Windsock Estates - Hang glider vista
When I was between the ages of 2-4 years I lived in an apartment complex that was adjacent to the local community airport in North Conway, N.H. The name of the apartment complex was Windsock Estates...What a great name. The airport and surrounding town was in a valley with 2-4,000 foot high mountains surrounding it so a windsock was pretty important for the local pilots to make a safe landing flying their Piper Cubs, Bi-planes and Cessnas. Once in a while we would have hang gliders that would be pulled up by some of those local pilots and soar around the area; they were so silent and almost magical to me. They would always seem to migrate over to a particular location just off the tip of one of the local mountains that was close to the airport. I guess they were riding the warm wave of air on that side of the mountain that gave them more lift than normal. They would sit there for minutes at a time just hovering; it was amazing to me. On those occasions my father, a few of his friends and I would hike up this particular mountain and come to the open vista just below where the hang gliders would catch their thermal. They were literally 50’ above us and it was awesome! I remember waving to the pilot and him opening his canopy to say hello to us. Just sitting up there hovering on the wind. After a few minutes he would pull his yolk to the side and peel up and over the top of the mountain to let the next pilot drop in to experience the warm thermal levitation right above us. We would do this for hours on end sometimes.
I’m so happy that I got to experience that. Thanks Dad!
It was so cool Justin and I'm very glad you remember it. Like you said, when they decided to leave they tilted the glider 90 degrees and just dropped virtually straight down across the steep mountain side. They cast a shadow completely over us and the wings never seemed to end as they floated by. Incredible!!
one time your uncle Jim and I went for a glider ride.When it came time for the glider pilot to release us from the plane that was towing us it
felt like the plane just broke in half. Jim had just finished eating and need I say any more
I do remember this old timey sight of the By-Planes on a beautiful clear blue sky day in North Conway. I always thought what freedom it must be to pi;lot the plane with such control. Wiley Apt was our Landlord and a pilot. He was very kind and soft spoken. I remember the wind sock at the end of the runway, it was bright orange and for much of it's existence was stretched straight out as the wind pushed trough it.
Great memories, for such a small baby boy, with big wide open eyes!