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By klh
HangDiver wrote:There's a nice write-up and slide show about Rob at Wills Web site:

We've added more photos of Rob to the slideshow and the remembrances from pilots across the nation and around the world ( http://www.willswing.com/news/remembrance.asp ) really illuminate Rob's importance to hang gliding (and paragliding) and his consistently warm, open, inspiring character.
Last edited by klh on Wed Aug 20, 2008 2:06 am, edited 2 times in total.
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I never knew Rob and I find myself with that feeling of regret because of never getting the chance to meet a really influential person.
I have heard much of his positive effect on many pilots (and hang gliding in general) but I realise this still doesn't scratched the surface.
WW has always had a good reputation for the quality of their product but also for their positive attitude towards everyone in the HG community. One thing I have always recognised about WW is a genuinely welcoming attitude, affable and honest. It sounds like Rob contributed in no small way to establishing his character into WW the company.
Last edited by AP on Wed Aug 20, 2008 3:05 am, edited 2 times in total.
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By sg
That is a SWEET shot :mosh:

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By WPuckett
I'll send the 2 pictures I sent to Wills of the very first time I laid eyes on Rob at Crystal Air Sports in Chattanooga in 1980. I had just gotten out of chemistry class at UT- Chattanooga and driven out to the mountain to ride the gondala up Racoon Mountain to fly. When I hopped out of my car everyone was looking up at someone getting radical....so I grabbed my camera and tried to take pictures. He was doing such manuevers that I could not even follow him with my 90-230 mm lens, until he got down lower. These are the 2 best shots.
1. Rob going straight down coming out of a wingover on a Raven ( guessing about 100 ft off the deck)
2. Rob pulling straight up after the dive. He leveled off and landed perfect.
I was amazed as a fresh H3. Rob came over and was a smiling ball of energy. Before he left he talked me out of my Olympus and into a Raven that I bought from Tom Phillips and Dan Johnson.

I still use that same 1980 Raven to teach my physics students about the forces of flight and let them ground run with it. Rob was a great influence on many people's lives and will live on in our hearts.
RIP and we'll fly on the otherside Rob.
Rob Kells 1980 Crystal Flight Resort 2small.jpg
Rob Kells 1980 Crystal Flight Resort 2small.jpg (45.22 KiB) Viewed 4257 times
Rob Kells 1980 Crystal Flight Resort 1.jpg
Rob Kells 1980 Crystal Flight Resort 1.jpg (101.17 KiB) Viewed 4257 times
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By brad
The shot in the red/white topless is Rob winning the last Torrey Pines Air Races.
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By RavenHawk
So are there any plans to name a flying site to honor Rob?
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By DocSoc
I didn't know Rob for as many years as some people did. But I did quickly befriend both him and his lovely wife Trish.

He really cared that I was buying a glider from WW when I called him and told him who I was and as a former Marine who spent most of his time in California, I felt the need to have WW be the glider I chose when I moved into a more advance, but still forgiving wing.

He was even going to add 1oz Dacron sticky back letters on my U2 that read 'USMC"

His last words to me a few weeks before this horrid news were:

"Hi Socrates,

WOW - what an experience - I'm really glad to hear you weren't seriously injured - that is why we build our gliders strong! Hope Matt gets your wing fixed up and you can be flying it again soon. Meanwhile, take it easy and smell some roses!

Trish says 'hi' back to you, and thanks God that you are OK.

Fly strong,


He wrote me every few weeks always asking if I was enjoying the U2 and if I was getting a lot of airtime! At wallaby he kept giving me tips and info that he kept repeating, like he didn't care if I liked to do something another way, he thought I would like it better his way, and I should try it...

Rob! You got wings now brother... Thank you for building one that flew better then the rest and strong enough to keep me safe in the face of danger, but still survive to be by my side!

I'll miss our email...



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