I'm on an Enterprise trip in South Florida, visiting Paul Czarnecki
of Planet PPG and then to Naples. Paul had students, including Popular
Mechanics columnist Jeff Wise who soloed. Jeff has done a great job
exploring some of life's more interesting ways aloft and other aviation
themes. We'll look forward
to his write-up but that's another log entry.
In the afternoon there wasn't enough wind to kite and I got to
thinking "why not create our own wind?" Paul's truck was right there.
I concocted a simple scheme and decided to go for it. Our driving plan would keep
each turn into the oozing east wind. I laid the wing out, braced my feet against the open
tailgate and Paul started off slowly. During inflation I stood up, using
the wing to pull me. While driving I would angle the wing in the turn
direction then call the turn, also calling "faster" or "slower" but, by
the time I could say "slower" it was usually too late. When
that happened, I just hopped out the back. Neither Paul or I ever even
fell when that happened.
The first time we went back and forth then downwind and I aborted
because we were moving pretty quick -- falling out going backwards
wasn't appealing. But when I got lifted up that wasn't a big deal
because I just did a normal (albeit backwards) landing. I sometimes
wound up sitting but then used the wing to pull up to standing.
Paul also took a turn on the wing, kiting with a slightly different
method and laying in the truck. The entire thing was broadcast live on
the PlanetPPG.com webcam.