Skydog Sports

Cloud 9 Michigan, 2009

Finger Lakes, New York, 2009

Stories and Photos

Photos Below the Story

Three Days In the Finger Lakes

Sunday October 18, 2009

Watching the forecast for quite a while we finally decided that there looked like a break in the bad weather of this past summer and headed to the Finger Lakes and specifically Hammondsport for a Sunday Hang Gliding Encounter.

We arrived about noon and the wind appeared to be coming straight in on launch so I called Mark Frutiger and asked if he would be coming to H-port and Mark promptly dropped his paint brush and headed down.

As I was setting up Jeff Ingersol drove in and shortly after Mark got there. I was set up first but had noticed that the wind occasionally came from the right on launch and I have been eaten by the trees when this had occurred before so I was waiting for Jeff to go first and after an hour of waiting Jeff got his harness on and made a good take off and climbed pretty well so I got my harness on after watching for a few minutes and seeing Jeff get about three hundred feet above take-off and then it happened the sock started coming from the right again and Jeff sunk out so off came my harness and I waited and watched the sock while Mark was setting up and it seemed that it was almost straight in at about 8 mph most of the time so I finally hooked in again and made fair take-off with one wing lifted some by looking at the photos later but anyways I got off safe and slowly climbed up to about 300 ATO and back down to 100 above and back up to 300 a few times. Then I found an area just to the right of launch that seemed to be lifting more consistently so I went to that area and headed away from the slope and my vario kept beeping even as I was about 400 feet for the ridge so I started circling and wow, the next thing I knew I was at 3, 500 feet above take-off and back over Paroulski's farm so I was feeling real good about it all. About this time Mark got off the slope and climbed out nicely and the next thing I knew we were circling together and I was shooting photos of Mark on his Aeros Discus. Mark is saving his T2C for the comps. At one point I lost view of Mark and the next thing I knew he was high above me in a great thermal so I joined him again and we had one of the most wonderful flights of the summer. Later in our flights there seemed to be lift really everywhere like a wonder wind but everywhere rather that just in the valley, Finally after one and one half hours Mark decided to land back on top near the road and I watched him, it seemed like forever back there circling and circling and it looked like he would never get down but finally he got down to where I could see his shadow and Mark landed nicely.

Well, now I thought, darn it, I would like to fly a bit longer but it is not so much fun flying alone so I played for a while flying here and there not finding much sink anywhere so I finally thought that maybe if I flew across the valley and a way up the far side that I might find some sink but as I reached the pond just before Mitchellsville I realized that there was no sink to be found so I flew back across the valley and over launch and I had not lost more that 200 feet and was still at 3,200 feet. OK so I am thinking that I should land now before Mark gets packed up so I head back behind launch and beyond the road and it is really unbelievable to me that there is still so much lift back there that it is hard to find any sink so I play in the lift for a while and then I see my Honey (Maureen) driving our van back there so I do lots of fast turns and wingees and finally get down to about 400 feet above the top landing and finally there is no lift so I can slip in for a nice landing. Oh, by the way my highest height attained was 4,020 feet above take off which was cloud base at 4 pm and my flight duration was 2 hours and thirty minutes. I truly have never had such a nice flight in my 37 years of flying and I wish that all you other RAF pilots were there.

Monday October 19, 2009

The forecast was for light winds in the west southwest direction which took us to Katie Did, a site just past Elmira NY. In my years of flying, I have not had many good flights there but likely five times I have done OK and only once did I have a good gain of 2,500 feet many years ago with Wayne Berman and Keith Riemersma from Michigan. OK so Monday we got there by two pm and the wind looked straight in and at 10 mph. Could not be better but by the time we set up it was falling to 6-8 mph and Doug Stoner took his paraglider up and it looked promising but Doug was not getting very high like 300 ATO and then after about twenty minutes Doug went to the landing area. Next Ed Jowett ran off and had a few good passes and landed. Next Scott Wise got off in a poor cycle and sledded to the landing. A half hour later Linda Salamone took off in a better cycle and I knew it was time to go for it and I got off and enjoyed some ridge soaring with Linda. I think that the highest I got was 270 above take-off and that was with some pretty close scratching above the trees and my flight was 46 minutes. Ron Kitridge decided not to fly in the light conditions.

