I’ve never written a blog before…but like everything there’s always a first time so here goes….
I’ve always got a buzz from anything aviation related, which explained my career path and life before my life changing situation. I served in the RAF and was a keen skydiver, so much so that when I left I had planned to try and make a living from it. But after an accident at work and some very poor medical treatment, I was left with permanent nerve damage to my spine, limited mobility, n
Some days, my Fed-Ex delivery driver has no idea what an immensely positive effect he is going to have on my favourite thing, flying my paramotor. Be it delivering a new helmet, a pair of gloves or just a bottle of Motul 800.
Recently a Fed-Ex box arrived from my recently appointed new best friend in Florida, Eric Farewell. I’d been in touch with Eric about some of the fabulous products that Aviator PPG sell, and which we don’t have in the UK. Eric had been helpful - as you’d expect from a
The weather forecast wasn’t the best as 200 pilots, friends and family headed to a couple of small fields just outside Cheltenham for three days.
It was a new site for the Summer Fly-in, fields which have often been used for car boot sales and are adjacent to a main road for easy access. However, during the weekend those small fields in a corner of Gloucestershire experienced something rather different to car boot sales.
By Friday evening the first field was spilling over into the sec
There’s a rumour that most of the meteorologists working at The Met Office have a little trick up their sleeves when it comes to booking their UK holidays. Regardless of what their own forecasts are saying, when it comes to their personal free time they always check out the dates of the Paramotor Club fly-ins before making any bookings. I imagine they have all been enjoying the weather this bank holiday weekend - And so did we, thanks yet again to our very own weather god, Simon Westmore.
FLYKANDY RIDGE DE PRO PILOT JACKET - £300
Each winter I try to avoid using my flying suit for as long as I can - It’s not because I don’t like it or that it isn’t any good - in fact it’s superb - I just don’t like to admit that it’s winter and the days of flying in lighter clothing have gone for another year.
Several years ago, I bought a Montane Prism jacket and its first proper use was when I got to fly from Lake Bochin in the Slovenian Alps, over the peaks, and land near to the bord
As I arrived at this summer’s fly-in, I was greeted by Simon and one of the first things we did was to scoff at the nearby Zenith which had lamels fitted to the netting. Both of us sneered in the only way two arrogant know-it-all paramotor pilots can, asking the obvious question “How could that possibly work?”.
Fast forward forty eight hours and as I drive away from the fly-in I cast a glance over my shoulder into the back of my van to admire the Maverick with its collection of lamels strun
It was absolute rubbish. Never going again. The people were just awful. There were no fireworks. These are just some of the phrases that weren’t written by me in a text I sent to the missus to tell her what a great time I was having at the 2018 PMC Summer Fly-in. Actually, that's not strictly true as the fireworks phrase did in fact get mentioned later … but more about that shortly.
After my drive from the Brecon Beacons, I arrived Friday lunchtime expecting to find a relatively empty field
Hot on the heels of Parafest, some two weeks previously, the PMC Summer Fly-in took place near Newbury between 14 - 16th July. Like Parafest, the weather forecast was not looking good.
But, in the usual PMC mysterious and unearthly manner, decent weather was provided. Friday proved to be a very flyable evening and those that had the good fortune to have got there on day one had fabulous conditions. Saturday morning was less flyable but a few gave it a go. After that, the weekend became a de
Rather than bore you with text... i thought i'd make a little video of my flight
Got some cool data visualisation stuff on it so you might wanna watch it to take a look at that for your own videos.
**Full disclosure** - i did sh*t myself a little and turn back when the thermals kicked in! Felt like I was on an Aer Lingus flight to Dublin!!!
Did this inspire you? www.paramotortraining.com would be a good place to start you
Find out how a Japanese karaoke machine manufacturer, an old dairy barn and the Clarks shoe company, combined with the vision and hard graft of one man, led to the world’s leading paramotor manufacturer - Parajet.
What comes to mind when you think of Parajet?
