Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Tim Walsh’s Sweet Potatoes

3 tablespoons butter
3-4 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and cut crosswise into ¼” thick slices
¾ cup grated parmesan cheese (Tim’s touch: closer to a full cup)
2 cups heavy whipping cream
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
¼ teaspoon cayenne (Tim’s touch: at least ½ teaspoon)

1. Preheat oven to 400ยบ.
2. Butter a 9 x 13 baking dish with one tablespoon butter. Arrange a third of the sweet potatoes, overlapping slightly, in the dish. Sprinkle with ¼ cup cheese. Repeat with two more layers of sweet potatoes and cheese.
3. In a small bowl, combine cream, salt, pepper and cayenne. Pour over potatoes. Dot with remaining 2 tablespoons butter.
4. Cover dish with foil and bake for 20 minutes. Remove foil and continue baking until sweet potatoes are tender and top is browned; 20-25 minutes.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

XC in Northern Chile

Written by George Sturtevant

C.J. and I have been traveling with our hang gliders and paragliders since 1983 and we’ve rarely done a commercial, guided trip. However, if you want to maximize your flying opportunities, that’s the way to go. We re-discovered that this summer at Verbier where we got at least two flights per day, three if we had the energy, with the Verbier Summits twins, Stu and Mike. And this fall we got more hours and miles with Luis Rosenkjer and Todd Weigand in a week than we ever get in a month flying on our own.

After reading the Lonely Palo Buuque Sand DunesPlanet guide Chile & Easter Island and Condor Trail by Dylan Neyme, we still were taken by surprise when we disembarked the LAN flight from Santiago to Iquique to see that we really had reached the end of the line. Beyond the airport there was no tree, no shrub, no blade of grass. Welcome to the Atacama desert. Iquique, a city of 200,000 residents, occupies a narrow plain between the Pacific Ocean and the clifflike cuesta leading to the plateau that extends inland as first the dry and barren pampas, then climbs to the scrubby steppe grasses of the altiplano, finally reaching the heights of the Andes.

We could have spent our week flying from the top of the ridge above the city of Iquique, the Alto Hospicio launch, boating around along the ridge to the north, gaining altitude (but hardly ever more than a few hundred feet above the ridge) and flying across the width of the city to land on one of the long, sandy beaches. Or we could have spent afternoons several miles south of the city at Palo Buque where a low E-W ridge sticks out into the SW onshore wind, benching up to cross onto the high bluff to the west. Pilots might soar here for hours or whoop and swoop along the sand dragging body parts or sand-skiing. Others would land high up on the slope and just hang out until the magic of a sunset flight would beckon them into the air to glide to the valley floor.

However, with expert guides, good weather briefings, and contact with the Chilean version of the FAA, we were able to launch from far to the south of Iquique and attempt to fly as far back towards the city as possible. About 60 km south of the city is the port of Patillos, from which a paved road runs up the face of the bluff to salt mines on the plateau. Just a few miles up that road is a signed and clearly marked paraglider launch. Get there early enough to be ready to go before the afternoon winds pick up because it is a typical roadside launch – lay out on the flat, stand on the edge of a steep slope and pull your wing up through the rotor. Todd kiting on Patillos launch Once you’re off, the climb is easy and you will find yourself above the top of the ridge. What was that climb like? It’s a ridge; it should be ridge lift, right? If that’s ridge lift, it’s some of the most thermally ridge lift I’ve ever flown in. We spent probably a third of our flight time circling in lift. Now when someone says “ridge” I usually think about a straight line, like Saddle Mountain, stretching on for miles. In point of fact, even Saddle isn’t straight but has bowls and spurs. Magnify the horizontal component of that so the bowls are deeper and the spurs stick way out and you have the shape of the ridge that extends for 200 km in northern Chile. To cross a spur, knowing that there is going to be a prodigious rotor on the other side, get high on the upwind side. “Get high” is a relative term because if you try to climb too high, you will find yourself out of the onshore wind and into the prevailing Trade Winds blowing EAST, off the coast. So nobody ever finds themselves so high above the ridge that they can go “over the back” and fly east across the pampas of the Atacama Desert.

Looking NW where the road goes around a spur near Rio Seco Anyway, get as high as possible and then dive over the spur and either hug the ridge and accept the turbulence of the rotor, or fly far out around the spur where the sinking air is making every effort to put you on the ground. [The word “rotor” conjures up images of big, bad turbulence, but that did not seem to be the case in general.] The trick was to believe that you could get back up again even though you had been sunk almost to ground level and were now far back away from the highway in a bowl. And, sure enough, every time I tried it, there was lift to be had and I’d slowly work my way up from, in one case, a bombing range with targets painted on the ground, and be back up over the ridge top and moving on to the north to the next spur.

At the airport, 22 km (13.3 mi) from Patillos, at the last spur before another big bowl and then Palo Buque and possibly the goal of Playa Brava, the beach next to our hotel, I had had enough. After all, this was farther than my best x-c flights from Tiger home to North Bend and another advantage of going with a guided group, the van was waiting below with a cooler full of beer and a ride back to the hotel.

