The Oz Report, a near-daily, world wide hang gliding news ezine, with reports on competitions, pilot rankings, political issues, fly-ins, the latest technology, ultralight sailplanes, reader feedback and anything else from within the global HG community worthy of coverage. Hang gliding, paragliding, hang gliders, paragliders, aerotowing, hang glide, paraglide, platform towing, competitions, fly-ins. Hang gliding and paragliding news from around the world, by Davis Straub.

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  • +Ground testing the Electric Powered MillenniumWill it get off the ground? (Wed 8:24am)

    Ground testing the Electric Powered Millennium

    Wed, Apr 1 2015, 8:24:37 am EST

    Ground testing the Electric Powered Millennium

    Will it get off the ground?

    Discuss "Ground testing the Electric Powered Millennium" at the Oz Report forum   link»

  • +2015 UK Hang Gliding Nationals and Ager OpenRegistration is now open (Wed 8:24am)

    2015 UK Hang Gliding Nationals and Ager Open

    Wed, Apr 1 2015, 8:24:22 am EST

    2015 UK Hang Gliding Nationals and Ager Open

    Registration is now open

    Lorenzo Labrador <<lorenzolabrador>> writes:

    Registration for the 2015 UK hang gliding Nationals and Ager Open, to be held in Ager, northern Spain from 9 -15 August, is now open.  The registration process is on-line and the entry fee, if paid before 30th June, is £125.00 or 155.00 Euros, after 1st July it's £140.00 or 170.00 Euros and if paid on-site at registration it's 190.00 Euros.

    The on-line registration page, as well as more information about the competition, including different options for accommodation, can be found at:

    Hope to see you all in sunny Spain this summer!

    Discuss "2015 UK Hang Gliding Nationals and Ager Open" at the Oz Report forum   link»

  • +SETP award to Mike Meier of Wills WingSociety of Experimental Test Pilots, (Wed 8:24am)

    SETP award to Mike Meier of Wills Wing

    Wed, Apr 1 2015, 8:24:05 am EST

    SETP award to Mike Meier of Wills Wing

    Society of Experimental Test Pilots,

    At the recently held 45th Annual West Coast Symposium of the Society of Experimental Test Pilots, the Jack Northrop Award for the Most Outstanding Technical Paper presented at the symposium was awarded to Mike Meier, for his paper, “Lessons Learned and Murphy’s Corollary,” a paper derived from the concepts in Mike’s article for Hang Gliding and Paragliding Magazine, “Why Can’t We Get A Handle On This Safety Thing.”

    Pilots attending the Wills Wing California Demo Days or the Kitty Hawk Kites 43rd Hang Gliding Spectacular will have the opportunity to see the paper as it was presented to SETP.

    Discuss "SETP award to Mike Meier of Wills Wing" at the Oz Report forum   link»

  • +Eastern Washington towingAnd flying (Wed 8:21am)

    Eastern Washington towing

    Wed, Apr 1 2015, 8:21:15 am EST

    Eastern Washington towing

    And flying

    Discuss "Eastern Washington towing" at the Oz Report forum   link»

  • +SharingKathleen Rigg (Wed 8:19am)


    Wed, Apr 1 2015, 8:19:50 am EST


    Kathleen Rigg

    Kathleen Rigg is an extremely accomplished hang glider pilot based in Derbyshire, England.  She has flown at the top level of the Women's World Hang Gliding Championships for years, has been the British Women's Champion numerous times and has been awarded the Royal Aero Club Individual Gold Award.

    With the number of hang gliders declining in recent years, paraglider pilots are getting less opportunity to fly with hang gliders and are therefore often unaware of their flying, launch and landing characteristics, difference in speed, etc.  This lack of understanding had sometimes inadvertently caused problems for hang glider pilots and lead to friction between the two communities.

    In this podcast Kathleen explains some of the issues about sharing the sky from the hang glider perspective and talks about what we can all do to make things easier for everyone - and that includes paraglider pilots as well!

    You can listen to the podcast here or download it.

    Discuss "Sharing" at the Oz Report forum   link»

In the latest issue: (19.65, Wednesday, April 1, 2015)

  • +Rattling the tin cup

    Rattling the tin cup

    Tue, Mar 31 2015, 8:17:05 am EST

    Tin Cup

    We finish up our March fund raiser N28+31.982+,W081+50.800+,Quest+Air,+Groveland,+Florida,+USA(Quest Air, Groveland, Florida, USA)

    Thanks to all the pilots who gave so generously and supported the Oz Report for yet another year.  We very much appreciate your support and your encouragement for us to continue with this venture.

