Rt. 52 Launch Ramp Planning Meeting

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At 6PM today a group met at the overlook on Rt 52 to discuss the State’s improvement plans for the overlook, and how to build a better ramp to facilitate winter flying from the “new” overlook.

Here are a few photos, and a video, of the current ramp situation if you haven’t had a chance to check it out…


Ramp Meeting from Ryan Voight on Vimeo.


Rt 52 Overlook Launch SAVED!

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It was just noticed a few days ago that there was some heavy construction equipment on the overlook where our winter launch ramp is located on Rt 52.  Further investigation uncovered there was a plan to improve all of the scenic overlooks- and unfortunately that plan involved removing/destroying our launch ramp (the state of NY didn’t know it was there, and the City of Ellenville says they didn’t know we still use it).


With some fast activism and some very understanding folks on the State/construction side, Wayne reports we are in luck and the launch ramp is saved!

Well…This may go down as the fastest “Course of Action” change in NYSDOT history! I just got off the phone with Scott Gieger of the NYSDOT, He informed me of the following:

1. The Concrete launch pad will remain “As Is” with no change to it.
2. If you look on the new plan set the Concrete launch Pad begins at the end of the new Stone wall. There will be a new Steel guard rail installed as it is now with no or little change.
3. The shrubs designed into the new plan will be removed as to allow us to access the launch pad as in the past.
4. The State of NY takes note that the HG/PG launch site has existed since 1972 with no incidents or lawsuits to the State of NY.<<<Very important!
5. The work will be completed by the fall of this year as to not hamper the upcoming winter flying season!
I would call this a successful win for the HG/PG community for the following reasons:
1. We get to continue to use the Overlook as a launch Site “On state property”…
2. The Concrete Pad is on State Property.  The State has the right to remove it because:
  a) We have no permit for it.
  b) The State does not like people Launching off things they own for liability reasons like Buildings, Bridges, Monuments ,etc…
It stays!
3. The state is noting its existence.<<<BIG!
This is not the time but in the future after construction is completed we can/should apply for a special use permit! This will open the door for other improvements like a gated access to the ramp and perhaps a more improved ramp & egress. Scott said that we should proceed with this coarse but first get consent and support from the Town. He did say that prior to calling me he did receive a call from the town Supervisor in support of keeping the HG/PG launch as is! He said that was important to the state for making these decisions! “I’m sure that call went out right after Greg Black left the Supervisors office! It worth noting that this may be the first time the State of NY is acknowledging such a use on any state Highway! It is important that we continue to use this resource in the most safest manor possible as we have done in the past and move to get a Special use permit for this in the beginning of the year!
In conclusion, I believe we can all rest with the idea of knowing that the EV Overlook Launch will remain a HG/PG launch platform long into the future! I’d like to thank all the people that called in support of this effort and thank Greg Black for paying the Town Supervisor a visit! All of this is what made the difference in keeping this Launch Site active and viable.
Wayne Neckles.

Ryan sends one “UP THE VALLEY”

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It was a NE forecast with high hopes and low expectations but Ryan was able to get up and out, making it the 26 miles to Kingston and landing at the NY State Trooper barracks on Rt 209.

Full report with some photos on his blog: http://airthug.com/blind-squirrel-finds-a-nut/

Man’s Best Friend

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Jimmy D sends:

Most incredible thing happened yesterday afternoon I decided to take a ride to launch even though it was way south west I get up there there’s a guy set up and a 50 pound German Shepherd mix dog that he’s putting into a harness Now I’ve seen Tim bar fly with his dog but this was a 50 pound dog! He said his name was Derek he’s from West Virginia and his dog’s name was flare. I asked him have you been down to see Tony and sign a waiver and he said no he had not and I looked around and I did not see his car and I asked him how did he get up here he said he parked next to the hot dog truck and asked the man if he knew where we flew. The guy said right up there and he found our little path and hiked his dog his glider and equipment up. I happen to have a waiver in my car so I got him to sign it he promised to see Tony with the $20 when he landed and I asked him his qualifications. He said he was a 4 so I settled in to watch the circus act. Perfect launch I told him to fly out into the valley a little bit since the wind was so cross he listened and hooked a thermal  and got himself a lot of altitude I was not happy I did not have my glider   Well I headed down the mountain cuz I hadn’t yet seen our BBQ that someone backed into   I was anxious to see that and I wanted to be around for his landing so down the mountain I went yep somebody backed into our barbecue  Anyway I’m watching this West Virginia and his dog coming in for what looks like a long straight final. The wind had died almost completely so the fact that they were coming over the pumpkin patch didn’t concern me but what did concern me was that the pilots arms were limp hanging down not on the base bar! I watched in horror as the glider approached the ground I don’t know what happened to Derek but I kept thinking wake up wake up but that ugly sport with a purple leading edge just kept coming to the ground with his arms just dangling behind the basebar his face seemed to be resting on the base bar  Now I don’t know whether the dog was scared or backed up on Derek’s back out of having been taught to do so when they approach the ground but for whatever reason this dog moved the center of gravity back far enough to pull off a perfect wheel landing third ring the jostle of the landing seem to bring Derek back to consciousness I got a lot of this on video stay tuned

