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Author: Jeff O'Brien Created: 5/13/2009 2:45 PM
Jeff O'Brien revolutionized his life when he learned to hang glide in 1998. He dropped most other interests and promptly moved to Utah to fly full time. He's flown hang gliders on five continents and began competing in 2005. Jeff is probably most known for his wing mounted photography which can be seen in hang gliding publications and press worldwide.

Details of the flight to follow.

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JJ Lamarche has had a 35 year career of experience in the hang gliding scene - going from sewing sails and teaching new students in the 1970's to 14,000ft. drops in a friend's hot air balloon, to passing on the love of HG to his son Justin.

JJ on his Falcon 225.

Justin and his brother had their first tandems with their dad at age 3. Justin is 19 now, and his dad says, "I couldn't prevent him from flying if I tried." Justin has become a solid H4 level pilot, won this years Ellenville fun meet, and is flying a WW Sport 2. He had started on a 140 Falcon and took his 1st solo mountain flight at 15.
We have 5 second generation pilots from this area, 3 of them very avid, and actively promoting the sport with the enthusiasm and energy of their youth.

Going into my 35th year of hang gliding, I now divide my flying time between a rigid wing and my 225 Falcon, for ease of setup and breakdown, stress-free flight and landing characteristics, and fun mixing in with the higher performance gliders.

By the time I was 14 I started taking lessons (would have been earlier but I was too light for the glider) and at 15 was off the mountain. Over the next few years I flew my 140 falcon every time I was out of school and it was blowing in. None of me friends understood exactly what it was or why I seemed to love it so much. They still don't but they've learned to accept it and a few are even interested in trying it.

Justin Lamarche

I am now 19, fly a 155 sport 2 (that I love) and continue to fly every chance I get. More recently I have become obsessed with aerobatics and can almost always be found doing wingovers above the LZ. I also got the chance to fly a U2 and a T2C. I had great flight on both of them and regret ever laying eyes on the T2C only because now I have to get one.

Justin spot landing at a competition.

I always took my time progressing through gliders. I flew my Falcon for almost 4 years before moving on to the Sport 2. I've had the Sport 2 for a year and a half now and have about 60 hours on it. It has been very good to me, its super easy to handle and I'm still able to keep up with any other glider in lift. At full VG it moves pretty good too (I fly it there most of the time) and has plenty of energy to pull wingovers.

I felt comfortable on the U2 and T2 and had no problems handling them, however the S2 keeps me more than happy.

Justin diving on his Sport 2.

This past summer I became an instructor for Fly High Hang Gliding here in NY and am currently teaching my younger brother to fly. I was also able to enter 2 competitions, placing 8th at the Kitty Hawk Kites Hang Gliding Spectacular, and winning 1st place at our local Ellenville Fun Meet. I look forward to doing more next year and plan on continuing flying for the rest of my life.

Nice job boys. Thanks.

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KAVU 2010

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A couple of front range WW bros took a late fall sledrun with photographer Rich Crowder along:

Alex McCulloch Blog

All photos courtesy of Rich Crowder

Alex's website

Alex McCulloch

photo courtesy of Rich Crowder

photo courtesy of Rich Crowder

photo courtesy of Rich Crowder

BJ Herring on a Sport 2:

photo courtesy of Rich Crowder

photo courtesy of Rich Crowder

photo courtesy of Rich Crowder

photo courtesy of Rich Crowder

JT Trujillo launching a Sport 2 at a front range aerotow spot.

photo courtesy of Rich Crowder

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More from Eric Donaldson's blog: CLICK HERE
You can reach him at - Get art from an aviator.

Really nice B&W

Eric's art - a small sampling of what he's capable of.

Inspecting the flora...


one more perspective of the spot landing at Big Spring. Good camera angles. Was this Ricker Goldsborough's Landing video?

Thanks Eric.

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I've flown with corner of the control frame mounts up to 8' long with no counterweighting. If the mount is long, affix a piece of PG cord from the nose plates to the end of the mount.

My "tinker toy" system allows for any angle and maximum variability.

Leading edge mount coming out the inboard sprog door. SLR cameras can be hung upside down anytime - video cameras have to be upright unless you're software editing program will flip the video - The Hero cam flips video internally.

Launching the T2C with a corner of the control frame mount. Note the string stabilizer.

A nose mount out and then off to the side in Arizona. It's possible to fly with mounts out the front of the glider while aerotowing, but you've got to pay attention to the bridle and tow rope.

Photo by John Wright. A LONG corner of the control frame mount. This mount captured the entire wing.

Let's get into camera mounts. I have rudimentary machining skills at best. A sawzall, hammer, electrical conduit bender, drill with 1/4 inch bit and a plethora of hose clamps. My stuff isn't scientific.

Remember Tinker Toys?

That's what my mounts resemble. I have a couple dozen curved and straight aluminum pieces that go together with bolts. I like the freedom because all my mounts fit in a relatively small box and I can piece them together to get any perspective. I can have a mount up to almost 10 feet long if I choose. Maximum versatility.

I couple one inch aluminum tubing with broken round downtube pieces. The one inch aluminum I get from Lowe's. Home Depot doesn't have it. I bend pieces with an electrical conduit bender. Buy one, bend tubing, and return as they're expensive. :)

A sampling of my pieces. I've used robust PVC electrical conduit as well. The black taped portion of tubing has been flattened slightly to affix to leading edges and crossbars with hose clamps. I use three or four hose clamps over maybe six inches of tubing to affix my first mount piece to the glider. They're screwed down tight, taking care when affixing to carbon.

