Skydog Sports

Florida Trip

 January 5, 2017

Photos Below The January Stories

The Skydog Report

Oded, Moritz and I are flying to Florida on January 5, 2017 and hope to get some good flights.

January 5, 2017 and we arrived at Wallaby Ranch at 3pm and hurried our gliders together in the 75 degree temps. The wind had been a little strong during the day but by 4:30 it had dropped off so Moritz and I took what we expected to be sledders. There were a few bubbles of lift and I lasted for 25 minutes and Moritz hung in for 15 minutes and we both had nice landings in front of Malcolm's house. Kevin and Shannon from Calgary, Alberta, Canada dropped by. The forecast for Friday sounds pretty good so we are looking forward to a great day here in Florida.

Friday January 6, 2017 and the Hot Air Balloons woke me at 6:45 am so I got my camera out and got ready to shoot the tandems. There was a good crowd for tandems and that lasted until breakfast at 10 am. I fastened my GoPro on the tip and got ready to fly by noon but the clear blue sky kept us from starting until  just after one pm. Mike Barber took off first and I was third in line and Moritz followed me into the blue. There we about ten gliders after us and conditions were spotty and I only lasted for 18 minutes never getting above tow altitude at 2,500 feet. I got in line again and noticed that Mikey was still up back over the sand pitts. On my second flight I had some decent lift over the Ranch and I followed it back over the sand pitts and followed some vultures close to a large fire to the north and finally I was sinking so I went back to the entrance to Wallaby Ranch and played in some mediocre lift for a bit finally landing with a 37 minute flight. Moritz and others also took second and third flights. I took my last flight at 4:30 and only lasted 23 minutes as the clouds had moved in and by 9 pm it was raining. Oded was feeling poorly today so he did not fly and I took him to Urgent care where the doctor gave him some medication for an asthma attack. We are all hoping that Oded is feeling better by Monday when the wind and rain may subside. The next couple of days will give me chance to put a video together so look for it soon.

Skydog Bob

Monday January 9, 2017 We had not expected to fly until Tuesday with the forecast that we saw but Monday was a Big Lift day and a big surprise and we took advantage of it. My highest gain over launch was 6,528 feet. My airtime for the one flight was 2 hours and 13 minutes. After being so high and above base I made a big mistake and left the good lift 5 miles downwind of Wallaby and headed upwind and after a few minutes I decided that I was not going to make it the next clouds so I turned back hoping to get into the same lift that I had been in but I could not find it so upwind I went and by the time I was over the warehouses I was down to 1,800 feet and there was not much lift there so I headed downwind over Wallaby expecting to land and as I came over the Ranch I hit a bubble at 1,000 feet and Wow, I took it up to 4 grand and another surprise. I putted around for a half hour and finally got down to 800 feet and decided to land after a great flight. Oded, Moritz, Aric Paulson and Mick Robson shared the air with me today and that was great and they all did very well. I have video coming soon. Yes it was cool but I was pretty well dressed for it. Tuesday's forecast looks good so away we go again.


The Moritz Wagner Report

Monday January 9, 2017

Today we were watching the clouds move fast across the sky when we woke up, but by the middle of the day the winds had slowed down and we got ready. I was second behind SkyDog and got dropped off in a gaggle of circling vultures. The first thermal took me above 4k as I watched Oded launching and climbing fast to the NE of me. I joined him and Bob for a while and then went off by myself and found a really nice thermal that took me up to 5600 ft. It was cold up there and I wanted to go down a little to warm back up. I decided to follow the liftline towards the warehouses, but the liftlines stopped at about half way and after I was down to about 4000 ft. I thought there must be lift at the warehouses, but no such luck. I did not get another beep out of the vario, except for the sink warning ...
In any case, it was a great flight, about an hour and lots of time with birds and right under the clouds.

