Sad News

Talk about anything hang gliding.

Moderator: Chip

Post Reply
greblo
Posts: 446
Joined: Wed Jan 18, 2006 11:22 am

Sad News

Post by greblo » Mon Dec 04, 2017 4:16 pm

Today we received the shocking news that Greg DeWolf passed away while sitting at his computer, overlooking his garden. We're told that the coroner reported that Greg suffered from an embolism and died peacefully.

Right now we're all very sad. We will be learning more soon. Many close to Greg have suggested a memorial at Dockweiler Beach, the place where Greg devoted so much time helping others fulfill their dreams, and a place where he loved to be.

Greg had no living family.
Safety is a book, not a word
Michael Robertson

User avatar
Bob Kuczewski
Posts: 614
Joined: Mon Jul 06, 2009 10:39 am
Location: San Diego
Contact:

Post by Bob Kuczewski » Mon Dec 04, 2017 9:30 pm

I am so sorry Joe.

Greg was an excellent instructor, and a good man.

This video shows his good sense of humor and his fine instruction with a first time student:

https://youtu.be/PNWtzzvwtac

Greg will be remembered and missed by those who treasure that site.
Join a National Hang Gliding Organization: US Hawks at ushawks.org
View my rating at: USHGRS

kmk
Posts: 9
Joined: Thu Oct 02, 2014 10:19 am

Post by kmk » Tue Dec 05, 2017 6:45 am

This is sad news. I am happy to know he went peacefully. He was a vital part to many of us getting our wings to fly. Now it is his turn...

A memorial at the beach would be lovely.

User avatar
stebbins
Posts: 624
Joined: Thu Feb 24, 2005 9:02 am
Location: Palmdale, CA

Post by stebbins » Tue Dec 05, 2017 7:06 am

Yes, sad news. A beach memorial sounds good to me, also.
Fly High; Fly Far; Fly Safe -- George

User avatar
Joe Faust
Posts: 83
Joined: Thu Aug 30, 2007 1:30 pm

Post by Joe Faust » Tue Dec 05, 2017 7:49 am

As confirmed several times directly to Greg and here again: "Greg, you have been a flight father to many." He has thus a large family of flight children.

Image
Thank you, Greg, for your decades of sharing yourself through your hang gliding adventures, mentoring, coaching, and instructing.

As Rick Masters noted last month on October 25, 2017:
Just pointing out that if you are looking for the heart of hang gliding, you can find it at Dockweiler. :!: :!:

I remember when Greg and Ian and Cindy started out.
They towed up at Lancaster and made it to within sight of the south end of Owens Valley.
I was flabbergasted.
Image
Last edited by Joe Faust on Tue Dec 05, 2017 8:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.

mario
Posts: 48
Joined: Wed Feb 23, 2011 10:06 pm

Post by mario » Tue Dec 05, 2017 12:15 pm

Very sad news indeed. I will remember Greg for his passion and for patiently introducing tons of people to our sport.
I think the memorial at the beach would be a great idea. Maybe it’s time to do a “Fly Americaâ€Â� again.....

ephi
Posts: 2
Joined: Thu May 19, 2016 8:34 am

Post by ephi » Tue Dec 05, 2017 1:42 pm

I'm really sad to hear that :( He really was a good man with a passion for hang gliding. He did a great job teaching me.

https://i.imgur.com/Wru8hwX.jpg

https://i.imgur.com/WCXjciH.jpg

He will be missed. I would like to, and will be able to, attend the memorial if it is held after the 24th of December.

Thanks again, Greg.

User avatar
JD
Posts: 1714
Joined: Fri Apr 25, 2008 11:05 am

Post by JD » Tue Dec 05, 2017 2:12 pm

Greg makes the 4th hang glider pilot I knew who died during the last two weeks starting with Tommy Austin, Ed Pollitt, Jim Braddock and now Greg. Everyone contributes to this sport in his/her own unique way. Greg taught me the value of always flying with a tie-down rope tucked away behind my nose-plate, inside the sail. Why? Because when you fly a lot of X/C there will be windy landings and being able to tie you nose to a tree, picnic table or sign-post can be invaluable for protecting your glider and breaking down safely. Greg was an early promoter of X/C flying with the FLY AMERICA project and wrote a good series of articles of landing technique ironically titled, "Returning to Earth".