Tuesday October 20, 2009

Back to KD again but this time there was a little more lift and Ed Jowett, Scott Wise and myself were able to use the thermals to get us up and Scott got the highest at one thousand above take-off while Ed and I got 750 ATO. The most fun of my flight was the three of us circling together for at least ten turns and pretty close too. It was a fun day and I logged the longest flight of one hour and fifty two minutes and that new landing area is great for my wheels.

This was a great three day break for us.


Jeff Ingersol First Off In a Beautiful Sky at Hammondsport New York


Jeff Ingersol

Jeff Ingersol Wingin



Skydog Gets Off A Little Crooked


Got Her Straightened Out OK

Above Launch


Kueka Lake From 3,500 Feet ATO

At Cloud Base - 4,000 Feet


Jeff Ingersol Above Skydog at Launch

Skydog and Mark


Kueka Lake From Out Front of the Ridge

Kueka Lake From above the Top Landing Area





Mark Frutiger Takes Off With His Aeros Discus


Mark Frutiger

Mark Frutiger


Mark Frutiger

The Wind Sock


Mark Frutiger

Mark Frutiger


Mark Frutiger


Clouds Getting Close

Mark Frutiger Out Front


Mark Frutiger

Mark Frutiger


Skydog Landing Approach

Skydog Landing


The Set-up Area at Katie Did Near Elmira, NY


Ed and Doug

Scott Wise Ready To Launch


Ed Jowett


Ed Jowett

Scott Wise, Ron Kitridge and Doug Stoner


Flash Chases Linda Off


Bob Grant Takes Off at Katie Did - Photo by Scott Wise


Flash Chases Skydog Off



Scott Wise, Ron Kitridge and Doug Stoner and Lobie Too


Linda Salamone





Landing Between the Narrow Gap in the Trees



Friday November 6, 2009

 we tried a promising forecast of sunny and 12 mph WNW and forty degrees. As it turned out when I arrived at 11 am there was complete cloud cover and the wind was straight in at 12 mph so I set up and waited for the locals who showed up at 12:30 Ed and John set up and by the time they were ready the sun had broken though and the wind had all but died. How disappointing. We took our sled runs and enjoyed everyone's company. We will try again soon I hope.


The Starters Setting Up


John Bilsky

John on Take-off


John having a nice ride to the LZ





John Flairs

John Bilsky


Sunday October 25, 2009

Another sunny Sunday and that's three in a row but this time the hang gliders did not stay up so well and the paragliders had some great flights. Katrin Parsiegla had the most spectacular flight at Hammondsport hitting a thermal below launch and zooming up to over 2,000 feet and then pulling Big Ears on to get back down and top landed. The wind had been very switching and most of us HG's did not get off and at 2:30 pm many went to Mossy Banks and there again the Paras took to the sky and they were getting about 300 ATO and I decided not to try it as it was getting late and I did not have a driver.


Katrin Parsiegla Skying out


Joel Spano

John - Trike Pilot


Mark Frutiger

Michelle, Ryan and Amelia Wood and Matt Calladine


Doug Stoner

Doug Inflates and Linda Salamone Waits


Linda is Ready

Katrin Parsiegla Paragliding Specialist


Katrin Parsiegla Running Off

Katrin Swooping Out


Sandy Ingersol



Jeff Ingersol



Todd Sheenan Shows His Son How To Set Up

Katrin Close to Cloudbase


A Sunny Week in the Finger Lakes of New York September 13 - 19, 2009

Sunday September 13, 2009 we arrived at Hammondsport by noon and set up and flew with Moritz Wagner, Rick Brown and Dave Stuckey. Conditions were strong and a little crossed from the west. Moritz landed on top after 45 minutes and Rick and Dave followed a few minutes later having great landings. I hung in there for one hour and forty minutes having about twenty minutes of enjoyable air and the rest was work and scary although I did get up to 2,050 feet. My landing did not work out very well as I worked my way down to the Church landing field in strong lifting conditions and finally flared and my left wing got lifted and I spun around and broke a downtube but glad to be on the ground and not injured. Scott Wise, Carl, Katrin and Doug flew later and had better flights but they reported that it was still bumpy at 6:30 pm.

