The Yankee Flyer

By Andrew Fiertek, Editor

Congratulations to the following elected officers for the 2001-flying season:

President - Dan Jester,

Vice President - Tim Locke,

Treasurer - Sharon Roys,

Secretary - Mila Jungmann,

Site Director - Deane Williams,

Flight Safety - Rick Tenan,

Newsletter Editor - Andrew Fiertek,

Beer Director - Wayne Ripley,

Minutes, CHGA Meeting

Mila Jungmann: scribe

I showed up late after preliminary discussions and conversations had just segued into club business. We had a good turnout and many members brought their wives, we discussed making them club officers but no motions were introduced.

  1. Sharon began the meeting with her treasury report;
  1. The balance in the treasury is $453 as of this moment.
  2. The insurance on sites is due in a couple days, which will run $425 for the two sites (Talcott Mtn. and Seascape inn) leaving $28 in the treasury.
  3. A $22 charge was allocated for the engraving of the perpetual trophy.
  4. Dues are now $30.00 for the year 2001. Some members paid at the meeting so feel free to renew your membership, the address where to send your money is listed at the end of the minutes. Please include your USHGA # and Expiration Date, Rating, and Email Address, along with your check. Helmet stickers will be issued to paid up members.
  5. A motion was passed to send flowers to TJ's service.
  1. Deane gave a site discussion combined with comments on his article published in USHGA magazine (February 2001) about The Millennium. (We are all proud of you Deane).
  1. Deane calls for a site work party in the spring, feel free to show up and do some gardening at your convenience. I have a new windsock to put up (red) and Andy plans to update the bulletin board.
  2. Some discussions about flying untried sites ensued on an unofficial basis, no plans were finalized.
  3. Deane warns that we are behooved to fly Lime Rock (Sharon Mountain.) in order to preserve our privilege of maintaining a ramp there. Underbrush will need to be cleared but the site is open as is (go fly it, please!)
  4. Rick and Bridget cleared a thruway at Talcott last season and suggested an expansion would greatly improve the site, there was general agreement and Poison Ivy-killer chemicals are highly recommended.
  1. A motion was passed to direct our free copies of USHGA magazine to both Tunxis Community College and CCSU.
  2. Elections were held and the results are very briefly:
  1. Beer Director: Wayne Ripley
  2. Yankee Flyer editor: Andrew Fiertek
  3. Treasurer: Sharon Roys
  4. Secretary: Mila Jungmann
  5. Flight Safety Director: Rick Tenan
  6. Site Director: Deane Williams
  7. Vice President: Tim Locke
  8. President: Dan Jester
  1. A motion was introduced to change the Yankee Flyer to Internet format to save money. It was agreed that one last issue would be sent with a solicitation to sign up with your Email address thereby terminating yourself from snail mail. No vote was taken matters were left to the editor's discretion.

6. General discussions included plans for the Foothills Flight Park trip in May. (End of report)


2001 CHGA Dues

Checks payable to:

CHGA $30.00 dues for year 2001

c/o 14 Foxwood Road

Bristol, Ct 06010

2001 USHGA Region 8


Will be held Saturday, March 3rd from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at the Westford VFW in Westford, MA. (This is one town over from the Littleton VFW Hall where the meeting has been held the last 5 years. The Littleton VFW Hall is undergoing repairs and can't be used this year.)

Reports from Region 8 Clubs: Connecticut club, Vermont club, Western, Massachusetts club, New England PG & HG club, & other groups will attend. Discussions about: New England site issues, club issues, flying experiences and any other important regional issues.

Directions To the Westford VFW Hall will be as follows:

From Connecticut: Take I-84 E towards Boston to I-90 E, then I-495 N to RT-119 exit 31 towards Groton/Littleton Common. Keep right at the fork in the ramp, merge onto GREAT RD/MA-119, turn right onto Gilson RD, and turn right onto FORGE VILLAGE RD/MA-225 which becomes W PRESCOTT ST/MA-225. Look for the VFW Hall on the right, VFW Post 6539, 67 West Prescott St. (Rt. 225), Westford MA (978) 692-7015. Yahoo! Maps and Driving Directions

Please feel free to contact Doug Sharpe ( phone (978) 318-9714.

