Winter Blues Reading Material - Updated Nov 21st 2015

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Winter Blues Reading Material - Updated Nov 21st 2015

Postby Fred Wilson » Thu Apr 15, 2010 11:15 am

Winter Blues Reading Material Updated Nov 21st, 2015

Found at:

Most folks wrote:"You're cool Fred! You add one hell of a lot of entertainment to this place."

Wow! Thanks whoever wrote that. :shock: But don't thank me.
- Thank all the folks that wrote all these Inspirational and Educational Articles! Image

What with all that whinging floating about, I thought it would be cool to start up a thread with links to really top notch Winter Blues Reading Material.
So fire away. Anything particularly memorable or inspiring, please feel free to contribute! Tnx Fred

Update: Best of the BEST Club Names?

How Stuff Works: Wind Tunnel Wing Tests.

How Stuff Works: Washing Your Wing.

A rained out day in Oz, bored, was spent looking for fun reading material.
Once upon a time I could actually write the occasional legible sentence,
so for fun I tried searching for some of my old articles which are gradually
being lost as websites shut down or updates scramble the links.

Low and behold I found one of mine on of all places the Norsk Hang Gliding site!
(Feel good moment for FriedEd here. aka The Masked Sniveller..)

a) Clouds and at:
b) Memories
c) Savana XC Memories

I will search out and add some other great ones I know of such as:

1. Cu Nim story by Norman. Cloud Suck story by Ewa Wisnierska (I was there.) Film Festival Movie "Miracle in the Storm"

2. Hang Gliding FAQ's: Advice for the beginning and low air-time Hang Glider pilots.

3. Jérôme Daoust's Expanding Knowledge site.

4. Hang Glider Landing Techniques - An on-line Clinic for Advanced Pilots experiencing landing issues.
Wills Wing's Steve Pearson on landings
A dynamic analysis of a HG landing flare

5. 1-800-BIG FALL. by Dave Broyles.

6. CROSS COUNTRY SAFETY by Andrew Barber Starkey and
Competition and XC Planning Tips by our own Martin Henry! ... 3284 Busch beers later and still counting...

7. Leaving Mother: or Why I Was Afraid to Go XC by Dave Broyles
. . . There you are, circling at 4000 ft. above the landing field. You think to yourself, "Why don't I go XC today?"
. . . a) XC Planner also see:
. . . b) Paragliding Forum Tips and Help thread.
. . . c) On Line Flight Log Database.
"Just to show that I am still working on new version I have put together this video that shows some of the features of the new version.
Remember that there are still a lot of bugs and until the release of the 2.0 version some of the features may change or even disappear.

And also the link to the news on site..."

8. The Hang Glider Bible.
. . - Harness adjustments and more

9. History of flexible wing hang gliding
. . - Controlling Roll/Yaw Oscillations on Flex Wing Hang Gliders

10. Landing on a target See also Hit that Spot

11. HG Jokes and
. . . b) PG Jokes.
. . . c) Humor: Floppy vs Stiffies and vise versa.
. . . d) Things that make you laugh your ass off
. . . e) You know you are a hang glider pilot when...
. . . f) See also Cats from Skysailor Magazine.

11. Trucks from Peter Bowle-Evans list of articles. Without whom, Golden's Mt 7 would just be another forgotten rocky forest hill top. The angels did not greet you with a new pair of wings chum. You already had a pair with you when you arrived. Ah.. so much pride and sadness all mingled together.

12. Gallery of Hang Gliding Pain

13. Hang Gliding pictures from way back when...

14. a) Thermals Part One: Collectors, Wicks and Triggers by Will Gadd
. . . b) Thermals Part Two: Thermals and Clouds by Will Gadd
. . . c) Thermals Part Three: Thermalling Technique by Will Gadd
. . . d) Thermalling Hints
. . . e) Thermalling Without Instruments

15. Aero Experiments.

16. Safety Articles stored on the HPAC site

17. Transport Canada Aeronautical Information Publicaton (AIP Canada)
- THE reference manual for all pilots in Canada. A "must" read.

