Skydog Sports

Florida Trip

 January, February & March , 2015


The Oded Kalir Report

Monday January 19, 2015
It was windy till 1 pm. We had a late start . By 2 pm we launched into little wind but no thermals to save us. I had 24 minutes and 29 minutes after lunch. Bertran Scott and Samira flew with me.

Wednesday January 21, 2015

The line started to form around 1 pm . Tommy Nejame took off first into very light conditions we all followed to find out it was week and most pilots sank out and had to relight. I managed 50 minutes and then landed in the mud and bent the weak link in my down tube a little. So by the time I changed it lunch was on. I had another 30 minutes and that was the end for me. By two o'clock the clouds formed and most pilots had two and three hours. Rick Bremer flew his Ghostbuster and did very well to land late as usual. All made it to 4,500 ato and smiles where everywhere. Tomorrow looks good with more wind.

Thursday January 22, 2015
Clouds cleared around 2 pm to form nice cummies. We took off and worked the lift to cloud base at 4,125 ato. I stayed an hour and a half mostly at base over the ranch. Later shore breeze picked up and shut activity down. Tommy said he was in a convergence and managed to stay up another hour . Tommy myself Brian and Scott flew today.

Wednesday January 28, 2015
 Weather is not cooperating. Only one day last week that was flyable .
I had two flights on Wed, an hour each 4300 ATO. Then after lunch another hour to 3500. Next week does not look good so I am going home on Sunday. See You in Middle of February. Oded.

Photos Below

Oak Tree Take Off Area


 Oded All Set Up


North Launch


The Skydog Report

Wednesday February 4, 2015 Maureen and I and our friends Eric and Mary arrived at Wallaby Ranch last evening and the temperature was 75 degrees while when we left London, Canada it was 24 degrees and we shovelled two feet of snow to get out of our driveway so we are happy to be here.

Today we did a 15 mile bike ride along the Van Fleet trail and it was real nice. When we retuned to Wallaby the pilots from Calgary, Canada were taking some extended sledders. The forecast shows that Saturday and Sunday will be good for flying and maybe even Friday so as I am writing this, we are excited and waiting for some good flights. Maureen is going to ride the Van Fleet trail in the morning for 25 miles and I will pick her up at hwy. 50 near Quest Air and then maybe a flight later Friday.

Friday Feb. 6, 2015 and Maureen is on the trail and she ends up going both ways for a total of 46 miles and I ride for 13 miles with Flash onboard. Hoping that Saturday is good for Hang Gliding.

Saturday February 7, 2015 and here we go. I was second off behind Scott L. and we got high right away at 5 grand. Soon I saw Jason Williams coming up so I joined Jason and we thermalled together for a good hour or more. There were at least fourteen pilots today and it was the last day for the boys from Calgary, Canada so they were jubilant to get a super day before heading home. Linda flew with me for almost an hour and Mitch and Mike Barber went XC To Bok tower and Mitch was the last to land just before dark. Rich Bremer flew his Ghostbuster and we hung together near the end of the day. I flew for 3 hours and twenty eight minutes and I was between 5 and six grand for most of the day. Sunday's forecast looks good so more exercise tomorrow.

Sunday February 8, 2015 is another wonderful day and we must have had at least 15 pilots in the air. I got of first with Scott next and after searching for 15 minutes we found some good lift and took it up to over five grand and today I had the GoPro on so I will have a video in a few days. Rick Bremer on his Ghostbuster soon came up to us and we thermalled together for a half hour or so and then I saw a gaggle of pilots over to the east so I headed over that way but the lift had died by the time I got there so I came back over the orange groves and got down to 2,200 feet and then finally got another good one up to base and got sucked up real bad and finally got out of it. After two hours there was a big blue hole over Wallaby and rick and I landed along with others. Mick Robson, Rick Bremer, a new pilot and myself took off after dinner at 4 pm and we all had great flights. Rick got over six grand and I got to 5,300 ato. Mitch flew to Quest and Back and Linda flew to Quest and Landed there. My airtimes were 2 hours and 5 minutes and 1 hour and 11 minutes on Sunday.


