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Memorial Day Fly-In in Alamogordo, New Mexico

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Memorial Day Fly-In in Alamogordo, New Mexico

Postby RobinHastings » Fri Apr 29, 2016 9:48 pm

Hi, folks! The Rio Grande Soaring Association is planning another Fly-In this year over Memorial Day weekend, May 28 through May 30, in Alamogordo, New Mexico. The Dry Canyon site (H3/P3) is one of the most consistently soarable launches in the USA, and nearby is a second site, La Luz (H2/P2) which handles most common wind directions when Dry Canyon doesn't work. It's a long drive from San Diego, I know, but the flying is uncrowded, and you can probably soar every day for as long as you want to stay. Alamogordo is a city of about 40,000 people, they love our flying, and they have every convenience a pilot and family could want - hotels, camping, coffee houses, restaurants and grocery stores. Nearby are the tall, cool pines of mountain village Cloudcroft - a great place for a family to cool down in while their pilot is soaring in big desert thermals. No fees are charged for this event - just show up and fly! (We'll accept donations, but we're not charging for this.) If you'd like any information about it, please contact me, Robin Hastings, at 575-541-5744 or by email at RNHastings@zianet.com Tell your flying friends about it, and we'll hope to see you there in May!
-Robin
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Re: Memorial Day Fly-In in Alamogordo, New Mexico

Postby Bob Kuczewski » Sat Apr 30, 2016 3:40 pm

I hope you don't mind me double linking this post into the RGSA forum (it's now shared with the Torrey Hawks forum and appears in both places).

The timing might be good for a few US Hawks members to stop by on the way home from the Otto meet (May 22nd).    :think:
Join a National Hang Gliding Organization: US Hawks at ushawks.org
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Re: Memorial Day Fly-In in Alamogordo, New Mexico

Postby RobinHastings » Sun May 22, 2016 1:04 pm

Hey, everyone! The weather forecast for the Memorial Day Fly-In next week looks great - light to moderate southwest winds, clear skies, and highs about 85 to 90 degrees in Alamogordo. Come on out and fly!
-Robin
May 22, 2016
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Re: Memorial Day Fly-In in Alamogordo, New Mexico

Postby RobinHastings » Fri May 27, 2016 10:55 pm

FRIDAY, MAY 27:
We had a great first day. About 8 hang glider pilots and about as many paraglider pilots arrived from Texas, Colorado and Northern New Mexico. Local Jan Zschenderlein flew his powered PG as the first aviator, and Mel Glantz flew his trike. Max Montgomery was the first foot launch of the day, taking off at La Luz, gaining 1000 feet, and landing in north winds at the Cox Field (Dry Canyon) LZ about 10:30 am. A few other PG pilots took to the air there, with Jim Stelzer driving for them; one landed at La Luz, another halfway to Cox Field. Great start, despite strong north winds. They came around to west and southwest in the afternoon, however. Ultimately just about everyone got to fly, including Ann Dunlap, Ted Sullivan, Mel Glantz, Bo Frazier, Steve Ford, Mike Ellsworth and Lee Boone in HG's; Mark Gilliam, Greg Clark, Max, Jim and several others in their PG's. Bo reached 10,000 feet MSL, and Mel got to 12,000. Everyone landed safely, to find Bill grilling burgers in the LZ. Donations poured into a donation jar, which may just cover all our costs of portapotty and food for the event. And you know what? Conditions tomorrow could be even better.
-Robin
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Re: Memorial Day Fly-In in Alamogordo, New Mexico

Postby RobinHastings » Tue May 31, 2016 5:23 am

TUESDAY, MAY 31:
This fly-in (or "fun fly", as Terry Cummings suggested) was a grand success. We had over thirty pilots attend, every day was flyable, and everyone had a great time. Ben Herring of Denver set a new site XC record in his rigid wing ATOS. Pilots we haven't seen in years, like Rick Bonnel and Greg Bouten, dropped by just to visit. Bill Cummings will write a more expansive account of the event, but it was wonderful. Thank you to Bill and Mike for all the work they put in on it, to our launch director Keighley Hastings and all the drivers, and to Alamogordo and the Lincoln National Forest for all their support. Especially, thank you to all the pilots and their families who came such a long way to be there!
-Robin
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Re: Memorial Day Fly-In in Alamogordo, New Mexico

Postby RobinHastings » Tue May 31, 2016 8:40 am

RobinHastings wrote:TUESDAY, MAY 31:
This fly-in (or "fun fly", as Terry Cummings suggested) was a grand success. We had over thirty pilots attend, every day was flyable, and everyone had a great time. Ben Herring of Denver set a new site XC record in his rigid wing ATOS. Pilots we haven't seen in years, like Rick Bonnel and Greg Bouten, dropped by just to visit. Bill Cummings will write a more expansive account of the event, but it was wonderful. Thank you to Bill and Mike for all the work they put in on it, to our launch director Keighley Hastings and all the drivers, and to Alamogordo and the Lincoln National Forest for all their support. Especially, thank you to all the pilots and their families who came such a long way to be there!
-Robin


