Ontario - PPG news
Feb 6/05 PG on TV
There was a paragliding documentary on TV at 7pm Sat. National
geographic program. Did any one tape it, see it? If so how was it?
Let me know. A
Feb 5/05 Jerry's first
flight this year.
My feet leaving the ice oh so sweet! First flight of the year was
totally awesome. flew for 2 hours over the bay of Quintie , I got
some pics and did lots of touch & go`s. I think I was everyones
entertainment since the bay trail was full of sightseers with
cameras. You may get some business since i was interviewed by the
local paper and he took my pic.
Thanks again A you made my day
Jan 27/05 Choose
your landing zone carefully!
Watch on Mark's
Jan 26/05 A look back at last year and
forward to the year ahead...
Well it is roughly ten weeks since I last flew, and I must say I
am getting itchy feet. I am hoping for a break in the weather so
that I can stretch my wings before the spring flying begins. Having
discovered the joys of powered paragliding after eight years of
regular paragliding, I am surprised by how much fun flying under
power can be. I am extremely grateful to Andre who has 'taken me
under his wing', so to speak, and allowed me to continue my flying
career after moving to Canada from the UK in May. I very much look
forward to all the fun in store this year. We had some excellent
flights last year, one that sticks out in my mind particularly is
the trip to Ellicottville.
It was just an excellent day's flying with great company and lots
of beer to finish with. We were airborne for 3 hours and saw some
stunning scenery. I just wish the camera battery had lasted a little
longer so that I could have caught on film the stray helium balloon
we encountered at a bout 2000ft. That was possibly the most surreal
flying memory I have. Flying around a two helium balloons attached
with string, trying to catch them in my lines and managing to boot
them several times before finally giving up. Then there was a quick
flight from Sodom road field, just when the leaves were at their
Another 'corker' was setting off to lead Csaba on his first PPG
cross country flight, flying low over open farmland and ending up
doing a low pass of the beach at Lake Erie.
The refinements to equipment continue to improve function and
performance to the point where you wonder what is left to change,
but manufacturers continually strive to improve their products and
we all benefit in the process. I remember the first powered
paraglider I ever saw. I was in the French canal system on my
parents' boat when a powered paraglider slowly and noisily drifted
past. Modern machines are much more quiet and produce less vibration
than the early pioneering designs and a lot has been learned since
those early days. Andre would never shout about it but many of the
improvements that are implemented on the Walkerjet machines are a
direct result of his continued feedback to the manufacturers about
improvements that could be made. He is always looking for the
'better mousetrap' as a visit to his improvements page will show:
So, for me? New country, new job, new friends, new obsession!
Bring on 2005..... Mark
Technical info re batteries.
I got couple of emails asking how long should one
charge the batteries and how would one know if they are fully
charged? So here you have it. First get hold of electronic
multimeter that can measure electrical voltage in the 0 to 15 V
range. Wal-Mart sells very nice handy multimeter for about 13 $
worth every penny. It is in the automotive section and it is yellow
just in case you go looking for it. Once you have it measure the
voltage on the charging connector. It can be anywhere from 0 to
about 13.5 V. If it is 0 it may be because your fuse is blown.
Replace it with 10 Amp fast acting fuse and re-measure. Got
anything? If not, your batteries are completely dead which I doubt
or you have a bigger problem such as broken wire inside the battery
box. In most cases you will measure anywhere from 10 - 13.5 V
So if you are below 13 V put your battery pack on charger. What you
want to do is check periodically as the voltage rise to find a point
where the voltage will not increase anymore. It should be anywhere
between 13 and 13.5 V. Once you see that voltage is not increasing
anymore stop charging as overcharging batteries is not so good. Also
remember that even with fully charged batteries the paramotor will
not turn over unless the prop is mounted especially on the Simonini
based units. The starter needs the inertia of prop to crank over the
compression point. Good luck with your batteries. Andre
Jan 24/05 Traction
kiting on skies.