    How to send money to the Oz Report without a credit card fee:

    Please, help us out.  Support something that you find useful so that it can continue to be there for you.

    You can send $20 or $30 or more for a yearly subscription/donation.  To pay for your subscription with Dwolla, or your credit card or PayPal account:



    With PayPal please click the Send Money tab to send the money and eliminate credit card fees by clicking the "I'm sending money to family and friends"  if your PayPal account is connected to your bank account and not just to a credit card:

    The email address would be

    If you’d rather just send a check for $20  or $30 (US Dollars, only please) or more, please feel free to do so.  The mail gets forwarded to me wherever I’m at.

    Payable to:

    Davis Straub (Not to the Oz Report)
    PMB 1889 PO Box 2430
    Pensacola, FL 32513

    If you send a physical check, be sure to send me your email address so that I can register you as a subscriber.

    These are our supporters (if you are not on the list and have donated to the Oz Report, email me and I'll make sure that you are recognized):  Some of you who I've missed in the past did write to me and made sure I knew just how important the Oz Report was to them.  If I've missed you, please do tell me.

    Come over to the Oz Report support web page and sign up to support us:  Or click here:

    You can also use Dwolla (The best way to move money.  No percentages.  No hidden fees.  Just 25¢ per transaction or free for transactions $10 and less.)

    Discuss "Tin Cup" at the Oz Report forum   link»

  • +East Coast Demo Days

    East Coast Demo Days

    Tue, Mar 31 2015, 8:17:40 am EST

    East Coast Demo Days

    Steve Pearson is flying out to Wallaby Ranch 28.252377,-81.685731,Wallaby+Ranch,+Florida,+USA(Wallaby Ranch, Florida, USA)

    Oliver van Dam <<olivervandam>> writes:

    The Wallaby Ranch / Wills Wing demo days fly-in will take place as scheduled on April 16, 17 and 18th.  Steve Pearson will be on hand with new demo gliders (rent free) and insider advise on new developments and glider tuning.  Mike Barber will also be available and giving free cross country group seminars.  Please join us at the ranch, fly, visit with old friends and enjoy the usual ranch food and entertainment.  Of course, no entry fee as always!  Wills Wing will again be sponsoring our Saturday night BBQ in 2016 (after throwing a west coast party this year).

    Discuss "East Coast Demo Days" at the Oz Report forum   link»

  • +A return to the primary materials

    A return to the primary materials

    Tue, Mar 31 2015, 8:18:21 am EST

    A return to the primary materials

    A modern day bamboo glider N28+31.982+,W081+50.800+,Quest+Air,+Groveland,+Florida,+USA(Quest Air, Groveland, Florida, USA)

    John Bilsky <<udaleaf>> writes:

    It's a Bamboo FALCON.

    Since the summer of last year I have been testing the flight characteristics of my new-ish glider all over the U.S.  During this time more than a few dozen pilots have seen it and made it a point to ask me questions, express their concerns, wish me luck and in general show their curiosity.  This outpouring of communication has taken place in five flying sites outside the general area I normally fly.  These out of state sites include: Yosemite, Fort Funston, King Mountain, Villa Grove and finally Quest Air.  Normally I fly PA & NY foot launch sites including the Elmira sites, Ellenville and my favourite, the Hyner Club launches.

    So, to all who have taken some time to talk with me, and especially those who have seen my glider but only gawked, I'd like to clear up a few misconceptions.

    For starters, local Elmira pilots Ed J.  & Ron K., Hyner pilots Shawn, Bob, TR, Jesse, Jim and everyone else who has referred to my wing as a "Bamboo Bomber"...  it's NOT.  It's a Bamboo Falcon, Okay?  A FALCON.  It has a Falcon 3 sail and standard WW Falcon 195 aluminum battens.  To replicate the proper curves of the battens with bamboo would have been highly problematic and not worth the effort.  However, all the visible bamboo features on the glider are as close to standard Wills Wing dimensions, especially the lengths, as possible.  The glider is, for all practical intents and purposes, a Wills Wing Falcon...  a Bamboo Falcon.

