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Powered Paragliding, Paramotoring, PPG - news  

June 23/09      PPG course June 20 - Day 2  - ground handling and flying on Sunday afternoon.

Hello Andre,

 I have tried to go to sleep, but this weekend of PPG keeps waking me.  Your ground school on Saturday was comfortably informal & informative and the PPG Bible(2) gave me much great reading for the rainy Saturday that cancelled further training that day.  Ground school at Sodom Rd. on Sunday was easy at the start (when I didn't think or try too hard) and when I did start pushing too hard you had the patience and expertise to teach me to slow down without breaking my spirit.  I still can't believe how easy you made my first (and second) journey into the sky.  Six hours of fun and informative schooling inside (answering all questions without getting p'd off) and three hours of coping with a "Newbie" trying too hard and you still got me in the air!  You are an honest and hard working individual with phenomenal people skills and I am proud to share our Czech heritage.

 Thanx!           Ralph Zavadil.

P.S. Here's a couple links to my previous stupidity and the documentary Jay Cheel is doing.

www.beautydaydocumentary.com  and here.

See you Monday!

June 23/09      PPG course June 20 - Day 2  - ground handling and flying


All three students Ralph, Lawrence and Todd arrived at the field at 1 pm as planned to start to ground handle. Todd who has already purchased PPG gear had a bit of a head start and his technique was near perfection. The only problem was that his Atis glider with old style risers was not locking in so I suggested to use one of our gliders. Once Todd switched to our glider he was bang on and we were able to strap paramotor on his back. Meanwhile Lawrence was working on his kiting skills with Mark. Ralph basically hooked up for forward, inflated perfectly on his first try and had good controlled run. Wow. This will be easy! Well any other try for next 2 hours was far from perfection. We had to sort out few things the worst one being too much force, trying to muscle the glider rather then allowing it to do it's job. After few more hours Todd and Ralph were ready to fly. I focused on Ralph and Mark on Todd. After few mock up runs with motor on Ralph's back I was confident he can handle him self in the air so I gave him the option to fly. He took it, we got ready, first inflation and he was off. Perfect take off. As Ralph was flying Albert, one of the students from May course was ready for flight and so was Eduardo who only has 3 more flight to do to finish his license. Both of them did not waste any time and soon were cruising above me and Mark. After while radio crackles and Albert goes: "Andre are you watching your student?" "Yes, sure." I replied. "Why?" Because he is heading for the US border..."  "What??!!" I look up and sure enough Ralph is good 3 km from our field. I get on radio hoping he is not out of range and tell him to get back immediately. He apologizes stating that he did not know that leaving the field was forbidden. I guess so, I did not tell him that assuming common sense. Anyway after while Ralph landed. Good landing. Holy excitement, this guy is something. Man, and you should see his vehicle... 




Eduardo completed last 3 flights to total 30 in his log book. Congrats on finishing the Transport Canada practical requirements. Well done. Mark got Todd in the air for the first time. I do not know how it went. All I know that Todd dropped his radio ( he was using his own set up) and flew first flight completely unguided. Luckily he has flight experience on other aircraft so it was not big deal. Albert took off again for flight number 2 and Ralph was getting ready to go up again. We got ready, Ralph inflated and I gave him thumbs up to proceed with power. He went to full power immediately which caused large amount of torque and Ralph stumbled and fell on his take off run. He was quite lucky that he did not brake a propeller. He tried again and basically repeated the same thing. On his third try he was up again. 2 flights after total of 9 hours of trainings for Todd and Ralph. Well done guys! Very successful afternoon!


June 22/09      PPG course June 20 - Day 1 - ground school


3 students in June 20 course. From left to right: Ralph, Lawrence and Todd.


  Ground school  Simulator




Students passed the Pstar exam and Student Pilot Permits were issued. Since it was raining we had to cancel any hands on stuff. Forecast for Sunday looks good. We are ready to fly.


