This week at Madcity Paragliding...
Night kiting with Stuart. Since he is stuck in an office all day, I met Stuart just outside his office last night to start his wing handling training. Fortunately, there is a nice field next to some lights and that worked well. He did great, lots of progress was made. Weather permitting we will be back at it again Wednesday evening.
Ben came over from Debuque to investigate PPG training. He’s in, just needs to set aside a few more bucks and he’ll be back to start training in a month or so.
Ken, Adam, Charles, Steph, Pie, Mariyan and I spent all day Sunday towing in Sauk City. The boys all made a bunch of flights and really improved their tow skills. Everyone’s launch, climb and landings were all looking better at the end of the day. Ken and Adam have nearly completed the P2 training. Ken also took control of the winch once and helped pull Mariyan up. We are working on getting him tow certified too.
While we were towing, Greg, Matt, Dimitry and Victor were on Lake Waubesa playing with paramotors. Dimitry was ripping it up with his new Macpara Colorado. Thanks Victor for the photos!
Jake finished up the flying requirements of his training with a fun cross country flight with Robert and I. He just needs to pass the written test to earn his PPG2 rating. Good luck Jake!
I visited welder Tom for a quick repair to Moster 185’s frame. If you ever need anything welded, he’s the man! Aluminum, titanium, steel...he does it all and his work is outstanding!
Jeff is one step closer to flying PPG. As soon as he returns from Utah we will get him in the sky.
All in all another fun and productive week. Thanks everyone!
So much has happened in the last week, here’s a few highlights-
Little 8 year old Pie took his first paraglider flight and loved it! His mom, Steph, is a skydiver and Pie has caught the flying bug from her. With Pie weighing so little, the tandem wing was very lightly loaded and we were able tow Mariyan and him to about 3,000’ before they released. This made for a nice long flight for them. Pie was so excited and his mom was so proud.
Ken and Matt W added several more tows to their flight logs. Both are working on earning their P2 free flying ratings. They earned their Cliff Launch endorsements earlier this week with a trip to the Hager City flying site that overlooks the Mississippi River. Keep it up guys!
Jake made a bunch of PPG flights on Friday. The sky was completely clouded over so we didn’t need to worry about the typical midday thermals stopping us. We began at 8:30 in the morning and other than a short lunch break, didn’t stop until nearly 3 that afternoon. We even made a short cross country flight together and turned around only after our hands got to cold to continue. Jake is doing great and has only the PPG2 written test and 5 flights left to complete his requirements.
Dimity picked up his new Macpara Colorado. The manufacturer says the dealer should make the first flight with the new wing to ensure everything is in working order, I was more than happy to oblige. The wing is a more aggressive design and requires more wind speed to launch. However, once airborne it is amazingly stable in bumpy air and just punches through turbulence. It’s much snappier than his previous wing but he took to it naturally. Upon landing Dimity commented on the responsiveness and the longer glide. I believe he is really going to enjoy his new ride.
I helped Greg and Curt fix an electric starter issue on Greg’s machine. A small crimp from a pliers and some dielectric grease took care of the problem. As is often the case, finding the problem proved to be the hardest part of the repair.
In other news, Mariyan has nearly completed assembly of his new Pay-in winch. He actually managed to squeeze a full 5,500’ of tow line onto the spool. Initial testing of the winch will happen as soon as weather permits.
Jeff is already an accomplished paraglider and regular attendee of our winch days. He has been toying with the idea of adding a motor for the last few years so he could get more flying time. Monday he began his PPG training with a little ground school and motor knowledge including a few minutes with it running on his back. We also put him the simulator to get accustomed to the more upright seating position and the throttle lever. It’s a pretty simple transition from PG to PPG but the motor can be intimidating at first. I’m sure we will have him flying confidently soon. Welcome to the dark side of paragliding Jeff!
Jake and Chris were back to fly again. Chris brought along his Dad and nephew Adam to watch him fly. Apart from one oscillation induced belly slide landing the boys did great and Adam really enjoyed the show. Jake is up to six flights now and Chris is into double digits. Both Chris and Jake are getting pretty good at launch and landings and we continue to add in flight skills. This is the real fun part as they gain control and work towards independence. Well done boys!
Greg was also at the field last night. I saw him practicing his wingovers about 2000’ up in the unseasonably warm sky. He has progressed nicely since graduating. Keep it up Greg!
Jake has been working hard to get ready for his first flight. We’ve spent a bunch of time working on his wing handling skills as well as ground school and time in the simulator. Earlier this week we spent an afternoon at the sledding hill making short hops down the hill. Today all that work paid off, he made his first paramotor flight.
