Paramotoring, PPG - news
Oct 7/09 September PPG course
with Steve - Tuesday Sep 29/09 - video.
Oct 6/09 Out of office.
I am taking Thanksgiving weekend off - I will be out of office
from Sat afternoon till Monday night.
Sep 30/09 September PPG course
The forecast for the week of September was so bad that I ended up
calling both students registered for the course trying to stop them
from coming down. I have been able to get hold of one of them and we
decided to post pone till weather improves. The other, Steve who is
commercial pilot, was coming day later on Sunday to start. It turned
out to be half decent day which no one expected and by 5 pm Steve
was ready for his first solo. In no time Steve was cruising around
enjoying somewhat smooth air. After landing Steve said that he had
not had so much fun flying in about 20 years. Yes, I expect that it
would be much different, no buttons to push, no gauges to watch just
simple pleasure of flight. Steve took a short break and after while took
off again. At that point sun came out and after 20 min or so Steve was reporting
fair amount of turbulence near the ground. I have noticed that too
so I asked him to land. After Steve landed I went up and did find air
to be quite nasty and getting worse by minute. We decided to pack up
and continue later on this week as forecast is bad for Monday and
Sep 29/09 Ground handling with
Lawrence - Sep 24 and 25.
On Thursday and Friday last week I had two 2 hour sessions with
Lawrence. Thursday, great smooth wind that allowed Lawrence to
greatly improve his ground handling skills. The air on Friday was
quite challenging. With wind turning to east in anticipation of bad
weather it took a lot of skills to keep the glider floating over
Thanks to you, the lessons on Thursday
and Friday were most productive and encouraging. I am looking
forward to the next lessons and the thrill of learning yet another
skill on the path of flying PPG. Weather permitting; I will be in
the area as often as possible to work on my Dad's house before
winter sets in. The Thanksgiving long weekend would be just the
time slot I am looking for. I will keep an eye on the weather and
give you a call.
By the way, my upper arms are all bruised
from the straps. One person asked whether I was the victim of
Thanks again for your guidance
Sep 22/09 US Air Force uses this
for fighter pilots - try it.
The object of the game is to move the red block around without
getting hit by the blue blocks or touching the black walls. If you
can go longer than 18 seconds you are phenomenal. It's been said
that the US Air Force uses this for fighter pilots. They are
expected to last at least 2 minutes.
Give it a try but be careful...it is addictive!!
Air Force Test
Sep 20/09 Training with Ralph -
Sep 16/09 Training with Ralph.
After buying a paraglider Ralph spent several weeks
practicing on his own perfecting his kiting skills. Last night we
got together for more flying and after short ground handling session
Ralph successfully took off for the third time. Since flying
conditions were amazing he decided to put in long flight. Meanwhile
Mark showed up to enjoy time in the air so I gave him video camera
and asked him to take some footage of Ralph in the air. After 1 hour
in the air things started to cool down and Ralph decided to land to
grab his sweater. We took a short break and in no time Ralph was in
the air again, This time he flew about 30 min. Sun came down and it
was time for cold brewski and do some extreme mosquito fending.
Great successful evening, Good work Ralph. Once I have some time I
will edit the video. Meanwhile check out the Ralph's Cap'n video.
Sep 16/09 Jason adds 7 more
flights to his log book - Sep 12/09.
Sep 15/09 Valentyn adds 4 more
flights to his log book.
Sep 15/09 No news?
I have been busy building shop/garage at the back of my house and
did not have time to post on web
Sep 1/09 Alan's training - day 2
Aug 27/09 Alan's training - day
2 - Sunday.
The forecast was somewhat sketchy. Calling for rain showers in
vicinity. I left St. Catharines where the weather was nice but by
the time I got to our training field I was driving through heavy
rain. Shoot. Allan was already at the field so we decided to grab
coffee at Europlates and give it some time. I did not think there
would be any way we could fly but did not want to just turn around
and go home. Also Valentyn from Toronto was coming so I wanted to
wait for him. He came to see us at the restaurant and we stayed and
chatted. In one our or so sun was out and we were ready to fly. With
no problems both Valentyn and Allan started to take of and land with
Allen managing 5 flights and Valentyn 4 flights in relatively small
window of opportunity. After we packed up we went for beer to
celebrate our good luck as no one of expected to fly at all. Mmmm
the chicken wings were good and beer was nice and cold.
