Newsletter of the Tennessee Tree Toppers

flowers and bed by Kathy/Steve Lee photo by Alli Dodgen

Calendar of Events 2001 Board of Directors

April 14 BOD Meeting

May 12 BOD Meeting

May 26-28 MAYHEM

October 6 Octoberfest

October 6-13 Team Challenge


TTT New Website Address

The Tennessee Tree Topper Website has been updated with a new address and is always a work in progress. Thanks to Dean Funk for his help in developing the website. The new website is:










The Tennessee Board of Directors for

2001 are as follows alphabetically:

Alli Dodgen, secretary

Jeff Dodgen, president

Katie Dunn, treasurer

Dennis Felts

Chris Field

Mark Furst

Clark Harlow

Anne Horgan

Kathy Lee

Steve Lee

Mark Poling, vice president

Tom Prouhet

Kenny Sandifer

Dan Shell

Alternates (in order):

Scott Leonard, Colleen Brogan, Robert Ponder, Steve Lunn, Ken Pollarii, Mark Dunn, Jeff Laughery

2001 Team Challenge

by Steve Bellerby

October 6-13 Tennessee is the place to be!

Sharpen your skills and learn a lot at the eleventh fun-filled team flying event atop Henson’s Gap.

A weeklong event that pairs those brand new to competition with some of the most seasoned aviators around, the Team Challenge is one serious school of soaring.

Each day, a different task committee weighs the conditions and makes a plan. Then, they take the task back to their teams, and gang up for a friendly rivalry that leans on newer pilots to carry the day.

Never competed before?

Little XC experience?

Then you’re a C and your efforts are amply rewarded. C’s can earn almost twice as many points.

Perhaps the bulk of the field, B’s are guys who’ve gone head to head before, and have considerable cross country experience. Sharing strategy around the campfire till the wee hours, these are the advancing pilots that still have a lot to learn. B’s are always a-buzz, to guide their C’s to goal.

"A"- level pilots are the star performers…nationally ranked competition pilots with a vast wealth of knowledge and flying skills. And they do

more than take time to encourage and enlighten. On the

difficult days, they’re an inspiration to us all. Whether it’s Barber getting up and out on an impossible day, Gibbo gliding to goal at 10,000 over, Gary and Greg guiding their teammates to goal, or Dennis and Claire sharing the sky, these folks are shining examples of how to soar.

Whatever level you’re at, you know you’re welcome.

Bring a team or join one.

Bring a skill or learn one.

But be prepared for some serious southern hospitality. From the daily pilots breakfasts, to the prize packed morning recap and strategy session that decides the day’s goals, every day is different. And everything, including the t-shirt, is included. A warm welcome bonfire and Octoberfest, daily sponsor giveaways, hot showers, and some of the most scenic camping in the South. And for the top placing teams, thousands of dollars of prizes and cash.

Sign up early and it’s just $95, with your current TTT membership.

Or, wait and see…the late rate (postmarked after Sept. 1) is $120, plus membership.

Don’t wait too long…after a capacity crowd last year, the field will be limited to 50 pilots.

For more info, please email Steve Bellerby @ or Mark Furst Or call Steve at 416-588-2396

Sequatchie Skies

By Dan Shell

It's not at uncommon to get a reprieve from winter in late February, starting about a month before it will be officially finished. Quite regularly, in the last few days of the shortest month the skies clear, the temps warm, and the gliders fly. Pilots can sometimes get as much as a couple of good weeks before the cold, wet, and wind of March once again make launch lonely. This week, as the Vernal Equinox passes and the days become longer than the nights, spring begins on the calendar with rain, southerly winds, and even a possibility of frozen precipitation in the forecast. Just a few weeks ago it was a very different story.

(These reports are from the logbook of Jeff Dodgen. Thanks Jeff!)

Sunday, February 18 was sunny with a north wind 5-10 mph. Jeff Dodgen reported a two hour flight in thermals with no ridge lift after launching first in his Falcon 225 (tandem glider). He got up after a lot of turns in the gap, but lost it before another low save and eventually a max altitude gain of about 1200 over. A dozen or so other pilots flew but, according to Jeff, only Steve and Kathy Lee got up for a short time with him.

Monday, February 26 was again sunny, but a 5 to 10 mph northeasterly wind made it more technical with a crosswind on launch and turbulent air close to the ridge. Despite John Lawton's warnings of rowdy conditions, Jeff Dodgen flew anyway and gained a maximum of 500 over in a 43 minute flight. Susan Murdoch also flew, but

avoided terrain and therefore lift, and proceeded pretty directly to the LZ

Wednesday, February 28 began completely overcast, but eventually cleared with a north wind around 10 mph. Tip Rogers and Jeff Dodgen were the only ones to fly, climbing through several layers of inversion to a max altitude gain of about 2900 over. They both flew for three hours.

