2016-05-17 Tim Gaskins, Michelle Helms
Tim Gaskins is one of the most generous people I know. But that
doesn't sound very "bad" for a group called the "Bad Apples." So where
did that name come from?
What's In A Name
Pulling from my memory here, it started with some people who came
down to Florida to fly paramotors. The ringleader was Bruce Erion, a
long time professional helicopter pilot and one of the the funniest
human beings I've had the pleasure of hanging out with. His colorful
life included flying a helicopter while giving traffic reports for a
local TV station but, more recently he was flying emergency medical
Bruce, better known as Brewster, brought some friends down to
paramotor at a well known beach which they did. They had a reputation
for flying at various sites wherever they could find and flying with a
bit of "rebel" flare. Once that title has been applied to a group it
tends to stick. At some point, a pilot was flying near a Tampa beach in
a way that garnered some complaints. Later on it came up on a group
forum, or maybe in conversation, and another pilot, possibily the
organizer of an event, blamed the complaints on the Atlanta group,
but rather calling them "those 'Bad Apples' from Atlanta."
And the name stuck. More specifically, it was adopted by Brewster who
held it proudly even though the offending pilot was not (as I recall)
from their group! I'm not surprised, Bruce has a way of making people
laugh at themselves and the oddities that humans bring to their every
endeavor. He also stars in Master Powered Paragliding 4: Advanced
Back to Tim.
Tim Gaskins is a lover of life and helper of humans. He took up powered
paragliding and immediately started contributing and bringing people
together to make the Club bigger and better. He's invited Tim (my Tim)
and me up to visit their clubhouse and flying field which this trip
would finally allow.
What a cool place!
Turns out this clubhouse was his former business which he wound up
selling to one of his workers but he kept the property. Another Bad
Apple club member, tired of losing launch sites, bought a field that
they could fly from. You get the idea that for all the bad apple
bluster this is a pretty giving group.
Michelle Helms is a new Atlanta area pilot that we also wanted to get
together with so she joined us at the clubhouse. Tim took us around to
see the field, his wife Sue, and their flying site. Sadly we weren't
able to visit but it was cool finally seeing the place.
The clubhouse rocks as you'll see in the pictures. Tim Gaskins has
more RC airplanes than the next 20 people I know who fly RC airplanes
The rolling hills of this field have been immortalized in Tim's many
tightly edited videos. It's really a beautiful site. At 15 acres it's
plenty big for the attentive but, being surrounded by trees and wires,
isn't that forgiving. Plus, you're almost always landing on a hill. That
adds an unwelcome twist for new pilots. You'll just have to watch some
of Tim's blooper reels to see what I mean.
It was a great visit and I hope to fly with them sometime soon.
Jeff, Tim, Sue
Jeff & Tim Kaiser