Monday we hooked up with Scott Wise and went to Harris Hill. Mark Frutiger, Ed Jowett, Ron Kitridge, Jimmy Kolinich, Doug Stoner and Doug hg flew with us. With the wind still coming from 310 degrees and Harris gave us good air and I got up to 1,000 feet over take-off and flew for one hour and six minutes and then the wind slowed and started coming from the west so we landed in the great landing field at the bottom. Mark was testing a used Aeros Discus that he acquired in Florida and it went very well.

Tuesday the wind finally came around from the NW so Scott and I headed up to Hammondsport and had great flights and I got up to 2,550 and could cruise around the beautiful skies above Kueka Lake for one hour and five minutes and we both landed on top having good landings.

Wednesday the wind was coming from the NE so along with Scott we headed for Indian Cliffs as the wind was light. When we got there the wind was coming straight in and the sock was straight out so we quickly set up and I asked Scott to test the air and he got off and above about three hundred feet so I waited a few minutes and twenty minutes later Scott was sinking out and landed. I decided to break down rather than a sledder.

Thursday the wind was from the SE east and not very strong so we decided to go to Italy Valley for a hike and Scott did not bring his glider and when we got there the wind was straight in at twelve mph so I quickly set up and got into the great air and after about twenty minutes I got below take off about one hundred feet but I found a great thermal to the south and took it up to 1,400 feet while Maureen and Scott and the dogs went for a walk in the woods. After fifty tree minutes I got flushed but it was a fun flight and I could see Canandaigua Lake from 1,000 feet.

Friday WNW winds again and partly cloudy skies forecast so off to Harris Hill again and it was honkin when we got there so we set up and I got into the air first and found that the air was smooth and very enjoyable. Scott came up shortly after and we cruised the ridge for a while at about 600 feet ATO then Bill Vickery showed up at 2 pm and got up with us doing some wild wingovers right after take off. Scoot had to leave early so he landed after one hour and Bill stayed up with me for a couple of hours and my flight time was three hours and fifteen minutes and my highest altitude was 1,400 above take- off. Shortly after take off the sky clouded up but it stayed soarable. It was great fun flying to the west over the sailplane runway where three sailplanes were being towed up. I had a great landing on my wheels.

Saturday the forecast was for NE winds but light so we went hiking and Florian and lots of others went to Indian Cliffs and had many great flights and the RAF had their student graduation party at IC.


Thanks to our Great Photographer Maureen Grant Who Shoots Most of Our Photos


Indian Cliffs Set Up Area

Scott Wise's Lobie Ready to Drive our Van


Scott Indian Cliffs

Scott Working His Way Up


Scott Wise Well Above Indian Cliffs


Bob Grant - Italy Valley

Going Up


Bob Captures Doug Stoner in His Paraglider


Bob Takes off Harris Hill



Scott Wise Out Front


Scott Wise

Bill Vickery Helps Scott Launch


Scott's Off

Soaring Harris Hill


Bill Vickery on Launch

Bill is Off


Bill Vickery Wingees on Launch







Sailplane at Harris Hill

Bob on Approach


Landing on Wheels

Flash Loves the Corn


Harris Hill

Looking For Scott at Hammondsport


Gee's, Scott is Above Me and We Can't Have That "Right"


