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 state.

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 run.

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 moral support.


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.


Rob watches

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 brake lights.


Someone got this playful group to stop moving just long for a group shot. Thanks to the photographer friend of a pilot.



Some of the group left before we could rope them into a group photo. Another wonderful sharing of our passionate pursuit.

The mighty Prius pressed into service with Robert Kitilla's paraHolder.

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