Skydog Sports

Wallaby Ranch, Florida Trip, 2012

Stories and Photos

December 2012

Friday December 7, 2012 Photos



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Stories Below Photos

Christmas at Wallaby Ranch


James Wesche's T2-C and Bob's T-2


Go For It

Ridge Flyers


Al Sasser, Luke F, Jenny Farnsworth, Dan Farnsworth, Logan F , James Wesche, Tyson, Leana Wesche, Oded Kalir


Misael Rosalez

John Pinneto


James Wesche T2C

Oded's U-2


Dad and Kids

Wow!! These Children Have Fun at The Ranch


World Famous Mike Barber XC Instructor

Rick Bremmer


The Skydog Report

Friday December 7, 2012:

I had drove to Rochester on Wednesday evening and met with Oded Kalir at his home and spent the night and Thursday morning at 9:30 we were off to Wallaby Ranch, It was a beautiful drive though the mountains of Virginia, West Virginia and the Carolinas. We arrived at the Ranch at six AM and we were exhausted so we caught a two hour rest and at nine we woke to the ringing of the breakfast bell and had a hearty breakfast with Malcolm and the rest of the Wallaby staff. The morning was overcast with thick fog but we set up and Oded put a new VG line in His U-2 and by 1 PM the sky was starting to break up and by 2 o'clock we were suiting up for what I thought would be sledders. Paul towed me up first and we did not feel much lift until 1,800 feet when it stated to bump a bit and Paul pulled me though a good one and well past it and at 2,000 feet I was off. I searched for a minute or more without finding the lift but finally down to 1,300 feet and bump, there it was and I slowly climbed up to 2,000 feet again and by then Oded was being towed up close by over the orange groves to the east of the Ranch. We played in the lift and stayed between 1,500 and 2,200 feet and finally I got up to 2,750 feet into the mist and the white room. Lines of clouds were coming through so we were up and down like a roller coaster. John Pinnento in his Phantom and Al Sasser in his Litespeed were towed up close by and John and I flew together for a good half hour staying over the east side of the Ranch. Al and Oded ventured forward over the Ranch and closer to hyw 27 and I could see them up and down for a long time and then I saw Oded spinning his way down and I though that he must be to tired to endure longer. After a while I saw John head in for a landing. I was trying to beat the two hour mark but things seamed to be getting weaker and the sky was becoming blue with the clouds farther away so I headed closer to the Ranch and landed after one hour and 56 minutes thinking that I was the last one in but Oh No, Al was still up there along with Mick Robson in his floater sailplane and finally Mick landed but Al was still at 3 grand or so and he stayed up for what I expect was  close to three hours. It was a great day for our first flight of the trip and I was so happy to get a good ride. Oh, and I neglected to take a camera not expecting anything more than a sledder so maybe pics tomorrow if we get up again.


Aric Paulson Climbing Out


Bob Finally Got Up

Oded Coming in Above Me


The Skydog Report

Saturday December 8, 2012:

Our second day of our December trip and wow, It was nice. Another day much like Friday but cloud base was up a bit to 2,800 feet and Rick Bremmer reached 3,200 feet and had a three hour flight along with Dan flying a new Litespeed RS5 that was Attila's comp glider. I was first off again with Mike Barber right behind me and Oded hot on Mike's heels. Right away off tow I took a good one up to 2,700 feet and there were very few sink areas for me for my Hour and a half flight. Today both Oded and I had our GoPro cameras onboard so we will have some video for you soon. I think that there were three rigid wings today and likely ten flexies and I don't think that anyone sunk out so the lift was abundant. Flying though the cloud streets was amazing and both Oded and I were trying to get close for the best shots. I could see other gliders dipping into the clouds and I was concerned that they would suddenly appear right in front of me but as luck would have it, no close calls today. One of the highlights of my flight was that as I banked up in front of a cloud a large beautiful glowing circle appeared on the face of the cloud and there was a very large vivid image of my glider pasted in the center of the circle and oddly enough I turned again and it appeared again for a shorter period. I had only seen this happen once before about fifteen years ago here at Wallaby when I was flying my Wills Wing HP 158. It was an amazing sight to see. Unfortunately the GoPro was pointed in the wrong direction so no photo of glory. Oded had a one hour and five minute flight and was a very happy pilot along with all the other pilots here at Wallaby Ranch.


Jenny and Dan Farnsworth

Oded on a Windy Day


Oded Kalir Climbs Above Me


Two Gliders Upper Right



Oded Duelling With Me


 Think I got Him


 Oded Relaxing in My T-2


The Skydog Report

Sunday December 9, 2012.