There often seem to be week long cycles in the weather, and it's visible here. The following Wednesday, March 7, was again NW, this time with some more velocity. At a good 10-15 mph with stronger gusts and clear skies, this was Tip Roger's favorite kind of air. He and Jeff flew again, this time crossing the gap upwind to climb to 3000 over the SW face before continuing up the valley. Jeff eventually landed two gaps north of Buck's Knob about 6 miles south of Pikeville, while Tip landed 5 miles north of Pikeville. Steve and Kathy Lee turned downwind. They reportedly achieved lower altitude gains, but Steve landed at Marion County Airport and Kathy landed just north of there. Michael Fletcher landed at Dale McCartney's place in New Hope.

Friday, March 9 was again postfrontal and sunny with strong NW winds. Jeff flew his father's TRX while Steve Jones flew his Pulse. Jeff managed an altitude gain of about 2200 over in gusty conditions. Kathy Lee flew later but strong winds kept her pointing more than climbing. Jeff reported good landings all around in a rowdy field. We don't like to be stuck in those

Sequatchie Skie Cont.

conditions, but that's when the good technique pays off!

Saturday was still sunny, but with light and variable winds the air could stay in one place long enough to heat up and produce some nice fat thermals. Steve Lee and Tom Prouhet went to Dale's and back. Mark Furst did two tandems with Judy Hilderbrand. Chris Field and Clark Harlow had nice flights with good altitude gain. Several others flew in this nice bouyant, thermally air. Alli Dodgen launched late but found a thermal and took it to 3000 feet over launch, her highest flight yet! This was also her first purely thermal altitude gain. She toured the valley over Dunlap, flew to the SW face, then descended to a good landing.

Sunday, March 11 was prefrontal, hazy with a SW wins around 5 mph. Ned Stelzel launched first, followed closely by Steve Bellerby and Jeff Dodgen. After scratching deep into the gap they crossed to the SW face. Jeff gained about 650 over with Ned and Steve not far away, but a little higher. They soared the SW face in that familiar SW ridge lift for over an hour before landing. It seems the other option was a sled run, and this was the entertainment for Judy Hildebrand, Mark Furst, Steve Jones, Clark Harlow, and some of Steve's Canadian friends.

The forecast calls for postfrontal clearing Wednesday with lows around 40 and strong northerly winds, probably gusty. Expect lower velocities and warmer temps Thursday with some increasing cloudiness late as winds back to southerly. A chance of rain returns by Friday, hailing another frontal passage which could bring soarable conditions again before the end of the weekend. See you in the sky!

The Prez’s Perch

Hi, my name is Jeff Dodgen and I’ve been elected to serve as President of the Tennessee Tree Toppers for the year 2001. My wife, Allison, and I have also volunteered to put out the newsletter this year. We’d like to do a total of four - one each quarter.

I started hanggliding in 1988 @ LMFP and now hold a Hang IV, T1,FL, and AT ratings. I’ve flown in GA,TN, NC, CO, CA, FL, Hawaii and Mexico and still love to fly at my home site at Henson’s Gap.

My message as President is simple. We want to continue to make the TTT a safe, friendly flying club for pilots & family to come and enjoy Hang Gliding. Whether it’s a sled run, soaring, XC, tandem or aerobatics, we want it fun for the pilots and nonflying friends and family — and safe for all. The Tennessee Tree Toppers offers no hassle flying and you can soar year round! The Tree Topper sites are great for beginners, and for first XC flights. Although the club has no formal training or classes, nearly all the local pilots are advanced rated and are happy to share their experience with other pilots. TTT offers club members nice amenities including a terrific clubhouse and setup area, 43 acre LZ, bathhouse, camping, 1450’ vertical launch with the famous radial ramp facing NW, and a SE facing launch at Whitwell, TN.

Prez’s perch cont.

Camping is free for members and there is a lot to do in nearby Chattanooga for non-pilots as well as beautiful views, hiking and biking trails nearby.

I invite all members to attend our Board of Directors meetings held on the second Saturday of each month. Please send any comments or ideas and I’ll share them with the Board to make the club better.

Prez this year, dedicated TTT member for life! See you in the air!

Jeff Dodgen 423-949-3384

Local pilots on a big flying day 3/23/01









January 13 BOD Minutes

In Attendance:

Alli Dodgen

Jeff Dodgen

Katie Dunn

Mark Furst

Clark Harlow

Anne Horgan

Steve Lee

Mark Polling

Kenny Sandifer

Members Present:

Mark Dunn

Judy Hildebrand


Steve Jones

Alli Dodgen made a Motion to accept elected board; Anne Horgan seconded.