Paraswivel Recall and Inspection Advisory

This advisory covers all Wills Wing Paraswivels manufactured prior to March 10, 2000. At a recent parachute seminar in Vancouver, a Wills Wing Paraswivel was found that was not properly manufactured. Wills Wing Paraswivels are blue anodized, and all such swivels should be inspected to determine whether or not they have the following manufacturing defect.

The paraswivel consists of two-machined aluminum barrels held together by a large diameter hex head steel bolt. This bolt passed through a hole in one barrel of the swivel and is threaded into machined threads cut into the other half. In the side of the second half, there is a small hole which into threads are also machined to accept a small hex head screw. After the swivel is assembled and properly adjusted to allow for free rotational movement, this small screw is threaded into the small hole in the side of the barrel until it bears against the side of the large screw, which holds the two barrels together. The small screw is then tightened down securely and thus prevents the large screw from rotating in, and backing out of the barrel.  

On the defective swivel, the threads for the small locking screw were not machined all the way through to the inside of the barrel. As a result the locking screw bottoms out in the hole in the barrel, and cannot be tightened against the main bolt, and the main bolt is thus not secured. This ultimately could cause the two halves of the swivel to separate, and as a result the parachute would become separated from the pilot.

The paraswivel is designed to be a permanent assembly, and cannot be disassembled for inspection. The small locking screw is secured with permanent Loc-Tite, and any attempt to remove it in order to disassemble the unit will damage it and render it unsafe to use. The only proper way to inspect a swivel for the defect is to secure the large hex head screw against rotation, and apply a torque of approximately 40 inch lbs (ten lbs of force on a four inch lever) to the swivel barrel in which the small locking screw is installed. There should be no more than 1/2 turn of relative rotation of the large hex screw and the barrel under this load before the barrel "locks up" and will not turn further under this amount of torque. (The ability of the small locking screw to restrain the large bolt is dependent on its position relative to the threads of the large bolt. Some initial slippage under load is acceptable, as long as the bolt is eventually locked against at least 40 in lbs of torque. There is no way for the parachute during operation to exert more than a fraction of that much torque on the swivel, and even with the main bolt not locked at all, the main bolt will normally not unscrew if the swivel is rotated under load.) If the main bolt will continue to rotate beyond one half turn under 40 inch lbs of torque, it means that the small locking screw is not adequately securing the large screw, and the swivel is defective and must be replaced.

 A specially modified 5/16" hex wrench (cut down so that it fits into the slot in the swivel) is required to secure the large hex screw against rotation. We will be providing these along with a tool for securing the barrel of the swivel to you so that you can inspect your customers' swivels. Defective swivels will be replaced at no charge.

I encourage everyone with a paraswivel on their parachute to have it checked out immediately. Marilyn at Nichols Sail Loft at Morningside Flight Park has been authorized to check, identify and repair these paraswivels. Marilyn is charging a small fee of $3.00 for this service. It is recommended that everyone have this done before it is too late and you need your backup.







Letter in response to the Plight of the Poor New Pilot published January2001.

The Plight of the Poor New Pilot

Oh Mila, reading your article about the Plight of the Poor New Pilot and lack of training hills brings back memories. The CHGA paid heed to similar cries in days gone by. Many of us remember the times (3 that I remember) when we (the CHGA) went and cleared hills because new pilots wanted training hills. Who showed up to work?

Tek Flight products once in a moment of stupidity, offered the use of one of their hills to a school club if they would come out and work on it. Who showed up to work? Nobody. Maybe the hill wasn't close enough for them --- must have been almost an hour away.

