Monday, September 29, 2008

Air Show Surprise

The Air Show yesterday was most pleasant. The parking and shuttle arrangements appeared to be organized very well. The staff and volunteers appeared to be using rental radios with multiple channels, much like the model successfully employed for several years at Country Jam.

My favorite act of the day was Dan Buchanan, a paraplegic hang glider pilot, who while ascending to about 3,000 feet above the crowd was talking by radio with the PA announcer, while shooting off small fireworks and trailing streamers from his glider. There was some humorous dialogue about not being allowed around an airport with his contraption, and a GJ Police cruiser following his "intrusion" from below.

He then let go of his tow cable and began a gradual descent to the runway, continuing his conversation with the ground about the intricacies of powerless flight before gently setting down on his wheels.

It was a welcome diversion from the noise, power, 'shock and awe' theme common to most air shows. Simplicity, grace, and a not-so-subtle message about overcoming adversity; Mr. Buchanan lost the use of both legs after a hard landing in his hang glider several years ago.

I hope he comes back to GJ again.

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