Aug 26/09 Alan's training.
We started with ground school on Sat morning as usual. With only
1 person in class all was done by 12:30. Quick lunch at Tim Horton's
then off to the field. When we got there it started to pour rain.
Bummer. We hid in car and watched Risk and Reward video. By the time
we were done the clouds parted and grass was partially dry. There
was nice breeze so we have decided to start with basics of ground
handling. In 2 hours or so Alan had the forward down. We practiced
powered runs and then inflations with paramotor on his back. All was
going well so we decided to try first solo. All went well and Alan
was circling the field. It was getting dark also we did not have
much fuel in the machine so after about 15 min Alan landed we packed
up and went for beer.
Aug 23/09 Update from Mike D..
I hope you had a good time away. Aside from a week of camping, I
have been flying quite regularly. Iíve logged about 45 flights and
many hours. I just wrote (and passed) my pilot permit exam and would
like to thank you again for your superb guidance and teaching. I
have been choosing very calm days for flying and enjoying many cross
country trips near my home. With little or no winds I have been
getting a lot of practice with forward inflations. The no wind
landings have been a bit challenging and are getting better each
time. I still hear your voice giving me the few and critical
instructions as I take-off and land and I still do not know
everything (far from it).
I had a XC a few weeks ago that was amazing. The conditions were
absolutely perfect including the temperature at altitude. You know
how you have those warm summer nights were you get driving along and
you just donít feel like stopping so you keep on driving. Well this
XC was like that. I got up and just kept on flying. After heading
over my house I made my way to Mount Nemo and on. I was up for an
hour and a half and only landed because my arms were getting a bit
tired. At one point a small plane with an open cock-pit (probably
classified as an ultra-light) flew over head. The fellow waved and
went on his way. Iíve flown past hot air balloons and watched
parachute jumpers jump from a plane. Iíve passed over many deer and
waved at kids playing in their yard.
The other day I was watching TV and said to my wife; I feel like
flying. I keep my gear ready to go and ten minutes later I was at
the field. Ten minutes after that I had warmed up the engine and
laid out the glider. Twenty-five minutes after leaving my house I
was in the air. After a nice little flight I landed and packed up.
Twenty minutes after landing I was back at home. It doesnít get any
better than that.
I am looking forward to having you and Mark come up my way.
Attached are a few pictures. It was a hazy sunset and they arenít
the best shots. One is above the field I fly looking east toward
Mount Nemo (on the right) and Rattlesnake Point (on the left). As
you can see; it is not far to travel to these areas. Another picture
is of the field I fly out of with a few planes parked to the side.
Unlike Sodom Road; the east winds I have flown in are really good
air. I also took your advice and added a slope to my trailer.
However; instead of cutting off the corner I added a section. I
opened the area inside and it gave me more storage space. Converting
this old utility trailer and adding the wood only cost a couple of
hundred dollars and works great.
Finally; I camped near Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. Every where I go
I see great places to fly. Down the road from the campground was a
private air strip. I didnít take my gear but have it in mind to plan
a trip next year. Flying over this historic Civil War battlefield
would be awesome.
Take care and I hope we can hook up soon, Mike
July 31/09 Out of office.
I will be traveling outside of Canada
from Aug 2 to Aug 20. I will have limited access to Internet. In
emergency email me at
firstname.lastname@example.org but I may not be able to get back to you
immediately. Sorry for the inconvenience.
July 31/09 Valentyn manages 9
flights in 2 hrs.
After almost 3 weeks of bad weather we finally had a nice
July 16/09 Much needed flight -
write up by Mark.
Andre and I agreed to meet up at his house at
6:30pm to go for an evening XC flight. We headed out to Staff Field.
The evening looked good, with a gentle breeze blowing slightly
across the airstrip. We got the machines fuelled up and ready to go.