Once upon a time we used to say, "Take a couple of lessons and you will know enough to continue by practice and teaching yourself." Sounds (and was) stupid, but we said it. The fact is that there is way too much to learn and if bad habits start to get formed, it takes a long time to break them --- if the new pilot survives. We find that it takes longer to re-teach a new pilot if they have started training elsewhere. Bad habits keep on surprising us and rearing their head(s). The cost effectiveness of instruction can be easily shown first, in the hours of airtime that a pilot gets in their first few years of flying and second, although not quantifiable, the comfort that a pilot has when standing at launch about to fly. A pilot who has good instruction, will not be afraid or anxious impending flight. This lack of fear by the way, is the result of two things. First, the pilot having been willing to pause at steps where they did not build habits well enough to be 100% confident in themselves and second, the instructor having insured that the behavior was 100% good between steps. You can have one without the other.

Would a conscientious instructor give a basic rating to a pilot who they had not seen perform the required tasks in a variety of conditions and situations? How much time would it take to make sure that the pilot was able to be trusted to behave flawlessly? If a Hang 2 is to be allowed and trusted to fly off a mountain, does a simple test or half dozen flights show competence and true skill? I have been spending over 25 years breaking bad habits in myself that none of our new pilots have. Good instruction is a bargain. It is also one of the reasons that pilots stay active instead of quit because they fear flying ---- because they never learned how to do things infallibly correctly because an instructor was standing over them demanding good behavior. Ask Brownie about the "experienced" pilot who had flown all over the country, was on their third glider and second or third harness and was appalled when they asked Brownie how many hours he had and he said "about 70". The guy said "Gee, I've got 15". What are they?

I am not saying that professional training should be mandatory but if YOU were an instructor and had to sign off on someone's proficiency in an endeavor where they could kill themselves if they behave improperly, if YOU wanted to be able to tell the pilot that yes, that they are good and can handle what nature throws at them when off a mountain or the next level of hill, would you want to be guessing or knowing? Would YOU want to see a pilot that YOU had signed off being terrible at launch in mellow conditions or worse yet, not worried at all in stronger conditions and with poor skills? All too often, we see a pilot who can't get airtime, "trade up" in gliders to improve the situation that is caused by ----------. Could it be lack of skills/insufficient training? The perfect world for me is one where there are no ratings required and anybody can fly anywhere that the landowner and their peers allow it and nobody can sue anybody for their own stupidity and those that try, go instantly to that hot place down below full of layers.

Ben Davidson

Tek Flight Products

P.S. I have never seen any pilot told that they couldn't fly in Connecticut or New York because they were flying an old glider.

High Performance Secrets

By Mila Jungmann

Everyone knows when all the components of a system are right the system performs at peak efficiency. Any small problem with a critical component of your flying kit will throw the whole system out of whack, costing you valuable airtime and XC miles. One such component may be you're under wear, if you are comfortable your performance is undiminished. Choose the proper material and style for the conditions, make sure it fits well and does not chafe and you will be rewarded with more miles and altitude. For example, is it cool and damp? Or is it warm and dry? What are the temperatures at various altitudes?

First we choose the material; Cotton will keep you cool and wick away perspiration, wool keeps you warm and also wicks away sweat. The most high performance material, believe it or not though, is silk. It will keep you warm at altitude and cool scratching the ridge. Silk wicks perspiration and is effective against chafing, furthermore it is a good windbreaker. Only a thin layer is required allowing full freedom of movement not to mention good harness fit, lastly silk is lightweight which translates into a good sink rate. (In WWII gunners wore silk gloves under their mitts against frostbite) I guarantee the proper style undergarment made of this wonderful material will measurably increase your flying time as well as your XC mileage. Also there will be a qualitative increase in your flying enjoyment and better safety too.

