Kite Stories

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The following are articals or email stories I have seen and decided to keep. Generally these are from the Rec.Kites newsgroup but not always.

Paul and his Fire Fighters

A contributed story by Tania Berger using the Revised Panflute Kite Plan.

From: Ted Mahar <> Date: Wed, 29 Sep 1999 07:53:48 -0400 I came across your very informative web page on Kites and Kite building during my search of kites on the web. I have been a kite pilot ever since I can remember. When I was younger (5 or 6 years old), I remember we (myself and some of the neighbourhood kids) used to go to the local candy store called "Lucky Louie's", and we each would buy a paper diamond kite and ball of cotton string. We would then go to a small parking lot next to the store and send them up, letting all the string out. We would tie our lines on the fence and go back and buy more string. Returning and adding on to the existing line, we would continue to do so until you had to strain to see that there was a kite at the end of the line. Of course it then came time to bring the kite back in, seemed to take all evening to wind it back in. As I got older I used to build what ever kite plan I could find. My last project was a 12 foot delta that I call my "Lumbering Giant", complete with two 80 foot long tails. Since that project of almost 10 years ago I was seriously injured at work and have become disabled. I do still get out to fly, but with the assistance of my son. Respectfully, Ted Mahar 13049 Big Tree Road East Aurora, New York 14052
From: Stan Shelhamer <> Date: Sun, 21 Feb 99 07:59:00 EST Subject: Re: Kite in Lake Story Our weather-guesser predicted nice sunny afternoon for yesterday, so I packed up some kites and headed for the park... well, we had gusts to 50 mph or so, and the circos weren't happy with THAT, so I put up my little 6x10' flowform... Immediately on launch, it SNAPPED the 220# line it was flying on and fluttered down into the lake about 500 yards offshore! SON OF A BITCH!!!! Went home to find my marine recovery kit (canoe, life vests, grappling hook, etc) but by the time we got back to the lake, NO KITE!!! Sheesh!! thought it had sunk to the bottom by now (45 minutes after the line broke)... Wifey says, let's go over to the marina, maybe some boaters picked it up... so we went, and I asked everybody handy if they had seen a big red/white kite floating in the water out there, off the point, but no luck... sheesh again!! She goes off to the NEXT marina, hoping to ask around the boaters there, I stayed at the first place asking folks as they came in about my missing kite. As luck would have it, about the third boat in actually HAD the kite!!!! YAAAAY!!! I had something like 17 yards of ripstop and two weeks or so building time in that kite, and sure would have hated to lose it! The guys in the boat didn't really know what it WAS that they picked up out of the water, but they just didn't want any other boats to get fouled up in this big floating mass of fabric :) Now I thing boat people are pretty nice!! I'm sure happy not to lose the flowform, but think a roll of 500# line will be in my next order for kite supplies! Pleasant winds, eh... Oh... I just realized that this is the middle of your summer season, so GO FLY A KITE!! :)
From: Anthony Thyssen <> Date: Fri, 20 Dec 1996 17:48:01 +1000 Subject: Re: Getting the kite back! :-) I also have a story of the lost kite... A local school was having a fete, and I decided to set out a few kites just for the joy of flying around people. It was a great day, the wind a bit strong and turbulent. On one such big gust, my Australian Flag Genki Kite (my prototype) gave a sudden jerk and pulled its peg out of the ground and started flying away, draging the handle along the ground. The kite flew over a busy road, and over some power lines. The handle was pulled along and up to the wire where it promptly wrapped itself around one of the wires. The Kite itself suddently with the handle tight, promptly assended again and flew again with the handle caught along the power lines well out of anyones reach. I figured I could just wait for the wind to drop as it usally does later that evening, so left it flying high over a residental area from the power line. The strong wind however came to our rescue as the gustly conditions eventually caused the kite line to wear though. thus two hours later the kite once more was free, and floated gently down into the residential area beyond. The handle itself, is still wrapped around the power line as far as I know. Anthony Thyssen