Nominations were then taken for new President:

Katie Dunn nominated Jeff Dodgen

Jeff Dodgen nominated Mark Polling

Ballots were then taken and Jeff Dodgen was voted President.

Alli Dodgen volunteered to take Secretary duties. Katie Dunn volunteered to remain Treasurer.

Jeff called the meeting to order at approximately 11:00 am.

Committees were then chosen:

Social - Katie graciously volunteered.

Safety — Kenny Sandifer

Membership — Katie Dunn and Mark Furst

Ground and Site — Steve Lee and Mark Furst

PR — Katie Dunn , Mark Furst and Alli Dodgen

Competition — Mark Furst

Newsletter — Jeff and Alli Dodgen

1/13/01 BOD minute cont.

Old Business:

Katie, Jeff Dodgen and Mark Furst will meet with the lawyer on 1/15/01 regarding the LZ to determine whether to have it legally declared a land trust or a conservation easement w/ Mr. Woerner. We have allotted a budget of $150.00 with the lawyer. TTT will then follow up with Mr. Woerner.

Site Report:

Steve Lee reports with a big thanks to Steve Jones for helping maintain the bathhouse so we did not have a water main freeze. Grounds are in good shape. Discussion — need to aerate and re-seed grass by April. Mark Furst expressed desire for trash holders this spring.

Treasurer’s Report:

Membership Report:

Katie Dunn indicates that the current TTT membership is 166. This is up from 123 members at the beginning of 2000. She will send out membership letters in January.

New Business

Jeff Dodgen requested that all committee heads come to the February 10, meeting with proposals for 2001, budgets and timeframes.

PR Committee:

Discussion — suggestion of making TTT T-shirts to be made and available to sell throughout the year.

Grounds Committee:

Discussion — ramp inspection — suggested ramp inspection and request for help with work party. Also to send out requested help from members for ideas to improve ramp support structure — hopefully some qualified engineers and welding experts — to be made in next newsletter. Mark Furst to help put article together.


Dean Funk heading website. Jeff Dodgen wants to put membership list and expiration dates on website. Also to provide list of Board members and contact information. All present agreed to have their names addresses and phone on website. Alli Dodgen needs to get list of BOD addresses at next meeting.


Date 5/26 party (Memorial Day 5/28)

Motion to adjourn made by Alli Dodgen; Anne Horgan seconded

Meeting adjourned 12:05 PM.Meeting minutes submitted by Alli Dodgen




February 10, 2001 BOD Minutes

BOD In Attendance:

Alli Dodgen

Jeff Dodgen

Kathy Lee

Steve Lee

Dan Shell

Mark Furst

Clark Harlow

Chris Field

Tom Prouhet

Mark Polling

Members present:

Mark Dunn

Mike Nash

10:30am Jeff Dodgen called the meeting to order

The minutes were read and approved.

Old Business:

Clark Harlow still working on tax break opportunity for the landing field. Will follow-up.

Committee Reports

Site Report:

Steve Lee requests $1200.00 budget for 2001. Request does not include mowing the LZ. Proposes: order new gravel, aeration of set up area and overseeing, plumbing and repairs to bathhouse.

Safety Report:

Jeff Dodgen to work with Kenny and check safety /rescue box.

Membership Report:

PR Report:

Alli Dodgen and Mark Furst requested $1600.00 for 200 T-shirts for the club. 100 large and 100 medium. To discuss with SportsPlace — Charlie Rollins to produce.

Competition Report:

Mark Furst reports that Steve Bellerby wants to run the 2001 Team Challenge. Steve Bellerby to confirm date. He has requested to increase the field to 50 contestants with a $95.00 entry fee and $110.00 for late entries. Entry will include token for the Team Challenge party and a Team Challenge T-shirt. Steve Bellerby wants to produce the T-shirts. Kathy Lee requests 50med. / 50 large.

Dan Shell has requested that Steve Bellerby submit a budget for the Team Challenge.


Alli and Jeff Dodgen requested $500.00 to produce 4 newsletters in 2001. Budget to cover printing label, first class postage and production by Regina Phillips at Happy Bottom. The first newsletter will go out after the 3/10 BOD meeting.

Social: no report.

Treasurer Report: no report.

General Club Budget:

$250.00 for Site Insurance, $100.0 postage, TBD Ramp repairs

2/10/01 BOD Minutes Cont.

Old Business:

Clark Harlow still working on tax break opportunity for the landing field. Will follow-up.


Jeff Dodgen to work with Dan Shell and Dean Funk to have updated.

Conservation Easement:

Jeff Dodgen recapped the meeting with attorney Alan McCallie. (Attached) Mark Dunn updated Katie Dunn’s last discussion with Mr. Woerner. Mark felt that Mr. Woerner is planning to put his entire land into a Land Trust — possibly including his farm and the big field by the creek. Katie and Mr. Woerner are defining what his exact intentions are.