Sunday Feb, 08 - Video Wallaby Ranch

Photos Below

Morning Flights



Bob's T-2



Aric Paulson


Morning Flight

Scott L. Getting High


Rick Above




Franklin - Paul's Pet



Linda Salamone





Alberta Pilots

Editor Bob


Bob's T-2



Jason Williams

Mary and Tess


 Mike Barber





Ralph and Family


Don Airborne



Unknown Pilot


Tandem Take Off

Getting Ready



Linda Salamone


Lift Off



Skydog Approach


Greg Linanea

Bob Franklin and Jim McNamara


Rick Bremer


Tandem Landing

Tandem Landing


Tug Coming In

Tandem Take Off


Two on Approach





Scott L.

Mick Robson


Skydog Bob


Rick Bremer - Ghostbuster

Rick Coming Up


Rick Bremer - Cloudbase

Rick Bremer - Ghostbuster


Lift Off



Sailplane and Hawk


Paul Flying R/C Sailplane

Skydog Landing


Mike Barber


Rick Bremer - Ghostbuster



Jamie Sheldon and Linda Salamone Relaxing After a Great Day of Flying


The Gang


Scott, Fay and Greg

Jamie, Linda and Mitch


Sunset at The Ranch


The Skydog Report

Monday February 9th is Sunny until noon and then rain by 1 pm so we get some shopping done and I have a chance to update this webpage and then I can get at yesterday's video.

OK so Video is done and here it is Friday and another windy day and it looks like flying may happen Monday. We have been biking a lot with all the windy days and luckily it has been sunny.

Monday February 16 and the tandems get going early. Oded brings his son Darien and a friend Sophia for tandem rides and they really enjoy it. By noon the wind is strong again so no flying today.


 Malcolm and Paige


Dorian and Malcolm

Dorian Kalir Goes Tandem


Greg Linanea NY









Paige and Keith


Paige Approach

Dorian - Photo by Dana Kalir


Sophia - Photo by Dana Kalir




Sophia and Dorian


 Dorian Flying With Malcolm











Sophia and Malcolm - Take Off



Oded and Son Dorian Kalir


Aric and Keith



Malcolm and Sophia


Dorian Kalir - Photo by Dana Kalir

Paige Landing



Edwin and Miranda Kamphues


The Skydog Report

Friday February 20, 2015 - finally two flights after not flying for twelve days of high winds. Jim Kolynich and I took of at 2:30 and then again at 4:15. Jimmy had a 32 minute flight and later a 17 minute flight. I had 29 minutes and then 27 minutes and we both had blue sky thermals, one that took me up to 3,200 feet. It felt good to have some lift although I did not find another thermal after my second one on each flight. Sure does help to have some cummies to show the lift. After flying JK goes for a five mile run with Bob Franklin. Sunday looks really good and maybe even Saturday if we are lucky.

Saturday the tandems get off at 8 am and  Damien and Bertrand from Switzerland get into the air. In the afternoon the wind gusts up and no one flies so Sunday is looking especially good.