Traction land kite in pretty much a small
paraglider. There are four lines that attach the canopy that floats
about 60 ft in the air to the control handles. There is front left
and back left line connected to left handle often red and front
right and back right line connected to right handle that is often
black. The front lines are those going to the leading edge - the
front of the traction kite. One holds the handles so the front lines
are attached to the top side of the handles and the back lines, the
trailing edge lines, to the bottom. By tilting top of the handles
towards you and taking step back the kite launches in the air. The
first thing is to guide the kite directly over head where it only
pulls up. Lets call this position 12 o'clock. From there kite can be
maneuvered to either of two power zones, the 3 o'clock power zone or
9 o'clock power zone. Say we want to generate power in 3 o'clock
power zone. From 12 o'clock position pull harder on right handle,
kite will start turning towards 1 then 2 the 3 o'clock. When kite
passes 3 o'clock the leading edge is pointing towards the ground
from there you need to start pulling harder on the left handle to
turn kite leading edge up again. You can also steer the kite by
tilting the bottom of the handles, towards your self, this pulls the
bottom lines shorter and kite will turn as well. Often you use
combination of both the tilt technique combined with unequal pull on
whole handles. Once you turn the kite leading edge up in high winds
the kite will park it self in the 3 o'clock position and generate
constant power. With lighter winds one has to repeat the
pattern and swoop the kite upside down constantly as this generates
more power then just parking the kite in the 3 or 9 o'clock
position. Once you know how to generate constant power you are ready
to ride your skies.
Here are short updates from emails to Mark:
- Day one: Great ski traction kite session. I really got it down
now. Great workout.
- Day two: I went again yesterday but the wind was from NE
blowing over St. Catharines and it was gusty, inconsistent and
not strong enough. With deep snow on the ground I could not get
good speed. Wrapped up after 30 min. Hoping for very windy clear
- Day three: Went out today. Very windy. This is a first
day when I did not need more power. So far great. It got even
more windy now. Snow started to blow. I could no longer make may
way up wind, in fact I was being slowly pushed down wind while
zipping back and forth at pretty good speed. Even more wind now.
I can barely hang on. Too bad I did not bring my GPS I would
really like to know what was my fastest speed. Even more windy
now. Time to pack up. Great session. This one definitely pushed
my limits. Looking forward to more.
CYSN - ST. CATHARINES/NIAGARA DISTRICT/ON
- TIME 24 JANUARY 2005 - 1500 UTC
240 TRUE @ 15 KNOTS GUSTS 28
15 STAT. MILES
Get your self a kite and have some fun too. I have
Rebbel 3.5 in stock for $ 500.00 Cad ready to go. This includes the
lines and handles as well. This is perfect size for days when it is
too windy to PPG.
Jan 21/04 Update from Tom
F. - the stunt man.
Hi Andre, I haven't talked to you in a while, I hope
everything is going well. I wrote my test and became fully licensed
back in the late fall. I am very happy with the Simon XC. I can't
imagine having less power now that I am used to it. I would never
trade the power for lighter weight. (rescue chute is installed) The
fields around our farm are sheltered with trees and valleys creating
some crazy wind patterns when there is wind. One day I dropped out
of the sky from about 10 ft during a landing. It was obvious why it
happened looking at the trees and wind afterwards. Now I think I
have my area figured out. I take off right from the lawn in front of
my house. This area is rather small but it is on top of a hill and
the wind is much more consistent. My big advancement is in landings.
I also land in this small area. I now always land with the power on
like a real plane. I find that I can be very accurate this way and
can achieve very slow and gentle landings. Of course it is usually
too windy however I flew for about 1 hour on January 3rd. It was
actually the best day for flying since I bought the machine with
perfectly still air. I spotted 17 deer in total in the surrounding
area. I also flew a couple weeks before that when there was some
wind. I look forward to getting together with you guys some time and
doing some flying. I don't think I'll be going today (minus 27 this
morning!!!!) Take Care Tom
Jan 16/05 Walkerjet
trike attachment for sale.
PPG for 4 years, I have realized there is need for a trike as some
of my want to be pilots simply do not have the physical strength or
stamina to manage foot launch technique. Those with bad knees or
otherwise physically challenged now have an option to fly. Trike is
also ideal for women. Get your wife, daughter or girlfriend flying.
They will finally understand why do you always stare at the sky.... This
trike would ideally be light, have big wheels, easily collapsible
and will not cost thousands of dollars. I think I got it!
