6th Annual Dave Purdin Auto Sales Fly-In

Aug 25, 2007 Peebles, IL: Monday

More to come but, for now...

There's no mistaking you're in the south--I knew it the minute Mrs. Wendy took my order: "wujya liahk frahs with thaaat?"

Dave Purdin's southern hospitality was refreshing, too, as he welcomed all comers warmly to this humongous field. Grass everywhere. It's the largest, smoothest field of dreams I've yet slid soles across. The only rough section as probably the eastern eighth which I only got into once with a trike (quad, actually).

Besides the local gang (Dave former students mostly), the "Indiana Hogs" were well represented along with folks from other nearby states.

The event was a relaxing and flightful time for me. In between the rainshowers and thunderstorms I got tons of airtime including several test flights of the Naja wing. I hope to do some more testing of this nimble carver (it's smaller than my Spice) but initial impressions are good and I'll hope to have a review up. I have it for a week which helps me get a better feel for it. I'm probably only going to write reviews on wings that I can have for a week only because it's so much more telling to fly them in different conditions. I'm also not going to bother trying larger wings (>25 m) because, at 145 lbs, they'll not be as fun for me and it would be unfair to the wing.

I saw a lot of impressive flying, including launching in very challenging conditions. You needed smoke to tell wind direction, it was too light for windsocks much of the time. Direction was a surprise but, overall, pilots did an incredible job of managing it. To my knowledge there was not a single broken prop.


It was the most impressive professional fireworks display I've ever witnessed. It helped that we were immediately below them--watching from the stands only about 200 feet from ground zero. Pictures to come.


I've never watched a car race in my life but I can see how people get into it. There's little doubting the high skill level required to win. Besides the obvious fast car, driver's must carefully time passing and path in a fine dance of direction, acceleration and braking. I was impressed.

Night Moves

One thing that's fun is inflating the wing and running into a foot-drag without lifting off. I've done 360's like that plenty of times.

This field is next to a very well lit racetrack and benefits from those lights. Races go on til after midnight. So there we were with this illuminated, wet grass and nary a whiff of wind. I got to thinking. It's not illegal to slide at night. As long as I keep a foot on the ground, I'm not flying. So, at about 11pm, I did just that. I've got no desire to actually fly at night anyway but this was cool! With trimmers set slow, I inflated, got running quickly, pulled some brake and reduced power just the wing's lift let me transition from running to foot-dragging. I did one complete circle of the field followed by a figure eight while keeping at least one, and usually two, feet in the grass. What a blast!

We stayed up late kibitzing but then started again early on Sunday. I traded back and forth between the Naja and Spice on both Saturday and Sunday.


Sunday afternoon a number of us, led by Cincinatti "Sarge" set up to gather again at a site near his house. We tore it up there in what ended up being another sizable gathering of pilots.

That field, just north of Cincinatti, is also used by rocket launchers. The were launchingn BIG rockets, too, but were done at 6pm. That was cool to see, too. You think paramotor fuel is expensive? These rockets cost upwards of $25 per launch just for the one-use engine.

I had the misfortune of untimely silence from Mr. Propulsion whilst carving about. The lading was no issue but I was a half mile away and the motor would only idle. I managed to finally get the wing inflated out of the tall weeds but didn't have enough oomph to get me airborne. Even at 145 pounds I need more than idle. Thanks to Dave Halcomb for fetching me.

What a great group of people. I met some new ones, too. Hopefully we'll hook up again sometime soon.


1. The gathered mass. We hustled this together between rain showers.  Undaunted, we got a lot of flying in on each day (I was there Sat and Sun).

2. A trike pilot passes the flight line.

2015 Jeff Goin   Remember: If there's air there, it should be flown in!