Indy Air Hogs 2011
2011 Aug 22 Paramotor Fly In from Aug 18 - 21
There are hills here. You just don't associate hills with Indiana yet
there they are, just south of the field, rising from farmland flatness
and covered in trees. Bummer I didn't get to go exploring since I flew
down from Chicago in the Bonanza. Work schedule and Video 2 limited my
time to Friday/Saturday so I didn't even bring a motor. Thanks to Matt
for letting me mooch his brand new Parajet. What a nice machine. It's
shed over 15 pounds and all-but-solved torque yaw by
putting two offsets on the swing arms.
I did bring my camera equipment and got some really cool video
courtesy of Greg Hagg who ran me around on the back of an ATV while I
recorded launches with the Steadicam. Most of these shots have now been
incorporated into video 2, replacing others that were simple not as
good. This let me get, and stay, fairly close to the launching pilot so
you can see everything. A couple of especially fun including one where
the pilot lifted off then sank in to a butt-slide, chewing up grass with
his prop but managing to make it off. THAT clip will have a good home!
I also borrowed Dave Halcomb's Blackhawk quad to get some shots of
taxiing with the wing overhead while Kevin Sage ran the big camera. That
quad is nice, especially the ratchet type A-puller. So no matter what
wing you use it's easy to adjust it quickly for just the right amount of
A-pull. Doing the taxiing was fun --it's amazing how tight you can turn
if you get the wing inside the turn and power around it. I was only
doing 90 degree turns because the runway was crowded and I didn't want
to wear my welcome too thin for this kind of weirdness.
Dave Schultz was out with has very classy hang glider trike taking
people up for rides and he took me up, letting me fly it around enough
to see how it was. Wow! My Samba is a lightweight soaring trike and I
always expected these high powered rocked ships to be super heavy on the
controls. It wasn't at all. The strut braced wing handled solidly and
responsively. It felt comfortable almost right away. What a nice
machine. It would be a great travel machine, too, since it goes 80 mph.
That's nearly as fast as the helicopter and on a hell of a lot less gas!
Larry Beckley, the airport's owner, was an absolute gem. He showed me
around the place and I'm amazed at how nice it is. He's certainly an
aviation nut but we'll have to keep working on him about paramotoring.
The facility is extremely well kept and offers plenty of space even for
the Bonanza. The hangars are top notch and he welcomes all craft,
including our lowly selves, with open arms.
You'll be hard pressed to find a more fun group of folks. My only
objection was the amount of food they made available for $20. There was
always food and it tasted oh soooh good! Thanks to the Chefs for keeping
us so well fed. It made my efforts at limiting consumption quite
I had to leave Saturday so I didn't get to see Kevin's enormous
fireworks show. There was a 6" mortor there.
They did a thrust test on Saturday, too, that I'll put up once they
get it to me. Brandon, a scientist by profession, made sure everything
was as fair as possible.
The flight back was different since there was weather enroute to
Chicago. I got off to an inauspicious start after running over a cone at
the airport. Thankfully only the cone suffered but, about halfway there
the engine gave up a cough. I immediate switched tanks but it was well
before that should have been necessary. A bit of investigation revealed
that the left aux tank was no longer feeding. Even though it was 1/3
full, selecting it would cause a low fuel pressure. Bummer. With nearly
3 hours of fuel in the other FIVE tanks it was no problem but will need
to get fixed. It might just be a vent issue.
I'm using a new electronic flight bag for charts and it's truly
remarkable how much situational awareness and information it provides.
It's the Voyager by Seattle Avionics and it's remarkably capable. Having
purchased a lifetime subscription for charts, it will pay for itself in
probably 5 years given my $200/yr appetite for charts.
Air Traffic Control was extremely helpful. I had filed instruments
but, just before leaving, planned a reroute for weather and they worked
with me to keep clear of the storms. It took me about 50 miles to the
west of course but that added only 10 minutes or so to the 1:40 flight
time. What an amazing capability. What a great time.
Thanks to the Indy Air Hogs for putting on one of the coolest