Already an experienced paraglider, Matt’s transition to motorized flight was pretty simple. A day in the classroom and a couple hours in the simulator and he was ready to give it a shot.
He had no problem bringing the wing up when it was time to take off and successfully pulled off a safe launch on his first attempt. The free flying pilot in him shown through as he ran leaning forward with his hands back. We altered this technique to a more ppg style launch with an upright run and the motor pushing him on his later flights. The USPPA allows us to count 15 of his free flights towards his requirements, meaning he only needs 10 flights to earn his PPG2 rating. Just 7 more to go and the written test of course.
Neil was over Friday morning as usual and made the last of his required flights. Ending the day with a total count of 26. All his skills mastered he only has the written test to finish in order to graduate. I’m expecting him to finish that today. Nice work Neil!
Jeff was out to the airport Thursday and Friday adding to his flight count. He has just 6 flights remaining to finish up.
Josh stopped in Friday afternoon to enjoy the evening as well.
He made a nice long flight around the area as we trained.
She did it! Sarah made her 25th flight without any assistance from me (other than pulling the starter cord). She mixed 2.5 gallons of fresh fuel, added half a gallon to the machine’s tank, transported the paramotor to the runway, set up the wind socks, laid out the wing, warmed up the motor, clipped into the wing, launched into the light headwind, flew a pattern and landed softly in the middle of the runway. Congratulations on earning your PPG2 rating Sarah!
After that she and I made a cross country flight together exploring the area by paramotors. Sarah put all her training to use as we toured the skies. She even got to experience her first “motor out” as the machine she was flying suddenly stopped running. No big deal, she handled it like a pro. Sarah landed safely on a nicely mowed lawn next to the main road so she wouldn’t have to walk far to be retrieved.
After talking to her over the headset and ensuring she landed safely I continued across the farm field to the hanger to get the Jeep. A few minutes later I was back at her side helping her load up the rig. The newly acquired Top80 miniplane has been acting up lately and it’s time to figure out why. Tomorrow it gets a carburetor rebuild first thing. Hopefully that will remedy the situation.
TJ and Jeff were also out flying Monday afternoon. Both added several flights and skills to their training. Way to go guys!
Ryan and Sarah met me at the field Thursday morning. It was cold and the runway is still covered in snow but that didn’t deter them from flying. Sarah added 4 flights to her log book bringing her to an impressive 19. Ryan had more time available Thursday morning and the weather cooperated letting him get all the required flights completed. He successfully pulled off two touch and goes and even made an extra flight just for fun. Way to go Ryan!
Next up for Thursday was towing at the airport with Curt and Mariyan. As part of Curt’s training for free flying Mariyan and I towed him several times down the runway. This is preparing him for high tows later where we will continue to work on his free flying skills. Keep it up Curt!
Friday morning Neil came over from Wawatosa. He was better prepared for the cold this time with some heavier gloves and had no issues keeping his hands warm unlike last week. He completed nearly all of the required skills and flights before it got too bumpy to fly comfortably. Just the written test, the midair restart of the motor and a handful of flights left to earn his PPG2 rating. Nice work Neil!
Sarah was back Friday afternoon for more training. We added alternative ways of steering as well as a few mock motor-out drills. Her husband and daughter were there to watch her fly too. They were really impressed with her skills. She finished the day with just one flight left to earn her PPG2 rating. We are saving that for a nice cross country flight together someday soon.
Finally it was Nick’s turn to fly. Nick had completed all his training a few days back but still needed to take and pass the PPG2 written test which he did. Tonight’s visit to the airport was to complete the paperwork and have some fun flying. Congratulations Nick!
Winter has come early! No big deal, we are still in full swing at Madcity Paragliding. Sarah, Ryan and Jeff all braved the cold and snow of the last few days to make some flights.
Ryan and Sarah have more than 15 flights now and are nearing the end of training. Soon they will be out flying on their own!
Sarah braved the cold and met me at the airfield this morning. The forecast was for light winds and more snow. The snowfall wasn't hard so visibility was fine. As is often the case, I made a short flight to check the conditions before giving the "go ahead" to Sarah. There were a few bumps but nothing dangerous so we got her rigged up and ready to fly.
Winds were light and directly across the runway so Sarah set up for a forward launch. She was a bit nervous about taking off across the runway instead of down it because that made the runway so short. However, once she gave it a shot she found herself airborne by the time she was about half way across the runway. Then it was a few laps around the field and back to the runway where she set it down safely.
Sarah went on to make five flights this morning and is now consistently landing on her feet. That brings her total flight count to eight, well on her way to earning her PPG2 rating. Way to go Sarah!
Monday and Tuesday Sarah, Ryan and Jeff all added flights to their logbooks. They are all gaining skill and confidence. Sarah has made three flights now and is noticeably more comfortable. Ryan has over 10 flights now! He rocked out six on Monday and even more on Tuesday.
Tuesday's weather was a bit of a challenge. With the first snowfall of the season leaving the runway covered in a wet white blanket we were forced to wait bit as the front worked its way out of the area and allowed the sky to mellow. Fortunately the gusts subdued enough to fly comfortably for the last couple hours of the day. Ryan logged another three flights and Sarah another two.
Wednesday Jeff stopped by my shop for some motor training. We tore into the Air Conception 130 to work on fine tuning the ignition timing after the rebuild. It's been said that every paramotor pilot will eventually become a mechanic.
Sarah, Jeff and Ryan’s First Flights! Nick’s 25th Flight! Welcome Matt! The Fall Fly-In! And so much more...