Photos Below

Aric Paulson and Miranda Kamphues


Jim Kolynich and Bob Grant Ready to Fly


 Damien Zahn and Edith Eschler

Student Flight


 JK Landing


Bertrand Heading to Take Off

Bertrand's - T2




JK With Horns

Bertrand Schneeberger - Switzerland


JK Being Towed





Aric and Miranda


JK Excited to Be Here

JK and Maureen


Bob Franklin, Maureen Grant and James Kolynich


Bob Franklin, Bob Grant and JK

Bob and JK


There They Go

Here They Come Back


JK After Five Miles

Bob and JK


Bertrand Snowmountain - Switzerland


Skydog Leaving the Cart

JK Lifting Off


Bertrand Being Towed


Skydog Landing Approach

JK Flying His Atos VRS


The Skydog Report

Sunday February 22, 2014 and Finally another great lift day at the Ranch. Lots of tandems in the morning and by one pm we have a line of gliders being walked to the end of the driveway for launch. Scott l. and I are first in line and Paul Harrison tows Scott into a good one and Fay Barber tows me up into a thermal that takes me up to Scott at about four grand just north of the warehouses. We play together in the lift and get close to base as I am shooting the Gopro and get some good shots of Scott. I see John Pettinato flying his Atos and he is high and well above me. Mike Barber and the Moyes team head out on XC adventures and many other hang around over the Ranch. After an hour I see Jimmy Kolynich up close to me and having a great time shooting his GoPros. Lots of great fun here today and some went to Fantasy of flight and back.  My Flight time was 2 hours and 13 minutes and highest altitude was 5,300 feet. Talking-to Steve Arndt in the evening he said that it was a very good day for his sailplane and that he flew for over four hours and did a great coarse. We are hoping for more lift on Monday.

Monday is Sunny with large cummies but the boys say it is too windy so I wait until after the 3 pm lunch break and take off around four pm. Fay Barber towed me to 3,200 feet without so much as a bump so I pinned off and headed to the front of a dark cloud and I found no lift so I headed over Tom's home and farther north still finding nothing and I landed after 21 minutes. I enjoyed my last flight of this trip as it was a 85 degree day with lots of sun.

My total time this month is only Ten hours and fourteen minutes.

Photos Below

Khstiane Bratlie



Malcolm and Khstiane


Marthe Oeverland



Pauline, Khstiane, Silge and Marthe




Marthe Oeverland

Damien Zahn


Edwin Karphues





Damien Zahn First Solo


Silge Mocn, Pauline Tombre and Marthe Oeverland

Tandem Girl


Silge Mocn


Silge, Laurie Croft and Miranda Vanphues







 Steve Arndt After Another Great Day


Aric Takes Edwin Tandem


Sunday Feb, 22 - Video



Photos Below


Maureen Grant

Let's Fly


Mitch and Linda Heading to Launch



Linda Looks Eager

Skydog Bob


 Scott L.  Surrounded by "The Birds"


Brian or Glen ?

Bob and Scott - Way Up There


Skydog Launch


 Jason Williams - Beautiful Glider





James Kolynich


Linda Salamone - SkyQueen


Mitch Shipley








Balloon in the Evening


Aric Paulson





JK - Elmira, NY.


Great Perch

Majestic Flight


 Chaudi Under Tow - Carbon Dragon


Balloon Deflating



Chaudi Landing





Bob Landing


What a Sunset


The Skydog Report

Thursday March 12, 2015

Here we go again. We took off around 2 pm with 16 gliders including four rigids. At first lift was good but sink was also big so I got sucked to the ground and took another tow and by now the lift was closer together. Oded was up at base and I joined him at 5,300 feet. During our three hour flights at least two sailplanes joined us over the orange groves. My buddies from Cloud 9 showed up Thursday morning and Chris Christopherson and Tom Niblock both were thermalling at base with us. Later in my flight I joined up with Eric Paulson and Griffin from NH and they led me close Hyw. # 4 where there was a good line of lift up to 5 grand. I finally got out of my comfort zone being to far away from the landing field so I headed back and noticed Oded landing just before me and shortly after Griffin and the Eric came zooming in for nice landings. It was a great day with some monster climbs and easy to stay just below the clouds. My flight times were 20 minutes and 2 hours and 53 minutes and I topped out at 5,470 feet ato. Oded had  one flight for 3 hours and 17 minutes.

Friday Windsurfing at Cocoa Beach 3 hours.

