Powered Paragliding Related Events

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2007-01-Paratoys   2007-02-Flying Circus

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2011 Phoenix Flying Circus & Paratoys


This year the Aussies are coming. I plan to be at both events although I won't get to Mo's until Sat afternoon since I'm having to work Friday, ending in Baltimore, and get in to PHX too late to try navigating several miles of unfamiliar dirt road. I've been to Mo's place before but only via an airplane. He's got a full runway which is cool.

I'll be hanging with Brett Paull and a group of his Australian mates who have graciously offered me a birth on their rental motorhome. Gonna have my digital scale for weighing paramotors and GPS for measuring speed of wings. Hopefully I'll be a bit more thorough on the hard numbers when I do reviews.

We'll probably leave Mo's on Sunday afternoon for a few days of dune dodging before heading over to the Salton Sea.

This is the first time I'll be shipping the Miniplane so I'm curious to see how that goes. I'll probably remove the motor (4 motor mounts) to ship it separately and put the frame in a separate box. There will be lots of crossed fingers.


If everything goes well I won't be running the competition at Paratoys but will instead be competing. Come join us but sign up early (www.USPPA.org) for some good clean fun. This year we'll again allow wheeled craft to compete so there's no excuse not to participate.

There promises to be a lot of machines to check out at Paratoys not the least of which is a new 4-stroke. I'm a foot launch guy but the wheeled craft are a good time, too, and if I have to trailer something, it's gonna darn well be a 4-stroke. I don't care whether they're generator motors or not, they've GOT to be more reliable than the 2-stroke machines. I've not compiled any data, nor would I know where to start, but a casual survey suggests that less maintenance is required.

The USPPA competition is open to anyone flying any equipment. Don't be confused with Mike Robinson's restriction on a separate event, a kiting competition, to be for "non professionals" on regular wings, NOT ultralight paragliders. The reason being that last year, Chad Bastian, won easily with his Ozone Ultralight which can kite in about a 3 mph wind. Of course lets not dismiss the fact that Chad is also an expert wing handler. But I had to keep moving just to keep my wing up while he could stand there. I don't spite Chad one bit--if I had an ultralight wing like his, I'd have done the same thing. Competition is always largely about using the right equipment and knowing the rules.

Speaking of Mountain Wings

I've had several people ask me about these lightweight wings, probably because they've fallen prey to the misinformation campaign that is Dell Schanze. He's the sport's biggest blower of bullocks, telling people mountain wings will last as long as regular models. Poppycock! Any manufacturer rep that I've talked, and one respected glider inspector, says it's just common sense. These wings are made with thinner, lighter fabric and inevitably trade off some longevity in the process.

They're great to launch for the same reason Chad's Ultralight let him win the kiting war--they come up extremely easily. But don't expect them to last as long as the company's regular gliders. There are plenty of gliders out there with great inflation characteristics that you shouldn't need to resort to using mountain wings for regular flying. There's nothing WRONG with doing so, of course, as long as you're willing to pay some price in longevity. As always, just know what you're getting into.

2010-Paratoys, AirParamo

Feb 28, 2010 Update Yehaa! After much finagling and horse trading I have gotten the planets back in line and will now be able to annoy pilots at both events. It's back to a ten day trip. The Flyin' fool foots onward.

I finally got the planets to line up, the Enterprise in place AND both western fly-ins on the same weekend. Then disaster. I looked at my work schedule only to find the planets had changed orbits—I'd been assigned training for work starting Jan 5. So I'll be learning how to use new fangled 737 navigation systems instead of buzzing cactus.

Sometimes you just can't win.

All is not lost, though, as I plan on spending Sun afternoon through possibly Wednesday  morning with Mo and many others flying Glammis dunes. Plus, Phil Russman and I will be working on getting video for his upcoming project and my "Master PPG" series. But what was going to be a 10 day Enterprise Extravaganza just got butchered into 6 days.

I'll temper my whine with incredible thankfulness for being gainfully employed, let alone at something I basically love. It is, after all, this airline job that makes it all possible. Everything else is icing.

Here's looking forward to seeing many fellow fliers in the coming weeks.

And don't forget to register if you're interested in Competition! It's Jan 28 and you can register on USPPA.org.

2008 Monument Valley

2008-Aug-24 Would love to make it to this unsponsored event, reminiscent of the Albuquerque camping trips.

Joe Onofrio tells us: As of tonight there are 20 confirmed pilots and about the same number of maybes. I have also heard of a couple of groups planning to attend that I have
not heard from directly. I was there last week and am happy to report that the folks at Gouldings Lodge are ready and looking forward to seeing us. For those of you who have not had the opportunity to visit, Gouldings Lodge is located 5 miles from Monument Valley Park; it features all the amenities required and a few extras. They are microlite and PPG friendly and have a small airstrip that we are welcome to use.

Here are some videos:



RV and camping sites are available but the lodge itself is booked. There are a few rooms available at the Holliday Inn 928-697-3221 and the Hampden Inn 928-697-3170 both are about 20 miles from the park. If you want a hotel room …do not delay…and if you want a cheap room you are going to have to get online and start searching.

There is NO REGISTRATION FEE... BUT...There will be a Banquet Saturday night and it would be nice to give the lodge some preliminary numbers. If you plan to come, please send Joe an e-mail or call him at 303-594-6319.

2007 November Gathering with Adam Bell & Co.

Adam Bell hosted a small gathering of Arizona flyers near Phoenix. At least 2 PPGers and a trike/ultralight pilot joined in for a fun little time. You can see a slide show at AZhangar.com.

The trike is Mo Sheldon giving Adam's son a lesson. Adam was up flying with them on what he describes as "one awesome afternoon flight."

2007 Powered Paragliding Convention, FL

I have a special appreciation for people willing to put on a large fly-in. I've done it twice and think that everybody should take their turn in the breach at least once. There's no end to the little tasks required and pecking to be endured and rounding of volunteers and so on. Thanks guys.

The national convention is unique in that it not being run by any one vendor. Plus it's always timed to coincide with the spring's emergence and the large EAA fly-in that's usually within a week or two. Organizers go out of their way to accommodate a large number of vendors. All these things have combined to make it the largest display of powered paragliding goods in the country. You an fly before you buy, too.

The new site is huge and there are miles of fields around over which to fly and foot-drag.

Site Analysis | Registration

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2007 Michigan Migration

I got an email from Michigan pilot, Brent Wickerham, who told the tale of coming travel to Arizona. A large contingent from Michigan and Ohio escaped their chilly home for the 4th Annual Phoenix Flying Circus in February.  They've even got a website up for their Michigan Migration.

Thanks for the bag and the great time!

They did a Florida trip last year that yielded only two flying days and improved dramatically on that percentage with Arizona. Every day was flyable all day long and these guys tore it up. They were fun to fly with and be with.

We all lucked out with the weather, beating the the average high/low in Phoenix's February which is 68°/46°F. The record low was 28°! 

Some pilots also went to the Salton Sea and a few went to the amazing trip to Glamis Dunes. Brian, in fact, was one of the rescuers who retrieved Greg Bouten from his outlanding.

It was very enjoyable spending time with these guys and I look forward to more whenever we have the opportunity.

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1. A group of Michigan Pilots in Florida from 2005. Note the coats. Brrrrr, who turned off the heat down there?

2. The whole group that actually showed up in Arizona. And quite a group it was, they represented fifteen percent of the total registered pilots in Arizona.



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