Palm Bay: For A Cause
2016-03-22 Miles of Open Flying Space on residential roads
without houses. The Scott Adair Memorial Event.
Every event has a flavor and this one was, significantly, the wide open road.
Being a charity event really helps but what pilots want is a nice place
to fly and boy does this work. It's a gigantic residential development that never took root,
complete with residential roads that have nothing stickup up. It's just
grass and road.
It's nice that getting there is all on well-paved roads with "civilization" only 10 minutes away. Yet there are hundreds of acres
of flyable area with easy retrieves and many alternative launch
Flying and Trying
Wow was there a lot of stuff to try. I've got a few hours worth of
quick reviews to write. I wasn't willing to do speed and climb tests so
they will only be general impressions. Don't be disappointed in how
subdued they are. All the wings that I flew were different but would
make most any owner happy in their class. The motors have various
advantages and disadvantages, and I'll point out what I noticed, but
it's pretty cursery. I didn't weigh them I think the sellers are all
pretty honest about it, at least on these.
I'll hope to have reveiews up in the next few days.
Eric Dufour set out a challenge for pilots to "fly their age". I
was planning to try it but on Friday I wasn't feeling that great so I
waffled and figured I better see how long it would take. I had already
flown probably 15 flights but had enough in me to do a test.
I flew to a nearby field, brought the
wing down, looked at my watch and started. There was enough wind for a
reasonably easy reverse. When I looked at the watch it was 1821 (I may have the hour wrong). I
would inflate, turn around, launch into a left turn, climb only about 50
feet, throttle off and land near the chosen spot, bring the wing down
and repeat. I did that 5 times and looked at my watch: it was 1824. And
I was exhausted. I don't know how much was due to not feeling well but
the idea of doing that 53 times was NOT enticing.
At dawn of the next morning though I was back to 100% and thought
that maybe I would try it. At first the winds were too light but soon I
was doing reverses so I could have. I planned on it but the lure of
people and goods was too strong and I never went to do it. Bummer.
James Farewell did, though, as did Eric Dufour and another fellow.
James did 194 flights. Think about that. Launch, fly for a minute, land,
bring the wing down and repeat a hundred and NINETY FOUR times! Before
lunch. Another fellow did 30+ and Eric Dufour has done over a 100 before
Below are some of the moments.
As always, thanks to Tim for getting
some of the pictures, including the ones of me. Tim makes life so much
Tim Kaiser getting ready on day one,
There weren't as many people here yet, especially since some pilots
stayed away due to the weather forecasts which turned out to be wrong.
It was the best weather ever had by this event and I've been to all of
The field allowed launching from your campsite depending on winds but
you had to walk if the wind was from the South. The only event that lets
you really launch from your campsite is the Endless Footdrag since there
is launchable field on both sides and campers are all parked on two
sides of a road.
These two shots are the single surface FlightDesign 16.
Austin Ely getting to launch with his Dad Ernie on the radio.
Bob & Tim Gaskins, two of Atlanta's Bad Apples. They may be bad, but
they sure are fun.
Erics. Eric Farewell and Eric Dufour.
Another father/son duo: Frank and Javier Casaudoumecq.
Trikes LOVE this place.
Eric Farewell and Tim Kaiser cruising the compound.
Mark Renkens, his wife and pooches. Mark, the Palm Bay Chief of Police
and long time paramotor pilot,
is the motive force behind this event although he has lots of help.
Polish Slalom king Kamil Mańkowski getting ready to demonstrate high
speed flight on a Snake 16.
Sebastian holds a "Glass Snake" that gave up its tail in an effort to
outwit an attacker. The snake, a lizard actually, will do just fine,
thank you. Looks a bit disgusting but, apparently, it's a well-evolved
trait at defense. It's currently being researched as a way for rapid