Wills Wing

Oz Report

topic: COVID (34 articles)

Flytec 6030 »

Mon, Oct 25 2021, 2:30:18 pm MDT

Re issue?

COVID|Flytec 6030|Naviter Blade|Steve Kroop|Volirium

Steve Kroop «info» writes:

The 6030, like a '68 Mustang

The first 6030 that was sold was serial number 6030 in June of 2006. Here we are, over 15 years later and I was reminded by a long time world-class cross country pilot, that nothing does what the 6030 does any better than the 6030. He added that the 6030 was a classic like the '68 Mustang as he was replacing his 6030 with a new one. However, during the COVID period there was no production of the main circuit board in the 6030, so unfortunately that was one of the last 6030 produced.

Volirium, the manufacturer of the 6030, is considering restarting production but needs to determine how much interest there is to see if making a production run is viable. If you are interested in getting your first 6030, or have an older 6030 that you would like to replace with a newer one, now is the time to let us know. Maybe you have a 6030 that you would like to gift forward to an up-and-coming pilot and get a new one for yourself, now is the time to let us know. If you are interested, please email me at ‹›. If we get enough response and see that production will be viable, we will set up a procedure for pre-ordering.

I think he means '64 Mustang.

Yes, I continue to fly with a Flytec 6030 as well as the Naviter Blade. A bunch of the functionality that I find in the 6030 is not found in the Blade. It could be, but they haven't implemented it, and I don't know of any plans to do so.

Discuss "Flytec 6030" at the Oz Report forum   link»  

Wills Wing News

Fri, Oct 15 2021, 4:56:34 pm MDT

Up and running and taking orders

COVID|Paul Voight|Steven "Steve" Pearson

Paul Voight writes:

On Wednesday night I participated in a video call with the new Wills Wing team and a few larger dealers from all over the planet. The new factory and staff are all set up in Valle De Bravo, Mexico and they are ready to start accepting orders.

There are still some supply chain issues (from Covid-19, basically), so some tubing and cloth options are still not in house yet, but they anticipate that these issues will be resolved in the not too distant future.

Obviously, they will take a while to have all the products in house (parachutes, helmets, wheels, apparel, etc), but eventually, they will be as functional as the previous version of the world class Wills Wing was.

They indicated that the design team (lead by Steve Pearson) will (as always) be looking to continue innovating and improving their product line.

All of this is great news for the sport. Wills Wing is arguably the most innovative, influential and proactive promoter of the crafts and products that have allowed this sport to develop to the point it has today. I, for one, am stoked.

Valle de Bravo 2021-2022

Wed, Sep 1 2021, 5:31:55 pm MDT

Tours with Rudy

COVID|El Peñón Classic Race 2022|Rodolfo Gotes Navarro|tandem|Wolfgang "Wolfi" Siess|XC|Zac Majors

"Rodolfo Gotes Navarro" «rudygotes» writes:

Valle de Bravo, Mexico, has perfect flying conditions that allow us to fly all year round. El Peñón is one of the most consistent sites in the world.

Mexico is open to receive guests from all over the world, regardless of the COVID situation. We have been privileged because all our activity is outdoors and Valle has been very careful keeping all safety protocols.

If you want to escape the cold winter and experience a week of great flying, then we invite you to book one of our tailored hang gliding tours. Our tours run from November through March. It doesn’t matter if you are a beginner, intermediate or advanced pilot, you will make the most of this adventure. You will do lots of air time, do small or big tasks or go XC. You can also enjoy the good food and beer at the landing area, where you can share your experience with the rest of pilots that visit us from all over the world.

We can do two to three flights a day. We offer tandem instruction flights and radio-assistance guided flights, to improve your level and skill.

This coming season, we will have international pilots like Wolfgang Siess and Zac Majors, helping us and training for our yearly El Peñón Classic Race from February 20th-26th, 2022.

After flying, Valle de Bravo’s town is worth visiting and walking through its cobbled-stoned alleys, eating at its restaurants or visiting its market and crafts shops, and it offers great value for money.

You can learn more at:

Colombian Hang Glider Pilot Dies from Covid

Thu, Aug 12 2021, 8:41:38 pm MDT

Anderson Valencia




El Club Vuelo Libre Bogotá, siente la pérdida de<br />nuestro amigo y piloto Anderson Valencia, haciendo<br />extensivo un saludo de esperanza a su esposa Marly y<br />sus hijas Jessia y Valerie; con su partida se lleva parte<br />de nuestros corazones que cautivó con su cariño,<br />alegria y generosidad caracteristicos. Afrontaremos su<br />partida con tristeza pero con la esperanza de<br />volvernos a ver, pues estamos seguros que hoy nuestro<br />gran amigo se encuentra remontando las nubes del<br />cielo mas alto que nunca y lleno de gozo por la<br />eternidad.

The Free Flight Club of Bogotá feels the loss of
our friend and pilot Anderson Valencia, and
we extend a greeting of hope to his wife Marly and
his daughters Jessia and Valerie; with his departure he takes the part
of our hearts that he captivated with his affection,
characteristic joy and generosity. We will face your
departure sadly but with the hope of
seeing each other again, because we are sure that today our
great friend is soaring the clouds of the
heaven higher than ever and full of joy for

We last saw Anderson and his family including his parents at the 2021 Wilotree Park Nationals in April. He was one of the very enthusiastic Colombian pilots at the competition. He will be missed by his family and the hang gliding community.

Discuss "Colombian Hang Glider Pilot Dies from Covid" at the Oz Report forum   link»

2021 Santa Cruz Flats Race »

June 7, 2021, 3:01:59 pm MDT

Register and pay next week

April Mackin|COVID|Jamie Shelden|Santa Cruz Flats Race 2021

"Jamie Shelden" <naughtylawyer> writes:

We're really happy to be organizing the Santa Cruz Flats Race again this September after a year off due to COVID. But, I wanted to explain the tug situation so everyone understands how registration and payment will work this year. Thanks to Sonora Wings, we have two dragonflies in Casa Grande. If we have no more than 22-24 pilots, we’ll be covered with these local dragonflies. However, if we have more than 24 pilots register, we will need to bring tugs from out of the area. This is where the issues start. Bob Bailey and April Mackin are able to transport two dragonflies from Florida via trailer. This requires removing the wings and carefully packing them into a trailer and driving them across the country to Casa Grande. Bob and April have done this nearly every year that we have held the event and we are eternally grateful. Here’s the hitch though: the cost of driving the trailer out to Arizona is the same if we put one tug or two tugs in it and that cost is extremely high. What this means is that it is only cost effective to pack up the trailer and bring 2 dragonflies. Bringing just one would make towing very very expensive.

So, we are in a situation where we can have either two or four dragonflies at the Santa Cruz Flats Race, but not three. If we have 42 people register, pay and commit to attend, all is great. But, if we have only 30, the tow fees to each pilot would be prohibitively expensive. With this in mind, it is critical that pilots register, pay registration fees and commit to participate no later than one month before the start of the competition.

When registration opens in about a week, we will initially accept only 24 pilots and they will be accepted in the order of payment of registration fees. If we fill up with 24 paid participants, additional pilots will only be accepted after we have at least 18 more (for a total of 42) confirmed. Once a total of 42 pilots have registered, we can then accept all 42 and confirm the tugs from Florida once all 42 pilots have paid their registration fees.

I realize this is complicated, but we don’t want to wait until the week before the competition starts to determine how much tow fees will be and we don’t want to risk having more than 24, but fewer than 42 pilots because that would make tow fees in excess of $550/person.

Discuss "2021 Santa Cruz Flats Race" at the Oz Report forum   link»

Not Going to the Worlds

May 24, 2021, 9:58:56 pm MDT

Not Going to the Worlds

Italian team, Brazilian team, maybe others?

CIVL|COVID|Flavio Tebaldi|PG|Robin Hamilton

Flavio Tebaldi <<flafly63>> sends:

I inform you that the Italian Hang Gliding National Team has decided to not participate in the 23rd FAI World Hang Gliding Championship, which will be held in Krushevo from July 18 to July 30, 2021.

The decision has been taken by the pilots and the Team Leader of the Italian Hang Gliding National Team and fully supported by the Italian NAC.

Attached, you can find the official communication, signed by the General Director of the Italian NAC, Aero Club d’Italia.

We wish you a good and safe competition.

Dear Mr Lukanov,

It is with immense regret that, after a thorough evaluation of all the factors known today, I have to inform you that the Italian Hang Gliding Team has decided not to participate in the next World Championship which will take place from 18 to 30 July in Macedonia.

The main reason is sporting fairness as, due to the current pandemic situation in the world, the participation of all teams is not guaranteed regardless of their will. We have repeatedly asked the organrzer and the CIVL to postpone the event, but our appeal, as well as that of other teams, was not heard.

Secondly, the uncertain health situation in the host country and the anti-covid regulations in Italy, which would now impose quarantine upon return also contributed to the decision as pilots cannot lose that many days of work after such a very difficult year.

We are very sorry we cannot defend our title because there would be nothing more beautiful for us than fight for another chance to step on the top of a world podium and being able to sing our national anthem in full voice. But we strongly believe that the importance of a victory is measured on the value of the opponents. If a good part of those cannot be present that value fails.

GENERAL DIRECTOR, Gianpaolo Miniscalco

Pedro Garcia <<gpedrol>> writes:

The current situation in Macedonia is still precarious and uncertain (see chart below). Today, even when their situation has largely improved, their numbers are similar to what the US or EU were showing during the worst part of the pandemic.