The BOD had much discussion about the exact definition of negotiating a Land Trust vs. a Conservation Easement. With a Conservation Easement, the tax benefit would go to Woerner and the Club retains control of our land with restrictions defined legally. A third party would hold and enforce legal restrictions of easement. The land along the creek would be included in Easement. However, the owner across the creek from TTT land may want to purchase the creek property. If the club wanted to pursue selling this land, we would need to do it before any further action on the conservation easement was pursued. We requested to make sure we had a clear definition of Land Trust vs. Conservation Easement.

Action: work to get Mr. Woerner and TTT lawyers together.

New Business

Ramp rebuild:

Mike Nash is going to help with the rebuilding and reinforcing of the ramp. He has a person to make iron for the ramp is will measure trusses and pre-drill.


Chris Field spoke with Trish at Windsoks and she and Bruce Hawk have generously agreed to donate a 10x30 windsock ($169.00) and 4 smaller socks for $100.00. Clark made a motion to give Bruce a free TTT membership for 2001. All seconded.


Kathy Lee is organizing classes for TTT BOD members and any other interested club members for a CPR class. She is planning to have the class during Mayhem - May 26th. We can start the classes early and be trained before the good flying day starts.

The next BOD meeting will be 3/10/01. Jeff Dodgen adjourned the meeting at 12:10.

March 12 BOD Minutes

BOD in Attendance:

Alli Dodgen

Jeff Dodgen

Steve Lee

Dan Shell

Mark Furst

Clark Harlow

Chris Field

Tom Prouhet

Mark Polling

Anne Horgan

Katie Dunn

Kenny Sandifer

Dennis Felts

Members Absent:

Phil Proctor

Kathy Lee

Mark Polling

3/12/01 BOD Minutes cont.

Members Present:

Mark Dunn

10:30am Jeff Dodgen call the meeting to order, and read the previous meeting’s minutes; Anne made a motion to accept, Kenny seconded.

Old Business

Katie gave an update to the Main Henson LZ being put into a conservation easement. TTT Henson LZ (43 acres) was approved by the Land Trust of Tennessee. She sent a not to our Land Trust attorney Allen McCallie who agreed that The Land Trust of Tennessee is a good organization. Katie then read the non-binding letter of intent from the LTT reflecting that they would enforce the easement, which would be

separate from the Woerner land surrounding the LZ and that TTT would be the donor of this land protecting it with no building, mining, subdivision, allowing wildlife, hang gliding, recreation, and farming. This donation would be made by November 1, 2001. This letter was forwarded to Allen McCallie. Kenny brought up the question of being able to borrow against the land once it is in the trust. We all thought that no liens were allowed at the time of putting it in the trust, but felt we could then borrow against it in the future.

Katie will verify this with the attorney. McCallie’s fees were around $245./hour.

Jeff D. mentioned that McCallie said the entire cost would be around $2500. Mark and Katie who were at the initial meeting agreed. Katie made a motion to accept the letter and proceed to send it back to LTT to get passed. It was brought up that Woerner mentioned that a $1300. Donation to LTT should be made. Katie said that since LTT didn’t bring it up and we are a non-profit organization that we may not have to pay.

Clark Harlow still working on tax break opportunity for the landing field by designating it an airfield. He will follow-up. Mark Furst brought up site insurance through USHGA. Katie said that she sent a member list and payment to USHGA for that purpose listing Henson’s NW, SW and Whitwell launches and LZ as TTT club sites to be covered.

Committee Reports

Treasury Report:

Katie passed out copies of the treasury report.

Site Report:

Steve Lee has prepared a written report for the year 2000 maintenance and gave a verbal summary. Mark Furst designated the next BOD meeting as a work party to do some minor repairs to the radial ramp replacing some boards and gussets costing approx. $200. in materials. (see newsletter about ramp repair).

Safety Report:

Chris Field informed us that the new Windsoks were here.

Jeff Dodgen brought up that we should always have good windsocks up at all TTT launches and landings and have reserves in stock to replace them as they UV and get shredded by the wind and made a motion. Katie 2nd the motion and after MUCH debate it was voted on and accepted. The new windsocks will be put up after the meeting lead by Mark Furst and Tom Pruohet. Dennis suggested saving $$ by ordering seconds with small flaws and possibly getting a size smaller than the giant one we usually have at Henson LZ. It was decided to keep one big one and two small ones in stock for replacements. (In previous years we let the socks go from around Nov.-April or May since high winds just tear them up. But now we will pay the expense and always have fresh socks available since all TTT sites are flown year round.)

3/12/01 BOD Minutes cont.

Membership Report:

Katie has stickers and so does Kenny. Mark Furst will collect forms and money and then pass on to Katie.

