Skydog Sports

Florida Trip

2018 Green Swamp Challenge Photos Click Here

 March 10, 2018

If you can help me out with names please send them to -

 

The Skydog Report

 Saturday March 10, 2018 Maureen, Finnegan and I leave for a three week vacation in Florida. We arrive at Wallaby Ranch Sunday evening at nine and move into Pete and Susan's beautiful cottage. Monday morning starts out cloudy with a shower or two and by noon the sky clears and we have a sunny windy afternoon giving us time to settle in and take Finnegan for a walk. Oded and George tell us about their flights on Sunday and George Adams took a XC to Quest Air while Oded took a run north on Hyw 27 to Walmart and back.

Tuesday March 13, 2018 we have a sunny morning and Maureen goes for a 26 mile bike ride while I set up my Wills Wing T2C. By 1:30 things are starting to look pretty good so Oded and I encourage George to set up his glider and we get our gliders over to the east launch area ready for take off. Malcolm and the crew come over to get us off safely. Mark Johnson tows me up first and the air is quite bumpy and I hang on to 2,500 feet. I am finding some thermal activity but can't seem to keep in it and finally get down to 1,900 feet. I finally find a better thermal over the west edge of the field and work it downwind to the east and when I am over the warehouses the lift turns on nicely and I take it up to 3,830 feet ato. The lift seems more consistent east of 27 and I hang out there while watching Mark tow Oded up and far to the west. Finally after twenty minutes Oded comes in below me and we play in the lift for a while as George get towed up. George gets off at 1,500 and works his but off to stay aloft getting down to 700 feet and finally working back up to 3,600 feet and flying with me over the cloverleaf at 27 and Hyw 4. George heads north and I loose sight of him and I see Oded getting low over the Ranch and soon landing. I follow a lift line to the east on Hyw 4 parallel to the Omni centre and then head back toward Wallaby where I get down to 1,800 feet and I find another thermal that gets me up to 2,600 feet. The air today is rather Rasty and I am getting tired so I head in for a landing with a flight time of 1 hr and 23 minutes. George comes in a few minutes later with a flight time of one hour and 13 minutes. I expect that Oded's flight lasted about 50 minutes. We all landed safely so a good stat to our vacation this time. Around 5 pm Rob and Shawn from Ohio took smooth air flight and were able to stick for almost an hour so they were happy with their first flights at Wallaby Ranch. Malcolm took Fons from Holland up for his training flight at the end of the day. 

Photos Below

George Adams - Syracuse, NY

Local Pilot

 

Oded Kalir - Atos VQ

 

Mark Johnson Towing Skydog Bob

Fons Nederland's

 

George

Bob

 

Rob - Ohio

 

Shawn

Bob

 

Shawn

Oded

 

Shawn - Ohio

 

Danny -Tug Pilot

Shawn

 

Shawn

 

Oded Trying The Electric Bike

Mick Robson Trying The Electric Bike

 

Bob On Approach

Bob Landing

 

Local Instructor

Bob After A Good Flight

 

Oded Kalir Landing

 

The Skydog Report

 Thursday March 15, 2018 and another blue sky day at Wallaby Ranch. We could hear the buzzing of the tugs at 8 am and the tandems went until 10 am and then breakfast is on. Maureen takes her bike on the Van Fleet trail for 25 miles while I take a flight around 2 pm. George Adams takes off first and I am second and the tows are smoother today. Mark tows me into a decent thermal over the orange groves and I putter around in it for a few minutes and then follow the lift east over and past the warehouses on Hyw 27 coming close to the Omni golf resort. I see George struggling over the ranch and down low so he must have missed the lift line and then I see Oded down around 1,500 feet and after a few minutes Oded is right up with me at 4,300 feet. Oded soon overtakes me and I loose sight of him. George lands just west of the warehouses and to the north of Dean Still Road. I fly west into the wind and find heavy sink and land with a 53 minute flight. I get a call from George asking for a retrieval and away I go to get him. Just after we get back to the ranch, Oded lands after his one hour and thirty minute flight.