From: Gary Engvall <> Date: Fri, 20 Dec 1996 23:34:33 -0500 Subject: Re: Getting the kite back! :-) Anthony Quoted as saying... > It is a pretty smart tree that can outsmart the average kite flyer. I just wanted both you guys to know - this is quote is taken (sort of) from my standard kite "lecture" or seminar that I give when I go to Elementary Schools. After I discuss the two reasons why not to run, and why to never pull, I then say; "It is very easy to keep a kite out of a tree. You simply have to be a little bit smarter than the tree." And then I go on to say that if the flying line is kept slightly shorter than the distance to the tree, if the kite crashes, it crashes short of the tree. My favorite experience at a grade school demo was when the kids went outside to fly the trash bag Eddy's they had just made, and, sure enough, one of them parked their's in the top of the tallest tree around. (Not his fault really, a 50 foot field surrounded by 40 foot trees. We call these fields a GFHITG (God Forsaken Hole In The Ground)) I was surprised that he did as he heard in the classroom - he held his string (did not pull) and sent someone to get me. I came over with my (flying) 6 foot rokkaku, tied a loop in my flying line, passed his line thru it, had him hold his line, while I slowly let mine out, until the loop was over the tree. Then I asked him to tug gently on his line. His kite popped right out of the tree ! He was so surprised that this actually worked, that he then let go of the line, and the kite went right back into the tree ! (We got it out again...) Don't feed those trees.... (they get hungry in winter) Gary
From: Tony Fendall <> Date: Mon, 10 Jun 1996 23:27:16 +0100 Subject: Re: turning a hang glider into a stunt kite Gjerd <> writes... | I have a 19 foot rogallo wing hang glider. I am too heavy to fly safely. | Anyone see why I couldn't bridle it and try to fly it as a large stunt | kite. Shape is similar to older versions of kites sold in late 80's. I | weigh 310 lbs and think I could hold it. Need hints on bridle line | strength, length and handles. | Gjerd, May I suggest 2 x 30M ships anchor ropes for lines and perhaps a telegraph pole sawn in half for handles. Rent a digger for a day to excavate 2 foot holds and start a crash diet of Mars bars before first flight. Do let us know how you get on as dislocated shoulders are really painfull and I just love gorey stories.- - Tony Remember in times of adversity. A kite rises against the wind, not with it.
From Mike Carroll <> Subject: Re: strange weather Date: Fri, 04 Oct 1996 13:21:35 GMT wrote: >The strangest weather I've flown in occurred a couple of years ago when >the Great Lakes Kiteflyers had a fly in LaSalle Park (Buffalo). As a >hundred or so folks had kites up and flying smoothly, a fog bank rolled in >from the Niagara River (near Lake Erie) above our heads. The fog was so >thick we couldn't see our kites so the net effect was a crowd of people >holding strings going up to... nothing. Truly wierd and impressive. Any >others with similar oddities to report? One of the early ECSKC's at Wildwood started out on Saturday in a thick fog. Wind, but fog. You'd hear kites (this was the early days, folks, lots of *noisy* kites!), and see some lines stretching from the flyer up into the haze, but no kite...until suddenly this THING would appear out of nowhere, skreetch across in a ground pass, and then disappear again. Mike Carroll, Downers Grove, IL, USA
From: Steve Bateman <> Subject: Re: Radio controled kites Date: Wed, 04 Jun 1997 18:59:16 -0700 I hate to tell someone else's story, but this a good one and it must be told. Corey told me a great story. He was on the beach flying a stunter with florescent colored lines. A women approached him and asked if the kite was radio controlled. He said "yes!". The women asked where the radio is then. Corey pointed to his walkman on his waist, and told the women that it was a voice controlled kite. "I tell the kite to turn to left, and the kite turns left". Corey proceded to say "turn left", and the kite turned left! He told the kite to turn right, and the kite turned right! She thought that was really neat, and this was with florescent colored lines!!
From: (Andrew Beattie) Subject: God speaks to kiteflyer! Date: Mon, 19 Jul 1993 23:31:32 -1000 I've been going rather hard on the buggy of late, (blowing tubes like there is no tomorrow). I had a one-hour chance to do some more, last night (the gap between finishing dinner and it getting dark), so I headed off to the field. It started to rain, but I thought to myself "I didn't mind getting wet in the sea (and rain isn't half as wet as submersion), the rain keeps the field clear of Joe Public and it's windy". I dragged the buggy up the hill, to some clean wind, laid out the lines and sorted out the peel. I was just about to attach the lines, when there was a flash of light and God spoke directly to me. The individual words were not distinguishable in the loud rumbling voice but the message was crystal clear: "No kiteflying!" Andrew :-)