Also, they still have restrictions in place regarding public gatherings, restaurants serving outdoors/take away only and it looks like glider transport might be even more challenging right now.

In addition, the US Department of State issued a level 4 travel advisory to Macedonia "do not travel to North Macedonia...

Moreover, the FAI/CIVL announced some days ago that they were not going to send a Steward to the pre-Pan-American Paragliding in Brazil when the COVID numbers at that point were still better than the numbers in Macedonia during the same period (link to Oz Report:, but apparently they think the numbers are fine for the Hang Gliding Worlds.

On top of all this, for pilots from certain countries it is almost impossible to attend, even if they wanted to, due to before, after or before and after travel restrictions or some others will decide that they cannot risk their or their family's health by attending.

It is clear that there is no way of knowing what the situation will be like in a month or month and a half and I truly hope it will be a lot better.

With all this in mind, the current data and my way of perceiving and understanding life, hang gliding, our camaraderie, how we share our sport with our friends and fellow pilots I don't think it is fair, safe for everyone or that it makes sense to rush this championship; therefore, my decision right now is not to participate in this event.

I, personally, cannot understand that the FAI/CIVL left this decision to pilots and organizers when we are talking about a world health safety situation and they are in charge of overseeing safety and fair conditions and opportunity among pilots, which is clearly not the case right now.

I will continue to look forward to the next opportunity where we may fly together as a team and stand on the podium together.

Robin Hamilton <<Robin2808>> writes:

Brasil has just officially announced they are out. I have been talking with John and Zac today. I think we are all aligned in not wanting to attend if we can’t get all of our competitive team over there and also not wanting to participate if a good number of other good teams can’t make it. With where we are now, I too am not going to participate. Zac and John can speak for themselves but I believe they hold a similar view.

Zac also indicated he would try to reach out to others on the top 15 list to see who might still be interested and committed to going from the US.

I don’t want to prejudge or influence the decisions of others but I personally believe that if we do end up with no strong individual interest with the evolving circumstances, then it would be useful to indicate that position to CIVL and the organizers as these other countries have.

Here is the current situation:

We recently held two US National level competitions in Florida at Wilotree Park. We carried out COVID-19 protocols. We obviously think that you can carry out competitions safely. Here's why:

1) Hang Gliding competitions are held outside where the risk of infection is an order of magnitude lower than inside.

2) If all pilots are vaccinated the risk of infection is so much reduced that masks are not required.

3) Pilots can avoid contact with non vaccinated people.

The fact that it is possible to carry out safe hang gliding competitions does not directly speak to the issues raised above.


May 6, 2021, 10:25:27 EDT


Where exactly is it dangerous?

American Paragliding|CIVL|COVID|FAI|PG

CIVL Administrator <<civl-info-l>> writes:

The Brazilian Open was supposed to take place from April 25 to May 2, 2021 and be the test event for the 5th FAI Pan-American Paragliding Championship. The current pandemic did not allow it.

The Brazilian Open has now been postponed to May 30 to June 5, 2021. Because the overall pandemic situation in Brazil continues to be a major concern for the CIVL Bureau, it will not send its steward to the event. Hence, the Brazilian Open cannot be considered as a test event for the 2022 championship.

CIVL will be in touch with the organisers to define if, when and how a test event can take place.

Discuss "FAI CIVL and COVID 19" at the Oz Report forum   link»

Amazing Grace in the Age of Covid

March 22, 2021, 10:10:36 EDT

Amazing Grace in the Age of Covid

Ron Kittredge

Covid|COVID|Jamie Shelden|John Bilsky|Mike Holl|Paul Allen|Paul Voight|Rob Kells|Ryan Voight|sailplane|triangle

Steve Houser <<shouser>> writes:

For every season there is a purpose under heaven. So it tells us in Ecclesiastes. A time to be born, a time to die. A time to cry and a time to laugh. A time to mourn and a time to dance.

Ron Kittredge was not a religious man, though he had no objection to those who are. His spiritual nature, though, was hardly suppressed, manifested as it was in his enthusiastic embrace of nature in any way it could be experienced. Foremost in that expression of passionate energy was his love for hang gliding. He loved also to hike, to ski, to fish, scuba dive, paddle, and motorcycle. He preferred a campfire or a good book (Larry McMurtry or Mark Twain) to a television. Knowing the wildflowers, trees, plants and animals, and how they were interwoven, was important to him. He enjoyed mowing the grass and fields on his property where he had built his second home and raised his two children, Anna and Steen, with his wife Katharine. Chopping wood was a common part of his fitness routine.

But those all frequently had to wait their turn when the wind was blowing out of the northwest. That’s when you would likely find him at Harris Hill in upstate New York, just outside of Elmira. It was his favorite flying site. And it was there, on a hot and L/V day, July 25, 2020, that family, friends, and fellow pilots gathered to honor his memory and to celebrate the gift that his life was to so many of them. On that day, still in mourning, we chose to laugh and to dance.

I started hang gliding in 1974 and I met Ron in 1984 when he first began lessons under local instruction. His progress was smooth and steady…and fast. I spent a lot of time with him in the training days, passing on what knowledge I could. It did not take long for him to absorb all that I and other mentoring pilots had to offer before he became an even more reliable source for mentoring newer pilots than we had ever been. Our regional director, Paul Voight, remembers him this way. “Ron and I were friends for almost 4 decades…albeit we didn’t actually see each other for long lapses sometimes, due to proximity. Ron was a fantastic, enthusiastic pilot, and a really good mentor to newer pilots. He had a trustworthy demeanor and a knowledge base to back it up. I remember him missing flying time on several occasions, paying attention to inquisitive new pilots’ questions and helping them with glider tuning. The pilot community will surely miss him on the hill.” There are at least a dozen pilots in upstate NY who could have penned a similar message about Ron. He had flown nearly every site in the state, from Ellenville westward to Binghamton, Syracuse, Elmira and Rochester. Sites in Pennsylvania and New England were also included in the hundreds of hours of airtime logged by him. Ron emphasized safety in his approach to the sport. None of his fellow pilots could recall a single serious accident or incident in all his years of flying. There was no broken or bent metal in his storage shed.

Ron died on June 18. In February he had been diagnosed with a rare form of leukemia. Chemo was attempted but failed. Other treatment modalities were explored but none were viable. He remained relatively active up until the last couple of weeks, taking daily excursions for coffee and exploring the surrounding state forests and parks with his wife Kathy. At his memorial, Kathy commented that in those final days he had taken them on some seriously treacherous mountain roads and trails and in so doing, had even turned “getting coffee” into an extreme sport.

Planning a funeral in the time of covid seemed an unlikely possibility. Funeral homes at the time were limiting services to 8-10 people. Kathy knew that that would not satisfy the large number of family, friends, customers and recreational pals that Ron had amassed over the years. She asked instead for help in having a day of memory at Harris Hill. That hatched the plan, with sensitivity to covid related concerns, that came to fruition on that sunny Saturday. In the meantime, word went out among the flying community about his passing, and the regrets, expressions of sadness and loss, condolences and kindnesses began pouring in. A fund was established to purchase a memorial bench and the contributions quickly mounted to well above what would be needed. It will sit to the side of launch facing the inviting view that every pilot gets to experience when standing in takeoff at Harris Hill.

In some ways we were fortunate. Free Spirit Flight Hang Gliding club owns the 5-acre set up and launch area at Harris. In recent months there have been far too many families and friends nationwide who have not had the opportunity to say farewell to a loved one in a meaningful manner. We were able to create a proper and safe social distancing environment in which to gather and express our thoughts and feelings about a valued husband, father, pilot and friend.

Canopies were set up in the tree shaded western end of the property. Masks, gloves, wipes and hand sanitizer were available at a sanitizing station located between the tables holding a picture board and other mementos of Ron’s life and the table for the guest book commentaries. Attendees respectfully maintained social distancing as they took turns at each of the tables. People brought their own chairs and picnic lunches and parking was no problem at all for the 70 plus who attended, half of whom were active or former hang glider pilots. Harris Hill has hosted a national fly-in and other flying related activities, but this was the largest crowd the site had ever seen.

Club President Jim Kolynich’s assembled WW Falcon was the backdrop to each speaker as stories of the phases of his life were told. His wife, his sister Julie Smith, and his daughter Anna recounted his family life. There was his childhood friend and best man at this wedding. Coworkers and partners from his successful career as a contractor reported on the quality of his work and his concern for his customers and their appreciation for and loyalty to him. I spoke on behalf of the flying community. It was clear from each of the testimonials/eulogies that Ron had left a meaningful impression in every arena of his life. While I was speaking, hang glider/sailplane pilot Jamie McGuire, having towed up from the Harris Hill glider port east of our launch, buzzed overhead, tipping a wing in tribute. His timing couldn’t have been better.

Pilots then stepped into launch and took turns releasing some of his ashes into the gentle updraft as part of their personal goodbyes. His daughter then spread some onto the hillside. All the while a friend of Kathy’s sang Amazing Grace. Not a dry eye in the place.

As if the sky Gods themselves had been waiting patiently for the ceremonies to end, the windsock began to flutter, and light cycles began to drift into launch. And so, to make the day even more perfect, family and friends who had never seen what Ron so loved to do, got treated to over a dozen launches and short soaring flights of hang and para gliders. With that, the mood shifted to one of joy and gratitude, that we could come together and say goodbye and love on one another and be more a part of what Ron loved to do. He would have liked that.

