My other major interest in life, hang gliding, spills over from time to time onto this page. It is so much like security: the thrilling challenge, taking your heart in your teeth and leaping, occasionally the dismay of calamity.
Long-time hang-gliding legend John Quinn “Ole” Olson led the Fly Mexico tours for years, and has the stories to prove it. He’s collected them into three volumes of raw, no-bullshit, naked truth. A good deal of it is purely hilarious: misadventures with Euro-trash sky-scum, knuckleheads of every kind, and an, uh, object too large ever to flush like it should. There are plenty of tales, too, that we in the hang-gliding world call “There I was, thought I was gonna die” stories. Including one where Ole very nearly does.
Ole just got a nice review on NewBookJournal.com, which I quote below. If you’ve ever been curious about the flying that hippies invented, get a paper or digital copy of one of his books, and you’ll likely laugh so hard you’ll buy all three.
Three tales from “The Wild Blue Yonder” series by John Quinn Olson — Recipes for Disaster, Living Dangerously and Taking Mexico Flying
Flier Recounts Foot-Launched Flight
After more than 30 years of flight, veteran hang glider and trike pilot John “Ole” Olson has published a trio of flying adventure books, Tales From the Wild Blue Yonder, which are now widely available as paperbacks and e-books.
John Quinn Olson, Port Huron High School Class of 1971, departed the flatlands in a big hurry after graduation, drawn by the lure of big mountains and high adventure. Nearly forty years later Mr. Olson has written three thrilling autobiographical novels—a Thrillogy—based on his experiences.
After a dozen years spent flinging himself off cliffs and mountains from Vermont to California on skis, one fine day Mr. Olson saw his first hang glider and realized in an instant that Mankind’s Most Ancient Dream—to fly with the birds—-had come to pass.
Joining his winged friends with enthusiasm and alacrity, the young adventurer determined to fling himself from the heights. Only now he would go up instead of down—up into the Wild Blue Yonder on Dacron wings, rather than down to the valley below on fiberglass boards. More…