Greg Fergus May 29 16.PNG
Greg Fergus May 29 16.PNG (436.52 KiB) Viewed 1227 times


Greg Fergus and Bill Cummings.PNG
Greg Fergus and Bill Cummings.PNG (432.45 KiB) Viewed 1227 times


Max Montgomery May 29 2016.PNG
Max Montgomery May 29 2016.PNG (310.87 KiB) Viewed 1227 times


Brian Kurowski May 29 2016.PNG
Brian Kurowski May 29 2016.PNG (263.28 KiB) Viewed 1227 times


Todd Wickard May 29 2016.PNG
Todd Wickard May 29 2016.PNG (219.66 KiB) Viewed 1227 times
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Re: Memorial Day Fly-In in Alamogordo, New Mexico

Postby Bill Cummings » Wed Jun 01, 2016 5:31 pm

RobinHastings wrote:TUESDAY, MAY 31:
This fly-in (or "fun fly", as Terry Cummings suggested) was a grand success. We had over thirty pilots attend, every day was flyable, and everyone had a great time. Ben Herring of Denver set a new site XC record in his rigid wing ATOS. Pilots we haven't seen in years, like Rick Bonnel and Greg Bouten, dropped by just to visit. Bill Cummings will write a more expansive account of the event, but it was wonderful. Thank you to Bill and Mike for all the work they put in on it, to our launch director Keighley Hastings and all the drivers, and to Alamogordo and the Lincoln National Forest for all their support. Especially, thank you to all the pilots and their families who came such a long way to be there!
-Robin

Memorial Day Weekend 2016, Dry Canyon. Alamogordo, New Mexico. (USA)
Over thirty pilots descended over the weekend on the Cox Field Landing Zone.
It is also know as the, “Jim R. Griggs Sports Complex.”
If memory serves me I overheard an old time pilot say this would be the thirty seventh gathering for hang glider pilots on Memorial Day.

Could someone recall for us the first time paraglider pilots joined us for the Memorial Day Weekend gathering?

Last year RGSA’s past President, Robin Hastings, started a no fee’s collection
for the Columbus Day flying. Donations met all expenses. Thank you pilots.
(Say? -- How does one go about collecting nothing?)

Next and by surprise, to most USHPA members, a flock of blood sucking mosquitoes were observed swarming around each of our wallets/purses.
I’m going to do my best to not let this post spiral into a rant about the United States becoming an insurance company with a standing army, -- {for example).

It is safe to say not many of us know how expensive the insurance protection scheme will become.

Our current RGSA President Mike Ellsworth let stand the no fee idea. We also met expenses through your donations for this Memorial Day Weekend gathering.
Again, thank you for all the contributions.

There was a bigger turn out than expected and we ran out of a few things but the list we made of thing to do next time should fix that.

The flying was great!

FIRST PLACE XC (Cross Country)
http://www.rmhpa.org/messageboard/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=6171
Ben Herring record flt Dry 2 Santa Fe.JPG
Ben Herring record flt Dry 2 Santa Fe.JPG (66.44 KiB) Viewed 1211 times

Ben xc flight.JPG
Ben xc flight.JPG (34.21 KiB) Viewed 1211 times

We have a new cross country (XC) distance record set by Ben Herring of Colorado. 185 miles taking 7 hr & 6 minutes. Ben did this on his rigid wing, ATOS VR.
Ben is telling of abundant lift on his way from the Dry Canyon ramp to
Santa Fe, NM. The thousand foot per minute lift had him close to 18,000’ and most of the time trying to hold it down to 13,000’ to stop shivering. Sounds like too much of a good thing.

XC SECOND PLACE,

Ted Sullivan, from Texas, flew to Three Rivers hooked to his North Wing, Freedom I believe. (A thermal must of taken his sign in sheet.)
He has been a steady drain of trophies leaving New Mexico.

XC THIRD PLACE,

Brian Kurowski, down from northern New Mexico, landed his U2 160 just short of Ted’s landing at Three Rivers. Three Rivers is 29-30 miles from the ramp according to Google Earth.
____________________________________________________________
Bomb Drop (Hello NSA)
FIRST PLACE, went to Jan Zschenderlien (Gee I hope that’s right.)
flying his Green, Chili 3 L (He writes like a doctor.) His flour bomb
would have been right on the blue tarp except for he made a Kentucky Windage
adjustment and it landed right were he threw it, 13’ - 3” up wind.

SECOND PLACE, went to Chris Chaney, flying his Will Wing Sport 2 135 sq’.
His bomb landed 33’ - 1” from the tarp.
……. NOTE: The next day a pilot asked where his bomb landed and it was found 30’ from the tarp, hiding in the grass. I’m remembering now that it belonged to Dave DeMill so I had him pick up a trophy cane hand made by Mike Ellsworth. Since it was after the presentation and so close I’ll call it a tie for second place…..

