Skydog Sports

Wallaby Ranch, Florida Trip, 2013

Stories and Photos

December 2013

Sunday December 1, 2013 Photos & Stories




 The Movie Click Here


 Oded Kalir Films Skydog



Oded Gets High

Click Here


The Skydog Report

On Saturday I drove to Oded Kalir's home in Brockport NY and met up with Oded and around 1 pm George Adams and Jim Kolynich came by with Oded's new Atos VQ that he purchased from Jim. George and Jim showed Oded how to set the Atos up and tear it down and we loaded it onto Oded's van and Sunday Dec. first we will be off to Florida.

Photos Below

Gliders Packed on Van in Branchport, NY.


Ready to Go

The Twenty Hour Drive

Photos Below The Stories

The Skydog Report

We arrived at Wallaby Monday morning to a high overcast day and moved into Steve Arndt's cottage. After noon we set up our T-2 and U-2 and the sun came out around 2 pm so we both took two flights without much lift so 16 minute fights. Maybe Tuesday will be better. 30 Minutes total for me today. Oded will likely set up his new Atos VQ Tuesday morning.

Tuesday starts out clear skies and Oded sets up his new Atos VQ and we get ready to fly. Oded is going to fly his U-2 today just to get into the swing of things. At 8 am there are twenty tandems and my old friend John Armstrong takes a tandem flight with Malcolm and plans to get back into flying after a sixteen year lay off. Around 1 o'clock we get out to the take off line and Scott L, and Rick Bremmer are first in line with me hot on their heels. Another eight pilots behind us and away we go. Scott and Rick look to be doing OK and Fay Barber puts me into a good thermal and I work it to over 3 grand and see that Rick and Scott are landing but I get lucky enough to survive and I get into another good one and take it up to 4,300 and cruise around trying to stay in the lift while the others are getting towed up again. Oded gets up and hits a flush cycle when I am lucky enough to stay high. Oded gets another tow and has a nice 40 minute flight. Rick on his GhostBuster is doing well and Scott is keeping with me at cloudbase. I did not have the camera on today and there were lots of close encounters to be filmed so maybe on Wednesday I will take the GoPro up. I had a lucky day with a single tow and 4,300 feet ato and 1 hour and 33 minutes of air time satisfying me after the long drive on Sunday. Off to the movies in the evening and to bed to rest for a spectacular Wednesday.

Wednesday starts out with the Hot Air Balloons blasting into the sky at seven AM and we get up and get ready for another great day. We get in line a little earlier today like 12:30 and Rick takes off first and Scott next and then me. Today we have twelve solo pilots and what a nice 82 degree day with great cummies, Paul puts me into a good one and I am stoked and get up real nice with 400 fpm climbs and I finally get up to 4,300 feet at base and I cruise along the edges above the bottom of the cloud. Next I see Scott coming in for a look at the GoPro and we fly together for a while and I see Rick staying a grand below us which is unusual. I am thermalling with Jason Williams who always does great and we have about ten minutes together and then I see Jason heading North toward Quest so I go back over Wallaby Ranch and join the others who are getting quite low. Well sure enough I start sinking out and am what I think to be the last one to land but Oh No, Justin is still in the air and heading back to Wallaby and he continues to stay aloft. I get in line again Rick in front of me and Scott after me and again Paul puts me into a good one at 2 grand and I work it up to 4 grand in ten minutes and play around the edges of the fluffies. Scott joins me and I expect that I have some good shots of him. I see Rick hanging around a grand below us and I wonder why as he is usually right with me. NEWS FLASH -- Oded took two flights on his Atos VQ this morning and simply loves it and this afternoon Oded takes his first thermal  flight on the VQ. Oded got off a little late so only he stayed aloft for 35 minutes but enjoyed the thermal experience with his beautiful VQ. After 45 minutes on this second flight things start to mellow out and finally Scott and I are duelling for last to land and in the end I won today as we made passes at 500 feet above the tree line in some small bubbles. I landed with 53 minutes of pure enjoyment and a best gain of 4,700 feet. OK so now where is that magician Rick Bremmer. Sure enough he slides in about an hour later and says that he found some small bubbles to the west of Wallaby after we had landed. Rick usually does that! as many of you know I almost always land on my wheels and today just for out landing practice I did a stand up landing and it looks like I can still do it and on Film too. Check my Youtube videos at cdnskydog. Ok so we have great flying and you all should be here.

Oded says that the VQ stands for very Cute. Ha, Ha.