When I left Harris at around 5:30PM, many attendees were staying to visit and catch a glimpse of any further flying that would occur. On the hour-long drive home, my thoughts drifted not only to Ron but to the good fortune we in upstate New York have had in not only the development of some quality flying sites, but to the quality of pilots we have produced. I thought of Ed Jowett, Ron’s near constant flying companion over the past decade and a half. How he will miss his friend! I thought of how much Ed contributed to making Ron’s memorial happen. There are names the flying community will not recognize or remember, the guys who got landowner permission to use their property, that wielded saws and blades to cut out launch slots and maintain them, that discovered early on the hazards of 360’s too close to the treetops. Some have passed on. I thought of Dave Black and of Bob Murphy, and Mike Holl, early pioneers who are no longer with us. I thought of Rob Kells and Dick Reynolds and the energy they infused into the upstate flying community. I thought of Jay Gianforte and his contribution to harness design and improvement, not to mention his flying skills. There is Linda Salamone from the Rochester area, a one-time national women’s champion and competition pilot. I could never forget Paul Allen, now of the Idaho flying community, who also fledged in upstate New York. Dan Walter showed many of us the altitude and cross-country potential of our sites. Still does. Jack Slocum did over 175 miles from Hammondsport to north of Philadelphia. They were also the ones who showed up for the work parties and made sure the sites were maintained and safe for the newcomers and the rest of us.

The loss of instruction over last several years has stalled the growth of the sport in upstate NY, but there is still some new blood to carry on the passion and helpful tradition of pilots like Ron. I think of Ryan Voight out of Ellenville, of Dave Koehn in the Catskills, of John Bilsky in northern Pa. Rochester Area Flyers continues to make efforts to produce new pilots and teaching continues at Susquehanna Flight Park outside of Cooperstown.

So, while the numbers may have dwindled, the passion hasn’t, nor the willingness to help and encourage those who are new to the sport, much as we saw from Ron. Some of us have contributed more than others but we have all shared the spiritual experience of being truly in the moment that hang gliding brings. Ron was the best of us, ever reminding us to be better people, not simply better pilots.

The week after Ron’s memorial, Dave Koehn enjoyed a 52-mile triangle out and return flight from Mt. Utsayantha, an amazing feat in our neck of the woods. Paul Allen once told me he thought a 25 miler in the northeast was like a 50-60 miler out west. He would know. He’s done both. Dave emailed me privately after the flight and said, “on my way [flying] back from Grand Gorge, I thought about Ron, so in a way, it wasn’t just me up there.” How better to honor the best of us.

Discuss "Amazing Grace in the Age of Covid" at the Oz Report forum   link»

A Near Cyber Death Experience

Wed, Mar 3 2021, 8:23:21 am EST

We almost lost it

COVID|Facebook|Oz Report|Paradise Airsports Nationals 2021|Wilotree Park|Wilotree Park Nationals 2021

You might have noticed that it's been a tough year for most of us. Hang gliding continued without many competitions which would have lead to gatherings which were either frowned upon or completely forbidden by the authorities. Here in Florida we continued life outside where it is is 19 times safer ( Due to travel restrictions we canceled the Sport Class, Rigid Wing and Women's Worlds as well as all the Nationals competitions. Same for Big Spring.

Now a year later we are planning for the 2021 Paradise Airsports and Wilotree Park Nationals in April to be run under COVID protocols with continued international travel restrictions: and

During the year of crises mode we also decided to move to a new web server to reduce our costs. This transition has not been without numerous glitches as the Oz Report is a complex web site. For example, yesterday the host automatically updated PHP which caused all sorts of problems for Scare. Hopefully over time the situation will stabilize.

At one point we considered just going strictly on Facebook which would relieve us of all the web hosting issues (the high cost being the primary concern). We also were getting most of our content via Facebook posts, so it made sense to go to our Facebook version of the Oz Report.

This would mean that we would drop our email push of Oz Report issues. Also, those who find Facebook objectionable would no longer get to see our content. After a few disappointing experiments we decided to leave well enough alone. There is a Facebook version of the Oz Report and a stand-alone version. Sometimes content from the Facebook version comes over to the stand-alone version.

You can just go to the Oz Report on Facebook and ignore your news feed:

We don't know where things stand with our readers. We've decided not to publish every weekday unless there is news every weekday. Before it was publish or perish five days a week for 24 years. Now we are taking a bit more relaxed attitude and publishing when something interesting is happening, and hopefully with a new year and good changes to our pandemic situation coming, there will be more interesting things happening.

Thanks to all the Oz Report readers for their support over the years.

Discuss "A Near Cyber Death Experience" at the Oz Report forum   link»  

Corinna is Stuck

February 22, 2021, 10:43:52 pm EST

Corinna is Stuck

The COVID polices and more

Corinna Schwiegershausen|COVID

Corinna Schwiegershausen <<corinna>> writes:

It was three weeks ago when I got a call from Swiss Nic, asking me to help him and his friend Damien Zahn to get their glider checked in on their Lufthansa flight from Frankfurt to Mexico (they were already at Frankfurt airport). Unfortunately they didn’t contact me earlier. At the moment, only an A350 flies to Mexico, full of passengers and cargo, no space for gliders. Also, about eight months ago Lufthansa changed their checked luggage policy - strictly no more than 3m length… I told the guys they don’t have a chance to fly over with their gliders, so they brought the gliders back to Switzerland and had a take a later flight without gliders and rent gliders from Rudy or other Mexicans.

At the moment, the flight schedule looks still blank for April, lots of flights had been postponed to May, like the LH464 to Orlando for example. A small A340 goes to Miami, but it is really difficult to go through that large airport with a hang glider - I don’t know if it is possible there to check in a glider, even if the policy allowed it. I don’t know how the schedules of other airlines look like.

The vaccination rate is very slow over here, my Dad (over 80) belongs to the first vaccination group and doesn't even have an appointment yet, so I believe, hope and pray that mine will be possible in April, but definitely not before that. As the situation with my parents is quite tense considering their health, I am super careful, knowing that many people who travel around are not careful, or obeying the mask rules in their own way. Preferably the guys who are coughing like to keep the masks off their noses.

Rules over here are that I have to go into a 10 day quarantine after returning from a high incidence country (which the US still is), but I would probably have to work right after returning from Florida - not legal, at least not with the current rules. I guess other people with other jobs (or without jobs) are more flexible, but I definitely can’t risk my job in this situation.

For the above reasons, I sadly had to cancel my participation for the first comp, probably also for the second.

With lockdowns still very strict (and some bold guys moving rather illegally from one place to the other) and complicated, I don’t see many European pilots coming over, unless they can rent a glider over there, are already vaccinated and don’t need to obey quarantines. Hmm, I actually don’t see how they would enter the US, because the travel ban for non-US citizens is still on. Even though I have a visa for the US, I could still not just fly over right now, I would not be admitted.

Have you heard anything in your news that gives us a date for the end of the US lockdown, allowing Europeans to enter the US again? A few guys, like Konrad Heilmann, have all passports for the whole world, US, European, Brazilian. He will come over no matter what (he actually called me last October, trying to check in a glider in Sao Paulo on Lufthansa, also without success).

I really wish I had better news. The good news is that we are still healthy, alive, with a job, and some day hopefully able to meet and comp fly again overseas.

Discuss "Corinna is Stuck" at the Oz Report forum   link»

2021 New Zealand National Hang Gliding Championships

Mon, Feb 8 2021, 8:49:02 am EST

Perhaps the Worlds in 2025?

COVID|Facebook|Ian Clark|James-Donald "Don" "Plummet" Carslaw|John Smith|New Zealand Nationals 2021|photo|video

competition|COVID|Facebook|Ian Clark|James-Donald "Don" "Plummet" Carslaw|John Smith|New Zealand Nationals 2021|photo|video

competition|COVID|Facebook|Ian Clark|James-Donald "Don" "Plummet" Carslaw|John Smith|New Zealand Nationals 2021|photo|video

Matt Barlow «Matt Barlow» writes:

Wow what a comp it has been. After not making goal for two days in a row and plummeting in the rankings, John Smith pulled out all stops winning the last three days with perfect 1000 point wins on each day.

As good as this was though Ian Clark flew faultlessly throughout the entire competition making goal every day and was crowned the undisputed 2021 New Zealand Hang Gliding Champion. Outstanding flying Ian, and a job very well done.

John Smith finished in second place, defending champion Matt Barlow 3rd.

Congratulations also goes out to Henning Kruger, beating out some stiff competition and becoming our 2021 Sport Class Champion.

Inaugural winners of the 'Kahu Cup' - (Inter Club comp) were Southern, followed by Aorangi, and Canterbury taking third place. For full results of day eight and the overall results just click on the link below:

For various photos and videos of the last day including prize giving, just visit the Flying Kiwis facebook page below:

For a look at all comp information and tasks including 2D replays just visit the comp page on Airtribune:

Huge thanks go to the many volunteers and helpers that pitched in and made this our most successful and enjoyable Nationals ever!

SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT - We are seriously considering placing a bid for the 2025 World Hang Gliding Championships. With so much uncertainty in the rest of the world but New Zealand being Covid free, and with Murchison (New Zealand) offering such user friendly spectacular World Class flying, we are excited about the possibility and what the future may hold.