Read more here.
Or...we can watch videos. See good one here.
Weather sucks so let's read.
Well, it is snowing, sleeting, raining, winding here
in Canada and there is no chance to fly. Finally time to relax and
read good book. I just recently read this one that I enjoyed as much
as I enjoyed "Into thin air" while back. If you get a
chance, get hold of it. You will not regret.
Have a good read. Andre.
Course dates 2005 -
Dec 22/04 MARRY
Dec 17/04 PPG joke by Tom
Paddy & Timothy decided to take paragliding lessons. The only
instructor they could find was Vladimir, he had an eastern European
accent on the phone, making them very suspicious, knowing what men
with eastern European accents are like. He told them he had a new
invention that was to take the world of paragliding by storm. He
would only train, doing circuits, at night in the dark to keep his
invention secret. After dark the three met at the local airfield.
They instructor produced his new invention. A horizontal bar with
4 tiny engines that he strapped to Paddy's back, a helmet with a
harness and a tri-angular stiff small sail mounted on a pipe
sticking straight up from the top of the helmet, and a pair of
roller-blades. With Paddy set-up the instructor aimed him at the
long runway and hand-started the 4 small engines. Paddy, terrified,
squeezed the combined throttle when told and rolled forward, after
3500 ft he became airborne. "angle your head to steer"
screamed the instructor into the radio, so Paddy did and started circling
the airport. One of the 4 engines quit. "don't worry
Paddy" yelled the instructor into the radio "I designed it
to continue on three engines only, you will just take longer to
complete your circuits" then another engine quit "don't
worry Paddy" yelled the instructor into the radio "I
designed it to continue on two engines only, you will just take even
longer to complete your circuits" then another engine quit
"don't worry Paddy" yelled the instructor into the radio
"I designed it to continue on one engine only, you will just
take even longer to complete your circuits"
Timothy turned to the instructor and said "I hope the last
engine don't quit, or he'll be up there all night".
8/04 Traction kiting
video. See here.
This is my stab at video editing. What do you think
7/04 No flying.
Weather has been crap for the past 10 days. Windy,
and cold. It least I have time to catch up with all the paperwork.
sale - Dec 1, 2004 till supplies last.
Save over $ 1500.00 on complete flight
Paragliders : Buy 1 paraglider - and receive a
10 % discount. Buy 2 or more paragliders
- and receive a 15 % discount.
Paramotors : Buy 1
paramotor - and receive a 10% discount. Buy 2 or
more paramotors - and receive a 15 % discount.
Rescue parachutes : Buy 1 emergency rescue
spare parachute - and receive a 10 % discount. Buy 2 or more
emergency rescue spare parachutes - and receive a 15 %
These discounts only apply to what is in
current inventory here.
This offer is on first come first serve bases
while supplies last
Winter sale pricing applies to orders received
from Dec 1, 2004 until supplies last.
Nov 17/04 Buggy traction kiting and
a flight with Shawn - Nov 16/04
Got together with Shawn the "swamp man".
Winds 15 - 20 km/h so we played with the traction kite. I tried to
ride the buggy again but there was not enough wind and.....if there
is not enough wind for kite buggying then it must be flyable! Sure
enough, we set up. Shawn reverse inflated and took off with no
difficulties what so ever and I quickly followed. We had a great 40
min flight, it was bit on windy side so we only managed to fly about
5 km south west. It was nice and warm although near the end of the flight
my right hand was getting bit colder. Time to get the electrically
heated gloves out. Nice to get in the air.
Nov 16/04 Buggy traction kiting and paramotor riding with Ian
My buggy finally arrived so I hooked up with Ian
undisputed kite/buggy master get some basics down. It took us while
to get the kite ready as last time it was used by Mark the lines got
so tangled that the whole thing needed to be taking apart. Anyway
after while we had everything ready. Read more here.
Nov 15/04 Sunday 14th
Yesterday Andre and I hooked up in the afternoon for some kite buggying
and a flight. It was the afternoon following a pretty late
night, which had seen Andre showing St Catharines how they dance in
Czech republic. We were both well wrapped up since the temperature
was hovering around freezing. The wind was fairly strong so we got
the kite and buggy out first. With a bit of experience this is going
to be a lot of fun. The conditions needed to get the buggy moving
fast, are basically those that would prevent us flying. 20 km/h
upwards is ideal. We managed to get it moving in the 12-15km/h that
we had, but the power just wasn't quite there so after about an hour
we decided to go for a flight.
