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Nov 5/04      Quick flight on Wed. 

Even though I was sick this week I did sneak out for quick flight on Wed afternoon. I played with my GPS not realizing I was in clouds....


Nov 3/04      DVD coming.

Mark is working on DVD with  all  the short films from this season. Unlike for the web, these will be in high quality. See cover of the DVD here. Me like......

Nov 2/04      I will not be available for any training from Nov 19 - Nov 28 

Nov 1/04      Wayne ditched his "small child coffin" and got real trike.

Nov 1/04      Thursday 28th of October 2004 - quick uneventful flight.

      Nothing interesting happened so just few pictures....see here.

Oct 29/04   Are we being fooled???

Check this out.

Oct 29/04      Yet another way to screw up.

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.

Oct 28/04     Tuesday 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.

           Video from flight is here.

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".

Hi Andre,
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 neighborhood).

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...

I do not think so! Watch here.


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