Nick and I have been training hard this last week. The winds were crazy strong all week so we finished up the PPG1 ground school tasks including a couple hours in the simulator, watching the Risk and Reward DVD as well as preparing for and taking the written test. Then it was just a matter of waiting a couple days for the weather to cooperate.
Friday the weather did just that, a nice light breeze blowing right down the runway, perfect! Nick and I prepared for his flight by kiting a little with the motor on his back. We reviewed the flight plan and tested the radios too. Then it was time to give it a go.
Nick did great! He nailed his first launch attempt and quickly found himself in the sky. Then, as rehearsed in the simulator, he made three laps around the airport working on the skills he would need to bring the machine safely back to the ground. He made several soft and controlled turns, practiced a few approaches then got himself into position over the runway. He followed every instruction perfectly on his final approach and set down softly in the middle of the runway. He then gave loud shout of celebration we could all hear from the other end of the runway! Congratulations Nick!!
Lots of guys were on hand Friday evening to watch Nick’s flight and take advantage of the wonderful conditions. Kevin took the trike up, Josh #1 flew his machine, Josh#2 the Top80, Curt flew his Minari (into a hill, he’s fine), Chris and Robert took turns with the Moster Miniplane, Angelo took his paramotor, even I got to make a flight.
After the sun set we all adjourned to the hanger for some New Glaris Beers to celebrate Nick’s achievement.
Also this week:
Karisa finally got some wing handling practice.
Robert broke in his new Parajet Maverick!
Patrick stopped by to check things out.
And, TJ began his training. Monday was indoor activity with motor safety, the scary movie, etc. Saturday we spent leaning how to control the wing. He did great, welcome TJ!
Pavel and Scott came down from Minnesota Friday for some help with their PPG quest. Both had purchased used gear online and were attempting to teach themselves. The task had proven much more difficult than they expected so they came to Madcity Paragliding to get some help.
Friday they met us in Sauk City to watch the free flying paragliders do their thing. Adam, Matt, David and Mariyan were there taking turns being pulled up by me with the winch. We got Scott a tandem flight with Mariyan to give him some flying experience. All went very well. I even got to fly! Usually I’m stuck in the Jeep all day but today Mariyan and Matt gave me a tow up so I could enjoy the sky as well. Thanks guys!
Saturday morning I met Ken and Andriew for a cross country flight. However, as soon as we took to the sky we realized that we needed to change our plan. The winds aloft were blowing about 20mph meaning we weren’t going anywhere. No big deal, we still had lots of fun flying around the airport.
8:30 Scott and Pavel rolled in. We dove right into an intensive training session that included wing handling, simulator drills, motor safety and the scary movie. 11 furious hours later we found ourselves preparing Pavel to make his first flight. And shortly before the sun set he did just that. Big day, Congratulations Pavel!
Scott will most likely be flying the next time we meet as he also put in a some real serious training on top of his already acquired skills.
Sunday was more training for Scott and Pavel. We completed the rest of the requirements for a PPG1 rating. They left for home about lunch time feeling significantly more confident in their paramotoring skills.
Andy stopped in after that and we repaired a few things on machine that broke during a minor mishap this week.
Josh was also out to the airport for a second time this weekend to kite his wing.
It was Chris’ birthday today so he took the day off as he does every year. Except this year he made his first Paramotoring flight!
We started the day at the sledding hill with the plan of making a few low and short flights down the hill to get Chris the feel for the wing before we added a motor to him. This was our second day in a row at the hill. This time we were using the 38m Ozone MagMax instead of the 28m Macpara Charger. This new wing sure did the trick. Instead of running down the hill and feeling an occasional tug upwards from the wing he consistently found himself 40’-50’ in the air, gliding the distance of the hill!
After several flights we decided to save some energy and attempt a powered flight in the evening.
We took a break from climbing the hill and met at the hanger a few hours later. Unfortunately the wind was across the runway but we thought we would give it a go anyway. Sure enough, on just his second attempt, Chris took off cleanly. He made three laps around the field and then landed in the middle of the runway on his feet! Way to go Chris! Happy birthday and Congratulations, you are now a pilot!
Other noteworthy things at Madcity Paragliding;
Curt assembled and flew his “new to him” paramotor and wing.
Nick made several nice flights down the sledding hill.
Dennis stopped in and had some fun at the Elver Park hill.
Robert made a couple of flights while his daughter Arrow watched.
Dan entertained us with some short field take offs and landings in his Cessna 172.
And so much more...
Angelo showed up about 3 hours before sunset giving us lots of time to crank out his last required flights. The conditions were challenging as there was no wind at all and the air was very humid which really limited lift. However, Angelo confidently pulled off 7 perfect forward launches. The last few flights we got him up several hundred feet and killed the engine to simulate a “motor out” emergency. He did great and landed them all easily on the runway. Way to go Angelo and congratulations on earning your PPG2 rating!
With nearly an hour left in the day, I released Angelo to fly around the countryside with fellow Madcity Paragliding Graduates Josh and Jake who were out to enjoy the beautiful sky as well.