We flew Patillos only the one time because we had some true XC fanatics with us. On other days we went another 80 km south to a notch in the ridge where what appeared to be a glacier of sand poured down onto the coastal plain. Our four-wheel-drive van could get us and our gear most of the way to a launchable place on the dune but we did have to carry our wings that last couple hundred feet in slippery-slidy sand. C.J. at Chipana launch looking south Once launched, the flight was much the same as from Patillos; get high, cross the spurs, recover from the rotor and climb again. The difference was that there was more ridge, so on three flights from Playa Chipana, the sand “glacier,” I scored three personal bests for XC distance. On the last day, C.J. and I flew together for 65 km (40 mi) on our 30th anniversary (not a personal best for C.J., but there was still a sort of romance to the flight). Now that was a flight! – We pushed past the spot where we had been forced down two days before due to high winds just around the corner, crossed the huge power lines running up the last spur, and got pummeled by the rotor and wind as we passed over the only grove of trees along that whole stretch of coast. We landed near the road at Patillos only moving slightly backwards, and managed to douse our wings before being taken on a wild drag through the sand.

Iquique, then, is not a place you go to for gorgeous scenery or awesome attractions. The city is best known among non-pilots as a beach resort and shoppers’ paradise with its duty-free shopping malls. But among pilots from all over the world (we met French, Swiss, Polish, Austrian, German, among others) Iquique is a world-class place to fly paragliders. Flying across the city to land on Playa Brava next to our hotel Would we go back? Probably not, there are too many new places we haven’t flown yet. Would we recommend it? For sure! Put it on your list.

Contact Information:

Atlanta Paragliding – Luis Rosenkjer -

Wallowa Paragliding – Todd Weigand -

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Remembering Lee Crabtree

Murdoch writes:

I’ve learned that Lee Crabtree has passed away. He finally lost his battle with a series of diabetes-related health issues that ended in a stroke.

Lee CrabtreeLee was a long-time member of the Northwest Paragliding Club, and served as President, as well as holding other BOD offices. He worked tirelessly to make the Club a positive force for our sport. He is well remembered for obtaining and handing out the little tree sticker icons, which were to be worn on your helmet, marking the wearer as a tree crash survivor. The idea was to bring the subject up in a positive way, and when he handed them out at the Club meetings, those receiving the tree sticker “award” would be asked to tell their story of the crash. It made the incident both entertaining and a learning experience.

That was the way he approached life. Dale Carnegie’s famous saying about “When fate hands you a lemon, make lemonade”, describes Lee’s positive attitude. He was a joy to be around, and when in his seventies failing health made him finally, reluctantly, quit paragliding, he continued to show up at the Tiger LZ from time to time. At those moments it seemed the sun shone brighter.

Flying was in Lee’s blood. He earned his pilot’s license at a young age and flew small airplanes for years. He had some treat stories about those years, flying the passes back and forth to Eastern Washington.

A few years ago I did an interview with Lee for the NWPC Flypaper. I’ll try to find the article and repost it to the efly. However, there are many of you who knew Lee longer and better than I did. It would be nice if we could share some Lee Crabtree stories on this list. Since it’s not flyable, I couldn’t think of a better place to have a “wake” for Lee than right here. He was a special guy and I am sure many others have great memories of him. Maybe we could share them? They say, “dust to dust”, but in Lee’s case I think it’s, “blowin’ in the gentle wind”.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Interview with a Non-flying Bird

Award-winning author Murdoch Hughes inaugurates the “Paramblings” section of our blog with an interview with a non-flying bird…


It has always seemed strange to me that there are birds who don’t fly. They have all the equipment, at least they did before eons of sitting around not flying. What were they waiting for? Surely the flying conditions were good enough during at least one of those eons. Of course I’ve seen pilots like that on launch.

Having little brains doesn’t seem to be the reason why there are birds who don’t fly, nor does a lack of big cojones, as much as male pilots try to perpetuate that myth. A flying insect with a big brain and big cojones is an interesting image, but you’re going to have to show me a photo that hasn’t been digitally altered.

Despite being a featherless, free-flight pilot, I am interested in birds of all feathers. We have a couple of bird feeders that I keep well-stocked for a wide assortment of bird species. I do it partly for the flying karma. We get some fancy birds like a pair of Pileated woodpeckers, and lesser varieties, like polite little nuthatches who are dainty eaters and fly off into a tree with one sunflower seed at a time.

A few weeks ago a golden-throated chicken of some variety showed up and started scratching away beneath the feeder, eating the residue of the gobbling finches. I had a nice chat with her, having perfected the language of chickens growing up on a farm. Between you and me, I didn’t mention to her that eating underneath birds of flight was the equivalent of humans eating at a Jack-In-The-Box or Seven-Eleven. I did throw out some black sunflower seeds in a more hygienic area, just for her. That’s how I got the interview.

Buk buk buk

Interviewer: “Prock-prock-buk-buk-buk.”

