Florida Flyers Flash Mob
2016-07-31 Sudden Fly-In Davenport, FL
London Ivey posted that a group of flyers were gathering at a site
only 22 minutes from home, a place I've wanted to check out anyway. So I
arose before sunrise, gathered the requisite gear and showed up a bit
after the appointed time. The place was packed! Paramotorists scurried
about in various stages of prep with the requisite few struggling over
motor issues. If there's more than a handful of these things, at least
one will have motor problems.
How cool to see a bunch of familiar faces from seemingly all over the
My Doberman launch was possibly among the fugliest (friggin' UGLY)
attempt I can remember that actually resulted in flight. I started
running and felt nothing. I glanced sideways and it was there,
lumbering, hanging, mostly inflated but not coming up much. I stayed on
the A's and it grabbed enough air to come up, crooked, but not so much
that I couldn't run under it. After straightening out the run, I
throttled up and took off in a blaze of footfalls. Dang that was a fast
Then it was gorgeous. Balloons, fog in low lying areas, wide open,
and places I had not flown before. There is a lot of pretty area but
next time I'm bringing the lawn mower on our trailer. Afterwards many of
the gang congregated at a nearby Cracker Barrel. People must sleep in
their cars because the restaruant doesn't ever seem as full as the
packed parking lot suggests.
Throughout the whole thing I saw nary a single blown launch and these
were difficult conditions. Hot, humid, no wind, rough surface, long
grass, and a dog to eat the homework. Anybody aborting a launch would
have plenty of excuses. Nice job.
Rob Catto checking out 9 or so passenger balloons that
were landing on this field. This is Mr. VR, the guy who designed the
"Virtual Footlyer." He has an injured shoulder but came out for
Marty Hathaway preps his SD and trike.
Marty nails the launch on his 1998 designed Silex.
London Ivey flies by.
Tim Jones in front of the main lineup.
Rob and me with the Doberman chomping at its bit.
Field from the air. We had no shortage of room and a
few pilots took off from the road.
A group of 5 or so headed southwest a few miles.
Dan Provenzano cruising back from the balloons.
Marty built this trailer with lights for his machine. He
tells me that anything sticking out over 4 feet needs lights and this
qualifies. The single light blinks with blinkers, and goes solid with
Someone got this playful group to stop moving just
long for a group shot. Thanks to the photographer friend of a pilot.