The Making of a Kite Club
"Biography of Fly Pittsburgh"
Compiled by Con Engels*
John Kish met Dan and Pat Mills at Presque Isle and Dan talked John into joining the AKA. Dan told John about Hartwood Acres for kite flying.
John went to Hartwood and there met Al Yunker. Al told John about a guy he flew with in Butler - Flyin' Brian Check
John met Flyin' Brian Check at the Butler Farm Show Grounds and they became flying buddies. (The two of them were named the "Butler Buttheads" for a while)
Michael Moore and Mark Ruehrshneck showed up at the Farm Show Grounds to fly with the group. Mark had met Mike previously when Mike was flying his kites in the field behind Mark's house. Mike was there all the time, snow, etc. Mark finally went down and asked Mike why his kites flew and his did not. (Mark had a Skynasaur Competition) It had vinyl sails and solid fiberglass spars (brick with lines!). Mike hooked Mark up with a Basic Spin-off, and the rest is history. Now there were 7 - John, Al, Brian, Dan, Pat, Mike and Mark.
First Annual Spring Fly - held at Harwood Acres
About 20 people were there to fly, many stopped as they were driving past and had kites in their cars. It was an auspicious occasion - the weather was great and the winds were excellent! Everything was happening now our list of fliers was getting larger.
Paul Shirey hooks up with Brian Check. After buying his first real stunt kite earlier in the year, Paul was driving along 422 near Butler and saw a huge Delta-Conyne flying in an adjacent field. He later found the flyer of the DC, who turned out to be Dan McKnight (who later became a member also). Dan mentioned that he primarily flies large single liners, but for stunt kites he should track down a guy named Flyin' Brian, and the best place to find him would be the Butler Farm Show Grounds. On a whim, one Saturday Paul went to the Farm Show Grounds, to find banners and Brian flying his stack of Revs. Shortly after meeting Brian, Paul met John Kish, who invited Paul to join the new group. Now there were 8!
Saturday, September 26, 1992
Brian Check SETS the record for 24 quads at Ocean City, MD, which was sponsored by the Kite Loft.
John felt it was time to organize a club of some sort, so he did. Unofficially, Fly Pittsburgh came into existence. Later John found out that Mark Ruehrshneck was thinking about a club also. If he had been 1 week slower with the letter stating the formation of the club, it would have been known as KOPS - Kites over Pittsburgh Skies. That was the name that Mark had picked out.
Many of the club members got their first taste of Ice Flying at the Valentine's Ice Fly at Presque Isle.
Second annual Spring Fly, this time at Cooper's Lake Campgrounds. Weather was not very cooperative that day. The port 'o john kept blowing over. A few of the members from the Cleveland area kite club came to do some buggying - it was brutal.
September 19, 1993
The club was part of the festivities at Hartwood Acres for the 1993 Shop 'n Save / Make-A-Wish Balloon Festival. We flew all day and met a lot of new fliers and gained a few members too.
September 25, 1993
Flyin' Brian Check sets the new world's record for flying 41 Rev 2's, breaking his old record of 24. This occurred at Presque Isle and was later recognized in Kitelines Spring/Summer 1994 vol.10 no.4 page 55.
January 8, 1994
Fly Pittsburgh Is Official!!!!!!
John Kish scheduled our first meeting and workshop at Marlene Blaczcak's warehouse in Sharpsburg. At our first meeting there were about 15 people and we elected officers (John - President, Marlene - VP, Chris Ruehrshneck - Sec / Treas) At the workshop we discussed making a foil, building other kites, and doing appliqués. Everyone was kite crazy!
June 4th & 5th, 1994
Fly Pittsburgh's 1st Annual Erie Road Trip. This event helped to kick off the summer for most of us in the club, and the Road Trip has become a tradition to start the summer each year since. In 1994 there was a fairly small group of us attending. Now it is attended by almost half of the club members.