Part two - a late day flight and Griffin Hofstadter and six other pilots form a line and we are off again. I get off second and find good lift over the orange groves and take it up to over 3 grand and then follow another thermal to the east and just before the warehouses it turns on nicely and I take it farther east almost to Omi and up to 4,100 feet ato. Griffin joins me for a while and then he ventures west sinking badly. Oded is working hard down at 2 grand and finally comes up to about 400 feet below me and we work the weak late day lift for a half our staying around 2,500 feet. Finally I see Oded and all the others have landed and I get lucky enough to stay in some weak lift just west of the warehouses for another 20 minutes and then head to Wallaby Ranch for a nice landing after my 1 hour and 25 minute flight. OK, that was a pretty good day for most of us and I needed the practice after not flying since early December 2017. Rob Skinner had two good flights today also.

Photos Soon

 

The Skydog Report

 Friday March 16, 2018 and another beautiful blue sky day at Wallaby Ranch with the morning tandems filling the sky and the buzz of the Dragonflies filling the tranquility of the air. Today Rick Bremer will be joining us along with a few others that I have not met yet. Canadian, Willie VanCaulert drops in for a morning visit and to see the Wallaby surroundings. Willie is flying in the Green Swamp Challenge at Quest Air starting on Saturday. Oded Kalir and Rob Skinner are also heading off to Quest Air to fly in the comp after flying here at the ranch today. Around two pm I head down the driveway for a south wind take off and the wind is crossing from the west but we manage to get airborne me going first and Rob Skinner right behind. Fay Barber puts me into some great lift over the orange groves and I take it up to 4 grand at the 20 minute time in my flight and I have drifted over Hyw 27 and close to Omin centre again. Oded is missing a glove so he get off at the end of the line. The others are struggling over the ranch and a couple get up to 3 grand while I hang out to the east at 4,500 feet ato. I take a run south to Hyw 4 and the lift is less down there so I scoot back and it is still pumping to the east of the warehouses so I play in the lift for a while. At the one hour point in my flight I see three sailplanes coming from the south like in the three days before when they are on a task. We thermal together for five minutes and Oded shows up and turns with us for a few minutes and then Oded finds it to crowded and leaves the vicinity.  The next thing I know there are another eight sailplanes joining us. One by one they head out on course to the north and after twenty minutes they are all gone. The highest I got while flying with the sailplanes was 5,030 feet ato or 5,200 MSL. Next I take a run towards the ranch and nothing but sink all the way there and I arrive with 700 feet so I play along the tree line and finally a thermal comes off the landing field and I take it back up to 3,500 feet leaving me a mile east of Hyw 27. Now I see a line of gliders ready to launch after 4 pm and Rick Bremer is among them. Now the air has smoothed out some and the new group all have nice one hour flights and Rob Skinner get 1-1/2 hours and up to 4,500 feet. I take a run to the ranch and again get down to 800 feet and again get a thermal off the landing field and I take it back to the east and up to only 2,600 feet this time and now I am getting tired and head in for a landing and when I get to the edge of the landing field there is still some lift along the tree line so I spend twenty minutes cruising back and forth and finally land with an airtime of 2 hours and 32 minutes. Rick Bremer lands a few mints later and then finally Oded touches down with duration of 3 hours and forty minutes. Lots of pilots had a great day. It started out fairly rasty but after 4 pm it became smoother. Early in my flight I had a wire slap and then a dump out of a thermal that gave me quite a thrill as I thought that I may go into a tumble so I was checking for my parachute handle in preparation for another nasty bit of air but it did not happen again and it did get smoother later. We are looking forward to a smoother day on Saturday and some of my buddies will be at Quest for the Green Swamp Challenge. I have some photos coming soon.