PR Report:

Katie said that T-Shirts were not considered part of PR and then went on to discuss donations to the community. Sequatchie County Band Boosters are having a uniform drive and need $$ to buy uniforms each costing approx. $300. The band does publish a list of contributors at all their event. Chris Field made a motion to donate $150. to SCBB. Alli seconded. The band needs this by March 20th. The Sequatchie Valley Fair has always received TTT donations and needs them now. Katie will look into what was donated last year and then we’ll donate the same.

LZ Mowing:

Budget has been and will be for 2001 $750. for 10 mowings. Anne agreed to do again.

Competition Report:

Mark Furst reports that Steve Bellerby will submit a budget for the 2001 Team Challenge


Alli and Jeff are working on the newsletter and request any articles or advertisements from BOD and club members. Katie will print mailing labels.

Social: no report.


Jeff Dodgen has communicated with Dean Funk and the new website can be found at It still needs some updating. Jeff will work on it after first newsletter goes out.

New Business

Chris Field will donate a lawn mower to TTT. Tom will help him fix it.

Meeting adjourned at 12:00 EST.


Jeff Laughery’s Excellent Adventure

(edited Summer 2000 Vacation Excerpts)

I had missed 3 weeks of vacation in 99 because of full-time project work at Reebok, so I saved up and did 4 weeks straight this summer. Major events planned were a hang-gliding competition in Albuquerque, NM and a family reunion (of long lost second cousins) in Dillon, CO. I also wanted to do some paddling and biking as well as various other activities in the Southwest while I was out there. Boy was I "Out There". I loaded up my 1986 Toyota 4 Runner with, Hang Glider and associated accoutrements, Kayak, Mountain Bike, Dry Box for additional gear, threw a sleeping bag in the back and hit the road. Below are the brief excerpts I submitted via e-mail to

interested parties as the trip progressed. Hope y’all enjoy.

Day 6 Thur June 22 Orientation and equipment preparation for the Sandia Open Hang Gliding Competition

Day 7 Fri June 23 Day 1 Competition - Wind West Southwest at 10-15 mph, good cloud formation, Fly off Sandia Crest (Albuquerque, NM) at 10,600 feet above sea level - depart mountain go over the back at 14,000 feet, glide East over Cedar Crest down to 8500 feet at South Mountain, climb out to 12,500, drifting East parallel to I-40 but North of it, (flying with teammate John), gliding/drifting East but not climbing, Climb to 12,500 again near Stanley, another glide East to White Lakes, climb to 14,500

Excellent Adventure cont.

and glide to Leyba (John getting low), now taking track to South East to get back to I-40 for retrieve, arrive I-40 near Clines Corner, drifting and gliding lower East down I-40 to Milagro, final glide and land at Rest Stop. Total straight line is 79 miles. Not bad for first day. Took 4th place overall that day. Which is 2nd place for my division (Topless Gliders). (first in my class was 190 miles) (John landed at 77 miles)

Dave Sharp broke the Sandia record at 240 miles that day for first place (he is in an Atos rigid wing, a higher performance class) This puts him well into Texas!

Day 8 Sat June 24 Day 2 Competition - Wind Northwest at 15 mph, good clouds again (great clouds)

Climb to 14,000 feet drifting over back with teammate Steve, gliding Southeast, a couple climbs enroute, arriving near Moriarty at 8500 feet, getting worried cause the ground is at 6500 feet, finally find a thermal and climb to 11,500 crossing the sailplane airport runway to the East, teammate Lisa on the ground, John is enroute ahead, Steve and I are following a track that goes over no roads, climbing slowly and drifting around 9000 to 11,500 enroute to Encino, (Steve lands in Encino) track changes more due East on way to Vaughn and Fort Sumner, Track changes to North East at Fort Sumner, low and slow North of Fort Sumner thinking I'm gonna land, zero sink to get on mesa and find the best thermal most of the day, from 1500 above the ground to 12,900 and float as the day gets late, (John is ahead and more East), I take final float/glide and land near McAllister,NM due South of Tucumcari. Flight was 168 miles, just 25 miles short of Texas boarder, my personal best distance! John takes final glide and lands near Grady, NM 17 miles short of Texas, which is 177 miles. So John gets first overall this day and I take second!!! Since he is in another class I get FIRST for the day in topless! Most of my flight was between 8500 MSL and 11,500, other guys were getting 15,000 easy. Arrive hotel at 3:15am.

Day 9 Sun June 25 Day 3 Competition - Wind West 15 mph, clouds look awesome today!

I choose to take day off to spend with my friend. Went to horse event and then to Madrid, NM for art shopping, dinner and visiting. Watched clouds line up great!

