2009-Nov-10 Lesson from a quickie
Yesterday I took a friend flying in Ellie (an Enstrom helicopter) for
a flight around the burbs, simulating along the way some typical
paramotor flying beside the DuPage river. Yes, that's ridiculous, I'm
flying a helicopter, showing what it would be like to fly a paramotor.
The helicopter does have one very important advantage—heat, but doing
this same flight in a paramotor is more fun in many ways and a lot
less expensive! I'll drag my feet through the grasses but don't dare
doing the same thing with Ellie's skids.
After returning to my backyard and putting Ellie away, I was
enthusing over PPG, explaining that helicopter flying is fun but it
can't hold a candle to paramotoring. I was describing a particularly
interesting flight, the one where I flew up to retrieve Ellie from her
annual inspection. I explained how, flying a fast wing with an
underpowered motor, I had to go around some of the trees that line my
After walking out to the taxiway I felt enough wind to kite and
offered to show him a wing, just kiting it with the risers. While
collecting the wing, I figured I might as well drag out the motor.
After all, if I'm going to all the trouble of kiting...might as well.
It was windier than I've ever flown here before, and was coming over
the houses and trees that line my launch run about 70 degrees off from
my launch direction. I kited briefly with the risers and found it to be
sporty but decided to go for it anyway. Just a quick demo flight.
That was a mistake.
Launch was rocky and required lots of work climbing through the
almost 5-level bumps. After bouncing my way up to 200 feet, I all but
parked on a 70 degree heading. Landing would be interesting.
I knew he was watching and there's nothing more boring than watching
a PPGer fly around so I came right back for a landing, which I knew
would be sporty. It was. I'm glad to have kept the motor running because
indeed I got royally dumped and was thankful for a last-minute throttle
burst just before what would have otherwise been a mighty whack. It was
still hard but I managed to stay on my feet. Barely.
Just a short demo flight, huh?
Self induced pressure—will I ever learn!?!?