Chicken Stew: “Buk-buk buuukk.”

Interviewer: “Buk-buk. Say, do you mind if we speak English, Stew? My Chicken is a bit rusty.”

Chicken Stew: “Buk-bu Proooockkk. You’d think if you wanted an interview with a noble chicken you’d at least learn the language.”

Interviewer: “Pruk-pruk. You’re right and I apologize. The other thing is, most of my readers can’t speak a word of Chicken. And they’re very interested in learning about a fascinating creature like you. They will be shocked and amazed to learn you can speak English.”

Chicken Stew: “Puk-puk. All right, if you put it like that. As far as speaking English goes, there are lots of small-brained humans that can speak it. Why not a chicken?”

Interviewer: “Why not indeed? By the way, Chicken Stew is an interesting name. Where did you get it anyway?

Chicken Stew: “You know perfectly well I got it from you. Are you trying to be funny, you big jerk? It’s not very original either. My real name is, Karuck-Luk-Duk. Pruk-pruk.”

Interviewer: (Discreetly changing the subject, I resisted claiming her name meant Chicken Stew in English. There’s not much room in a small brain for a sense of humor.). “My readers are all pilots, so I hope you don’t mind my asking the question on all of our minds? Why can’t you fly?”

Chicken Stew: “Another stupid question. Puk-puk-pruk. Are you sure there is an actual big brain in that over-sized cranium of yours? Maybe it’s filled with mullet and chaff? Pruk.”

Interviewer: “Hey, no need to get rude, chicken-lips.”

Chicken Stew: (Flopping around, raising dust and losing a few floating feathers.) “Perrrrukkkk-prukkk-bukruk!”

Interviewer: “Sorry Stew, didn’t mean to ruffle your feathers, but you started it. Are you going to answer the question or not?”

Chicken Stew: “Well, keep it civil. Buk-puk. If you must know, I don’t fly because I choose not to.”

Interviewer: “C’mon, admit it. Chickens can’t fly any more than ostriches or penguins.”

Chicken Stew: “Buk-buk-buk-puk. There you go again with the insults. Comparing chickens to ostriches. Now those are some truly big dumb birds. Reminds me of you flying humans, who are merely bird-wannabees at best.”

Interviewer: “Okay, sorry about the ostriches. But penguins are pretty hip birds. They just had a whole feature-length flick made about them.”

Chicken Stew: “Huh! Pruk-buk-buk. More like fish than true birds.”
Interviewer: “Okay. What species of bird do you admire?”

Chicken Stew: “Pruk. Seagulls are neat birds. Inferior to chickens of course, but they do lay big eggs.”

Interviewer: “You still haven’t answered my question. Why don’t you fly?”

Chicken Stew: “Puk-puk. If you must know, flying is too dangerous.”

Interviewer: “Too dangerous? You’re a bird for gosh sakes. You’re supposed to fly. Even I can fly.”

Chicken Stew: “My point exactly. Pruk. We used to fly, but once flying fish and weird mammals like flying squirrels and now you crazy humans got in the air, we gave it up. Pruk-pruk. You and your wild friends soaring around up there without a clue, crashing into trees and stuff. You don’t even take the time to learn how to perch properly.”

Interviewer: “How do you know? The flying site is a long way from here.”

Chicken Stew: “A homing pigeon told me.”

Interviewer: “What did he say?”

Chicken Stew: “She! Puk-puk-puk! It was a female pigeon you ball-brained idiot.”

Interviewer: “All right, sorry. What did she say?”

Chicken Stew: “She told me I was lucky I didn’t fly. She said you humans just fly around up there all willy-nilly without a clue as to your function. Buk-buk-buk.”

Interviewer: “What do you mean, function?”

Chicken Stew: “Exactly. You have no idea. Prak! Even those horrible creatures, the chicken-hawks…at least they have a function, evil though it may be.”

I was getting tired of trying to make sense out of this thin-lipped little non-flying egg-squatter’s squawking.

Interviewer: “Admit it, Stew, you don’t fly because you’re scared.”

Chicken Stew: “Prak. Well duh. They don’t call us chickens for nothing, but what’s that make you? A cousin to a red-butt baboon. Buk-buk-buk-Prakkkkik!!!”

Interviewer: (That was chicken laughter, such as it is. It’s hard to laugh properly without lips.) “Never mind bird brain, shoo, get out of here Shoo. Shoo. This interview is over.”

Chicken Stew: (Running as I toss my Hanwag boot at her.) “Praaaak-prakkkk-prakkkk.”

Good riddance! Who the heck’s crazy idea was it to try to interview a chicken anyway? They don’t even know themselves why they crossed the stupid road, let alone have a good excuse for not flying.

I decided to drop by the pub for a beer and a big mess of happy hour chicken wings. At least those chickens were good for something. Maybe I’d invite Chicken Stew over for dinner some night. Praaaak my ass.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

The First Annual Bi-Wing Fling / Baldy Butte 2006

Thank you to everyone who shared their photos from the Baldy Fly in last weekend on the yahoo group lists. As was evident in the photos, we had spectacular weather and a great turn out for this event. With just over 75 pilots registered, we raised almost $2300 for the Baldy Butte fund. This significantly offsets the $3,000 annual land use fee for Baldy for next year.