The Skydog Report

Tuesday January 10, 2017 and a sunny morning but 15 mph winds and by one pm it slows to ten mph so we get into the air by two. I get off first followed by Moritz and then Oded. The clouds are moving in from the east and it looks like it will shut down soon. Moritz and I work lift coming from the warehouse area and we take it back to the west past the orange groves. Oded is not able to get into the lift and lands. We go back to the warehouses and follow the lift to the orange groves and soon the sky is fully cloud covered and we hit one last monster that takes me up to 4,200 feet into the soup. After I leave this one I cruise around in semi buoyant air and land with a 1 hour and 3 minute flight. Maybe Wednesday will be better.

Wednesday January 11, 2017 and the Cu's start forming around noon so we get into the air by 12:30 with Oded going first with Moritz next. Greg L. was next and then me followed by JK and Scott L. and others. Within a half hour or northern crew we all at four grand and all having GoPro cameras on we got some great footage. I will try to get some footage together asap. There was strong lift and also big sink and I took three tows with Oded and Moritz taking two each. Base was easy and we were careful not to get sucked in. Oded and Moritz report getting up to 4,800 ato and I topped out at 4,707 feet ato. Tom Nejame flew over from Seminole glider port and did a few turns with us so you will likely see some of Tommy in our footage. We also had Rave's flying pretty close for a photo op. My flight times were 33, 34 and 44 minutes. I felt like a real dummy sinking out twice and Malcolm said what are you doing down here as I was about to be towed up again. Maybe I can do better Thursday. George Adams did an XC from Wallaby of 15 miles for 1 hour and seven minutes. JK shot a thousand photos so you may see some of them in Hang Gliding magazine. Video coming soon.

The Moritz Wagner Report

Wednesday January 11, 2017

On Wednesday we decided to be ready a little earlier than the day before as the cloud-coverage became over 90% and shut down most of the lift on Tuesday in the early PM. So we pushed out around 12:30. A nice lift-line from the SSE was calling out to us. Although Paul pulled me through some serious lift on tow, I found only spotty lift after release. But by just staying in whatever I got and searching I eventually found the elevator and pushed the button to cloudbase where I soon met up with Skydog, Oded, and Jimmy K. As we played around under the cloud at about 4200 ft we drifted quite a bit past the sand pit and the lift was getting weaker, so I decided to head back to Wallaby. Following the best lift and with a little help from Greg as a thermal marker I made it back easily with about 1000 ft to spare. The landing was a 2-stepper which was a lot better than the couple before where I had to run it out: hands high on the downtube and feet back!
Motivated by Oded's and Skybob's relight I also went a second time and the flight was pretty much a replay of the first one, except that this time we were also flying with Tommy Nejame in his oh so elegant Silent electric sailplane. A couple of flights just short of an hour, 4600 AGL, and flying with many friends: another well spent afternoon.

The Skydog Report

Thursday January 12, 2017 - A blue sky until noon and then the cummies start showing up and we are ready and get off by 12:30pm with two pilots in front of me. Fay Barber drops me in a good thermal @ 2,500 feet and I take it up to 3,182 feet ato at the six minute mark on my 6030 so that was a good one. Oded and George come up after me and soon they are out of sight. Lots of other pilots are in the sky and we keep trading places searching for the best lift. After about a half hour I have lost the lift and land with a 35 minute flight. I hurry and get in line again and Paul put me in another good one just west of the warehouses and it is cooking and I am up to four grand in seven minutes. I see Scott L. east of Hyw. 27 so I go on chase and we have some fun together. James Kolynich gets up with his Atos VRS and e thermal together and I have video coming soon. Next I see Mick Robson in the Carbon Dragon over the orange groves so I head over toward Mick and I hope that I have some good footage of Mick. I made a run out past the cloverleaf and meet up with Aric and he is pressing on south down 27 and I finally give up chasing and I came back to the cloverleaf and I am at base at four grand. From there I kept loosing altitude and landed with a flight time of 1 hour and 21 minutes. My highest altitude was 4,396 feet ato. JK landed just after me with a flight time of  1 or 19 minutes and up to 4,504 ato. Mick Robson had a great flight of 3 hours or more and was cloud dancing. After I landed I called Oded who had landed at Quest Air along with George Adams. George logged 3 hors and 30 minutes. Oded flew for 1 hour and 30 minutes and then a second 20 minute flight at Quest. Thursday was a great day in Florida.