Thursday and another clear morning and Oded is anxious to fly his VQ again and takes one morning flight and two afternoon flights. The sky did not hold much promise so we started around 1:30 and I was off first with ten pilots behind me. Paul took me to some lift and I pinned off at 2,300 feet and fumbled in the light lift and after about a half hour I was up to 2,800 feet over the sand pits but no one was with me and I noticed that most pilots were much farther south near the cloverleaf. I waddled in and out of light lift and finally decided to go south and see what I could find and as I was travelling I noticed that the other glider that were maybe 500 feet higher than me were coming north and over my head and Oded was now at 2,800 and I was down to 1,600 feet and from there it was mellowing out and I landed for a 53 minute flight. Oded and the others landed about twenty minutes after me and Oded was elated with his one hour flight. We had a great Wallaby Ranch lunch and Oded says, lets go for another flight and away the two of us went. I asked Oded to go first so that I could try to get some video from the air of him on his new glider. By the time I was towed to 2,500 feet Oded was down to about 1,200 feet so I wanged the T-2 down over Oded and got some good shots of his VQ and I will get it onto Youtube ASAP. Oded logged 20 minutes and I got 14 minutes on this late day flight.

Friday, clear skies again and warm like 65 F. in the morning and going to 82 F. this afternoon but at noon the wind is about 12 - 15 mph. SPECIAL EVENT. This morning Oded offered to let me fly his new Atos VQ and I accepted. I was a little nervous as I had never flown a rigid wing but all went well and I had the VQ up to 50 mph and down to 23 mph and wow do those flaps ever work well. When I was on final approach I pull the flaps full on and pulled the bar in half way and does it ever come down nice like an elevator. This was a 14 minute test flight for me. We have video ready for editing but it may take a few days to get it online. Gotta thank Oded for letting me try his new love - VQ.

Around 3:30 the wind slows some so the two of us ask for tows and away we go again. I get up first and Paul takes me to an area of some lift but not much so I follow it to the northwest and eventually get up to 3,000 feet ato and I see Oded is being pulled skyward. I stay in the lift for ten minutes and then try to head upwind with no luck so I am back on the ground with a 27 minute flight and a botched stand up landing but at least the nose did not come over on me. I see Oded coming in right after me so I run over to him and say let's go again and Oded says Oh No Bob, don't make me but I persisted and we went again but only for 14 minute smooth air flights and this time I did a good running landing.

Saturday December 7th and the morning starts with lots of tandems. Lots of pilots driving in for the weekend and we likely have more than 20 pilots later in the day. The sky is starting to show some cumulous by noon. This turns out to be our best day so far and we get off by 12:30. Paul tows me up first and into a nice thermal at 2,200 feet over the pasture to the south east. I am able to take this first one to 3,500 ft. ato and I am cruising around watching as Oded and many others are being towed up. The lift seems to be to the south of the ranch today and soon Oded and Scott are up with me and I head farther south upwind and find good lift at about 400 feet per minute in many climbs. Jason Williams joins me at 3,800 feet and we work lift still farther south until we pass highway #4 where I see Mike Barber working bubbles and the three of us thermal together for ten minutes and then Mike heads elsewhere. Jason and I head farther South and go almost to the hospital and maybe Jason went farther as I got into a sink area and headed back north getting down to 1,200 feet in a blue hole. Now I was almost back to Wallaby Ranch and I bump into a decent thermal just over the orange grove and Mick Robson joins me as we climb to 3,500 feet. I lose track of Mick but soon Oded, Scott and Rick Bremmer swoop in on me and we work a dark cloud getting us to base and beyond. Oded is doing great on his new Atos VQ and I see him cruising in and out of the mist. It turned into a beautiful glass off and Oded had the longest flight of the day with 4 hours and 4 minutes. I topped out at 4,950 feet and logged 3 hours and 53 minutes. I was trying to squeak out a four hour flight but did not quite make it. Oded is wanting me to go XC on Sunday to break up this boring soaring so we will see how it goes tomorrow. We have been really lucky with the weather and the forecast says good for the next week.

Sunday morning has big fog that burns off by 8:30 and Malcolm has ten tandems. Oded let's me fly his new baby VQ again and what a great glider it is. I had a 16 minute flight maximizing lift off the trees as it was a bit windy. Cumulous showed up after 1:30 so we headed out to the launch area and the wind was gusting up to 15 mph. Jason and two others took off before us and then Oded went before me so that I might film the VQ but as it turned out I never did catch Oded and he was always at least 500 feet above me. I would fly under Oded but never really caught the lift that he was in. We drifted nortth in the thermals which were quite broken up and we would often only get one or two turns before losing it and maybe on three occasions I was able to stay in for maybe six turns. Finally I had drifted five miles north and I thought that I should either go for Quest or head back to the Ranch and decided to head back. I arrived at the Ranch with a grand and in search mode but it was big and blue so I found nothing. Oded stayed with the street longer but also decided to come back to the Ranch. Oded got up to 3,700 ato and I got up to 3,265 feet I landed after 53 minutes and Oded laded after 1 hour and four minutes. I tried another foot landing and soft landed on my knees so this is four attempts with two working out perfect and two soft knee landings. This is two days in a row that Oded has beat me and I am not liking it. I don't expect that I will ever be able to keep up to the VQ.

