Wow! So much fun!!
If only the launch site were closer. Lenin, Mariyan and I drove to Hager City Wisconsin Thursday which is just across the Mississippi River from Redwing Minnesota in search of some soaring. This bluff faces south overlooking the Mississippi River valley which means nice smooth air flowing pretty consistently up it’s face.
Upon arrival we met three local pilots also there with a fledgling flyer. After getting a quick introduction to the flying site by our new friends we all took to the skies. This is considered a cliff launch and requires some serious commitment because you bring the wing up and run straight for the drop off! It’s a nice adrenaline rush as the ground rapidly disappears under your feet and is replaced with trees far below. Once aloft the feeling turns into a mixture of freedom and challenge. Floating in the sky with a pair of Bald Eagles circling with you is amazing! The challenge is to make this last as long as possible. Without the motor that I have become accustomed to keeping me off the ground, we are instead actively searching for rising air. Everyone enjoyed the conditions and made nice long flights in the cool winter air.
The guys from Minnesota shared the location of a promising launch site that is an hour closer to us, just past LaCrosse. Looks like we will be headed there soon. Let me know if you want to come along!
Sitting in the car with Lenin and Mariyan on the way to soar at Hagar City I’m given a few minutes to reflect on this weeks activity.
Peter completed his PPG1 ground school training including a couple hours in the simulator running flying drills. Next up for him is some kiting with the motor on his back so he can experience wing handling with the additional bulk and mass. Then it’s flying time!
Del’s new Moster 185+ Miniplane arrived. Both he and I are excited to put it together and get it ready for flying!
Paul met me in Oconomowc Wednesday. He added 6 flights to his count and continues to gain confidence and control. Nice work Paul!
Today started with Peter kiting the red Paracruiser wing in the field at Elver Park. Then as his skills and confidence grew we started moving up the hill bit by bit. At first his flights were very short and kind of awkward. However, by the time we quit for the day Peter was skillfully gliding from the top all the way to the bottom and landing in the field in which he began the day. So much fun!
In other exiting news, Mike’s new Ozone Sypder arrived. Can’t wait to see him flying it!
Very productive weekend! Highlights include:
Andy and his brother Brad both made their first flights Saturday shortly before sunset. Both did great in the somewhat imperfect conditions. Congratulations guys!!
Del completed all his requirements including the needed 25 flights to graduate Sunday right at sunset. Well done Del! Be safe and have fun!
We got the winch out Sunday morning and made several nice tows with it. Lenin, Mariyan, Dimitry and Matt all enjoyed the day.
Ken added several flights to his count bringing him ever closer to the needed 25.
Peter caught up on his ground school training. We watched the “Scary Movie”, prepared for and aced the PPG1 test. Nice work Peter!
Mike S and I met Dennis, Charles and Mariyan at the sledding to play with the cold north wind. Mariyan brought out the new Apco Hybrid wing for all to check out. This thing is pretty cool. The front half of the wing is double layered like a standard glider and the back half is a single layer. Very light and kites super easily. It’s supposed to very stable in flight too. Hopefully I’ll be able to test that soon!
Paul met me at the Genesee Lake Road Park by a Oconomowoc Thursday morning. When I arrived I was excited to see the little shed that has been in the middle of the field forever had been removed. One less obstacle!
We got a bit of a late start and so were only able to get a couple flights in. Then we adjourned to Starbucks for refreshments and to prep for the PPG2 test. Paul is now progressing rapidly.
Paul made his First Flight this afternoon!! He has been working towards this day for a long time. Paul started over a year ago but unfortunately crashed his motorcycle early in our training program and had to take a long break to heal. He really made up for lost ground today by making 3 great flights and completing the requirements to earn his PPG1 rating. Congratulations Paul!!
Del drove up early and met me at the field right after sunrise. We made the most of the morning by checking off several in flight skills while making a total of 10 flights in just over 2 hours. Nice work Del!
Ben drove up from Chicago and made several nice flights bringing him that much closer to completing his training. We also had some fun goofing around with the ATV and my sons motorcycle. Boys will be boys.
Ken raced over from Waukesha after work to get a few flights in too. He managed to make a couple before the sun went down, then we strapped on the strobe light and sent him back up for more. I’m sure he would still be out there now if we weren’t legally required to be on the ground a half hour after sundown. This sport can be very addictive!
Productive day today at Madcity Paragliding. Started off by welding together Mariyan’s simulator for him. Then it was off to Home Depot to get some insulation for the “Pilot’s Lounge” at the hanger.
I met Peter after lunch to practice kiting. He continues to show improvement. Soon he’ll be flying.
Then Mike S and I went to the hanger and prepared for the PPG2 written test. He scored a 96% on his first try! Way to go Mike!!
Although it was too breezy to fly elsewhere, the wind somewhat unexpectedly settled down enough near Sauk City to allow us to tow Sunday afternoon. Mariyan, Dimitry and Lenin met me there with short notice at about 2 in the afternoon. Today was Lenin’s first solo flight above 100’. He had taken a couple tandem flights with Mariyan but this was his first time alone in the sky with any significant altitude, around 1,800’. He did great! The USHPA requires a student make at least 35 flights before the can earn their P2 rating so he has a lot of flying to do before he gets set free. Congratulations Lenin!!
Mike S, Mike L, Ken and Del all braved the sub-freezing temperature to continue growing their flying skills. Sure it was cold but everyone came prepared with some new winter apparel for the occasion. Del actually brought 3 brand new pairs of gloves in search of the perfect setup.
Flights were short, generally just one lap around the airport, but enjoyable. Just as the old Scandinavian saying reminds us “There is no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothes”. Dress right and the fun never stops!
Del arrived today at 1 with the hope of making his first flight. After some kiting to warm up, we added the weight and bulk of the motor to let him get accustomed to it while continuing to control the kite. Everything went great so we geared up to have a go at flying. Del looked like a pro as he easily nailed his launch on the first attempt! 4 mostly controlled laps around the field and he brought the Miniplane in for a great landing on his feet (kind of rare on first flights) way to go Del!!
Andy R and Mike S spent a lot of time kiting. We even towed Andy on a few short flights.
Lenin and Mariyan we’re back to have another go at the winch. After that they went on a tandem flight where Lenin was given the controls for some in flight maneuvers. Next up for Lenin is some full height towing!
Mark stopped by Wednesday evening to assemble and perform a hang test on his new Top80 Miniplane. The orange looks awesome!!
Jake even dropped in to take advantage of the great light wind conditions. Very busy for a cold weekday.
Owner of MadCity Paragliding and Adventure Addict