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Re: Hello US Hawks!!

Postby wingspan33 » Thu Sep 05, 2019 3:33 pm

SteveMiller wrote: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?) . . .


Steve, this is Scott Wise (or Wheezer as some called me during the 80s). Do you remember me? Your name is fairly common but I think I remember you from Ellenville. I'm now located in south central NYS about 80 miles south of Rochester. I'm very glad to have a fellow Ellenville flier show up here! It's great that you got to experience Dockweiler. I've flown there back in 2015 and 2016 during the Otto meet.
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Re: Hello US Hawks!!

Postby SteveMiller » Thu Sep 05, 2019 5:55 pm

Hi Scott,
Great to hear from a fellow Ellenville pilot. Not sure if we met up while we were there though, I relocated from NY to Tempe AZ in 1978. I remember Wurtsboro, but the flying hand moved to Ellenville at the point we showed up.

Very impressed with your Bamboo Butterfly, too bad we didn’t connect in ’74, that would have been cool!

Jim Aronson of the EZ Wider flying team (I had a shirt) and Ducha Cagnes had the local glider shop. A guy named Ed Perry always had the latest, hottest Eipper glider. I was still flying a Chandelle standard, or a Plyable Moose, or a Bobcat II.
Good to make contact, I miss the NY countryside sometimes.
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Re: Hello US Hawks!!

Postby wingspan33 » Thu Sep 05, 2019 7:43 pm

SteveMiller wrote:Hi Scott,
Great to hear from a fellow Ellenville pilot. Not sure if we met up while we were there though, I relocated from NY to Tempe AZ in 1978. I remember Wurtsboro, but the flying had moved to Ellenville at the point we showed up.

Very impressed with your Bamboo Butterfly, too bad we didn’t connect in ’74, that would have been cool!

Jim Aronson of the EZ Wider flying team (I had a shirt) and Ducha Cagnes had the local glider shop. A guy named Ed Perry always had the latest, hottest Eipper glider. I was still flying a Chandelle standard, or a Plyable Moose, or a Bobcat II.
Good to make contact, I miss the NY countryside sometimes.


I knew Jim and Duka very well. Also Ed Perry was one of my instructors back in May-June-July of 1975. In fact, he told me about Wurtsboro and then Elleville. So he was instrumental in my early days of mountain flying. :thumbup: I worked up to a Flexi 3 and then turned into a Wills Wing pilot after buying a 179 Raven in 1980. We had to meet at least a few times. Was the road built up to the "upper launch" in Ellenville before you left? I remember having to hike up from Rt 52 to the upper launch. But I also remember a few years of road launching from Rt 52. Man, the memories that come into mind! :D :thumbup: Like the first time I hooked a thermal at 400 ft over the LZ - in my Flexi Flier 17. I couldn't figure out why I wasn't losing altitude! :wtf: :lol:

Once again, welcome to the US Hawks!
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Re: Hello US Hawks!!

Postby SteveMiller » Fri Sep 06, 2019 10:56 pm

Thank you Scott, and yes indeed those memories keep flooding back – and I don’t have a single photo to show for it – dang!

At Ellenville, the road to the upper launch was built just before I left. The one time we went to try it (in a VW Micro-Bus with bald tires) we couldn’t make it up the slippery slope, so we had to settle for launching off the ramp on Route 52.

I remember going to an instructor clinic at Holiday Mtn, in nearby Monticello, with Bob Dornan and Dennis Pagen. I went to Hook Mtn, Nyack NY, with Ed Perry one time to reconnoiter flying sites (all my flying there was done strictly solo), ah the memories.

Flexi III? I demo’d one at Ellenville, it was the most maneuverable glider (best roll rate) I ever flew, loved it. I think the sport should move back in that direction, toward more maneuverable gliders. Like ride the ski-lift up, and then fly a slalom course down the mountain with a light-weight glider (control surfaces?) and harness.
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Re: Hello US Hawks!!

Postby Bob Kuczewski » Sun Sep 15, 2019 3:18 am

SteveMiller wrote:Flexi III? I demo’d one at Ellenville, it was the most maneuverable glider (best roll rate) I ever flew, loved it. I think the sport should move back in that direction, toward more maneuverable gliders. Like ride the ski-lift up, and then fly a slalom course down the mountain with a light-weight glider (control surfaces?) and harness.

There's a lot to be said in favor of that idea. As pilots do more flying, they naturally want better performance. But in pursuit of better performance for advanced pilots, it's easy to forget how much fun it is for new pilots to fly anything. An easy glider that gets people in the air quickly should always have a place in our sport.

Thanks Steve!!!      :wave:
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Re: Hello US Hawks!!

