Blossom Paragliding

2015-12-10 Surprisingly Good Soaring 
Little Black Soaring  El Cajon Carjacking?  Otay Motoring  Under the Bridge  Blossom Soaring

Tim's first real soaring flight! It was complete with top landings, thermals and a very small frontal collapse. The Spice is done, though, for this purpose.

Tim had never been to Torrey Pines so we checked it out. He even got to watch a "Flush Cycle" where a surge of wind builds, pilots launch and stay up, more pilots launch until the ridge is colorful with wings, then the lift dies. A couple made it back in but most went to the beach. Bummer. We had to deal with the motorhome and left with the possibility of going to Blossom which was probably more likely to be soarable.

On the way we found out there was no use in going to the motorhome place since we'd lose another day.

We met Phil Russman at Blossom and it turned out to be an awesome Blossom! Pictures below.



Another pilot enjoying what turned out to be an amazingly good day of soaring right through sunset.


Tim walks towards launch.


Below Tim is soaring with two of five other pilots who were airborne.

He's on the MacPara Spice which is not the wing for this kind of soaring by a new thermal pilot. He took a tiny frontal collapse that probably scared me more than him but it highlighted that, while it's great for motoring mellow air, it reacts very quickly to vertical gusts. After his flight I took it up and realized how much I take reactions for granted. Sharp jolts require sharp, immediate responses. Otherwise it will repond poorly. There's a number of reasons why beginner wings are good for turbulence flying but this is one I had not realized. And these were quite mellow conditions as soaring air goes. Tim handled it great but the risk meter was higher than I thought. Lesson learned.

Phil was on the radio instructing him about soaring and did a great job. At one point Tim's radio quit so Phil jumped on his Eden 3 and went up to fly with him, offering advice from the air. That was fun, no doubt. Tim is accomplished at motoring but soaring a mountain site that all but requires top landing is not even the same species of animal. The PPG Bible scratches the surface of motor transition training to free flight but the main takeaway should be: get good instruction from a competent paraglider instructor before thinking this is a good idea to do on your own.


I flew a bunch of times mostly after Tim was done since I didn't think I could stay up on my 18 meter Viper. It's reasonably efficient but here it's all about sink rate and size definitely matters. It was fun standing on one of the rocks, and just leaping forward into the increasingly broad lift band. There were a few shots of surprisingly strong turbulence but, overall, it was mostly smooth with gentle mild thermals bubbling through a soup of ridge lift.

Phil and I traded taking pictures of each other. One thing about the Spice, she's efficient!


Phil Rocks. We took turns playing king of the boulder.


We visited Jeff at his office and he had this in a frame along with other covers he has graced. I just had to get a picture!

When leaving, Tim commented on a Tesla in the parking lot. Turns out it was Jeff's brother and co-owner of the business. Jeff talked his brother into giving us a quick ride. Wow. What an impressive car.


Communications is really helpful for doing good photography of other paramotorists and mine wasn't working, a fact that Jeff gave me immense grief about. So I set out to fix it. First, though, was to know what the radio expects. This is the plug wiring diagram for a Yeasu FT-250 handheld ham radio. Get that google? You know I'll need to drum this picture up at a later date!


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