DPI (Discover Presque Isle days) always occurs on the last full weekend in July (Friday, Saturday & Sunday). It has become another event that is important to the club. Although DPI was attended by only a few of us in the previous years before 1994, a large share of the club has attended DPI each year since 1994.
August 1, 1994
Marlene's Warehouse was totally consumed in a fire that nearly cost the lives of Marlene and her courageous dog, Mutley.
Frank Olson was awarded the very first Fly Pittsburgh Presidential Award! Frank is the club patriarch (the oldest member of our club), and he is always making and flying new kites, most of which are rather large kites. He is an example for us to follow. We all hope that when we reach Frank age, we can be a youthful as he is now.
Current President of Fly Pittsburgh, Con Engels joined the club.
Club member Sue Taft, of Erie, PA, becomes the Women's World Champion of the 1995 World Ice & Snow Sailing Championships held at Wisconsin's Lake Mendota. Gary Counts, also of Erie, take's 1st place in the men's division.
A DPI mass ascension record of 25 Revolutions was set.
The final score's come in for the Northeast Sport Kite Conference. Mike Moore finishes up his competition year positioned with two first place wins, 1st in Master's Individual Precision and 1st in Master's Individual Ballet, in his conference.
Con Engels attends his first AKA National Convention, in Tulsa Oklahoma. If you can imagine the best time ever to be had flying kites, and being with other fliers, this was it for Con. It will last in Con's mind as one of his most exciting kiting treasures. This is usually the case for most newbies to the AKA convention, as you are simply overwhelmed by all there is to see and do.
Mike Moore is named the second recipient of the Fly Pittsburgh Presidential Award! Master Mike, as some of us call him. He is well deserving of this award. Although he has reached a level of skill in sport kiting that most of us can only dream about, Mike has never let his talent go to his head. He always has time to help a fellow flier learn new techniques and skills. You couldn't meet a nicer guy on the flying field.
February 24, 1996
First Official "Fly Pittsburgh Ice Fly", held at Lake Arthur, Moraine State Park, PA. Ice Flyers included Brian Check, Dan Mills, Mike Moore, John Kish & a valiant attempt by Mark Ruehrshneck, who had kite trouble, and never really got going on the ice. The event was almost a bust, because of a warming trend earlier in the week, but the ice held up long enough for us to get our fun in. Others who showed support by attending were, Pat Mills Frank Olson, Frank Hynds, the Mroz family, Joanne Kern, Bill Dankmyer, Dave Schmude & Carl Hillard. They greatly added a special touch to the event by putting up ground display such as Dan & Pat's Rosie the Pig and decorating the sky with some single liners (Frank Olson's Fu Man Chu, etc
), and even a few Revs were flown.
March 8th through April 8th 1996
The Grove City Outlet Mall "Spring Kite Display", was a great success. Carl Hillard organized a most impressive kite display. Carl was able to rally support from the club and some very well known fliers in supplying kites for the display. The indoor display took 7 ½ hours to complete on March 8th, with the help of Carl & Alison Hillard, Con Engels, Brian Check, John & Janet Kish, Dave, Alie & Matthew Steffler, Frank & Joan Hynds, Joe Mroz, Mark & Chris Ruehrshneck, Dave Schmude, Dan & Pat Mills, Lisa Pugliese, and Paul Shirey. All these showed up to lend a hand in putting together the greatest kite exhibit that Western Pennsylvania has ever seen! The display had examples of small simple deltas & boxes to codys, large trains, a 12' Rokaku, large double DC, and even a one of a kind 21' Custom Revolution (on loan from Lee Sedgwick). We had over one hundred kites of all types, hung from the rafters and on the walls throughout the entire food court area. Carl's Spring Kite Displays in the few years previous were held at the Grove City Library, and were all very nice, but this display was one that will be hard to top.