Friday January 13, 2017 was a mostly cloudy day so we went to the nature preserve near Lakeland and it was great.

Saturday January 14, 2017 was another mostly cloudy day but it cleared somewhat around 2 pm so Oded, Tim Bird and I got in line and I went first. Fay Barber found some lift close to the warehouses and I pinned off and searched to find it getting down to 1,200 feet butt hen I hit a bubble and I circled in it and followed it back over the orange groves getting up to 2,600 feet. From there on it was all downhill and I landed with 36 minutes. Oded and Tim did not find much and landed with 18 minute flights.

Sunday January 15, 2017  The forecast says sunny morning and mostly cloudy by noon. Sure enough the sky is 80 percent covered by noon but some of the blue areas are over Wallaby so a few of us get ready and by one pm we are in line with Todd going off first and I follow. Oded and George have gone to Table Tennis because of the cloudy forecast. Looks like Todd is doing OK so I get off over the warehouses and I keep bumping into small stuff and get down 500 feet and back up to 2,550 and finally I lose it and land with 25 minutes. I see a couple of others up around 3 grand so I get towed up again and release in about the same place and after some searching I hit the jackpot circling in the 400 fpm lift and drifting back over the orange groves keeping on the front edge of the clouds that almost totally cover the sky. Now I am at 3,500 ato and the lift has increased substantially and I am seeing 800 fpm sometimes as I try to stay as centered as possible. Oh, there are some ravens circling so I try to follow them but they head way downwind and I don' dare so I cruise to the south following the front edge of the cloud toward Hyw 4 and at one point I stop in a nice thermal that registers 1,457 fpm and this doozie takes be above base to 5,659 feet and now I am over Hyw 4 and watching the sun disappear behind me but it is still sunny south toward the hospital so I figure now that I am so high that I will head south until the lift dies and as it turns out the lift did not die and so I am past the hospital and I think well maybe I can make it into the wind and work my way up to he cloverleaf at 4 and 27. Wow, I did not loose to much at all going upwind and I am over the cloverleaf. OK so now what to do with all this cloudy sky, well I decide to head to the warehouses where I see a bit of sun and by the time I get there the sun has gone and there is not much lift left and I see Mick Robson landing his Carbon Dragon and I come in shortly after Mick with a flight time of 1 hour and 7 minutes. I enjoyed this flight more than others in a long time as I travelled so far up wind and found lift on a mostly cloudy day. Yahoo !!!

Monday January 16, 2017  The forecast today looks good so by 12:30 we are in line and I am off third behind Bruno and Tim. Paul takes be to a boomer and I work it up to 3 grand over the orange groves. I see Bruno and about the same level a little north of Wallaby Ranch and Tim is getting low over the field. Oded gets off next and soon Oded is above me as I am getting down to 2,500. George comes up next and kicks off at 1,800 feet over the cloverleaf and takes it up 3,800 feet ato and heads toward the Ranch not finding anything and lands with 24 minutes. Tim lands with a half hour flight and Oded comes in with 30 minutes. I manage to squeak out 47 minutes and my highest was 3,333 feet ato. We will try again after lunch. OK so here we are at 5 pm and six of us just landed. I am off first this time and lucky enough to get the longest flight of 50 minutes and up to 4,465 feet ato. Oded got 37 minutes up to 3,000 feet and others did similar. Tuesday's forecast looks good and Rick Bremer is going to be flying with us in his Atos VQ so we will be challenged.

