Vernon Courson of Altus recently launched one of the longest kites Altus has ever seen. On Tuesday, May 7, Courson unleashed a 66 ft. long, 5 ft. wide, red, white, and blue American Flag octopus kite in the open field east of the Great American Car Wash on Tamarack Road.
“The tricky part is to get it up off the ground,” Courson said. “Once you get it into the air stream about 100 feet up, where there are no trees or buildings, there is nothing to interrupt the air flow.” Until then, Courson hadn’t had the opportunity to see the enormous nylon kite fully spread out: eight flowing legs, stars and stripes, big octopus eyes. “These bridal lines look real good. I’m hoping this thing wants to fly,” he said.
The wind caught hold after several attempts and raised the kite higher into the air. It swayed to from side to side and climbed even higher.
Courson has been flying kites for over four years now, and shares the hobby with other enthusiasts, like Dayton Graves, 7, and Dayton’s mom Holly who were there to watch the monstrous kite take flight. Dayton has been flying for about one year and is already working on his collection which so far includes a jet, a robot, and a box kite.
After too many remote control (RC) airplane crashes, Courson didn’t think he was meant to be an RC pilot. But that didn’t stop him from flying. A friend recommended he go “fly a kite,” and kite flying is for any age. There are also kite festivals all over the world. Courson took up the hobby and has been enjoying it ever since.