I run my mounts out of the sprog doors, and have installed an extra zipper slider so I can open the sprog door at the leading edge. If you have a light camera setup, I've heard of pilots who have just inserted a spare tip want into the end of a sprog and hung it out the trailing edge. Mounting doesn't have to be complicated, but you have to be really careful not to effect the glider. An incorrectly placed mount could be life threatening.

Always counterweight mounts out on the wings unless the setup is really light.

A custom X-bar mount I had for the Predator with two nose mounts in the background.

Good articles have been written about camera mounts, specifically one in USHPA magazine by John Heiney. He gives formulas for calculating counter weight, etc. Camera mounts should not be taken lightly as they can be life threatening if place improperly. (or properly) If you're going to mount a camera, be smart and go about it incrementally. Expect the glider to handle like sh*t and expect to be have your head stuffed up in the sail while your friends are specking out. Having said all that, when you get a quality wing mounted photo, it's usually all worth it.

Let's continue with the Bogen Superclamp: Click Here

The superclamp with 6" aluminum stud is what I use. The 6" stud goes inside round downtube material and is affixed inside with a couple of 1/4inch bolts and wingnuts. The superclamp fits great on downtubes, perfectly on an aluminum slipstream basetube, and the keel.

I modified the backside of the clamp by drilling this hole to accept the bolt end through the aluminum slipstream basetube.

Here are a couple of photos of the clamp on the basetube. You can extend pieces of tubing up to 8' or more ahead of the basetube. If more than 5 feet away, I'd recommend running PG cord or high strength string from the noseplate to the end of the mount. You do not have to counterweight the corner of the control frame mount no matter how long it is. (in my experience)

There's just enough room for the clamp to fit next to the downtube when the controlframe is assembled.

Here's a closeup of the Superclamp stud inside the downtube tubing.

Nose mounts are easy to install, stay with friction, and provide a great angle. Find a piece of aluminum tubing that fits snugly inside your keel, sleeve it with other pieces of aluminum, or I've used fiberglass resin, and cut a slot with a sawzall.

My nose mounts "cam" inside the keel when the camera is attached and I've never had one budge in flight even though it's not screwed or clamped in. The glider will obviously be nose heavy, you'll have to counterweight the end of the keel, and expect strange stall characteristics.

You need a nose cone with a hole in it so call your manufacturer and order an extra cone you can cut a hole in. Flying some gliders without the nosecone can be life threatening.

Next is the ball head where the camera is attached. I use this one: I USE THIS ONE Relatively cheap and secure.

Here's an example of a corner of the control frame mount and a nose mount put together "Tinker Toy" style.

Nose mount in Yosemite. SLR camera on the end, Hero cam clamped to the middle. Counterweight zip tied to the end of the keel. Expect the glider to give you less accurate pitch feedback, stall characteristics will be weird and landings interesting ;)

Framing up the SLR - Tape the wire out of view on the outside of the downtube. Note the rebar counterweight tied to the keel.

Wing mount on the leading edge at the outboard sprog. Counterweight on the opposite wing. Expect the glider to have a turn, and fast flight will cause the wing with the camera attached to it to probably creep forward.

It's easier to work inside the sail before you stuff battens. Be sure the mount changes the way the sail naturally seats as little as possible.

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Gianni Petrilli's photo slideshow from Guayaquil and Canoa. Gianni - thanks for the show, ride, and hospitality man!

And three photos from Nicholas Glennon who's getting after it on a Falcon 3. Cheers Nico.

Launch ridge - launch is bare gray spot on the right.

The village beach scene.

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ERIC DONALDSON is one to watch. Click on his name for a link to his blog. Have a scroll through the posts. Eric is doing cool things in several mediums. (more on this in the near future)

Eric left with Lucas Ridley right. Both multi-talented pilots.

Eric is a member of the Lookout Mountain Crew and has been attending comps for a couple of years now. He's coming up fast, and has been doing what's necessary to get better.

Eric's art - he works with blown glass, wood, and other mediums - check out his blog for more examples of his art and e-mail him at - - if you'd like to commission a piece.

In Big Spring, Eric would blow off the start time and go out early on his own. 50, 60, or 70 miles down the course, we'd catch him and fly together for a while. I remember chasing down a lone pilot one day thinking, "Who the hell is out front alone?" With each thermal I closed in and finally saw it was Eric solo out in front. After chasing him for four clouds, we topped out at base together, and after strafing his top surface, we flew tip to tip for a couple of climbs. It was a memory for me and I'm sure it won't be the last time we twirl up in a climb.

Here's Eric after his last flight on his old T2 in Arizona:

Here's Eric on Terry Prestley's T2C 144 while he waited for his new glider to arrive:

I believe Terry's glider is for sale:

And here is Eric hooking in to his brand new T2C:

Here's his account of the first flights: "My new T2C arrived this week and it is beautiful. I took a sledder down off of the bandit launch Wednesday morning for the first flight. Everything went great and this is by far the best handling/performing glider I have ever flown. The roll response is immediate, unlike other toplesses that may take a few moments to respond to input...

After playing a while I went back to find Lucas, Carl, Scott, and others in the air. Twirling around low in a thermal with Scott sure was fun. It reminded me of other "good ole days". After about an hour I was ready to land and headed down to the LZ. Landing the T2C was just as predictable as flying it. Again, the roll response stays good all the way through the stall."

Photo by Eric Donaldson - Things are heating WAY up at WW...

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