And on March 16th 25 members of Fly Pittsburgh were on hand at the south parking lot of the mall to put on an aerial display outside. Although the wind was very light we were still able to fly at times. Con Engels was even seen making his own wind, flying his Rev 2 as he roller-skated around the parking lot. Lee Sedgwick & Sue Taft even came down from Erie for the occasion. It took over 35 fliers to put together this exhibit & demonstration fly, but it would not have happened without Carl as the organizer of the event.
May 19, 1996
Buffalo Twp Day. Members of Fly Pittsburgh were invited to join the community this day. Brian Check, Con Engels, Dan& Pat Mills were there to demonstrate kite buggying on the backstretch of the track at Lernerville Speedway. Frank Olson was also there to support the event.
Ever since this day we have been invited back as a club to share our fondness of kiting with Buffalo Twp residents. In recent years, we have flown on the outer field adjacent to the parking area, and usually have about 12 - 15 members helping with display and sport kite demonstration.
"Kite Attacks Fliers at Sunset Point"
beware the power of the mighty kite. It seems that good ol' Danny (Mills) underestimated the strength of the wind. After launching his and Pat's very large Sutton 252, he proceeded to go about with other things, and while left to itself, the kite developed a rather sinister character. It first did a 180 and dove on Pat, then turned, started up the beach until it got caught on a log. This is when it attacked Stan Zlotkowski, and left him with a rope burn he would not soon forget. The Sutton wasn't done with it's rampage yet, as it once again came at Pat, to which Pat had to take a dive in the sand to avoid it's wrath. Eventually they were able to tame the kite enough to take it down. Lesson
we must never forget just how dangerous kites can be under less than ideal conditions. Even on what we think of as a perfect kiting day, conditions can change quickly.
July 1996 New DPI records!
Con Engels, who flew two Flexifoils, set another record for Presque Isle, controlling each Flexi separately (one by each hand), for an hour and twenty minutes.
And how about Sutton flowforms? There were five Sutton 252's plus Frank's Fu Man Chu in the air at the same time, at one point during the weekend of DPI.
And OK, so we thought 25 Revs was a good start for a mass ascension of Revs? How about 93 Revolutions at one time, and over 20 fliers participated to make this record possible. Later it was said that 95 Revs were actually flown, but the official count is 93.
Sept. 21, 1996
Tom Baumgardner meets Paul Shirey & Mike Moore for an impromptu fly in Slippery Rock. This is the start of Tom's obsession and love of kiting.
November 2, 1996
Con Engels opens his shop to the Fly Pittsburgh for the club monthly meeting. This is the Grand Opening of "Windstar Kites of Greater Pittsburgh North". Con introduces the Japanese Kimono Kite to the club, in the form of a workshop kite. Food & beverage is supplied to club members for this festive occasion. The event was well attended, and everyone had a great time.
Carl Hillard is the third to receive the Fly Pittsburgh Presidential Award! He received this award for his promotion of kiting with the club and within his community, and for his tireless efforts in coordinating the "Spring Kite Display" each year. Carl was always doing workshops in the Grove City and surrounding areas, and also hosted and instructed more than a few of our club kite workshops.
Fly Pittsburgh's previous club logo (originally designed by Paul Shirey), is refined by Con Engels to include full color with the City of Pittsburgh silhouette, and the 3 rivers & the fountain. This logo was made into our very own club kite pin, which debuted in January 1997, and is still available today. This logo is also now used for the "New" Fly Pittsburgh Kite Club web site hosted by Windstar Kites.
Our Second Annual Ice Fly was apparently a hit! Not just with the club, but also with one of our area's major papers, as the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette did not one but two feature articles on the up and coming sport of Ice Flying. More than 25 members of the club were in attendance for this two-day event, which was held on February 1st & 2nd. The Post Gazette articles appeared in the FYI edition on Feb 12th, and the second in the Sunday Magazine on Feb 16th. Both had front-page coverage in these sections of the paper. What more could we ask for?
