Newsletter of the Tennessee Tree Toppers
Issue No. 1 2002(editing by Jeff Dodgen)
Calendar of Events
April 13 BOD Meeting
May 11 BOD Meeting
Mayhem Fly-In May 25-27
Mayhem Party May 25
June 8 BOD Meeting
The Prez’s Perchby Mark Poling
Hello I’m Mark Poling prez for 2002. I joined the club in 1978 and have enjoyed the flying
and the members greatly over the years. I started teaching in ‘76 at Warren
Dunes Mich. then moved to Chattanooga in ‘78 and worked at Crystal Air Sports for
several years teaching and in sales with some great people. I now work part
time at Lookout Mt. Flight Park again with some great people who I think are
some of the most professional in the sport. This past year has-been a great
year for the club there was some outstanding flying and the board worked hard under the leadership of Jeff Dodgen. Our membership has grown over the last 3
years and with every ones help (send in your renewals) this can be a record
year. I look forward to seeing all of you here in the valley and hearing from
you by e-mail or phone don't forget to mark Mayhem on your calendar May 25
thru 27 . Thanks Mark Polingelrio@aol 423 554 3780
Congratulations to Katie Dunn!
Katie was awarded Tree Topper of The Year for 2001. She has contributed to the club as Treasurer, Membership Committee chair and led the work on the conservation easement. Once we get the new trophy, her name will be added.
Excerpts from TTT Meeting with Allen McCallie to discuss LZ Conservation EasementOriginally submitted by Jeff Dodgen 1/16/01
Back in July 1992 when the Tennessee Tree Toppers bought the Henson Gap Landing Field, it was agree with Erich Woerner in the Agreement to Purchase that the Tennessee Tree Toppers would put the LZ land in a conservation easement to prevent future development of the land. Erich Woerner bought the piece of land adjacent to the TTT LZ at the same time of the TTT LZ land purchase. This was agreed upon as a stipulation of the sale and has mutual benefit since both Woerner and TTT want the land to remain as is for Agricultural and Hang Gliding activities.
On January 15, 2001, Katie Dunn, Jeff Dodgen, and Mark Furst met with attorney Allen McCallie to discuss a conservation easements for the LZ as well as a conservation easement proposal given to TTT sometime in mid 2000 by Erich Woerner.
The following notes were taken during that meeting.
TTT wishes to put in a conservation easement approx. 43 acres (TTT LZ) as originally promised to Erich Woerner. It was suggested that Woerner would also put his adjacent land of similar size in the trust as well.
Woerner’s rough draft conservation easement document in the form Grantor/Grantee is not a true conservation easement and has no tax benefit.
To gain a tax "gift" TTT must be considered a 501C3, land trust, or soil conservation district.
TTT is a 501C7 and already considered an Agricultural Greenbelt and non-profit organization, so no tax benefit or "gift" would come about with a conservation easement.
TTT and Woerner could create deed restrictions. This could be done by describing the restrictions in a covenant on the parcel(s) just like a neighborhood has restrictions either jointly or together to satisfy TTT’s original commitment. TTT and Woerner would then be responsible for enforcing the land restrictions. Woerner would gain no tax benefit by having this neighborhood restriction.
Woerner could gain a tax "gift" for any lands that were put into a conservation easement. The closer the easement wording is to a "pure wilderness" the greater the "gift".
To "hold an easement" is defined as follows: an owner of land can and willingly and voluntarily describe in a document what can and cannot be done to the parcel of land and convey that easement to a third party to enforce those restrictions. This is the process of creating a conservation easement. The third party that enforces the easement is the "holder" of the easement.
Once TTT gets back to McCallie concerning conversation with Linda Hixon, McCallie will read Woerner’s document and put ideas into a similar conservation easement document that he has prepared in the past.
The tax "gift" benefit formula for a Conservation Easement held by a third party has the formula:
(highest appraised development usage value)
minus (restricted Conservation Easement wording value = tax gift
The more restrictions, the closer the Conservation Easement wording id to "pure wilderness" the greater the tax gift
Woerner will have to get appraisals of all his property that he may want to include in the Conservation Easement to receive the tax gift.
McCallie could represent both TTT and Woerner since there is no conflict of interest.
McCallie normally charges $240. /hour but would only charge us our budgeted $150 for our initial meeting.
The estimated cost of preparing a Conservation Easement document would be $2500 plus other charges depending on how many changes need to be made and the cost of executing the document.