18. Transport Canada Aeronautical Information Manual (TC AIM)

19. TP 11408 Study and Reference Guide - Air Law and Procedures - Class "E" Airspace - Hang Glider

20. More at: Transport Canada Civil Aviation Publications

21. Historical Wind Statistics

22. In-flight Photography Tips

23. Aviation Quotations and Inspirational Thoughts.
Last edited by Fred Wilson on Thu Nov 26, 2015 9:25 pm, edited 93 times in total.
Fred Wilson
Posts: 427
Joined: Sat May 12, 2007 5:38 pm
Location: Vernon BC Canada

Rolling Pipes

Postby Fred Wilson » Tue May 04, 2010 1:09 pm

Clouds. Smoking a Pipe Part 1 the rolling kind.: by Fred Wilson circa 1979

I wrote about my first encounter with a pipe in the Kingpost a number of years ago.
"Clouds" was republished as part of the US Women's team fundraiser by Jim Palmieria Email:
SKY DOG PUBLICATIONS 6511 Deepwoods Drive Roanoke, VA 24018-7645

Clouds: Clouds by Fred Wilson

Clouds are unpredictable: friends and foes. When I am coring quickly, I'm always sizing what's up, wishing for a window in the sail above me; and a glimpse into the future... ("What the hay am I getting into?") Image

When small, comfortable and widely separated they're like a dream come true. When not they can become a living nightmare. (Montana Super Cell Photo below.)


My first experience was a lasting lesson. We were flying Sicamous. Famous as a tough but educational place to learn to work cannon ball thermals. It was '79, we were flying Olys and 10 meters and the like and nobody ever really soared Sicamous. They just enjoyed the spectacular scenery and bragged it a little over time.
On this day there was a large cumi behind launch but from where we were sitting we couldn't assess it. We launched off in quick succession. Especially as the first few quickly got ABOVE LAUNCH! [This was a big deal in those days.]

I was losing it when I noticed Dianna Birrell quite a bit above me on the other side of launch and sped over under her. I kinda wondered where everyone else had gone, but I was into my own air time and didn't care if the cloud was swelling forward in front of launch. Besides, it was white bottomed and didn't LOOK threatening and I was desperate for something to string out the flight before it shut off.

So when I flew into what felt like a cement wall I 360'd around, shook my head to rattle the cob webs out, and stuffed the bar in hard in to penetrate. And boy did I ever. The bar slammed out of my hands and I found myself pressed against the rear keel and flying wires while the glider and I powered straight up. It was incredibly powerful lift. I was way, way out of my league. I grabbed on to the flying wires and crawled up them towards the down tubes.
I remember slipping and grabbing on to my Vario, busting it off and watching in disgust as it spiraled down, plunging into the trees below. Just as I got on the control bar again and began to level the glider out, everything whited out.

There was no way I was getting out of that core. Not that I wasn't afraid of the cloud, there was just no way on God's little green planet that I was going to find out what going over the falls in this sucker was going to be like. I had no idea how quickly I was climbing, but even without a vario I knew things were calming down.
Visibility was really pretty good, meaning I couldn't see dick, but I could see dick a long way.

All of a sudden I saw a huge pipe of cloud, maybe 200+ feet in diameter and a quarter mile long plunge forward like a horizontal spinning tornado - just spitting distance from my right wing, then stop as dead as it started. Then a minute later another tube, only this one rotating even faster, cut 90° across my path. These things were really moving out! They looked transparent and wispy and yet gave the impression of being as solid as steel all at the same time.

Time to get the hell out of here. No pissing around, this was really scary stuff. Image Image
I lucked out and popped out the topside and looked back to see Ron Martin and his cousin Larry Thompson above the cloud and way, way back in the toolies behind launch. Nobody had ever been that far back before.

