The conditions Monday were just right for a day at the Elver Park sledding hill. A nice gentle breeze was blowing from the north. Dave made his first flights down the hill and Mike added to his flight count. The flights were short but well controlled. The next time I meet these guys it will be time to fly with the motor!
Training continues for Reon, Josh and Dave. Fortunately the winds have settled enough for us to get outside and play with the wings. Reon did some kiting with the motor on his back,the last step before flying. Dave was able to get a bit of wing practice too. Josh finished up the indoor portion of PPG1 training by scoring a 100 percent on the written test. Nice work!
Despite the cold and ice of February, Dave and Josh both decided it was time to learn to paramotor. And why not? That just means they will be all done with training by the time spring gets here and be able to enjoy the all the warm weather to come.
We started off with an orientation to ensure they knew what they were getting into. Then it was time to fill out the waiver and dive into the training. We got a lot done in just a couple days. We finished up all the indoor PPG1 training for Dave and most of it for Josh.
Now we are waiting for the weather to cooperate so we can complete the outdoor portion of the PPG1 syllabus. Lots of wing handling drills then off to the sledding hill for a fun day of short flights. This is going to be fun!
Reon’s flexible schedule has allowed us to get a lot done in a very short time. Wednesday we spent the morning at the Elver Park sledding hill making short flights down the hill. Wednesday afternoon we were back in the hanger for more ground school training. During Thursday’s freezing rain we were in the classroom watching the “scary movie” staring William Shatner. Then it was on to motor training and we finished up the day with time in the simulator practicing his first flight as well as emergency drills.
This weekend Reon will be reading the PPG Bible in preparation for the written test which he will take next time we meet. Then it’s motorized flying time!
This past weekend’s gathering of hang gliders and paragliders in Lake City Minnesota was action packed! It took place on the ice just off shore of Lake City. The main attraction was the accuracy landing contest with the crowd cheering for every pilot that landed near the target.
Mariyan and I brought our paramotors along and performed an impromptu air show for the people on the ice. Mariyan and Nia later toured the area in their tandem PPG even attempting some ridge soaring along the face of the bluffs overlooking the mighty Mississippi River.
There was also a powered hang glidier on hand called a mosquito which is pretty cool because the propeller is by the pilot’s feet. The pilot can control the direction and force of the push or thrust vectoring which gives them great control. All in all, a great time was had by a variety airborne enthusiasts.
Reon started his training today with a bunch of wing handling. He picked up the basics pretty quickly. It didn’t take long for him to successfully execute forward launches as well as reverse launches. After about three hours of running around with the wing we took a break and started working with the motor. It won’t be long before Reon is flying!
Syvrud airfield is cleared and ready to use after considerable effort. The last few storms dumped quite a bit of snow and essentially shut down the airport for all but foot launch flying. Now all the guys with wheels can get out and fly too!
While the storm raged on outside, Steve and I sat with Todd in his shop fantasizing about the nicer flying weather to come. Steve’s paramotor is nearly 100 percent back together and ready to fly. The motor has been freshly rebuilt at the Minari factory and a new coat of paint was applied to the frame at a friend ‘s body shop. Just one last part coming from California and this beautiful machine will be flying again.
Todd’s shop also happens to contain a motorhead’s dream, about 20 classic cars! I could have spent all day admiring the relics but I had some projects waiting for me in the hanger. So, back into the storm and back to the airport where I installed a new pilot seat on the tandem. The tests revealed that the pilot would end up leaning against the passenger during flight. This new backrest will remedy this issue.
Saturday I was supposed to take a group of adventures ice climbing with my friend Phil. Unfortunately the warm weather has kept the ice from forming this year, instead it remains a beautiful waterfall. Lovely to look at but it won’t work for climbing.
Fortunatly Phil is the adventure coordinator at a nearby camp and has access to a zipline and ropes course. That was plenty of thrill to satisfy the group. Just for fun we also set up a rappel route to be sure everyone got enough adrenaline for the day.
Everone left feeling proud of their accomplishments, success!
Del had they day off Thursday so we decided to get together and have some fun. He and I spent about an hour flying around the area exploring. I enjoyed several nice long footdrags on some of the many ponds in the area. The black ice was fast and smooth. That will probably change with the snow coming Friday.
I also took advantage of the calm conditions today by taking the tandem up for its first test flight. Nice throttle response, reliable idle, relatively quiet, and it starts predictably. All in all, great! Just a few small modifications to enhance passenger comfort and it’ll be ready for regular training use.
Owner of MadCity Paragliding and Adventure Addict