Paraglider Kiting From A Moving Truck

2011-12-17 Fun in Pine Island

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. Hmmm. So 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.

What a hoot!


Extract from the video.

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