US Hawks Hang Gliding Association

Torrey Hawks Pilot Profiles
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Author:  Bob Kuczewski [ Sat Sep 07, 2019 12:16 pm ]
Post subject:  Torrey Hawks Pilot Profiles

The Torrey Hawks Newsletter was first issued on September 17th, 2007 shortly after the club became USHPA Chapter #270.

In the spring of 2008, I attended an annual USHPA Board meeting and passed through the Craters area of Arizona to visit Torrey Hawks member Kevin Kennedy. I had flown there a year earlier with Kenny Bryenton, and Kevin had rescued Kenny's van which had gotten stuck on the steep climb to launch (Thanks again Kevin!!).

During my 2008 visit, Kevin mentioned that he'd like to see more visitors, and that gave me the idea to feature Kevin in a "Pilot Profile" in our monthly Torrey Hawks Newsletter. That sparked a series of pilot profiles that were included in our news letter for a number of years. I'd like to start adding them to this topic.

Here's that first pilot profile from March of 2008 (in both PNG and the original PDF):

Kevin Kennedy: "Hawks in High Places" (March 2008)

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Author:  Bob Kuczewski [ Sun Nov 17, 2019 4:49 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Torrey Hawks Pilot Profiles

Thanks to Kevin Kennedy getting me started, I began to look for more opportunities to feature our Torrey Hawks members in our monthly Torrey Hawks Newsletters. The next opportunity was April 12, 2008 which was the day scheduled for the solos of the young couple Jay and Heather. They were featured in our second Torrey Hawks Newsletter:

"Fledgling Hawks Spread their Wings for their 1st Solo Flights" (April 2008)

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Please enjoy the story in the attached PDF file.

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Author:  Bob Kuczewski [ Sat Nov 05, 2022 10:39 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Torrey Hawks Pilot Profiles

In the spring of 2007, John Heiney wrote an article about one of our founding Torrey Hawks members: Ken (Kenny) Bryenton. Ken was a long-time regular hang gliding pilot at Torrey even though he spent a lot of time in his home country of Canada. Ken recognized the need for oversight and was very enthusiastic about the new Torrey Hawks (new at that time). This article was originally written for USHPA magazine but was included in the Torrey Hawks Newsletter in May of 2008 by permission of the author.

Please enjoy Kenny Bryenton's Reminiscences on 40 years of Hang Gliding (attached as a PDF below):

"Kenny Bryenton's Reminiscences on 40 Years of Hang Gliding" (May, 2008)

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Author:  Bob Kuczewski [ Tue Dec 06, 2022 9:42 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Torrey Hawks Pilot Profiles

"Ken Baier"   (June, 2008)

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By May of 2008, the "Pilot Profile" series was becoming a regular part of our Torrey Hawks newsletters. It turns out that Ken Baier had just been appointed to the Torrey Pines City Park Advisory Board, and he was a natural fit for our May 2008 Pilot Profile.

Ken had also been my paragliding instructor and issued my P1, P2, and P4 ratings. In fact, I didn't really know of Ken's hang gliding experience when I began taking paragliding lessons from him at Little Black in early 2004. It turns out that Ken knew Fred Lawley who had been my PG instructor back in 1989 or 1990 at Little Black, so it was a good connection.

Ken had also just been appointed to the Torrey Pines City Park Advisory Board upon my nomination to the Mayor of San Diego. As president of the Torrey Hawks Hang Gliding Club, I submitted 3 names (Ken Baier, Scott Gressitt, and myself). Mayor Sanders (or someone from his staff) chose Ken, and the appointment was announced on May 23, 2008 (Otto's birthday). The announcement was good timing to feature Ken in our May 2008 Pilot Profile (see attached PDF file).

For the record, it's not clear whether Ken Baier is really Torrey Hawks #5 or if it was Ken Bryenton. In the early days of the club, we were very concerned about retaliation (as we remain today), so there was no official membership list until we were forced to produce one to became a USHPA Chapter. The most "official" document we had in the early days was a scrap of paper where I jotted the initials of pilots who wanted to join. For member number 5, the initials were "KB" which turned out to be ambiguous between "Ken Baier" and "Ken Bryenton". Ken Baier has assured me that he was member number 5, and I gave him the benefit of the doubt when I featured him in our June 2008 pilot profile.

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Author:  Bob Kuczewski [ Tue Dec 06, 2022 10:23 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Torrey Hawks Pilot Profiles

"Tri-Wingual Plus - A Four-fun Day at Torrey Pines"   (July, 2008)

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I started jumping out of airplanes in 1976, and I started flying them as a pilot about year later. I made my first hang gliding flights in 1978, and I started flying paragliders in 1989 or 1990. I added RC flying to the mix much later (mid 2000's).

In the spring of 2007 I was taking some sailplane lessons and volunteering to help the sailplane club with their annual flying at Torrey Pines. I was mostly a gate guard to keep cars from crossing the runway when a flight was about to launch via the club's ground winch. After a day or two of volunteering, the coordinator asked me if I'd like to take a flight, and I jumped at the chance. I didn't have any much towing experience, so I flew with an instructor who did most of the flying during the short tow up. But he let me fly the rest of the flight ... including the downwind uphill landing. It was a piece of cake.

Prior to that flight, I had regularly made hang gliding and paragliding flights in the same day at Torrey, and I had also added some RC flying to the mix. But to fly all 4 glider types in one day was something I never expected to be able to do.

At that time, I don't think I even owned a hang glider. I had gone from H-nothing to H4 on all borrowed or rented gliders (thanks to Joe Greblo, Rob McKenzie, John Heiney, and many others). But I did have both a paraglider and an RC glider with me in my mini-van. So I called John to ask if he could bring a glider to Torrey so I could try to fly all 4 in one day. John headed to Torrey with his Dream 205 (one of my favorites) on his rack.

While waiting for John, I got my paragliding flight out of the way. I can't remember if I flew one or multiple PG flights, but it was a good way to pass the time while waiting for John to show up with a hang glider. When John arrived, we set up the Dream, and I had a nice uneventful flight. After landing, all that was left was the RC flight, and it was a nice coincidence that Parviz (my RC mentor) was there for a picture.

John also took some pictures, and between his pictures and my own, there was enough for a USHPA article. I'm not exactly sure when John wrote it, but it appeared in the August 2007 USHPA magazine. I asked USHPA for permission to include it in our Torrey Hawks Pilot Profiles and they said it was up to the author. John was very kind to grant his permission, and I included it in our newsletter in July of 2008. I've attached a PDF of scanned version of the article below. I hope you enjoy reading it even a fraction as much as I enjoyed flying it.    :thumbup:

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