Conor met me at the sledding hill Tuesday morning. The winds were forecast to out of the north as needed to make the hill work. We warmed up with a little kiting in the field at the bottom of the hill. Then we gradually started working our way up the hill, kiting down it from higher and higher. At first Conor was all over the place like a baby bird attempting their first flights. Conor gradually gained control with each subsequent pass down the hill. By the time we stopped for lunch he was soaring the length of the hill and setting it down gently in the field at the bottom. After a lunch break it was back to the hanger to run drills in the simulator.
We took a short intermission from the simulator to give Dave some guidance as he rebuilt his carburetor, an annual task for us paramotor pilots. After Dave reassembled everything and gave his machine a test run, Conor and I finished up his simulator session and prepared for his first flight.
Alex was also planning to be out Tuesday after work with hopes of making his first flight too. He rolled in as we were shuttling gear to the runway. The motor I planned on using was the brand new Mostor 185+ Miniplane I broke in the previous day but it hasn’t been flown yet. So, I took it for it’s initial test flight and used the flight to check the sky conditions before sending the new pilots up. I demonstrated the flight they were about to do so they would know exactly what to expect. It was a little bumpy and I decided to hold off their first flights for a little while to let the gusts settle down a bit, half an hour later it was much nicer.
Conor was first and successful pulled off his second launch attempt. A little erratic in the sky at first but soon found control. He completed the three labs just as we had practiced in the simulator then set it down nicely on the runway on his feet. Way to go Conor!
Alex was next. He managed to nail his first takeoff attempt. Having made over 500 skydives, his wing handling was obviously more controlled and his landing was perfect. He really enjoyed the ability to go up while under canopy, a new situation for him. Congratulations Alex!
both Alex and Conor went on to make another flight that evening and thus complete all the requirements for the PPG1 rating.
The two of them were back again the Wednesday afternoon and made several more flights. We worked on many different in-flight skills and improve their takeoff and landing ability. Training continues for Alex this Saturday and Conor next week.
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