The record of 240 broken on Friday is broken today at 249 miles by another rigid wing flying well into Texas. Teammate Steve flies 190 miles, John makes 168 miles. I maintained an 8th place overall standing while not even flying. This still has me in 3rd place in my class. Steve 2nd place in topless class as well. John in 1st place in Kingpost glider class (which is a slightly lower performance wing) Lisa sank out at 15 miles.

Day 10 Mon June 26 Day 4 Competition - wind from East strong, day is cancelled, went to Moriarty airport to check out some truck towing. Only one guy flys a few times but no-one else flys.

Day 11 Tue June 27 Day 5 Competition - wind and weather forecast to be bad

Rode mountain bikes and relaxed.

Day 12 Wed June 28 Day 6 Competition — blown out again !!!

Below are some web address info for you guys to look at...

Main site for Sandia Soaring Association

the saga continues...

Day 13 Thu June 29 Day 7 Competition - well we did not fly Wednesday, Meet is over, party and awards Thursday evening after riding mountain bike on the foothills of Sandia Mountain. I still took third place in the Topless division even without flying the third and last good day... pretty cool.

Day 15 Sat July 1 Hang glide at Williams Peak, North of Dillon, CO 30 minutes. Launch faces West-Southwest and is at 10,000 with LZ at 8500 right on the Green Mountain Lake. It was pretty windy at about 25+ mph. I waited for Tim to fly 30 minutes and he got really high at 14,500. Once I

Excellent Adventure cont.

launched it was not blowing so hard. In fact I was on my way to the LZ 30 minutes into the flight as I caught a really light thermal and worked hard to get back to launch level. Got to 12,900 and flew around for a total about an hour or so. Was watching Virga around the area and some rain to the North. Once I saw lightning I decided to land. Not a big deal cause the rain went behind the mountain. A few others launched later and landed before the rain hit our LZ.

Day 16 Sun July 2 Hang Glide at Williams Peak again. Wind West at 5-10. After launch I was scratching the dog in the dirt on the way out thinking I was toast. Then I hit a good one and climbed big time to 14,000. Had a great flight getting as high as 16,800 as others fell out of the sky. Flew about and hour and a half.

Day 18 Tue July 4 Up at 5:30am. Driving by 6am to Salida, CO. Hooked up with Jim Zeiset to hang glide. Tried for a new site called Whale Hill. Wind was wrong so went to Villa Grove, CO. Wind started cranking over 30 mph as we were setting up. We ended up sitting around till 6pm before it was mellow enough to fly. I waited till 7pm then flew for an hour and a half. Got to 14,500 flew into headwind South a few miles and back.

Day 22 Sat July 8 Drive from Dillon, CO to Moab, UT. Stop and tour the Colorado National Monument area on the way. Stop at the Westwater Canyon boat put-in near Moab so I know where to go the next day to Kayak the Colorado River. (John told me that I needed a permit to Kayak. So he suggested just showing up at the put-in one morning and asking around for an open slot on someone's permit.) Drive by the boat take-out so I know where it is also. Then finish the drive to Moab, UT. Arrive in town at 9pm for fuel, food, ice and figure out a place to stay. I ran into a paraglider pilot and his buddy, at the quick-mart, that were planning to boat the next morning. I asked about the permit situation and they said "Don't worry, we'll take care of you". So off we go to the take-out, from which I had just been, to start our adventure. I follow their pickup camper in my 4Runner. The plan was to stash our bikes in the trees to be used the next day to retrieve our vehicles from the "Sneak" campsite upstream. So stash we did and off to the campsite we went. Well it was 5 miles on the dirt road then we traversed some sandy tractor paths to the campsite. We had to turn around once because of a wrong turn. Then they jumped out of the truck later and stated that they were lost. So back we went to the dirt road to camp. They expected their paddlemates to arrive around 8am the next day so we crashed at midnight.

Day 23 Sun July 9 Wake at 7am, breakfast etc. Their buddy shows up from the direction that we had been the late night.before. He explained that we had missed the second left dirt path after bearing right the first 3 times. He also said that they had heard some noise the night before but were unsure of the nature of them. Well it was us, LOST. So off we went again down the 5 mile sandy road/path to the "Sneak" campsite. We arrived and the group was now 7. They said the hike in was about 30 minutes, so we donned our gear and threw our boats on shoulders. It looked as if the hike was a reasonable distance down this canyon. Well let me tell you, the hike seamed to go on forever as every canyon wall that looked like it would lead to the river was just another obstacle to go around. The trek was about 45 minutes and we must have traversed at least a mile across and a vertical 800 feet in the now hot sun. I was wearing neoprene shorts so I was sweating like the proverbial pig. As I arrived at the river I stated that I had never had to carry my kayak so far to reach the river. They laughed as we cautiously entered the water looking for rangers as we put in. If caught, the line was that we are "With the Gillman party" and "The Raft is already downstream from us". Of course there was no Gillman party nor fictitious raft. So caution led to delightful play in some rapids as we cooled off and had some fun. The canyon was of course beautiful as we looked up shear sandstone walls to the ledges high above. After about 3 miles of play and a bit of flat water I said that there seamed to be quite a bit of flat water on the river. At that time I heard "Yea there is, and there is 8 more miles of it to the takeout".

