Monday, July 31, 2006

Flying at last.

Today was sunday and it was time to go flying. As we rolled into the Sylmar landing zone there were pilots awaiting to make the 45 min drive up the bumpy 4 wheel drive track to what looked like cloudbase. The weather was not great with the cloud barely above the top of the mountain and the wind a little from the east but that was not going to stop us from flying. We found a driver and vehicle to take us up and we loaded up and made the journey to the top. I pulled my brand new litespeed s 4 out of its bag and checked it out for dents after it's long journey over from the moyes factory. Considering this glider had been built at the last minute and not test flown I took my time and carefully set it up. Chris and I took off and quickly climbed up and raced down the ridge to the east. The wind was a little east and base was to low to go that far down the ridge so we turned around and headed west down the range toward's the west towers some 7-8kms down the ridge. We had fun ridge racing together along with an atos who seemed to just be keeping up with us. We did a few ridge runs back and forth and then went and landed after about 1 hour of flying. I think I broke nearly every flight park rule on my winding down and landing approach but it seemed that they still enjoyed my company for the day. The club here is very well organised with a great infrustructure with a landing field shelters,drink machine and 2 shipping containers that hold 70 gliders in lock up. There is a hang gliding shop across the road and quite a few tandem instructors promoting the sport by doing tandems here everyday. This is one of the storage containers they use to store their gliders. Dave adams one of the top pilots for many years in Australia who moved to LA that I had not seen for probably 7-8 years turned up at the LZ to say hello as he herd I was in town. After a quick chat Chris and I loaded up as we had a few other things to do before it got to late. We then went to a great Italian resturant and returned home to do some computer work. It is now 1 am and were still kicking. This is a picture from the LZ with take off in the background.
Sunday, July 30, 2006

Family Day

After another late night it was time to peel th eyes open and smell the smog. I was going on a trip to see my Grandma and Uncle out in Sun City as I do not get to see them often. After another long hour in the car we arrived at my uncles house at were greeted with big smiles. Here is my grandma and uncle with me in sunny Sun City. We then went out for lunch at a near by mexican resturant and caught up on life as we know it. We then returned back to my uncles house where we listened to his pet bird Gus imitating things that he hears. This is his bird Gus. After that we went to visit Kraig at his work where he sells cars to drop off some parts before returning home and catching up on work. After a couple of hours Chris and I went out for a great Thai dinner just down the road from his house in downtown LA. It is after midnight now and it looks like we are going to go flying tomorrow so I will try and get to sleep a little earlier tonight ready for a fly.
Saturday, July 29, 2006

Another day In LA

After a late night again we woke up after about4 hours sleep. It was off to LAX to pick up our gliders from the shipping company and bring them to the landing field. We arrived back there after some hours of driving and began opening boxes and building gliders. We spent the next 5 hours there organising stuff before heading into LA for dinner around 10pm. There were about 10 pilots flying with quite good conditions mostly soarable thermal flying similar to beechmont. This place is nearly flyable everyday unless it is raining or too windy cause the heat of the desert sucks the seebreeze in everyday but it is far enough inland that there is still thermals. It is now bedtime as we have another big day planned tomorrow and it is already 1 am here so untill then I hope all you back at home are having a great weekend with lots of good flying.
Friday, July 28, 2006

Jonny Goes Big In Hollywood

This is me arriving at Hollywood in stlye with our retrieve vehicle for the comp. This is the inside of the Hummer I had to take a picture for you all to look at after several request.

The famous Hollywood Blvd

Here I am standing on Donald Duck's foot imprint at the famous Grauman's Chinese Theatre on Hollywood Blvd.

