October 9
24th AKA Convention

Susie and I are just back from a memorable AKA convention.

Convention Flying Field

Billings was smaller than most of the recent Nationals -- by nearly half. But the smaller attendance made it more intimate and friendly. The facilities and food were great, the fields well organized, the weather better than average, and the crowds large and appreciative.

As an attendee, it was enjoyable. As an officer, it was stressful. The lack of a large flier base in the area and the cost of air tickets kept attendance low. That meant we had to worry about breaking even financially. It also meant that volunteers had to work harder because there weren't as many people to do the work.

But still, we had fun.

Susie and Al Sparling in the Fly Market

Significant moments?

  • A standing ovation for Don Tabor and his wife Pat who have contributed so much to kiting.
  • Raising $18,000 at the annual auction with only 200 people in the room.
  • Drawing Bob Hogan's name as winner of the monthly "Big Ticket" raffle.
  • Winning the Individual Rok Battle, of course.
  • Shivering on a long judging panel during the Wednesday cold snap.
  • Surprising Steve Santos and Steve Ferrel with the Regional Director and Volunteer of the Year trophies.
  • Seeing Glen and Tanna Haynes receive the Edeiken Award.
  • And a dawn drive to Little Bighorn Sunday morning so we could visit the battlefield and make it back for our flight.

Complete competition results are available at the AKA web page.

Conventions are always more about the people -- old friends and new ones - then they are about competitions, workshops, and banquets.

Next year, we gather in Ocean City Maryland. I'm looking forward to a big convention and lots more AKA camaraderie.

Real Sign just outside Sacramento

We're home again -- for three days. Then we fly off again for Seal Beach in Southern California. We're taking four big bags and lots of sand anchors. See you there!


Simple, stable, and straight-forward, Pilots aren't fancy, they are just effective.

Peter Lynn developed Pilots as "sky anchors" for his big inflatables. You can use them to help stabilize a larger showpiece, or fly them as laundry lifters. They go up easy and stay up. Price is also a consideration and we intended the Pilot to be easy on your kite budget. The 50 square foot size is just $250.

Check our our Lifter Pages for a full selection of Parafoils and Flowforms.

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