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.