User avatar
mrobin604
Posts: 101
Joined: Tue Dec 12, 2006 11:26 am

Post by mrobin604 » Tue Dec 05, 2017 3:00 pm

Sad news. Greg helped me get back into the air after a 10 year layoff from the sport, and also fixed some bad habits that I had developed, so that I could be the pilot I am today. Thanks for everything, Greg.

hcmom
Posts: 15
Joined: Fri May 03, 2013 7:50 am
Location: Corona, CA

Post by hcmom » Tue Dec 05, 2017 3:27 pm

I can't imagine I'd be flying now if Greg hadn't been so very patient with me learning so slowly.

He was absolutely the best beginning instructor ever.

User avatar
Bob Kuczewski
Posts: 614
Joined: Mon Jul 06, 2009 10:39 am
Location: San Diego
Contact:

From the web ...

Post by Bob Kuczewski » Tue Dec 05, 2017 8:30 pm

Frank Colver (USHGA #7) wrote:
Bob called me with news of this tonight. This is so shocking and sad.

When I started flying again at Dockweiler three years ago I met Greg and quickly counted him among my friends. He was not only a great help, and wisdom, to me getting back into flying again after 38 years but I very much enjoyed his company. At the end of the flying day I always wanted to pack up soon enough so that I always had time to sit in front of the Windsports office and chat with him before we all left for home. I always brought a beverage to share with him on the porch, when the day was done.

When we got the permission from the county to fly on the days Windsports was closed, I started doing that. But I felt that the downside was that I didn't get to see Greg anymore. Recently, I was considering flying on a Sunday from time to time so I could also visit with Greg.

His presence at Dockweiler is going to be greatly missed and a big loss to the hang gliding community. :cry: I wonder how many people he helped "break the surly bounds of earth" in his time on earth?

For you, Greg (:clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap: :clap:) may you soar to great heights and your lift be never ending (:wave:)

Frank
Scott ("wingspan33") from New York wrote:
This saddens me greatly.

In the late 1980s Greg came to Ellenville, NY to give a group of us a tandem tow clinic. We were using the ATOL truck tow system at the small airport in Ellenville. I'm not sure but after ground school I think I was the first to tow up with Greg.

Shortly after release at around 400 feet, a corn husk went by us - going up! Greg started circling and we gained out to about 3K AGL. :D (:thumbup:) He showed me how to transition to allowing the student to take over control and a few other details. He was upbeat and smiling the whole time.

Then he said we should get back down to give equal time to the other clinic participants. To do so he took back control and started doing wing overs with the BIG Bennett Dream we were using. (:shock: :shock: :shock:) Together we weren't far from weighing 400 pounds so I was clutching Greg waiting for an LE to snap. Luckily the glider was stronger than I thought and we got down safely.

A couple minutes before final glide, Greg instructed me on how to go upright with the student. Have them move to behind you and "tell them to hug you like they love you." is how he put it. He tested me (now the pilot on final) by pushing me forward during landing approach. As instructed, I calmly repeated "Remember, hug me like you love me." and he stopped his "test". We had a good landing and the other guys went on to their turns as passengers AND pilots in control. It was a great and unforgettable day - because of the great person Greg DeWolf was.

Greg also liked and bought at least 3 of my PHOTO-PODs* to take with him during his Fly America event. He deserves tons of credit for that idea alone!

I was also happy to see Greg at Dockweiler both in 2015 and 2016 at the Lilienthal meet. That was about 25 years after I'd seen him last and he was still teaching people to fly hang gliders! (:thumbup: :clap: :thumbup: :clap: :thumbup: :clap: :thumbup: :clap: )

A memorial plaque should be made up and placed somewhere (Dockweiler?) that briefly describes who he was and what he did. What he did was to allow hundreds - if not thousands - of human beings to experience flight!

