???? Think not

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Dub, this one is for you bro ! However,,, which is worse~~seeing a picture from Sandia Peak OR taking the picture knowing that you can only drive on by???? The only thing that I took solice on, was it was raining and I knew no one else was flying there!

Cloud streets for DAYS ! I bet even I could have flown 100 miles today. Hopefully, before it ODed ! Because it really did do ,that very thing.

I couldn't get any information to whether there was a tornado that touched down or not today. Maybe it was a massive amount of rainfall??!!

I forget what type of clouds these are, with the areas of lift protruding the leading edge of the storm. They are like fingers jutting from the base at sunset.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

After training at Google yesterday, we had to hit the road to Bakersfield, CA. where we spent the night. This morning the next leg on our journeys was to Flagstaff, AZ. where I am right now. Tomorrows' leg will be from here to Amarillo, TX. That is over 600 miles for the day. Will make for a long day, however, the scenery should be pretty nice. There are suppose to be more storms associated with this summer monsoon season. You may need to click on the below pics to see them better.

1,00's of windmills along to route today.

This was a neat sight today. I say neat because, I wasn't intending on flying anywhere. This was just the start of this beasty girl ! ! ! ! Cumulonimbus clouds are the most dangerous of all the clouds. Us hang glider pilots wouldn't even the the gliders off the rack if these puppies are around ! !
This storm system produced over 2+ inches in an hour today. We barely missed it, thankfully. Even the National emergency agency came over the radio to warn everyone quickly. There was a lot of flash flooding as a cause of this storm.

Friday, July 20, 2007

An Evening Glass-off for the last pilot of the day.

Paula, a relatively new pilot, had a great evening glass off today. A few of us flew today. However, only 1 lucky pilot soared for a little while. Shawn had the flight of the day. If I would have just waited 5 minutes for the right cycle, I would have given him a run for it,,,, but then again--- it was a falcon day to be sure. I will just have to get him next time. The rest of us took our sledders like a man, or woman. Sometimes, no matter how light, and the chances of soaring is 0%,, you just have to get into the air. If nothing else, to keep current, and wired-in on our gliders.
The Moyes Dragonfly tow plane at the end of the day - wish I was hooked-in and on a string behind it !

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Today was a very special day in the lives of these guys & gals. As you can see, they are not your normal "wuffos", or discovery flights. The guy standing in the blue t-shirts' name is Robbie. He is the director in charge of taking care of, and helping these folks. He has lined out other activities such as water skiing, sky diving, etc......(there should be more directors like him!)
One of the hardest things for a photographer to do, is to choose which pictures gets shown to others. Thus, the case that I faced tonight. I have 19 great shots, however, I'm not going to post all of them on here. I will send any of these folks the pictures however, if they just send me an e-mail and let me know that they want them.

This is John & his Mom. As you can see from his smile, this was taken after his flight.

Eric took John up first today, just to show the other guys how to do it. This was just before his hang-check & flight. It took a little bit of doing to get all of them suited up, and safely hooked into the gliders, and comfortable. However, for Eric, Rex, and Steve, the tandem pilots on deck for the day, it was poetry in motion. Trevor was on the ground crew for this group of folks. Like a well-oiled machine, with a very little anxiety factor for all.

This is Mark & his sister Kathy. He has been confined to the chair for 35 years, after someone hit him with a car,as a kid while he was on a small motorcycle. He had a little trouble with the harness at first, however Rex & Trevor was able to make even him comfortable for the flight. As you can see with the huge smile on his face,,,, this was taken afterwards also, :^}
Cayle looks like he had a terrible time, huh?!!! Ha Ha! Would say alot more about this young man, however, I think his smile says it all.
This young man had way too much personality to be all of 11 years old. After this flight, Trey was asked if he would like for Eric to take him back up again. Should have seen the smile,,,,,Priceless. We may see him again, in a few years.
This was Robyn that was hooked in with Steve, for this flight. She is Trey's mom. Is she holding him in the right spot, or ..... just kidding. I could've sworn that I heard something like---"hunka hunka" off in the distance somewhere.. Sorry, it's a real funny private joke around here,, and Robin said that she agreed with it! ! She wanted him to fly her all kind of places, ha ha! Just kidding around a little bit, Steve!
This is a shot of everyone after their flights, and just before they all loaded up to head home. It was a great pleasure to meet everyone of them, and to be reminded of just how precious life is. AND, how important that it is to keep a PMA ! positive mental attitude. I sincerely hope that these guys come back and spend more time around here. They were a great bunch of folks, even Justin(just kidding)! I would be willing to bet, that they will be talking, reminiscing, and dreaming about their time amongst the clouds.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

At Hangglide.org forum, there are a lot of Great hang gliding videos. The one that I'm posting today was taken at Torrey Pines, California. There are a lot of them for you to enjoy. This one has the clearest pic that I've seen on a video. Funny thing about it is that it is taken by a camera---not a video recorder unit. Will have to try out my camera. His is a 8.1mp,,, I have a 10mp. Just hope that it turns out as good ! Hopefully this week we will have a couple of fly days ! It's shaping up that there is a good chance of it. A cold front is moving in later this week ! Crossing my fingers here! Enjoy the show !


