Clear, Beautiful, Ratty in Buffalo
2016-07-21 Morning Paramotor Flight because our airline flight
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
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,
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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.
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.