Discuss "2021 New Zealand National Hang Gliding Championships" at the Oz Report forum   link»  

The Class 1 Worlds in 2021?

December 22, 2020, 8:27:24 EST

The Class 1 Worlds in 2021?

The Sport Class Worlds have already been cancelled

CIVL|COVID|Jamie Shelden|Stéphane Malbos

When we were discussing the changes in the nominal organizer of the 2021 Sport Class Worlds, we received the following possible proposals as relayed by Stephan Mentler, the new organizer:

I just finished a long conversation with Jamie. The CIVL board is having a virtual meeting tomorrow (we are welcome to attend). Jamie let me know that CIVL will not approve the 2021 Worlds with me as organizer. Even with her in the meet director role. This is due to their rules regarding a change of organization team requiring a new bid. My lack of experience just compounds the issue. Additionally, they are expressing doubt that the COVID travel restrictions between Europe and the U.S. will have eased enough to support it. Having said that - there are a couple of options:

1. Davis gets sucked back into the organization team with Jamie as meet director, me as the official organizer understudy. We set a drop dead date of February 1 for either lifting of COVID travel restrictions or established government plans to lift restrictions (e.g. on January 30th Italy announces that they will permit unfettered travel to and from the U.S. without quarantine requirements). If there is no lifting of restrictions or planned lift as of February 1, the event gets cancelled.

2. We reapply and do another Sport Class pre-worlds. Jamie is meet director again. And I lean on Davis as necessary to get things working for a World Championship in 2022 - which means Jamie and I are committed for the next two years.

We felt that the likelihood of being able to run a Worlds in April 2021 given the likelihood of continued travel restrictions was pretty small, so we opted for the second alternative, which it turns out wasn't actually being offered by CIVL. (We still have the option of applying for the 2022 Sport Class Worlds.)

You might note that the organizers of the 2021 Class 1 (and Class 5) Worlds still think that they are going to be able to run their competition next year,

Here is what Stef Malbos, CIVL President, has to say about that:

In fact, we doubt that any Cat 1 will be able to take place before Q4 and so doubt the FAI Medical Commission.

Discuss "The Class 1 Worlds in 2021?" at the Oz Report forum   link»

The Florida Competitions in 2021

November 27, 2020, 10:35:06 EST

The Florida Competitions in 2021

The new meet organizer

Belinda Boulter|Ben Dunn|COVID|Paradise Airsports Nationals 2021|Risk Retention Group|USHPA|Wilotree Park

Stephan Mentler <team> writes:

To my fellow competition pilots, the Florida based hang gliding competitions - in April of next year - are moving forward pending official USHPA re-sanctioning.  This includes the Paradise Airports Nationals, Wilotree Park Nationals, and the 2nd FAI Sport Class World Championship.  The respective competition dates along with registration process is provided on the Airtribune sites.

The competition organization understands that there will remain many unknowns regarding COVID-19, even with the development and distribution of a vaccine.  Pilots who sign-up for a competition and submit payment will be entitled to a full refund of entry fees minus $3.00 (three dollars) or the foreign equivalent if they are unable to attend due to impacts of COVID-19.  This includes government-imposed travel restrictions, government-imposed restrictions on sporting events, surges in cases, pilot illness, pilot family member illness, etc.  The $3.00 (three dollars) is retained to pay for anticipated non-refundable Organizer competition expenses.
There are a couple of changes - other than the impacts of COVID-19 – from previous years of Florida hang gliding competitions.  The first and most impactful is the retirement of Davis and Belinda from official Organizing and Meet Directing duties.  As competition pilots, we owe them an enormous debt of gratitude for their personal sacrifice and doing what can be a thankless job.  Without their commitment to organizing the Spring Florida competitions from the Green Swamp Klassic to the Nationals series, I suspect that the Florida and Big Spring competitions would have died-out a long time ago.  Thankfully, they have volunteered to help the new organization team, as needed to get things going for next year.  
This gets us to our second change.  In my role as the primary Organizer for next year’s Florida competitions and also considering the long-term prospects for U.S. based race-to-goal competitions – I along with two other competition pilots founded a hang gliding competition specific non-profit organization - the Hang Glider Racing Association Corp (HGRAC), a registered Florida non-profit corporation.  This was done upon the advice of past and potentially future organizers and several attorneys.  
A little background - some of the requirements enacted by the Risk Retention Group (RRG), for a competition to be insured, transfers a substantial level of risk to competition organizers.  This includes the potential for the RRG to refuse coverage for incidents that would be beyond the control of the organizer.  Without the creation of a competition specific organization as an additional protection for organizers, it is unlikely that anyone would have stepped in to organize another hang gliding race-to-goal competition in the U.S.  To be fair, the RRG has been made aware of the concerns and their leadership is working to resolve them – but in the interim - the HGRAC will be the entity under which I along with one or two other potential hang gliding competition organizers will organize U.S. based race-to-goal hang gliding competitions.
The HGRAC is currently composed of a president and two Directors.  The two Directors are Ben Dunn and Cory Barnwell.  Ben is a former multi-year Open Class U.S. National Team member and Cory is an experienced Open and Sport Class competition pilot.  We will be looking to appoint additional Directors if and as the HGRAC evolves.   

The comp organization email address is <team>.

Discuss "The Florida Competitions in 2021" at the Oz Report forum   link»

Hang Gliding and COVID-19

November 17, 2020, 8:21:15 EST

Hang Gliding and COVID-19

The view from a pilot at Wallaby Ranch


Max <<kemposifu>> writes:

As we all know, we are in very trying and difficult times with Covid-19 altering every day lives for everyone including us pilots. Every hang gliding business is doing the best they can to follow CDC guidelines and more to keep both pilots and instructors as safe as possible. However some flight parks are not informing their students or pilots if they had any of their staff or instructors test positive for Covid-19 and/or have been removed for quarantine.

I understand that may not be the most appropriate way to keep your business going, but at least have the nerve and courtesy to at least privately email new students/visitor pilots that anyone that had tested positive for Covid-19 has been removed for quarantine.

The better way to prevent this issue is to have your staff and instructors tested for Covid regularly. Most state and counties have free Covid testing so cost really is not an excuse to not to test your staff and instructors.

Also by watching some recent hang gliding and paragliding videos on social media I see that CDC guide lines are not being followed. Too many people at close quarters with no masks or social distancing, and not to sound too political here but if you have been lead to believe that there is no pandemic or you don't believe in masks or think the CDC guideline are "infringing on your rights" then you have no business being at any flying sites risking others and yourself to being exposed to Covid-19. No one is immune.

I personally had to cancel a trip to a foot launching location to train and do a foot launch, which has been a life time goal for me, due to my concerns that some instructors had tested positive for Covid-19 and there was no information if their remaining staff and instructors have been tested for Covid or not. But it was mostly due to finances and other reasons.

I'm sure I'm speaking for most pilots asking for flying businesses to test their staff and instructors regularly and keep our flying safe for everyone.

The Future is Uncertain

October 30, 2020, 8:09:13 pm MDT

The Future is Uncertain

Pandemic through 2021?


Elena CIVL <<elenfilon>> writes:

2020 has been a slow year. All our Cat 1s have been postponed or cancelled. Most Cat 2s have been postponed or cancelled. Competition flying is back, but Covid-19 is unpredictable, some first waves are still rolling and some second waves are getting stronger.

There is no way to anticipate what will happen in 2021. We will take it as it comes and rely on national federations to issue the rules on their territory very much like we did in 2020.

2021 Championships

We have four confirmed World championships in 2021

· April 18 to 27: HG XC Class Sport in Groveland, USA
· May 22 to June 5: PG XC in Chamoussey, France
· July 18 to 31: HG XC in Krushevo, N. Macedonia
· October 7 to 16: PG Accuracy in Prilep, N. Macedonia
· Date to be defined: PG Aerobatic in Trasaghis, Italy

Only the PG Aerobatic had a proper and well-run test event in 2019. No special requirement is needed for the 2020 postponed event to take place in 2021.

The test events for the PG XC, HG XC and PG Accuracy were cancelled. The CIVL Bureau has the authority to allow a championship without a test event (Section 7 Common 2.4.5). The Bureau has decided to do so but will request the following:

The championships must be preceded by official training days Each competition will define in its local regulations, to be published six months before the event with the CIVL Bureau approval, the training days specifics.

As a principle

· There should be no less than 3 training days
· The CIVL Stewards will be present
· Safety and weather briefing will be available
· Transportation to take-off will be available
· Assistance at take-off will be available, including first-aid personal
· In XC, live trackers will be available
· In Accuracy, a target will be available
· Services may come at a cost

The aim is

· To test the organisation
· To allow pilots to get familiar with the sites in a secured environment

2022 Championships

These will take part at dates to be confirmed.

· PG XC Pan-American in Governador Valadares, Brazil
· PG XC European in Pantelej-Nis, Serbia
· PG Accuracy in Taldykorgan, Kazakhstan
· PG Accuracy European in Sibiu, Romania
· HG XC European Class 1 in Monte Cucco, Italy
· HG XC Pan American Class 1 in Big Spring, USA

Test events were ran, except for the PG XC Pan-American.

No new test-events will be required, although organisers might organise some in 2021. The PG XC organisers are planning to do one in Nish on July 23-31.

