Sad news WH
I didn't know Bill Hanson as well as many. I met him a few years ago at Wurtsboro at the regional and encountered him numerous times after that, in the air and on the ground with Nancy. What struck me about him was the absence of drama and conceit. Bill seemed to be there to fly as well as he could but to enjoy it no matter what. He was a solid pilot but he didn't seem to be bothered when he had a bad day. Neither did he grow boisterous and effusive when he had a good day. I didn't even realize he had a new glider (the LAK-17 FES) this spring for a while. He didn't show it off or comment "casually" about how cool it was. He just came to fly, as usual, quietly and confidently sure of himself.
I appreciated that Bill reached out to me several times, knowing that despite having flown in the area for many years, I'm not as familiar with the clubs anymore. One of my best memories is a small thing: I was flying up the valley out of Blairstown this spring and he and another pilot were ahead and higher. I was low man and getting a little uncomfortable when I realized they both had engines ("hypothetically, guys, which side of the river is it that I shouldn't land on?"). WH saw me down below and talked me into his thermal. Again, no drama.
Our measure of someone is often evident in the comments made about them when they pass. In this, Bill gets high marks. I'm sorry I didn't know him better but I, too, will miss him.