The trike guys have been waiting very patiently for the volatile spring weather to present a window of opportunity to get out and play with their aircraft. Well sunrise Sunday morning was just what we have been waiting for, dead calm and cloudless! The window didn't stay open long but both Rick and Chuck were able to get their wings and machines out for a few passes down the runway. By 9 am both were packed up and gone because the predicted winds were already in full force. Later Madcity Paragliding Alumni Paul stopped by to recheck the hang points on his Miniplane after doing some adjustment to his harness. Dave dropped in to go over some of the PPG2 written test questions. I spent the afternoon with Brian working on his wing handling skills. It's great to be spending time with so many like minded adventurers!
Dennis met me at the hanger Saturday afternoon to finish up his pre-solo training. We went over some ground school items and spent a couple hours running drills in the simulator in hopes that we would be treated with favorable flying conditions later that day. We picked up some food on our way to Buzzy Airport and waited patiently for the heavy winds to settle enough for flying. Shortly before sunset the winds began to calm and we geared up to fly. As the sun began to disappear over the horizon Dennis pinned the throttle and soon found himself airborne and in command of his own aircraft for the first time. He did great! He even managed to stick the landing! Congratulations Dennis!!!
Brian began his training in earnest this weekend. We were able to do some simulator drills, motor training, wing handling and we even cracked open the PPG Bible a bit to make the most of our time. We also spent some time going over his Air Conception paramotor that he purchased with some minor damage. The previous owner had a "hard landing" and a couple welds are cracked and one tube on the frame is bent a bit but after some minor repairs it will be great. Welcome Brian!!
Scott met me at Buzzy field last night and after some kiting warm up he successfully made his first flight! Three laps around the field then back to earth. His flare was a bit high on this first flight so he ended up tipping over after touchdown but the flight went great! Scott's second flight was even better. He stuck the landing and every thing. Congrats Scott!!
Nick and Dennis met me at the sledding hill to practice their flying skills. Both were able to make several short flights down the slope working on their turns and flaring. Next up for them is the real thing!
Dmitry, David and I headed up to Sauk City Monday evening to try towing on a road Mariyan located on Google Maps. We were very pleased with what we found, 1.5 miles of empty dirt road surrounded by wide open fields. Best of all we discovered that as soon as you are about 200' up you can see the Wisconsin River! Which, as it turns out it just over the surrounding trees. So cool! Moments after Dmitry landed from the first flight one of the neighbors rolled up on his ATV with a big smile. As luck would have it, Joel is a ultra light pilot and he invited us to use his runway when we wanted to do some powered flying. Thanks, we will take you up on that soon! The boys were able to complete 7 tows last night to about 1,500' AGL (above ground level) with he conditions we had. When the wind lines up with the road more, last night was about 45 degrees off, we should easily be able to get over 2,500'.
Before, during and after shots of Matt A on his first paramotor flight. He successfully made three flights Friday evening at the airport. This was far from his first solo flight as Matt was a helicopter pilot in the National Guard and actively flies other small aircraft on a recreational basis. Congrats Matt!!
The weather has finally broken and we were able to train the last four days in a row! Thursday was gliding down the sledding hill with Scott. Friday Matt A. made his first flights! Saturday morning I met Cole at the airport for a ton of wing handling training, including time with the non-running motor on his back. Brian stopped by with his lovely wife to brave the cold and check out the sport in person, he's already shopping for a motor! If all goes well they both will be flying sometime this summer. Saturday evening, past student Alex stopped by the hanger and a we took a nice cross country flight from the airport together. Sunday morning I met Dennis at Elver park and we worked on his forward and reverse launch skills, significant improvement was made. Sunday afternoon I drove the Madcity Paragliding rig to the park south of Oconomowoc to meet Paul where we also worked on his kiting skills. Paul also made great strides that day in the stiff breeze. Preston and his better half visited with us in Oconomowoc. There Matt W. and I treated them to their own private air show. We even gave them an encore per her excited request. Preston tried his hand at kiting and decided it's not as easy as it looks. To cap off the busy weekend Matt W and I made a short cross country flight to explore the area north of the park. I love my job!!
Nick progressed rapidly yesterday, starting the day with no experience kiting a wing to catching some short flights while running down the sledding hill about 4 hours later. Conditions were great for learning, a relatively steady breeze headed right up the hill at about 8 mph. The heavy wet snow provided a bit of a challenge but nothing we couldn't handle.
Madcity Paragliding is headed to the Endless Footdrag in Fredonia Kansas May 22-27!
We will be dragging all our flying toys, and some toys that don't fly, to this great PPG fly in for a week of flying fun. I'll have room in the Jeep and trailer to take a few pilots with if you want to join!
Owner of MadCity Paragliding and Adventure Addict