The day started out cloudy and again by noon the sky broke up  and we have another pretty day starting a bit earlier. I had gone back to the R/c Helicopter field in the morning and when I came back to Wallaby, there were lots of gliders being set up. Oded and I got our cameras set up and we were ready by one. I saw Mike Barber heading out to the take off area around 1:30 so I grabbed a cart and followed and by the time I got out there about 4 others were in line and quickly another ten behind me. Malcolm brought out three tugs and we were off. I towed fourth and Paul let me go at two grand in a bubble and I soon lost the lift and was in search mode and of to the southwest I could see Mike Barber over number four highway under a nice cloud so I pulled in a bit and tried to cruise over there but by the time I was half way I had lost a grand and was down to 1,300 feet and I headed back to the Ranch finding nothing on my way so I landed and got in a line of about ten gliders. About 15 minutes later I was in the air again and at 1,200 feet we hit a thermal and I am not sure who the tug pilot was but he started circling so tight that I was scared but I hung on and we finally got up to 2,600 feet where I released and now the lift was easier to find but again today cloud base was still just above 2,800 feet so we were playing in the mist along the edges and having a great time. Oded came in for some good footage and we cruised the clouds together enjoying the scenery. There were likely fifteen gliders all around the Ranch so spotting lift was somewhat easier today. I worked my way over highway 27 under the face of a cloud moving at ten miles per hour over close to the Omni resort with John Pinneto and then I tried my luck moving toward the clover leaf at 4 and 27 but got down to 1,200 feet and decided I had better get to the Ranch before I had to land out and when I arrived I had only 600 feet and searched for bubbles and I did survive for about fifteen minutes but then gravity took hold and I was coming in for another landing on my trusty Cloud 9 wheels for a flight of one hour. Oh yes, I forgot to mention that while I was cruising just above cloud base and in front of a cloud that again today the spectacular brilliant and vibrant ring of glory appeared pasted on my cloud and sure enough there was my glider in the center just cruising along on the cloud. Again today it was so beautiful and this time my GoPro was pointed in the right direction but I just can't believe that I can't see the Glory on the footage. I will go through it again and hope to find the image. After Oded and I had landed for a while gliders started pouring in for some great landings we learned that Mikey Barber had taken a group of four on a out and return to highway 437 up close to Quest and they were all returning except for Mike so we waited another half hour and sure enough Mike showed up high in the sky to our amazement. His fellow flyers were almost certain that Mike had gone down on his way back but his incredible talent again prevailed and Mike was safe at home again.


Skydog Bob



Jason Williams



Bob Heading out to Take Off

Dan Being Towed


Dan Suiting Up



Oded Heading to Take Off

Gliders at Take Off


 Skydog Under Tow





# 9



Chris Mangles

Aric Paulson



Casey Cox - North Carolina


Jenny and the Boys






 Looks Like Oded is Angry With Me


Steve Prepost

Oded Flies Bob's T-2



Oded and Oliver


# 10

Jason Williams


Aric and Student

# 11


The Rosalez Family - Alex, Misael and Danette


Steve Prepost

Laurie and a Student


Laurie Croft Sends Aric and a Student Off

Jimmy Nordel


Lance and Frank



Jenny and the Boys

Casey Cox





Oded and Casey

Malcolm Jones and Laurie Croft





Student and Jimmy

Solo Pilot


Mike Barber and Oded Kalir

Carbon Dragon taking Off with Roger on the Stick





The Skydog Report

No Fly Zone

Wow, how the weather can change. Monday is cloudy and I am writing this note on Friday and it is still cloudy so five days of no flying but the forecast for Saturday looks good. We will be flying home on Tuesday so we are hoping for another sunny period before we leave. We spent two evenings at Table Tennis (Ping Pong) leagues in Orlando where Oded made a very good showing topping many of the hottest players and on Wednesday Morning at 7 am were are at Crystal River swimming with the Manatee and we have very nice footage of that as well as the Table Tennis matches. Come on sunshine. We are ready.


The Skydog Report

Friday December 14 th.

Ok, so I did fly today after the sun showed up and the wind dropped off around 3:30 pm. I was itching to get into the air but I could not talk Oded into coming up so I was a solo pilot and Malcolm was good enough to have Paul tow me up. Just a few scraps of lift and then a few wingees and I was on the ground again in fourteen minutes. It is amazing how after forty years I can still enjoy a sledder. Oded took some video and I did my first foot landing in over a year as I usually roll in on Cloud 9 wheels. The landing was perfect so it looks like I did not forget how it is done after all.