McCallie will send us a sample Conservation Easement and a letter describing the benefit of a Conservation Easement that we could send to Woernerÿ
2001 TTT Christmas Party at the Poling’s- photo by Alli Dodgen
Clark Harlow blows leafs at Henson launch with modified trike leaf blower-photo by Chris Field
Mike Fletcher and Brian soar above the dome in Feb. 2002 photo by J Dodgen
Clinch Mountain, Knoxville TN, longest contiguous ridge in the US.
By Jeff Laughery
The new owners of Clinch Mountain have made indications that we will be able to Fly Clinch Mountain again in the near future. The point is that Bruce Hawk (Hawk Airsports), owner of the Clinch Southeast Landing field, is selling the LZ. He needs to re-capitalize his WINDSOK business and get it rolling again.
I can see that it would be a major loss for the sport of hang gliding if we let this LZ (and launch site) disappear from the face of the earth. Bruce has listed the LZ property (12.26 acres) for sale a several weeks ago for $60,000. The first real estate contract has expired. He is willing to accept possibly $50,000 minimum if a deal is put together without a realtor. He has another realtor lined up that says he can sell it for $55 to $60.
I am personally willing to buy in 20% ownership ($10,000) if we can put a deal together!!!
Clinch Mountain has not been flown with any of the state of the art equipment that we currently have. The last time I flew it I had a "New" K2, others were flying HPII, Axis, Sensor, MK IV, Sport, Formula, etc. The record potential here is awesome!!! Anyone care to try for a new East Coast record??? I personally flew 98 miles (K2) with Tip Rogers (HPII) from Clinch NW Launch to Bakersville NC in/around 1991. This was one of my absolute very early cross country flights (like number 10), and it was an awesome experience!!!
Where is Clinch Mountain:
I have included a link from TOPOZONE that will show you exactly where the
Clinch Mountain site is (Joppa, TN):
Interstate 40, East of Knoxville TN, Exit 392, Northeast on Rutledge
Pike/US 11W, go 22 miles to Mountain Road, Left (just past Joppa School), one quarter mile to first tar/chip road on right.
The Southeast LZ (for sale) is located on the map below the word "Valley"
in "Poor Valley" where the red cross "+" is located, on initial load of the
map. The field is oriented in a SW to NE direction, and the road/driveway
bisects thru the Northeast 1/3 portion of the field.
Both the SE and NW Launches are located on the map between the word
"Clinch" and "Mountain" at the highest point on the topo.
The Northwest LZ is located in the valley next to the road that crosses the ridge, almost exactly due West of the Launch Point on the map. It is on the East side of the road next to the Red House Dot, across from the other red house dot. This is not owned but a friendly farmer/neighbor.
Change the scale to 1:100,000 to see a bigger picture, and scroll to the
Northeast to see ridge. It truly is awesome!
note: there is actually a potential West/Southwest launch site as well, just a couple hundred yards to the Southwest.
Clinch Mountain was owned by a mining company (Sand mining) while it was opened in the 80’s/early 90’s. It was purchased by a guy that timbered the mountain around 1992. At this point it was closed to flying. After it was timbered a person that buys land and/or timbers it, purchased it. He lives in Chicago, his brother Harry Bacon lives in Knoxville. Harry Bacon seeked out Bruce Hawk and asked if we would like to start flying there again. We will need to place a gate at the bottom of the road and agree to the maintenance of the road again.
Access to the Launch:
Access to the top of Clinch Mountain is a 2 mile 4 wheel drive road. In the past, the Tennessee Valley Hang Gliding Association was responsible for maintaining the road. This was done via a $100 annual dues that went toward the Bulldozer clean up that occurred each year or two. The club had about 30 members with about a dozen or so very active members. The bulldozer work was provided by a neighbor to the LZ (Melvin) that has a bulldozer and charges a reasonable rate for his time.
I have 3 interested parties (including myself) that together will make up half of the money to purchase. Another person that has some funds has yet to commit to the project. We are seeking written permission to use the road and the launch. We would like to consider purchasing a small plot on top, but do not think the owner will sell any of the property. This is to be discussed further with the owner. We will also need to get Melvin on the road to do some dozer work.
If anyone is at all interested in helping "Save Clinch Mountain" please drop me a note or give me a call as soon as possible.
