Category Archives: In the news

Kite headlines from around the world

Steadywinds.com and Tall Ships 2007

We will be taking aerial photos later this week and into the weekend of the Tall Ships 2007 festival in Halifax. This years festival is shaping up to be a real jem, with some amazing ships and I have heard that the entertainment and activities this year will be second to none.

We will be attempting to get lot’s of shots from locations around the board walk as well as ocean side. The big event for us will be attempting to get shots when the ships are under sail, and maybe even from one of the ships :)

More info at www.tallshipsnovascotia.ca

see you there…

–Bill

Reeled in over his kite – News from down under…


Photo source:
Moonee Valley News
by Anna Joske

Be careful where you fly kites in Oz… you might get busted and receive an old school scolding from some mean police officers…

According to this article a man had tied a 1 meter wide kite to a fence. The local airport authority reported that there was an unidentified flying object about 400 feet off of the south end of the airport. Then for some reason, everyones common sense went out the window and they sent in the police and helicopters to find the perp! Come-on…

While I am all for kite safety, it wouldn’t have been to difficult to find the kite without all the American style theatrics..

Here is the article from the Moonee Valley Community News…

Reeled in over his kite

A POLICE helicopter and four officers swooped on a Keilor East house last week after the owner’s kite was deemed a risk to planes at Essendon Airport.

The Fawkner traffic management unit, whose members raided the Mues Street house on Monday afternoon, last week sought to distance itself from the incident.

An officer at the police air wing, which is based at the airport, spoke only on condition of anonymity.

”Air traffic control at Essendon could see a kite flying at about 300-400 feet at the south-western end of the airport and they asked if we could try to locate it.

”It was quite dangerous for departing and approaching aircraft. It was flying around like you wouldn’t believe.

”We located it and got a ground unit to come and pull it down because it was just too dangerous.”

The kite’s owner, Jon Grech, watched the chopper circle his house for 20 minutes from a nearby TAB outlet. ”I thought somebody robbed a bank.

”We were talking and – this is the gospel truth – I said, ‘That’s my kite. They’re not after my kite, are they?’

”And it was true.”

Mr Grech said his wife was home alone when the police entered and a policeman physically pulled down the kite from the fence.

”[He said], ‘Get it down, get it down, get it down!’ And then my wife was too slow, so he took over.

”They told my wife I was not to fly the kite again as long as I lived.

”My wife was there, trembling. [The policeman] said, `No more kites’.

”My wife, she was scared. She had a heart murmur. Her son died last year. She doesn’t need this.

”It’s a waste of taxpayers’ money. If they spent it on [tackling] somebody selling drugs or prostitution or whatever … but for flying a kite because it didn’t show up properly on a radar? Come on!

”We live in Australia, not in Zimbabwe.”

A Civil Aviation Safety Authority spokesman said creating an obstruction with an unmanned aircraft – in this case, a kite – was an offence that carried a $2750 fine.

Further penalties could be incurred by flying an unmanned aircraft above 400 feet in controlled airspace within three nautical miles of an aerodrome.

Audi A5 Stunt kite flying.. really..

Check out this article from German Car Blog. Apparently there is a new commercial coming for the Audi A5 that features two cars flying a stunt kite. According to the article the car (and driver) are actually controlling the kite. One car for the left and one for the right I suppose… looking forward to the video on YouTube :)

Audi A5: New kite Commercial Launched

More info on the filming here: Fourtitude.com Audi News

Not a trick: two Audi A5 models steer a stunt kite
- Unusual shoot in the Namibian desert
- Music for the 40-second ad composed by the band “Yello”

It might have needed a bit of a warm-up but then everything ran like clockwork. Two Audi A5 models steer a stunt kite in the new “Kite” advert, which will be broadcast on free TV from 25 May. “This is not a trick, all the images are real,” says Jagoda Becic, Head of Advertising at Audi. “Authenticity,” she says, “was the essential requirement. If it hadn’t been possible to navigate the kite by car in reality, then we wouldn’t have implemented the idea.” It was indeed possible – and led to spectacular images. They were filmed in the Namibian desert which showcases the Audi A5’s highly accurate driving characteristics in a striking manner. The message of the film, which will be aired in a 30- and 40-second version, is “Driving Redesigned”. The Swiss group “Yello” provided a new type of music for the A5 advert.

