2013 Indy Air Hogs & Scottsburg, IN
2013-Sept-05 PPG Party, Fireworks & Flying
This could become known as Pyro's Paradise with a side of PPG. More on
When I arrived Brandon gave me the brief "our rules are simple, buzz the
horses, especially skittish looking ones, fly low over the houses at
full power, do footdrags down the runway while people are trying to
launch and don't waste energy looking around for traffic." Best briefing
I've ever had!
Airport owner Larry Beckly offers up an awesome field
and makes everyone feel welcome. It's primarily a PPG event but
exceptions are made for other craft with permission and an individual
briefing. I flew my Bonanza down and they were most accommodating. My
arrival plan did change when I noticed a number of PPG's up already in
the afternoon air. I circled at pattern altitude until the kiting
paragliders cleared off and the flying folks spread out.
A beautiful grass runway is kept like golf greens. They mow this
thing essentially every 4 days. Boy are we lucky. Since it was so dry
this year people were able to camp all the way down the runway.
The Indy Air Hogs dooooo know how to party.
Paul Anthem takes his role seriously, and I *DO* mean seriously! For
one thing, what he pulls off requires high end flying skills. A high
risk tolerance and willingness to sacrifice a bit of equipment help out.
I'm not gonna spill the beans about his latest endeavor but lets just
say the moron plunged to new depths in a teaching moment. The water
footdrag has never been done with so much...well...you'll just have to
watch the next episode.
It will be up on Paul's channel hopefully soon and it will be
absolutely hilarious. The flying piece is even more impressive when you
realize how small the pond was and that "the maneuver" was done
downwind. Nuff said.
Brandon is a paramotor pilot who skydives which he did a few times
here. I had mentioned wanting to film his exit from the PPC so we put it
together. Up at 4000 feet the PPC shut off his motor and stayed in a
shallow left turn so I could keep up while Brandon crawled out on the
side. The imbalance caused a steeper left turn but he let go pretty
quick and dropped away. What a cool shot that was! He stayed on his back
during the initial fall, filming the PPC as he dropped away. Both shots
Then I followed and filmed the gliding PPC around a bit, shivering,
until we reached civilized air temperatures down low. Have I mentioned
how much I hate the cold? Thanks to Dave Halcomb for letting me use his
oh-so-sweet running Miniplane.
Air Conception 185
I didn't try anything new but did fly a couple Air Conception units.
I've reviewed these before and like the machine. Some quick
observations. It's extremely light weight, comfortable, very powerful
with the Moster engine, has somewhat higher vibration and loudness than
others with slightly more torque effect than others but within an easy
handling range. Overall it's a very nice unit that anybody can love
because of it's high power.
I found the harness comfortable although on the ground it feels like
the leg straps are restrictive, hanging too low on your thigh. But it
winds up being no problem during launch. I've had this with other
machines whose leg straps that hang down low like the Parajet Volution.
I'd notice it while walking around but then had no issue launching, even
before the wing lifted the motor.
As far as the torque issues, realize that my scrawny 136 pounds feels
twist more than most. Average humans will find it very manageable.
Lightweight rocks, too. There are launches that you won't make with
heavier units, namely where the wing is feeling a slight tailwind. Yes,
I realize you don't launch in a tailwind, but there are times when you
don't even know it's a very slight tailwind up where the wing is. And
when it happens, usually in what feels like calm air, heavy weight keeps
you from accelerating since the wing can't get enough lift. I had that
happen in Cleveland where we necessarily were launching with a tailwind
and I just couldn't manage the weight of a heavier motor without the
What a generous group. Quite a few of the Indy Air Hogs gave up big
parts of their day to make it more enjoyable for others. Matt and his
wife cooked up a storm to great benefit of our waistlines. And the
fireworks. I just saw the build-up of what went into it and a few
pictures but wow, that was an enormous effort. Peter Sage organized it
but had help from quite a few others. The city of Scottsburg paid for
quite a bit of it and man did they get their money's worth.
It was fun meeting people again who I either only know from Facebook
or fly-ins. I swear the most interesting people are those that are
passionate about something.
Thanks to all who made it possible, I really enjoyed myself!