By Jesse Wood
July 31, 2013. From downtown Boone, folks could look up in the air and see paragliders and hang gliders flying over top Howard’s Knob on their way to the Boone Airport as the eighth annual Tater Hill Open is in full swing.
“We go where the winds tell us to go,” said Bubba Goodman, who owns the Tater Hill property where the liftoff takes place that has an elevation above 5,000 feet.
He added that gliders raced to Jefferson on Monday and to the Boone Airport on Tuesday. Because of the rainy weather, Wednesday is a rest day, and the participants will wait to see which way the winds are blowing for Thursday’s excursion.
“[The weather] has been great up until today,” Goodman said. “But we need a rest day [after] we had some really good flying.”
Goodman added that 65 participants are flying this year, which is slight above the number that flew the previous year.
“Every year, it has grown by just a few pilots,” Goodman, adding that the pilots come from all around the country to fly over the High Country.
For those who want to see gliders in action, Goodman said a great vantage point exists at Silverstone Road in Zionville, where the pilots land.
This year’s Tater Hill Open started on Sunday and will conclude on Saturday.
Tater Hill is a private flying site that doesn’t offer lessons and is open from May to November with the permission of Goodman, according to the Tater Hill Open website.