Thursday, April 30, 2009

Day 3 - On way home

Today was a much tougher than yesterday. It took me 4h45m to go 90 miles today where yesterday I went 86 miles in 3h10m. My vario also showed, at least the air I flew in, that the 10 second average of thermals was almost half as strong as yesterday too.

But I did make goal again, I was last and the sun was setting. I had to take 150 fpm and milk it to make the final glide into goal. And of course once there I couldn't get down and hit like 400 fpm, typical. Today also had a little crosswind in the course line which made it a little hard too.

Some highlights for me was thermaling with a bunch of straw. And it wasn't just little strands but entire chunks. Some even got caught in my side wires. Imagine a straw bale being scattered over your head from high above, now just reverse that image and be in a hang glider at 5,000' - the straw was coming up at me! I also enjoyed the many birds that came close to me as if we were like strangers passing by on a side walk.

Me and Eric in the launch line


goal field

Day 3 (of flying) - beginning

90 mile goal today, there are 2 waypoints before goal waypoint, so a little more complicated course today. The winds are supposed to be a lot lighter today too, so it might be even a harder day than yesterday. I just hope I make goal again!

The results from yesterday are here.

Eric came in 10th and I came in 13th. I'm in 15th overall, definately the highest placing I've had in a meet, but we're only two days in. Paul Tjaden clipped a pole that was in the middle of the landing field yesterday and hurt his shoulder so he's heading home to recover, but might be back for the rally. Other than that everyone has stayed safe so far.

The 'Dream Team' got a big lead from yesterday, they're 2,000 points ahead of the US team.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

FL Ridge Day 2 - end

Made goal again!

Tougher day than yesterday, it was an 86 mile task and I almost decked it in no-man's land only about 35 miles into the task. Even with that I was much faster today than yesterday. It took 2h10m for 46 miles yesterday and today it was 3h10m for 86 miles.

I went on glide from about 5,200' and didn't hit anything substantial and got down to 900' - plus my radio wasn't working so I couldn't tell our awesome driver, Dale, where I was.

I picked out a landing field and got over it and started working 200 fpm and waffled in that for about 30 minutes and finally got a boomer at about 700 fpm. Got back up and took off again, and never got below 3,500' for the rest of the flight.

Coming into the the small goal LZ I came into ground effect and was whizzing past all these animal bones beneath my feet - pretty intimidating scene as I'm trying to have a safe landing.

All the Treetoppers made goal today too!

I've also got to thank Steve Kroop over at Flytec for the 6030 - that thing is awesome!

Launch line today


FL Ridge Day 2 - beginning

Installed the carbon fiber inserts into the leading edge this morning

Yesterday was a very fun day/task. See yesterday's post for pictures.

I ended up in 20th out of 28 in the open class - Results are here. But it says I'm 'HC' which means officially not competing, which is not right. I asked Davis about it and he says he'd check into, that he didn't know why that would happen.

The Australian/Brazil 'Dream Team' edged out the US team for points yesterday. Looks like it will be a good competition for them.

1pm start time - 86 mile goal, with one turnpoint. It's a bluer day so this will be pretty hard it seems.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

First Day Flying - Made Goal!!!

3,000' over goal - need to get dialed into my new Flytec 6030 a little better so I come in more like 500' over

Goal Field

The forest fire thermal - that's not clouds thats smoke!


Made Goal - it was like a 75 km goal. Quite a few people made goal today, I'm waiting for my GPS to be uploaded right now, we'll see how the standings are tomorrow.

I was pretty slow, but am just glad I made it to goal at all. The lowest I got was about 1,200'. About a dozen birds saved me near the forest fire and I climbed up at about 800 fps.

Ollie and James also made it, Eric landed short and Stump chose not to fly.

Pictures to come tonight - they're taking too long to upload!!!!!!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Day 3 and more photos from yesterday

Today was just called. They say we'll fly starting tomorrow and for the rest of the week.

Testing the wind today

US World Team - there are some other teams that have been put together to challenge them this meet. There's money on the line too. If the US team wins, then they'll get a bunch of money to fund their trip to Worlds.

Photos from yesterday. Eric also put a video together, there's a link to his 'art and aviation' blog in the right side bar --->

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Day 2 (still) - Woohoo! This was awesome!

This was an off day because it was blown out, but still freaking awesome because Dustin got people psyched to go to the atlantic coast and soar an abandoned hotel.

I think it got hit by a hurricane and they never fixed it up. So we 'man-towed,' by people pulling on a rope, then we'd release and soar!