While the boys were out playing in the air, Nick and I were on the ground working on his kiting skills to prepare him for the day he gets to make his first flight. Next up for Nick is a trip to the sledding hill.
Last Thursday Preston and Karisa assembled Preston’s new Moster 185+ Miniplane. It didn’t take long with two people working on it. Then we put Preston in the simulator with a tachometer and the timer app open on his phone. He spent the next two hours breaking in the motor while Karisa and I worked on ground school training.
It was too windy for kiting when they showed up but just before sunset the breeze calmed enough for Preston to get his last needed reverse launch in. As soon as he got himself seated after takeoff he gave a big double fist pump to celebrate completing his training. Congratulations Preston!
Tuesday evening Mariyan, Nia and I met with a group of pilots at the Mauston/New Lisbon Airport seeking permission to use their beautiful airfield for tow training. We put on a little demonstration for them so they would better understand what the process is. Mariyan set up his wing at the far end of the taxiway and I hooked up the winch line to his bridle. We got him to a height of a couple hundred feet and he released, did a big slow turn and set it down with just one step exactly where he told the group he would. They were all impressed. They still need to check on a few things but the guys were excited to bring some additional activity to their field.
As Mariyan and I were packing up one of the gentleman offered us a ride in his plane. We, of course, said YES immediately. Dave and his wife Cindy have a beautiful Cirrus SR20. The four of us climbed in to the plane and went on a gorgeous sunset flight. This machine is equipped with an amazing array of electronics and it flies so fast. We were doing around 150mph in complete comfort. Dave gave me the controls mid flight and I flew us over the Dells and Devils Lake before returning to the airport as the sun disappeared behind the horizon. Thank you so much Dave and Cindy!
Wednesday afternoon Andy finished putting his Moster 185 Miniplane together and then spent a couple hours breaking it in. This was the final step in Andy’s training. His brother Brad passed the PPG2 written test at the same time, which was his final task. Brad and Andy took their wings and paramotors home tonight having completed their training and earning their PPG2 ratings. Congratulations boys and happy flying!
Karisa and Nick were out to the hanger for ground schooling Tuesday evening.
Chris also dropped in to check things out and decide if Madcity Paragliding was the right place for him. He said it is and begins his training when I return in a week. Welcome Chris!
What you can get done with a few days nice weather. Kevin began training last year as a foot launch student. We even made a couple trips to the sledding hill before deciding that wheels were a better choice for him. As soon as we put him in the trike it was obvious that we made the right move. He quickly mastered the wing handling while being towed. The fall weather rapidly descended upon us and his training came to a halt as he took the winter off. He started up again in late spring and eventually made his first flight. Unfortunately this year’s weather has been horrible for trikes and so his training was slow. In fact, he started the week having flown just a handful of times this year. But fortunately this week’s weather was perfect for flying. He was able to come out and fly 4 separate times this week and complete all of the 25 required flights. Now we just need to find him a trike and he will be on his own. Congratulations Kevin!
Friday morning my dad stopped in for some kiting practice.
Friday evening Angelo, Mike and Dave were out to do some flying. Heather and Emerald were there too to watch dad fly.
Saturday morning I met Ken and Mariyan at the airport to do some towing. Ken is working on becoming a free flying pilot as well as a Paramotoring pilot. After a day or two of training at Elver Park’s hill it was time to hook him up to the winch and give him a tow. At first the tows were short and low but by the end of the day we were towing him the entire length of the runway getting him several hundred feet up before release. Nice work Ken!
Sunday morning Sean, Andriew and I made a nice 2 hour long flight to lake Kegonsa and back passing over the Madison Raceway and Eugsters orchard. So much fun!
Then Nick stopped by the airport to check out Paramotoring in person to see if he’d like it. I guess he decided he did like it as we began training in earnest Monday evening. Welcome Nick!
Then it was off to Sauk City to paraglide with Dimitri and Mariyan. They even let me take a flight! Usually I’m stuck running the winch all day but this time I was able to get out and enjoy the air for a bit. Thanks guys!
After that it was back to the hanger to meet Kevin and Greg. Both made several nice flights that evening.
Unfortunately it looks like the long stretch of nice weather has come to an end as a storm is forecast for this evening. Oh well, we certainly took full advantage of the opportunity we were given.
Rachel showed up to the airport last night nervous, scared and excited. Her husband, Jason, is in the middle of his PPG training and apparently is always talking about it at home. Rachel was curious to see what Jason was experiencing and decided to find out for herself. So, we hooked her up with a tandem flight with Mariyan. When she discovered that Mariyan has made nearly 800 tandem flights it helped calm her nerves a little bit but her hands were still shaking. She was incredibly brave and pushed through her fear and had a great flight. She was smiling from ear to ear when she landed. Way to go Rachel!!
Jason, Angelo and Kevin all made a bunch of flights over the last few days of training.
Preston picked up his new wing.
Mike assembled and broke in his new dual start Moster 185 Miniplane.
Madcity Paragliding Graduates Josh, Jake and the other Josh were all out to the airport to enjoy the fantastic flying weather we’ve been having.
Owner of MadCity Paragliding and Adventure Addict