The NWPC and the CBCC chose the Baldy Fly-In to hold the First Annual Bi-Wing Fling Competition. The launch area and the LZ provide plenty of room for everyone. There were no incidents or even close calls reported. Maybe a few bruised egos but nothing that a good comp doesn’t warrant.

There were 14 bi-wingal teams registered for the comp. The pilots combined their top scores from the best of two flights for the total team scores.

There were the usual contests: longest duration, highest altitude, speed gliding, spot landing and style points. But also we added points for Cross pollination (earned when a pilot takes a tandem on the other style of wing), and team spirit for coming up with a team name and a performing a team cheer.

The Winning Teams (in order of Hang/Para):

1st Place:
Chris Culler / Tom Allen: Combined score = 1808 points
- Both were first place winners of the speed glide. Chris at 2:20 minutes and Tom at 4:36 minutes.
- Tom earned Cross Pollination points by taking Sunny Jim Fenison on a tandem paragliding flight. (If any one has pictures of this, I’d like to have a copy.)

2nd Place:
Team name: Bags and Bones
Tom Johns / Chris Amonson: Combined score = 1542 points
- - By the skin of their team cheer, they came in 2nd (25 points)(25 points)

3rd Place:
Team name: DJ Jazzy Free Flight
Darren Darsey / Jared from Chelan: Combined score = 1537 points
- Valiant effort by both pilots.
- Darren came in 2nd on the speed glide at 2:40.
- A team cheer would have given them second place.

Honorable mentions:
4th Place:
Team Name: Hambone
Jeff Beck / Joe Sullivan: Combined score =1365
- A cross pollination flight at the end of the day definitely helped.
- Joe coming in 4th on the speed glide at 5:36 definitely helped.
- Jeff sinking out on the speed glide definitely hurt.
- And it was a fun team cheer and tribute to a friend.

5th Place:
Team Name: Cross Harp (they are both harmonica players)
Sunny Jim Fenison / Rob Heim: Combined Score = 1185
- Jim’s cross pollination flight with Tom Allen in his costume was entertaining. Was that doobie really a prop?
- By far, they had the best team cheer (written by Sunny Jim and performed solo by Rob.)

The Other BiWingal Teams:
Aaron Sweptson / Matt Cone
Kerri Sweptson / Ken Rector
Jimmy Culler / Jeff Morgan
Kurt Hartzog / Ashley Guberman
Gary Braun / Andreas (with the cool accent)
Rod Reider / Paul Kunzl
CJ Sturtevant / George Sturtevant
Russ Gelfin / Jeff Morgan
Larry Snyder / Jens Steinhagen

Thanks Aaron for doing all the loopity loops! That was pretty awesome!

A huge thank you to our sponsors and volunteers:
- Flytec for donating over $250 worth of shirts and flight gear.
- Izzi Sodas for cases of refreshing all natural, no sugar added sodas.
- Rich Hass and Bob Bunger for organizing the fly in every year and for donating the beer and the port-a-pottie, respectively.
- Steve Wilson, Naomi & Peter Gray for doing site orientations
- Darren Darsey for designing the BiWing Logo.
- Wally Adams for making wonderful fleece jackets with the BiWing logo that were given as prizes.
- NWPC & CBCC for seed money
- And to all the volunteers who helped set up the potluck and clean up after the party was over.

See you next year!!!


Friday, September 29, 2006

Prez-Sez, September '06

Happy Oktoberfest everyone! Another month has zipped past us. Time flys when you are having fun. Since my last update, we have had the Can Am and the Chelan Bike and Fly events, both with record attendance this year.

We have two more organized events this fall, the Baldy Butte Biwing Fling and the Chelan Halloween Women’s fly in. Then maybe it’s off Mexico, Chile, New Zealand, Brazil, Hawaii or Ellensburg to enjoy some midwinter flying.

Here is some more information to keep you up to date on what is happening in our community.

1) Calendar for upcoming events

  • September 30 – October 1st - 2006 Baldy Oktoberfest Fly in & Biwing Fling
  • October 1 – 31 – Nominations accepted for the 2007 Board of Directors
  • October 10th – NWPC Monthly Club Meeting
  • October 14th – Tiger Mountain Road Clean up and work party!
  • October 28-29th.- The Halloween Women’s Fly-In, Chelan WA

2) Successes

3) Membership Updates

4) Club Financials

5) Kudos!

6) Upcoming Volunteer Opportunities

1) Calendar for upcoming events

September 30 – October 1st - 2006 Baldy Oktoberfest Fly in & Biwing Fling


All proceeds will go towards keeping the Butte open another year.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Rich’s Rampart Reserve Ride Report

Actually, I shared my story at last night’s NWPC monthly meeting. For those who missed the meeting, here’s what happened:

Sunday’s forecast for Rampart looked good and conditions on launch seemed OK. I flew for about a half-hour in soarable lift. The air was lively and I experienced a couple of minor closures prior to taking a large (50%+) closure. I was working a thermal with several others and was not doing acro.

