Kite Gone

by Gary Crenshaw
(Hampton,Ga USA)

In 1995 I was flying a plastic single line delta kite made by Spectra Star. It came with four hundred feet of line on a plastic spool winder. I was demonstrating to my then five year old nephew the do's and don'ts of kite flying and as it happened I sorta learned something myself.

The kite was flying steady at the end of the four hundred foot line with just a minimum amount of pull on the line. I handed my nephew the spool while I was digging around in my kite bag for a something with which to secure the line. Then the spool suddenly slipped from his hands and I calmly coached him into walking toward it and try to pick it up.

At this point it was only scooting along in the grass at a slow walking speed. Everytime he grabbed at it it seemed to speed up just a little bit until it had us going at pretty good trot. After a while I decided it was time to step in and help before it got away. At this point the spool began leaping into the air about ten feet at a time. It wasn't long until I was in a dead run as I watched it climb just out of reach toward the clouds.

We just there in the grass and watched her climb totally out of sight. I stood up and started packing up the kite bag and began walking back toward the house when my nephew asked 'How are you going to get your kite back Uncle Gary?' I just pat him on the head and sayed 'Don't ask so many questions kid.'

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Won't fly
by: Vanesa

I've had a Spectra star Winnie the Pooh kite for 8 months or longer and have not been able to fly it goes up and comes crashing right back down

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Lost kite
by: Robert

I had a similar situation a few years ago. I brought my little daughter flying with one of her friends.

My daughter was experienced, but her friend was a bit careless. I let her fly one of my easy kites. But a gust of wind pulled the handle from her grasp, and we chased after it through the grass until it was gone from our reach. My fault I guess for not giving her more instructions.

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Monster Thermal
by: Tim Parish

Great story Gary - an illustration of what is known amongst paragliding pilots as 'cloud suck'!

Must have been one heck of a thermal, dragging the weight of the reel upwards like that.

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Wind Speeds


Light air
1-5 km/h
1-3 mph
1-3 knots
Beaufort 1

Light breeze
6–11 km/h
4–7 mph
4–6 knots
Beaufort 2    

Gentle breeze
12–19 km/h
8–12 mph
7–10 knots
Beaufort 3    

Moderate breeze
20–28 km/h
13–18 mph
11–16 knots
Beaufort 4    

Fresh breeze
29–38 km/h
19–24 mph
17–21 knots
Beaufort 5    

Strong breeze
39–49 km/h
25–31 mph
22–27 knots
Beaufort 6

High Wind
50-61 km/h
32-38 mph
28-33 knots
Beaufort 7