The following 2022 championships are still open. Bids should be received before December 1, 2020.

· PG XC Asian Oceanic
· HG XC Class 1 Women, Class 2 and 5

2023 World Championships

Bids are open in all disciplines and should be received before December 1, 2020.


If any 2021 World Championship is cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the organiser will be offered to organise the 2023 championship. The organiser will have to commit at the same time as the 2021 cancellation will be decided.

Such postponed championships will have the priority over the bids approved by the 2021 plenary.

In other words, bidders for 2023 World championships should be aware that if the 2021 championships are postponed to 2023, their successful bids will be cancelled.

Link to the news:

All the US based meets had test meets that were run in 2019.

Dr. Fauci states that we will likely be dealing with the pandemic through 2021.

Dr. Anthony Fauci said Wednesday, amid a record-shattering spike in new cases, that everyday life for many Americans may not return to normal until the end of 2021 or into 2022.

However, Fauci stated he thinks the United States won’t “start having some semblance of normality” until “the end of 2021 and perhaps into the next year.”

Fauci noted the United States is “getting worse and worse,” as evidenced by an average of 73,094 new cases per day over the last week, an increase of nearly 40% from two weeks earlier.

Dr. Fauci also blamed the politicization of face coverings and the hostility toward mask-wearing for playing a significant role in the spread of Covid-19 throughout the United States.

Discuss "The Future is Uncertain" at the Oz Report forum   link»

XCeara 2020

October 15, 2020, 11:45:32 MDT

XCeara 2020

A few slots remaining

COVID|Erick Vils|PG|record

Erick Vils writes:

There are a few remaining slots on the amazing cross country competition XC Ceara 2020 edition. The XC competition occurs in the Brazilian northeast (Ceara state) from 22nd until 28th November.

The takeoff,, is located in Quixada city, 110 miles driving from Fortaleza international airport.

In this edition, only 30 pilots will be accepted (because of COVID restrictions). Almost all spaces have been already confirmed.

Brazilian northeast is the place where world and continental records happen. Every year dozens of pilots fly more than 300 Km. Strong and constant trade winds ( blowing all day from East-to-West with many cloud streets help pilots to fly more than 11 hours and break records like Glauco's 630 Km Hang Gliding 3-Turnpoints world record last year ( and the 582 Km Paragliding world straight distance set by 3 Brazilian paragliding pilots together ( last year too.

Event Instagram:

This is the 18th edition of the event. A traditional and well organized event. 18 years with 100% of flyable days.

Discuss "XCeara 2020" at the Oz Report forum   link»

The Wilotree Park Fall Festival and Manufacturer Demo

September 21, 2020, 9:13:27 MDT

The Wilotree Park Fall Festival and Manufacturer Demo

November 6th, 7th, and 8th

Christian Ciech|COVID|Facebook|Icaro 2000|Wilotree Park

SAVE THE DATES - The Wilotree Park Fall Festival and Manufacturer Demo - November 6th, 7th, and 8th. Paradise Airsports, in Orlando, FL is hosting Icaro 2000 USA and other manufactures (e.g. Aeros and Moyes) for a Fall Festival and manufacturer demo. We will have several Icaro gliders available to test fly. COVID-19 permitting, World Champion, Christian Ciech, will be visiting from Italy and bringing a couple of gliders with him in addition to the ones that we have on hand.

Discuss "The Wilotree Park Fall Festival and Manufacturer Demo" at the Oz Report forum   link»

What's Become of the Future?

August 26, 2020, 8:42:57 MDT

What's Become of the Future?

It isn't what it used to be

CIVL|COVID|Elena Filonova|PG

Elena Filonova, CIVL Administrator & Competition Coordinator writes:


CIVL opens the bidding process for the following events, in particular for:


Asian or Asian-Oceanic PG XC


World PG XC

World PG Aerobatics

World PG Accuracy

World HG XC Class 1, 2, 5, Sport

Women's World HG XC Class 1


Continental Championships bids will be open in 2021. The decisions will be taken by the February 2022 CIVL Plenary.

The deadline for the open bids is December 1, 2020. The decisions will be taken by the February 2021 CIVL Plenary.

If you think you can hold an event please contact CIVL President or CIVL Administrator for consultation.

Detailed information and documents can be found on the page


The Covid-19 pandemic has disturbed the CIVL First Category Events schedule. Currently, the schedule is as follows:


World Paragliding XC in Cœur de Savoie, France, May 23 - June 05

World Paragliding Accuracy in Prilep, North Macedonia, Oct 07 - 16

World Paragliding Aerobatic in Trasaghis, Italy, dates to be confirmed

World Hang-gliding XC Class 1 in Krushevo, North Macedonia, July 19 - 31

World Hang-gliding XC Class Sport in Groveland, USA, April 19 to May 1


European Paragliding XC in Nis, Serbia. Dates to be confirmed.

European Paragliding Accuracy in Romania. Dates to be confirmed.

Asian Paragliding Accuracy in Kazakhstan. Dates to be confirmed.

European Hang-gliding XC Class 1 in Monte-Cucco, Italy. Dates to be confirmed.

Pan-American Hang-gliding XC Class 1 in Big Spring, USA. Dates to be confirmed.


The 2020 events have been cancelled. So far, these events have been organised as stand-alone or combined in different ways, even once including Sport. Currently, there is a discussion within the CIVL Hang Gliding Committee on what could be the best solutions acceptable by organisers.

It is not impossible that a World Class 5 and/or Women will be organised along with the 2021 Class 1 event in Krushevo.

Link to news

Discuss "What's Become of the Future?" at the Oz Report forum   link»

Italian Open 2020 - Trofeo Piero Alberini »

August 5, 2020, 6:36:44 pm MDT

Italian Open 2020 - Trofeo Piero Alberini

First two days cancelled

COVID|Italian Open 2020|video

Bad weather and strong wind.


Some information about the competition and current COVID-19 situation in the area.

At the moment the COVID-19 situation in the Monte Cucco area (Umbria) is sufficiently normal. We had no more contagions in the last month and we hope the situation will also improve in some other Italian regions. Anyway, as the competition will bring together people from different areas and nations, we will adopt the utmost caution and all sports, national and local protocols for limiting the circulation of the infection. You will receive this protocol in the competition WhatsApp group.

In order to limit the contacts between the pilots, IT tools (messaging and videoconferencing systems) will be widely used. To participate in the competition, it will be mandatory to be equipped with WhatsApp (for messages) and Zoom (for video conference communication). The amount of their use will also depend on the COVID-19 situation in August.

Discuss "Italian Open 2020 - Trofeo Piero Alberini" at the Oz Report forum   link»

Martin on his harnesses

August 4, 2020, 6:28:33 pm MDT

Martin on his harnesses

Moyes Matrix and Rotor Havana


Martin writes:

I have close to a 1000 hours hanging in a Matrix. I think its the most comfortable harness I have ever owned.

Not all roses though (and for what it might matter, just my opinion), I have never found the pitch system on the Matrix Race to be consistent for getting upright, sometimes easy, sometimes it wants to put up a fight. The back-plate on the Matrix is hinged and in two pieces, has a very short rail/slider and a pitch system that is controlled by a simple friction system that can be a bit futzy to tune. Zipping the harness up is never never a smooth one shot process. I've even had a couple of occasions where it would not zip down without a real effort since it's sewn in you get really inspired! (of course, my local flying site is "zipper hell" with fine dust that is real hard on zippers). The deployment container system is not that great either, real inconsistent in getting the chute out in one easy pull (yah, I know Moyes has a video where it just flops out when the handle is pulled. Not what I found).

The one I purchased was a perfect fit, The one my wife purchased…perfect, something not all manufactures can manage. That said, I know of at least one pilot that got Matrix with a real poor fit for what ever reason.

The Matrix is clean looking. I think the boot shape is a good aerodynamic compromise, supper comfortable but IMO, not the best zip and not the best pitch system to get upright with (like I said, IMO. Some days it works great, other days it get grumpy). Also, having had to replace the zipper a few times, it's a real PITA (it's sewn in).

Then it was time to retire my old Matrix. Moyes indicated there was a "Matrix 2" in the works… I waited and waited. Don't know if they ever gave the harness any sort of a makeover or not, so I shopped around for options and thought I would give the Rotor Havana a try.

Yes, on the Rotor Havana, with its rail system will "unlock" so pilots that have a tendency or preference to thermal heads up will find it constantly unlocking from the aft position. As such, you tend to spend a lot of time pushing on the boot, hence I can see why some pilots might complain about the small boot area as it does have allot of taper on the foot angle.

When I got my Havana, I found the same problem. Plus, I did find the harness fit was a lot tighter then I was used to and the tight race fit took some getting used to. I put 20 hours on the harness and decided to go back to my old Matrix.

Thing is the Havana had some features that I really liked. The zipper was excellent (even though, it's sewn in like the Matrix)… What ever it is and how they do it, it is a smooth no stress zipper that is excellent. The harness is very well made and for a tight fit, easy to put on. Parachute container works well. Storage and pockets are good though I do find the long bullet tail a bit over kill. I did find various minor comfort points that over time I would get used to. (If I were to order another I would not bother with the "Bat wings", they get in the way more than any benefit they might offer.).

