Skydog Sports

Wallaby Ranch, Florida Trips, 2013

Stories and Photos

January 2013 Video

January, 2013 Photos




NEW *** "SKYPILOTS" Video *** NEW


NEW *** First Week's Video *** NEW

Photos Below The Stories

The Skydog Report

Tuesday January 8, 2013

I had driven to Rochester on Tuesday evening and met with Oded Kalir at his home and spent the night and Wednesday morning at 10:30 we were taking a United Airlines flight Wallaby Ranch. We arrived at the Ranch around four pm with a ride from the airport from Jim. In Wednesday evening we played table Tennis in Orlando.

 Thursday morning we woke to a sunny day with more wind than we liked so we spent the morning with Mike barber helping us replace our VG cords. Finally around 4 pm the wind dropped off so the two of us got ready to tow. I was first off and Paul towed me into a nice thermal at 2,200 feet. I stayed with it for about fifteen minutes and got up to 3 grand and got to the west of the Ranch two miles and then fought the 12 mph wind back to the Ranch when I saw Oded being towed up to the east into the wind. When Oded got off of tow he headed back to the south of Wallaby and I could see that he was turning in some lift and by now I was down to 1,200 feet so I sped over to his thermal and worked it up to 2,000 feet and went west with it. I finally left this one and saw that Oded was getting lower so I moved closer to him and got some good video of Oded over Wallaby Ranch. A few minutes later Oded was going in for a landing and I followed with a flight of 33 minutes.

Photos Below


Oded Kalir Setting Up

Riker Goldsborough - Comp Pilot


Oded Kalir Just Under Me


Lori Croft - Manager



 Tom Nejame Just Under my Right Wing Centre



Carolina - Brazil


Duelling With Tom Nejame on His Atos VX


Oded Trying Again

Solo Pilot


The Skydog Report

Friday morning the tugs were towing tandems early and the hot air balloons were taking off. I went to the internet cafe and uploaded my webpage and got back to the Ranch in time to get ready to fly and saw Tom Nejame rolling his Atos VX out to the north end take off so I scrambled and joined him and took two flights before the lift was strong enough to endure flight. On my third flight I got into some good lift and flew with Oded, Aric and Tom for a good while getting up to base at 3,350 feet and I got some good video so watch for it soon. My airtime was 17 minutes, 13 minutes and 53 minutes according to Flytec. My longest flight seemed like 1-1/2 hours but was only 53 minutes of great fun. Tom Nejame and I were doo king it out for last to land and Tom beat me by 30 seconds. A very fun flight.





 Paul Pulls Another Glider Up


Tom Searching





Tom Banking High on My Left


The Skydog Report

Saturday morning had lots of fog until 8:30 and then the tandems started. I woke Oded and asked if he would like to fly my T-2 again and we both took flights with the tandem group. Oded was still amazed at how nicely my T-2 flew.

Tom Nejame pushed is Atos VX out around 12:30 and by the time I was ready there were ten gliders in line in front of me but that's OK because with two tugs pulling us up it was not too long before Oded and I were in the air. Oded had a release failure and had to get back in line. Paul towed me up and I immediately took my first thermal to 3,800 feet into the mist. Well after goofing around for 15 minutes I got low and was in search mode and survived for a total of 31 minutes on this flight. I then took another tow with Fay Barber and again took this first thermal to cloudbase at 4,450 feet and by now there were lots of gliders in the air making finding thermals a lot easier. Mike Barber had Riker and Dan heading for Quest and back and Riker flew to Quest and back to the Seminole sailplane port and then took a sailplane ride putting him up with Dan who was at 4,000 feet while crossing the glider port and made it back to within a half mile of wallaby for an out and return of 60 miles. Oded had two GoPro cameras on and got lots of good video on his one hour and twenty minute flight. This time my flight lasted 1 hour and 7 minutes. Looks like Sunday might be another great day.