Looks Like I am Getting Up There Now

Kueka Lake in The Background


Scott Wise


Looking Back at Hammondsport And the 300 Foot Tower



Scott Wise with Kueka Lake in Background


Harris Hill Again

Harris Hill


Scott at Hammondsport


Ron Kitridge at Harris Hill



Harris Hill



Bob and a Hawk at Harris Hill



Moritz Wagner at Hammondsport Take Off

Rick Brown


Moritz Gets Off

Bob - Rick Watches




Matt Caladine



Dave Stookey

Doug Stoner - Harris Hill





Scott at Harris

Ed Jowett and Mark Frutiger


Mark Frutiger on His Discuss




Jimmy and Rosie Kolinich - Harris Hill





Let's Fly


Jimmy Kolinich - Falcon

Jimmy Kolinich


Jimmy Kolinich


Ron Kitridge

Ron Kitridge


Soaring at Harris Hill


Ron Kitridge

Mark Frutiger


Mark Frutiger Climbing Out


I See a Glider Down There - Harris Hill

And Now a Sailplane







Lake at Harris Hill

Bob Shoots


Doug Stoner

Ron Kitridge



Ron Kitridge



Bob - Wills Wing T-2


Bob and Hawk



Doug Stoner


Sailplane Port - Harris Hill



Nice Sky


Doug Stoner


Doug Stoner

Doug Stoner Airborne


Scott Wise






Flash Covers Up in Our Van


Harris Hill


Harris Hill


Scott Wise at Harris Hill


Sailplane Port

Sailplane Towing Glider




Let's Land Now



Chris Bratsis Report -  August 7, Cloud 9 Michigan 2009

Hey Bob, I really only went out to Tracy's just to run Charlie my Golden Retriever around for a while. When I was driving in I saw Tracy towing up Jim Dedes.
The sky was weird with a high thin layer of cloud cover but there were also some small cummies forming to the east & south.
I still didn't think it would be any good. Once I arrived Jim was still up and was having a OK flight. I think his flight was 40 min to an hour
maybe. By now the sky was looking a bit better but still had the high thin layer. Lisa was deciding to give it a go and Tracy was bugging me to fly with her.
He even offered to help me set up...So I did. Lisa took off and was at cloud base by the time I took off about 2:30. Even now it still did not look that great.
I never got to cloud base which Lisa said was about 5200 feet. The highest I got was 4200. The only thing about my flight that stood out was my 2
low saves. Tracy dumped me in a really nice thermal which I took to the top south of the field. Then as typical for me I bumbled into another
dumb decision and was soon down to 900 feet right over the hanger. Lucky for me there was a strong small thermal that I had to fight for
and finally cored it back up to 4000 feet. I have not worked that hard for a thermal in a long time and it finally paid off. I then boated around for a while
with no luck and was down AGAIN to 1400 feet when, believe it or not, that same thermal was still living right over the hanger and I was able to claw
back up to about 3700 feet where Lisa was. Not long after this Lisa went and landed and I just went on glide and landed about 25 minutes later.
Our flights were both around 2 hours & 25 minutes long. The air was really nice. That high overcast was growing thicker by 5:00 and a bit later
there was 3 tandems all in really nice air but with the high cloud cover. So I think I matched your Thursday first flight time and helped me end the week
on a positive note. I think I ended the week with nearly 5 total hours. And I was good to see you! This has not been a stellar flying year around here.

