OK. The other day I wrote that something really odd
happened so here you have it:
Mark was going to take Tom on long XC flight as to
complete his training process. It took us bunch of tries to get Tom
into the air as there was absolutely no wind. Finally Tom was
buzzing around and Mark was ready to go up using my RR and DHV 2
Brontes. Mark is very good at the forward inflations perhaps better
then I am, mind you it may be because he always flies lighter
machine, the Airwolf or Spider. With lighter machine one can somehow
put more force and feel into the inflation also you do not get so
exhausted after couple of bad ones. Anyway so Mark is ready.
Inflation and glider falls to the left. OK. I have seen this
thousand times. Not a big deal. No one can be 100% consistent so
another inflation and glider falls to the left again. Hmmm this does
not feel right. We inspect all lines for possible tangles or knots
and we also check the speed bar links to make sure there is no lines
hooked up there like the other day. Mark tries one more time. The
same thing happens. I think I may have seen a dent or imperfection
on the left side during inflation. We go over the whole left side
again. Since we did not fid anything I decide to try thinking Mark
has lost his magic touch. I get ready, inflate and I feel
distinctive pull to the left. Abort. We go over the whole glider
again. Nothing there. I try again. This time glider comes up OK, I
power up and off I go. I do have to keep my right brake on quite a
bit so I decide to apply power more gradually and release right
brake to where my left brake is. Sure enough glider starts to take
spin to the left I am only 3 - 4 feet of the ground so I flare and
land. There is something seriously wrong as the glider is behaving
just like the other day during "Pre-flight Czech" but we
can not find anything. Meanwhile Tom is buzzing around
wondering why are the instructors taking so long to get in the air.
We go over the whole thing one more time. I say "Mark you try
one more time." Mark tries and these same thing! I can not
believe it. Tom lands after 30 min flight so we decide to wrap it
up. I can not believe there is something wrong with my Brontes and
we can not figure it out. As I disconnect the left riser I lift it
up and ....wait the second, that does not look right.... Sure enough
the square link between B and C riser is hooked on the part of the
riser down below. I try to pull it apart but it is not giving up.
There is our problem. Glad we found it.
Area of the problem circled above
This is what normal configuration should look like.
The number 2 was hooked on number 1.
When I was taking this pictures at Peaks I was
trying to replicate the situation but I was not able to hook it the
way it was. The square link simply would not stay in place. The C
riser would always pop out. I have no idea how the link got hooked
up and stayed secured like that over several take off attempts but
it did. As precaution I have taken my soldering tool and smoothed
the edge where the upper strap ends.
The raisers on LIFTS are slightly different and
there is no way something like this could happened. Nonetheless I
suggest to double check to make sure none of the inside square links
can hook up onto anything so something similar will not happens to
you. Luckily PPG is an aircraft that will not fly if it is not ready
to fly and since our take off speed is very low it must be
inherently one of the safest aircraft out there. The more one flies
the more of a chance of something odd like this happening.
26th of October 2004 - Talk about sneaking one in!
.....The thought occurred to me that we would soon
be flying in darkness. Sure enough thirty minutes later we are still
heading back only this time we are pushing our luck a little. The
scenery is still there, but now it is just a vague indiscernible
blob. What are we flying over? Difficult to say really…could be a
vineyard, trees, grass…who knows! The fuel is getting quite low
and I am becoming increasingly nervous about landing in the dark. The sun has set and we are still flying. I am
starting to wonder if we have missed the airstrip. Is Andre lost,
did we pass it already, is by fuel going to run out?.......
Read full story here.
Oct 26/04 Flying the
Czech way. Thermals, beer and women.... see here.
Oct 26/04 Flight to Fort
Erie with Mark.
After couple of weeks of crappy weather I started to
feel the familiar feeling of flight withdrawal. This is when one
constantly checks weather forecast and occasionally makes
involuntary paramotor noises. The Saturday started to look good. I
called Shawn and Cibbet or is it Csaba? No one could make it so it
was just me and Mark. When we got to the Sodom Rd. field conditions
were perfect. Just slight breezes and it was very warm. We fueled up
and the plan was to follow parkway all the way to Fort Erie and
follow the QEW highway back. We were also planning to film a tandem
later on since we had all afternoon to our disposal. We took off
without any problems and headed to Fort Erie.
After we landed we went to Dora's for late lunch and
coffee. Tom (the stuntman) called. Being in Niagara Falls he was
wondering if he could show up for quick flight. We set him up and
after bunch of attempts Tom was in the air. As there was no wind at
this point we did not even bother to unpack the tandem glider as
with no wind we would have to run like crazy. Mark was going to take
Tom on XC flight but something very odd happened. The same thing
happened later to me and we almost did not figure it out. As Mark once
put it, it is amazing how one can invent new ways to screw up or
miss something during preflight check. Luckily nobody got hurt and
nothing got broken. Stay tuned for report.
Oct 25/04 For those who
did not try yet .... time to learn the "big ears".
VERY COOL KITEWING VIDEO!!!!!!! I am
looking into purchasing the kite wing....looks like a blast,
better than my traction kite. (web sites like that are a bad
influence on me!)
I was out this past Fri. for a 1 1/2
hour flight over the coast of Georgian Bay...very beautiful to see
the geology of the shore. There is a private air strip .5km
from my house, which has two strips, an E/W and N/S strip, very
large and nice cut grass.......great for PPG. The owner lets
anyone use it and will not take any money for the use. He is
just happy to see other people use it. I have only been
doing forward inflations lately, due to the lack of wind. I
have gotten much better at it, most of the time I take off
1st try. (thanks to your great coaching). A few weeks ago, I
had to use the "Big Ears" maneuver to save myself from a
long walk. I was cruising along about 1500ft alt. and
decided to rise to about 2000ft and the wind current from the bay
caught me and sent me backward at full throttle. I had to
drop rapidly to get out of the current so that I could land in the
airstrip. At about 1000ft I began going fwd again. It
helped me avoid doing a low pass over the city (and irritating the
Oct 24/04 This is
hilarious. Shoot and put together by Mark.
I did not know I could shake my ass like
this...and who says Czechs can't dance... see here.
Oct 19/04 And how about this?
See video here.
So many awesome new wind related sports....
Oct 18/04 Some people prefer
kite surfing over powered paragliding because it is safer...