Unlike any collapses I’ve experienced in the past, my glider (a DHV 2 wing) turned, dove and spun very rapidly. In a brief moment, I had somewhere between a 360 and 720 twist in my risers. I couldn’t immediately tell which end of my glider was forward and seeing the twist, I couldn’t be sure of the correct input. I tried not to make matters worse by using an incorrect input.

Following the initial collapse and spin, I experienced a brief moment of stability followed by some massive surges where the glider dove well below the horizon.

When the glider was above me, the twists were too high to reach above and untwist. At one point the risers untwisted but the glider quickly went into another spin/surge/dive. At this point I was very low, twisting and turning madly with a mid-sized cravat.

Later, I learned my vario showed a maximum descent rate of 3,445 fpm.

Rich's Rampart RideMy decision to throw was, frankly, too late. I was very fortunate to have a good clean toss and a rapid opening. I was on the ground moments after feeling a terrific tug from the deployment. (I was hauling ass when it opened.) I crashed through some little Christmas-sized trees and came to rest comfortably sitting in my harness. My glider was draped over a small tree facing me and my reserve was draped over another small tree behind me. I noticed my D-bag laying less than ten feet away–confirming my late toss.

I was amazed (and relieved!) to be 100% OK. Not even a scratch and no damage to the gear. I radio’d my friends as quickly as I could and I stood up so others could see I was OK. I had landed in a clearing just NW of launch–about a five-minute walk from the paraglider launch. Dave Byrne and two PG pilots named Stephan drove over to help me gather my gear. (Their help was appreciated!)

If there was any humor in this event, it came while I was peeling off fleece and getting ready to gather up my kit. My reserve was still drapped over a tree and hooked to my harness. (My paraglider was unhooked.) The air had been absolutely still following my landing but a cycle came through and lifted my reserve up and out of this 10′ tree– harness still attached. I ran over and grabbed the harness just as it was taking off. Almost laughing at the prospect of losing my reserve and harness to the skies, I could only imagine how strange it would look to see a reserve and empty harness coring a thermal over launch!

Lessons learned:

1) Throw early. The danger of throwing too early is far less than the result of throwing too late. I was at about tree-top level when my reserve opened–not even enough time for a PLF.

2) Practice reaching for your reserve handle on every flight. (Fortunately, I had been doing this.) I found the handle on the first grab and had a good clean throw.

3) This whole incident could have (and should have) been avoided by (more) active piloting and correct, well-timed inputs. I thought I knew my glider (and my flying skills) better that I do.

I wanted to talk to some of the pilots who may have seen my collapse from the air before posting anything but I haven’t had time since Sunday to do so. I welcome comments and suggestions. If my description of the acro part of the flight seems a bit vague, well that may have been part of the problem. Others may be able to better describe what they saw.

By way of background, I am a P-4 rated pilot that has been flying for about a dozen years. I have around a thousand accident-free and incident-free flights, including XC flying in strong conditions. I haven’t done an advanced manuvers clinic. Food for thought…

Thanks and fly safe!

Rich Hass

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Prez-Sez, August '06

NWPC Club updates:

1) Upcoming local flying events
2) Membership Updates
3) Club Financials
4) Kudos!
5) Upcoming Volunteer Opportunities


It is hard to believe that the flying season is winding down. As the
days are getting shorter and the window of opportunity to fly after
work mid-week starts to close, I find myself planning everything
around the weekends and flying.

1) Upcoming local flying events

We have a few more events planned for this fall where I plan to cram as much flying in as possible. Please come out and join me!

****The Can-Am, August 25-27/ Black Mountain, WA

Yes, this coming weekend! Check out the Club’s newsletter at for Murdoch’s write up of the event and it’s
history and get directions.

As you can see from some of the photos posted on Yahoo Groups, it has some spectacular views of neighboring Mount Baker. Worth the drive!

Our NWPC played a significant role in this week’s re-opening of Black
and Stewart Mountains by paying $1,000 towards the $1,500 site
insurance premium required by the land owner. And your fellow club
members, Phil Humphries, Murdoch Hughes, Delvin Crabtree and Sid
Lindquist made it all happen by working with the land owner and
negotiating the agreement.

This is a huge win for the paragliding and hang gliding communities in
western Washington. We support keeping sites open to ensure that both sports continue to grow and thrive and people have space to spread their wings.

Beautiful site, great camping, yummy potluck, friendly and happy
pilots and their families!

****The Bike-n-Fly, Lake Chelan, WA / September 23-24th

The CBCC is hosting the event this year. Kelly Lawson will be sending
out more information shortly. But mark your calendars now because it
is a fun biwingal event and a great time of year to fly Chelan.