See you soon!                           
 Photos Click Here



Skydog Report - June 5, 2009

My First Great Hang Gliding Flight at Cloud 9 Michigan 2009

As always we take a chance with the weather and although it may be a sunny day that does not necessarily mean that there will be lift in the way of thermals. Often when there are good thermals they will be marked by a sky full of cumulous clouds but on this Friday June 5, 2009 there was a beautiful blue sky with not a cloud to be found. I arrive at Cloud 9 field just east of Lansing at 1 pm and start to set up my glider and after about a half hour another pilot shows up and wants to join me in the sky hoping that there will be some lift. I am ready first and get in position to be towed by Tracy Tillman with his wonderful Dragonfly tow plane. The tow is bumpier than usual meaning that there will likely be lift and I take a tow to 2,300 feet where I hit a strong thermal and release the tow rope and start circling and find ample lift that gets me up to over 3,000 feet but then I notice that I have forgotten to zip up one of my batten pockets and the dive recovery batten is hanging out. The glider seems to be handling OK but I feel uneasy with it open like that so I land and close the zipper while Pat Winther gets towed up and starts to sky out. Next Lisa one of the owners of Cloud 9 is in line and ready so Tracy tows Lisa up and she also gains some altitude so I am anxiously waiting for my second tow and Tracy zooms down to pick me up and we are off. This time I take the full tow to 2,500 feet and find a nice thermal right away and drift with it to about 3,500 feet where Lisa and I fly close together in the same thermal and finally Lisa takes off and heads west about two miles to find something better and I stay with the first thermal and get up to 5,400 feet and Lisa comes back after about ten minutes but is about 50 feet below me. All this time Pat is of to the north about two miles sometimes doing well but then I see Pat down low and next thing I know he is up at 5,000feet again so it must be good over there to. After drifting back about four miles I decide to head back to over the launch field and when I get there I am down to 2,000 feet and in search mode and I do find another good one and it takes me back up to 6, 960 feet and I try to break 7,000 feet but never do. After a couple of hours I have been back up and down many times from 3,000 feet to over six grand and I see Lisa head in for a landing and all goes well. Next Pat joins me and he canít quite get up to me at 6,000 feet and finally I see Pat take of to the west and a half hour later I see him landing. Well at this point I figure that I need another twenty minutes to break Patís flight time of three hours so I hang on to all the lift I can find and finally it turns into another good one at 400 feet per minute climb to 6,600 feet and I am well past the 3-1/2 hour mark and find more lift at 5:30 which is unusual as the lift generally dies around 5 pm. I am having such a great flight that I stay up until 6:15 and come in for a nice landing so happy that this was a great day and the trip was well worth while. In all I logged four hours airtime and my best gain was from 1,500 feet up to 5,900 feet so I am a happy camper.



If you can help with some of the captions for the photos below, Please let me know

Send Mail - Click Here

Our Spring attempt at the Finger Lakes  2009

Skydog Report - April 23
rd - 26th

Thursday April 23, 2008 we had a late start and arrived in Bath NY. about 2 pm and called Scott Wise and decided to wait till 5 pm to see if the wind went down as it had been over 25 mph all day and as it turned out the wind did not slow for us. Friday we talked to George Adams and he told us that they may go to a site 2-2/2 hours east of us and we decided to pass and go hiking on the Finger Lakes Trail for about five hours. Saturday morning we heard that the pilots who flew Friday at Hancock did really well with 3 hour flights and 2,500 launch so I wish that we had taken the extra drive. At 4:30 I took a flight from Katie-Did and after a 15 mph lull take off I found myself in 30 - 35 mph winds which was not real comfortable so I headed out to the landing area after 30 minutes and had a good landing. Sunday morning we checked forecasts and headed for Harris Hill near Elmira and found Bill Vickery in the strong air and Bill had a one hour flight and then came back up to take off for a second flight and we all waited for the wind to slow from 25 mph and finally at 4 pm it did slow down to 15 mph so Bill took off again and then I got off and then Dan Walter took off into a pretty sky. I was lucky enough to find a good thermal ripping up just to the left of take-off and after 30 minutes I was at 6,185 feet above take-off and back about three miles so I headed toward take-off and was still above 3,000 feet but soon sank out and landed after a fun 1 hour and twelve minute flight. If I had realized that the wind had shifted substantially from the north I likely could have soared Indian Cliffs which is just across the valley to the left but I was not thinking skilfully so I landed in the Harris landing field to be greeted by Dan who was ready to get home to his family. Unfortunately Bill and Dan did not find much lift and went to the LZ after about ten minute flights. I did get really lucky this time.

Photos Below

SKYDOG - Bob Grant


Take-Off Video


Harris Hill Set Up Area


Bill Vickery - Laminar - Above Launch


Bill Vickery Taking Off

Bill Vickery Working It


Dan Walter - Takes Off - Wills Wing T-2C


Dan Walter Into a Pretty Sky

Dan Walter Searching


Skydog Take-off Wills Wing T-2


Skydog Heading Up

Skydog - Pass


Lobie - Scott Wise's Pooch

Sunset at Harris Hill


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