Additional info and photos can soon be viewed at www.treetoppers.org or http://www.treetoppers.org/ I also have digital photos available to be e-mailed…
Thank You very much for any help you can give, or suggestions you may have,
PO Box 790
Soddy Daisy, TN 37384-0790
423-432-5391 mobile - anytime
firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com (same place)
USHGA # 47058
Jeff Dodgen and Jeff Laughrey thermal up at Henson Gap-photo byAlli Dodgen
TTT 2001 Board of Directors Meeting
Minutes By Alli Dodgen
BOD in Attendance:
Robert and Vicky Ponder
10:15 am Jeff Dodgen called the meeting to order. Alli Dodgen read the 6/9/01 minutes.
Katie Dunn reported on the Land Trust. We should put in a statement to allow a pavilion or road now. Wording will need to be more specific than a general support of hanggliding. Decision and final legal letter must be completed by Nov. 1.
Jeff and Alli report – as it turned out, there was only a 3 color separation at the Sports Place , so Jeff and Alli had a new 5 color separation made. Thanks to Susan Murdock for selling the shirts. The shirts are selling very well. Clark reported that he knew who has the original block and screens – Phil Proctor. Phil also has a block for making stickers. Jeff D. reports Steve Bellerby may want to buy some of the TTT Shirts to print for Team Challenge.
Katie Dunn reports -Chris Smith brought back on of the trophies. Katie is looking for a base for the trophy. Mark Furst may help to make a base and varnish. We plan to bring back TTT of the Year and Flight of the Year. Sports Place has someone to make an embroidery patch we could use on jackets or hats for Flight of the Year.
Clark and Mark put sock up and everyone like the placement.
Steve Lee fixed leaking toilets and also fixed the shower leak into the storage area. He also fixed the rocking toilet. Kathy had lots of pumpkins and flags at the entrance and launch for the Fall. Aldonna Johnson bought the big pumpkin for the TTT.
Mowing – we have spent $750.00 so far
$1448 spent on t-shirts
$2500 will need to be spent on Land Trust
165 current members
142 renewal notice sent out
Robert Ponder suggested on-line renewal thru I-Check online. It costs $30.00 to join this service.
Mark Furst suggests a 2-part form and then pilot would have a receipt. We would like USHGA to look for at our form and review it for legal purposes. Some of the TTT form is antiquated and needs to be more current. He would also like it to fit on 1 page. He has e-mailed USHGA 4 times with no response.
Mark Poling thinks we need to up our annual fee, and eliminate the 3-day pass.
Discussion – Jeff Dodgen requested discussion of adding a 1 Day Pass. Sites in the west are mostly $5.00 for 1-Day. Katie – we need to raise dues – cost of expenses has gone up and we produce newsletters, mailings as well as the cost of other things. Robert Ponder – add to the value and throw in a T-Shirt and newsletter. MarkPoling – the club needs money to maintain the site and do some other projects. Clark – we are not a for "for profit" hanggliding club, we are not out to make money. Fursty – He tells pilots that are visiting that we own the club, the field and Whitwell – and the money we take for membership is to keep it all up. It’s only $20.00 more for the annual than the 3-day. He will work to get a new form.
Then lots more discussion.
Clark makes a motion to have a $5.00 1Day Pass and eliminate the 3-Day Pass. Katie seconds.
Poling – We are losing money if we eliminate the 3Day Pass because they may pay the %5.00 and will fly for 3-4days. Dennis – if we are concerned about the $5.00 1Day Pass, then we can have a tearoff and the pilot can fly with a receipt. More Discussion.
Clark makes a motion 1 Week Pass $30.00, 1 Day Pass $5.00, Annual $55.00, 5 Year $200.00 Katie seconds. Motion not passed. 4 in favor, 6 opposed. More discussion.
Katie makes a motion $5.00 1 Day, $55.00 Annual, $200.00 5 Year effective 1/1/02. Alli seconds
3 in favor, 6 opposed. More discussion.
Katie makes a motion $10.00 1 Day Pass, $55.00 Annual, $200.00 5 Year, Tom Prouhet seconds.
2 in favor, 7 opposed.
Chris Field motions for a $55.00 Annual effective 1/1/02. 9 in favor. Motion passed.
Chris Field motions for a $200.00 Five Year Pass effective 1/1/02. Approved unanimously. Motion passed.
Chris Field motions for a $5.00 1Day Pass. 3 in favor, 6 opposed. Motion not passed.
Katie motions for a $10.00 1 Day Pass. Tom seconds. 4 in favor, 5 opposed. Not passed.