Eric took the picture of me flying and the video of my launch below and there's a group picture of the Treetoppers (sans Stump).

Day 2 - this is getting expensive

Another day that is blown out. There was a little more debate today though because there was a long lull cycle (10-15mph), but tomorrow looks the same as today. Some people got towed up early in the morning just to get in the air.

Yesterday Eric and I played a round of golf. Jeff got a picture of us the other day HERE.

Maybe more golf today or going with some people to watch them soar the beach. I hope this hang gliding trip doesn't turn into a golf trip, I suck at golf.

Here are a couple pics from the day: One is from Zippy after a test flight and everyone wanting to know the conditions. The other is from the pilots meeting.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Blown Out - Florida Ridge Comp

Today, it's pretty blown out. Tomorrow doesn't look that great either. People are just hanging out and lounging around

Mike Barber is giving a talk this afternoon and Zac Majors gave a little lesson on GPS, not all is lost for the day.

The tow picture is from yesterday, it was still really rough but some of the top guys flew around anyways.

Friday, April 24, 2009

On the way!

Only 3 hours away from the Ridge now. Below are some pictures of our departure yesterday.

Apparently the weather isn't looking too good for the next couple days. Will keep updating . . .

Thursday, April 23, 2009

chargers . . .

Leaving today, this is just the charges I have to bring for my laptop, camcorder, vario, radio, and cell phone! I think I'm going to have to bring an extension cord. The documentary is coming along well too. More on that later

Tuesday, April 21, 2009


Getting ready for the upcoming comps - I've got some of the best equipment around so I won't be able to use that as an excuse when I come in last place! Thanks to Moyes and Flytec!
  • Vertex VX-150 radio
  • Steve Prater PTT system (email: pttguy -at sign-
  • Moyes Matrix Race harness
  • Moyes Litespeed S (with cf inserts)
  • Flytec 6030 vario

Monday, April 20, 2009

Great HG Picture

Check out Mark's Blog to see a very cool HG pic that he has in a contest, and vote for him!

-Getting ready for the Florida comps, we leave this Thursday!

-I will be posting as much as I can each day from these comps so come back and check it out.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Fly-in Video

Eric's video from his fly-in:

Friday, April 17, 2009

As promised . . . Still Shots and Eric's Fly-In

Eric had a fly-in to his field yesterday. There was about 9 of us that took sled runs in a slight tail wind. I think Mark Fink won the spot landing contest, then it was beer and hot dogs around a bon fire. I'll have some video or stills from that coming soon as well.

From the day before yesterday: it was a cloudy day which I think affected the quality of these images, but I don't think these images do the actual video justice. There are some good clips we got, which will probably go into the upcoming documentary.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Still shots coming tomorrow . . .

Had a fun ridge soaring flight yesterday with some people. Tomorrow I will put up still shots from some of the video I took - so come back to check that out.

Yesterday I posted about the new contest I'm in (I'm actually in 4 right now), so check that out as well. Thanks for your votes (5 star ratings)!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

First HD Vid! BIG Contest -

Please go to:

and give my video 5 stars - that's how they're voting to see who gets into the finals.

This one is for $25,000! Thanks!

This video is my first attempt at HD, so click the HD button to watch it - I think I can do better, but with our electricity being out I was scurrying to get this one done.

Friday, April 10, 2009

New Matrix Race Harness ! ! ! !

Now if only the weather would cooperate.

Video Contest #18 or so

Jim Beam update: I did not make the top 5, but the contests just keep on coming:

Here is a really . . . bizarre video I made for this contest.

You can vote for me once a day!

This one is for $10,000 - you just had to say something interesting about yourself in 15 seconds - I kind of made fun of that with my video - "I do stuff!"

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Helmet Design - Wild Mushrooms

Took today off work and got creative with my visor.

Found these wild mushrooms at a secret location this weekend. They are the most prized mushrooms of mushroom-hunters - Morel Mushrooms. We had them with a cream sauce and they were awesome.

Monday, April 6, 2009

EPA Video Contest

No voting or anything to do for this one. I just have to submit it and sit back to see if the judges pick mine.

Hit the 'HQ' button to watch in High Quality.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Wingsuit TED Talk & Thermal Video

Thanks for everyone's comments on my last post and video! It gets me really motivated to continue to make these little videos when I know people enjoy them - stay tuned for more!

Here is Dave's video that is for a video contest and its very well done!

Decent video
-first three or so minutes he gives background about himself
-at 5 minutes (and 10:05) though he says "to come as close as possible to the human dream to be able to fly," which is ridiculous because that's hang gliding! not wingsuits that gets 2:1!