    Now, a few questions and comments from pilots need to be addressed.

    The first and most common question I've been getting is "Is that REAL?" Yes of course it's real.  It's certainly not imaginary and it took a lot of time and effort to produce it.  Do you have any inkling how to grow straight bamboo?  You can't.  But if you ask any old timer how to produce a perfectly straight bamboo cane fishing pole, he will tell you that one must take the bamboo and hang it from the tip and let gravity do the rest while the bamboo "cures".  I reasoned that a weight attached to the distal end would enhance the process nicely.  A very high climate controlled rafter is essential.  Judicious sandpaper usage completes the process.

    "But what about the faired king post?  That's gotta be fake."

    Really now?

    Bamboo, being a grass and one of the fastest growing plants on earth, will easily conform it's shape to any constriction.  Have you ever seen a walking stick that spirals around from bottom to top?  That wood grew into that shape because a vine wrapped itself around the young tree and constricted the growth.  What do you think would happen if the "constriction" was a man-made clamshell shaped form?  Imagination works wonders.

    "Is that thing safe to fly?" Is another query I've heard.  LMAO.  The strength of bamboo is legendary.  Who hasn't seen pictures of tall scaffolding constructed out of bamboo?  It is excellent in both compression as well as tension and shear.  I won't bore the reader with engineering stats.  However, it will split at the ends if not reinforced.  On my glider, all the wire and tubing attachment points utilize aluminum inserts and standard fittings.  The key word here is "fittings".  In order to make it work either the fitting has to be made to fit the opening, or the opening has to be made to fit the fitting.  Pretty simple once you think about it.

    "How come you don't have a bamboo control bar?" Again like the battens, it was too problematic.  I wanted to substitute laminated wood but was concerned about the strength and I wasn't about to substitute a straight bamboo control bar.  Too uncomfortable.  In the end I chose to have it painted to resemble laminated wood.  I felt like if I had it air brushed to simply look like bamboo, it might not match well enough.  I probably should have left it alone.

    So how well does this thing fly?  Well, my impression is highly favourable.  The sail has been slightly modified with a special treatment but I won't get into that.  It tows like it's on rails if conditions are smooth.  It seems to have a better glide and is slightly more snappy in response than the original glider it was spawned from.  It seems to have a little slower stall speed and both foot launching and landing are a breeze.  So far it has not attracted any Pandas.

    Many people have helped me with the building of this wing and I would like to thank them all by name.  That's not gonna happen here.  However I will make two exceptions.  My Dad, John Sr.  Who left the planet in 2007, taught me the art of woodworking.  He was one of the best.  And my beautiful friend Jane Lenard of  She talked me into being safe with the control bar.  Jane was a continuous inspiration and her imaginative encouragement turned what started as a whimsical and shoddy experiment with one downtube into what some might consider a true work of art.

    Discuss "A return to the primary materials" at the Oz Report forum   link»

  • +Design inspiration

    Design inspiration

    Tue, Mar 31 2015, 8:18:45 am EST

    Design inspiration

    Looking to nature

    Discuss "Design inspiration" at the Oz Report forum   link»

  • +Jamie Shelden at Rainbow Beach

    Jamie Shelden at Rainbow Beach

    Tue, Mar 31 2015, 8:21:59 am EST

    Jamie Shelden at Rainbow Beach

    Flying for fun -25.900306,153.092422,Rainbow+Beach+Queensland,+Australia(Rainbow Beach Queensland, Australia)

    Discuss "Jamie Shelden at Rainbow Beach" at the Oz Report forum   link»

  • +The pilot's story

    The pilot's story

    Tue, Mar 31 2015, 8:23:29 am EST

    The pilot's story

    We get more details of the minor accident at Quest Air N28+31.982+,W081+50.800+,Quest+Air,+Groveland,+Florida,+USA(Quest Air, Groveland, Florida, USA)

    Pablo Miller <<pozablo>> writes:

    That I had never flown or towed with a Sport 2 is true.  It is also true (and horrifying to me) that I was out of control as a result of misjudging my skill and the conditions.  The stitches in my chin, the soreness in my neck, and a broken down tube are irrefutable evidence.  And true that I'd had only a few solos in the last 20 years, the first was 18 months ago at Valle del Bravo after a single check-out tandem with Rudy Gotes.  Some months later I had about 3 tandem aerotows in Texas but didn’t solo due to strong winds.  Last May I had about 5 tandems at QuestAir with Spinner.  Then 3 solo aerotows there.