Saturday, July 14, 2007

Couple of shots of last nights sunset, and an update from Ollie.

New update from Ollie. Since his blood clots, they installed a new filter in his blood system to catch any other ones that may appear. He is going to be on meds for months, and physical therapy also, so keep the prayers and positive thoughts coming ! Thank you!

"Hope some one had some decent flying today. day looked kinda blah from my view out the window.
Looks like I'm heading for the house. feel a lot better. got a new piece of hardware to filter for me and am ready for a change of scenery.

Friday, July 13, 2007

I had a great launch and no stepper landing yesterday. I think I have a great launch technique. I guess all hang 4's dont have bad launches after all, haha.
I'm not too impressed with what I see for the weather forecast. In this area we can launch with a wide margin of directions. However, a due south or southwest doesnt appeal to me very much.

A great flying buddy( Dub) lives in NW Alabama and he has just finished his payout winch & trailer. Him, and his sons, are test flying it now, and getting all the bugs out and procedures down. Very soon, I will be chasing the wind over there when it isnt flyable around here. I really like that kind of launching. It reminds me of when I lived out in Texas, and did some truck towing. We shall see. Anything to get in the air ! ! !

Hope that you enjoy the picture that Jono took. Great Job !

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Today was a big fly day here at Lookout. Wayne, drive extrordinare' and pilot, has a camera mount and has been filming different flights of his. Today he had it mounted pointing backwards and wanted me to launch right after him to see how it looked. I really enjoyed the footage. It isnt the best quality, however, you can see it okay. What I liked about the footage is a selfish one. He launched and about a minute or two afterwards I launched. He flew straight out, then you see my launch and I hit a small patch of lift and started circling, he hit a little bubble and started a 360 also. When he straightened up, I was still circling in the thermal. It was very light but enough to get back a little over the ridge. He went out and landed. Again, we launched too late for a great soaring flight, but we cant always get what we want,,, however...sometimes we get what we need. Click below to see the clip.

Jono is back in town for a couple of days, and hopefully the picture he took of my launch turns out. If it does, then I will post that as well soon.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

I am posting this because Ollie has alot of friends all over the world, in the Hang gliding community. If you know Ollie, you know his last name, and where the hospital is, in case you want to make contact with him. I'm not going to post it on here for simple reasons, that I'm sure everyone is smart enough tofigure out, haha! Please keep him on your prayer lists ! I will post more when I have some more news.

Ollie has a pulmonary embolism. He had sudden onset of chest pain and breathing problems this morning. It was very scary for us. Right now he's ok. Has to be heparinized and on anticoagulant therapy for a few months.
Let ya'll know more later.

He just got back from ultrasound.He has at least 2 other clots-1 inhis calf, another in his thigh.He's at Erlanger again because that's where his ortho is.He is in the same room my daddy was in when he threw those clots a few months ago from his kidney. He's alert and not too uncomfortable right now.
Jackie (Ollie's wife)

I'm back in the hospital with a big pulmonary embolism from a deep vein thrombosis in my immobilized calf and thigh. I worked a full day yesterday and it went great. I even slept well last night, but was awakened by severe chest pain and shortness of breath. I had thrown a clot into my lung. Boy it was painful! Could barely move my chest wall to breath due to the intense pain. The pain was in the chest area under my left arm. I figured it was a PE. Jackie called 911 and the para medics got some oxygen on me so I didn't have to work so hard to move air. I'm in Erlanger and being anti coagulated. I'm not to get out of bed to reduce the chance of throwing another one till all the things are checked out. Pain meds and oxygen are helping some too. It actually feels like I have several broken ribs and can't move my chest wall with the pain. Unfortunately abdominal breathing makes it hurt too. Once I'm checked out and anti coagulated, I can go home with injections of a new anti coagulate and coumadin. Will have to stay on coumadin for 6 to 9 months. Darn!Oh Well. I'm a lucky guy if you think about it. Don't feel real lucky right now, but will when I can get back to work again. Miss you guys. Will miss the TC board meeting. Still thinking about and working on some things for the Team Challenge.
Miss y'all and hope to see you soon.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

CNN.com had this story in the news today. Thought it would be a fun story to read about. What next?? He brings a TV with him? haha!

Man flies 193 miles in a lawn Chair

BEND, Oregon (AP) -- Last weekend, Kent Couch settled down in his lawn chair with some snacks -- and a parachute. Attached to his lawn chair were 105 large helium balloons.
Destination: Idaho.

Balloons suspend Kent Couch in a lawn chair as he floats in the skies near Bend, Oregon, on Saturday.

