Roger Messerly of Fort Dodge, IA, looked up to find Santa Claus flying his paramotor. After a quick display of milk and cookies, Roger was able to get his machine back. Must have been a warm-up flight and, no doubt, Santa’s gone feed the deer nothing but the best synthetic this year.
Santa was out for this practice run on “Black Friday” and reported a fun practice flight, with kids a waving. He also commented “you haven’t lived until you’ve pulled off a no-wind forward in a full blown santa suit on a snowy field.”
Apparently the newspaper thought it was pretty cool, too!
I live in Fredericton, N.B., Canada. The father of one of my flying buddies, Dave Bradley, owns the nearby “Weyman Air Park” where we fly from regularly. On Nov. 1, 2008, flying conditions got a bit rowdy. It was too early to go home, so we decided to “ham it up” and show a new form of ground handling.
We attached the risers to the inside door handles. Dave, as Captain (driver) controlled the left brake, and I, as First Officer (passenger) did double duty with the right brake while reporting the wing condition. Thanks to Glen Boyd for sharing.
Photo by Bob Matthews.
While much of the U.S. begins thawing from its frigid hibernation, our Canadian friends make the best of their continued winter. Frozen lakes are still thick enough to make great, wide launch sites as long as can stand up on them. This flight was March 14th at Gondola Point, NB Canada. Mark Dean shared his observation of fellow flyer, “The Brew Meister” (James McLeod). who “flies because he has to, he just can’t help it.”
Paramotor pilot Johan is a world away from most of us. But he’s not far from the the world wide web and shared this view of an increasingly famous man-made development. It’s another examples of how, given the chance, humans everywhere want to enjoy the simple, pure pleasure of PPG.
“Although far away in Dubai in the UAE, I am reading the USPPA website regularly and recommending it to any flying enthusiasts here. There is about 10 – 15 of us flying paramotor, including some local sheiks!
Just wanted to share this aerial picture of one of the “Palm” islands they are building here in the sea. Incredible what mankind can do if there is a will…and money!”
You never know who your flying will make an impression on. Rest assured, though, that it’s making some kind a mark in your children’s mind. Gary Brown, a Chicago area pilot, recently sent us some refrigerator art done by his kids that he found quite encouraging. It included commentary. Nice work. We’ll look forward to seeing their future efforts in syndication.
Another example of how to be welcome is the work of Ed Poccia and Derick DeGennaro, USPPA members from New Mexico. They have worked with organizers of the 2006 Socorro Balloon Rally to get paramotor pilots invited to participate. The Albuquerque based Route 66 Flyers PPG Club will have 5 to 7 members flying and generally representing the sport. A full article appeared in the El Defensor Chieftain newspaper.
Ed reports: Perfect conditions greeted PPGers from New Mexico’s Route 66 Flyers participating in the Socorro Balloon & PPG Rally. The people of this central New Mexico town know how to throw a party. Pilots enjoyed the free motel rooms and food as well as a generous “goodies” bag. Seven PPG pilots launched into calm winds and clear, cool skies to join more than thirty hot air balloons to provide spectacle to the opening of the town’s holiday season.
Much of the time we’re just tolerated. Sometimes it’s a “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy with landowners looking the other way in hopes that having never given permission lessons their perceived liability.
So it was a nice change of pace that Texas City took the acknowledgement of fun to a new level. Thanks to Andy McAvin and others who helped pull it off and to the folks of the Texas City Dike who welcome paramotor pilots and their incredible craft.
Photo submitted by Beery Miller.
We fly Paragliders–—designed originally for gliding. Soaring, that is, without a motor. But the motor grants airtime when otherwise there might be none as shown by member Phil Russman on a well-known soaring ridge in Mexico. The site requires either a half-mile hike up a 700 foot ridge, enduring an hour-long bumpy drive around the back, or a 4 minute flight up in the paramotor. Tough choice.
Of course these mountain-type harnesses carry significantly more risk due to the lack of back protection, but they can fit in most motor harnesses carrying pouches or be worn while motoring.
Fly to the top, see if it’s soarable by idling the motor, then if it is, land and strap on the free-flight harness. When you’ve had your fill, strap on the motor and go home. Elegant.
Marty of the Florida Flyers found a way to prevent tired arms while flying and staying informed at the same time. Next we hope to see a flat panel display with rearward looking cameras to keep a vigilant watch on fast movers from behind.
The pilot would launch with this clipped harmlessly somewhere on his body. Then, when safely at altitude, it is clipped to the brake toggles where it is used for steering using the hand grips.
This prototype will not be put into production but does look nice!
Dan Kriseler and James Coblents from the Dukes of Windsoar and a few pilots from the Velocity Flyers will be putting on a PPG demonstration at the Martinsburg, WV Balloon Fiesta. They have worked out details with airshow officials and, according to James, will be flying in the same space as some Air Force hardware.
Airshows typically have temporary flight restrictions around and require special permission to fly in. They are planning various stunts such as having one pilot trailing a long ribbon while the other pilot catches it.
The event runs August 4, 5 & 6 and PPG demonstrations will be flown each day.