Quit while you are ahead. Leave the party before it's busted. Land while you can, so I did.
Pete Holden (living, married with Cory west of Enderby now) came in a little dense in the head and performed an amazing recovery by planting his wing tip in the sand and spun around into a perfect 5 point landing.

Dianna came in to that beach completely worn out, standing up erect, arms hanging limp by her side. Pete Holden and John Huddart screamed at her to flare and at the last possible moment she grasped the bar and pushed it out enough to land fairly respectably and sagged to the ground, like the rest of us, for once, really grateful to be down.


... 20 years later (Almost to the Day!)
Sicamous Launch and its phenomenal Scenery:

Last edited by Fred Wilson on Mon Sep 21, 2015 11:54 pm, edited 32 times in total.
Fred Wilson
Posts: 427
Joined: Sat May 12, 2007 5:38 pm
Location: Vernon BC Canada

Smoking a Pipe

Postby Fred Wilson » Tue May 04, 2010 1:14 pm

Smoking a Pipe! <==:) Part 2: by Fred Wilson circa 2000

Pemberton's Mt McKenzie Launch


Sat, July 10th 3:30 PM. On launch at Hurly Ridge, 30 Km west of Pemberton BC Canada. Happier than you know what to have tripped over Charles Mathieson and the Gang.
Dancing up a storm 'cause I get to find and fly Hurly ridge (3600' instead of MacKenzie Ridge (2200') - above the inversion! Most of the gang gets off . 1 or 2 locals are real nice and make sure all us first timers get off OK first.


I find what I need and pop off, turn left and immediately hook into what is supposed to be the "House" - right to the left of launch over the trees and a rock slide. Except that it is 600 fpm and I can't track it! Every time I complete a 360 I pop out of it. And every time I pop out of it, I find it right smack under me. Although the wind is only 5 - 8 km westerly, I start experimenting with huge, elongated turns to try to stay in the core. No Go! I pop out the top and do what is starting to become annoyingly routine: I hit massive sink and nose dive straight down into that damn 600 fpm core which just will NOT go away.

It took about 10 attempts at this when - from somewhere deep out of my past - the Lightening Bolt Came: PIPE! It's a Bloody Pipe!!!
(Flying in a horizontal thermal - while being dragged into a massive powerful main core.)

So this time I stuffed the bar in and dove hard, trying to align the glider directly at the west face ridge 2 Km to the west. I slammed into this horizontal thermal, held the bar at about mid-rift and adjusted speed / angle in order to do flat spin turns to stay inside the pipe. What an exhilarating RUSH! I just bombed along - a good 40 MPH in solid 600 fpm sideways lift for a good kilometer
- non stop except for one 360, popping out the top just to see if this was _Really_ real!


Just past the waterfall I went from warp drive to a spun duck stall with no warning at all. Flailed around looking for my Pipe but every time I found it, I could not stay in.
It took a couple of attempts to get re-oriented to the world of vertical thermalling techniques again - to realize that the pipe had been sucked into the base of a MASSIVE thermal blasting straight up to the moon. Like a tornado, my pipe had changed directions by 90 degrees and was now a rocket to heaven. Within 2 minutes I was at 8500' looking down on the most magnificent glaciers and what must be the most spectacular section of the Coast Mountain Range: Tayaton, Anderson, Seaton Lakes.

Only 3 of us to made goal that day (Pemberton Airport at 31.9 Km)


The rest, perhaps wisely bailed out. I hit stuff I have never been in before:
- I heard my Vario make sounds I never knew were in its vocabulary.
- TIGHT Thermals where within 1/4 of a turn you routinely went from 900 up to 450 down, then up again.
- I now know that the Moyes XS does NOT experience Sail Inversions.
- I do, however have a good idea of what bending metal in flight must sound like; and
- I do, now, have more compassion and understanding for pilots who tuck and tumble.
I ain't never agin gonna say "Ah she-it if you just did this or yuh just did that ya wudda been fine..."