Many of the Photos Here Were Taken By Jenny Samuels

 Dan "What's Up"



Dan and Aric


Mike Barber Being Towed


Nicki's Pup

Mike, Bob and Jason Heading Out


Chris Mangles - Tow Pilot

Carbon Dragon


Jason Williams


Mike Barber

Dan Farnsworth - 747 Pilot


Aric Paulson

Heading Out


Skydog Bob



 Carbon Dragon Piloted by Roger


The Skydog Report

Saturday December 15, 2012

The buzz of the tug pulling tandems woke us up around 7:30 meaning that this may be a good day and sure enough it was and lots of pilots were rolling in to Wallaby Ranch. A very  nice and great pilot, Misael Rosalez who I had met in April came in today. I took 2 flights of 34 and 48 minutes. My highest was 4,100 feet to cloud base. Oded took one tow and on take off his brand new VG cord that we installed this week caught on the wheels of the cart and the VG line broke. Somehow the line pulled the VG and Oded flew the whole 34 minute flight with it full on and got up to 3,800 feet. Oded also had his Go Pro on and got some interesting video. We did not get as much airtime as I like but had very challenging and wonderful flights.


The Skydog Report

Sunday December 16, 2012

Again the buzz of the tugs woke me and I quickly told Oded to get up as he wants to try my T-2 this morning. We had to find a short hang loop to get Oded's harness at the proper height and we were of to the oak tree take off are were lots of tandems were being towed up into a blue sky. Oded got in line and soon was taken into the blue. Casey from NC had his super Sony video camera set up and I had my camera ready and we got some good footage of Oded's take off and landing. Oded was amazed and how nicely my T-2 flew and landed so much that he took a second flight. The breakfast bell rang and we had a great breakfast with Malcolm and the crew and the tandem pilots.

By noon the cummies were forming nicely and by 1:30 pilots were heading to the south launch. Oded was fourth to launch and I followed two behind with Roger going ahead of me in the Carbon Dragon. I pinned off at 2,000 feet and soon found 200 fpm lift and worked my way up to Oded Mikey and Roger at 2,500 feet and Jason came up after me and we worked the lift together for a while. Oded and I had our GoPro camera on and we have some really nice footage. We had been circling just above the take off are and after about 20 minutes Jason took off toward hyw 4 where Mike Barber Dan Farnsworth and two others were climbing better. After putting around for another five minutes I decided to try to join the group over hyw 4 and while on my was I kept looking back and saw that Oded and two others were staying high over the launch area and so I turned back for a bit but did not find the lift to get up there again so I thought I would try to follow Jason again but that did not work so now I was in search mode just to the south of the Ranch and after fifteen minutes I was on the ground with a 38 minute flight. By now everyone had launched and the tugs were put away in their hangers. I got on the phone and called Malcolm and asked if I could get towed up again and he said sure in ten minutes so I headed to the take off again and now Oded and Casey were landing and Oded decided to go again after me. Soon Chris was towing me up and I could see Mikey and Dan heading back to the Ranch in search mode as Chris took me really high over hyw 4 and dropped me off above the clouds. It was a spectacular view threading my way down between the puffy ones and could not find much lift under them but lots of zero sink. I watched Mike and Dan searching and I figured that staying above Mike would give me the best bet of finding lift but there was not much and soon I saw Mikey following Dan into the landing field. I was trying to use the zero sink as best I could and Oded was coming down to meet me and finally after a 32 minute flight I landed with Oded coming in shortly after. Oded was anxious to get to a Table tennis work out so we quickly tied our gliders down and took of for Orlando where Oded got his best work out of our trip. I headed to the R/C Heli field and watched ten R/C fliers do some incredible manoeuvres.




Dan Ready to Go

# 6


Dan on Tow


Dan Ready to Go

# 15




The Boys

Roger Being Towed


The boys




# 7


Misty Morning for the Balloons

# 8


Oliver and Nicki

Tandem Students


Guy and Noom - Tandem Students

Wallaby Christmas


Oded Flies my T-2


The Skydog Report

Monday December 17, 2012

Monday morning heavy fog but blue above and the hot air balloons are hissing and taking off thought the fog at 7:45. I caught a shot of one of them peeking out above the fog. By 8:45 the three tandem gliders are getting off to a beautiful day of flying. The wind picked up to about fifteen by noon and Mike Barber, Casey Cox, Oded Kalir and I  get our glider down to the end of the driveway and by 1:30 I take off first and get into a decent thermal and watch as the other three get towed up. I notice that Casey looses the lift in about 15 minutes and then Oded makes a landing and then I go down after 30 minutes as I was in the wrong place looking for a thermal. I get towed up quickly again and this time I find better lift and I see Mikey off to the west so I go on chase hoping that he finds some good areas of lift but finally I see Mike is getting low like 1,500 feet a  long ways out while I am still in a good thermal up at 3,510 feet and 3 miles upwind to the west so I drift back with it over the ranch and finally after 45 minutes I come in for a landing. It is time to break down and get ready for our flight home on Tuesday morning. Oded and I drive to the R/c Heli field and find about ten R/C fliers there doing some wild tricks and then we go to the Ping Pong Monday evening group where Oded has few good games and then back to the ranch for our final sleep there.

My airtime on his trip was seven hours and thirty minutes.

Airtime for 2012 is One hundred and sixteen Hours and six minutes.


Bob at JFK Airport - New York


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