Saturday morning starts out windy but by 2 pm it has calmed down some so I take off and get a 40 minute flight p to 3,704 feet. By the time I land others are getting towed up and I get in line and go again for a 24 minute flight and I find lots of sink and land. After lunch break Fay tows me into a good one in the blue and I follow it back to the northeast and it really turns on. I get to thermal with Kevin from Alberta, Canada and then Oded joins us for a bit and next I am alone for a while but then I see Rick Bremer on his Ghostbuster farther North close to Publix which is 5 miles out so I core my way up and join Rick and we thermal together for a half hour. A big dark cloud approaches and we split and I head for a sunny field to the south and when I get there I get a little beeping and work my way toward Wallaby Ranch for a nice landing after a 1 hour and 46 minute flight. Oded has a nice 2 hour flight and tom Niblock got up to 6,300 feet and the best I showed was 5,088 feet ato. More tomorrow.

Sunday has a forecast for light winds but when noon comes around it seems windy enough that the pilots are not eager to be first so around two PM I get some enthusiasm going and pilots start heading for the east launch. Griffin and I get off after a couple of others and get into some good lift over the warehouses. The rigid wings including Oded are leery as it seems gusty on launch but a half hour after I launch Oded takes a tow and gets up with the others that are staying high. There is a sailplane competition from Sandhill soaring Club so we must keep an eye out for them as they pass through. I found the best lift over and past the warehouses to the east. Oded on his VQ and a sailplane piloted by Steve Arndt come up below me for a video shot that I will post on Youtube later. After an hour I am in sink and get down to 1,100 feet ato and prepare to land but I find some lift east of launch and take it back up to 4,500 feet and feel as though I am back in the game. After finding sink again I land with a 2 hour flight. I am back in line and up again in ten minutes and this time I last for 30 minutes and sink out again and Oded and Rick Bremer are staying high like 4,700 feet ato. Oded lands after 3 hours and 22 minutes and Rick lands close to 7 pm as usual. It was a great day for many and some of us found the sink too often.

Monday is a spectacular day of Hang Gliding. Tom Nejame had the bug to fly to Quest Air and meet up with Larry Bunner and Davis Straub who had plans for a big triangle and so Tom took an early tow out of here at 11 am. We all thought that he would likely sink out as the cummies were just starting to show but sure enough Tom was at base before we knew it and heading north. Later in the day Tom was back with a story of a great flight where he chased Larry and Davis and finally caught up with them and soon left them on his journey around the swamp and other locations totalling a distance of eighty-eight miles calculated by Larry Bunner. Tom had his usual happy face after landing back here at Wallaby Ranch. Griffin, Oded and I got out to the oak tree launch around one o'clock and Griffin took off first and me next then Oded and many others followed. Lift was great with lots of 1,000 fpm up so base was a cinch. Oded came in close for some good video shots. Also I had a Bald Eagle come within 30 feet from my tip and he smiled as he posed for the camera. My favourite part of this flight is thermalling with the birds and that lasted for a minute or so. I like the way they keep jerking their heads around to check me out. Later in the day Mikey Barber and I thermalled together as he was working his way south to Bok tower. Aric Paulson joined us and went to Bok with Mickey and they returned around 5:30 with big smiles. I think that is about a forty mile return trip. Chris Christopherson had a shoulder injury muscle injury so he was unable to fly today but his travelling buddy Tom Niblick had a wonderful flight with all of us. Another very special event in my flight was that while I was climbing above base the magic circle glow appeared on the side of a cloud and there was a shadow of my glider pasted in the center of the Glow. As I flew toward the circle the shadow became very large and looked like my glider was two hundred feet wide as I dove into it. OK so let's try that again so I circled around and made another pass and sure enough there it was again even more distinct. It was fun adjusting my glider angle so that the shadow changed shape. I circled around four more times getting different effects. The Glory happened after two hours into my flight so the GoPro was exhausted by then so no photo or video. Darn it again!! There is so much more to tell about this flight but my memory is wearing thin so I will try to get others to fill in the blanks. My one tow flight time today was 4 hours and 22 minutes and up to 5,800 feet. A spectacular day.