Fun Meet 2014 Report

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Paul Voight reports the 2014 Fun Meet results:

Well… with a lot of good help and a bunch of luck with the weather… we pulled off an Excellent, SAFE… fun meet last weekend !!!
I just posted some photos on the Yahoo site in an Album “2014 FUN MEET”…
Flying occurred all three days …believe it or not. We scored flights on Saturday and Sunday… (Friday’s rain lasted long enough to get people hitting the beers in the coolers… and when the rain cleared (around 5:30)… the sober pilots got a taste of a windy/bumpy wonder wind.
HOOK cooked a FEAST for everyone that night!!!!!!!
Saturday was windy… with rounds held in the morning…. and resuming in the late afternoon. Pilots got as many as 3 scoring flights each… (the ones with drivers!)
Sunday we continued scoring rounds… and held the awards ceremony in the afternoon.
There were (5) 4 man teams competing for plaques and swag…. and a good number of individual pilots flying individually to also get trophies & swag.
35 pilots in all signed up… and were present.
1st Place =
“Team Fly-High + Griffin”  (Ryan Voight, Justin Lamarch, Matt Hickerson, Griffin Hochstetter)
2nd Place =
“The Cave-Men” (Jim Georg, Dave Lewis, Gary Planken, Ralph Schemmenti)
3rd Place =
“The Fish-heads” (Jaime McGuire, Ken Foldavary, Jim Kolynich, Dan Spier)
4th place =
“Flying Rats” (Gary Casper, Andy MacFee, Tim Rhinesmith, Tim Baaaaaaarrrrrr)
5th place =
“The Russian team” (Alex Prymak, Yuri Koziy, Boris Schulman, Victor Pankratov)
Advanced/Master division:
1st = Ryan Voight
2nd = Justin Lamarch
3rd =Dave Lewis
4th = Dan Spier
5th = Gary Planken
6th = Jim George
Intermediate Division:
1st = Griffin Hochstetter
2nd = Jorge Grey
3rd =Matt Hickerson
4th = Gary Casper
5th = Steve Bailer
6th = Jay Jansen
Novice Division:
1st = Wycheck luk
2nd = Ralph Schemmenti
3rd =Andy MacFee
4th = Victor Pankrotov
5th+ = ties
Highest scoring Rigid wing = Dan Spier (ATOS)
Highest scoring Female pilot Kim Thompson (actually tied with Andrea Cron… but we employed a tie break method  😉
It took months of planning and work, and the following are the people who made it happen:
-TONY COVELLI…. for the great SITE!!!
-Barbara Voight, Joan Kerovpyan – Score-keepers
-Jimmy Donovan, Chris Mcguiness Launch directors
-Pete Johnson, Bryon Estes, J.J. Lamarch landing judges
-Paul Blood, Dave Lewis……. Mowing L.Z. !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
-Paul Blood obtaining the keg
Steve Bailer – arranging beer + toilets
-Jimmy “D”…. getting dumpster
– Kenny Foldavary….  cutting the launches NICE!!!!
– Bryon Estes… getting the 20 Pizza’s
-Lil Georg…. making the bombs & lots of other assistance to me…
-Roger Baker…. “T” shirt design
WILLS WING, FLYTEC, and HIGH ENERGY… Many Prizes, SWAG & sponsorship…
Hopefully I haven’t forgotten any major players   :-O
Thanks to everyone involved Pilots and staff alike!
Respectfully submitted,


June 14/15 Forecast

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Dave from Maine says:

The forecast has morphed to NNW on Sunday, Swinging NE about 7:00.
Sat nw about 10 but increasing toward the end of the day. Thermal base now looks to be 7k  🙂  with cus .

The LZ maybe arse deep in water. It’s raining cat-fish and dog-fish  all day and half the night.

Busy Spring Weekend

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Saturday, March 8 2014 was a very budy day on the Rt 52 overlook ramp… conditions were strong (windy) early but mellowed later.  Temperatures were pretty mild, and all the smiles warmed the valley!




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