2009 Paratoys

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 pull.

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.

In The Can

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...



Miscellany. There are sooo many cameras it's hard to imagine a moment going by that's not getting photographed.

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