2007 Paratoys: Powered Paragliding & Paramotor Fly In

A Look At the year's first big event | Enterprise Log of In between Trip | Day 4
Day 1. I don't know how it dawned since I was flying the Enterprise. But it sure finished well.

It's great seeing so many faces—like a family reunion but with new family members every year. Enthusiasm is hard to contain at these things. On arrival I had but an hour or so of daylight and hustled to get my fix. It felt good, as always.

What a collection of craft! There's a Harley Davidson looking machine, TWO of the superbly built Bailey four-strokes, two new trikes, two new wings from Israel including one that is purportedly easy launching, a PPG/PPC trike from Eric Dufour dripping with innovation (see pictures) and I'm sure more that I didn't see in the 30 minutes I was looking. As I was pulling in a Fresh Breeze putted by. It was interesting to compare the quiet Baileys with the Quiet FB's.

Camera.jpg (84106 bytes)Motors weren't the only thing with horsepower. How about this video camera? And Nate Weaver knows how to wield it, too. I'll bet you could buy a lot of wings with that. Lucky for us, Nate, who is not yet a pilot, should soon be joining our ranks. He'll be producing a nice, condensed video of the event with his footage including an incredible little oops-turned-cool-looking by Johnny Fetz. One of the local TV stations came out on Friday to make use of the "golden hour," that precious first light that puts nearly everything in its best light. That's handy given how it's also when we like flying the most. Now to do something about the 50° morning temperature.

 

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There'll be much more but here's a start: check out the steering. It looks like a T handle of sorts. More as I get to try things out.

Day 2

First thing were the camera bunnies. We were told the night before that TV crews would be filming at sunrise and they wanted pilots. It was 42°F. I don't think so.  

My poor legs. After joining humanity this morning, I got my machine fueled and sitting out on the flight line. Then I never flew it. Rather I tried a bunch of different machines and a new wing. I also started taking notes using a test flight checklist so that I can remember what I did and how each machine/wing felt. The tests will be listed when reviews are posted.

Lots of new stuff is hitting the market and I love to see the innovation. Some folks have put a lot of money into their wares and we users are the beneficiaries.

 I tried Chad Bastian's new kitebuggy trike. It was my 6th wheeled PPG launch a lot of fun. I still prefer foot-launch but these things do seem easier in no wind. I also flew the Parajet (there's a story here, too), Paratoys Rhino, ParaDiablo, and the brand new CorsAir 120 mini Black Devil powered Blackhawk. I've taken notes for reviews of each and will hopefully have those up in a week or so. Lastly I tried the new Apco HP wing that is their answer to the reflex gliders.

In the evening we showed videos including one who's emergence I've been dreading. The pole video. There's a risk and a reward for spending time with Mr. Videoman. Yes, it's kind of cool being in the videos but there's a dark side. That dark side came to haunt me when this video was shown, probably for the first time. I've fessed up to it on the radio show and elsewhere. I mean how could I NOT! It's the episode where I kite up the volleyball pole then start kiting across the net (I'll ever admit that the net wasn't in my plan). When I come down and try to collapse the wing, it goes bad quickly and I wind up getting lifted, along with the polo on the other side, several feet and plunked onto my back. I was happy for the helmet. Embarrassing. Very embarrassing.

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Row 1: 1. Panorama of Saturday afternoon. 2. PPCg from the air. 

Row 2: 1. PPCg while inflight, 2. Getting Ready, 3. Eden doing gentle wing-overs just south of field. 4. PPC, 3. Another view of the gathered masses, 4. Eric Dufour taking off in the Excitor, 5. Jeff Goin kiting the ParaDiablo. 

Row 3: View from South end, 2. Yes, this was intentional. Thanks Jason!, 3. Kiting War, 4. Tandem launch with pilot Arnon Lufi from Isreal, 5. PPC with small cravat, 6. Jeff testing the Bailey 4-stroke.  

Day 3

More testing. I didn't get to do the poker run and fly the quicksilver because I was too engrossed in flying everything else. I finally got to try Eric Dufour's PPC/G and the new "Speed Demon" reflex style glider from Paratoys.

There was an Alan Chuculate Memorial Freestyle competition that provided some interesting moments. Eric Dufour, "Turbo" Bob Ryan, Johnny Fetz all flew solo flights and then Phil Russman and myself flew a formation dance since we're used to close film work. Johnny wound up putting on what may have been the most impressive performance while towing a 400' piece of construction tape. He did a half-spin of the glider, caught the tape in the center of the wing and proceeded to finish out his 2 minute flight. Then he cleaned out his shorts since the spin was entirely unintentional. That $30k video camera caught the whole thing. Many of us thought it was was the Fetz Finale.

A number of other ultralights hung out with us including the Odyssey Ultralight designer who's plane pokes into a picture below.

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1. You thought some PPG props were wierd?, 2. Rolf Kaleb launching before sunrise, 3. Looking down the flightline at sunrise, 4. A nicely orchestrated flyby, 5. Moonsock.

Day 4

This day was the most fun and most spectacular. Things were winding down but a group of us planned and flew back into the "badlands," an area with canyons and cliffs that molds color in spectacular fashion. Phil filmed, we flew. The experience was breathtaking. At one point I was following Stefan down a canyon, working it hard to keep clear of his wake. There were many, many other cool moments, too.

Plus I got more magazine fodder. Lord willing, at least one of the pictures will make Powered Sport Flying's cover. The polishing touch was a sequence with Stan Kasica skiing in the briny lake goo just offshore. Phil got the moving pictures, I got some stills. Moving is far more spectacular I must say.

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1 & 2. Chad Bastian, 3. Stan is the one creating water wake. Stefan and Phil mugging for the camera (thanks). Twosome flying together.

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Phil Clark of Canada is enduring the winter's bitterest pill so he had time to do this. He's quite the photoshop artist. 

 

It's a touched up treatment of the Rolf Kaleb sunrise shot. Thanks Phil!

 

 


© 2016 Jeff Goin & Tim Kaiser   Remember: If there's air there, it should be flown in!