With instruments to measure his altitude and speed, a global positioning system device in his pocket, and about four plastic bags holding five gallons of water each to act as ballast -- he could turn a spigot, release water and rise -- Couch headed into the Oregon sky.
Nearly nine hours later, the 47-year-old gas station owner came back to earth in a farmer's field near Union, short of Idaho but about 193 miles from home.
"When you're a little kid and you're holding a helium balloon, it has to cross your mind," Couch told the Bend Bulletin.
"When you're laying in the grass on a summer day, and you see the clouds, you wish you could jump on them," he said. "This is as close as you can come to jumping on them. It's just like that."
Couch is the latest American to emulate Larry Walters -- who in 1982 rose three miles above Los Angeles in a lawn chair lifted by balloons. Walters had surprised an airline pilot, who radioed the control tower that he had just passed a guy in a lawn chair. Walters paid a $1,500 penalty for violating air traffic rules.
It was Couch's second flight.
In September, he got off the ground for six hours. Like Walters, he used a BB gun to pop the balloons, but he went into a rapid descent and eventually parachuted to safety.
This time, he was better prepared. The balloons had a new configuration, so it was easier to reach up and release a bit of helium instead of simply cutting off a balloon.
He took off at 6:06 a.m. Saturday after kissing his wife, Susan, goodbye and petting his Chihuahua, Isabella. As he made about 25 miles an hour, a three-car caravan filled with friends, family and the dog followed him from below.
Couch said he could hear cattle and children and even passed through clouds.
"It was beautiful -- beautiful," he told KTVZ-TV. He described the flight as mostly peaceful and serene, with occasional turbulence, like a hot-air balloon ride sitting down.
Couch decided to stop when he was down to a gallon of water and just eight pounds of ballast. Concerned about the rugged terrain outside La Grande, including Hells Canyon, he decided it was time to land.
He popped enough balloons to set the craft down, although he suffered rope burns. But after he jumped out, the wind grabbed his chair, with his video recorder, and the remaining balloons and swept them away. He's hoping to get them back some day.
Brandon Wilcox, owner of Professional Air, which charters and maintains planes at the Bend airport, said Couch definitely did it. Wilcox said he flew a plane nearby while Couch traveled and took photos of the flying lawn chair.
Whether Couch will take a third trip is up to his wife, and Susan Couch said she's thinking about saying no. But she said she was willing to go along with last weekend's trip.
"I know he'd be thinking about it more and more, it would always be on his mind," she said. "This way, at least he's fulfilled his dream."

Saturday, July 07, 2007

The summer weather pattern continues here at Lookout Mtn. This was approximately 2pm yesterday afternoon, and later in the day it cleared off enough to see blue skies. Lots of OD going on for the last couple of weeks. There is good and bad in that. Bad for the flying, however, great for the farms and our gardens.
Tonight we had our regular saturday night party in the LZ. The menu for the night: grilled chicken breasts, rice, green beans, and 2 birthday cakes. It was pretty quiet tonight. Lot of people probably still out of town for the 4th, or still recooping from it.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

90 Year young lady gets a tandem flight for her birthday present !

Elaine Thomas was 90 years old yesterday. Channel 12 news team was on hand to record the event. The link below is to their page, and there's also a video that you can watch. I had to be out of town yesterday, so I called and had a buddy( and towpilot extrodinar') Bruce, to take some shots for me so I could post them here. You wont see these pics anywhere else. I am also going to send a copy of All of the pictures to her, to add to the ones that she got while taking her flight.
Click the link for the Rest of the story.

Trevor going over everything with her. Final touch, the all important helmet.

Eric, her tandem pilot, is hooking her harness to the hang glider. Making sure all the lines are straight & all the knots are tight. With the expression on her face,,, Eric may be instructing her on the procedure.

Is she whispering in Erics ear???? Or, is she grabbing him a little snuggly?? haha. Our tandem pilots are the best when it comes to keeping their passenger feel at ease. Mikey was the best, in my opinion, at that when he was still here. Miss him around the place !

Here you see the channel 12 news crew getting her take off for their news clip this evening.

Off she goes into the nice gentle air..... what a gift !
Let's keep the speed up for our landing ! Windsock in the background is interesting.
It will probably take a long time to get this smile off of her face. I know after a flight myself, I have the same kind of smile, and it takes a while for me also to loose it! I sincerely hope that we see her here next year on her next birthday, if not sooner!
Had to put this one of her tug pilot for the day,,,,Trevor ! What a nice quiet, shy, innocent guy he is,,,,,,mmm,,,,, NOT ! Ha Ha! Good job today,,,as always ! !
Thanks again to Bruce for taking these shots for me, since I had to be out of town. Great job buddy!

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Happy 4Th of July to everyone ! !
These are a couple of pictures from last years fireworks here.
With the burn order still in effect, don't think much of it will go on around here. A $2,500. fine, and six months in jail kind of detours those kind of things from happening.