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Powered Paragliding 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.

Hey A

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

Jerry S

Jan 27/05      Choose your landing zone carefully!

         Watch on Mark's page.

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.

http://www.poweredparaglidingontario.ca/video/etrip.wmv

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 most colorful.

http://www.poweredparaglidingontario.ca/video/Oct2304.wmv

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.

http://www.poweredparaglidingontario.ca/video/csaba.wmv

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:

http://www.poweredparaglidingontario.ca/improvements/improvements.htm

So, for me? New country, new job, new friends, new obsession!

Bring on 2005..... Mark

Jan 25/05       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.
  • 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. 
    METAR
    LOCATION  CYSN - ST. CATHARINES/NIAGARA DISTRICT/ON
    DATE - TIME  24 JANUARY 2005 - 1500 UTC
    WIND 240 TRUE @ 15  KNOTS GUSTS 28 KNOTS
    VISIBILITY 15 STAT.  MILES
    RUNWAY VISUAL RANGE

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. 

After teaching 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.

Jan 6/05         Or...we can watch videos.  See good one here.

Jan 6/05         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.

Jan 3/05        Course dates 2005 - see here.

Dec 22/04     MARRY CHRISTMAS.

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".

Dec 8/04         Traction kiting video.    See here.

This is my stab at video editing. What do you think Mark?

Dec 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.

Nov 29/04       Winter sale - Dec 1, 2004 till supplies last.

Save over $ 1500.00 on complete flight packages. 

  • 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 % discount.  

Terms: 

  • These discounts only apply to what is in stock.  See 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  - Nov 10/04

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 November 2004

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 drops.

Mark

Nov 13/04        Visit here if you want to kill some serious time.

Nov 13/04        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.

Nov 12/04       This is pretty wild... See here.

Nov 11/04       Rob makes quick transition from PG to PPG - Nov 9/04

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. mandrews1973@gmail.com

Nov 9/04      Even Gorillas fly Walkerjet.....  See video here

  Video is courtesy of make up artist ;-) Mete Canturk. 

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