Off to the Salton Sea
Go to most recent entry, Jan 25, 2009
Jan 22, 2009 After only two days
of Chicago's winter wonderland I find myself halfway to the Salton Sea
on Interstate 10. One of Southwest's Luvjets took me to Phoenix where
the Enterprise awaited my return. Upon arriving, I took both paramotors
out to start them up and make sure all was well with their souls,
so to speak.
The Top 80 fired up on about the 3rd pull but Mr. Black Devil
wouldn't pop. Nothing. I pulled and pulled. I primed, I sprayed starter
fluid, I checked the spark plug for spark and couldn't see anything but
figured that was because it was sunny and I just couldn't see the spark.
So I fed it a brand new spark plug. Easy, quick, still nothing.
Oh well. I didn't want to sit there in the airport's East Economy lot
all afternoon so I packed everything up and got on the road. At some
point I found a pep boys and bought a spark plug tester. This cool
little device lets you see the spark and set a gap to tell how strong it
is. Simple, elegant. After another couple hours on the road I stopped to
figure this thing out.
Sure enough, there was no spark. I pulled and pulled. I removed the
cap, cut the wire to insure a good seat of the spark plug center pierce.
Nothing still. Then I thought "maybe the kill switch is shorted."
Then I remembered.
This is so embarrassing.
Now mind you I've been flying other people's gear for the last 45
days. And my gear at home doesn't have this feature. But a couple years
ago, on my Blackhawk, I installed an alternate kill switch. A toggle
that I could reach in flight but it would normally be left on. You
guessed it. That toggle switch was left in the off position.
I switched it on, pulled the cord, and she roared to life on the next
I'm sorry, Mr. Black Devil, for the unkind thoughts that formed in the
paramotor regions of my head.
So the next time someone thinks about asking me for two-stroke
advice, just think of this story and move on to the next person.
Jan 25, 2009 What a hoot to see
so many friends and meet others. One of these days I'm gonna remember to
get more sunscreen on.
This year was a lot different for me as I
concentrated on video taping, even more than flying. My motor logged
only 3 hours but my various video cameras gained about 5.
One great shot was having Ozone pilot Kevin doing various maneuvers
while I taped from the shore AND had a lipstick camera mounted to his
frame. The viewer will see it from two perspectives.
Got to try out a
new wing, the Paramania Fusion. Liked it as much as the Dudek Plasma but
I'm hoping to get another Plasma ride while here at the Dunes. That is,
of course, if the forecast gale dies off early enough.
Paratoys has a
new owner, Mike. He's a paramotor pilot and maker of mechanical things
from a long way back.
I'll have more within a few days...