March 1, 1997
"1st Annual Indoor Kite Fly" Yes it does sound like an oxymoron, but there are sport kites specifically designed to be able to fly with the slightest of ease, and slowest of motion on the part of the flyer. We as indoor flyers create our own apparent wind by moving our hands, arms and bodies, as we walk about an indoor flying zone (usually a gymnasium, but it is possible to fly in smaller indoor areas). This auspicious occasion was held at the Freeport High School Gym, and was the brainchild of Paul Shirey. Thanks to his organized efforts, he managed to pull the event together in a little over one month. We had 15 fliers, and a total of over 30 people in attendance at this, our first indoor fly.
March 16, 1997
The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review does a 1½-page story on kiting, and recognizes various members of Fly Pittsburgh kite club. Paul Shirey's "Aerostar Kites" are spotlighted in the article.
August 23rd & 24th, 1997
Members of Fly Pittsburgh participate in a "Walk for Cancer Marathon", which took place at Seneca Valley High School, and was conducted by the area Nurses Hospice. But instead of walking, we flew our kites, to provide a little entertainment for the event. Tom Baumgardner, Dave & Matthew Steffler, Con Engels, Lydia Nussbaum & Mark Ruehrshneck were their to help out.
Mark & Chris Ruehrshneck inform the club that they will be leaving us for a warmer climate. Mark started a new job, and because of this their relocation was decided. They ended up moving to Deltona, Florida, a 30-minute drive from Daytona Beach. Recently they have started another kite club "K.I.T.E.S." (Kites In The Enjoyable Sunshine). Too bad Mark & Chris did not live in a town beginning with "P", as they could have revived Mark's original slogan of "KOPS".
Summer of 1997
Frank Olson is immortalized on canvas. It seems that Frank has become famous, as a painting was done, portraying Frank flying his well-known Fu Man Chu kite. Artist and photographer Len Kolansinski painted it. The painting was on display this summer at the State Capital in Harrisburg, in an exhibit of art by senior citizens. The picture was taken of Frank flying at Lake Arthur and was later done as a watercolor by Mr. Kolansinski.
October 4, 1997
Lee Sedgwick & Sue Taft, tie the knot! These very famous fliers, and members of Fly Pittsburgh, were married at Stephany's Grove in Erie, PA. Although rain threatened to dampen the festivities, the Bride & Groom and 90 or so guests, they did not let it get them down. The rain even stopped long enough for the ceremony to proceed in the outside courtyard. Lee's father was the Best Man and Sue's Mother was the Matron of Honor. John & Janet Kish, Dan, Pat & Calvin Mills, Stan & Heidi Zlotkowski, Forrest & Patty Glaser, John & Liz Schell and Frank Olson, were among the members of Fly Pittsburgh that were in attendance. Resident club DJ, Con Engels was there to get the party rockin' until 11:00 pm, when the evenings festivities wound down, only to be continued when we packed up to move the party to Choo Choo's. A great time was had by all. Congratulations to Lee & Sue.
Members Tom & Boop Baumgardner, and Frank Olson attend their first AKA National Convention, at Wildwood, NJ. Frank, our resident patriarch was like a kid in a candy store the whole week. Tom of course could not get enough of the sights to behold and new fliers to meet at this grand celebration of kiting. Con Engels set Boop up with a Flexi, and with the help of Con and Tom, Boop was on her way to getting hooked on kiting also.
These newbie's to the AKA's greatest yearly event, were also in for a very special treat as we witnessed Mike Moore's call to greatness, as he was awarded 1st place in Master's Individual Precision, and claimed his trophy at the awards banquet, as he was announced as the very best in the US for that event. Earlier in the season Mike also took 1st place in the first officially sanctioned indoor fly, which also occurred in Wildwood.
Con Engels is honored with the forth edition of the Presidential Award! As his award reads
"In recognition of Con's total dedication to the excellence in the sport of kiting".