Chris motions for a $5.00 1Day Fly Only Pass and a $10.00 Fly and Camp Pass. 6 in favor, 3 opposed. Motion passed.
Chris makes a motion for a 1 Week Pass for $30.00. 1 in favor , 8 opposed.
Changed Octoberfest to Friday 10/12.
Katie donated ribbons to Sequatchie Valley Fair and Steve Jones did the simulator at the fair.
Jeff Dodgen updated the membership list and posted the newsletter. Kathy does not want her phone # on the website. Katie will color code expired members and include dues increase.
Jeff Dodgen – we need articles, otherwise it becomes a Jeff’s logbook newsletter. We have spent $750.00 and will do a Jan 1. Newsletter.
Flagpole for new flag. We want to fly an Amercian Flag at our club. Robert and Kenny will investigate cost of building a pole. Take donations for the flag pole.
Team Challenge budget concerns. Katie is going to take in annual dues and TTT Challenge fees and then give Steve Bellerby a check for Team Challenge. 23 registered as of 9/28/01ÿ
TTT 2001 Board of Directors Meeting
Minutes By Jeff Dodgen
BOD in Attendance:
Jeff Dodgen (via phone)
Steve Lee (late)
Members in Attendance:
10:30 am Jeff Dodgen called the meeting to order via telephone while Mark Poling relayed messages to and from Jeff over the phone. Jeff Dodgen read the 9/28/01 minutes.
Discussed parking area gravel.
John Lawton donated double burner oven to TTT.
Determined that previous vote on membership increase was null/void due to it being a change in the by-laws. By-laws committee should be formed to meet and review by-laws and bring a proposal of dues increase in the form of a change in the By-laws to BOD. BOD would then vote on proposal and send revised By-laws to TTT membership to vote on or reject. BOD would allow 30 days for TTT membership to complete voting on the revised By-laws containing dues increases. The BOD would then count the votes.
It was determined that questions should be included on the BOD ballots for 2002. Questions would be similar to: Should annual dues be increased to $55? Should a one day site use fee for $5 be introduced? Should a one day site use and camping fee for $10 be introduced? Should the TTT books be audited anually?
Party at Polings for TTT members and friends in Dec.
Jeff Dodgen mentioned the Flight of the Year should be recognized as well as Treetopper of the Year
Jeff adjorned meeting at approx. 12:00 ESTÿ
TTT 2001 Board of Directors Meeting
Minutes By Jeff/Alli Dodgen
BOD in Attendance: In Attendance:
10:42 am Jeff Dodgen called the meeting to order. Alli Dodgen read the 6/9/01 minutes.
Mark Furst happened to be around when County showed up to put gravel in lower Henson LZ drive entrance. They did not do any grading and wanted to put gravel in by the mailbox. We could bush hog the area so that we can see around the blind corner. Area did not need culvert. They did put in a full load of gravel.
Discussion: Do we need to put a gate up? Clark H. - feels we should put something up but inexpensive so that when locals tear it down it won’t be expensive to replace. Mark F.- We also need to plant bushes so that people can’t drive out into the field which would also provide shade as well as a barrier for pilots that overshoot lower LZ. Jeff D. – Let’s see how much actual landing goes on in the lower LZ (as opposed to current LZ upper landing area use) before we determine if we want to plant, gate, etc. Tom P. – We need to put up streamers down there.
Conservation Easement: Katie reviewed document. A couple of blanks are left to fill in-BOD needs to determine what gets filled in. (Pavilion size =2000 square feet?, size of trails, footpaths, parking, "developed area", Barn/Storage facilities – requested recreational storage – 500 square feet [add language "for purposes of aviation or club purposes]
Katie, Jeff D., Mark F. will review document separately and meet . Plan to have it finalized by Jan 2002.
LMFP hanger is 50 feet by 70 feet. We should be concerned with the wording and size of buildings so that they could accommodate Hanger/Towing/Storage operations…allow 3 buildings with total size of approximately 7000 square feet.
Maintenance/Site– need to close Bath House for winter. Need to put a freeze proof drain. Chris Field – need to put in accommodation so that people who fly in winter will have a bathroom. Mark F. – John L. will donate his old outhouse. Mark Furst made a motion to accept John L.’s outhouse to be used in winter when bath house is closed, if we have a separate committee determine the placement there of. Katie D. seconded
6 for , 1 opposed, 1 abstainedè motion passed.
