Ryan was so determined to learn to fly paramotors that he actually changed careers to pursue this dream. After switching jobs and talking endlessly about PPG to his new coworkers Ryan signed up. He also convinced his friend and new coworker Brad to join in the adventure. Unfortunately, soon after training began he found himself in the Emergency Room requiring surgery to correct an issue with his guts. The surgery put his quest for flight on hold for a bit. While he healed his friend Brad continued training and has since made several flights.
Saturday Ryan was feeling strong enough to return to training. We hoisted him up with the simulator a few times to be sure flying wouldn’t bother his surgery site. Having no issues getting into and out of the harness we headed to the field to have him try kiting the wing again. That also went well. Both of us were confident that he was ready to give it a try. We reviewed his flight plan and rigged him up.
It didn’t take long for him to be successful. A couple practice runs to be sure all was good and then we fired up the motor. Moments later he was in the seat of the airborne paramotor flying around the airport just as he had dreamed of doing for a very long time. Congratulations Ryan!!
John made the trip down from Fond du Lac several times these past few months to get his training in. Saturday he made the final few flights required. We also prepared for the written test which will be his final task for earning his PPG2 rating. He did manage to get himself turtled after one of his landings. Most embarrassing.
Guy, Pat, Matt and Bill continued their training. Bill was making short flights down the hill at the end of the runway. Next up for these two is a trip to the sledding hill to get those magical first motorless flights in.
Steve was back to fly his new Gravity Defiant. He was all smiles. That thing is awesome!
Mark, Jae, Andy, Orhun and Pat all made more flights this week as well.
Mark has been working towards this day for a while and Thursday we finally had a break in the weather. We rigged up, quickly reviewed the flight plan and set up to launch into the moderate Southwest breeze. A couple of trial runs with all the gear on and then success! Getting into the seat a bit early is a common rookie move. Fortunately Mark pulled it off and just skimmed the field with the motor as he was being lifted. We got him fully in the seat then began the preplanned inflight maneuvers, mild turns, break control, climbing and descending. After a few laps around the airport he set it down safely. Congratulations Mark!!
Jim passed the PPG2 written test and made his last remaining flights to complete training. His gear is on the way. When it gets here he will be able to fly from his backyard. He has a north/south runway as well as an east/west, lucky!
Matt and his son Pat began training last weekend. Being a fairly windy day we were only able to get the small training wing out for a little bit. Just enough to give the guys a good taste of what’s to come. We also started ground school and worked with the motors a bit. Welcome Guys!
Bill also started training this week. He actually learned to paraglide in Chile back in the early 2000s. Though it was years ago and only for a couple weeks his body remembered how to control a wing. Admittedly his brain didn’t recall much from the training he received from his Spanish speaking instructor all those years ago. He used his 1999 Swing glider at first to warm up and dust the cobwebs off. Then I hooked him up to a wing that was made earlier this year and he was blown away by the difference. He said it was cheating. The new Macpara Charger kites so much easier, practically effortless by comparison. Bill was quickly bringing the wing up forward and reversed, changing directions from forward to backwards and back again with ease. Welcome back Bill!
Kory and I remedied his binding clutch. Unfortunately rust had taken hold of some of the internal parts while it sat dormant in the hanger for months before he acquired it and brought it back to life.
Two new Gravity Defiants arrived with much anticipation. These things are awesome! It’s a new frameless design which reduces cost by saving on materials and labor. The engineering that went into the machine is impressive. The first one will be a school machine that we will use for training. The second is for Steve. There are three more on order. Jim, Eric and Michael are all waiting anxiously for their machines to arrive.
Jae did it! The weather has been super windy lately but we were patient and rewarded with great conditions last week. A nice breeze was blowing down the runway and we got him rigged up. Jae did great! He pulled the wing up, ran a few steps and brought the throttle to full, a little tug on the brakes and he was off like a pro on his first attempt! After getting all the way into the seat he made several laps around the field and set it down softly on his feet. Way to go Jae!!
Rod made the trip over from Iowa early Saturday morning to make his first attempt at motorized flight. He was up the previous week and spent the day at the sledding hill working on his launch and landing skills in preparation for this day. Though he was admittedly "scared shitless" he was ready to give it a go. A couple practice launches without the motor running to get in the groove and he was ready. We went over a few last minute pointers, checked the radios and fired up the motor. As expected he too found himself in the sky in control of his own aircraft after squeezing the throttle and taking a few steps. He said really started to enjoy the flight after the first lap and his fear mellowed a bit. A couple laps later he set the machine down safely, grinning from ear to ear and shouting with joy! Congratulations Rod!!
Dave has been very busy working on restoring cars, his business, this summer and has limited chances to come up and train. Having his own gear allowed him to practice wing control after work regularly which meant our time together was spent adding new skills and not practicing. A trip to the sledding hill and a couple hours in the simulator the last couple weeks and he was ready. His wing is a bit small for him which means faster takeoffs and landings but he was used to it by now. We geared him up and pointed his rig into the wind. Bringing the wing up and running quickly while adding throttle aggressively he was soon up to takeoff speed. A gentle pull of the brake toggles to add lift and he was off. We rehearsed the first flight in the simulator the night before so the sensations he felt were not unfamiliar, other than the distance to the ground! As expected, he came in hot but still landed safely. Nice work Dave!!
Glen made the trip down from LaCrosse to make the last few flight he needed to earn his PPG2. Eric J and Kory also finished up their training by passing the written test and completing the airborne requirements. Congratulations guys, have fun and fly safe!
Orhun had the week off from Epic and took a "stay-cation". Our hope was fly a ton that week, unfortunately mother nature had other plans for us. It wasn't until Friday that winds settled enough to fly. Ugh, fall weather can be frustrating.
Mark J brought his 4 blade electric paramotor out for his first flight with it. You might think "electric? that must be quiet", far from it. Picture a huge drone screaming as it pushes a human being into the sky. Every bit as loud as a gas motor just a different higher pitched sound. When he backed off the throttle it did go completely silent, that was cool.
Mark T spent time in the simulator prepping for his first flight. Now we just need the weather to cooperate.
Greg, Curt and I took a trip to Lake Michigan to soar the East winds last Tuesday. We all rode the lift band for a couple hours before succumbing to the cold. Electric gloves are key!
Owner of MadCity Paragliding and Adventure Addict