Photos Below



Sandhill Cranes


Griffin - NH.


 Griffin Lands


Sailplane Below


New T2-C

Bob - Cocoa Beach - Banana River


Oded Kalir and Steve Arndt Coming Up


Malcolm and Student

Jimmy Welcomes Oded


 Oded  and Steve


Oded Happy to be in the Sunshine

Banana River


Sailplane in Centre of Control Bar





Oded and Steve


The Chris Christopherson Report

Wallaby Ranch March 2015

Friday the 13th, we did not fly. Bob and Oded went wind surfing and Tom and TW went to Wekiva Island for canoeing, scenery, burgers and beer.

Thursday the 12th Tom and TW arrived at Wallaby Ranch noon-ish and begin setting up. Bob “Skydog” Grant was among the first pilots to launch. TW was among if not the last. Tows were “keep on it” rowdy up to the first several hundred feet AGL. There was lots of lift but uncollected up to the higher altitudes above the mini inversion around 2800'. Cummies abundant and lift to 5500+' with light wind and drift from SE to NW. Skydog and TW topped out about 5 miles from the ranch and went on glide toward the ranch. With about 1000' AGL the only 'up' was found over the ranch. TW was in search and stick-it mode in hopes of going back up. “Thermal wrestling” up and down to only 400' but finding birds in the SW corner and Skydog circling, TW joins and makes several 360s with the buzzards and a bald eagle in close proximity. Skydog goes back up with it but TW decks. Note: The U2 and the T2 basically had the same glide from 5500” back up wind to the ranch.

Saturday, a few pilots launched before 3:00. TW pushes out to launch first at 3:00. It's 88 deg, HOT! on the ground. A few other pilots including Tom Niblick get towed, then the ranch hands quit for 10' lunch. After “lunch” the remaining pilots, all lined up baking in the sun, are excited to get to cloudbase.

Tom and TW topped out together at 6145.'From there they split up with Tom heading back toward the ranch while TW sprints for the next cloud north and west of highway 27. Long glides between thermals while up this high. The before seemingly excellent cloud street running parallel to the highway north has diminished but another thermal was discovered before TW got below the mini inversion. TW continued north while Tom soared two hours over the ranch then went to dinner with his brother John, his wife and their children. Hang gliding can bring families together :)!

The route TW took kept him basically following 27 up and over “The Mickey Mouse Forest” to the southern outskirts of Clermont, FL (much population & fewer LZ options.) TW then went east-north east in the drift that had changed as the westerly sea-breeze began to move in. The LZs options diminished again in the southwest corner of “South Turnpike” and HWY 429 and apparently zero east or north of either. With sufficient altitude to enjoy the view and play along with the birds TW ultimately swooped into a 40 acre alfalfa field. Maybe 16 miles NE of The Ranch. Ian Hostetter picked him up at “The Dump” (t-dubbed 3/16/15) WM landfill 5400 Rex Rd. Winter Garden, FL.

Sunday was “rock n roll” with a 15 knot induced drift aloft from the NW. Many pilots take more than one tow. Cloudbase made around 4600' AGL for both Tom and TW.

Thermal wrestling:
Tow or sink to 1000'-1200' and get off in the midst of squirrelly, narrow, punchy and abundant thermals.
TW gets off tow twice, once on Thursday and once on Sunday. TW now stands for Twoo-tows.
Soars With Eagles!

Lock out:
Get hit at 300', pop to 45 degree bank and hit the release.
Tom's first tow of three on Sunday.
Time to change plan (quickly.)

“Skydog” (x N)


Photos Below

 Oded Kalir Working His Way Up


More Thermalling


Looks like Oded Will Pass Me


Here Oded Goes Above Me

And Just Keeps Going Up


Oded and His Amazing Atos VQ

Love It !!