Photos Below

Sailplane

 

Oded Joins Me

 

Sailplane

 

Oded

 

Sailplane

 

Oded

 

Oded

 

Oded

 

The Skydog Report

 Saturday March 17, 2018 and another blue sky day with westerly winds at Wallaby Ranch. A big crowd of tandems this morning and I got the SkyDog report ready while Maureen went for a 25 mile bike ride. Oded and Rob are at Quest today for the practice day of the comp so I won't have my buddies here to get me going. I get my things together and am ready to fly by 2 pm but the wind is switchy and no one wants to commit as to which take off to use and finally the lunch bell rings and the others decide they will take late flights after lunch. At 3:30 I make a decision and head over to the east side of the field and wait while the others decide if that is the best place to be and then finally they drift over there with me. I was first off at 4 pm and Mark pulls me through some rasty air and I release at 1,100 feet not wanting to lock out. OK so I work and work and eventually get up to 2,200 feet and I see Mikey Barber getting off tow over the orange groves while I am east not quite to the warehouses. Mikey speeds over to where I am thermalling and we do a few turns together getting us up to 2,800 feet ato. Mikey decides to glide over Wallaby Ranch and I follow and I try to use the lift off of the tree line and Mikey goes a little farther over the orange groves and hits a good thermal while I am sinking out and go in for a landing with a 32 minute flight. Bummed out, I decide that I will try again as Mikey is about 4 grand and looking good. This time I go from the north end of the field and Danny takes me up to 2,600 feet and I pretty much sled it in from there doing a few wingees just for the thrill of it while Mikey is still way high. Well, I land with 14 minutes to my credit and enough is enough. Mikey comes in at 6:30 and tells s he got up over 4 grand and his flight was almost two hours. A few tandems took place after six and the sunset was beautiful.

Photos Below

Mikey Barber Climbing With Skydog Bob

 

Mikey

 

Mikey Heads Out

 

 

The Skydog Report

 Monday March 19, 2018 is an overcast day with few sunny breaks. Fons was anxious to get his first solo flight and Kate wanted to take her Falcon IV up so the Dragonfly is revving up. Fons from Holland takes a tandem with Malcolm and then Fons is ready for his first solo flight and he makes it look easy even with a 15 mph south wind. Kate takes a nice flight and also has a nice landing. Although the sun comes out nicely by noon no one wants to fly today because the wind is getting stronger with a chance of thunderstorms. The comp. at Quest is called off for today also.

Photos Below

Malcolm Jones -Wallaby Ranch

 

Danny Tows

Fons Goes Tandem

 

Fons Ready to Fly Solo

 

Fons

 

Kate - Panama City Fl.

Malcolm and Fons

 

Kate

 

Watching Fons

Danny

 

Kate Has Lift Off

 

Kate

Walt and Mark

 

Fons Solo

 

Fons on Approach

 

Fons and Malcolm

 

Fons

Laurie and Beth

 

Kate

 

Beth, Paul and Mark

Fons Landing

 

Fons

 

Kate on Approach

 

Kate Touchdown

 

Oded Tries Gord's Trike

Gavin Goes For A Spin

 

Zac Majors Rides My Electric Bike

Zac Breaks Down the New WW Sport III

 

The Skydog Report

 Saturday March 24, 2018 I set my glider up at Wallaby Ranch and by 2 pm a group of ten pilots are lined up and ready for flight. Mark and Danny tow us up into a clear blue sky. Greg is first off and sticks real good. My first flight was a sledder for 15 minutes. Two Scotts, Brian and Matt Jackson and a friend all got into the good stuff. Gregg Linneman was right up there next to me on my second flight and Mick Robson flew his Carbon Dragon and got real close to me. I turned a few good risers with Scott L. and we were pretty close for video. I seemed that most of the lift was just to the north of The Ranch and that is where I got up to 4,300 feet. I saw a glider over near the cloverleaf and thought I would try to catch him but I lost a lot of altitude getting there and back to the Ranch and I was down to 574 feet ato and planning my landing approach when I hit a tight boomer at the north end of the field and I took it back up to 2,800 feet and shortly after I found great sink that put be back on terra firma with a 1 hour flight. Scott L. later told me that he got up to 4,990 feet and Brian and the Moyes Boys looked like they also got very high. Jason Williams had a nice flight of three hours up to five grand. We also had Eric from Brazil flying with us and he did very well too. I think that many pilots had close to three hour flights today.