Our Ice Fly
is cancelled for lack of frozen water, at Lake Arthur, and it seemed that the Erie Ice Fly would suffer the same fate
Then Lake Chautauqua in Jamestown, NY froze over. It was a Godsend, as the bay at Presque Isle was still open water. So, we all made the additional one hour trek from Erie to Lake Chautauqua each day, starting on Friday the 13th with 6 of us on the ice, and Saturday with about 20 fliers. Even though we had to travel further, it was worth it! Thanks to Lee & Sue and Steve & Elaine for finding ice for us.
March 20, 1998
In USA Today, Mike Moore, is featured in a kite article, along with other famous AKA fliers.
April 18, 1998
The largest member turnout to date, for a single Fly Pittsburgh Club Fly, happened on this date at our 7th Annual Spring Fly. About 60 members and friends were in attendance. Frank Olson's kite arch was flying high in the lower part of the field. Carl Hillard had his creations flying throughout the day. Forrest Glaser & John Schell were working a Rev routine with their stacks. Paul Shirey had is kites staked out all over the place like they were popping up like mushrooms. We saw a rare scene, as we witnessed Mike Moore flying pairs with his better half Lisa Bookman. Tom Baumgardner was marathon flying the whole day, as he hardly ever landed his kite to take a break. And, tunes were crankin' all day complements of Con Engels. Of course there were many other fliers there, and talk about food
it seemed never ending. This was definitely one of our best events ever!
April 25, 1998
Grove City Bicentennial Celebration was another one of Carl Hillard's endeavors, of which he was the chief promoter for the kiting portion of the event. Carl, along with over 20 other members of Fly Pittsburgh were there to help with flying exhibitions, judging, tangled lines and eating. More than 100 children came to participate in the fun, and each competed to win prizes in various categories.
John Kish announces is resignation as President of the Fly Pittsburgh Kite Club. He formally announced this to the club in the Wind Warrior, and asked for nominations in the positions of President, Vice President and Secretary/Treasurer. He also thanked Marlene & Chris for all that they have done in the past for the club. For the entire year of 1998 John had taken over the duties of all the officers, and he decided that he needed a change. Ballots were sent out later in the month.
December 5, 1998 (at our Christmas Party)
Paul Shirey is named to receive the fifth annual Presidential Award! He is the one person within the club that has recruited more new members than anyone else. He is usually one of the first to arrive at events, and also one of the last to leave. Paul is the designer and creator of "Aerostar Kites", and was awarded $100 by the Drachen Foundation for his "Crossbow" indoor kite. He has been designing and building kites since 1994. Paul brought home two awards from the very first Ohio Cup Sport Kite Championship, which was held in May '98. He took 2nd in Intermediate Individual Precision and 1st in Intermediate Individual Ballet. Paul is a true asset to the club, for all his help and promotion of kiting in our area.
John's final words as President: "I know we have a strong membership, not just a core. We have become more than just a kite club. We are a group of friends that enjoy kites. Thank you for being such a great group of people. Let's keep Fly Pittsburgh #1."
Election of new club officers is finalized. And they are
Carl Hillard - President
Con Engels - Vice President
Paul Shirey - Sec./Treas.
January - February 1999
Carl takes the reigns, along with Con & Paul. They knew that they had their work cut out for them. Carl had to fill some pretty large shoes. Phone calls are made, and planning meetings are arranged, for the incoming officers to discuss the direction of the club. It is decided to hold the annual spring fly a little later than usual, in an effort to increase the odds in favor of better weather for the event. Plus, to accommodate more people's schedules, this event would now take place over two days. The dates are set for May 1st & 2nd.
February 5th, 6th & 7th 1999
Erie Ice Fly, moved to Lake Chautauqua once again. Friday, poor wind conditions at the Lake, so we headed back to Erie, with a few of us flying at Sunset Point. We were treated to an awesome sight, as Sam Ritter, from Michigan, pulled out his brand new 16 pack of Rev 1s. Lee flew his stack alongside Sam. Another great moment in kiting! Saturday at Lake Chautauqua we had over 25 flyers on the ice at one time, and rookie of the year "Ed Sadej" was in heaven, as he did not leave the ice all day. Sunday started well, bad soon turned worse, as blizzard conditions prevailed, and many of us were very lucky to make it home.
