2011 Motown Phoenix Flying Circus & Glamis Dunes
Flying, filming & shooting things
I had an interesting question: "Jeff, do you ever go fly just for fun
Fare question since lately nearly all my flying has
purpose, either for the video or trying out gear which really doesn't
take very long. I do tons of launches and landings, sometimes over ten
in a filming session, but rarely have I just gone out and flown around
for fun. But still, I do the reviews and filming for fun, too, lord
knows there's no significant money in it. It's just a different kind of
fun, a more purposed fun. And I think, once these videos are done, I
will get out for just fun flying although not as often as I did in year
Back to Mo's. This was among my top 5 fly-ins for just hanging out
with friends and flying. I did spend a lot of time filming and a lot of
time hanging out with friends, some new, some old. There are soooo many
cool people in this sport and everybody has a story.
The Flying Circus is a smaller, cozier affair with fewer rules. Not
that I'm downing larger events--I'm not, and I COMPLETELY agree with the
need for more rules at them, but it sure is nice to be more relaxed
The Field & Flying
Of course it's a dustbowl but that's better than a mud hole. Driving
to Motown was quite easy, even for the big campers, thanks to hundreds
of man-hours of work filling in ruts with sand and leveling by Mo and
other volunteers. As one who drove in via minivan, I'll attest to their
success. Also, thanks to Mo for picking up my many boxes, including the
a new Pluto 18.
The new stuff out there is awesome. Parajet has shaved a whopping 14
pounds off their standard two-stroke and improved other aspects as well,
especially the cage and throttle.
Pollini has improved its pull starter, essentially eliminating the
problems of early versions. This smooth running, clutched motor has good
power for medium weight.
And Kangook has a new suspension style that successfully mimics the
dynamics of Miniplane's brilliant system for larger engines. I flew, i
There's lots more to report on at Paratoys, which I'm now back from,
but alas that will have to probably weight for the reviews and full
magazine reports. The Paratoys 4-stroke Quad, Paratour's new lightweight
180cc powerhouse, and Alex Varv's impressive Kangook are the highlights
of what's to come. It's REALLY fun to see the innovations made by
paramotor manufacturers because it makes our sport so much better.
Never miss an opportunity. I'd brought my good camera and plenty of
tapes, knowing there would be some very talented pilots. I was not
disappointed. Pavel of Nirvana (he owns the company) is absolutely nuts
about flying. And he likes to push it, too, flying a 14 meter Katana
wing that looks so weirdly disproportionate when he flies it. When I
flew the thing there was a bit of breeze so it wasn't really that bad,
but on one of the shots I had him do, there was almost no wind. Man was
The shot I got was him swooping in to kick some cans lined up in a
row about 10 feet apart. Boy is he fast! Good, too. Those who've seen
Master PPG1 already know the shot because it's part of the series
opener--Eric Dufour swooping down and kicking cones as he slides in for
a swoop landing.
Pavel & Nirvana
This guy loves to fly and it shows. He makes quality equipment that
he wants to fly and others benefit from it. The Czech team always comes
ready for a show--uniforms and cool gadgets help make it classy. They do
dusk show that highlights their wing and prop lights. Meeting the 3 mile
rule sure is easy for this system.
More to Come..,deadlines loom so I'll save some of this writeup for
the magazines. Whip cracking, gun shooting, and some fiery debates made
this more than just a fly-in. I really had a good time.