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Re: Hello US Hawks!!

PostPosted: Sat Aug 24, 2019 11:54 am
by Bob Kuczewski
spydermike wrote:I will continue this discussion on your swing seat thread to ask few questions.

For anyone interested, here's a link to that topic:

    Colver Swing Seat:

spydermike wrote:I think I have taken too much space away for the intent of this particular thread.

Not at all Mike. In fact, your short diversion is a perfect fit for this topic. This topic is a history of people coming together over shared interests. It's a beautiful thing to see the conversations that burst forth like embryonic thermals when people first meet and exchange their histories and interests. It's exactly why we created the U.S. Hawks.

This topic was started on August 13th, 2010 - the same day that we founded the U.S. Hawks. It is my favorite topic, and I look forward to reading it 20 years from now ... with even more enjoyment than I do today.

Thanks for your posts Mike, and thanks to everyone who shares our better vision for the future of hang gliding.

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Re: Hello US Hawks!!

PostPosted: Fri Aug 30, 2019 12:45 pm
by Dick Wade
Howdy All.

Tinker to Evers to Chance got me here. :salute:

I started in 1973 w/ an Eipper Flexiflier kit we built in the front yard, then went to a wheat field and got a Whole new look at Life...
We got a dealership w/ Eipper as BILLY B BEAMWAY'S FLYING MACHINE SHOP and I was in Portland and my Pard in Eugene.
Yes, we were Original Hippies and there is a story behind the name.

Later we handled SUN SAIL which always had the Smooth Sail. Drama happened, and those around back then will know a bit abt it,
especially when they came out w/ the SUN SWIFT.

Lately I have found myself goggling those days, and now I am looking for that guy w/ his Time Machine... :D

So, My Buddy Ed Mundy read an article in [IIRC] Popular Science and showed me saying "We gotta do this...."
Called Eipper, talked w/ Steve Wilson, ordered the kit, built it and when I first left the earth I realized a re-occuring dream
of riding my bike as a kid and getting lifted up in the air over a freeway bridge and then touching down w/ a perfect landing.
Well, perfect in my dream.
In the wheat field I got a mouthfull of dirt. :mrgreen:

In order to get the dealership we had to go to Torrance and meet everybody, then go to San Diego and fly w/ Bob Lovejoy [IIRC].
Test Passed, then there was the OTTO LILIENTHAL Meet where I made my 1st non-sand dune flight and we left w/ a bent control bsr and I a new scar. :D

And a Very Valuable lessen learned....

But the die was cast. lots of memories of those times, various excursions to many sights in California and Tellurider and more.

Dog Mtn near Morton, /wa became a regular spot.
Magic Air where you could soar at under stall speed w/ no noise interferience and hear folks talking 1200 ft below.
There was a brace of Bald Eagles and That was Their Hill.... :salute:

So again, Hi All....

Re: Hello US Hawks!!

PostPosted: Fri Aug 30, 2019 7:32 pm
by spydermike
Awesome story...thanks for joining. I look forward to hearing more of the past as I got involved in 1975-1976 timeframe as a wannabe flyer. Welcome!

Re: Hello US Hawks!!

PostPosted: Fri Aug 30, 2019 9:19 pm
by Bill Cummings
Dick Wade,
Good introduction Dick.
Interesting too. About the only thing I’ve created
is a lot of trouble. But enough about me. Years ago I was
doing a lot of towing when I lived in the flat lands.
Have you done any towing?

Re: Hello US Hawks!!

PostPosted: Mon Sep 02, 2019 9:00 am
by Bob Kuczewski
Dick Wade wrote:Howdy All.

Tinker to Evers to Chance got me here. :salute:

Welcome!!!   :wave:

Dick Wade wrote:Lately I have found myself goggling those days, and now I am looking for that guy w/ his Time Machine... :D

We are working on that time machine right here. Many of us came to the freedom of hang gliding in the 70's and came back several decades later to find the mess we have today. We are working to roll back the clock - not on the glider technology (which is great) - but on the monopolistic, self-serving, stranglehold that "USHPA" has gained over the sport. We're making progress at places like Ed Levin, Dockweiler, and all Utah State Parks (Thanks Logan!!). But there's more to be done and every active member helps!!

Dick Wade wrote:So again, Hi All....

Welcome Again!!!   :thumbup:

Re: Hello US Hawks!!

PostPosted: Mon Sep 02, 2019 1:06 pm
by wingspan33
Hello Dick W!

I started flying in 1975 also with an Eipper Formance 17 ft Flexi Flier. It had a little "kit work" to be done. Tubing placed through sail, bolts put in with rigging attached, . . . etc. I understood that the kits were more involved a year or two earlier. But I saved about $50 off the "fully assembled" price.