April 17, 1999
Slippery Rock Community Kite Fly! This one was organized by Tom Baumgardner, and attended by 13 fliers, who all helped with the event. Flying on a world-class field that is unrivaled in Western PA. Another first for the club!
May 1st & 2nd, 1999
Our 8th Annual Spring Fly (1st two day event for our club)!
We had our first ever Mock Competition, for which we have to thank Mike Moore, Lisa Bookman, Paul Shirey, & Pat Mills. Winners of the competition were: Tom Baumgardner in 1st, Kim Shaffer 2nd, and Denny Dambaugh in 3rd.
We also had our first official club "Night Fly", with about a dozen sport and single line kites gracing the sky with kite lights and glow sticks. The wind even cooperated with steady 10-12 mph wind up until about 11:00 pm. We finished the night fly off around a campfire.
July 24, 1999
At DPI yet another record is set! It was not with the number of Flowforms in the air or regarding the Rev mass ascension (although the Rev record was almost broken). This time it pertained to the US Flag. As it turns out, with the help of many fliers in attendance (including many Fly Pgh members), there were 127 US Flags in the air at one time. One of the four Sutton 252s hoisted a very special flag. This particular one "Stars & Stripes" measured a whopping 20 feet x 35 feet. Can you say huge!
December 18, 1999
This years Presidential Award went to Bill Dankmyer & Joanne Kern! Carl decided to give this year's award to two of our clubs most gracious people, since they are inseparable, and equally share their pure joy and enthusiasm for kiting with all those that they come in contact with.
December '99's issue of the Wind Warrior was very special, as it contained a four-page fold out, full color photomontage with over 100 photos, all taken by Carl throughout the past season.
February 19th & 20th 2000
Our first kite workshop of the new Millennium! And it was a great one! This time we made the largest kites ever made in a workshop conducted by our club. The kites made over this two-day workshop were 10-foot deltas named Stealths, and 14-foot deltas dubbed XLs. And boy, were they impressive. The Stealth and XL are both designs by Ron Gries of Ohio. Tom Baumgardner and Carl Hillard had a chance to travel to Ohio earlier in 1999, to participate in one of Ron's workshops, where they each made an XL. Tom got permission to use Ron's patterns and templates to conduct his own workshop for Fly Pittsburgh. Participants of the workshop were Dick & Judy Baker, Bill Dankmyer & Joanne Kern, Lydia Nussbaum, Frank Hynds, and Cheryl Kear. Boop Baumgardner and Con Engels were there to assist Tom in conducting the workshop, which took place at the home of Windstar Kites.
March 11, 2000
Carl Hillard announces his immediate resignation as President of the club, which then leaves Con Engels to take charge, leading the club. It was announced that because of all of Carl's present responsibilities, he no longer had the time to fulfill his duties as President. Con now holds position of President of the Fly Pittsburgh Kite Club. This leaves the Vice Presidency open.
March 17, 2000
Con Engels sends out his first rendition of the Wind Warrior. This was accomplished with the much needed editorial help of Lydia Nussbaum, the new Editor of the Wind Warrior, along with Boop Baumgardner as Assistant Editor. Each also wrote articles for this issue.
April 1, 2000
"Youngstown Kite Festival 2000"
Fly Pittsburgh, joined OSEK to help in their fourth semiannual festival. A new record setting crowd was estimated at 2,500 to 3,500 participants for the 4-hour event! The last festival held in 1998 had a turn out of about 700 people, which was a record at that time. Kiter turn out for this event was approximately 70 plus, with furthest traveled from Luxembourg (actually they were in Detroit on business and drove down from there). Media contacts and kite club contacts were made by Harry Gregory & Nancy Lockwood, the Kear family, the Seidita family, Con Engels, and MetroParks, all sharing in the work and time required.