You are now wondering where you can possibly find silk underwear. Well it turns out nothing can be easier, simply rifle through your wife's or girlfriend's lingerie catalog collection, they usually have stuff for guys too. (Luckily it is easy on the eyes) Silk pajamas are a good choice for chilly flying, silk shirts work too. For warmer weather you may even be able to borrow your girlfriend's silk camisole, or pinch one of her cute little negligees, it will work just fine. It will probably feel kind of sexy too, and that's good because that keeps you alert. An alert pilot makes good decisions, which translates into better performance in the air. You may want to go really high performance and add stockings and garters to your gear this will dramatically increase your safety since crashing is no longer an option. Those come in a variety of pretty colors so you can coordinate with your glider. You can finish your ensemble with lace panties with split crotch. These come with a guarantee of record-breaking endurance as well as epic XC adventures. (The split crotch is handy to shake out after close calls)

You are probably thinking if a little is good, more is better right? Well let me caution you here, while a bra may be handy for storage, it can be quite uncomfortable on long flights, especially if stuffed with bulky equipment. Wigs can keep your head warm but the strands flap into your eyes in the wind grossly degrading visibility. While high heel spike shoes give good traction on icy launch ramps, they offer very little ankle support and may damage your harness. Make-up is a good idea too (pro football players claim it reduces glare for better visibility) it will prevent excessive windburn and be sure to apply lipstick very thickly to prevent chapped lips and to balance your bright helmet color. Well that about covers it, remember, little things matter. (It will be our little secret)


Harris Hill in Elmira, NY

By David W Perry,

Hi everyone!

Well, it's finally a done deal! I signed the papers Wednesday night & Free Spirit Flight Hang Gliding Club Inc. is the proud owner of Harris Hill. It has been 1 year 3 months since the landowner Frank Rhodes started negotiations with the club. There were some misunderstandings & some concerns about the property lines, but in the end Frank wanted to make sure hang gliding would always be at Harris Hill. Frank didn't let obstacles get in the way. It might not be the perfect arrangement but Frank did what he thought was ethically correct; he actually went above and beyond that. The flying community owes a lot to him.

Anyway, just because FSFHGC Inc. now owns Harris, nothing changes, still need to follow the rules:

  1. Call the airport.
  2. Be a club member to fly.
  3. Don't rut up the access road & so forth.

At the next club meeting (March 31, 2001), the membership body will be voting if the club should buy USHGA site insurance at $250/year and/or liability insurance at about $470/yr. If you can't attend the meeting please email me on your vote ( I still don't know what the taxes are going to be.

Anyway, enough business, I would like to thank all the people that have given me contact names, answered questions & any other help that was given to me. This was not an easy task because it was considered a sub-division and the town of Big Flats had to approve it & there were some concerns about boarder lines which there still is, but we are now firmly in place. So thank you to all the people that have given me encouragement & told me it was a great under taking that FSFHGC Inc. had to take on in order to keep one of the best sites in the North East. This is still not official and the details need to be worked out but keep your calendars open for the first weekend in June. FSFHGC Inc is thinking about a ribbon cutting ceremony & renaming the launch so when Frank isn't around anymore, people will know who was responsible for the flying site at Harris Hill. It's not going to be a big and fancy, a ribbon cutting with some news media and then fly where it is flyable. Maybe can arrange a cook out later in the day somewhere. Plans are still in the preliminary stages. If anyone wants to send Frank a thank you note/card email me and I will send you his mailing address.

Once again, thanks to the many people in central Pennsylvania, the TTT, the pulpit and to many others. Please, if you are in the area, stop by and fly our sites. May and June seem to be pretty good months with not much hiking in, we have a group of people that do a pretty good of setting pilots up with waivers and making sure they have the opportunity to get some air time. When you join FSFHGC Inc your now becoming an owner just like the TTT & Pulpit. I think FSFHGC Inc is the 3rd club in the states that actually owns it's won hang gliding site.

Thanks all, fly high, long & safe!

Dave Perry President of FSFHGC Inc.

Frank Rhodes is a SUPER person we need more people like him!