From Sept. 2001 – December 9 2001 deposits were $9872. + interest
Current balance = $6736.36
Income = $13,279.66
Spent = $12,964.60
Gain = $315.06
Still due are: utilities, turkeys (traditional give away to Basham and Woerner), donation to Church at Whitwell and Dunlap rescue Squad,
Next year we will have the Conservation Easement legal fees.
150 labels were printed of current TTT membership to be used to send out for BOD 2002 election ballots.
New Membership Form – Mark F. – had a conversation with CEO of USHGA, Jane, who said they would not help review our (ttt) member form. We need to have our membership form (waiver) reviewed. Suggested that S. Greer review our new form when we update with new dues fees.
Discussion – Revisions to make applicants to fill out completely including USHGA #, HG rating, This is already reinforced on current form, but we may need to levy a fine if form is not completed fully. Clark H. – We need to have our waiver reviewed every few years by a lawyer.
Need to have a separate membership committee meeting…
Dan Shell made a motion to have Katie Dunn count ballots for 2002 BOD elections and have Mark Dunn to double check it. Alli D. seconded. Motion passed unanimously.
Parties were fun, Octoberfest…
Mark Furst will deliver Turkeys and Alli and Jeff D. offered to help.
Whitwell 1st baptist - $50. Donation
Rescue Squad - $50. Donation
Woerner – turkey
Basham - turkey
Jeff Dodgen updated the membership list and posted the newsletter. Kathy does not want her phone # on the website. Katie will color code expired members and include dues increase.
NewsletterJeff Dodgen – Thanked Dan Shell for all his effort this year and previous years in publishing "Sequatchie Skies".
New BusinessJeff Dodgen wants to recognize Flight of the year – Steve Lee 95 miles to Gadsden Alabama. Jeff D. also wants to award Treetopper of the year…
Jeff D. will put and automated ballot online at the TTT website so that members can vote online. Online ballot will send Email to Katie Dunn with ballot data. Jeff will also include questions about TTT dues changes and Audit.
Erick Woerner had a conversation with Clark Harlow about the wording on the TTT sign at the Henson Gap site entrance. Said the the word "Welcome" could have legal implications that invite the general public which could bring problems and issues
11:45 Jeff adjourned meetingÿ
TTT 2001 Board of Directors Meeting
Minutes By Jeff Dodgen
BOD in Attendance:
Members In Attendance:
10:30 am Jeff Dodgen called the meeting to order. Jeff Dodgen read the 12/08/01 minutes.
former Prez Jeff Dodgen launches from Glacier Point Yosemite-photo by Alli Dodgen
2002 BOD elections results
Number of votes
40 members voted, 8 via Email The following members did not want to serve on the BOD for 2002:
Mark Dunn – 25 votes, Jeff Laughery – 29 votes, Bill Colvin – 24 votes
Jeff D. made a few announcements:
Jeff Laughery did not wish to be on the 2002 BOD.
Tom Prouhet could not make the first few meetings
John Lawton, and Susan Murdock did not receive ballots.
Officer elections:The new BOD elected the following officers for 2002:
Mark Poling as President
Jeff Dodgen as Vice President
Clark Harlow as Treasurer
Susan Murdock as Secretary
Committee positions (first is chair, subsequent committee member)
Maintenance/Site – Kathy Lee, Steve Lee
Safety – Kathy Lee, Jeff Dodgen
Membership – Mark Poling, Robert Ponder
Social – Mark Poling
PR – Mark Poling
Website – Robert Ponder
Newsletter – Dan Shell, Robert Ponder
Conservation Easement – Jeff Dodgen, Katie Dunn, Mike Nash, Mark Poling
By Laws – Dan Shell, Anne Horgan, Mike Nash, Clark Harlow
Conservation Easement committee will meet at 7:30 EST at Dunns house the following Monday
All committees are to meet before 2/9/02 BOD meeting and have a budget for 2002 ready to submit to BOD.
Jeff D. took minutes for Susan Murdock.
Midway through meeting new President elect Mark Poling ran meeting.
12:00 Mark P. adjourned meeting.
TTT 2002 Board of Directors Meeting
Minutes By Susan Murdock
Called to order at 10:30
Alli Dodgen,Kathy Lee,Mark Furst
Jeff Dodgen read minutes from Jan. Chris motioned to accept. Dan 2nd.
President made his statement of thanks.