Fly Pittsburgh members in attendance at the Youngstown Kite Festival: Richard Aretz, Dick & Judy Baker, Tom & Boop Baumgardner, Denny & Sally Dambaugh, Barb Feshami & Braden, Ted Greenstone, Forrest & Patty Glaser, Tom & Cheryl Kear (also members of OSEK, and promoters of this event), Joanne Kern & Bill Dankmyer, Mike Moore, Lydia Nussbaum & (guest) Ed Mansur, Frank & Barb Seidita (also OSEK members), Paul Shirey, Kim Shaffer, Jack & Judy Stewart, Dan & Mariann Taylor, Frank Olson, Frank & Betty Terepka (also members of OSEK), Con Engels, last but not least my Mom, Kay Engelsiepen & my brothers Jason, Chris, Ralph & Tom. And new member, who joined Fly Pgh at the Fly, Martin DeVore & his family.
OSEK members attending: Rick & Robyne Gardner (also members of BSAF), Jim & Barb Gibson, Harry Gregory & Nancy Lockwood, Gina Ignazito, Tom & Cheryl Kear (also of Fly Pgh), Bob and Elaine Lockhart, JD and Jo Wilson & Radd, Frank & Barb Seidita (also of Fly Pgh), Frank and Betty Terepka (also of Fly Pgh)
"Puff the Magic Dragon" Mega Team Fly (impromptu seven flier ballet routine) with:
Rick & Robyne Gardner
Jens Jungfleisch (from Luxembourg, Germany)
w/ Con Engels (flying a quad line "Puff" under the teams fly zone).
May Issue of the "Wind Warrior" has a new feature
"Wing Tips", another idea from Paul Shirey. This continuing article chronicles various flying techniques, and helps to enhance the flyers skills in flying dual line sport kites.
May 12, 13 & 14, 2000
Our 9th Annual Spring Fly now becomes a three-day event! The intentions are good to produce a great event, however Mother Nature had other plans.
Friday night, we had light winds, and the few that were there did enjoy some night flying time.
Saturday morning brought the rain, and rain, and more rain, with sustained winds above 35 mph for more than an hour. Finally around 1:30 pm the skies cleared and we were able to proceed with the fun of flying and eating. Saturday evening brought moderate winds, enough for the night fly of which the new Stealths and XLs could be king.
Sunday was the best day, although the wind was kicking a little higher than some would have liked. However, it was a perfect buggy day, and Con Engels took advantage of this. Later, Paul Shirey suggested a speed trap to clock Con's speed. Officially clocked at 22 mph, which is not too bad. Because wind speeds were higher before the speed trap was set up, it was felt that previously, Con was moving faster. However 22 mph is the official speed. Not too bad for being in a three-wheeled buggy, only inches from the ground!
As for total members, there were only 29 in attendance at the Spring Fly, but all in all that's pretty good considering the weather conditions of the event.
Mark & Chris Ruehrshneck start another kite club down in sunny Florida, "K.I.T.E.S." (Kites In The Enjoyable Sunshine).
July 28, 29, & 30, 2000 DPI
In 2000 we had a contingent of 40 club members in attendance. Even more impressive than that was that a collaborative effort was made to once again break the Revolution mass ascension record. This was accomplished with 26 fliers each flying Revs in numbers from a single to as many as 12 in a stack. This effort ended up with a grand total of 112 Revolutions in the sky at one time, a most impressive sight to see.