THIRD PLACE, went to Max Montgomery, under his Vista 3 (APCO) 27M (M).
It’s Sky Grey/Black and he looks like Darth Vader of the skies.
58 feet from the tarp.

____________________________________________________________
SPOT LANDING,
FIRST PLACE, Mel Glantz BULL’S EYE! Done with a super, long gliding, Wills Wing T2 144.

SECOND PLACE, went to Greg Fergus (TX pilot) flying a Sport 2 155 sq’.
His distance from the spot (tarp) was 4 feet.

THIRD PLACE, Steve Ford only two inches further out.

____________________________________________________________
DURATION,
FIRST PLACE, Shawn Scott with 4 hr - 22 min. Moyes Lite Speed.
SECOND PLACE, Steve Ford with 4 hr - 05 min.
THIRD PLACE, Max Montgomery with 3 hr - min. The Darth Vader glider.
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Re: Memorial Day Fly-In in Alamogordo, New Mexico

Postby RobinHastings » Fri Jun 17, 2016 12:42 pm

If you'd like to see some cool video from the fly-in, here is a link from Ann Dunlap of Colorado that shows it off pretty well. Enjoy!
-Robin
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EsmoV3h2db4
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Re: Memorial Day Fly-In in Alamogordo, New Mexico

Postby RobinHastings » Mon May 29, 2017 8:24 pm

Well, the 2017 Dry Canyon Memorial Day Fly-In has landed, packed up, and headed home. I would call it a resounding success, despite some crummy weather. We had 20 to 25 pilots come, about an equal number of PG and HG. I think that everyone flew (including Meet Head Mike Ellsworth) except Bill Cummings, who was helping to run the meet and the barbecue grill simultaneously in the LZ. (Ah, but he had some nice airtime a couple of weeks ago.) This was all pretty surprising, because Friday was a blowout, and so was Saturday afternoon. Only Sunday was a really nice day - and even then, around 4:00 to 6:00 pm, the conditions were pretty rough and sinky. We had one PG pilot make his first flights at Dry, and had a hang glider pilot go off for a first flight under his instructor's tutelage. (I mean literally under - the instructor launched first, thermalled up, and then coached this guy by radio from just above. I directed the novice from launch, then Bill guided him down into the LZ. Just a radio controlled glider...) Ann Dunlap of Colorado made her first ever cross country flight, going 4.6 miles to the La Luz landing zone (she took the 2nd place XC trophy). On Sunday evening Bo Frazier went to 15,000+ ft MSL in his paraglider. We had some good flights and good times. The last flights of the meet were on Monday morning, when 4 PG pilots had some nice, mellow airtime about 9:30 to 10:30, just before the thunderheads began to build over the Sacramentos. All four had fine landings in the Cox Field LZ. There were nice trophies this year, done by me and Mike Ellsworth, oak plaques in the shape of New Mexico with stylized HG and PG cut with a plasma cutter by Mike and fastened on. There was great food every evening, thanks to Bill and His Grill. The fly-in was a success because a) A lot of pilots never lost faith in us and our sites, b) We had a lot of help: Mike Reedy agreed to be launch director on Saturday, and stood his post while the winds howled at 35 mph or more that afternoon; George and Velma Woodcock brought pasole and other delicious items to share each evening; Finis Miller was up for driving every day except Monday. (Finis ended up with a set of keys, by the way, to someone's Tacoma pickup truck - who's missing a set?) c) The City of Alamogordo accepted our insurance that USHPA provided in the nick of time, and let us use their LZ. As ever, we owe some thanks to Lincoln National Forest for grading the road to launch and letting us use the place for the past 40 years. There were a couple of Golden Hammer landings, with the squirrely conditions we had, and one blown launch, but no serious injuries. And the visiting every night, despite the winds, was exemplary. What a gathering it was... Keep the Columbus Day Gathering on your calendar (October 7-9) for our next big get-together. My thanks to everyone who made the happening happen - be happy and fly safe!
-Robin
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Re: Memorial Day Fly-In in Alamogordo, New Mexico

Postby RobinHastings » Tue May 30, 2017 8:55 am

A few photos from the 2017 Memorial Day Dry Canyon Fly-In.
-Robin

Waiting_on_Winds_to_Calm.JPG
Waiting on Saturday afternoon for winds and White Sands to calm. Never happened.
Waiting_on_Winds_to_Calm.JPG (60.9 KiB) Viewed 482 times



Ted_Sullivan,Sunday_at_Launch.JPG
Ted Sullivan at launch on the GOOD day, Sunday May 28.
Ted_Sullivan,Sunday_at_Launch.JPG (91.11 KiB) Viewed 482 times



PG_Over_Luna.JPG
Sunday evening, watching a PG over the LZ.
PG_Over_Luna.JPG (23.64 KiB) Viewed 482 times



PG_at_Dry_Canyon.JPG
A PG soaring over Dry Canyon launch on Monday at 10:30. Have a nice day!
PG_at_Dry_Canyon.JPG (64.26 KiB) Viewed 482 times
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