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.
So much is happening at Madcity Paragliding it’s hard to keep track.
Curt made a few touch and go flights Monday evening to bring his count up to 24. We then took an hour long cross country flight together to celebrate the completion of his training. Graduation day is one of my favorites. To see all the progression from first flight on is so rewarding. Congratulations Curt!!
Karisa visited the airport Monday morning to finalize her research into becoming a paramotoring pilot. She tried on the Top80 miniplane, took a go at the simulator and took a go at wing handling. Though somewhat frustrating at first, she was soon able to get the wing overhead and pointed into the breeze. When she couldn’t run any faster I gave her a push and let her feel the lift of the wing as she was plucked from the ground for a few moments. She officially begins training to be a pilot Friday. Welcome Karisa!
Andriew tried out the Blackhawk Sunday morning and made a few flight with a couple different wings. He’s searching for his first Paramotoring setup.
Jason and Brad were out to Syvrud Airport Tuesday evening to make some flights. Jason made two with the Blackhawk and two with the Moster 185+ Miniplane. We added a few new skills for him including hands off flying, a big step towards truly trusting your gear. Nice work Jason!
I was at the Corn Alps, a free flying competition in central Illinois, Thursday through Saturday helping out wherever I could. First as a winch operator pulling competitors into the sky, then assisting pilots launch in the strong winds and finally driving around the countryside picking up the participants when the finally dropped from sky as the lift they were searching for died out. I learned a lot from the amazing pilots and had a ton of fun! Next year’s Corn Alps will be in Minnesota, can’t wait!
Angelo made his first flight this week. He nailed his first attempt! Brought the wing up nicely, added gas and ran into the sky. Just as he’d been dreaming of doing for years. A little erratic at first but quickly he learned to control the throttle and brakes. Congratulations Angelo!
Jason also made his first flight this week. After taking the winter off we spent a couple days refreshing his skills in preparation for his first flight. He also nailed his first attempt at take off. After 3 laps around the airport he set it down on his feet in the middle of the runway like a pro. Way to go Jason!
Mike had just one flight remaining to complete his training and earn his PPG2 rating when he showed up. His form is textbook and so he had no issues completing the task. Nice work Mike!!
More highlights of the last few days include:
Todd brought his friend Randy by to introduce him to Paramotoring.
Ken got a new trike.
Sean’s new wing and motor arrived and we set it up and broke it in.
Andy’s Moster 185+ Miniplane arrived a day later do we put that together too.
Tim made a tandem flight with Mariyan while the wedding party watched.
Brad and Andriew also added flights to their log books.
And so much more!
Tuesday morning Neil was dropped off at the hanger for an orientation session. We spent a couple hours going over the training program, trying his hand at wing handling, feeling the liftoff in the simulator and having the motor push him around the field. He loved it and he plans to begin training very soon.
Tuesday evening Andriew, Del and Mark met me at Bigfoot airport near Lake Geneva. This was my first time visiting this airfield and I loved it! Wide open and a well manicured lawn, what more could a paramotor pilot wish for.
Andriew was a machine, he cranked out 13 flights that night and polished off all his in flight skills! Just 5 flights remaining for him to earn his PPG2 rating. Way to go Andriew!!
Wednesday morning it was off to Sauk City with the winch to meet Adam and Mariyan. The plan was to get Adam his first tow behind the Jeep. He is already a PPG pilot and we are in the process of making him a PG (no motor) pilot as well. We did some short pay-in tows at the airport previously but this would be his first time at altitude without a motor. Despite the extreme heat and lack of breeze he did great.
The winch trailer, on the other hand, did not do as well as Adam. When the wind changed direction from east to south midday we changed roads to match the new heading. We were just given permission to use a private farm road nearby and today seemed like a good day to give it a test run. Unfortunately this road isn’t quite as smooth as the others we’ve been using. The bumps proved to be too much for the aluminum trailer and the tongue ended up cracking in half. Fortunately this was at after we decided to call it quits for the day and so it was only a minor inconvenience. I’ll have back together this morning I’m sure.
Then it was off to Syvrud Airport to meet Brad. Jason even showed up to see his buddy fly. Brad had just a few flights left to meet the requirements for PPG2. After that, he and I took a nice long flight together around the nearby town of Brooklyn returning right as the sun set. So beautiful!
Owner of MadCity Paragliding and Adventure Addict