Excellent Adventure cont.

Well much to my chagrin we paddled constantly into a head wind on flat water to reach the takeout. The story does not end hear, since we now have to peddle our bikes back to the put-in to retrieve vehicles. It was an 11 mile, uphill, into the wind again, in sandy terrain to reach the camp. I did however get to take an outdoor shower off the back of there camper. That indeed was a great end to an adventurous day. I got to Hike, Paddle and Bike all in one day. So off to town and dinner I went, crashing in a cheap hotel for a good sleep.

Day 29 Sat July 15 Hang-Gliding at Henson's Gap near Dunlap TN. My home site. Flew about 50 miles to South of Lookout Mountain into Sulfur Springs, Georgia. Steve flew 86 miles and Tom did 70. Some others did 96, 97 and 112 that same day from Lookout Mountain site, which I had flown over on the way to my LZ. I landed near the I-59 exit so I would have an easier retrieve. My radio had died and I did not want to be left out in the cold that night. I could have gotten a few more miles, but conservativeness set in.

Day 30 Sun July 16 Unpack, recover etc... Spend some time with Susan, Fatboy and Misty.

Hope you enjoyed the Adventure!


For Sale

Aeros Stealth 151

Low hours, very good condition

Pay less get more - $1750.00

Call Mark at 423 949 4999 / email:






Tandems - Sail Repair - Mtn. Top Land

or call Clark 423-949-3396



A Warm Reception From Sylmar Hang Gliding Club

by Jeff Dodgen

Over the past December holiday, my wife Alli and I went to Los Angeles California to visit my brother and his family. Aware of the popularity of hang gliding in warm and sunny southern California we began planning our trip by looking in Hang Gliding magazine for a potential host to make our winter flying dreams a reality. To our delight we found Wind Sports Soaring Center located just minutes from the LA. Airport .The ad in the magazine under the classifieds for California mentioned full service walk-in with rentals, guide service, etc. Immediately we got on the phone with Christine of Wind Sports validating the promise of glider rentals and a guided tour of a mountain site 2200 feet AGL.

We packed our harnesses, helmets, radios, and varios and boarded the plane.

Chris explained that the Sylmar Hang Gliding Club’s site at Kagel Mountain also just minutes from LA. is a Hang 3 site. Hang 2s can fly with instructor sign off. I'm a Hang IV, but since Alli is still a Hang II, we arranged for the instructor sign off. This

SHGC Warm Reception cont.

turned out to be great because the instructor supervision also served as a site guide for us both.

Once in LA. We went to WindSports and arranged to have the rental gliders delivered to the SHGC LZ on the next potentially soarable day. I was to fly a Wills Wing XC and Alli was to fly a Wills Wing Falcon 170. When we arrived at the LZ we met up with our guide and my wife’s instructor/supervisor-Hungary Joe, driver, and other pilots ready to conquer the day. Unfortunately, the winds shifted 180 degrees and after a long wait we broke down.

The next day we tried again and made it to the top of Kagel Mountain by early afternoon. Once set up on top, we began to wait for a cycle as there was a slight tail wind. After a couple of hours Hungary Joe kicked the dirt and noticed that it slightly blew in our face. Joe said "You just need a little wind to come up and it’s OK to launch!" I was ready and yelled a loud "CLEAR" as I ran down the slope. Once airborne I turned to the right in search of a thermal and found a nice one. Two hundred, three hundred, four hundred feet per minute up as I cored and found myself 1000 feet over launch. I stayed with it to reach 1400 feet over. While thermaling, I noticed Alli launch and head straight out toward the LZ. After a few minutes of technical difficulties with my new Push-to-talk radio system (I didn’t have it fully plugged in), I began a nice dialog with Alli as she descended down and watched her have a nice landing in the designated LZ. I then decided to cross the dam. I found some more lift there and got back to nearly 1000 feet over when Alli handed the radio over to the local hot shot pilot Andy. Andy then proceeded to give me a guided tour via radio of the Sylmar Hang Gliding Club area. I flew over to "Locals", "The Towers", and "The 2200" under his direction. I was actually sinking the whole way but was comfortable with my co-pilot on the radio and really enjoyed the scenery. As I got back across the base of the dam I bubbled around in some light lift but couldn’t get back up high again and decided to go out and land. I completed the flight with a nice landing in the Hang 4 LZ at the base of the mountain. The locals, most of which decided not to fly due to light winds, greeted me with applause, beer, and much celebration.