Chris Miller, who had said he wouldnít be joining us managed to
arrive at the field before we had taken off and soon Mr. Staff (the
generous owner of the airstrip) showed up to watch us launch. I was
flying a small wing with a 125 Miniplane. With the wind so light and
slightly cross, I had to run ridiculously fast before getting
airborne. I almost ran half the entire runway before I decided to
just yank on both brakes. It sort of worked and I was flying. Chris
was in the air shortly afterwards, but he had managed to get a
cravat during take off and almost decided to land again. Luckily he
managed to knock it out by wrestling with some lines. We were soon
on our epic evening flight. Three friends, great evening skies and
full tanks of gas, what could be better than this?
My wing and motor combination was flying really
fast, but with a minimal climb rate since I was slightly heavy on
the wing. It meant that I had the advantage of being able to fly
ahead of Chris and Andre and circle around while I waited for them
to catch up. Usually I am the straggler, so this was a nice change.
We head out east along the escarpment over a
local golf course past Short Hills and towards Brock University. We
then headed over to the CanView drive in cinema, but stopped along
the way to drop down low over some farmland. We spotted a location
where we had flown low between trees in the past and attempted to
drop down really low. With the wind direction and strength, however,
we found that it was quite bumpy behind the trees so we gained
altitude and started heading over towards the drive in. Before we
got there Andre happened to spot a kidís helium balloon just limply
floating in the air. This is only the second time that I have seen a
helium balloon while flying. It was surreal last time and this time
there were three of us trying to catch it in our lines. Andre
managed it, then Chris caught it. At one point Andre buzzed in over
the radio, ĎHey fellas, letís not crash into each other over a damn
helium balloon!Ē We were getting pretty close to each other. We let
the balloon float on and headed over to have a look at the drive-in
cinema. Cars were arriving early even though it was still light and
only Thursday. We buzzed around and waved to the cinema-goers then
headed back to the field, where Mr Staff and kindly driven his truck
equipped with a flashing light onto the airstrip to help us locate
it in the evening light.
Packed up and ready to go, we headed off to the
pub for a few beverages.
Life is good!
July 15/09 Can you get back to
me with your contact info?
I have lost my phone while back, now I have new one (same number)
but was not able to transfer all contacts. Email or better yet text
me with your cell number.
July 12/09 Dudes, do not call me
when forecast is bad.
It is simple go here:
and book mark this. If you see wind forecasted that is more then 14 MPH
at 8 pm there will be no training that evening. Check before you text or call me. Note
that I prefer text over calls.
July 12/09 Andre flies low.
July 11/09 I got new cell phone.
Back in business. Number is the same.
July 10/09 Mark's no wind
Mark begged me not to put it on the website but I could not
July 9/09 I lost my cell phone.
I will not be getting any text
messages or calls till I sort it out.
July 9/09 ULTRA exam books.
If there is anyone who is done with the ULTRA exam books, I would
be interested to buy them back for $ 30. Please let me know over
July 8/09 Training with Valentyn
- July 5.
It has been several weeks since Valentyn flew for the first time.
We have got together on Sunday to practice some reverse handling and do
more flying. Like any other student Valentyn started to make the
very same mistakes such as pivoting and facing glider regardless
of wind direction, the occasional wrong brake input and so on. The wind
actually increased through the training session so we ended up using
small training glider designed for ground handling in high winds.
After couple hours of hard work we were ready for break. Mark showed
up so I asked him to check the air for us. I got positive
confirmation that the air is smooth, meanwhile Valentyn was ready to
attempt second flight. We have got ready and tried, and tried and tried.
After about 20 attempts, Valentyn was tired and needed a break, I
jumped in for some low flying fun. Once I landed, Valentyn was ready
again. First inflation was perfect, I gave OK to fly and Valentyn
took off. Shortly after wind has dropped to zero so I told
Valentyn to stay up there as another take off in no wind conditions
would be very difficult. So he stayed up the for over 1 hour. Mark
flew bit more and managed to do several no wind take offs using
reverse inflation. One of them quite funny. Mark begged me not to
put it on web but I do not think I can resist. You have something to
look forward to...