I ordered my Flexi on July 4th, 1975 and got it in early August. I then took it on vacation with me down to Nags Head/Jockey's Ridge, NC. I've still got some snap shots from that time. I flew seated from the dunes with no shirt, no shoes, and no helmet - and no injuries either! :mrgreen:

I was also lucky to start my instruction with an early hang gliding school based in northern NJ. They had a preliminary night school class at my local high school. So, I never had to try to teach myself.* Although, their instruction only took me to the top of a 200 - 300 foot hill. The next step was to (kind of on my own) go to the BIG hill (mountain) above Wurtsboro, NY. It was 800-900 feet AGL! Much longer 3-5 minute flights there! :lol: Very soon thereafter my main flying site became Ellenville, NY, on the same ridge north east of Wurtsboro.

I've had a few inactive years but have seen first hand how USHGA turned into the U$hPa. I stopped being a member in 2013.

But after all that, I will say it's good to have you here. :thumbup: :salute:

The more the merrier! (or something like that :thumbup: )

* However, I did try to make a "Bamboo Butterfly" the summer of 1974. I built it from some basic facts presented in Popular Science mag and with a little imagination on my part. The imagination part put the "hang point" about a foot too far forward so all I ever did with that glider was drag it through the air (effectively) behind me. During a launch run the wing would lift until it was luff, but never lift me. I did kite it once up to about 50 feet - but with no one onboard. I wondered why that worked while it wouldn't lift me. If I could be there now, I would know exactly why. :D

Re: Hello US Hawks!!

PostPosted: Wed Sep 04, 2019 9:04 pm
by SteveMiller
Hello to all, I flew a hang glider on Monday for the first time in 20 years, and what a great day! I was welcomed to Dockweiler and helped out tremendously by Bob K.
and got help from Bryan and Juan Carlos when I couldn't remember how to set up my Glider. The glider is a lot harder to carry than I remember.
My History: I started flying in southern New York in the 70's, I wish I had the dates (74?) We ordered a Chandelle from Golden, Colorado, and received a box with 4 aluminum tubes,
coil of wire, sail, attaching hardware, and 1 page instructions beginning with "This is not a kit for in-experienced handymen". True, we had to go to Teterboro airport to get the ball swages put on the flying wires.
Me and my buddy shared that glider that first year and had no contact with other pilots. Hard to find a legal place to fly. We flew by moonlight on golf courses, ski areas, and rock quarries. If anyone wants tips on downwind cliff launches, run hard, and don't worry if the keel scrapes the edge of the cliff as you go off; you need to be nose-down anyway. And be ready for tough questions like "you did that AGAIN?" After surviving that we graduated to bonafide flying sites like Catamount and Ellenville. Great to be back in the air!

Re: Hello US Hawks!!

PostPosted: Wed Sep 04, 2019 9:23 pm
by Bob Kuczewski
Welcome Steve!!!!!

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That fellow who posted right above you ("wingspan33") is also from New York and he started hang gliding around the time that you did. I'll bet you know some of the same people ... if not each other directly.

Welcome to the U.S. Hawks, and please call me any time if you have any trouble with the forum. It will remind me of the things I need to fix.

But most of all ...


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It was an honor to be there for your return to the air.   :salute:

Re: Hello US Hawks!!

PostPosted: Thu Sep 05, 2019 3:17 am
by Bob Kuczewski
By the way, while we were flying Dockweiler on Monday, Dick Wade (see posts above) had texted me this picture:

FromDickWade.jpg (46.64 KiB) Viewed 1486 times

Dick wrote:

The North side today.
Not much, but Pacific City has morphed into a Mini LA.

:srofl: :srofl: :srofl: :srofl: :srofl: :srofl: :srofl: :srofl: :srofl: :srofl:

We were in the real "LA" that day at Dockweiler, and folks were practically fist fighting to get a parking spot. It's all relative.

Thanks for the texts Dick!!    :thumbup:

P.S. Here's one of Steve's "back in the air after 20 years" flights:

SteveSpectrum.png (227.43 KiB) Viewed 1482 times

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Re: Hello US Hawks!!

PostPosted: Thu Sep 05, 2019 10:49 am
by Frank Colver
Wish I could have joined you guys at Dockweiler on that Tuesday. I know I would have enjoyed the day and the HG folks (but probably not the beach crowd). Instead I was 180 miles away in desert heat and humidity, yes desert humidity, due to tropical moisture coming in.

We do manage to relive the HG good old days at Dockweiler but with better gliders. However, my 1975 Eipper 19' FlexiFloater has been there at recent Otto meets.

Frank Colver