Subject: The Littlest Angel (kite story) Date: 29 Jun 1998 00:00:00 GMT From: Ellen <> Newsgroups: rec.kites Something very wonderful happened this weekend and I was lucky enough to have been witness to it. One of the things I like best about rec.kites is that flyers around the globe share their funny, spiritual, technical experiences with each other. I would really like to share this small event with you that happened to us - Peter, Janis (my best friend), Alexander and Allison. Perhaps you have witnessed something similar and we can share in the magic of it. 9 years ago, Janis had a little girl. Plagued by health problems since birth, it wasn't until this year that Allison was diagnosed as autistic. Her case was so unique that it had puzzled her doctors for years. Her mom has been as driven as any parent can be to discover her daughter's place in this world we live in, and it came as a great relief to her when at last she found some of the answers she had been seeking. The question now was -- What can we do to make her life wonderful? Well, yesterday, we may have found an answer. An event involving this precious little girl could perhaps be the beginning of an understanding that has escaped us until now. And it was in the form of a kite. We went to the beach to run the dog, picnic and fly. More comfortable with adults, animals & her inanimate friends, Allison, didn't join in chasing the tail with the other children. Allison was on a quest. Seeking Peter out as he flew, she asked over and over, `May I fly the kite?' Now this is an 8' stunt kite, in varying winds (2-8 mph) with a 100' tail, rightr! Peter took her little hands and fit the straps around them with his, flying with her a feel for it. Well that wasn't good enough. She kept at him and at him, whittling his resistance down. `May I fly the kite alone now?' Peter explained that there were too many people around and someone could get hurt if the kite crashed. She gazed around, pointing to a spot behind them where there was no one sitting, and convinced him to move over to that area. She asked again, `May I fly the kite alone now?' Peter was concerned that the pull might be too much for her but seeing that this little girl, only 40" tall, was determined to fly this kite alone was the only convincing he needed. After giving her a brief lesson, he launched the kite for her, removed his fingers from the straps, allowing her to fly it alone while standing right behind her. I've got to tell you. I've seen crashes and I've seen crashes. Thing that was so bizarre about watching Allison fly was that she didn't fight the crashes. She didn't try to recover once the kite was visibly going down. She laughed with pure joy, not embarrassment, waiting for Peter to re-launch the kite. Again and again this went on, the time between crashes getting longer and longer. Fifteen minutes went by until she said, `May I fly the kite alone?' Peter knew what she meant. It was time to go down and reposition the kite anyway. Looking around, he noted that people were not under the lines, his only real concern, and fascinated, as well as touched by what he was witnessing, he decided to let her go for it. Standing down wind from her, he positioned the kite for her to launch it. In absolute perfect form, holding her hands together evenly at waist height, she tugged the lines down lifting the kite into the sky. Never had either of us ever seen an adult, let alone a child, execute a more perfect launch having flown for only moments. I'd like to also add, this was the first time she had ever even seen stunt kite flying. The rest was amazing. She spun the tail. She turned the kite left, she turned the kite right, she did a perfect float, even performing a little side slide that made me laugh out loud at how much it looked like Peter's. It was mind boggling. But it wasn't just what the kite was doing, it was Allison's form....totally amazing. Never did her hands go above her waist, nor did she use `big' movements. It was almost as if she had been doing it for years. In pure mimicry of Peter, her face lifted to the sky in pure rapture, she flew like an angel. We watched, unable to believe what we were seeing. When it was time for this new little flyer to hand the lines back over to Peter she asked him, `May I fly again tomorrow?' Later Peter said it was as if she had videotaped him flying in her mind and replayed it, using her body as the VCR. It was incredible. Her mother was amazed. Her brother, Alexander, was amazed. The spectators there on that beach were amazed. The only person that wasn't amazed was Allison. She was too busy flying. Peace, Ellen
Subject: The Kite tale From: Bri <> Date: 2000/10/24 Newsgroups: rec.kites A man is in his front yard attempting to fly a kite with his son. Every time the kite gets up into the air, it comes crashing down. This goes on for a while when his wife sticks her head out of the front door and yells, "You need more tail." The father turns to his son and says, "Son, I'll never understand your mother. I told her yesterday I needed more tail, and she told me to go fly a kite.

Created: 25 June 1996
Updated: 9 August 2007
Author: Anthony Thyssen, <>