* For those that don't know, the PHOTO-POD was a simple, light weight 35mm remote camera system I created. It was radio triggered and could take pictures from various places on your glider. Typically it would be mounted to the defined tip with the camera pointing in toward the pilot as well as the scenery beyond and below him/her. This was in the late 1980s and early 1990s. No digital cameras yet. But I could argue that the PHOTO-POD was the forerunner of the GoPro concept.
Join a National Hang Gliding Organization: US Hawks at ushawks.org
View my rating at: USHGRS

User avatar
DrJeff
Posts: 72
Joined: Thu Aug 03, 2006 7:29 pm
Contact:

Remembering Greg

Post by DrJeff » Thu Dec 07, 2017 2:40 pm

So sad to hear this but glad that he passed so peacefully. Greg was a great guy. He spent a lot of time with me on the training hill on various visits over the past few years while I was working on improving my landings, and he was always kind and very helpful. A truly class act. I will definitely miss him!
Jeff Bjorck
www.purepiano.com ~quiet music to calm the heart in a noisy world~

mikebikeboy
Posts: 5
Joined: Thu Apr 04, 2013 8:35 pm

Post by mikebikeboy » Thu Dec 07, 2017 3:01 pm

When I showed up to the beach to learn how to hang glide, I was expecting more adrenaline and less theory. Well, I quickly realized that Greg wasn't going to allow me to get sidetracked by adrenaline. My ego flared up a lot in the beginning. "How can this sport be such a freakin' drag?" were some of my first reactions to the slow learning curve. "I thought by now I'd surely be doing loop-d-loops, pushing g-forces to wing-collapse and then a soft landing with the parachute, with the entire city of Los Angeles waving and cheering at me."

As the weeks went by ( I only trained on Saturdays ) I grew to appreciate that Greg was a scientist of hang gliding. He knew the sport so deeply---it became an honor to spend time with him, learn from him, and help him tidy up the beach after a long day of mini-adrenaline zaps. By the end of my training, as he RELUCTANTLY signed off on my H-2 rating to send me up to Kagel, part of me did not want to leave the beach and Greg.

Now THAT'S a good teacher.

Thanks for everything Greg.

Cyndia
Posts: 65
Joined: Tue Sep 15, 2009 3:57 pm

Greg - where you lookin?

Post by Cyndia » Thu Dec 07, 2017 8:13 pm

Kiana and I started a Facebook page for Greg - Remembering Greg DeWolf. If you want to share stories and pictures, that would be terrific.

I miss him terribly!

Steve Nootenboom
Posts: 7
Joined: Tue Oct 11, 2011 6:42 pm
Contact:

Post by Steve Nootenboom » Thu Dec 14, 2017 12:55 pm

:cry: Greg did a few things a very long time ago (35 yrs ?) that I will never forget and make for great camp fire stories. Launching ave S and landing in Lonepine!! Launching ave S with a tandem student who was a former Playboy bunny, very distracting to all of us LOL.

I am glad to here he left peacefully

Cyndia
Posts: 65
Joined: Tue Sep 15, 2009 3:57 pm

Memorial for Greg

Post by Cyndia » Sat Dec 23, 2017 12:00 am

We are planning a memorial for Greg at Dockweiller Beach on 1/27/2018.

It has been wonderful reading the stories! Please bring them to share at the memorial if you can make it.

Please email Cyndia for a evite with the details.
czumpft@gmail.com

User avatar
Spitfire
Posts: 139
Joined: Tue May 24, 2011 10:07 am

Post by Spitfire » Wed Dec 27, 2017 1:42 pm

mikebikeboy wrote:When I showed up to the beach to learn how to hang glide, I was expecting more adrenaline and less theory. Well, I quickly realized that Greg wasn't going to allow me to get sidetracked by adrenaline. My ego flared up a lot in the beginning. "How can this sport be such a freakin' drag?" were some of my first reactions to the slow learning curve. "I thought by now I'd surely be doing loop-d-loops, pushing g-forces to wing-collapse and then a soft landing with the parachute, with the entire city of Los Angeles waving and cheering at me."

As the weeks went by ( I only trained on Saturdays ) I grew to appreciate that Greg was a scientist of hang gliding. He knew the sport so deeply---it became an honor to spend time with him, learn from him, and help him tidy up the beach after a long day of mini-adrenaline zaps. By the end of my training, as he RELUCTANTLY signed off on my H-2 rating to send me up to Kagel, part of me did not want to leave the beach and Greg.

Now THAT'S a good teacher.

Thanks for everything Greg.
I was about to write almost the same thing. There's a reason that Windsports produces so many skilled and safe pilots and Greg was integral to it all with his methodical training.

RIP Greg. Thanks for giving me my wings.

Post Reply