Tuesday January 17, 2017 and it is a sunny morning. I take the first tow and Paul puts me into some good lift just east of the warehouses. I work it upwind east of Hyw. 27 and it gets stronger over there. I follow the lift to the west and join up with Dennis and Tim who are working some bubbles northeast end of the field at about 800 feet. I work it up to 2 grand and the others sink out and then I loose it and land with 1 hour and 15 minutes. I get back onto a cart and Paul pulls me up to a good one in the same area and I work east two miles near Omi centre and there I encounter a good one. I meet up with Aric and Oded and we get up to 4,123 ato. Aric makes a run to the south and Oded follows and I stay back with what I thought was OK lift but it turns out that it dies and I go on chase after Aric and Oded. They look to be going up and I am sinking so I stop over the warehouses and get a bit of lift and then Oded comes back and is higher and I try to catch up but no luck for me and I sink out with a 50 minute flight. Oded Kalir and Rick Bremer come down an hour later with over two hour flights. George Adams flew to Quest Air again today and James Kolynich had a wonderful 2 hour flight to cloudbase on his last day here for this month. Wednesday is Oded and my last day to fly for this trip so we will see how it goes.

 Just another day in Paradise and we got off tow early today and whamo into a great thermal that took me up to 4 grand out past the warehouses. The line of clouds was forming along Hyw 27 and George did his usual thing flying to Quest Air and Landing there while the rest of us hung out at cloudbase over the Ranch and close by. Rick Bremer flew with us today and as usual Rick had the longest flight of the day. Oded thought that he had the title but then Rick showed up near dusk and Landed with us all watching after his 3 hour flight. Most of us took two tows as it was easy to find the escalator down but getting back up to base was also easy. Just another real nice day in the Florida sun. I finished our new movie "THERMAL MAGIC" so take a look.

The James Kolynich Report

January at Wallaby was great! Ten days in the Florida sun this time of the year is a treat for any
New Yorker. Flying hang gliders there was icing on the cake. Only needed one tow on most days in part to the extended performance of the ATOS VRS.
Only one "non flyable day" due to weather. It was spent scouting out the beautiful wildlife at a
Nature preserve near Hancock Lake around Lakeland. Exotic birds, alligators and turtles viewed
From a path that winds through the Cypress tree laden wetland.
Same routine everyday. Wake up to sound of the tugs taking up scheduled tandems and training flights over comfortable Wallaby Ranch apartments. Read my email with Wifi, shower, followed by the freshly made gourmet breakfast at the dining room ready when the bell rings.
We load the gliders on the carts about noon and push out to the launch area.
Fay or Paul will have you at 2.2K in a jiffy. It is up to you to soar with the ravens, other HG's, the occasional sailplane or go off by yourself and find your personal cloud.
Did I mention former National HG and distance record holder Mike Barber is on site and available for instruction, coaching and XC flights?
Grounded with a cold for a few days I recuperated in the sunny mid 70's weather in a chase lounge on the deck beside the pool.
Got plenty of airtime, pictures, and RR.
In summary it was a great week for flying and being with your best friends. It doesn't get better than that.


The Skydog Report

Wednesday January 18, 2017 and another sunny morning. I was working on my webpage and the latest video so I did not get started very early but there were about eight pilots anxiously waiting for me to test out the air. George Adams got off first with me following and then Oded, Gregg L. and Aric. Rick Bremer also tried to get up but the weak link broke and he decided not to fly. I never did see George up there but Oded said later that George had flown to Hyw 33 and back which is a 18 mile out and return round trip. Fay Barber put me into a great thermal at 2 grand and I took it up to 4 grand in ten minutes and it was fairly easy to stay up there. Oded and I flew together a bit and then I saw Jason Williams circling over the northwest corner of the field so I joined him and we went up together. A bit later I saw Aric Paulson way of to the west so I flew upwind to him and the lift on the way was good and I arrived about three miles to the west and followed the lift back to the east staying above 3,500 most of the time. I saw Mick Robson cruising around well below and then I flew to the south to just past Hyw 4 where I encountered a beautiful T-tail sailplane and we thermalled together for a couple of minutes and then he took off heading toward Seminole sailplane port. By now I have one hour and forty minutes on the clock and I am hoping to get at least two hours so I squeak around under lift near the cloverleaf and finally I am getting close to two hours so I head towards Wallaby Ranch and there was a bit of lift along the tree line so I played in that for a few minutes and finally landed with 2 hours and 6 minutes and I had topped out at 4,530 feet ato. Oded later reported that he had also got up to base and had a one hour and thirty six minute flight. Our last day here for this trip was real nice and we hope to be back around February sixth for a month so look for reports then. Bob

My Total airtime this trip 14 hours and 36 minutes




Last Two Days Video

Photos Below

Moritz, Bob, Jimmy, Oded and Driver Dan - SnowBirds


Oded Coming Up


Oded Kalir and Mike Barber


Bob's T-2C and Moritz's U-2

Oded's Atos VQ


 Tandem Line Up Friday Morning


Oliver and ?