Oded says I love my VERY QUICK Atos.

Monday morning is sunny again and there are a few tandems but the big event for this morning is that John Armstrong from Vermont did his first solo after a 16 year lay off from Hang Gliding and John did really well. I have it on Photos and they will be posted soon. The wind picked up after breakfast so we stayed grounded until 3 pm when the wind all but stopped. Oded went first and climbed into a nice thermal after release and then Paul towed me up and I worked some light stuff until it turned on and I was up to 3,200 ato almost up to Oded. We messed around in this area over the warehouses for a half hour and Oded decided to go south to a nice looking street but when he got there no lift was to be found. I stayed with the cloud moving north ever so slightly and I got up to 4,048 feet and I could see Oded off o the south at 3 grand or below and finally he started screaming back towards me and on his VQ and it does not take very long. When Oded arrived below me we worked the lift over the warehouses for a while and then Oded headed south again and I saw him find smooth lift and now I was getting down to 1,500 feet and I was playing with the vultures and hoping to get up again but it did not happen for me and I headed to the Ranch landing area with a flight of 1 hour and 9 seconds. Wow, I made the one hour mark. I made another attempt at a good stand up landing but dropped the nose softly and then realised that I had not loosened the VG so it did not want to stop flying when I pushed out. I waited in the landing zone while Oded played in the soft thermally sky for another 46 minutes and I took some photos of Oded landing. Oded topped out at 3,654 feet with a flight of 1 hour and 46 minutes. A Wonderful smooth day. It was quite a surprise after the windy morning that we had.

Tuesday is another beautiful sunny day in Florida and the wind is a little strong but slows down by 2 pm and Bertram and a few of us get in line for tows. Bertram gets off first and I am next. Paul takes me to some soft lift and after ten minutes I see a gaggle of Vultures circling so I move in on them and wow this is a great thermal and I follow it to the northeast over the warehouses and past a mile or so. Bertram hit some sink and landed and took another tow and Scott L. gets up with me and we stay close for ten minutes and then I lose track of Scott so I head upwind not finding much on the way to the Ranch and after 40 minutes I am on the ground. I see that Scott has found some good lift to the southwest. Eric Paulson and Jason Williams are in the air and Bertram has taken a second flight. Oded had a weak link break on his first attempt and took a second tow after lunch break and floated around for 27 minutes in a clear sky. I also took a second tow and only lasted 17 minutes, I think that Scott had the longest flight of one hour and twenty minutes,

Wednesday December 11, 2013 and yet another warm sunny day with the wind in the early morning too strong for tandems. By noon the wind has subsided and we are getting ready for what might be another great day. Aric Paulson keeps watching the sky and says it is looking better as the day progresses. About ten of us get our gear together and head over to the west take off area. Scott gets off first and at 400 feet the engine on the tug stops and Paul lands the Dragonfly and Scott lands near the take off area. Malcolm and crew race over to a hanger and grab another Dragonfly and we are in business again and Scott tells me to go first and I don't know why but I take the first tow and Paul puts me into a soft thermal over the warehouses and I take it up to 3,500 when I see Scott being towed up below me and then Rick Bremmer in the GhostBuster. The three of us stay close in this smooth thermal while Jason Williams and Eric Paulson and others come up and now we have a good group to spot thermals over a large area and this works very well. Soon I see John Pinnato and Oded Kalir and we have three rigid wings in the air. What a blast flying with so many pilots in the same thermals and I am getting many close encounters thinking that I am getting the best aerial shots of my life on the GoPro but Oh No I have not turned it on properly and no video from me today. Oded had his GoPro on so we do have some great shots coming up when I get time to edit. Ok now the flying and it was spectacular with soft edges and lots of 500 fpm up to cloud base at 3,740 feet ato. There seemed to be a sweet spot where a solid thermal hung out just to the east of the warehouses and I came back there many time for the best lift. We often drifted over the orange groves to the west and then south to the cloverleaf at highway 4 and there was good lift most everywhere. I spent a good amount of time circling with Scott L. and then with Oded on his VQ and we were at base lots of times and running along the faces of the clouds. Two hours later the lift seemed to get very light and Jason Williams was the only one to survive this light cycle and I landed with 2 hours and 12 minutes while Jason stayed up for 2 hours and fifty two minutes. Oded and I took a second tow and stayed aloft for another 22 minutes each. We all really enjoyed this beautiful 85 degree day and later Aric said that it was one of the most enjoyable days that he has ever had. John Armstrong took his first thermal flight in 16 years and stayed up for 50 minutes and he was so delighted with his flight that he was beaming. It sounds like Thursday will be too windy but we have had a spectacular nine days of flying on this trip so we are very happy that December was so good to us at Wallaby Ranch. We have a flight booked back to Rochester NY on Saturday so we will see if Thursday and Friday get us in the air for more fun.