**** The Baldy Oktoberfest Fly in & Biwing Fling Bling Bling, Baldy
Butte / September 30 – October 1st

Baldy Butte is located in the Yakima Canyon roughly half way between
Ellensburg and Yakima. It is a beautiful area, with the LZ/camping area for the fly-in located right on the Yakima River canyon. It is also a wonderful flying site, with launches covering most wind directions and proven XC potential.

Our NWPC pays $2,500 of the annual private land use fee to keep this
site open year round.

We will use this event to launch the first annual Biwing Fling to
raise money to keep this site open in the future. More details to

**** The Halloween Women’s Fly-In, Chelan WA / October 28-29th.

Don’t let the name fool you. Plenty of men to be found “hanging”
around this popular event. Although you may have to lift their skirts
just to be sure.

This is by far the funniest and the most entertaining of the year’s
flying events.

There is a great history behind this long running event. But
briefly, the concept is that Women RULE! this weekend. The men must “serve” the women by:

- Allowing women to go first on launch
- Serving as wing-boys by carrying and laying out the woman’s gear
- Folding the woman’s wing after a flight, and,
- Carrying her a cold beer on a silver platter at the end of the day.
(I just added this one cuz it sounds good. ☺)

But in years past, some men have become creative and started
disguising themselves as women to get out of their responsibilities.
It hasn’t been pretty but surely entertaining.

This year, we will host the 2nd annual pie baking contest where yours
truly will enter here award winning (tied for 1st place with Jaye
Wilson) Funeral Pie again (but with homemade crust this year. DOH!)

Our NWPC sponsors this annual event but 100% of the proceeds go
directly to Chelan Flyers to support the Chelan Butte’s site insurance
and operating expenses.

Stay tuned for an upcoming article on Efly about the history of the
event and some incriminating photos.


2) Membership Updates

Today, we have 158 members. Fantastic! We have 26 brand new members and 11 members rejoining the club after a year or more away. Thank you for your support!

New Members in 2006:

- Jason Brown, Redmond
- Bruno Champagne, Kirkland
- Matt & Steph Cone, Seattle
- Robert Dyer, Des Moines
- Robert Eilers, Kirkland
- Debbie Feinman, North Bend
- John Foltz, Port Orchard
- Iain Frew, Duvall
- Jim Gauntlett, Snoqualimie
- Ashley Guberman, Lake Forest Park
- John Havlina, Issaquah
- Susie Holpin, Renton
- Bill Hughes, Seattle
- Jake Jacobs, Sammamish
- Lars Jacobson, Bonney Lake
- Sid Lindquist, Mount Vernon
- Kimberly Lynch, Bellevue
- Mike Mcintyre, Port Hancock
- Nate Rowe, Auburn
- Thomas Scheerens, Renton
- Matt Senior, Global citizen
- Jens Steinhagen, Seattle
- Paul Taylor, Mercer Island
- Konstantin Terentjev
- Kathryn Thomas, Tacoma
- Michael Treacy, Issaquah
- Andy Wood, Sammamish

Returning members from years prior:

- Kendall Banister, Lake Stevens
- Randy Campadore, Issaquah
- Delvin Crabtree, Bellingham
- Mike Green, Burien
- Rich McManus, Issaquah
- Colin Murphy, Lake Stevens
- Denise Reed, Cashmere
- Doug Stroop, Cashmere
- Richard Swift, Everett
- Laviniu Tirca, Bellevue


3) Club Financials

The mid year financials are posted on the clubs website.

We are still tabulating the results from the Tiger Mountain Fly in. We
have more make up tandems that we need to get off the books from
Sunday being blown out.

I’ve heard some people say that the club never spends money. Well, I
beg to differ. Most of our expenses may not be entirely obvious to
the naked eye. So here you go… a highlight of a few of this year’s
expenses so far:

- Site insurance for EIGHT flying sites (Tiger, Dog, Black, Baldy,
Saddle, Lake Samammish, Blanchard, Stewart)
- Three new windsocks at Tiger and additional windsock stock
(available for other sites)
- Baldy land use fee
- Saddle land use fee
- Sponsorship for Tiger Tag and the Spring XC Competition
- Tiger maintenance including gravel for the access road, lawnmower
overhaul and blade replacement (mower provided courtesy of Randy
- Tiger LZ Portapottie rental and weekly service
- Tiger LZ dumpster and trash pick up.
- Tiger LZ pet poo container
- Tiger weed whacker
- Advertising on the Blue Van
- Other administrative costs (website hosting, C of C membership)

Roughly, $8,000 so far has gone back into the community to support
keeping sites open, safe, clean, and to support our community’s pilots
through sponsoring events such as Tiger Tag and the XC competitions.

You can log into the site to see the financials in more detail. If you
have any questions, feel free to ask Amy Wood or me. We have an open
book policy to our members and are happy to answer your questions.

If you have a special project or sponsorship you’d like for the NWPC
to support, please let us know. Bring it to a club meeting or email
me directly.


4) Kudos!

Without a doubt, we have an amazing community of pilots and friends
who are generous with their time and money and step up when they see an opportunity to help.

Unfortunately, many good deeds may go unnoticed. But here are some that deserve recognition and appreciation.

