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Hang Gliders

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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 29, 1989 | STEPHANIE CHAVEZ, Times Staff Writer
About 60 hang glider pilots will launch themselves off ridges of the San Gabriel Mountains and soar above Sylmar skies this weekend to honor a founder of one of the nation's most popular gliding sites. Jeff Scott, who died at 32 in September after a nine-year battle with cancer, was a hero to members of the Sylmar Hang Gliding Assn. He was a test glider pilot from Northridge and a pioneering flier who dared to ride the thermal waves above Sylmar before hang gliding became a well-known Southern California sport.
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BUSINESS
November 4, 2012 | By Ronald D. White, Los Angeles Times
Once a week, Steven Pearson and Michael Meier strap on helmets, jump off a mountain and try to fly like birds. The two run Wills Wing Inc. in Orange, the world's biggest manufacturer of hang gliders. Pearson, 56, the company's president, and Meier, 62, its chief financial officer, also are part of a team of pilots that flies every glider. Test flight days can be grueling, lasting as long as 12 hours in the San Bernardino Mountains. They fly even when temperatures top 100 degrees because skipping a week is not an option.
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REAL ESTATE
September 8, 1985
Hang gliders take off from high slopes and glide . . . and soar . . . and circle . . . and float . . . but eventually they have to come back to the ground. When they do, the best place to land is not a gully. But until Richard Simonian, president of Santiago Corp.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 18, 2012 | By Richard Marosi, Los Angeles Times
U.S. border authorities have awarded a $99.9-million contract to a New York-based company to develop a radar system to detect low-flying ultralight aircraft used to smuggle drugs from Mexico. The solo-piloted aircraft that resemble motorized hang gliders are difficult to detect with conventional radar technology and can carry payloads up to 250 pounds. The planes fly slowly above areas from San Diego to Arizona, dropping their loads of marijuana before escaping to Mexico. More than 700 incursions, at least two of which occurred over San Diego's Interstate 8, have been reported since the trend began in 2008.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 20, 1994 | SUE REILLY, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
When Joe and Kris Greblo land in a foreign country, they carry no luggage. When you have wings on your back, it's better that way. And whether they are dropping in on Russia, China, Japan, Thailand, France, Norway, Brazil or Colombia, they always find fellow travelers willing to jump off cliffs with them at a moment's notice. Piloting hang gliders has taken them over some of the most scenic locales on the planet.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 19, 1989 | DEAN MURPHY, Times Staff Writer
To workers at the Hyperion sewage treatment plant in Playa del Rey, it will be just another place to park. But to hundreds of hang gliders throughout Southern California, a new parking lot at Dockweiler State Beach may mean they will fly again at the birthplace of their sport. Construction is scheduled to begin this fall on the 500-space parking lot on a grassy swath near the treatment plant.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 21, 1990 | TRACEY KAPLAN, TIMES STAFF WRITER
To join the Southland's newest crime watch group, you have to jump off a mountain, soar through the air and operate a camera thousands of feet above the ground. That's no problem for "sky bums" from the Sylmar Hang Gliding Assn., who have launched their anti-crime effort in the skies above Angeles National Forest.
NEWS
November 4, 1993 | JEFF MEYERS, TIMES STAFF WRITER
High atop the hardscrabble north slope of Ventura's Grant Park, Randy Liggett looks down at the city. Hundreds of feet below, homes along Ventura Avenue are as tiny as Monopoly pieces. On the rise behind him, tall cypresses rustle in a light breeze. Pulling a para-glider from a bulky backpack, Liggett assembles it and climbs into the harness.
NEWS
June 17, 1994 | JASMINE SHOUKRY
Bryan Alfaro is afraid of heights. Tall buildings and cliffs make him nervous. But he'll gladly jump off one to hang-glide. "I was nervous before I started, but they told me to run and take off," Alfaro said. "And once I was in the air, all the fear left me." The junior at Sunny Hills High started hang-gliding a year ago after learning about the sport from his uncle. Despite the fact that there is no barrier between the glider and rugged environment, Alfaro insists the sport is only dangerous if "you're not thinking about what you're doing."