Photos Soon

The Skydog Report

 Wednesday March 28, 2018 and we have had a few to windy days so I decide to take an evening Flight along with Ilya Rivkin and Mick Robson and one other pilot Cody. It was a real nice evening with smooth air and a few thermals. My flight was 22 minutes.

 

Crystal Wolfe

 

Malcolm and Student

 

Captain Mick Robson Towed by Mark Johnson

 

Tandem Landing with Big Smile

 

Oliver and Student

 

Tom Niblick

Student

 

Crystal Wolf

Malcolm and Student

 

ILYA RIVKIN

 

Malcolm and Student

ILYA Lift Off

 

Oliver and Student

Duncan

 

ILYA

 

Student and Tom Ide

Tandem

 

Oliver and Student

Tandem

 

Cory - Michigan

 

Nick Casi

ILYA

 

Photciana  and Rob

Nick Caci

 

Malcolm and Student

 

ILYA

ILYA, Nick and Crystal

 

Crystal and ILYA

Tandem

 

ILYA

 

 

ILYA Landing

 

Bob Landing

 

The Skydog Report

 Sunday April 01, 2018 and finally a day with light winds and some cumulous to help. Many pilots showed up early and at 12:30 a line was forming at the northwest edge of the field. I was rushing to get in line and I was thirteenth to get into the air. I was not able to stick although about seven pilots were clinging to the clouds and getting high. I landed with a 15 minute flight. By now it was the 3 pm lunch break so we had to wait until after lunch. Brian and Matt Jackson were anxious to get a flight in so they were first off with me third. Mark towed me about three miles to the south east just to find some lift. Sure enough it was there and I got up to over four grand. I could not see Brian and Matt anywhere but Rick Bremer was next off and Rick worked his way up to me and finally blew me away with his Atos VQ. Rick Mullins joined us at four grand in his sailplane. Rick Mullins and I were thermalling together near the end of my 1 hour and 55 minutes that took me up to 4,650 feet ato. Easter Sunday was good to us.

Photos Below

Thermalling With Rick Mullins

 

Rick Bremer - In Close

 

The Skydog Report

 Monday April 02, 2018 and the morning tandems and solo flights go from 8 until 10 am. I start getting ready earlier today with two GoPro cameras on board. I am ready by 12:30 and a line of pilots heads down the driveway. I get out there and hustle down the driveway to the north end launch. As I get in line the first tug is getting there and Oliver says get your harness on and be ready and he puts me in line to be off first. Fay Barber tows me up to 2,200 and waves me off into a good thermal. I work it to the north and get up to four grand soon. I am looking down at the take off area and I count another 15 gliders waiting to get airborne. I see that there are four Atos gliders waiting to go. Looks like Lee Silver is off next and after Lee cuts loose I see him thermalling along to the north and it looks like Lee is heading to Quest. My buddies from Cloud 9 in Michigan Brian Ridder, Tom Niblick, Trevor Glidersleeve and Chris Bratsis are here now and get into the air quickly. We also have Rick Mullins and Mick Robson in line with their Carbon Dragon sailplanes. After an hour or so most everyone was in the air and boating around. I saw Miller Stroud disappear into the clouds and Sebastian came in close for some filming action and a little later Chris Bratsis thermalled with me as we got up close to five grand and base. I went off into the blue and landed after a 2 hour and 16 minute flight. Many pilots took flights after four pm. and the lift was really great until 6:30 when a black sky appeared from the north and the wind picked up. Mick and Rick landed late just before the front came in. It was another great day at Wallaby Ranch.