- Kevin White for his emergency maintenance work on the Tiger Shuttle.
- James Bender for creating a lovely and private south launch privy
and for installing the doggie waste container in the Tiger LZ.
- Jeff Morgan for continuing to pay for and maintain the Tiger windtalker.
- Ashley Gubermann for stepping up to be the NWPC webmaster this year.
- Phil Humphries for championing the cause and securing site access
for Black and Stewart mountains in the north end of our state.
- Dan Nelson for securing the sponsorship and prizes for our January
Media Awards Contest.
- Dan Nelson for creating a full color poster for the Ft. Eby kiosk
that beautifully showcases the sport of paragliding through photos
from our local photographers. This certainly helps secure a warm spot for us in the hearts of the rangers who manage Ft. Eby and sell
t-shirts with our images in blazing color!
- Marc Chirico for always being ready, willing and able to launch into
position when there is an emergency situation that requires a
coordinated rescue effort. And there have been many of those this
- Chris Amonson for helping me with installation of the new windsocks at Tiger.
- Bob Hannah for spearheading and coordinating the Tiger mowing
responsibilities this year. And training volunteers to use Randy
Campadores industrial-strength mower.
- Randy Campadore for letting us use his expensive mower free of charge.
- Tim Walsh for creating the FAA airspace charts for the Tiger Kiosk.
- Vince Collins for designing, building and installing the hang glider
rack for the Blue Van
- Kurt Roberts, Bob Hannah and Bob Rinker for outfitting the Tiger
Mountain Shuttle outfitted with a trailer and cover (and just in time
for the Tiger Fly in)
- All the dedicated volunteers who show up at the Tiger work parties
on Saturday mornings in undesirable weather.

I am sure that I may have missed a few good deeds. Thank you for all that you do individually for this community.


5) Upcoming Volunteer Opportunities

- Building a rain catcher for the Tiger water tank
- Raising the windsock on the north launch windtalker pole. (with Jeff
Morgan’s guidance)
- Moving the pitiful abandoned kiosk from the north launch parking lot
and installing it on the south launch and making it beautiful with
images, paintings, photos, of our beautiful world. (How about a
theme for this kiosk? One month a collage of the obligatory “boot”
shot. Another month, a collage of all head shots of the local pilots.
Or, a collection of fly in t-shirts?)
- Working on an upcoming fall Blanchard work party
- Planning the Women’s flyin
- Blazing a kingdome rescue trail.

Well, that is it for now. Enjoy the rest of the summer! Hope to see
you before our winter hiatus begins.

We have enough nominations for the 2006 Tree Sticker award so no more tree landings. The Golden Snorkle is still up for grabs! Come to
Chelan for a good shot at it!

Please, everyone, be safe out there.

Lynn Bentley
NWPC President

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Pine Mt. Fly-in

The 16th annual Pine Mountain fly-in will be held over the Labor Day weekend (Sept. 2-4th) near Bend, Oregon. Three-plus days of flying, a Sunday evening barbecue, fundraising raffle and auction (flight suits, helmet, harness, other shwag), and a bluegrass band.

Pine Mountain
The Annual Pine Mountain Fly-In has been high flying since 1990. The purpose of the fly-in is to generate revenue for site insurance, site improvement, share our wonderful flying site and to have a blast with our flying friends. It is a free fly-in, which gladly accepts donations.

Last year ten Tiger pilots loaded up in a 36 foot RV and headed down Friday night. It was a BLAST!!! Besides high altitude flights with great XC potential and the spectacular glass-offs for which Pine is famous, one of the coolest things was meeting pilots from across the country and a few from other parts of the world - similar to a national comp but without the stress. It was casual and relaxed.

Camping is free at The Flying Farm, compliments of a great lady named Frankie. Bring a tent, a camper or sleep in the car. It is big farm in the desert with space to spread out. You can also expect really good schwag, a bonfire, late nite music. It is a well-organized and fun event.

If you don’t already have plans for Labor Day, it is well worth the drive to Pine.

For more info visit the DAR website or contact Billy Gordon.

Billy Gordon
DAR President

Monday, August 21, 2006

The Can-Am Fly in, Black Mountain, Washington

By Murdoch Hughes
Photos courtesy of Darren Darsey, Jan Olsen, and Chris Amonson

The Can/Am, or Canadian American, is a fly-in for Hang gliders and Paragliders originated by U.S. and Canadian hang glider pilots in the 1970’s. Delving Crabtree and his wife Pam were among the first paragliders to participate in the fly-in in the 1980’s, making it one of the first bi-wingual (there’s got to be a better word) events in the U.S.

wow cool picture

Black Mountain is like a big foot with toes crossing the U.S/Canadian border a few miles east of the Sumas border crossing. Nestled in the instep is Silver Lake, where the Whatcom County Silver Lake Campground is located. The park maintains a huge mowed grass field LZ next to the group campground.