It was the ideal conditions (apart from the cold) to go for a
tandem flight over the falls. This would allow one of us to
concentrate on filming whilst the other concentrated on the flying.
The first attempt at taking off did not go well. The wing lifted up
fine but as we were running to launch I was getting hoisted off of
the ground too soon. In addition to this I was swinging off to one
side which was putting the balance out. We made it right to where
the car was before we piled in to the ground. With all the extra
layers we were wearing neither of us was even bruised, so we decided
to have another go. Still, things did not feel right. As the
passenger it is very difficult to know what is going on. Your role
is simply to leg it when power is applied and try to move in the
right direction. Again we attempted to launch. The wing came up
cleanly and we turned to make our run. Andre applied power and again
I was hanging to the side of Andre instead of to the front.
Something was not quite right and again we piled in just short of
the car. No bruises, but we must have looked a bit silly. We checked
over the equipment and Andre realized that the straps that were
cross bracing the harness connection were asymmetrical. This had
affected the distribution of weight of the passenger, causing me to
swing to the right and turn the glider.
Rather than push our luck any further we decided to take two
machines up. I got the 14 horse power machine with the wooden prop
and Andre had the tandem unit (much heavier). I set up the machine
as far from the car as possible since we would be running towards it
for take off. The machine is a little low on power so I knew that
the take off would be gradual and I wanted to give myself room. I
forward launched and was airborn sooner than I had expected. It
didn't seem as under powered as I had expected. I should add that
the time was now 4:50 pm and the sun was just about to set!
The exertion of the attempted tandem launches must have knackered
Andre out, because I could see from the air that he was rushing and
busting his take offs and not having anyone to lay out his wing was
getting a bit frustrated having to keep unclipping. This seemed to
have the effect of making my flight that little bit more enjoyable,
a beautiful red sunset on the horizon and Andre busting at least
three launches below me. When he did eventually join me in the air
it was very cold. With a constant forward airspeed of 35km/h and an
air temperature below zero we were soon both ready to land again.
Nice 20 min flight.
Back on the ground we packed up quickly and made for home. The
previous night's activities were catching up with both of us and I
was ready for a nap. Soon it will be too cold to fly, we were glad
to have managed to get one more in before the temperature really
Visit here if you
want to kill some serious time.
Tandem flight with Debbie.
If I remember this tandem correctly, we had very
easy take off and awesome conditions to fly in. In return for the
tandem flight Debbie promised to perform her famous
hula hoop dance routine. Video and editing
courtesy of Mete. See the tandem flight and landing here.
This is pretty wild... See here.
Nov 11/04 Rob makes quick transition from PG to PPG - Nov
Rob is very experienced PG pilot with about 100 hrs
flown mostly in Switzerland. Living on Grand Island with the biggest
hill 6 ft tall the chances of paragliding are NIL. Rob has seen us
flying from his house and finally made the move
realizing that mountain is not needed if you have Walkerjet on
your back. Read more here.
Nov 10/04 DVD's available.
Have you ever tried to explain to someone what
Powered Paragliding is? Often, as soon as you say parachute, the
person will reply "Oh yeah, parasailing, I have done it in Mexico...." Yeah, right!
Having DVD is a great way to show your
family/friends that there is no rope and we are not being pulled by
boat operated by some crazy tequila drinking, cigar smoking, rum
shooting Mexican/Cuban/Dominican dude. These will
also be awesome to watch in January and February when flying is
impossible due to the cold and high winds to bring back the lightness of being.
Mark has put
together a DVD with what he calls a "Flying Shorts" a
short PPG movies from past season. These are for sale and they can
be ordered directly from Mark. I am not sure what he is going
to charge but I know it will be reasonable. Order from Mark here. firstname.lastname@example.org
Nov 9/04 Even Gorillas
fly Walkerjet..... See video here.
Video is courtesy of make up artist ;-) Mete Canturk.
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