Saturday I was supposed to take a group of adventures ice climbing with my friend Phil. Unfortunately the warm weather has kept the ice from forming this year, instead it remains a beautiful waterfall. Lovely to look at but it won’t work for climbing.
Fortunatly Phil is the adventure coordinator at a nearby camp and has access to a zipline and ropes course. That was plenty of thrill to satisfy the group. Just for fun we also set up a rappel route to be sure everyone got enough adrenaline for the day.
Everone left feeling proud of their accomplishments, success!
Del had they day off Thursday so we decided to get together and have some fun. He and I spent about an hour flying around the area exploring. I enjoyed several nice long footdrags on some of the many ponds in the area. The black ice was fast and smooth. That will probably change with the snow coming Friday.
I also took advantage of the calm conditions today by taking the tandem up for its first test flight. Nice throttle response, reliable idle, relatively quiet, and it starts predictably. All in all, great! Just a few small modifications to enhance passenger comfort and it’ll be ready for regular training use.
Mike S made great progress at the Elver Park sledding hill Sunday. He made several short flights down the slope gaining confidence and skill with each pass. Soon he will be flying his own machine.
Also did some net repair to the Moster 185+ Miniplane. Seems the ATLs (Anti-Torque Lamels) were destroying the threads. Oh well, they don’t seem to be needed on the Miniplane as it’s pretty well setup from the beginning to cancel the torque produced by the powerful 185cc engine. The ATLs are a nice idea but a probably better suited for a more robust net than the lightweight net on the Miniplane.
Mariyan and I tried out a new airfield today. This is Joel’s private field just west of Sauk City. Joel has a really nice setup there with two runways separated by a lovely little creek. The creek can be crossed by zipline if you are brave enough to risk a plung in the icy water below.
Joel and his friend Joe met us at the field for a little paramotor demonstration flying. Joe is already an airplane pilot and he flew his bush plane to the field to meet us instead of driving, must be nice. Joe is really interested in taking up paragliding although he’s not decided if powered or unpowered will be his thing. Either way you can’t go wrong, both are awesome!!
South Milwaukee’s Bender Park was in prime form Sunday. Strong winds blowing in smoothly off of Lake Michigan made for incredible soaring. Winds from the east doesn’t happen very often and the rare conditions brought out paragliders from all over. Besides the Madison group they were guys from Milwaukee and Chicago and everywhere in between.Jaro and Kuri from Chicago Paragliding brought a contingency of guys. We all flew as much as we possibly could. I myself got about three hours in the sky before succumbing to the cold.
Saturday I met Brent in Oconomowoc for an orientation. The winds were a bit strong but we still had a chance to play with the wing and the motor. He really seem to enjoy it and I think he’s hooked.
Saturday afternoon I met a couple guys in Sauk City for some towing. Matt actually brought out his speed wing for some high speed towing. This little wing climbs about as fast as a regular wing but it comes down insanely fast!
Lenin completed his training today and officially earned his USHPA P2 rating! He had just 4 flights left so we took our time and had fun with them. Conditions were wonderful, relatively warm and sunny. Hopefully we can get some more flying in before he returns to his home in Ecuador in a couple weeks. Congratulations Lenin!
Mike and Ken discovered a new place to fly in Delivan. They put on quite a show. They even had the local law enforcement officers show up to observe. Both officers thought it was awesome!
The tandem trike is now at the hanger and nearly ready to go. Still waiting on a couple parts to arrive. The motor is running great after a few minor repairs.
My new license plate arrive from the DMV. My attempt at subliminal advertising, hoping that everyone who sees it will suddenly want to fly.
We had a couple potential pilots stop in to check things out in person this weekend. Paul from Cross Plains WI and Chuck from Luck WI both made the voyage here to our training facilities. After their visits it was obvious that they will both be learning to fly sometime very soon.
Lenin, Mariyan and Chuck met me for some towing fun in Sauk City Saturday afternoon. The wind was dead calm when I arrived which meant Lenin could perfect his forward launching skills. Lenin will be returning to Ecuador in a couple weeks with a new skill he picked up while in the states, paragliding. Mariyan and I hope to visit with him there soon and do some flying around the mountains of Equador where it’s warm.
The tandem trike is getting closer to flying. Just waiting on a couple parts to arrive. This is a collaborative project with Chad Bastian at Trikebuggy. Chad is also working on developing his tandem trike. Turns out he is using the same motor on his machine, a red Fresh Breeze. What are the odds?
Kevin spent a couple sessions working on launching the wing with the trike. A rather challenging task to master but Kevin is doing great. All we need is the weather to cooperate and he will be flying.
Andy and his brother Brad were out Christmas Eve and completed several in flight skills including the daunting midair restart. Besides the PPG2 written test, all that is left for these two is working on their landing accuracy so they can land exactly where they want. Ideally we want them consistently landing on their feet within 15’ of a target. No small challenge when dealing with a fluid environment like the sky.
Thanks to my Dad, they classroom now has its own Hot Dawg furnace. That will certainly increase the comfort level. My father actually designed the Hot Dawg heater before he retired from Modine in Racine.
With help from Chad Bastian at Trikebuggy I’m developing and assembling a tandem trike. Just recently wheel launch tandem became legal in the US and as such there aren’t a lot of options for these crafts available yet. These machines will be a great way for potential pilots to get a real taste of paramotor flight.
The winch started making an awful sound last towing session. One of the pulleys was rubbing on it’s housing. Turns out the pressed in bearing had shifted just enough to cause the drag. I pressed it back into position and gave it a good lube too. It’s ready to go again!
I also rebuilt the carb on the trike motor. There was a bit of very fine sand accumulated in the intake screen. That can’t be helpful.
Mike’s new Moster 185+ powered Miniplane arrived yesterday and we wasted no time getting it put together. Initial assembly for one of these is a bit more than an hour. After it’s built the motor needs a thorough break in to ensure its maximum performance. So with the help of his pickup truck, Mike spent nearly two hours running the motor at various RPMs along with the recommended cool down periods. Now we just some favorable weather and he can be flying his own personal aircraft!
Owner of MadCity Paragliding and Adventure Addict