Wow, so much is happening at Madcity Paragliding I haven't been able to keep up!
Some of the highlights of the last week are:
Sarah, Jeff and Ryan all made their first paramotor flights this week. Congratulations pilots!
Nick completed his flying requirements and ground school this week. I just need to submit the paperwork to the USPPA to get him his PPG2 rating. Way to go Nick!
The Fall Fly-In saw lots of pilots take to the air to enjoy the fall sky, both Paramotor and Paragliding. Thank you to our hosts John and Joel! We love being able to fly from your beautiful airport.
Ken has started training to become a Winch Operator. This will be most helpful as Mariyan and I often find ourselves very busy teaching and could use a dedicated tow driver. Thanks so much Ken!
Mariyan had several tandem flights Sunday. Abby, Betsy and Betty were all paramotoring around the Wisconsin River Valley with him. I towed Stephan, Matt and Curt up on tandem paragliding flights with Mariyan too. For Matt and Curt the flights are a vital step to becoming solo paraglider pilots, both a PPG pilots now.
Matt has decided to give into the Dark Side and take up paramotoring. He is a paraglider pilot now but saw how much more opportunity to fly he would have by being trained in both motor and motorless flight. Welcome Matt!
That's just a few of this weeks highlights from Madcity Paragliding crew.
Neil went to work extra early today, 4:30am, so he could leave with enough time left in the day to attempt to make his first motorized paraglider flight. He showed up a bit after 2pm and we did a few trial runs with the motor on his back as the final step in training before his flight. After a few successful mock takeoffs we moved to the runway. I took the rig up first to check the air before sending a new pilot up. A little bumpy but not bad.
Then it was Neil’s turn. We reviewed all the steps and checked the radios. Then I gave him permission to give it a go. He did perfect! The wing came up nice, he added just enough throttle at the planned time and soon found himself running into the sky on his first flight. Though he was admittedly awkward with the throttle and the brakes at first he eventually settled in to it and made the three prearranged laps around the field gaining confidence along the way. When it was time to land he set the machine down safely in the middle of the runway. He did it! Neil flew! He went on to make two more flights today, each one more controlled than the last. Congratulations Neil!!
Before all that happened, Sarah, Ryan and Jeff were with me at the sledding hill making their first paraglider flights. They all did great and made several runs down the hill before calling it a day.
Mariyan was at Elver too with his student Brian. Brian is in our free-flying program working towards becoming a non-motorized Paraglider Pilot. He is doing great and really enjoyed flying his new Apco wing.
After the sledding hill it was off to the airport were Mariyan and I met Charles, another free flying student. The plan for Charles was to do some low level towing to get him ready for high tows. He did great! The last tow of the day we pulled him the entire length of the runway, 3,100’ of mowed grass. We got him pretty high and his flight was surprisingly long, long enough for me to wind the tow rope up and drive the ATV all the way to the other end of the runway before he landed. Nice work Charles! Time for the high tows!!
Robert, Nick and Josh #1 were out at the airport too taking advantage of the beautiful day.
With the limited good weather lately we make sure to take full advantage of every opportunity to train. Such was the case Monday. Six people were out at the airport to make the most of the nice day.
Sarah and Ryan were there in the morning. We prepared for the PPG1 written test while waiting for the dew to dry from the field, both aced it! Then we grabbed the wings and headed to the runway. Ryan even spent some time kiting with the training throttle in his hand. He struggled with it a bit at first but was soon launching the wing and squeezing the control with precision.
Next up was Jeff, he arrived with his wing in the early afternoon. Today was the day when things really started to click for Jeff. A couple hours into our session and he had kiting down pat. With the nice winds we had he was able to keep the wing overhead as long as he wanted to. Well done Jeff!
Sarah, Ryan and Jeff are all ready for a day at the sledding hill. Now if only the weather will cooperate.
Then it was flying time, TJ and Chris and Josh #2 were all there. Chris was trying out a new wing. Brent was selling his 30m Ozone Roadster 3 and Chris is in the weight range for it and in the market for a wing. The paraglider worked great and Chris really enjoyed how much more responsive it is than the wing he’s been training on. Looks like Chris found his wing, now it time to look for a paramotor.
TJ was next and we had him trying out a different motor today. Last time he was on the Moster 185 Miniplane but today we were using the Top80 miniplane, 11 pounds lighter but less thrust. The new machine worked great and TJ loves how much lighter it is. Cool thing is it’s also over $1000 less than the 185, nice!
Josh also grabbed a Top80 Miniplane and flew around for awhile. When there are so few nice days you just have to make the most of them.
Ryan stopped out to the airport Tuesday morning for an orientation to see if PPG was something he wanted to get into. Apparently the orientation went well because he decided to stay for the rest of the day and train. In fact he spent the next three days in training with Sarah and I.
The three of us were able to finish nearly all of the PPG1 ground school tasks and get a decent amount of wing handling in as well. We will be back at it Monday after the winds settle down. Welcome Ryan!
Josh #3 officially began training Wednesday evening. He brought his Green Eagle up from Illinois on a trailer. We unloaded it then discussed techniques for starting and operating it safely. Then we grabbed a couple helmets and took it to the airstrip to have some fun. We took turns running it up and down the runway to get a feel for the controls of this beast.
The Green Eagle is a big PPG quad. At about 250 pounds it is just under the legal maximum weight to still be considered an ultralight. A two cylinder four stroke Kohler motor turns the big three bladed prop. Sometime soon Josh will be flying this impressive machine. Welcome Josh!
Owner of MadCity Paragliding and Adventure Addict