New DPI Official record of 112 REVS
***World Record broken ????***
(as officially tabulated by Pat Mills)
List of names for record breaking Rev fest at Erie on July 29th, 2000:
Allen Berchtold - 8
Terry Cerweck - 4
Brian Check - 9
Gary Counts - 6
Bill Dankmyer -3
Dennis Findley - 4
Forrest Glaser - 3
Patty Glaser -1
Joann Kern - 1
John Kish- 6
Steven Lax - 1
Calvin Mills- 3
Sam Ritter - 12
Ann Ritter- 4
Ed Sadej - 5
John Schell - 6
Dave Schmude - 3
Lee Sedgwick - 8
Sue Sedgwick - 4
Kim Shaffer- 2
Jack Stewart - 3
Chuck Stumpf - 3
Heidi Zlotkowski -1
Stan Zlotkowski - 6
AKA Convention in Treasure Island Florida. Tom & Mike become National Champions! Tom Baumgardner takes 1st Place in Experienced Individual Ballet, and Mike Moore and Tom as pairs team "Airflow" earns 1st Place in Experienced Pairs Ballet. Among the club members who witnessed this great accomplishment were: Boop Baumgardner, Con Engels, Frank Hynds, Frank & Barb Seidita, Frank & Betty Terepka.
The Fly Pittsburgh "Kite Safety Field Card"!!!!! Because of recent kiting mishaps throughout the past year, within Fly Pittsburgh and at AKA events, Con Engels is prompted to come up with a better way to help promote kite safety. The Field Card can be found on the Windstar Kites web site at
"2000 Presidential Award"
And the award goes to...
Tom Baumgardner is the 7th recipient to receive this award, The inscription on Tom's award reads, "This award is presented by the Fly Pittsburgh Kite Club, in recognition of Tom's total dedication to the promotion and enjoyment of kiting in the Pittsburgh area & throughout his travels".
There have only been three other fliers before you, that have sent a chill down my spine and evoked a tear in my eye. They have been Ray Bethel with his famous 3 kite routine, Lee & Sue Sedgwick (both with their pairs demo at Wildwood Convention in '97, and with their individual dog stake routines at '99 AKA in Muncie). Then there was your routine with Mike as pairs team "Airflow" at Wildwood in May of 2000. You two guys blew me away. Now you, along with Mike have been added to the list!
Club attendees at the 2001 Kick Off Party!
(click photo for medium size enlargement)
CLICK HERE FOR FULL SIZE IMAGE (101 KB)
|March 24, 2001 SciTech Festival opening day a great success!!!!!
Carnegie Science Center invited us to be a part of this great event.
Fly Pittsburgh Kite Club participated at Pittsburgh's premier event, to kick off the Carnegie Science Center's 2nd Annual event. A good representation of modern kiting was presented at this event. From Outdoor Ground Display, to Indoor Miniature Kites, and interactive displays. Also Indoor Flying Demonstrations, and Kids Sled Kite Workshops. Chairpersons for the event were Tom Baumgardner & Con Engels (head event chairs, with Tom as chair for Indoor Flying). Tom Kear headed up the Outdoor display, with Cheryl Kear in charge of the Indoor Static, Interactive Displays and Para-Bear drops from the forth floor atrium balcony, while Con Engels handled the Kite workshops. Others within the CSC event planning committee included Paul Shirey, Mike Moore, Boop Baumgardner, & Lydia Nussbaum.
In 2010 we are celebrating the 19th Anniversary since our founding members first met and flew together! The Fly Pittsburgh Kite Club on average has 20 individual memberships and 25 Family memberships, with a total of 60 - 70 members.
*A note from the author: Although I list myself as the writer of "The Fly Pittsburgh Biography", many sources were used to write this biography. The content of the early years, before I was a member, was supplied to me mainly by John Kish, along with some help from Flyin' Brian & his wife Sandy Check, Mark Ruehrshneck, and Paul Shirey. Thanks for all your help!
All of the other details were taken from previous issues of the Wind Warrior, from 1994 through the last issue, as I had saved almost all my copies since I joined the club.
I must also take time to thank my Editor, Lydia Nussbaum for her proofing skills. You do a great job! And also, thanks to my Assistant Editor, Boop Baumgardner for her keen eye, and excellent memory, without which I would be lost! Thank you both for your editorial skills!