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 wonderful gents.

This was sort of a homecoming since I flew here during the 2004 USUA Nationals.

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 recovery.

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 footdragging.

Row Two: 1-4) Launching and flying.

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

1. Looking West from over the runway.

2. This tank with 'tude was a couple miles from the airfield. Some creative sort obviously had extra time on their hands.

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