June 10/09      Flying on June 15/09

Monday late afternoon Albert and Ted came down to go on with their training. Wind was nice and light so Ted and I started to work on taxing technique using A assist system. It was easier to inflate the glider but Ted's reactions were tad too slow to get the power and glider under control. (Ted is 78 yrs old) We kept trying but all of a sudden wind swirled around, turned 180 degrees and blew Ted's glider back through the protective ring right into the spinning prop. I saw it was coming, yelled kill the motor on radio but it was too late. I could hear the fabric being slapped by the prop. Yap, nice big hole. Bummer. Total freak accident. Oh well, it will get fixed. Meanwhile Albert was ready to fly. We tried couple of reverses but then switched to forward as Albert was more comfortable like that. In no time he was up and flying. I took one of my gliders we attached it to Ted's trike and kept trying. No luck. Albert landed with only fumes in gas tank. That was close. I know he was low, but I have to watch the fuel level more closely. We took a brake. Then tried again with Ted. No luck. I felt very bad for him who was trying so hard but just could not hit it right. We refuelled Albert's machine that started to give us some trouble on starting. We finally got it going and Albert again took off. I later found out that automatic decompressor was sticking. I went back to Ted and we started to try again. No luck. At the end I decided to help Ted and do assisted take of where I pull the trike by hand and pilot inflates the glider which as easier to do as one does not have to flight the prop wash. After several tries, Ted had a good one. I gave him OK to power up and soon he joined Albert in the air. As wind dropped to nothing and sun was going down I told both pilots to enjoy long flight and slowly started to pack the trailer. In about 30 min Ted landed as he took of with half tank of fuel. Albert was still buzzing around, nice and low, truly enjoying him self. 15 min later he landed, packed up and we went our separate ways. Ted's glider was shipped for repair and once we have it back we will fly again. Eh Ted?

On a side note. I wish that I will be able to fly at the age of 78. I doubt it though. It is just remarkable and we did not have any student that would come even close to Ted's age. Congratulation Ted on your third flight!

June 16/09      Update from Mike D.

Hi Andre, 

I got in a few days of flying this weekend. Friday afternoon I had a great XC. I headed a few km to the edge of the Escarpment. The attached picture if of Borerís Falls (see attached) near Dundas. 

I was inspired by your early morning flight in your recent news and was on the field at 7 this morning. The dew on the freshly cut grass made for an interesting take-off. I had no problems running but by the time I got the engine throttled up I was skiing across the grass to my take-off. That was fun. 

After flying Friday I got talking with someone who new a guy with another private air strip. The one I have been using is about 6 km from home and this one is only about 3 (wow). It turns out the owner was hosting a local ultra-light BBQ so I stopped in. The field was populated with many small planes and a few ultra-lights. I got talking with the owner and he gave me permission to use his field. Itís behind a place I take my daughter to for dance lessons. It is also nicely situated for some short XC to Rattlesnake Point and Mount Nemo. 

I am hoping to try it out this week. I have also attached a picture with my prop guard back on the paramotor. The grass trimmer lines worked out great. Also, I am sitting back fairly nicely with this extra weight.

Take care,



June 15/09      More flying on June 14/09


Eduardo flew twice more. Doruk added very long and cold flight to his log book. Rozo went to fly over Niagara Falls but did not realize that the 3500 minimum meant 3500 ft not m! So Rozo flew over Niagara Falls at 10 000 ft. Great evening.




June 10/09      Andre and Mark go on epic XC flight.

It has been a while since Mark and I got a chance to fly together. After such successful Saturday I proposed that we get up early do nice XC flight on Sunday morning. We met at 6:30 am at my house and drove out to one of our "flying for pleasure" fields. When we arrived the wind was very light coming from north, an ideal conditions. We fuelled up, got ready and took off...


May 30/09      Not available for training.

I will not be available for any training from May 31 to June 10. I am heading back homer to visit family and do some business. Sorry for the inconvenience.

May 30/09      PPG course May 24/09 - Day 2 - in flight interview with Valentyn




May 30/09      PPG course May 24/09 - Day 2 - Sunday


We had tons of people show up at the field again. Albert managed two more flight but this time we had a chance to practice getting in and out of machine in simulator so he got seated no problem and enjoyed both flight tremendously. Valentyn jumped in for first solo flight after about 9 hrs of total instructions. Not bad at all. Eduardo flew bunch of times and so did Texas. Again we always had 2 or 3 students in the air. Very productive and successful day..




May 30/09      PPG course May 23/09 - Day 1 - afternoon at training field.


We had tons of people show up at the field in the afternoon. There was so many students that I actually do not remember all. Rozo who is an experienced pilot basically flew flight after flight after flight. Every body had a good time and flew several times. Valentyn was working on his ground handling skills and at any given point we had 2 or 3 students in the air. Great day.



May 28/09      PPG course May 23/09 - Day 1 - morning - ground school.


We had two students in our May 23rd course. Rozo from Columbia who is an experienced pilot. He learned how to fly PPG in USA and now is in the process to obtain Canadian PPG license. The other student was Valentyn from Bulgaria. It is funny, 90 % of our students are not from Canada. What is up with you Canadian guys? I guess you prefer that huge house, big truck, TV and bag of chips...




This is first time we have used this flight simulator in the parking lot behind Peaks. It worked well until it turned into landing simulator. Sorry Valentyne. You are first student to experience lending before take off. Those of you who were there know what I am talking about.



May 25/09      No more unfamiliar gear.