NEWS
January 5, 1987
A hang-glider pilot from Redondo Beach was killed when he plummeted 200 feet into a tree at a popular hang-gliding area in the Angeles National Forest north of Sylmar. John Preston IV, 26, died at a nearby hospital. A Los Angeles Fire Department rescue team, including two helicopters, were sent to the rugged area about a mile north of Sayre Street and Shablow Avenue after Preston was spotted falling from his craft. Cause of the accident is under investigation.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 3, 2012 | By Jack Dolan, Los Angeles Times
As the ancient Dodge van bumped and creaked up the mountain road to one of Southern California's legendary hang glider launches, a 68-year-old thrill-seeker sitting in back mentioned that the 83-year-old riding shotgun is attracting condors whenever he flies. "He thinks it's because he talks to them," George Boswell said of his older friend, Rome Dodson. "We don't have the heart to tell him it's because they're vultures. " There's never been a shortage of gallows humor among hang glider pilots.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 30, 2008 | Dan Weikel
A 49-year-old man was killed Friday afternoon in a hang-gliding accident in Sylmar, authorities said. The accident occurred about 3:30 p.m. in the 12600 block of Gridley Street. The man's identity was withheld pending notification of his next of kin. -- Dan Weikel
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 17, 2008 | Francisco Vara-Orta
A man using a motorized hang glider crashed Wednesday near Malibu Bluffs State Park, suffering burns and sparking a quarter-acre brush fire, authorities said. The incident was reported about 11:10 a.m. near Malibu Canyon Road and Pacific Coast Highway, directly above the park, said Inspector Frank Garrido of the Los Angeles County Fire Department. About 50 firefighters extinguished the blaze in about an hour, he said. Paramedics treated the man at the scene for second-degree burns, but he was not hospitalized.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 22, 2008 | From a Times Staff Writer
A man died in a hang-gliding accident Saturday afternoon near El Cariso Community Regional Park in Sylmar, an official with the Los Angeles Fire Department said. Paramedics arrived at the 12000 block of Gridley Street to find bystanders performing CPR on the man, described only as being about 60 years old. "We took over but he had succumbed to his injuries," said d'Lisa Davies, a spokeswoman for the Fire Department. "They were pretty substantial.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 3, 2002 | From Times Staff and Wire Reports
Ed Cesar, 55, a champion hang glider pilot who with his wife, Barbara, founded Syncro Aircraft Interiors, died May 24 in Los Angeles. The cause of death was not disclosed. Born Edison Martin Cesar, he repeatedly won hang-gliding competitions and piloted a glider for the camera in the inspirational documentary "Up." The film won an Academy Award and a National Educational Award, and has been used to inspire children to set high goals for themselves.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 6, 2001 | JOE MOZINGO, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Hang gliders search for thermals the way surfers hunt for waves. They read the conditions for telltale signs: spiraling buzzards, dust devils, cumulus clouds towering above the haze. The rising warm air lifts them by their Dacron wings. Aloft, circling with the swifts, altimeters beeping, giddy from hypoxia, they are singing alone and aloud in the open sky. But inevitably the updrafts wane.
NEWS
January 18, 1990 | Reuters
East German hang-gliding enthusiasts, whose sport was formerly banned in case they tried to fly over the country's heavily guarded borders, have formed a club in East Berlin. The official news agency ADN said Wednesday that the club will begin giving hang-gliding lessons in March.
NEWS
January 15, 1989
In "Seductions of Crime" (Dec. 28), Garry Abrams quoted a leading authority on crime with a statement that has caused disappointment and furor among enthusiasts of our sport. Franklin E. Zimring of UC Berkeley's School of Law was quoted as saying, "Armed robbery is a lot like hang gliding: a 'crazy' activity that thrives because it feels good, and there is a subculture to support it." Of the 1,800 hang-glider pilots in Southern California, the average is older than 35, a professional who earns more than $30,000 a year.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 10, 2000 | JOCELYN Y. STEWART, TIMES STAFF WRITER
The men and women stood on the bluff in admiration of flight. Not the flight of planes or birds, but of people who fly without the gift of wings or the burden of engines. This group of hang gliders--including the pioneers of the sport--gathered Saturday at Dockweiler State Beach for a reunion celebrating three decades of flying over these local sands.
NEWS
May 28, 1999 | DAN ARRITT, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Erik Delf still gets a lump in his throat when he thinks back. Delf, a clockmaker from Laguna Niguel, made his first solo flight on a hang glider a couple years ago, accomplishing a goal he set while growing up in Florida. "It's an emotional thing the first time you do it," Delf said. "Ever since I was a little kid and seeing that gum commercial on TV, I always wanted to do it. When I moved to California, one of the first things I did was look it up in the Yellow Pages."
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