Thursday December 12 is another sunny day but to windy to fly so we work on a cover for Oded's new glider.

Friday we pack our gliders and get ready to head home on Saturday. This has been a great flying trip with all the wonderful weather.

Total Hours December = 15 hours and 20 minutes.

Total for 2013 = 101 hours and twenty minutes.


Skydog's Nice Landing Click Here

Photos Below

Arrival at Wallaby Ranch


Oded's New Atos VQ in Front of Skydog Report Headquarters


Sandhill Crane Close Up


Oded Looking Great

John and Melanie Armstrong


Oded Leaves the Cart on His Atos VQ


Oded's VQ Video Click Here


Paul Tows Skydog Over Wallaby Ranch on Oded's Atos VQ




 Wow !!


 Paul Releases Skydog on Oded's Atos VQ


Oded on His A-I-R Atos VQ - Bottom Right




Oded on Approach


Great Landing - Happy Face


Scott L. Welcomes Us

Tandem Flight


Amy, Alyssa and Cousin Jay


Paul Wingin Down

Melanie Films John's First Solo


 Malcolm and Amy Take Off


Alyssa Shoots

Paul Ready to Tow


Malcolm and Alyssa


Oded on New Atos VQ  - Bottom Right


Amy and Cousin Jay

Melanie and John Armstrong


Alyssa Goes Wingin


Skydog on Take-Off

Scott, Gretchen and Rick


 Malcolm and Alyssa


Alyssa Looks Excited to Fly

Malcolm and Alyssa Wingin


Scott L. Above Me Upper Right


I Think That Oded is Praying For a Safe First Flight

Laurie Croft


Oded Takes His First Take with the New Atos VQ





Oded on First Landing


 Oded Launching


 This Hawk is Squawking


 Landing Approach


Looking Good

Close Up


Wallaby Resident


Hawk Perched in Tree



Fay Barber - Tow Pilot


Skydog Flying Oded's VQ




Skydog and Jason Williams

Oded Kalir - VQ


Skydog Flair - Good One


Laurie and Malcolm

Scott L. Just Below


 Cool Glider


Handsome Bird



Oded on Approach


Skydog Landing Oded's VQ - Shadow Boxing


Mom with Malcolm

Dad and the Children


Skydog Gets a Little Vertical on Oded's VQ


Great Smiles

Mom Goes for a Ride


Mom Likes To Fly


Kids Landing

Skydog Ready to go


Youngster Likes It

Maybe I Should Go Again


 Bob on VQ


Fay Barber Tug Pilot

Great Smile Mom


Happy Kids

Bob Lands Nice


Seven Year Old Kaitlin Goes For a Ride

Away She Goes


Oded Two Gliders Above


Skydog Gets Radical



 Jason Williams on Approach


Oded Ready to Fly



Student - John Armstrong



Jason - Good One


Jason Williams

Oded and Bob


Linda and Mitch

Bob on Oded's VQ


Malcolm and Mike



Student Solo


Malcolm and Mike






 Oded Films Rick Bremmer



Hal and Malcolm


Steve, Kim and Hal



Malcolm and John Anderson


John Armstrong - Getting Back Into Hang Gliding



Skydog Bob Being Towed by Paul Harrison at Wallaby Ranch - Florida


John - First Solo



Oded Evening Flight


Mark Student



 Tug and Tandem


 John Armstrong


Melanie and John




Oded and Skydog


Malcolm and Mark

Fly With The Eagles at Wallaby


 Oded Screams on By


Mark Landing

Oded Flies Over The Moon


 Jason Williams Coming Up



Oded on Approach






Bertrand and Hugo Heading to Take off

Laurie Croft



Aric Paulson Holding Hugo Back From Chasing Bertram


Malcolm and Mark

Hugo Chasing Betram


Mark Tandem

Bertrand Takes Off


Oded Finishing His New VQ Cover

Bertrand Landing


Looks Good

Malcolm and Mark


Oded Kalir Landing Atos VQ


 Oded Happy with His New VQ Wing Cover That We Just Finished


Bob Gave Some Help


 Sandhill Cranes at Wallaby Ranch


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