In the past year or so I have had several students who purchased used PPG equipment on their own without any consultation with me. Not all equipment is created equal and there are some seriously bad and dangerous designs out there. In addition, there are some pilots who purchased way too powerful engines not suitable for their weight and level of skill. All this increases risk and in a sense puts my business in jeopardy as any serious injury at the field would for sure cause lose of access to this site. That would be end of PPO until replacement site is found. I have been trying to secure secondary location similar to this one for past 8 years with no success. I am not willing to go on limb anymore. We have been lucky so far; no injuries what so ever; and I really really want to keep that record. I am not saying that someone using our equipment can not have a stumble or perhaps break a propeller or even worse but we know that this is always related to skill of the student and not equipment design. That is the level of risk I am willing to accept but no more then that. Some people who are already in process may be grand fathered in and may be allowed to use what they have purchased if deemed appropriate but anybody who started in 2009 is out of luck. If you are thinking of purchasing equipment that you plan to use while under our supervision, please consult with me.


May 25/09      Too windy - no flying today.


Aviation Digital Data Service (ADDS)

Output produced by TAFs form (1830 UTC 25 May 2009)
found at http://adds.aviationweather.noaa.gov/tafs/index.php

Forecast for: KIAG (NIAGARA FALLS, NY, US)
Text: KIAG 251720Z 2518/2618 05012KT P6SM SCT250
Forecast period: 1800 UTC 25 May 2009 to 0400 UTC 26 May 2009
Forecast type: FROM: standard forecast or significant change
Winds: from the NE (50 degrees) at 14 MPH (12 knots; 6.2 m/s)
Visibility: 6 or more miles (10+ km)
Clouds: scattered clouds at 25000 feet AGL
Weather: no significant weather forecast for this period


May 17/09      Evan likes his Atis 2.


From: Evan C.....
Sent: May-12-09 11:21 PM
To: Andre Zeman
Subject: Atis 2

Hey Andre,

Just wanted to let you know that the new ATIS 2 is working very well for me.  I've now flown it with power and without and it's great for both (though my free flight skills definitely need some work).  This wing could definitely work for a beginner, handles very well, and flies fast and stable when trimmers are out.

I saw Michael's post about zero-wind starting.  I've started doing power-assisted forwards and they work really well and inflation is super easy, and safe too.   I give it about 75% throttle at about a 50 degree angle for 20-30 seconds, then instantly drop to idle to eliminate the torque...and run like hell.  The wing pops right up, and the airflow sustains for a while after the power dies.  Usually trimmers 1/3-1/2 out to make the inflation faster... i'm a good runner and don't mind the little bit of extra takeoff speed.



May 16/09      Andre takes students Eduardo and  Mike D on XC flight - May 13/09


Write up by Mike D.

I had just completed my third set of flights. Within these flights Andre asked if I would like to apply my newly formed skills and judgment and practice taking off and landing without his assistance. He would offer help only if needed. This was a chance to take my learning to the next level and I jumped at (rather, flew at) the opportunity. I ended up logging seven flights that day. Flying up to this point had felt like a freedom I could only have dreamed of. Working on my own added to this freedom tremendously. Wow, I am not only enjoying flying more each time, it is coming in waves. 

Read more here....



May 15/09      Andre goes on amazing morning XC flight - May 13/09

May 14/09      One would not want to fly today...


Forecast for: KIAG (NIAGARA FALLS, NY, US)
Text: KIAG 141256Z 1413/1512 18022G32KT P6SM -SHRA SCT025CB OVC040
Forecast period: 1300 to 1800 UTC 14 May 2009
Forecast type: FROM: standard forecast or significant change
Winds: from the S (180 degrees) at 25 MPH (22 knots; 11.4 m/s)
gusting to 37 MPH (32 knots; 16.6 m/s)
Visibility: 6 or more miles (10+ km)
Ceiling: 4000 feet AGL
Clouds: scattered clouds at 2500 feet AGL
overcast cloud deck at 4000 feet AGL


May 14/09      PPG course May 2, 2009


Day 1 - Saturday. Ground school and Fireman's park.

May 13/09      Mike D talks about his 7 flights in one session

We had very successful day at our flying field on Monday. Eduardo, Mike and Albert came and did quite well. Mike D managed 7 foot launch flights, Eduardo added 4 more flights to his log book and improved his landing technique tremendously and Albert flew his first solo flight and his second flight shortly after. The only problem was; that he used a different machine then he tried in simulator as we needed more power and was not able to get into the seat. So both of his flight were by the cohonas. Ouch. Sorry Albert. I hope the boys are back to normal. We are planning to get together at Peaks again to practice how to get in and out off the seat on this machine.


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