A Day In LA

Well where do I start, it seems time passes by so fast. I had my best friends Josh and Raffi who were going to Jamaica for a family reunion via the united states. It was about the same time that I wanted to go so I quickly jumped online and found the flight that they were on and booked myself a ticket. A few days later there we were all checking in together at Brisbane airport the first time I have ever been overseas with these guys. I knew that this was only the begining of the trip and it was only going to get more interesting as it unfolded. We said our good byes and entered the immagration area only to be held up by my gps that I had as carry on. They had to call the airlines to make sure I was allowed to bring it on board and after several minutes they came to a conclusion that I could take it but I had to remove the batteries and put them into my computer bag. These guys all have a different solution to the problem as I always take my instruments with me on board the flight. So we boarded our flight to New Zealand where we had a stop over on the way to the states. It felt as if I was the baby sitter as these guys have only been overseas once before and were not so familar with the processes we had to go through. It was quite a short flight to New Zealand unless you were sitting next to the drunk brothers who were dying to have a cigarette. I calmed them down by telling them that NZ airport has a smoking section and they would just have to wait untill we arrived. We landed at Auckland and walked into the airport but something was different we now had to go through xrays again which you never had to do before in this airport to stay in the connecting lounge. Sure enough my bag goes through the xray and I see all their eyes light up the grab the bag and xray it once more. "Sir do you have a radio in this bag" of course I do so I pulled out my radio and they checked it out and disconnected the battery and placed it in another compartment in my bag. I was just shaking my head so anyway we finally enter the airport connection termainal and everything is different. I was starting to wonder if we were at the right airport but we were and they had just renovated the whole place and not one thing was familar. The bad news is that they had gotten rid of the smoking section so these boys were ready to smoke but were unable to, so what next the bar. We sat down and had a couple of drinks well they did I was just watching. A couple hours went passed and we were soon boarding the plane again for the 13 hr flight to LAX. The plane was fully equipped with personal entertainment units which made the trip go a little faster. We celebrated on the plane by having a couple of vodka's and boy for not much of drinker at altitude it does not take that many drinks before your feeling drunk. We watched a couple of movies and then fell asleep for a while and before we knew it we were landing at LAX. We managed to get through customs ok then had to wait awhile for the bags to come through and then out we went into the big country. Chris smith picked us all up from the airport and took us down to venice beach and we enjoyed a nice mexican lunch on the boardwalk. Here are the boys with Chris at Venice beach! There were a lot of very interesting people to look at and things to see. After lunch we checked the boys into a hotel as they were only there for one night before flying to Jamaica today. I wish that I was able to tell you more about their night as I am sure it was very interesting but I was not game enough to stay with them just in case I got locked up or something crazy like that.. Anyway it is 3 am here and I have just returned home from hollywood after having dinner and a bit of sight seeing. I will post some photos tomorrow for you all to look at..
Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Another World Record

Manfred in his magnificent flying machine. Manfred Looking ever so innocent Manfred has just broken the current world record flying his swift from Zapata county airport to Lovington airport, NM. With a total distance of 450 miles just a little bit further than he flew his flex wing in 2001. I am assuming Robin will be heading down to Texas now to try and get back his world record that he set this time last year flying 435 miles. Manfred just landed about 15 minutes ago and phoned Davis to let him know that he had just touched down and set a new world record. Congratulations Manfred on another world record.
Monday, July 17, 2006

