Monday, March 18, 2013

Crawling Out of the Cave

The fair-weather flyers are starting to awake and crawl out of their (snow) caves.

The New England Paragliding & Hang Gliding Club hosted a training session for novice pilots at REI in Framingham MA on Thursday evening.  We covered topics as diverse as weather, site protocols, and flying techniques.  It is great to see the enthusiasm of pilots just entering the world of foot-launched soaring flight.

I was the "entertainment" at the Greater Boston Chapter of the EAA on Friday evening.  I lead a fun discussion with a large group of flying enthusiasts on hang gliding from its earliest history to our current aircraft and sport.  A member brought in a standard Rogallo; complete with the plastic swing seat and automobile seat buckle.  Comparing then and now was fun.

We had our annual New England XC banquet on Saturday evening in Westford MA.  It is one of the longest continuously running XC contests, and if the 50+ people in attendance is any indication, it will continue on for a while.

Banquet photos by Max Kotchouro

I had fun presenting special awards, including the youngest pilot, 11 years old, a fantastic driver, and the "Most Innovative Landing".

Banquet photos by Max Kotchouro

Allen Stanish created beautiful trophies for the hang glider and paraglider winners.  Flytec USA and Wills Wing donated great prizes so the winners went home well rewarded (and dressed).

Banquet photos by Max Kotchouro

Banquet photos by Max Kotchouro

Randy Brown earned the exclusive red "Beach Club" jacket for flying from the Vermont mountains to the shores of the Atlantic.

Banquet photos by Max Kotchouro

In the paragliding division, Davidson Da Silva won the entry class and John Gallagher took the open class.  Kip Stone blew out the entry class and Jeff Benard won the open class in the hang gliding division.

Banquet photos by Max Kotchouro

More of Max's photos are available online.

All this talking about flying has me eager to tear into 2013.  Now if I could just do something about the 10 inches (25 cm) of snow predicted for tonight and tomorrow.