Malcolm and Student Landing


Joe on Approach


Tandem Take Off



Aric Paulson


Beautiful Morning


Dianna S. Ready to Fly

Dianna S.




Look at Those Gliders

Malcolm and Student Landing


Solo Take Off


Joe Getting Ready

Student and Laurie


Take Off


Joe Tows His Glider

Glider Being Towed


Dianna S. Takes Off





Joe on Tow


Happy Faces


Ready to Launch





Kevin Fischer - Alberta Canada


Moritz in Line


One pm Launch Line


Bob In Line


Bob Ready For Launch


Moritz Ready To Launch



Kevin Under Tow


Laurie Croft


JK Shoots Skydog


Oded Gets Above Bob


Jk Shoots A Vulture


Bill and Tim Bush



Skydog Bob Shoots Oded


JK Shoots Moritz


Skydog Shoots Moritz



Tim Bush


Skydog Shoots JK


Oded Heading To Launch

Gliders at Launch


Skydog Shoots Oded


Skydog Shoots Tommy Nejame in His New Silent Electric Sailplane


Moritz Shoots Skydog Bob


Tim Bush



Moritz Shoots JK (James Kolynich)


Eric Runs Oded's Wing

JK,s Tips


Moritz With JK Below





Moritz Films Oded


George Adams



Moritz Films Oded


Oded Films Tom Nejame


Moritz Skying Out


Oded with Bob & JK Behind - We are Racing


Oded with Bob Behind - It's a Race


Of Coarse I can't Catch Oded


JK at Wallaby Ranch


Oded Films Tommy Nejame - Silent Sailplane


Bob Films Moritz


Tandem Landing


Oded and George Ready to Go XC to Quest Air from Wallaby Ranch


Timothy Ettridge - Tug Pilot at Quest Air


Quest Air


Oded Makes a Good XC to Quest

Sara Flairs





Sarah on Approach

Sara Weaver


George Adams Arrives From Wallaby Ranch





George Adams on Approach at Quest Air

Oded Lands at Quest Air


Sarah Weaver


Morning At Wallaby


Morning At Wallaby

Circle B Bar Reserve

Lakeland, Florida

James Kolynich Feeding The Alligator People Fingers - Closer JK


Oded, JK, Dan and Bob


Baby Snake


Super Blue Heron

Great Egret

Sunday January 15, 2017

Scott Molitar


Jim Nordle Tows Arthur Benson



Arthur Benson


Dan Grad - Driver

Mick Robson - Wallaby Ranch and England


Scott on Approach


Setup Area

Skydog's T-C-2


Arthur Benson Approach


Scott and Visitors

Jimmy Nordle


Arthur Landing


Mike Takes Oded For a Spin



Paul Ready to Go in the Dragonfly


John and Scott

Oded and Mike




Oded and Mike Ready to Go

Oded With Tom Nejame's Plane




Maria - Chile

Dennis Anderson


Sue Neal and Family

Stephen Neal









The Press

Sue Neal - France










The Press


Smitty (Paul Smith)


Skydog Bob Has a Sailplane Below



Maria - Chile


Malcolm Takes Maria for a Ride - Laurie Croft Signals the Tug


Aric - Tandem Instructor Wallaby Ranch



Jason Williams Below


Malcolm and Maria

Maria - Happy Pilot


Oliver and Karen


Laurie, Karen and Maria

James Kolynich - Packing for Home







Malcolm and Maria


James Kolynich Shoots Skydog Bob


Oliver and Karen