Matt A. wanted to demonstrate his newly acquired skill to his sister who was visiting from Louisiana. So, we met at the hanger late in the day and made a few flights to show off. Although she enjoyed the show paramotoring is probably not in her future. She did however show some interest in motorless flight. Maybe someday...
Saturday morning was spent flying at Syvrud with Dennis and Matt A. Matt logged his 25th flight and just needs to pass the written test to earn his PPG2 rating. Saturday afternoon was spent pulling free flyers into the sky behind the Jeep with the winch. Dmitri and David made several flights from the end of the tow rope. On one flight I pulled Dmitri up to about 1,800' before he released and chased the rising air where he topped out around 3,500' before sinking back to the surface over 40 minutes later. Dennis came out again on Sunday morning to get his 25th flight in. All that's left for him is the written test too. Sunday evening was spent wheel launch training with Chuck and new student Cliff. The winds eventually lined up with the runway allowing Chuck to make a few touch-n-go landings. Cliff and I decided he needed to make a few modifications to his cart before attempting to get it off the ground, perhaps next weekend.
Friday evening Brian met me at Buzzy Field to do a little kiting with the hopes that the winds would settle enough to fly. Well, shortly before sunset the winds changed from "too much to handle" to "let's give it a go". A few trial runs to help him put all he's learned together into an honest attempt to get off the ground and the next thing you know he was airborne! He made a few laps around the airport then set down safely on his feet. We only wish his wife could have been there to witness the accomplishment, next time perhaps. Congratulations Brian!!
Cole successfully made his first paramotor flight last night from the park by Oconomowoc. It was a bit gusty when we arrived at the field so we patiently waited over an hour for the breeze to settle. Shortly before sunset Cole rigged up and set up for a reverse launch. After a somewhat lengthy taxi run to get the wing under control he took to the skies and made three laps around the park. Then it was time to get him back on earth. Cole lined up with the wind and brought the flying machine comfortably to a standing stop in the middle of the field. Way to go Cole!!
Scott racked up seven flights last night bringing him ever closer to graduation. USPPA minimum requirement for PPG2 is 25 flights with a mixture of forward and reverse launches. Scott is doing great at his forwards, we just need some wind so he can refine his reverse skills.
Paul, Allen and Matt all made the trip from the Milwaukee side of the state to join us on this beautifully calm evening. I even managed to get some motor off airtime before the thermals died. I comfortably soared the rising air for about 10 minutes motor free before descending to begin the day's training.
Matt continues to add to his flying skills. His take offs and landings are becoming more predictable and accurate which of course means easier and more fun! Matt made half a dozen successful flights last night. We ended the day with a short cross country flight up to Oregon and back. Great night for flying!
Elver Park sledding hill was the gathering spot for Saturday. Cole and Brian made their first short hops down the hill after a bit of warm up on the flat part of the park. Brian's better half, Kim, was there to document the endeavor. Next up for these two will be their first motor flight!
Dennis stopped over with his sister Suzy and showed the boys how it's done by making several longer flights with his gear. Paul and Mark were also on hand later in the afternoon but unfortunately the breeze shifted direction by then and neither were given the chance to get some air.
Then it was off to the airport for some motor flights with Dennis and Matt A. Both added several successful flights to their rapidly growing log books. Not a single missed launch that night. Way to go crew!!
Nick met me at the hanger for a quick refresher in the simulator then it was off to Buzzy field to try to make his first flight. A little bit of kiting to warm up his wing handling skills and then we strapped on the motor. Nick successfully launched on his first try! He made a few laps around the field and even managed to stick his landing. Way to go Nick!!
Brian was in town today so we took advantage of the light breeze and introduced him to the forward launch. The "forward" is much more challenging than its counterpart the "reverse" because you face away from the wing during the launch. It's also more difficult because you need to run while doing it. In the right breeze a reverse can be done with a simple tug of the A lines while standing there looking at the wing. Brian did great. Rick also was on hand to try kiting with the trike. He's been doing great while being towed by the ATV so it's time to add the motor. It didn't go as well as it did for Rick. See him for the full story.
Sunday afternoon Dmitry met me at the airport for some free flying. By free flying I mean he is volunteering his time to help me increase my tow count so I can earn the next level of USHPA Tow rating, Tow Tech 2. And by free I also mean no motor and I also mean I'm not charging him for towing him into the sky with my Jeep...yet.
Chuck also dropped in for a little "air-time therapy". After a quick warm up taxi run, Chuck took to the skies for his first flight this year and his first since December. Welcome back Chuck!
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