I also remember a BIG HUGE GRIN spreading across my face as the thought came to mind: "I just had Mark Tulloch go over EVERY Stitch of my harness this spring.) If that fact had not crossed my mind, I probably would have bailed... but instead I got two of the BEST scenic flying days of my life!

Mt Currie, Immediately South of and above the Pembeton Airport LZ


Pemberton area scenery


Looking West towards Pemberton BC's Hurly Pass Launch

Last edited by Fred Wilson on Mon Sep 21, 2015 11:42 pm, edited 10 times in total.
Fred Wilson
Posts: 427
Joined: Sat May 12, 2007 5:38 pm
Location: Vernon BC Canada

On-Line Magazines

Postby siteguide » Fri Oct 22, 2010 6:14 pm

Last edited by siteguide on Sun Jun 10, 2012 2:04 am, edited 4 times in total.
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Joined: Fri Oct 12, 2007 9:22 pm

Memories Part 2

Postby Fred Wilson » Sat Dec 11, 2010 1:08 am

Memories, Part 2. Miles Hopkins flight at Stoney Creek. By Fred Wilson, circa 1985

We all accumulate memories over the years, moments in our flying life that feed our addiction. Usually they are our own stories. But I have been lucky enough to witness some of my friends best flights and these, by far and away are some of my best flying memories.

1. Marshall Antonechuk working the first thermal I ever saw in '76 off Vernon Mt. Those of us on launch were bent over, almost chucking our lunch.
We had NO IDEA of what was happening to him. We feared for his life! (NO ONE had even heard of thermals in those early days!)


2. Peter Luke flying a '79 10 Meter 25 miles to Tappen from Moffat Ridge on the worst, drizzliest non day you ever saw, while very one else flying scratched like hell just to get a sleigh ride.


3. Robin Peterson deliberately scratching for four hours at tree top level by the Gypsum Rd. LZ below Swansea Mt. (Invermere) on a day when it was easy, really easy to get up... while every one else froze and burned out in an hour at 14000 ft and cloud base.


4. Pepe' Lopez at the American Cup in Invermere see (FAI America Continentals) on his task winning final from Radium, too exhausted to even hold on to the down tubes.
The glider pitching and yawing for the last 15 Km while he tried to limber up his legs.
- Read about a Pepe' Lopez Medal awarded by the FAI fpr a Moment of Heroism on the part of Philippe Broers (Belgium) I was present for, as 2nd Steward (in Training)
at the Kalvrita Greece European Continental Paragliding Championships in 2004. "This one is for me."

But the one flight I night and day dream about - the driving force that keeps me flying was a once in a lifetime flight of Miles Hopkins'.

I had just gotten into flying again in 1985 after a moment of excess stupidity and had worked up the nerve to go back to the scene of the crime. Stoney Creek: in the Okanagan Valley: It can be a super thermal site.

Peter Elms (Vancouver Yacht Club Past President) discovered it by noticing the constant turbulence every time he flew his plane over it. He eventually marked the spot with a bucket of paint and talked a few skeptics into logging the better part of the mountain and Voila! Magic. Hard to get started up unless you like it tight into the trees but after a couple of hundred feet you are truly above and on your way. When the Okanagan Valley stabilizes out you can almost always see clean cumies over launch. The flying is rowdy but not crazy until 5ish in the evening when it starts to glass off and a series of spectacular evening thermals develop some of the cleanest black bottomed beauties you will ever see.

I was satisfied with a really pleasant flight but had never been even close to the clouds that day. I landed to stretch and laze out & watch the show with the boys and a brew in the LZ. A few more of the crew bagged it, leaving Milo front stage center. We watched while he caught a clean one and climbed out towards one breathtakingly lonely, black bottomed puff ball. Perfect shape, perfect size and perfect density.

There is kind of a rule at Stoney Creek:. If you get 6000' above you are GONE on a XC slide to just about anywhere. Drivers can figure it out you have a much better trip planned home than in some dusty truck.


