Paramotor The Dune
Conquering the winds
After Paratoys a group of us headed for Glamis Dunes. The forecast
rightfully scared away a number of pilots but, in this case, many of us
actually got a beautiful evening flight in the last hour.
During the afternoon it was blowing a howl. Adam Bell, his wife
Nicole and U.S. Team pilot Dave Fore helped me shoot some necessary
footage to show best practice for inflation assistance in a strong
winds. In general, if you need assistance, it's probably too strong, but
proper assistance can make the task a lot easier. Bad assistance can get
both folks hurt. We got most of the shots but, as strong as it was, we
couldn't get all of them. Tomorrow morning we've got more scenes
It was strong enough to ski with the wing. Foot dragging along the
ground and, best of all, no prop damage.
A few hundred yards south of our group were a bunch of RV's circled.
It turns out they were doing some filming for a military commercial and
had a helicopter coming in. We appreciated that they let us know. What
was remarkable was that, when the helicopter came in, we obviously
brought the wing down and watched, in amazement, as he flew exactly over
our heads, about 20 feet high. That was incredible to me, also a
helicopter pilot, as I wouldn't have dreamed of making such an approach
that close to someone, let alone someone holding a bunch of fabric. It
was no issue, and it wasn't illegal, it was just surprising. Alex and I
bundled in the wing and sat on it while his downwash passed by.
We also had some excitement when two pilots got basically knocked out
of the air by the same helicopter a bit later on. No doubt he was
filming. I'd love to see that footage. Both pilots hit the sand at full
power. Neither was hurt and one didn't damage his gear and relaunched to
fly back. The other pilot damaged his prop.
I got a couple flights in, including one on the Plasma. It likes its
A's on launch but is a dream to fly. At Paratoys I also flew the Fusion
and loved the handling of both. That's a lot coming from my Spice
adoring self. These are the first reflex gliders I'd consider owning.
Their handling is great in standard mode and they have great tip
steering. I'll need more time to really figure out the nuances of
inflation but they need a bit more wind to do a reverse than others and
the wing must be fully overhead before letting off the A's.
That's all for now. Here's to good morning air.