Triumphant Return

Former U.S. Champion, and prolific instructor Eric Dufour is baaaaaack!

Two months to the day after Eric Dufour underwent quadruple bypass surgery he regained his wings.

Eric was headed for Oshkosh to help represent the Yuneec EPac electric paramotor and stopped in to to visit with his Chicago-area friends. Naturally we took him to the Batavia Polo field, our favorite local flying haunt.  Originally he wasn't going to do any flying but got approval from his doctor to do a "light, easy reverse." More importantly, his wife, Elisabeth, gave her approval after talking with the doctor.

I'd love to have heard Eric's query. "Doc, it's really just a walk with the help of this little fan; the wing does all the lifting and the motor does all the pushing." If only the doctor really knew!

So Eric launched into a foot drag and indeed, did take it easier than normalóno wingtip touches, spirals, riding atop vehicles, or other shenanigans. Of course he couldn't resist some sweeping foot drags and steepish turns.

It was so funny to see that smile (picture 1 at right). You couldn't miss it even when he was out on final approach. Like a kid released from detention, he clearly reveled in rediscovered passion.

Eric is returning to teaching and will build up again to full-time status, mostly doing advanced training and instructor clinics for those wanting to really learn the business of teaching. He also hopes to help host what will become the 2009 U.S. National competition in December this year near Orlando, FL.

We had a great group of folks join us at the Polo field and, after the winds died down a bit, most of us flew.

I did some flight test work, mostly measuring speeds and getting pictures, on the Dudek Plasma, a wing I really like and cruised the surrounding area with fellow flyers.

Lance, Tim and I went out for some formation fun, Bob Clancy did a flawless touch on go on what must have been about flight number 9, Dave Moore got back in the air after a hiatus, Dave McWhinnie launched while missing his dog Guinness (no small challenge), Jay and Eugene came to hang out and Shane showed off his newly welded (very nice!) frame.

It was a great time with our local flyers and particularly enjoyable since we got to share it with Eric. Plus, it was a pleasure just to have him visit for a few days.

Welcome back Eric!

1) Bob Clancy to the south. 2) Eric listening intently (with his "big ears"). 3) Jeff G. welcoming Eric back to earth. 4) Believe it or not, Bob found this in a fortune cookie. Classic! 5) Tim on the white Pluto and Lance the red Spice. 6) Landing Lance. 7) Another formation angle.


1. Eric Dufour, obviously happy about being back in the air, comes in for a slider landing.

2. The Group

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