Phil Proctor has complained about not being on the 02 Board ballot. Protocol for being on the board is that incumbents are to stay on the ballot or any voting member may nominate any voting member to the ballot. Nomination forms are to be sent in Oct and then ballots mailed soon after with the election to be completed by January. In 01 the Board did not send out the nomination forms and so Phil did not know that he would not be on the ballot. It was mentioned that Phil missed many meetings last year and that he was not voted off the board so he should have been on the ballot as an incumbent.
Dan made a motion to elect Phil as an Honorary BOD member. Clark called Phil and left a message for Phil to tell the Board of his wishes. The motion was tabled.
Steve Jones knows a guy who is willing to dig a hole for an outhouse. What will we pay? Anne made motion to offer $50. Clark amended to $25. Dan 2nd at $50. Vote: 9yes, 1 no. Motion passed at $50.
Rob Ponder has been looking into costs of getting a flagpole. $550 is the minimum he has been able to find.
Safety - Steve said that Kathy wants to have a rappelling course, which Jeff D offered to do. Kathy also wants a CPR course. Jeff D will look into information on a rescue course. The courses we have will be held on a Saturday to achieve a large membership.
Membership - Mark P and Rob are working on a database.
Ground/Site Maintenance - Steve wants to thank Ned for all the hard work with trimming the brush at the launch area. Mark P has the new locks.
PR - Mark wants Dunlap to send people to the overlook rather than give them directions to the launch. Steve L suggests putting signs at the overlook. Clark will take down the sign in town that leads people to the end of Old York Highway.
Newsletter - Jeff has given the previous 4 meetings minutes to Dan for the newsletter. Dan asks if there are any classifieds.
Conservation - document has been sent to the atty. The language is on restrictions is the important part. Woerner is still working on his easement. The conservation easement will protect us against lawsuits and development. Without the easement then the area around us may be developed and then the city/county may put restrictions on our land. Dan has a copy of the document, which legally holds TTT to do cons. Kenny says to explain to the membership who will vote on the cons as to just what it is. Although this was done in Jan of 01 newsletter it needs to be summarized again.
Bylaws - Dan, Clark, Mike, Anne and Jeff D will be added. Committee met and decided on what the new dues would be. Anne made motion to accept, Clark 2nd. Discussion followed. Suggestion by Dan maybe we could have a sale (buy now save later). Clark states for Curly people who will buy lifetime will be more active will invest. Dennis $1500 not a lot. This is a gift to the club. Jeff we want TTT to be accessible. Some people can't afford the lifetime but still offer help to the club. Chris says if we reject the dues in full then we should discuss them in parts.
Anne motioned to vote Clark 2nd. Vote 4 yes, 5 no, 1 abstain.
Back to discussion: the problem is with the cost of the lifetime membership. Dan held an informal vote, which began at accepting 1500 and dropped by 100 each vote until what seemed like a majority at 1000.
Bylaws came back with a new report (prices). Anne motioned to vote Clark 2nd. Passed at y 7 n 2 abstain 1.
Competition - committee was formed. Dennis chairs. Dan and Susan help.
Finance - Anne Horgan was added to the committee. She needs to be able to sign checks in Clarks absence.
New Business: Board needs proposals for committee budgets.TTT wish list:Members need to help promote hg in general. TTT has secured sites, bylaws, experience. We need to help other sites be formed. We need suggestion for what TTT can do to help others. We need to find other hg pilots with other sites and gather info as to what they'd like to see from TTT and if they have questions about TTT. Suggestions: have a fly-in on Mem weekend, have a parachute clinic, landing clinic, demo days, more parties…
Mark P motioned to adjourn, Mike 2nd. Meeting adjourned at 12:30
Landing At the Henson’s LZBy Mark Furst
If you fly at Henson’s, chances are you will land in the Henson’s LZ. Our field is large (over 40 acres) and offers approaches for every wind direction. Some are more difficult than others and require more finesse and technical proficiency. In this article I will go over some of the standard approaches and some of the variations that are possible that I have seen over the years.
