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The Oasis in Phoenix | Fri | Sat | Sun | Enterprise
Log of In between Trip
It's certainly a change from our last few days in Glamis and the Salton
Sea. We pulled in passed the fancy entrance, past palm trees, nice restaurant,
etc. As a vendor I park just beside the grass. What a treat that grass is.
Of course we'd all like to be able to launch from it but we're sure happy
to have it for cleaning out wings and working on motors. Welcome to the
There a number of us that came from the Salton Sea but a completely
different mix is here, especially from Michigan. Around 20 pilots flew in
on Wed or Thursday and most flew yesterday, leaving the snow behind. Ohio
and IL are well represented, too.
There are new machines to try with FlyOhio (Bruce Brown).
Day 1 Thursday
We left the Dunes on Wednesday with Stefan at the Enterprise helm in a
mini caravan of Phil Russman, Paul Lindquist and Frank. Frank is a
paraglider pilot who took his first flight under power at Glamis on the
Bailey 4-stroke. He must have liked it, he bought it. Paul has now sold
all three of the units they brought from England.
God love traveling with my machine setup. I'm ready within 10 minutes
of arriving after unlocking . Too bad it was dark but it was fun catching
up the many new faces.
Morning perfection was followed by afternoon perfection and fly-all-day
weather. Even mid-day was surprisingly mellow with nothing more than 3
I was getting some
motor maintenance done and this was the place to do it. Leon Wacker and
Wayne Mitchler were 50 feet away, Alex Varv was parked next to me and
there parts to be had. Perfect! Thanks to all three for helping me out.
Wayne Mitchler has a new product to help improve warm starting, a phenolic
separator. It insulates the carb so that heat doesn't transfer to into it.
It should make them easier to start they've sit sit for a while after
running. We'll see. He also showed me a whole bunch of other tips which
I'll eventually add here. Of course I took pictures.
In the afternoon, Phil Russman, Lance Marzcak and I headed
west to look at some property for sale. We didn't get all the way there
and, on the way back, decided to land near a convenience store for some
soda. While awaiting a landing spot, I heard some god-awful noises from
behind and immediately killed the motor, landing on a dirt road. Phil had
already landed and Michael was on the phone to discuss the radio show that
was going to start in 45 minutes. Uh oh. Unfortunately I would be busy
trying to get myself back to the field and was mighty curious to see what
was left of my favorite propulsion.
1) Panoramic shot of the launch area and
vendors. 2) Wayne Mitchler's Phenolic carb separator being positioned on
my new WG37 carb. 3) Phil Russman and I are the only ones airborne here.
The weather is surprisingly benign given the mid-afternoon time. 4) Stefan
Obenauer (who traveled with me along with Frank and Phil) takes my
ride for a spin. 5) Josef Brehm inflates his Ozone Viper using a Nirvana
paramotor called the "Fun," 6) Home. There were a few
pilots who swung at balls before swinging in their harness.
Turns out the muffler bolts came off. I'd been thinking it
was getting louder but it didn't seem bad enough to be more than a hole.
Funny noises are never good and, following the PPG Bible's advice would
have spared me a truck ride. Thanks to Leon Wacker for coming to fetch me.
But the out-landing gave me an opportunity to talk with
some of the neighborhood kids who came out to check us out when they saw
our landing. These bright little guys kept me company until Leon arrived.
They were fascinated by the craft and were a pleasure to talk with. I hope
they get to realize their own dreams someday. I got some cell phone
pictures and will hopefully have them up soon.
Thanks to Wayne, Leon and Alex, the motor was fixed that
night although I spent most of the morning flying other machines for
Phil Russman and I did some "Synchro Spirals"
which was entirely new and quite fun. Being on the same wings helped but
I'll readily admit that I don't know yet how to get closer in. From the
ground we were told it looked cool but we've got more work to do.
Day 2 Friday
Lots more vendors showed up today
and the grass is now packed. I tried out more machines including Phil
Atkinson's original LaMouette with a solo 210. It's a historical piece,
the first paramotor imported into North America and it really wasn't bad
at all. Afterwards I flew the Fly Products Flash Trike, a Fresh Breeze
Simonini, Paracruiser and Fly Ohio's Free Spirit. A bit-o-breeze made
morning launches easy then it went calm but remained flyable the entire
day. More later.
A group of us, including Paul Bailey on one of his now-sold 4-strokes,
schemed to fly the mine on Friday afternoon, heading out around 4pm. The
pit, as it's also called, is about 1000 feet deep. Don't go in there. And
it's erie to fly over. Phil Russman has his video camera and he got
awesome shots although still nothing that rivals what he captured at
After the mine, we did cactus slaloms. Hitting a "stick"
would be most unfortunate. Other places called for the camera like a pair
of abandoned tanks and the downhill road that leads away. We circled the
tanks from just a few feet high with Phil Filming and then headed down the
Next up was some kind of dried up leftovers. Hopefully it's nothing
toxic because I must have done a quarter mile foot drag in it. That was
A bunch of vendors are here and probably half were not at Paratoys. So
the two events combined are a great way to really immerse yourself, if
Day 3 Saturday
This was the big one. The entire vendor area filled and spectators
camed for the show. Some were probably hotel guests intrigued by the
The evening party/raffle was fun and an Aerothrust frame was given away
with numerous other prizes. Unfortunately, I didn't win the wing
inspection (American Flyer). Yes, yes, I'll still get Mr. Spicely
instpected. He's about due.
Day 4 Sunday
It was just the morning for me and a busy one at that. So much for the
1pm flight to Chicago. It was going well until Mike Bailey (no relation to
Paul) suggested I try his modified Flattop. I'd already flown Dell's
production model twice and wanted to compare. I'll try to get those
reviews up soon but the J-bars worked as advertised.
The morning was marred by an incident when a pilot swerved towards the
hotel during his takeoff run to avoid a wing that was in front of him. He
wound up pointed at the hotel and pressed on with launch. Options
dwindled soon after liftoff as he first hit a windsock about 10 feet high then wrapped his wing
around a tree at about 20 feet. Amazingly he suffered no more than a
bruised shoulder but his machine was badly damaged. Better the hardware
than the software! Hotel management was looking on—hopefully they also observed how
basically forgiving the craft is.
Thanks to Mo and others for putting this on. It's a ton of work and I,
for one, am thankful to those like Mo Sheldon (and Bob Armond for the
Salton Sea event) who step up to the plate and organize them.
I had an absolute blast, really loved the people and the flying.
1) Looking northwest.
2) Tillutson carburetor before mounting on on older
Airfer Bimax machine. Why is this here? It was one of many, many useful
pictures that will eventually help me describe things for future articles.
3) My shoes after foot dragging the deep pit
tailings pile. I'm very hard on shoes.
Yes, that's Dell Schanze on the right as safety
officer. He volunteered to help out on Friday afternoon and was quite
helpful. A new leaf? Mike Bailey is getting used to a modified
Flat Top with J-bars, the "SD Flattop."
1) Michgan's finest let me capture their mugs by the
2) Saturday evening gave perfect weather for the
busiest flying of the event.