The back plate is well made though a bit heavy with the long aluminum rail and "truck" assembly for the hang strap. (I have heard they have put the plate and rail on a bit of diet and have shaved some weight off of it.) It's a long one piece assembly so the pack is a bit longer than a Matrix. They also have a piece of Lexan that needs to be inserted in the very aft section of the plate (special pocket in the harness) to finish the transition to the heal?), not sure if this Lexan addition is really needed.

So, after going back to the Matrix, I kept the Havana (couldn't sell it anyway) I decided to tackle the Havana's flaw of the unlocking of the rear rail point. In the end, I came up with a machined fitting that would allow me to have much more "sticky" rear lock that stayed in place with a substantial amount of head up, yet fully release when I wanted it to. There was another benefit to this modification, I always felt the Havana, put too much weight forward of the main hang point (aft position), when thermaling, and just wanting to to pitch up a bit for a "look around" you had to lift allot of weight (and risked having the rail "unlock"). So another benefit of my aft lock "gizmo" was I could be move the rear hang point to tune the amount of weight forward of the main hang point. BTW, my gizmo is "my" fix, I don't think the Rotor guys did anything about the problem/challenge, though they are free to copy my solution if they want.

BTW, of the "liked" Havana features, going upright is one that I really liked, when you go "upright" there is a solid reassuring clunk! (Something to keep in mind, almost all back plate, single hang point harness have roughly the same amount of "upright" position, not always enough for some. It takes a little getting used to) . My mods worked well enough I have shifted back to the Havana for this season and then came Covid and the season has been a bust.

Kind of wish Moyes had cured a few of what I felt to be "negs" on the original harness with an update but as far as I know never did. Many pilots that I have talked to mention the pitch thing but just put up with it.

I think the Matrix Race harness is better than the Havana for comfort but could still use some work, leaving room for harnesses like the Rotor Havana to compete.

One other comment about modern race harnesses. What ever you buy, make sure the manufacture is going to make good on the fit! Frankly, none of them really are capable of going that extra mile of fixing a bad fit. As you can imagine, you have two sides to the story here: whinny customers that don't really know what they want (and or picky about everything) and harness maker that could be on the other side of the planet! I have had plenty of harness show up on my sewing table that were absolute crap for customer fit. Once a harness is made, there really is no "nice way" to modify it. My best recommendation is to try some used harnesses for fit from the manufacture you like. Find one that gives you a perfect fit or at least gets you close enough that you can tell the manufacture, "build it the same as this with a little blah blah blah".

Discuss "Martin on his harnesses" at the Oz Report forum   link»

Bringing in the NTSB

June 30, 2020, 9:04:50 pm MDT

Bringing in the NTSB

From a private pilot


The 3 Weeks That Changed Everything

Imagine if the National Transportation Safety Board investigated America’s response to the coronavirus pandemic.

"Consider a thought experiment: What if the NTSB were brought in to look at the Trump administration’s handling of the pandemic? What would its investigation conclude? I’ll jump to the answer before laying out the background: This was a journey straight into a mountainside, with countless missed opportunities to turn away. A system was in place to save lives and contain disaster. The people in charge of the system could not be bothered to avoid the doomed course.

"The organization below differs from that of a standard NTSB report, but it covers the key points. Timelines of aviation disasters typically start long before the passengers or even the flight crew knew anything was wrong, with problems in the design of the airplane, the procedures of the maintenance crew, the route, or the conditions into which the captain decided to fly. In the worst cases, those decisions doomed the flight even before it took off. My focus here is similarly on conditions and decisions that may have doomed the country even before the first COVID-19 death had been recorded on U.S. soil.

"What happened once the disease began spreading in this country was a federal disaster in its own right: Katrina on a national scale, Chernobyl minus the radiation. It involved the failure to test; the failure to trace; the shortage of equipment; the dismissal of masks; the silencing or sidelining of professional scientists; the stream of conflicting, misleading, callous, and recklessly ignorant statements by those who did speak on the national government’s behalf. As late as February 26, Donald Trump notoriously said of the infection rate, “You have 15 people, and the 15 within a couple of days is going to be down close to zero.” What happened after that—when those 15 cases became 15,000, and then more than 2 million, en route to a total no one can foretell—will be a central part of the history of our times."

Discuss "Bringing in the NTSB" at the Oz Report forum   link»

Pre-Worlds After All

June 19, 2020, 3:56:04 pm MDT

Pre-Worlds After All

But not for women

CIVL|COVID|Stéphane Malbos

Due to the current COVID situation and free travel across borders in agreement with CIVL we have decided to postpone the scheduled pre-worlds for mid August.

New dates are 16-23 August, 2020.

Competition will be run as multi class event for class 1 and class 5 pilots.

Isn't the new date about the same as the previous date basically - mid August, 2020?

Stef Malbos wrote much earlier:

2021 – We have three World championships. None of the organisers have agreed to postpone to 2022 as they are already too committed (sponsors, administrations, volunteers). The mandatory 2020 test-events for these World championships are forfeited.


16-23 August, 2020 - pre Worlds

04 - 08 Aug, 2020 - Italian Open.

Discuss "Pre-Worlds After All" at the Oz Report forum   link»

Canadian Border to Stay Closed

May 21, 2020, 11:25:58 MDT

Canadian Border to Stay Closed

To "non-essential" travel

COVID|Jamie Shelden|Tyler Borradaile

Ottawa, Canada (CNN) — Calling the border with the United States a clear point of "vulnerability" for Canada in terms of Covid-19 infections, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced Tuesday that by mutual agreement, the border will remain closed to nonessential travel until at least June 21.

Trudeau did not rule out a further extension of the border closure. The US-Canada border has been closed since March 21.

"It was the right thing to further extend by 30 days our closure of the Canada, US border to travelers other than essential services and goods, but we will continue to watch carefully what's happening elsewhere in the world and around us as we make decisions on next steps," Trudeau said during his daily press conference in Ottawa.

Therefore US pilots will not be able to travel to the 2020 Canadian Nationals if it is held at the end of the month.

Jamie Shelden writes:

We are going to cancel the competition, so there will be no meet director.  We decided a few weeks ago that if the border didn’t open up, we would not hold the competition because there would be very little participation without the US pilots.

They may postpone it until August or September. It appears that the Prime Minister will have a lot to say about that.

Tyler Borradaile writes:

We are changing the Canadian Nationals dates to from August 30th to September 5th with option of September 6th if we do not have five valid days. Still held in BC Canada (Kamloops area).

Discuss "Canadian Border to Stay Closed" at the Oz Report forum   link»

Bring Back a Dragonfly

May 20, 2020, 9:03:49 MDT

Bring Back a Dragonfly

Bo broke it


As many of you know, in early-March one of our pilots was solo-flying our tow-plane in a reckless manner, and totaled our airplane doing an unauthorized high-risk maneuver. No customers or community members were involved in the accident, and the pilot has been treated for his injuries and is in recovery. Our backup tow plane was currently being serviced at the time, so business operations were halted when our only airplane was out of commission. With this accident occurring right at the cusp of the COVID-19 pandemic, our business took a huge hit not only from loss of income but the costs of repairing one plane and replacing another. It costs almost $30,000 to replace a tow plane specifically designed for hang gliding. We are trying to get back on our feet amidst this struggling time, and we would greatly appreciate any and all help our community can provide for us. We are hoping to raise these funds by the end of June so we are open and ready for business when the community is ready to fly.

Discuss "Bring Back a Dragonfly" at the Oz Report forum   link»

Electric Power for your Hang Glider

Tue, May 19 2020, 7:42:45 am MDT

RC motors

Charles Allen|COVID|Kevin Carter|video

Charles Allen and his electric propulsion system. Charlie writes:

Most the parts I designed in CAD and made in my work shop ( All plastic parts are 3D printed, all carbon fiber plates are cut on a CNC router, and the prop holders are 7075 AU and cut on a CNC Mill.

The remote and power unit each have Arduinos ( which I did all the programming on.

I’ve been working on it for about 5 years and Kevin Carter flew with an earlier prototype last year which was much less advanced and only put out 8.6kg of thrust, this one puts out 20kg of thrust. Kevin’s feedback from his flight was that it turned a dud thermal into just under zero. I haven’t flown with it yet.

My plan was to have it ready for Florida but due to COVID that was a wash. I plan to fly it next time the weather works, just waiting for a 15mph N-NW day don’t want to fire up the motors till I’m at altitude. I think the biggest issue will be getting the thrust line right which is ground adjustable so there will be some trial and error.

With respect to parts the following are the off the shelf RC parts.

2 x drone motors
2 x ESC
Lipo Batteries

Most raw materials are from RC Stores as well such as:

Carbon fiber plates and tubes
Wood props – (I had to CNC cut them to fit in the folding mounts)
Plugs / wires etc.
Random other stuff

Discuss "Electric Power for your Hang Glider" at the Oz Report forum   link»  

Wills Wing Open

May 13, 2020, 8:07:01 CDT

Wills Wing Open

Producing hang gliders


Sport 3 155 Race for @juliocesarochoaavila with custom vinyl logo on the bottom surface.

Wills Wing has the capability to make a large variety of custom designs and patterns to build the glider of your dreams! So reach out today! We are back to work, building gliders and can't wait to build your custom dream ship.