Anyway, congrats Valentyn on flight number two.
July 4/09 Course dates for fall
Sep 26, 2009
Either Sat and Sunday or Sat to Thursday night if you can take the
Full course + demo on Sep 27 - 4 pm
Oct 24, 2009
Either Sat and Sunday or Sat to Thursday night if you can take the
Full course + demo on Oct 25 - 4 pm
Nothing is locked till I have safety deposit.
Please note that you are NOT locked in for any
courses, private or semiprivate or part of this
schedule, until I receive safety
deposit $ 500.
July 2/09 I am
not available for training July 6.
June 27/09 PPG
course June 20 - Day 4 - flying on Tuesday afternoon - June
Ralph and Ted, a 78 years old trike pilot, came to the field at 5:00 pm.
Conditions were good for reverse handling so Ralph learned the
basics of that. After while winds calmed down so we went to flying. Ralph
was first. We tried several take off attempts but it seemed like
Ralph lost his magic touch. He was not lifting A's properly and not
giving the glider appropriate brake tension. We decided to take a
break. Ted was ready to go. This time we planned to use tandem
paraglider as bigger gliders are more forgiving and are less twitchy
on take off roll and also give Ted better climb. I after bunch and
bunch of tries Ted finally managed good inflation and took off with
1/2 tank of gas. I went back to Ralph and we have tried again. On
one inflation glider came up well, I gave Ralph the go ahead, he
increased power but did not give glider any brake tension. On his
take off run, glider started to oscillate and Ralph stumbled and
fell in similar fashion like the day before. This time he was not so
lucky the prop touched the ground and got seriously chipped and
scuffed. Bummer. Ralph took break, meanwhile Ted was ready to land.
After an easy landing I noticed that he has used up quite a lot of
fuel so I adjusted Ted's motor as it was running bit too rich and he
refuelled. I suggested to fill tank all the way up as on trike, one
does not feel the weight so why not. Ralph started to ground handle
although there was not wind at all and it was becoming more and more
difficult to inflate the glider. Ted was ready for flight two so we
got to work. Again we tried and tried and tried with no success. Ted
was usually slow on brakes or did not give the aircraft enough
power. I must admit, at one point, I was ready to quit but I really
wanted Ted to have another this time long flight. Finally we had a
good one and Ted was in the air again. This time in perfect smooth
air, with well running engine, looking at the sunset.... Read
below what Ted thought about the second flight.
I again forgot to bring the camera and video camera. Sorry. No pics or
I can't get the smile off my face!
That sunset flight on Tuesday was total euphoria ... a religious
experience!! Looking at that spectacular scene from a thousand feet
while flying the trike in cool smooth air was incredibly inspiring!
My beautiful wife, Sheila, who died last June, was born in the very
area I was above. That made it a particularly moving time for me
(which I couldn't tell you about at the time).
Thanks to your superb skill as an
instructor, plus your 'hanging in' with the ultimate slow learner, I
experienced one of the highest moments of my life.
When I was
told (in 2007) that I had terminal cancer and probably three months
to live I started working on my "Bucket List". My number one
priority was to fly before I die. Number two: to inspire others to
take up PPG aviation (which has happened and is continuing to).
Number three: to give the Oncologists something to celebrate (i.e. we cured this guy!). As a 78 yr old retired clergyman I have a whole
new take on life. I feel like I'm in my twenties again ... all
thanks to you Andre!
June 25/09 PPG
course June 20 - Day 3 - flying on Monday
afternoon - June 22.
Todd and Ted (a trike pilot) came to the field around 4:30 pm. It
was still bit gusty so we have replaced the risers on Todd's glider
for the new style with release trims. After short ground handling
session it was clear that this made a huge difference and Todd's
glider was no longer falling back but locking in properly. We had to
adjust Todd's technique as he was used to not applying any brake but
he picked it up very quickly. After 45 min or so winds were down and
smooth so we went to flying. Todd flew twice and Ted also flew
twice. Not bad for someone who is 78 yrs old...
I forgot to bring the camera and video camera. Sorry. No pics or
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