The Skydog Report

Tuesday March 17 St Patty's day we have blue skies with cummies showing on the horizon 20 miles downwind of Wallaby and Jason tells me the forecast show a strong seabreese setting in around 4 pm so I want to get of early. Tom Niblick a Cloud 9 pilot and I get up around 1 pm and Fay tows us into the blue Tom going second. I had got down to 1,800 feet and finally caught a strong thermal that took me up to 3 grand as I watched Tom being towed up and not finding the good lift and landing. I continued coming back to a trigger point and finally I followed the lift to the east south east over the cloverleaf at 27 and Hyw. 4 and as I was circling there I noticed sailplanes coming through on a coarse line for the senior comp that they are holding from Seminole glider port. There were about ten that I saw and all but one passed a grand below me and then when they were about a half mile past the cloverleaf they all joined in one monster thermal and they got up well above my 4 grand altitude. The last one passed above me about 500 feet. A couple of them stopped to thermal with me for a couple of turns and were on their way. I expect that Steve Arndt was one of them. After the excitement of the sailplanes coming through I worked my way up to 4,520 feet above the cloverleaf where the lift was abundant. After a bit I decided that I should get back to the Ranch as the breeze was starting to pick up and I did not want to get caught downwind as I did in December. It took me about ten minutes to get back to Wallaby and I was still at 3,500 feet and had to work to get down but finally I touched down after a 1 hour and 17 minute flight.

Wednesday March 18, 2015 turns out to be our best day here so far this spring. The clear blue sky had pilots on hold at 1 pm. waiting for cummies so finally at 1:30 I asked Malcolm to tow me up and away we went, Paul towed me into good lift and I took it up to 4,500 feet within 15 minutes of launch and from there on the day was easy with climbs in the 1,000 to 1,300 foot per minute range. The highest I got all day was 6,320 feet ato and I was up there with Mikey Barber, Scott L. and Tom Niblick from Fort Wayne Indiana. Tom was shooting video as I was and we have some great footage, so much that it will take me weeks to edit it so stay tuned. After I was in the air for 35 minutes the others started to believe that it was a good day and they started getting into the air quickly. Oded was next up and joined me within 15 minutes and we flew together for a half hour or so and then Oded disappeared heading north. I putted around as usual and finally decided to make a small adventure along Hyw. 27 south past the Hospital and back and it turned out to be an easy task on my own. As you likely realize by now I don't usually go XC but I may take that challenge tomorrow as Steve Arndt tells us that it looks like Thursday will likely be an awesome XC day heading North. I landed around 6 pm with an airtime of 4 hours and 10 minutes and just before I landed Oded radioed me to say that he had landed at Quest Air flight park and he would like me to pick him up so along with Tom, Chris and Pete we headed to quest where many pilots were breaking down after some great flights. Larry, Davis and Greg had another great triangle conquered today and everyone was bubbling with excitement. I hope that Thursday will be as good as the forecast suggests as it will be Oded and my last day here for a couple of weeks.

Thursday March 19, 2015 and we drive to Quest Air so that Oded can fly his Atos VQ back to Wallaby. Larry, Gregg and Davis are doing another triangle which takes them close to Wallaby so Oded will fly with them for their first leg. I drive back to Wallaby and get ready to fly and make plans to fly to Quest with Jason Williams but as fate would have it conditions are not strong enough so we just boat around Wallaby but Mitch Shipley gets a good thermal and makes it to Quest. I thermal for a while with Mike Barber and then Oded joins us as he has successfully flown from Quest. After 1 hour and 27 minutes I sink out and Mike and Oded come down shortly after me. At 5 pm Oded and I fly the convergence line and get sucked up pretty hard but manage to get out and ahead of the cloud and have nice flights and mine was 57 minutes and up to 5,200 feet. This has been a very good trip and flying was great. We are going home in the morning so no reports until next trip.

Photos Below

Two Sailplane Buddies From Seminole Soaring

We all had Fun and Hope You Did Too!!!

Sunday Feb, 08 - Video Wallaby Ranch


Biking Florida 2015 - 1



Biking Florida 2015 - 2


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