After some careful research we think we have found a gem of a place to go this spring. Someplace new and much closer! (Not Wallaby again.) The Foothills Flight Park is located on the edge of the 5000-foot Appalachian mountain chain in Western North Carolina. They have a Dragonfly tug (with a trike as backup) and charge the usual $15 a tow. There are also several mountains in the area that you can fly to, be towed to for an extra $5 or foot-launch from. The area is very pretty and rural. The planned week is the second week of May. Please contact Wayne Ripley at for more info.

- CHGA 2001 XC Contest

The longest flight within Connecticut or originating in or ending in Connecticut by a CHGA member in 2001 will win the XC Cup trophy. Challenge your flying skills this season by getting away from the "easy" lift at the mountain. Get high and GO. You'll learn much more and have some wonderful adventures. From March 1 to Dec 31, 2001.

- Aerotowing

We are always looking for a place to use aerotowing or winch towing equipment. If you know of an old airstrip or large field somewhere in Western Connecticut contact site director Deane Williams at 860-677-7533.

- Our Newest Site

After 2 years of negotiations the CHGA has received permission to fly Mount Everett in southwestern Massachusetts. This site is near the most mountainous region of Connecticut and close to 3 of our other sites. As of Jan 2001 we still have not yet flown it. No NE winds have occurred on sunny weekend days. Also some pilots are wary of the 6 to 1 glide out to the steep 1000-foot drop off. Although we encourage use of all our sites please be sure to contact a CHGA officer before attempting flight there to get all the details!

- The Annual CHGA Halloween Fun Fly-In at the Cape!!

October 25 through 28th, 2001 - The Annual CHGA Halloween Fun Fly In will take place at the Seascape Motor Inn on Route 6A in North Truro, MA. (508) 487-1225 for reservations after Labor Day only. If Seascape becomes full call the Horizon at (508) 487-0042. Please remember to bring your current USHGA card and sign in with Chuck at front desk. You must sign in before flying. Sorry, No Top Landings Allowed. As before the CHGA is requesting a $10 donation to help cover the costs of Insurance & Maintenance to our sites. Please sign up with Maureen Hamelin in Room 7. Don't miss this fun annual event! Be sure to bring all your flying toys. This area is especially good for R/C soaring.


Notes from the Editor

Next issue we will offer a classifieds section, so if you have something to sell or have an article you want published just email me and I will add it to the next newsletter.


We end this letter on a sad note; we have lost one of our members, who will be greatly missed. A preliminary report on the accident can be found at





JOHNSTON, Thomas Russell

JOHNSTON, Thomas Russell

Thomas Russell Johnston, 52, of North Granby, formerly of Winsted, beloved husband of Barbara (Lyon) Johnston died Sunday (January 28, 2001) in a sailplane accident. Born in Washington D.C., son of Patricia (Mullen) Johnston of Frederick, MD, and the late Fred R. Johnston, he grew up in Rockville, MD and graduated from Robert E. Perry High School and the University of Cincinnati Engineering School in 1972. He lived in Winsted for ten years moving to North Granby 14 years ago. He was employed as an aerospace engineer at Hamilton Standard for 22 years before starting his own engineering business Data Solutions. The two loves of Tom's life, family and flying, brought him challenges, joy and fulfillment. He was a hang gliding pilot for 25 years and also had his private aircraft pilot's license, and was flying sailplanes for the past several years. He was a member of the Soaring Society of America, the U.S. Hang Gliding Association, Connecticut Hang Gliding Association, and the Nutmeg Soaring Society. Besides his wife and mother he leaves his beloved children, Kara E. Johnston, 21, of Atlanta, GA, Alita Johnston, 17 months, and Ted Johnston, 3 1/2, both at home; two brothers and sisters-in-law, Fred R. III and Valerie Johnston, Andrew M. and Kathy Johnston, a sister and brother-in-law, Jeri and David Kalins, all of Frederick, MD; and several nieces and nephews.

Published in The Courant: 2/1/01