Alli and I would like to thank Sylmar Hang Gliding Club, Chris, Joe, Mike, Andy, Lisa, Lynn, and all the others we met on our trip for giving us such a warm welcome. If any pilots have future plans to visit the Los Angeles area and would like to fly, I can highly recommend calling WindSports and the Sylmar Hang Gliding Club. We welcome all traveling pilots to visit the Tennessee Tree Toppers at our home site

WindSports Soaring Center 818-988-0111

Jeff and Alli Dodgen 423-949-3384

Jeff launching from Kagel Mtn.




TN Tree Toppers Year 2000 Income & Expense Report

by Katie Dunn






TOTAL Party 819.00

TTT Memberships





DEP DEPOSIT 1,155.00





DEP DEPOSIT 1,040.00

DEP DEPOSIT 2,820.00

DEP DEPOSIT 1,465.00

DEP DEPOSIT 1,625.00

DEP DEPOSIT 2,283.62

TOTAL TTT Memberships 14,558.62





Int Inc

Interest Earned 17.41

Interest Earned 14.03

Interest Earned 16.51

Interest Earned 16.23

Interest Earned 16.71

Interest Earned 17.18

Interest Earned 15.72

Interest Earned 16.50

Interest Earned 19.16


TOTAL Int Inc 174.62

TOTAL INCOME 15,689.24


Bank Chrg


TOTAL Bank Chrg -20.00



1592 KENN POLLARI -80.77


Business Expens:




1578 STEVE BELLERBY -500.00

1582 ALDONNA JOHNSON -200.00

1602 JUDY HILDEBRAND -100.00

1604 ROB DALLAS -100.00

1605 FRANK CIMINNISI -100.00

1606 DEAN FUNK -100.00

1607 JEFF DODGEN -50.00

1608 MARK FURST -50.00

1609 JEFF LAUGHREY -50.00

1610 SHAWN LOCKLEAR -50.00

1611 MIKE EBERHARDT -50.00

1613 GREG WOJNOWSKI -25.00

1614 GARY THOMPSON -25.00

1615 MARION MOODY -25.00

1616 JIM MESSINA -25.00

1617 MILES BODNER -25.00

1618 CURT WARREN -100.00

1619 MIKE GATES -200.00

1620 STEVE BELLERBY -180.00

1584 MARK FURST -30.00

1588 KATHRYN DUNN -114.17


Business Expens-Other

1587 JEFF DODGEN -35.00

1623 THE SPORTS PLACE -838.94

TOTAL Business Expens-Other -873.94

TOTAL Business Expens -3,063.11


1566 KERLEY FLORIST -92.02





1547 USHGA -585.00

1558 TN FARMERS MUTUAL -173.00

TOTAL Insurance -758.00



cc ANNE HORGAN -150.00

1553 ANNE HORGAN -150.00

1555 KATHY LEE -50.00

1560 ANNE HORGAN -75.00

1564 ANNE HORGAN -75.00

1567 ANNE HORGAN -75.00

1571 ANNE HORGAN -75.00

1576 ANNE HORGAN -150.00

1621 ANNE HORGAN -150.00

TOTAL Mowing -950.00

Site Repairs


cc ACE HARDWARE -277.67

1557 ACE HARDWARE -6.47

1570 ACE HARDWARE -82.50

1585 ACE HARDWARE -95.17

TOTAL Site Repairs -676.32




1563 TN FARM BUREAU -20.00



Opening Balance Adjustment -46.94

Balance Adjustment 0.00

cc US POSTAL -24.00



TOTAL Misc -736.44






1541 JEFF DODGEN -103.00



















TOTAL Telephone -335.65


Gas & Electric










cc FERRELL GAS -39.51










TOTAL Gas & Electric -403.93


1546 MOWBRAY MTN -71.86






TOTAL Water -376.36

TOTAL Utilities -780.29



_ of the Total Income will be put into our CD for the Whitwell landing field fund, as $650.00 was last year.

If there are any questions regarding last years expenditures, please email Katie Dunn at:


TTT rescue and safety inventory as of 3/10/01 submitted by Jeff Dodgen and /Kenny Sandifer

  1. One Flashlight (needs batteries)
  2. One Bow Tree Saw
  3. Four Climbing Loop Slings
  4. One Strap
  5. Streamer material
  6. First Aid Kit
  7. Four Construction Safety Harnesses and a Big Safety Clip
  8. Four Caribeaners
  9. A Headlamp with batteries
  10. One 40 foot Nylon Rope
  11. One Wire Cutter
  12. Three Static Climbing Ropes, one approx. 140 Foot and two smaller pieces.
  13. One Climbing Harness
  14. News from the Hang Gliding Capitol of the East