Steve Prepost

Yong Student and Mom




Oded and Malcolm

Student - Tampa


Oded on my T-2


Malcolm Jones

Tandem Students



Oded on my T-2


Dragonfly and Oded


Lori and Student




Oded and Another Glider





Oded on Final


Look Close and See The Bald Eagle in Glider Shadow


Oded Ready to go Again

Joe Bostik's Plane


 Towing Tandem






Catherine Gagnon From Montreal, Canada


Solo Pilot

Bob Being Towed - Photo by Jenny Samuels


 Tandem With Arik Paulson


 Catherine Hooking In


The Skydog Report

Sunday morning had fog until 8 am. and then the tandems started. The sky looked good by noon and Mike Barber and Tom Nejame led the group of pilots down he road to take off and Oded and I were next to get off. I went first and Fay Barber put me into a good one and I took it up to 3,300 feet above the orange groves where I found a group of turkey vultures and then four Bald Eagles. As I got close to cloud base the birds joined me and circled with me coming very close like 20 feet at one point but mostly staying away 50 to 100 feet. The clouds were not moving very fast maybe 8 mph so staying with them to base was pretty easy. After about fifty minutes I found strong sink and got down to 700 feet above the ground and thought that I would be landing shortly but as I cruised along the tree line I bumped into an beep beep and I stuck with it and after maybe ten minutes I was finally back up to 1,200 feet and from there it got easier and I took the lift to base again at 4,000 feet. I played with the birds again and then I noticed that there were some pilots over to the east doing well and turning so I cruised over there and Joined Scott Lenard and Dan Farnsworth at three grand and we took it to 4,795 feet and then Dan took off away from us and Scott and I flew together for likely close to an hour. I noticed some pilots circling closer to hyw 4 and 27 so I cruised over there but the lift let me down some so I came back as the sky had some high cloud shading the ground and I finally after 3 hours and one minute I landed. I had the GoPro on my nose plate facing down and I expect that I have some good shots on the 2-1/2 hours of video so I will get that ready asap. Oded was frustrated with his day taking three tows and likely had just over one hour of airtime. There were some big sink holes and Oded must have fallen into some of them. A great day for me with my longest flight of our trip so far.


Malcolm Jones Gets a Tandem Glider in Position


Solo Pilot

Hook Em Up



Aric Paulson helps a Solo Pilot


Tandem Student

Malcolm Jones


Dragonfly Towing Glider








 Solo Landing Approach


Scott Lenard Working Up and Above

Dan Farnsworth Moyes Glider





Tandem Coming In

Send Them Off





Play Time

Dad Helps


 "The Fun Team"  Jenny, Dan, James and Crystal


Dan Farnsworth Coming Up



Visitor & Lance


Bill Finn

Bald Eagle in the Clouds


Scott Lenard Getting Close


John, Tom and Scott

Malcolm;s Trike at Wallaby


Crystal and Jenny

Mike Barber


The Skydog Report

Monday - Another great thermal day. Oded hooked up with Mike Barber for a lesson and as they were flying south I decided to follow. I felt as though I was always about 700 feet below them and lagging behind maybe a mile. Finally after a half hour Mike decided to turn back towards Wallaby and I followed and got up to their altitude of 4,200 feet. The cloud streets were working so well that when we arrived back over Wallaby Ranch that we were still just under four grand. Dan Farnsworth decided to keep going south and landed at a golf coarse about twenty miles from Wallaby. Mike, Oded and I flew about ten miles south and returned and I flew about three miles north and then came back and played in the lift with about six other pilots with my airtime today at 2 hours and 15 minutes and up to 4,520 feet above the ground. That is five days of soaring every day since we came to Wallaby Ranch.


Glider Shadow Pasted on Cloud in A-Frame


The Skydog Report

Tuesday morning is sunny and we get ready for another great day. Oded is taking his second lesson with Mike Barber and they get off first and Mike gets Oded to head downwind with a good cloud street and I am off next and Paul drops me in a good thermal and I take it up to 2,500 feet and I see that Mike and Oded are getting way ahead of me so I try to catch up and for a while I did not loose anything but at 2 miles out I ran into sinky air and found myself looking for a decent place to land and I found a nice golf coarse and put her down there. A nice couple came by in a golf cart and offered to drive me back to Wallaby as they were almost finished their game and I was happy to catch a ride. When I got back, I set up my T-2 and just then a call came from Oded saying that he had landed at Quest Air so I asked Mike who had flown back to Wallaby if he would get Oded so that I could take another try at it and Mike said sure. Three of us took off again and I only stayed up for 17 minutes making my total for the day 35 minutes. Oded arrived back at Wallaby at 8 pm and he was so excited about his flight and said that Mike sure knows how to teach pilots to fly XC. I was happy for him but not too happy about my blunder. Scott Lenard took Oded's GoPro up today to catch some new shots so we will have to see what he got.