Speed, wind conditions, the size and material of the stunt kite, the length and thickness of the control ropes and, of course, a professional navigator: these were all aspects that had to be considered and tested.

Audi found the perfect kite pilot in 20-year-old Marcel Mehler from Velbert (North Rhine-Westphalia), multiple German champion and European vice-champion in kiting. For him and his parents Ilona and Thomas Mehler, almost everything revolves around flying stunt kites. The Mehlers not only provided valuable information on handling the sensitive piece of sports equipment but later also drove the A5 models during shooting in Namibia.

The 9.8 Fighting Kite Brigade

Ok I am not 100% what to make of this..

Attaching razor blades and nails to “craptastic” plastic kites sounds fun.. errr… sorta.

I always try and spread the word about safe kiting and that you can really hurt someone with a stunt like this; however, at the same time this appeals to me in a geeky way…(I am also not sure how accurate the history is.. but take it for what it’s worth) ..

enjoy!

Here is the video clip from Geek Entertainment TV

Fatal accidents during Basant in Pakistan

Indianenews.com is reporting on the fatalities during the Basant festival over the weekend. Out of all the articles I have read on this over the past few days this one hits the nail on the head. The Punjab government lifted the ban on Kite flying for the festival, this was in direct violation of the law that the supreme court handed down banning all kite flying. The punjab gov’t needs to take responsibility for their actions. As well all of the vendors of wire line and glass line should be charged and imprisoned. This is disgusting.

indiaenews.com wrote: Deaths at banned Pakistani kite festival causes stir

From correspondents in Islamabad, Pakistan, 03:01 PM IST

Pakistani politicians Monday condemned authorities for allowing the controversial Basant kite festival, that caused death to at least a dozen people, to be celebrated over the weekend, despite a court ban.

According to conflicting casualty numbers, seven children were among 12 people killed in accidents during the events Saturday and Sunday in Lahore in the central Punjab province. More than 700 people were injured, press reports said.

‘Extravagant rulers have allowed the blood bath of innocent citizens just for their own merry making,’ Qazi Hussain Ahmad, the head of the Muttahida Majlis-i-Amal (MMA) religious parties alliance, said in a statement.

Two children, aged six and 11, died after reinforced kite wires slit their throats, while others were hit by stray bullets from aerial firing, fell from roofs or were run over by vehicles while trying to catch kites. One person was also electrocuted while pulling a kite from a power line.

The MMA chief blamed the tragedies on Punjab officials who allowed Basant festivities despite a renewed ban imposed by the Supreme Court.

Kite flying was entirely banned in Pakistan in 2005 because of accidents but the Punjab government independently sanctioned the event in defiance of the ruling in Islamabad.

Heralding the end of winter and the arrival of spring, the Basant festival is celebrated in the entire Indian subcontinent and particularly in Pakistan.

Coinciding with the government’s ‘Destination Pakistan 2007′ tourism drive, this year’s festival was to have been more strictly regulated.

Officials had pledged to restrict the size of kites and close shops that produce deadly strings coated with glass or shards of metal for ‘kite battles’.

Kasmin soars to greater heights in kite-making

Great story about Kasmin Miron, master kite maker from Malaysia.

By MOHD BAKRI DARUS

MALACCA: Decades ago, a skinny- looking teenager by the name of Kasmin Miron, was a regular figure in the village padi fields of Seberang Pekan in Baling, Kedah.

He was not there to harvest padi but to fly his kites as kiteflying was a favourite pastime of the village boys in the pre-independence days.

Now, 63-year-old Kasmin can take pride himself in being one the country’s leading kite-makers.

He is highly skilled in making these airborne, bamboostrung coloured papers with the characteristic “buzzing” sound as they soar and flit in the sky.