Postby Frank Colver » Tue Oct 08, 2019 11:25 am

It's possible that some general purpose version of my "HG Basic Trainer" design (if it ever gets built) could fill that desire.

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Re: Hello US Hawks!!

Postby Craig Muhonen » Wed Nov 06, 2019 12:54 am

Hello U.S. Hawks: my first recollection of flying, was with my dad, (American Airlines pilot) in 1949 out of Boston Logan field. I pretty much was hooked from then on. Learned to fly at age 13. Graduated high school in Torrance Ca. In 1964. Surfed and sailed the Coast till 1965 when I joined the Marine Air wing and found myself in Vietnam in 1968, working on F-4 phantoms. Crazy. Went on R&R to Sydney Australia where I went water skiing with some guys (Bill Bennet I believe) who were being towed up holding on to a primitive hang glider. Crazy. Got back to Torrance in 69' 70' and stood on the sand hill and watched Dave Cronk, Hefflinger, and Eiper , I think, run down the hill and actually catch air with a bamboo dropcloth contraption taped together. Crazy. Moved to Telluride Co. In 1971, became a skier and plumber. In 1973 Dave Cronk, with a Quicksilver "C", and some friends (including Bill Bennet) came, and with David Stanfield, started a hang gliding festival, off the 800 hill, where they tried to land on a target. Crazy. Hang gliders from all over came and Telluride became the place to fly. I did some ground skimming, but you had to be a hang 4 to fly. The Telluride Air Force was formed and I helped launch them from the craziest places. Crazy, Crazy. I had been flying all my life, but the early gliders, well, you wernt getting me strapped into one of them. Got to watch my friend catch an 'elevator' ride to well over 10,000'. With his white wills wing, I think, or maybe A seagull. (A record which stood for years).
The Torrance beach hang gliders developed quickly because The area was the aircraft capital of the world, and also a dacron sailing haven. but flying the ridge lift to the south became a 'privacy' problem for the real estate people, and they banned hang gliding. They put up red flags to tell us where we couldn't surf, and banned us from riding our skate boards on town sidewalks....we were bums...but we loved it.
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Re: Hello US Hawks!!

Postby Bob Kuczewski » Wed Nov 06, 2019 4:54 am

Welcome to the U.S. Hawks Craig!!

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It's always a great honor to welcome folks with your long history and love of flying. Thanks also for a long and enjoyable phone call. Please call any time.

You mentioned a number of people and places featured in my favorite flying movie - Big Blue Sky. If you haven't seen it yet (or even if you have) here's a link to watch it:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-hRSUjJFmCc



Please give us a review, and let us know the people and places you remember from your own history.

Mostly, welcome to the U.S. Hawks, and please contact me any time if I can help you with anything on the forum.
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Re: Hello US Hawks!!

Postby Frank Colver » Wed Nov 06, 2019 11:37 am

Welcome Craig!!!! :thumbup:

I may have seen you at Torrance Beach in those "crazy" days of yesteryear. Were you there the day that Pete Brock's kid (or was it MacCready's kid) was flying a glider way big for his size and weight and could soar the cliff when no others had enough lift? Then he landed 3/4 up the side of the cliff! His landing, straight into the cliff side, was so slow that he just stuck like a fly and hung on until some others could help him down. I remember thinking, as I watched this happen, that I wished all human flying could be so gentle when accidents happen.

BTW - I'm briefly in Big Blue Sky running my Skysail across the beach (Joe Faust calls that "wing running"). I don't remember if this was at torrance Beach or Dockweiler.

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Re: Hello US Hawks!!

Postby wingspan33 » Wed Nov 06, 2019 1:13 pm

Hello Craig!

You may notice my "avatar" picture. It was taken with a set-up I created called the PHOTO-POD. I was at or about 16,000 feet ASL, in I think 1990, over Telluride, Colorado. I'm flying a Wills Wing HP-AT 145. The event included the aerobatic comp and general "Come and Fly" meet held in early September.

I also tried to make a Bamboo Butterfly with a plastic tarp from Sears. That was in 1974. It never got me off the ground because I didn't quite understand where the center of lift was - or how to figure it out. I bought my first real hang glider from EipperFormance in the summer of 1975.

In 2015 and 2016 I visited the west coast and flew with Bob and Frank and Joe (and many others) at the Otto Meet at Dockweiler Beach. I've lived my whole life on the east coast so I couldn't have met you back in those early days.

But, were you in Telluride between 1989-1990? If so, we may have been in the same place at the same time, so to speak. If it was only a year or so ago I could probably tell you the names of the prominent Telluride Air Force guys. But those details have since faded away. :think:

Great to have you as a member of the US Hawks! Hey, are you flying one of the new gliders? Or are you thinking of flying for the first time - or getting back into flying? No matter which, we're glad you're here. :thumbup:
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