Log

Clear, Beautiful, Ratty in Buffalo

2016-07-21 Morning Paramotor Flight because our airline flight was unavailable.

We were supposed to be on an airliner to Orlando but that was waylaid by a computer glitch at the airline. No worries. We looked at our options and decided to continue on to Cleveland after a morning flight in Buffalo.

A light south wind belied ratty air aloft. It wasn't bad, probably 1 to 2 on the bump scale, at launch but, by the time we turned around, was quite a bit worse. At 300 feet we could almost stop in midair so it was obviously blowing at least 15 mph up there. It was warm and smooth, though.

 

Scroll down to The Cleveland Adventure

The launch was far from ideal with ruts and tall vegetation but a couple mph wind made it much easier. Tim launched first with me starting just as he climbed out.

AIrspace requirements meant we had to go North, which is downwind. I prefer starting upwind so that the return is quick in case things go sour.

We didn't even know this to be the Erie Canal.

It's hard to fly this craft without doing some kind of gardening.

Hay fields rock. A bumpy breeze kept us from making more than two runs and we couldn't land and stand.

We circled a few times to get into position for better pictures. Radio communications rocks.

Grass tickling by Tim.

Landing by Tim with the Enterprise behind. On to Clieveland.

 

Cleveland & Final Drama

We got to Cleveland and met Dominic, one of the main movers responsible for improving this old and really cool soaring site on lake Erie. Edgewater Park is not for the faint hearted. There are trees immediately behind the short launch area, no flat bailout, very tight top landing options, trees on both sides, people milling about, sharks in the water and snakes in the grass. OK, maybe no sharks, and probably very few snakes but milling people? Yup.

It's a famous park trafficked by many hundreds every day who come for the view.

Dominic gave us a site briefing, always valuable, especially at sites like these. It's a site for current, active, P3 level pilots who are familiar with the vagaries of hill launch and side hill landing, speedbar use, and orographic lifting weirdness.

If all goes well, I'd LOVE to fly here on Aug 8th so start thinking "good winds, good winds."

It was also good to see sister Cecilia who lives in Cleveland and endured all the flying nonsense.

Drama

What's an Enterprise trip without some drama? The problem was parking.

Normally it's not an issue since we stay at secure airport locations nearly everywhere we go. It's expensive but super convenient--we drive in, shuttle to the terminal, and shuttle back on returning. Nobody is bothered and we get underway immediately. We really do appreciate the thoughtful offers we get but hate to put people out. This normally works brilliantly.

Not here.

For whatever reason none of the airport parking lots accepted motorhomes even if we were willing to pay for 2 spots.

Making matters worse was the fact that I picked up a work trip on Friday which, of course, flies out of Orlando. I really needed to get back. At worst Tim could deal with the Enterprise while I headed home but that sure is poopy for him.

We called storage places, and even campgrounds, of which there were precious few anywhere near the airport. Oh shock there. That would be akin to putting your campground next to the railroad.

One storage place could take us but needed the registration, title, drivers license, passport, vehicle pollution test results, birth certificates, blood sample and recent urinalysis. Who carries their title around?

Thankfully, Rockin' Tim came through. He found a place that was listed as closed but called anyway. We were that desperate. Turns out they could take us. Yaaay! I was, of course, skeptical until the gate finally opened but open it did.

The next hurdle was an operational airplane that could make it to Orlando. Thankfully, at least as I write this, cruising along at thirty-something thousand in an Airbus 321, we're on the right track.

One of our coolest Enterprise trips is ending.

What a ride.

 

Jeff, Tim, Dominick with Edgewater behind us. See that flat area on top? With the trees? Yup, that's launch.

 

It was one of Cleveland's rare days of heat so we cooled our heels in the Enterprise. Tim gave away all the beer that he wouldn't be consuming. Hopefully it's still good so Dominick and Cecilia get to enjoy it.

 

After chow at the local post-flight pub we followed Dom. There was no missing that car.

 

This scripty sign has become a photo magnet for visitors. We were iron. Cecilia, Jeff, Tim, Dominick.

 

Returning Home

Yeaaa, we made it! Thanks Frontier. Those A 321 cockpits sure are nice. They have a thing we don't recognize in 737s: room. (see sidebar)

 

Unfortunately, we arrived to find the mighty Prius wasn't so mighty. I've encountered this problem before and marvel how poorly designed it is. The cars Achilles Heel that is its 12 volt battery, which has been replaced once, only about a year ago. It was dead. There was nothing on in the car that should have killed it but, apparently, the small sensor drain was enough and we had to get it jumped. Even though theres probably 100 batteries worth of power in the regeneration battery, there's no way to get at it without the 12v battery having SOME power. Ugggh.


Yet another example of how handy our flexible launch  opportunities are.

Sidenote: Boeing vs Airbus


The Boeing has been good to me so don't take this the wrong way, but dang, when I checked in with the Captain on the A 321 I was taken by all the room. They don't rub the sides even after inhaling. Impressive. It has two jumpseats made for today's humans that don't require special contortionist ratings.

Both airplanes have close enough safety to make that an irrelevant concern so, I have to say, as a pilot it would seem this thing would be hard to beat.

© 2016 Jeff Goin & Tim Kaiser   Remember: If there's air there, it should be flown in!