Issue 45: Kites at the US Open

High Flyers Flight Team coordinated the kite demonstration program scheduled for Sunday, September 11th in Flushing Park. Our journey to the U.S. Open started with a call from David Gomberg. He was working with Bradley Royce Ltd., out of NY City, to fulfill a kite program for this famous Tennis Tournament in Queens, NY. David had already determined the venue was going to be difficult to fly traditional kites. He needed to locate multiple indoor fliers who had experience flying among the public.

Team members included at the Open consisted of two Revolution fliers in Scott Weider and Shawn Tinkham. Joining them on two Decas were Archie Stewart and Steve Santos. The team also featured three fliers using eddy stacks or gliders on 10 ft telescoping poles. Eddy stack fliers consisted of Steve Letourneau, Sue Letourneau, and Patty Tinkham. We mixed up the types of kites on the poles while we maintained four sport kites in the air at all times. On Sunday, 9/11, we featured a “patriotic” theme and flew strictly Red, White or Blue Kites. Team members were also wearing coordinated patriotic themed clothing.

We were asked to add an evening demonstration for Saturday evening which we readily accepted. It gave us a chance to test the conditions when flying adjacent to several sports stadiums and in a crowd that ran estimates of 100,000 each day. The team handled the conditions admirably as occasionally you could grab a clean piece of ground to work your kite and whereas you may be dealing with conditions when the stadium empties and over 30,000 spectators pass through the courtyard as you keep your kite in the sky.

Overall it was a great event with excellent crowd enthusiasm for the kites. The program director and all parties seemed genuinely pleased with the inclusion of kites to their venue. Perhaps next year will feature an even larger staff of kite fliers.

Steve Santos