Indy Air Hogs
2009-08-16 Scottsburg, IN was the place to be for paramotor pilots
When the first "boom" went off I knew I was in for it. But alas, I
survived my riskiest undertaking at a Powered Paraglider fly-in: helping
light off the highest end fireworks I've ever seen at such an event. It
was quite the show.
I arrived Friday afternoon for what became the most number of flyable
hours ever at a non-beach event. It was at an airport. A grass airport
with a wonderful surface that welcomed my Bonanza with tons of room to
spare. I've landed on rougher paved runways. Larry, the airport owner,
ultralighter, and lover of flight, keeps the place immaculate. He made
us feel completely welcome. Same with airport manager David, both were
This was sort of a homecoming since I flew here during the 2004 USUA
The Indy Air Hogs are an awesome cohesive group that know how to have
fun. Those fireworks were just one example. Matt provided the source
material and Kevin set the up.
We flew and flew and flew. It was mellow enough each day to start
flying at 4pm, leaving nearly 5 hours of sweet, flyable air. Saturday
afternoon I launched early, going in search of thermals to get out of
the heat. Listening to music at a cool 3000 feet was truly sweet.
Foot dragging that grass was soooo smooth. 2800 feet of soft, closely
mowed grass made it almost effortless. Almost. At one point I was doing
a 180 foot drag for the camera, turning around on the runway, when I got
a bit heavy on the feet. That slowed me down enough that I slid to a
stop on one knee with the wing going down into the beans. Ooops. Unfazed
by the affair I setup and launched into another foot drag the other way.
This time I kept up a bit more speed!
There was a mishap when a pilot got whacked by the prop. Thankfully
he kept his cool remarkably chilled and got the thing shut off before it
did even more damage. Still it was pretty nasty but he'll make a full
It's soooo much fun to meet all the pilots. I know I'm repeating
myself but can't help stating how passionate people rock. Brandon is
quite fascinating. He's talented both at flying and building but comes
across kind of hick-like (sorry Brandon). Then you get him talking and
find out he's some kind of a research neuroscience biologist. He's just
not arrogant about it.
There are many others. And by the way, there are more airline geeks
than you know. I met two, John (Airbus 320 captain) and Jerry (retired
DC-9 captain) both of which are passionate about this kind of flying.
Kind of cool. I'm actually quite passionate about certain areas in that
realm, too, and one day hope to act on those interests.
Thanks to several volunteers who put on educational clinics. I only
wish I could have seen them all. David talked about airspace, Ola tore
down and rebuilt a black devil motor and Greg did a reserve deployment
and repack. Very informative.
They sure kept us well fed, thanks for that. Thanks Greg for the
couch. Not that I got much sleep. Each morning wa essentially calm and
perfect so the engines spun up early and I was out there to either join
them or get pictures. Got some good ones.
What a bargain, what an absolutely great time, you guys sure know how
to put on a good show!
Row One: 1) Brandon cruising. 2) Chow time. 3) Runway 2/20, 4) More
Row Two: 1-4) Launching
Row Three: 1) Terry
launching his "Cheap Trike." 2) Jerry launching his Trikebuggy. 3)
Brandon trying the Plasma. 4) Paul Anthem not being a moron.
1) Group shot by airplane just before I headed back. 2) This was a great
idea - an emergency contact number was on the arm band. 3) Rotax Food,
gotta love it. 4) Watching Greg's clinic. 5) Brandon launching