Photos Below

Maureen, Bob and Finnegan - Our Home At Wallaby Ranch

 

Trevor Glidersleeve

 

Brian Ridder

 

Jason Williams

 

4,001

4,002

 

 4,003

 

Jason Williams

 

4,004

Walt, Student and Laurie

 

Rick Mullins

 

Laurie Helps Patrice

Brian Ridder, Trevor Glidersleeve and Tom Niblick

 

Peter

 

Trevor Glidersleeve

Trevor Glidersleeve

 

Tandem

 

Paul Harrison

Rick Bremer

 

Rose Pence and Rick Mullins

 

Jimmy Nordle

Chris Bratsis

 

4,005

 

Chris Bratsis Coming Up

 

Jason Williams

Trevor Glidersleeve

 

4,006

 

Wow

Tom Niblick

 

Sebastian Domingo

 

Baby and Finnegan

 

Tom Niblick

Tandem

 

4,007

 

Skydog Bob

 

4,008

Trevor

 

Sebastian Domingo

 

Seb

 

Tom Sends Maureen Off On His Gas Powered Bike

Chris Bratsis

 

4,009

 

4,010

 

4,011

 

Maureen Likes Tom's Hardly Davidson

Chris Bratsis

 

4,012

 

4,013

4,014

 

4,015

 

4,016

 

4,017

4,018

 

4,019

 

Trevor

 

4,020

 

Rick Bremer Now Above - Top Left Corner

 

Mick Robson, Rose Pence and Banjo

4,021

 

4,022

 

4,023

Mick Robson

 

4,024

 

Mike Barber

Bob and Finnegan

 

Trevor

 

Mark Johnston

Tom

 

Rick Mullins - Top Left

 

Trevor

 

Chris Bratsis

 

Mark Droy

 

Chris, Trevor and Bob

Bob

 

Tom Niblick

 

4,026

 

4,027

 

Trevor and Chris

 

Mick Robson On Final

 

Lee Silver Controls His Drone by Hand Signals

 

 

Tom Niblick

Patrice and Maureen

 

4,028

 

Lee Tries Tom's Gas Bike

Maureen, Tom and Patrice

 

Trevor Takes Off

 

Tom Niblick

 

Maureen

Lee

 

Mike Barber

 

Lee

4,029

 

Tom Dancin

 

Mark Johnston, Tom Ide, Tom Niblick, Brian Ridder, Bob Grant, Trevor Glidersleeve and Chris Bratsis

 

The Skydog Report

 Tuesday April 03, 2018 and Maureen and I take Finnegan to the beach in St Petersburg Fl. and we have wonderful day swimming, Biking and bike riding. When we return in the evening we hear about many of the great flights that everyone had here at Wallaby Ranch. Rick Bremmer did the longest flight of the day at four hours and fifteen minutes landing at 7 pm. Most everyone got up to cloudbase at over 5 grand. Steve, Dave and Kendricks from Wills Wing arrive as we are leaving so Demo Days begins.

A good flight was also had by Canadian pilot Mark Bourbonnais who flew 155 kilometres from Quest Air. Congrats Mark.

Photo Below

Maureen, Finny and Bob At The Beach

 

The Skydog Report

 Wednesday April 04, 2018 and Lots of tandems this morning and lots of pilots setting up gliders. By 1:30 the sky is looking amazing with big cummies forming everywhere. I get my gear together and see Mikey Barber is ready to go and on a cart looking at the sky. By the time we are ready there is a large blue hole over Wallaby Ranch with cummies in the distance so Mikey say let's wait a half hour and see if the cummies form overhead again. We do that and sure enough the sky fills again but the wind has picked up considerably and Mike backs off. I take my glider to a launch are half way down the driveway and get towed up at 2:30 and Wow what rasty air this is. The tow was very bumpy and after to the thermals were  screaming up and blasting down on the way out so I was not enjoying that and landed with a 16 minute flight. Reid Sparks on his Gecko was the only other pilot to attempt a flight here today and he also was happy to be back on the ground and safe. We hope to fly Thursday but the forecast says likely too windy and Friday looks better and Wills Wing Demo Days 2018 will be great.

Wills Wing Demo Days 2018 Wallaby Ranch Click Here

Photos Below The Stories