Kitesurfing expedition

One rainy weekend and nothing to do, Hold on a minute yes there is, lets go kitesurfing. We had herd about this place that was only reachable by boat and was supposed to be a kiteboarders heaven. I looked up on google earth and found where they were talking about a lagoon that at high tide is about 1 meter deep and just perfect for kiting. I stole the co ordinates and plugged them into my garmin 76cs and leeroy organised a hire boat from the Gold Coast. As we woke up sunday morning it was still raining but with a quick check of the weather it looked like it was going to clear and be a nice day but not for flying. So we gathered up a group to bring the cost down and soon ended up with a full boat of 10 people well ok 9.5 people. We boared the little 50 hp boat and began on our mission. It was not untill we brought the boat up to full speed untill we relised it was going to take us over 2 hours to get where we wanted to go. Ouch we were not expecting to take that long but it was nice a boat trip up to the end of Stradbroke Island. when we arrived the weather for kiting was not as good as we hoped but we all quickly set up on the un crowded beach of Stradbroke. We all had a great time trying to kitesurf and just hanging out on the beach watching the nice surroundings. The wind came on good about 1 hr before we had to leave so there was only a limited amount of time for kiting and when your restling your kite upside down in the water that hour can go by very fast.. I pulled trick of the day once again by trying to show off a little and boosted high into the sky from the beach and went face first through the soft quick sand about 2 metres from the water.Ouch I was so happy to have hit the quick sand as it would have really hurt if it was something a little harder. I made quite a impact and as the tide started to drop you could see that I actually made another lagoon inside the lagoon a perfect imprint of my body was left behind on this deserted beach. There were no other incidents apart from nearly running out of fuel on the way home. We were not suppose to take the boat that far away, so we used every bit of the 82 litres we had on board. We returned back to Marina Marage at the end of the day with a boat full of smiles and good memories. This will not be our last boat trip up there but we may have to find a faster boat for the journey.. Below is some pictures that I snapped off during the day.
This is little Taj the captain of the boat!!! The crew arrives on the deserted beach of stradbroke Island.
The Gang cruising in the boat with Dirk behind the wheel!!
This is a Pelican preparing for takeoff after I scared him!!!
Sunday, July 16, 2006

Josh's 28th

This is the birthday boy all dressed up for the ocassion. well my brother had his birthday last weekend and we went out to a Mexican resturant to celebrate the night away. After a great dinner we ended up coming back to our house and continuing the party in the bush. We had a very late night or should I say early morning and most of us were not feeling a 100 percent the next day.Lucky it was raining and we did not have to go flying or something energetic like that..
Thursday, July 13, 2006


Phil and Adriana had a little baby girl Emily last sunday the 9th of July. She was born 6 weeks early but is in great health along with Adriana. I got to go and see them all the other night in Hospital and she is so small and cute. She mostly sleeps all day long right now and I was fotunate enough to see her with her eyes open and in her daddy's arms for the first time.All the best for the future guys and you will see more pictures to come as she starts getting older. Adriana tells me that Emily will be teaching her how to speak english once she grows up..

The weekday warriors do Byron Bay

Well lately Leeroy and I have been taking a elite bunch of students flying on the wednesday's as part of a training camp. So far the weather has not been good enough to get them going for their first cross country's so we decided to have a day down at the beach.On this day we had only a couple of pilots being Michelle,Warick,kathy,leeroy and myself.We made the one and a half hour drive south to the ever so famous Byron Bay. When we arrived we met the locals up at launch and they told us that the wind would come on but it was to SW early. So we decided on taking a walk up to the lighthouse and watch the dolphins splash around off the most easterly point in Australia. After about 1 hour the wind started to come on so we went back down to launch and set up the gliders preparing for a epic coastal soar. This was Michelle's first time flying at the beach and the Byron boys were more than helpful to show us the dangers and potential hazards that are common to the site. Thanks to Pete, Ashley,Brian and all the others that helped us off the ramp. I took off with kathy and michelle and soared for about 20 mins before going and landing on thebeach next to the solid 5-6 foot surf at Tallows. we then went back up the hill and Pete offered me his Moyes tandem glider so that I could take up Michelle's brother Craig for a tandem flight. Leeroy also joined us as it was kath's turn to baby sit the little boy. After The last flight we all ended back up at the beach Hotel for a nibble on some awesome nacho's and a couple of drinks before making the long drive home. It was a great day out and I would encourage anyone looking for a nice relaxing day to go down have a fly and enjoy the scenary that Byron has to offer.
Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Canungra Classic

Hi I have just updated the website for this years Canungra Classic. Hopefully soon it will be on the canungra website for you all to look at and register prior to the comp. Untill then you can check out the page by clicking HERE