    But, please allow me to correct some misinformation/misunderstanding in your report of my behavior.

    I have racked my brain to figure out how anybody could say that I have ever been anything but humble in my conversations with other pilots, or how anyone could say that I had to be talked out of flying on Saturday.

    Out of all the conversations with other more experience pilots, two come back to me as possibilities.

    The first conversation took place on Saturday.  The winds were strong, about 15 mph at ground level as I recall, but right down the runway and did not seem gusty.  I was asking a couple pilots what made that dangerous.  I repeatedly stated that I was not arguing, or contesting their opinion.  I just wanted to fully understand.  Of course, when they reminded me that A) if it did get gusty while I was up, it would be really nasty, and B) the wind gradient could be strong, and C) at altitude the Dragonfly probably wouldn’t even be able to pull me upwind of the field.




    How anybody could interpret that as “had to be talked out of flying” is beyond me.  I never even pulled my glider out of the container on Saturday.

    In the other conversation, I had mentioned to another pilot that when I soloed almost a year ago at QuestAir, the only glider they had for me was the Falcon 195.  I related that I found it too large, and was not much fun to fly.  I live in Mexico, and purchased a Falcon 170 believing that after a long time away from flying I needed something really easy.  I told him it was very fun but, as you no doubt know, flying at Valle del Bravo felt a bit unsafe with the low penetration of the Falcon.  Then he told me he was flying a Falcon, and I thought “way to go, Pablo.  Foot in mouth”.  Maybe he interpreted it as arrogant.

    By the way, the first thing I did after releasing on my first flight in the 195 was to practice getting upright and steering from there.  It was very difficult, and I chose to actually land on the wheels.

    Before the next flight I asked several people about it.  Spinner hung me from the static set-up, and he adjusted my harness properly.  The next two flights I made very nice foot landings, with only a couple steps.  After that, I did feel confident that I could safely handle a slightly more advanced wing.  My previous glider, albeit years ago, was a heavy clunky Moyes GTR which I flew with the original DragginFlyers before we lost the ranch in Wildwood, Florida.

    I truly believe that it would not be possible to find anyone who knows or has known me or even spoken briefly with me who would say that I am arrogant, or that I think that I can "handle anything”.  While many pilots protect their confidence by saying, when somebody screws up, “that could never happen to me because _____ and _____ and ____” .  I assure you that whether it’s fuel mismanagement, downwind stall, or CFIT, I have never ever even thought that, much less said it.

    The reason I didn’t get off in the morning yesterday was that I took a very long time carefully setting up my glider.  After preflighting, I asked two other more experienced Sport 2 owners, plus Jim Prahl, to look it over to check whether I had done so correctly.  By that time, the wind had picked up indeed.

    Before that flight yesterday, I expressed to at least four other pilots that I was more nervous about this flight than any other flight in my life.  Just before the tow, the tug pilot did say that it was getting a bit rough, but absolutely nobody I spoke with tried to dissuade me from launching.  Please do not interpret this as my blaming them, or saying they should have.  As PIC, I absolutely accept full absolute responsibility for my poor decision.

    Per the manual, I had the VG at ½ on the cart, but on the tug-pilot’s advice reduced it to about 1/3.  Not long after leaving the cart, I realized I was a bit high, and pulled in so as not to adversely affect the tug.  I then felt a wing pick up and bumped to that side to get level.  The glider did not react as I expected, and I bumped again.  That was the beginning of the PIO.  About 50-75’ above the trees, I pinned off.  PIO continued, but seemed to be dampening, and the last thing I remember was A) trying unsuccessfully to release the VG in order to improve responsiveness, and B) thinking “damn, I gonna have to start getting upright”.

    I have no memory after that until seeing the EMTs.  Perhaps I tried a wheel -landing, but if you look at how the wheels on that glider are mounted, you can see this would have been really stupid.  So I'm truly puzzled.

    Clearly I should have focussed on aviating rather than messing with the VG, but I had tested it on hang-check and it didn’t seem to be a problem.

    Davis, I ask you to think about how it would affect my family if I had died, and the published was the only account of how it happened.

    Discuss "The pilot's story" at the Oz Report forum   link»

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