For some strange reason Miles Hopkins (Milo) didn't split. He hung out at about 8 - 9000 ft for a quite a while in the glass off evening air. Then a little after six he caught a cycle up and quickly screwed up as the cloud base rose with him to 9 to 10,000'.

What followed is something I’ll remember the rest of my life.
He worked his way up to the bottom edge of that lonely cloud and caught a slow smooth ride right up it's leading edge. He'd 360'd in clean air and then instantly disappear into the wall of the cloud like a door closing shut behind him. An instant later the glider would burst from the cloud, banked over tightly with a sheet of the cloud pulled out by the wing - tracing the glider like a silhouette against the clear summer sky until he cored back in. Then burst out and in and out and in again and again. The wisps of cloud hung motionless like a cork screw of mist tracking his progress up the face. It was absolutely breathtaking. I have never, ever seen anything like it. I would give anything for a video camera and an opportunity to go back in time to be able to film that moment.

You could tell that Milo knew that it was too special to disrupt because he slid out to the side and viewed his work until it melted away and then threw it out into a celebration of wingovers into the turf. One of the most memorable moments in my life, yes, but before I retire from the sport my goal is to experience this 1st hand!
Last edited by Fred Wilson on Tue Sep 22, 2015 3:11 am, edited 17 times in total.
Fred Wilson
Posts: 427
Joined: Sat May 12, 2007 5:38 pm
Location: Vernon BC Canada

Foreign Forums

Postby Fred Wilson » Tue Jan 18, 2011 1:07 am

Other Forums - Updated Jan 24th 2012

Cloudbase Country Club (CBCC) Yahoo Forum:
The Hang Gliding Club of Pacific Northwest (Washington, Oregon)
- a very active forum.

New Spokane area Center OF Lift Club (COL)
Facebook: ... 4474336014
They are working on opening a number of new flying sites in the area.

"They may have a fly-in of sorts in late July and another @ St. Joe Baldy (near St. Maries, ID) in August."

The same bunch of pilots have another Yahoo Group:

Idaho USA Yahoo Forum:

South American Paragliding Forum:

Brazil General Forum:

Brazil Hang Gliding Forum:
And their very popular Brazil Hang Gliding Yahoo Forum

Brazil ParaGliding Forum:
MONSTER big (3300 + members) Brazil Paragliding Yahoo Forum

European Hang Gliding and Paragliding Forums:

UK Competitions Website Welcome to GOAL
- with their forum here.

Thankfully replacing EuropePG:

Scottish Hang-gliding and Paragliding Federation Blog from

Irish Hang Gliding and Paragliding Association Mailing List

The Welsh Free Flight Federation Guest Book

French FFVL



Norsk Hang Gliding Bulletin Boards from



I compiled a fairly complete list of National Associations Home Page links here.
Pretty tough sledding there though unless you are extremely multi-lingual.
Last edited by Fred Wilson on Mon Sep 21, 2015 11:52 pm, edited 5 times in total.
Fred Wilson
Posts: 427
Joined: Sat May 12, 2007 5:38 pm
Location: Vernon BC Canada


Postby Fred Wilson » Tue Jan 18, 2011 1:11 am


relate2 wrote:I was backing up all my old videos today and came across a video from flying here in Australia last year.
I thought it might help my cousins from across the sea with their winter blues.

2,900 feet on the coast, over 2,700 feet a minute downward spiral dive and helicopter landing from 400 feet. :mrgreen: Enjoy! :thumbs:

Evolution in modern acro paragliding

460 Pages of Paragliding Videos to choose from at:

XC Magazine Video Channel:

FAI / CIVL WebTV Youtube Channel:

One of the best, most informative, interesting, most detailed comp blogs on the net:
Tip of the hat Nicole! Nicely done. Sure do enjoy following her adventures.

2013 PWC Tour:

Last edited by Fred Wilson on Tue Jan 29, 2013 2:32 pm, edited 15 times in total.
Fred Wilson
Posts: 427
Joined: Sat May 12, 2007 5:38 pm
Location: Vernon BC Canada


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