Approach1 – W, NW and light N
Probably the most common approach you will see is to come down the hill parallel to the road and end up flaring just out in front of the teardown area. The set up for this is critical though, because if you do not enter ground effect just at or close to the top of the hill, you run the risk of overshooting past the teardown area, especially in a topless glider. After bleeding off altitude over the field you can insert yourself into final glide down the hill. Approach 1a allows you a long base leg parallel to the road at the back of the field giving you the luxury of adjusting your altitude to be able to aim for the top of the hill and the correct place to enter ground effect. The thing to watch though is that you are heading towards the tree line that runs along the south side of the field, so you must make a clean and complete 90° turn close to the ground. No big deal, but I have seen people being freaked out by looking at the trees ahead of them, not concentrating on the turn and catching a tip and spinning in. I’ve also noticed pilots turning too soon because of this and ending up flying down along the lip of the hill. This is undesirable because the terrain is much more textured and you run the risk of slipping off to the right and having to flare on the side of the slope. Make the effort to turn at the right moment and stay on the centerline of the slope. If the wind has more north in it, I prefer approach 1b because you are always keeping your nose upwind, making yawing into the wind at the bottom of the hill a little easier. This is definitely the more advanced approach though, as you must fly low over the fence at the curve in the road, giving you less margin for error. As always, speed is your friend.
Approach2 – SW, S
This is probably the most irritating direction to come into the field. You look at the fence past the road and realize that if you overshoot you have no out – a bad feeling - but when you actually end up landing you are way short down at the bottom or on the side of the hill below the teardown area. Over the years I have found this frustrating, especially as conditions in a SW are usually smooth and agreeable to accurate landings. As a rule, I like doing aircraft approaches but after doing this approach a bunch and watching others do it, I think that the best way is to bleed off altitude using s turns over the lower part of the field. Keep your eyes on the fence and the bowl field beyond to fix your altitude, not the ground below you. Once you can’t see over the fence and down into the bowl, pull in and aim for the lip of the hill. Go fast and force the glider to enter ground effect at the lip (usually the edge of the mowed area). If you can do that, it might seem freaky but you will not overshoot, as it is uphill to the teardown area. Once you do land though, please remember to move over up the field to tear down as others will want to land in the same place. If you happen to come up short and have to land on the side of the hill, try to anticipate this and remember that you will have to add more airspeed than usual in order to fly up the hill a bit and then flare. I’ve seen a number of pilots bitten by not coming in aggressively enough and whacking hard on the side of the slope.
Approach3 – E, NE
The first few years I flew here, I hardly ever saw anyone landing in this direction but lately we have been doing it quite a bit. Maybe it’s because we have figured out that NE is not such a bad direction to fly in as long as it is not too strong on launch. Another reason to land this way is that if you fly late in the day near to sunset time, conditions can turn catabatic and start dumping out of the gap. This is a common occurrence, so if you do fly late, always give yourself enough altitude to come out and double check the socks. Just because it was blowing in on launch doesn’t mean it is the same on the ground. The obvious thing to watch on this approach are the large power lines at the west end of the field, but they actually work to your advantage. You can’t go back too far because of them so it forces you to tighten your approach and stay low over the hay bales (3a). Like the SW approach, you will end up on final going uphill so it is easy to undershoot if you don’t have much airspeed so feel free to come in a little high and pile on the speed. The worst that can happen is that you may overshoot up the hill a bit past the teardown area. No biggie. Sometimes, if it is smooth and find myself a bit high, I will actually fly fast along the top wire of the power line (3b) and peel off and dive into ground effect once I am perpendicular to the centerline of the mowed area. I think this is a better way to go than trying a tight S turn in front of the powerline but you must decide if you have adequate altitude early on. Flying along the powerlines may sound like a bad idea but if you have good airspeed, you can keep the wires in sight the whole time and you will have the authority to peel into the field at any time you choose. If you find yourself too low from scratching to the south and you can’t make it over the LZ for an approach from the north, you can overfly the bowl field and use 4d. There is a dip in the road just past the car turnaround and you can fly low over that in order to get into ground effect at the edge of the mowed area. The thing to watch here is that the tree line and the powerline converge in the back of this little field so be precise and deliberate. I labeled this as a variation of approach 4 as it will work both in an east, a north or a switchy condition between the two.
