Josh met me at the airport this morning for training. The winds were light and unfortunately across the runway when we arrived. The forecast was for a 90 degree change sometime before noon. Sure enough about an hour later the breeze built in strength and lined right up with the plowed strip.
I prepared the winch for towing while Josh got the wing set up. We started off small with a short tow just 20’ or so in the air. By the time we breaked for lunch Josh was releasing from the tow line about 100’ up then gliding down softly to the middle of the runway. Way to go Josh!!
The winds were supposed to build even more and stay perfectly lined up with the runway for the rest of the day so we planned on Josh making his first paramotor flight when we got back from lunch. However, when we returned from our break we found the wind had turned and was once again right across the runway. Argh!
We spent the rest of the day preparing for the PPG2 test while waiting for the wind change back, it didn’t. Unfortunately with all the snow in the ground right now we need to use the plowed runway. Running through a foot of crusty snow just doesn’t work. Hopefully this weekend’s weather will improve the ground conditions.
The conditions Monday were just right for a day at the Elver Park sledding hill. A nice gentle breeze was blowing from the north. Dave made his first flights down the hill and Mike added to his flight count. The flights were short but well controlled. The next time I meet these guys it will be time to fly with the motor!
Training continues for Reon, Josh and Dave. Fortunately the winds have settled enough for us to get outside and play with the wings. Reon did some kiting with the motor on his back,the last step before flying. Dave was able to get a bit of wing practice too. Josh finished up the indoor portion of PPG1 training by scoring a 100 percent on the written test. Nice work!
Despite the cold and ice of February, Dave and Josh both decided it was time to learn to paramotor. And why not? That just means they will be all done with training by the time spring gets here and be able to enjoy the all the warm weather to come.
We started off with an orientation to ensure they knew what they were getting into. Then it was time to fill out the waiver and dive into the training. We got a lot done in just a couple days. We finished up all the indoor PPG1 training for Dave and most of it for Josh.
Now we are waiting for the weather to cooperate so we can complete the outdoor portion of the PPG1 syllabus. Lots of wing handling drills then off to the sledding hill for a fun day of short flights. This is going to be fun!
Reon’s flexible schedule has allowed us to get a lot done in a very short time. Wednesday we spent the morning at the Elver Park sledding hill making short flights down the hill. Wednesday afternoon we were back in the hanger for more ground school training. During Thursday’s freezing rain we were in the classroom watching the “scary movie” staring William Shatner. Then it was on to motor training and we finished up the day with time in the simulator practicing his first flight as well as emergency drills.
This weekend Reon will be reading the PPG Bible in preparation for the written test which he will take next time we meet. Then it’s motorized flying time!
This past weekend’s gathering of hang gliders and paragliders in Lake City Minnesota was action packed! It took place on the ice just off shore of Lake City. The main attraction was the accuracy landing contest with the crowd cheering for every pilot that landed near the target.
Mariyan and I brought our paramotors along and performed an impromptu air show for the people on the ice. Mariyan and Nia later toured the area in their tandem PPG even attempting some ridge soaring along the face of the bluffs overlooking the mighty Mississippi River.
There was also a powered hang glidier on hand called a mosquito which is pretty cool because the propeller is by the pilot’s feet. The pilot can control the direction and force of the push or thrust vectoring which gives them great control. All in all, a great time was had by a variety airborne enthusiasts.
Reon started his training today with a bunch of wing handling. He picked up the basics pretty quickly. It didn’t take long for him to successfully execute forward launches as well as reverse launches. After about three hours of running around with the wing we took a break and started working with the motor. It won’t be long before Reon is flying!
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