Huge mowed LZ

The launch is about 3600′ agl, reached by a gated but good logging road off the Mount Baker Highway. It is accessible for two-wheel drive vehicles, but 4-wheel drive is recommended as the last part is quite steep. You launch from the logging road, looking to the west with a spectacular view. Mt. Baker looms large over your left shoulder.

Mt Baker looming
The registration fee is $25, which covers camping for Friday and Saturday nights. You won’t want to miss the potluck dinner on Sat. night and the potluck breakfast on Sunday morning. This year, Guy Jones, a paragliding pilot who lives near Lynden, is bringing his huge locomotive engine barbecue to the fly-in. The only thing missing from this barbecue monster machine is a hot tub caboose, which he is probably working on for next year.

Black Mountain is a spectacular flying site recently reopened for paragliding and hang gliding thanks to the two years and many hours of effort on your behalf by Bellingham pilot, Phil Humphries, with the aid of many other pilots, and the indispensable assistance of Jayne DePanfilis, the Executive Director of USHPA, and Lynn Bentley, President of the Northwest Paragliding Club, in obtaining the liability insurance required by Sierra Pacific Industries, the new owners of Black Mountain. This site and many others we enjoy, absolutely would not be open to our sport without the combined efforts and resources of our fine organizations and pilots willing to donate time, energy, funds, and enthusiasm. Until you join these efforts you can have no idea of how indispensable and demanding this work is.

wow another cool picture

Come out this Friday, Saturday, and Sunday to the Black Mountain, Can/Am bi-wingual fly-in and help us celebrate the re-opening in style of this fabulous, world class flying site. The weather will be great and the pilot friends and soaring as good as it gets.


To get to Silver Lake Park from I-5, take the Mount Baker Highway (Exit 255) and drive east 28 miles to Maple Falls. Turn left on Silver Lake Road and follow the signs approximately 3 miles to the park. The group campground and LZ is the road on the right just before the main entrance to the park.

Thursday, June 15, 2006


Use of the road for drive up access to Poo Poo point was negotiated between the DNR and the HG/PG Clubs (NWPC and CBCC). Over the years, keys have been issued for a $50 deposit. Unfortunately, keys have been shared, passed on, lost, even allegedly copied, and we no longer have an accurate record of key holders.

Because the use of the road is a privilege that the DNR grants to the HG/PG Clubs, the Boards of those clubs in turn have a responsibility to extend that privilege with care. This initiative has three parts:

  1. Key holders reconciliation
  2. Statement of key holder requirements and expectations
  3. Addressing road maintenance

If you have an original key you have two options:

  1. Return the key (and yellow dashboard tag) for your $50 deposit
  2. Keep the key, register yourself, agreeing to abide by the requirements

Statement of key holder requirements:

  • current paid-up membership of either NWPC or CBCC
  • display of the yellow laminated authorization dashboard tag while on the logging road
  • abiding by the rules of the logging road (speed limits, etc.) including a signed form on record
  • agreement not to share the key with non members, pass it on, or make copies

In an effort to improve and maintain the road, the board is also considering implementing annual dues for key holders. the details have not been resolved yet, and key holders will be given ample notice to either pay dues or return their key for the deposit.

So, we need to hear from everyone who has a key, whether or not they want to keep it, or return it for the deposit. if you know of anyone who has a key, but might have moved away, changed contact details, or doesn’t read these newsgroups, please pass this notice along to them. Spread the word!

Finally, we need to resolve this within a finite period of time, so all keys will have to be either returned or registered by July 31st - i.e. 45 days. After this time, failure to have registered a key will forfeit the $50 deposit.

Send the key and tag to:

Treasurer at NWPC
PO Box 2265, Issaquah, WA, 98027-0102

Your $50 will be promptly refunded or Email that you hold a key and intend to keep it (verify the key/tag number, current NWPC membership and current contact details)

Thanks for your cooperation on this,

Kingsley Wood

Vice President NWPC BOD

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Ray Kehl and Carl Bevis XC at Lakeview, OR

Sent by Steve Roti:

The cross country season is on in Lakeview. Yesterday (June 10) Ray Kehl and Carl
Bevis, both from Seattle, and I flew from Black Cap to the north end of
Abert Rim, just over 38 miles. We launched around 3:00 pm, landed at
5:45 pm, maximum altitude was 12,175′ (Ray), and the biggest thermal
climbs were 1300 fpm. I didn’t get any photos on the first half of the
flight, but here are some photos from the second half of the flight
along Abert Rim and Abert Lake.

Thanks to Mark Webber for the ride up to launch and to Chip Miller for
the retrieval.


Monday, May 29, 2006

Alaska Summer Solstic Fly-in

If you’ve never been flying in Ahhhhhhlaska….you have no idea what you are missing! Stunning views!

Phil Smith of Midnight Sun Paragliding and the Arctic Air Walkers throw a fantastic week long fly-in event followed up by a 3 day Santacroce maneuvers clinic. Mid week, weather permitting, you can take a helicopter up to a glacier and take a late night extended sledder. If you work it right, you can actually fly in the midnight sun! And then land at Maxines for a nightcap. Just perfect.