On May 8th, 2020 the state of California has officially moved to Stage 2 of its Resilience Roadmap which allows for the gradual re-opening of lower-risk workplaces which includes manufacturing such as Wills Wing. We are now moving towards full operational capacity while maintaining compliance with the state's COVID-19 industry guidance for manufacturing. We are taking orders, building gliders, and filling parts and accessory orders. We currently have several inventory gliders in stock and ready for immediate shipment. You can see a list of inventory gliders here

Production time for new, non-inventory glider and harness orders is difficult to predict precisely, but we estimate a range of seven to fourteen weeks, assuming no significant future increased restrictions on business operations or problems with materials supply.

Outdoor recreational activities like hang gliding are a great way to socially distance and are typically permitted under many state's stay-at-home orders. Now is a great time to order a new glider!

COVID-19 and the FAI/CIVL

May 7, 2020, 9:06:48 pm EDT

COVID-19 and the FAI/CIVL

Postponements and Cancelations

calendar|CIVL|COVID|PG|World Pilot Ranking Scheme

The FAI Executive Board and the Presidents of Air Sports Commissions had a Zoom meeting on May 7, 2020.

The agenda stated:

Covid-19 has created significant problems worldwide. Sports and meetings have been seriously impacted. The variations in governmental approaches to the health threat have made the situation more difficult to manage at an international level.

The intention of this agenda item is to understand what Air Sports Commissions have achieved, how this has been done and any particular problems or issues that have arisen.

This discussion will then provide guidance for the discussion about how to handle championships (in 2020, 2021 and further) under a continuing and unspecified Covid-19 threat.

The following came out of the discussion:

It is to each Commission, for each discipline, to evaluate the specific situations.

Commissions are trusted to take the appropriate decisions.

The role of the FAI Executive Board and Secretariat is to share, assist and support the commissions as needed.

CIVL current situation

CIVL policy decided early on (March 15) in agreement with the FAI President and Secretary General is confirmed.

Cat 1 or Cat 2: we let the organisers decide and we support them as much as we can.

Cat 1: Engaged expenses for CIVL Officials that should have been supported by the organisers are paid by CIVL. Spots are reserved for 2021 or 2022 for postponed events

Cat 2: Administrative fees for cancellation are not charged. Events are scored in the WPRS even if they don’t follow strictly the FAI calendar 30-day rule.

There is an ongoing discussion on scoring competitions in the WPRS but freezing the devaluation factor. Decision is pending.

4th FAI Pan-American Paragliding XC – Baixo Guandu, Brazil – March 7 to 14
- Took place as planned.

2nd FAI World Hang-Gliding Sport Class – Groveland, Florida, USA – April 19 to May 1.
- Postponed to 2021.

4th FAI Asian Paragliding Accuracy – Taldykorgan, Kazakhstan – May 30 to June 7
- Suspended at least until July 1, 2020.
- Cancellation or postponement later this year or in 2022 are possible.

21st FAI World Hang-Gliding 2 – Groveland, Florida, USA – April 19 to May 1.
9th FAI World Hang-Gliding 5 – Groveland, Florida, USA – April 19 to May 1.
14th FAI World Hang-Gliding Women 1 – Groveland, Florida, USA – April 19 to May 1.
- Cancelled. The three championships can be reallocated in 2021 if anyone is interested.

21st FAI European Hang-Gliding Class 1 – Monte Cucco, Italy – July 4 to 18
- Decision pending. Cancellation or postponement later this year or in 2022 are possible.

16th FAI European Paragliding XC – Pantelej-Nis, Serbia – July 18 to August 1
- Decision pending. Cancellation or postponement later this year or in 2022 are possible.

1st FAI Pan-American Hang-Gliding Class 1 – Big Spring, Texas, USA – August 2 to 14
- Postponed to 2022.

3rd FAI World Paragliding Aerobatic – Trasaghis, Italy – August 5 to 14
- Decision pending. Cancellation or postponement later this year or in 2021 are possible.

7th FAI European Paragliding Accuracy – Sibiu, Romania – August 28 to September 5
- Decision pending. Cancellation or postponement later this year or in 2021 are possible.

1st FAI Asian-Oceanic Paragliding XC – Bright, Australia – December 5 to 19
- Cancelled.

Discuss "COVID-19 and the FAI/CIVL" at the Oz Report forum   link»

Suffering in the Oil Patch

May 6, 2020, 8:22:58 EDT

Suffering in the Oil Patch

Bust in Big Spring also

COVID|James-Donald "Don" "Plummet" Carslaw

MIDLAND, Texas — I cried the day I moved to Midland, the capital of our nation’s oil and gas industry. Back then, almost 10 years ago, my husband’s new job designing control systems for natural gas processing plants wasn’t the sort of work I wanted him to take.

It didn’t mesh well with my increasingly progressive principles. And so on some level, I understand the response from people when I tell them where I live: an odd mix of curiosity, pity and disgust.

Curiosity because, along with our neighbor city Odessa, we’re seen as the land of “Friday Night Lights,” oil barons and women with hair still bigger than Texas. Pity because all they picture is flat, thirsty land peppered with thorny mesquite and bobbing pump jacks. Never mind that the sunsets will leave you speechless. Yet ever since a drop in demand caused by this Covid-19 pandemic caused oil prices to plummet, it’s the last response — disgust — that seems to be everywhere. Disgust stemming from “oil town” stereotypes. And it troubles me. Because I can’t reconcile the disgust-turned-to-glee I see on social media (the “they deserve it anyway” attitude) with the Midland I’ve come to know.

Discuss "Suffering in the Oil Patch" at the Oz Report forum   link»

2020 Pan-American Championships and Pan-Americans Postponed

Fri, May 1 2020, 8:41:50 pm EDT

Until 2022

CIVL|COVID|Pan-Americans 2020|record|USHPA

Here is the email that went out today;

We have made a final decision to postpone the 2020 Pan-American Championships and Pan-Americans. Currently the FAI/CIVL would not allow us to run the Pan-American Championships in 2021 as it would conflict with the 2021 World Championships, whose organizers refuse to move their competition to 2022. How this will be resolved finally is uncertain, just like everything else. So we currently are required to postpone to 2022.

Why have we made this decision?

First, the situation in Texas:

1) We are aware of the fact that at the moment Howard County has only four confirmed cases of covid-19 with one death (the first confirmed case), but Texas has 28,087 with 782 deaths (Thursday evening).

2) The number of new cases in Texas each day is not decreasing (which is a requirement to "open up" the state).

3) Texas recorded a record number of deaths for one day - 50 on Thursday, as it prepares to re-open on Friday.

4) We do not know if Texas will meet its benchmarks to allow the state to "re-open."

5) They are not meeting the US Guidelines.

So the situation in Texas is uncertain, although the pandemic is not affecting Howard County greatly. It is unclear what the state government will do regarding restrictions by August.

It is difficult to travel to Midland-Odessa, to Texas, to the US from overseas.

1) Quarantines:

"Governor Abbott mandates a 14-day self-quarantine for air travelers from NY, NJ, CT and New Orleans. That Executive Order is expanded to air travelers from additional hotspot locations, California, Louisiana, Washington, Atlanta, Chicago, Detroit and Miami, and to travel by car from Louisiana."

2) Regarding airline travel, the CDC states:

"Travel Recommendations

Cases of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) have been reported in all states, and some areas are experiencing community spread of the disease. Travel increases your chances of getting and spreading COVID-19.

CDC recommends you stay home as much as possible, especially if your trip is not essential, and practice social distancing especially if you are at higher risk of severe illness. Don’t travel if you are sick or travel with someone who is sick."

3) Both international and domestic airline travel has been severely impacted and we are uncertain about whether pilots would be able to travel to Midland-Odessa, especially from Latin America.

4) CDC recommendation for international travel: l

Stay home for 14 days from the time you returned home from international travel.

This would seem to be applicable to international travelers coming to the US also.

5) Travelers coming from Brazil, Ecuador and other Latin American countries may be coming from covid-19 "hot spots." Therefore they could be bringing the virus to Big Spring.

Again we do not know what restrictions will be in place the first week of August, but this level of uncertainty makes planing difficult.

As a member of USA Cycling we have watched what that organization has done with its national competitions. All the National Championships (they have 14) through August are likely to be postponed, have been postponed or canceled.

We are open to suggestions about what to do about a competition in Big Spring in 2021.We are willing to provide substantial assistance to anyone choosing to organize a 2021 Big Spring Nationals (apply to the USHPA early October, 2020).

Someone may be willing to organize a competition in Big Spring this year. We are willing to assist them.

Thanks for your support for the Pan-Americans and the competitions in Big Spring. We had hoped for better news, but we'll just have to wait and see what becomes feasible in the future.

Discuss "2020 Pan-American Championships and Pan-Americans Postponed" at the Oz Report forum   link»  

Sailplane Fatality at Seminole Glider Port

Thu, Apr 9 2020, 8:26:05 am EDT

Early Release at 500' over the end of the runway

COVID|fatality|Rich Owen|sailplane!forum/rec.aviation.soaring

Rich Owen writes:

Seminole-Lake Gliderport sadly announces we had a fatal glider accident today. The accident will be investigated by the FAA and NTSB, an inspector was on the scene today. We do not want to identify the pilot but he was flying a Standard Cirrus that he owned. He was NOT in the Senior Soaring Championship. The accident occurred after a premature release by the pilot from tow at about 500 feet over the end of the runway. We recovered an Oudie and Nano (this unit was still operational) at the site and we expect it will greatly aid in the investigation. We ask you not call the office or come to the gliderport to view the scene. Seminole-Lake has been in the business of promoting soaring for over 50 years and this is our first fatal accident.