Just as we rehearsed in the simulator before lunch, he successfully launched on his first attempt, flew three laps around the field and set it down safely on his feet. Jake had so much fun that he immediately made a second flight. This one was even better. Perfect launch and a textbook landing in the middle of the field. Way to go Jake!
Jake began training Wednesday morning with the mandatory waiver signing and introduction. Then it was straight to kiting for the rest of the day. He did great! He managed to kite the wing successfully overhead for over 30 seconds on his first try, most impressive. It often takes students a couple hours to get to that point. Perhaps it is his previous piloting experience that was helping, Jake has a couple hours logged in a Cessna. Next up for him is a trip to the sledding hill, hopefully Monday. Welcome Jake!
Chris stopped by Wednesday after work and made one flight. It was too cold to make any more. He even had electric gloves on but the cold was still too much for him. I can’t blame him, I didn’t want to fly in the 15 degree weather either.
Chris got out of work early Friday and met me for some flying. Chris has been training for a while now and has been delayed quite a bit by his job from traveling so he has just four flights completed so far. Today we added a couple more before sunset. Despite having not flown for weeks he did great, nailed his take offs and landings. We even got to play with the trimmers a bit. Way to go Chris!
More good news today as the bean field next to the runway was finally harvested making for a much larger LZ (landing zone). It can be a real hassle removing wings from the beans, they act like Velcro holding the lines firmly in their grasp.
Having completed everything except the written test requirement for his PPG2 rating, Jeff and I went on another short cross country flight this time around the nearby town of Brooklyn this morning. After landing we reviewed for the test. He then took the test right there on his phone and easily passed. Congratulations Jeff and happy flying!
Stuart stopped by a couple weeks ago to check things out after discussing the basics of with Paramotoring with David. He was there to observe the other students and see what all was involved in the process. Turns out one of the other students was an old friend of his from high school, Ryan. Ryan has since graduated and now Stuart has begun officially. I expect they will be flying together soon. Welcome Stuart!
Jeff met me at the hanger Monday afternoon with just 4 flights left to complete the requirements to earn his PPG2 rating. Conditions were good so he quickly made three short flights so we could make a longer cross country flight together.
Madcity Paragliding graduate Greg was at the airport as well and joined Jeff and I as we explored the countryside by air. What a great flight.
Moments after landing back at the airport Matt showed up with the same scenario as Jeff, just 4 flights left to complete his PPG2 requirements. As before, Matt made quick work of the first three flights so we could go on a longer flight afterwards. Greg was still there and again joined us for a longer flight around the field.
Greg and Matt are kitesurfing buddies already and now they can fly paramotors together too, if the wind isn’t strong enough for kiting that is.
Both Matt and Jeff have yet to complete the written test to be truly finished with training.
Record tow height to for Dimity! A line of clouds stretching from horizon to horizon approached as Dimity hooked into the tow line. As the line of clouds passed overhead he inflated his wing and we started the tow as normal. The breeze was light at the surface but grew stronger as Dimity gained altitude. By the time he had reached 1500’ the winds aloft were strong enough for me to slow the Jeep to a crawl while still paying out line rapidly.
We continued that pace for a quite a while, the Jeep creeping towards the end of the road and Dimity climbing towards the clouds. He got so high at one point he radioed down to confirm we had enough line to continue. When he finally released from the tow he had used up all but about 600’ of the 6000’ on the winch’s spool and reached an altitude of 2,940’ AGL!
Ken made several flights Sunday as he worked towards his P2 rating. The USHPA requires a minimum of 35 flights but allows us to count 10 PPG flights towards the total meaning he has just 11 left to complete his free flight training. Keep it up Ken!
Jan was also there with his drone taking video of the happenings. Watch for his foot
Already an experienced paraglider, Matt’s transition to motorized flight was pretty simple. A day in the classroom and a couple hours in the simulator and he was ready to give it a shot.
He had no problem bringing the wing up when it was time to take off and successfully pulled off a safe launch on his first attempt. The free flying pilot in him shown through as he ran leaning forward with his hands back. We altered this technique to a more ppg style launch with an upright run and the motor pushing him on his later flights. The USPPA allows us to count 15 of his free flights towards his requirements, meaning he only needs 10 flights to earn his PPG2 rating. Just 7 more to go and the written test of course.
Neil was over Friday morning as usual and made the last of his required flights. Ending the day with a total count of 26. All his skills mastered he only has the written test to finish in order to graduate. I’m expecting him to finish that today. Nice work Neil!
Jeff was out to the airport Thursday and Friday adding to his flight count. He has just 6 flights remaining to finish up.
Josh stopped in Friday afternoon to enjoy the evening as well.
He made a nice long flight around the area as we trained.
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