Smart designs? - Yes
Gorgeous looks? - Certainly
Superb build quality? - Without a doubt
Reliability? - Absolutely
Great flying dynamics? - The best
Comfort? - Of course
A long list - with one big overlying quality - c
There have been several books published over the years which have been regarded as an essential part of new PPG pilot’s accoutrement; For example, Paramotoring from the Ground Up: A Comprehensive Guide by Noel Whittall is probably the longest standing publication in this category along with Jeff Goin’s Powered Paramotor Bible, currently up to version 4. There are a few others too.
I always thought the columns by various pilots like Dean Eldridge and Jeff Goin, amongst others, in Paramotor m
Every winter, new PPG pilots discover flying in typical UK winter temperatures and quickly begin the quest for a solution to fingers which can be so cold that the pain is unbearable. Most of this is all nicely forgotten about when the spring comes, until a reminder in the form of extreme altitude or another looming winter approaches.
During my first PPG winter I experienced fingers which I could not make function, no matter how hard I tried. And I had experience of long diving decompression
The lightweight market for paramotors recently hotted-up with news of the new Maverick from Parajet, which was unveiled at Coupe Icare.
At first glance, the Maverick looks very good. The two things which were most noticeable to me were the colour option on the cage rim and the fact that this is the first time Parajet hasn’t used sexy aerofoils in their frames and cages; for this machine everything is tubular and made from titanium. Although 'lightweight' is usually regarded a
Another day, another fly-in. Paramotor pilots are getting a good run of options these days, from small localised get-togethers to huge affairs like Parafest back in June.
One persistent fly-in ‘brand’ has been showing up a lot in recent years - the PMC bashes, organised in great detail, and with no expense spared, by Simon Westmore - along with lots of help from those we all know within PMC, especially Col Borland. 'Severn Bore Chasers’ fly-ins now occur twice-yearly along with another one
It’s been 5 weeks since i had my first lesson in Paramotoring.
Since then there have been a few variables that have led to such a long absence from the airfield:
The main cause out has been the weather. I have a bit of a better understanding of the weather requirements now so now i look for a good wind - Average of <10mph and gusts under 15mph. That’s about my limit.
The night of my 1s
It’s been on most paramotor pilot’s radar for quite some time; after the first ever UK Parafest last year those who attended went on to tell everyone how great it was; those who didn’t attend promised that they’d do so this year.
Of course, there’s always the doubt about the weather; the old ‘What if I drive two hundred miles and it’s not flyable?’ question. Parafest had shouted very loudly that it was a festival that you could fly at - and the fact is that it was organised as a festival f
The Harness. Day 2 or should I say morning 2.
Money has now changed hands, which is not an easy thing, I think I must have both Scottish and Yorkshire blood in me, it's now time to get down to it and crack this bugger.
Today I arrived at Membury in my van - it seams you either have to have a van or posh car to Paramotor, l'm lucky enough to have an old van so could already be mistaken as a pro.
Now I'm an expert at flying the mini wing it's onto the bigger boy and the harness. Si
I imagine the majority of paramotor pilots will think back to their first days of training with gratitude for three things; Firstly, your instructor who was there to answer a seemingly never-ending stream of questions. Secondly, your instructor for providing you with equipment on which to learn. And thirdly, your headset and radio which connected you and your kit to your instructor during those first powered moments and your eventual first flight.
So, imagine taking away the third thing in
the first stages
For me learning to fly was always something I had wanted to do, but I never had the money or brains (so I thought) to do it. During my twenties and thirties I dabbled in a number of sports from climbing in my younger years then progressing on to mountaineering as my skills progressed and later moving into the caving and windsurfing scenes. Then, as the grey hairs inevitably muscled there way through and the 'dad bod' started to form it was time to find a new hobby. Fo
Today was the day that I began to realise my childhood dream. When i was 11 years old, i bet my brother that i would be a pilot by the time i’m 50! Well today was the day that my vision of actually achieving that felt real. Today was my 1st Paramotoring lesson.
Before i start - I had a few flying lessons in the past, but the ‘cost' of getting a pilots licence was just too high (in both time and money). AND once you get it, there’s the small issue of BUYING A PLANE! So realistically, i