I would like to say the FAA inspector and the two NTSB investigators are all top notch professionals. They have sought out our help in getting the flight logs downloaded. You all voiced good ideas on how to approach this investigation born out of how you handled other accidents. In speaking with the NTSB investigators I have passed on some of these points.

Just to pass on some facts we know right now. None of this is an opinion. The Cirrus was stored in a hangar after it flew in the Senior Soaring Championship with a Romanian pilot flying the ship. It was not disassembled from that time until it flew yesterday. The mishap pilot was an experienced hang glider pilot, SEL private pilot and had received his private glider add-on rating at Seminole-Lake in November. The pilot purchased the glider in the same month with the goal of being a XC pilot and eventually entering contests. He was enthusiastic, asked tons of questions, and was very open to suggestions on how to be a better glider pilot. He was very much part of the Seminole-Lake family. I hope when the flight log is reviewed, and when the NTSB issues it's interim report, we will find out how this happened. In deference to his family, we will try not put out anything other than fact. Please honor this pilot by not floating theories not born out by the facts. Thank you.

His services will be a private affair due to Covid-19. I will pass on all your wishes to the family from this thread. As soon as the family approves, we will release the pilot's name. On a brighter note, Greg Shugg's phone, text, and email service blew up this morning wondering if he was the mishap pilot. That is why we purposely said the pilot did not fly in the Seniors. Greg was appreciative with the amount of care for his safety that he received.

I was thermaling over both ends of the runway on the 7th. I didn't see any activity at the glider port at the time (between 2:25 and 2:50 PM). I assume that he means the north end of the runway as the normal pattern is to pull the sailplanes from the south end.


NTSB Preliminary into the fatal accident involving a Schempp-Hirth Standard Cirrus (N271BL) that occurred April 07, 2020 near Seminole-Lake Gliderport (6FL0), Groveland, Lake County, Florida:

On April 7, 2020, at 1400 eastern daylight time, a Schemp Hirth Standard Cirrus glider, N271BL, was substantially damaged when it was involved in an accident near Seminole-Lake Gliderport (6FL0), Groveland, Florida. The private pilot was fatally injured. The glider was operated as a 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight.

According to the tow pilot, it was customary to tow gliders to 2,000 ft. prior to release and he said the initial takeoff from runway 36 was "…normal with slight PIOs (pilot-induced oscillations) from the glider but nothing extreme. While climbing out at approximately 500 ft. we hit (an) area of turbulence, which is when I noticed the glider get low on tow and out of sight in the mirror. At that time is when I felt the glider release. I continued straight ahead in the event it was a rope break, (as) the glider would then have made a turn back to the runway to land."

The tow pilot did not witness the glider's descent, and neither did he witness the accident. He added that at no time did he see the spoilers deployed.

Two witnesses on the ground, who were residents of the gliderport residential community, described watching the glider release from the tow at a "low" altitude and turn to the east. They each described the turn continuing to the south, and then the nose of the glider "point down," before it descended vertically from view.

The glider came to rest on the gliderport property behind a residence on the east side of the turf runway. Continuity of the flight control system could not be confirmed by a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) aviation safety inspector because of the way the glider rested. The glider was retained for further examination.

An officer with the parent company of the gliderport was familiar with the glider and said that another pilot had recently flown it in competition, and the glider was not disassembled after the competition but was hangered fully assembled. Flight control checks were performed and "certified" on the glider prior to the competition.

The pilot held a private pilot certificate with ratings for airplane single engine land and glider. The pilot's most recent FAA 3rd class medical certificate was issued in January 2012, and he declared 110 total hours of flight experience on that date. The pilot obtained his glider rating October 1, 2019. His total flight experience could not be determined, but examination of the pilot's glider logbook revealed he had accrued 19.0 total hours of glider experience as of January 15, 2020.

Discuss "Sailplane Fatality at Seminole Glider Port" at the Oz Report forum   link»  

Italian Hang Glider Pilot Dies

Mon, Mar 30 2020, 10:14:36 am EDT

National Team Member

Stefano Bricoli

Christian Ciech|COVID|death|Stefano Bricoli|Stephan Mentler

Stephan Mentler «Stephan Mentler» writes:

Just heard from Christian Ciech that an older Italian National Team pilot, Stefano Bricoli, succumbed to Covid-19. He was 74.

Discuss "Italian Hang Glider Pilot Dies" at the Oz Report forum   link»  

Keep your distance

March 27, 2020, 7:52:26 pm EDT

Keep your distance

Do people just not understand?


Your behavior threatens my life. My behavior threatens your life. We are asked to do something that should be very simple, stand at least 6 feet apart. I prefer 10' to 12'.

None the less I see people who continually stand or sit close to each other and close to multiple others. This is crazy behavior. Do people not realize that we are experiencing a pandemic? Have they just not deeply thought (it doesn't really require deep thought), about what that means?

This is a time where it is appropriate for anyone to ask anyone else to change their behavior.

Paradise Airsports and Wilotree Nationals Suspended for a Year

March 16, 2020, 9:39:54 EDT

Paradise Airsports and Wilotree Nationals Suspended for a Year

CDC recommendation

Belinda Boulter|COVID

This news from the US Center for Disease Control:

CDC says Americans should cancel all gatherings of 50 people or more for the next eight weeks

Federal health officials on Sunday said Americans should cancel or postpone events involving 50 or more people for the next eight weeks throughout the United States.

“Large events and mass gatherings can contribute to the spread of COVID-19,” the illness caused by the coronavirus, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention posted in a statement on its website. “Examples … include conferences, festivals, parades, concerts, sporting events, weddings.”

If followed, the guidance — the strongest and most sweeping to date from the CDC — is certain to upend and reshape American life for the next two months.

The CDC said its recommendation does not apply to the daily operations of schools, institutes of higher education or businesses — although a slew of schools, colleges and companies nationwide announced plans to shutter or restrict their hours over the weekend.

Belinda is preparing all the steps that we need to refund everyone's entry fees for the Worlds (which has already been suspended) and for these meets. Give us a few days and we will straighten it all out.

We appreciate all the support that we have received from all the pilots. Thanks for all your thoughts and advice. It has helped us deal with this pretty darn weird situation. We look forward to a new year next year hopefully after this is all over.

Discuss "Paradise Airsports and Wilotree Nationals Suspended for a Year" at the Oz Report forum   link»

How best to deal with the Worlds and the coronavirus

Fri, Mar 13 2020, 7:43:22 am EDT

Would we be Italy soon?

Charles Allen|COVID|Dragonfly|Facebook

Here are some of the things that we are thinking about:

The coronavirus is coming to you.
It’s coming at an exponential speed: gradually, and then suddenly.
It’s a matter of days. Maybe a week or two.
When it does, your healthcare system will be overwhelmed.
Your fellow citizens will be treated in the hallways.
Exhausted healthcare workers will break down. Some will die.
They will have to decide which patient gets the oxygen and which one dies.
The only way to prevent this is social distancing today. Not tomorrow. Today.
That means keeping as many people home as possible, starting now.

Federally funded tests conducted by scientists from several major institutions indicated that the novel form of coronavirus behind a worldwide outbreak can survive in the air for several hours.

A study awaiting peer review from scientists at Princeton University, the University of California-Los Angeles and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) posted online Wednesday indicated that the COVID-19 virus could remain viable in the air "up to 3 hours post aerosolization," while remaining alive on plastic and other surfaces for up to three days.

DIAMOND: Well, in his remarks, the president didn't address the biggest problem - that our domestic health infrastructure is not ready for this, partly because of his administration. We're still wildly behind on testing that was botched by the Centers for Disease Control. We don't have enough supplies, like respirators. Our hospitals and doctors are almost certainly going to face real challenges as demand spikes. And I think listeners should be clear-eyed that what's happening in Italy, in Spain, with their hospitals and ICUs totally slammed, that could happen here, too, in the next two weeks.

Sasha writes:

Current situation makes it very difficult to plan anything, I have a feeling it won't be easy to get a ticket for the days straight after the 30-days long ban. Supposed it won't last longer than that.

Apart from that, it's extremely difficult to find any solution for bringing the glider from Europe to the US at the moment. So far I couldn't as my flying tickets got cancelled.

I was considering driving 2200 km from Austria to Moscow and to fly from there (if there was a ticket) but they are closing the borders between the countries now, so this option won't have too much chance probably.

We are very sorry to announce that the "Lake County Balloon Festival" is being cancelled along with every other event of this size or larger at request from Governor De Santis.

We know many of you planned your vacations around this event. We are all going through the same thing together. Looking ahead the weather looks spectacular so we are staying open and offering ½ price flights to anyone who wants to come out and experience hang gliding or dragonfly rides. We are taking steps to make sure everyone in a clean and safe environment to experience flying or just sit back by the lake or under a tree and watch the show. If you would like to book a flight just give us a call or send us a message. We look forward to seeing you all soon.

Philippe Michaud from Canada writes:

We will see how it goes in the next few weeks, but the fact that there is a mandatory quarantine if I go abroad, might affect my decision to come down.

Charles Allen writes:

Glad you guys are on top of this. Some guidance on procedures while at park during comp will be very helpful, especially if posted in advance. I’ll likely have to make a case to family regarding risk of coming and that would help, also can’t imagine I’ll be only one needing to make case to others.

Discuss "How best to deal with the Worlds and the coronavirus" at the Oz Report forum   link»