Malcolm Takes a Trike Ride



The Skydog Report

Wednesday morning is sunny again and this will be Oded's and my last day here for this month so we are hoping for great lift. The tandems get going by 8 am and we get our stuff together and visit with the incoming daily pilots an I met a pilot from Switzerland, George and we had a nice talk. Scott decides to take my GoPro up again and I attach it in between the Velcro on his T-2 wingtip. Oded is taking another valuable lesson with Mike Barber so we will see how it goes today. We make out way to the north end take off by the road around 12:30 and I am first off and Paul drags me into a booming thermal and I climb and take this baby to 4,500 feet at cloud base. Wow what a different day for me than Tuesday when I waffled at 2,500 feet too long. I see Scott take off next but loose track of him and then Mike and Oded get up. I was having such a good time that I did not see where they went so I did not follow them. Later Oded told me that they went to Quest Air again where Oded landed and Mike flew back to Wallaby Ranch. Oded was elated and took another tow after a rest at Quest. Oded says that Mike's lessons are extremely valuable and that he is so happy that he took them. OK, so here I am over wallaby and having a good ride but decide now that I am flying high that I will try what Mike had showed us on Monday which was flying upwind under a cloud street but unfortunately I did not work out for me and I found myself on the ground after 46 minutes and Scot had also landed so I expect that there were some big gaps that let us down. I zoomed to the take off again and was back in the air shortly and this time I did not do well and landed after 18 minutes so here I go again and this third flight I only get 31 minutes and get grounded. Being a persistent person and the fact that this was our last day I asked Malcolm at 2:55 if he could get me a fourth tow and he said that's what we do here but it is dinner time and the bell is about to ring, Oh well if you are that anxious I will get Paul to pull you up again. Malcolm sure is good to me and I was off again and this time Paul pulled me into a boomer again and I was at cloud base in less than ten minutes and now base was up to 5,400 feet and wow it was cold up there but I was not complaining and I happily flew upwind from one cloud to another and I came across Aric and then Ghostbuster Rick and had fun thermalling with them. I flew back to the Ranch and could see four other gliders flying low like 2,000 feet as I stayed to the west of the Ranch at cloud base. Finally I saw Tome Nejame come back from outer space and he landed after a four hour flight and then Ross and a couple of others landed and then I saw Rick Bremer slide in and now I was down to 1,800 feet and the day was drying up and I landed right in front of our hooch after a 2 hour and 12 minute flight. This was a very satisfying last flight of our trip for me and next time down here I am determined to go XC. My landing today was at 5:15 so I packed up my glider asap so the evening dew would not get on it and then got things ready for our flight back to Rochester on Thursday morning at 6 am. Oded returned around 7 pm and he was beaming with excitement and was so appreciative of Mike's lessons. Jason Williams also took a flight to Quest and rode back with Mike and Oded. Jason, Oded and I went to O'Bradys for supper and enjoyed lots of flying talk. This has been a great 8 days of flying and Malcolm says it has been the best January that he can recall so get on down here as things are cooking.

My 2013 Total Airtime on Jan. 18 is - 13 Hours and 12 Minutes


Rick Bremmer From Scot's Tip Mount


Dragonfly and Glider


Wallaby Ranch


Oded on Approach

Bob Ready to Break Down For The Trip Home


Sunset January 2013


2013 Hang Time 

Florida --- 47:06 

SOGA ---- 11:05 

New York - 3:52 

Cloud 9 --- 39:25

Total 2013 Time - 101 Hours - 22 Minutes


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