Approach4 – Strong N
This is a common direction to land in and is probably the hardest to decide on while you circle the field. I have often been at about 500 feet checking the socks and seen them switching back and forth. Should I go this way or that way? To add to the confusion, I’ve seen pilots landing beneath me choose completely different lay-ups, 4a and 4b at the same time, sometimes resulting in head on approaches. 4b is an extension of approach 3a or b, just taken into the southwest corner a bit further. A common method to use is simply to use approach 1a or b and take it down the hill but yawing your glider on the way down. The trouble is that you may use up a lot of your energy doing this. You can end up slow at the bottom of the hill in the ratty rotor coming off the lip of the hill or, if you are not too far down the field, the rotor from the bushes making for an untidy flare. If you do not have good yawing skills then probably the best way to avoid this is to simply run out towards the haybales or turn right and fly down to the bottom of the field. This gives you a nice straight run with wings level and plenty of time to get set in the harness ready for landing. As you practice this approach over and over, you can get to the point when you might like to approach from over the bowl field (4c) and try to put it down in the mowed area. This is, of course, an advanced maneuver, as you are flying over a double layer of barbed wire fence running alongside the road but if you stay conservatively high and fast, you can do this safely. I will usually fly fast over the right hand third of the bowl field at (not below) the treeline to my right, and use the wind sock as the center of my turn circle, then pile on the speed flying at the fence. There is no way you will hit the fence if you have all that energy. Once over the fence, you can decide if you think you might make it down before the lip or, if you are still too high, you can take a left towards the lower windsock and land over in front of the haybales. Definitely watch and talk to someone experienced before trying this one.
In all of these cases bear in mind that if the wind is strong enough, you will not need to flare very much, if at all. If you find yourself needing to stop while you are going downhill, it is very easy to balloon up and then fall off on a tip – an easy way to become a downtube destroyer. A good way to avoid this is to keep the glider right on the deck and resist the temptation to flare until your feet actually touch the ground then punch the nose up briefly, then pull it back down quickly. Our field is a good place to practice this technique.
I am sure that I am going to catch some flack from some members for talking about some of the more advanced approaches that are discussed here. Yes, Henson’s is a hang 2 site partly because of the easy and generous landing field, but we also have opportunities to practice things that will be of use later on during cross-country flying. Landing over and over in the same field gives us intimate knowledge of the terrain and obstacles surrounding it. We can use these to our advantage to simulate real world situations in a controlled environment. I have used both the flying along power line approach and flying over fences approach with confidence on XC flights. This confidence has been gained through practice landings at our field. In each instance it allowed me to use much more of the field in question because it let me enter ground effect earlier, giving me more useful field out in front. It is naïve to expect that you will always be able to make it to a huge easy field so it is good to have a few tricks up one’s speed sleeve. Hey, sink happens; be prepared.
Next newsletter I will discuss landing in the bowl field as well as some of the new approaches we can try now that parking is available down at the lower end of the field. Till then fly safe and if you have any questions or comments please feel free to email me; firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mark Furst soars Big Brushy-photo by J Dodgen
Henson LZ with landing approach diagrams drawn by Mark Furst
Kathy Lee flies near sunset (she lost her sunglasses in LZ after dark)
Tree Topper Roots chapter 1by Mark Poling
Change in TTT ByLaws requires membership vote
As you can read from the BOD meeting minutes there was much discussion about raising the membership dues. Please send an Email email@example.com or write to the Tennessee Tree Toppers PO Box 1286 Dunlap, TN 37327 with a YES or NO concerning the new dues package as follows:
5 Year $250
Family $35/additional person
3 day pass $25
30 day tandem $10
1 day tandem $5
1 flight/year $1
The current prices are as follows:
5 Year $150.00
Family $25.00/additional person
3 day pass $20.00
30 day tandem $10.00
1 day tandem $5.00
Note: that one flight a year price has been added and all other prices increased except for tandems. This change to the ByLaws will occur unless voted down by the club membership.
TTT T-shirts available!
Tennessee Tree Topper T-shirts will be available August 1st with exciting new colors and updated design. If you’d like more info contact Susan Murdock at 423-949-6855
BEAUTIFUL WOODED PROPERTYW/YEAR ROUND STREAM W/VIEWS
MICHAEL LINDQUIST Direct: (423) 893-0652
REALTYCENTER/GMAC Office: (423) 899-5943
Tandems - Sail Repair - Mtn. Top Land
or call Clark 423-949-3396
Moyes XS 142, Yellow LE, Dark Blue wedge undersurface and white, pink TE Small control frame $500
Moyes pod harness, red and gray $50
Also parachute, helmet, and vario call for price
Katie Dunn (423) 949-4965
Gliders for Sale
Both in excellent condition
Airwave K4+: rainbow sail $1500 OBO
TRX 160: floro yellow + pink sail $1750 OBO
TRX is ALL carbon with extra leading edges, downtubes , and wing tip bubbles
Call Jeff 423-949-3384
423 554 3780 Polingelrio@aol
Chris Field soars the Sequatchie Valley-photo by C. Field
News from the Hang Gliding Capitol of the East