Kasmin’s deft touches have won him numerous accolades, both locally and internationally.
Continue reading

DCO – Announces free safety kite-string rods

Looks like more kite action for Pakistan. This time the government is taking proactive steps to protect motorcyclists from the dangers of the very sharp chemical and manja line used in kite fights.

I am not sure what one of these kite safety rods looks like.. I will try and dig up some pictures.

DCO announces free safety kite-string rods

LAHORE: District coordination officer (DCO), Muhammad Ijaz, Wedneday said that people would be provided safety kite-string rods free of charge for their bikes.

Speaking at a meeting of All-Pakistan Kite Dealers-Manufacturers Association, he said that all union council nazims would provide safety kite-string rods to people who had motorcycles registered under their names. Traffic police would take action against people not using helmets and rods, he added.

He said that manufacturers would produce kites of designated sizes only. A butterfly kite’s maximum span would be 32 inches and no kite would exceed a span of 40 inches, he added.

The DCO said that kites could only be manufactured using local materials. Materials from other cities would require the permission of the district environment officer, Tariq Zaman. Ijaz said that town municipal officers would be responsible for nine teams organised to dispose of chemical-coated strings. He said that chemical-coated strings would be outlawed in a week. Shops caught selling chemical-coated string would be sealed permanently and the string would be confiscated, he added. staff report

Bestselling Book Sparks US Kite Fighting Craze – VOA News

VOA (voice of America) News has an interesting video and article on the popularity in the U.S.A of traditional kite fighting since the book “The Kite Runner” was released. In the article VOA indicates that kite fighting was first introduced to the US about 10 years ago. I find this hard to believe, and I am sure that it was earlier than that. Stories like this always help the kiting community and it’s nice to see, I hope it continues.

Broadband Real Player format

By George Dwyer
New York City, NY
25 January 2007

Throughout much of Asia, kite fighting has been a popular activity for generations. Now a bestselling novel by an Afghan-American author has stirred new interest in the sport in the United States. And as VOA’s Jim Bertel reports, kite fighting is more than just a sporting diversion, it is an important cultural touchstone for many South Asian immigrants in the U.S.

The skies over a park in New York City have been filled with kites in recent months.

On the ground, Afghan, Indian, Pakistani, and other South Asian devotees of “kite fighting” battle for supremacy of the skies. Bangladeshi Qaiser Khan says, “It is very special. I got this from my father, from my childhood. This is the only thing I (have) been doing since a very young age.”

Sheryar Choudhry, Director of the World Control Board of Kite Flying says kite fighting is a highly competitive sport, but it is also considered an art form across South Asia — a touchstone of shared experience.

“It’s not only a sport. It’s also a culture,” says Choudrhry. “It’s a very big part of Pakistan, Indian culture. And you know it keeps you basically in touch that you left home and you are here now but you know all the guys and families come out to the park and they fly kites. It is basically a way of staying in touch with your heritage.”

Introduced in the U.S. just over a decade ago, kite fighting has been on the ascent ever since. But with the 2004 publication of the novel “The Kite Runner” by Afghan-American author Khaled Hosseini, the sport has really taken off says kite fighter Rizwan Basit.

“No matter what, even if it’s windy, rainy, sunny, they are here Saturdays and Sundays flying kites. Firstly, we started twelve years ago. I was like one of the three people that were here (and) started this sport. Now we have a bunch of people.”

It takes two men to operate the kite. Mastery of the sky goes to the team whose kite line cuts the cord of its challenger, sending the defeated kite into a free-fall.

“It’s like winning a match. When two kites have a match together one of them is going to (be) cut. Whoever cuts the kite, he wins the match,” explains Arshad Butt.

These “experienced hands” know how to prepare their kite strings with powdered glass and glue to snap their opponent’s line. And they understand that winning takes patience, strategy, and some luck.

More than two years after its publication, “The Kite Runner” is still a hot seller. Hundreds turned out at a recent Washington DC book festival to have him sign copies of his books. In New York the sport of kite fighting is flying higher than ever.

Source : VOA News