Well it's been a while!
A combination of work and terrible weather has meant that its taken me what seems forever to get this far. I got to the stage of being ready for my first flight during the middle of 2011. Then, mainly because of strong winds and living around 2 hrs from the field (couldn't take advantage of last minute breaks in the weather etc), it was almost 3 months before I managed to get back to the field
It was like starting again, from scratch. Seriously, it was like everything I had done before was just a dream and I hadn't really been to Membury before!
After another couple of days training it was starting to come back, together with my confidence. So much so I decided to buy a wing off of Lee a club member. The proud owner of a revo 2 meant I could practice a little ground handling a little closer to home.
Circumstances meant that I didn't return to Membury for another 2/3 months but this time it was like I was just a little rusty and, after my second days training over only 3 weeks I had shown enough to Simon to say I was ready for my first flight!
Then came winter and another big layoff!
Returning last month, just a day of ground handling Simon was happy again that I was ready for my flight. Now it was a waiting game - weather pro was my friend - studying it for those close to perfect conditions!
It came - 14th March 2012 - so turned up at Membury at 9:30 only to find thick fog and 100 yard visibility! I wasn't giving up now - sat around drinking tea and watching DVDs until about 2pm when it finally started to clear and blue sky was starting to appear.
Took out my wing for some ground handling practice - three good forward launches. This was looking good, sun breaking through and for almost gone! RAF Colin turned up with my Parajet Compact I'd recently bought from Simon and I practiced a couple of launches with the motor on my back.
Boy that was hard and the sweat was dripping from me now!
Time for a rest and some paramotoring chat.
After a while I started to phsyc myself up for what was about to happen - carefully laid out my wing and then had my flight briefing from Colin B. wow - a lot to remember. Headphones, clipped into my wing and ready to go (after all the more-flight checks of course!).
Well - seemed I was a little nervous about putting too much power in and almost ran the length of the field before I plucked up the courage, squeezed the throttle and, hang non a minute, I was airborne! I think it was the shock at getting up that meant I momentarily left off the throttle again, only to have Colin B shout in my ear - throttle on and up I went!
By this time I thought I was in the seat but, after a couple of minutes it soon became clear that I was perched on the edge of it somehow in some crazy awkward position - oh we'll, it would have to do.
Feeling the controls in the air was a strange experience - not knowing how hard to pull on the brakes to steer but I kind of got going in the general direction I wanted to go! The only real panics moment was when I almost crossed the M4 - I swear I could hear Simon's voice telling me not to go over it because if I came down its a long way to come and find me!
Now for the landing - approach was fine other than a bit nerve wracking cutting the engine. Instinct was telling me it was a bad idea! Came down smoothly, 1st flare, suddenly I start to rise again, instinct cuts in again and I let off the brakes instead of holding the position, whoops - flared again but came down, took a couple of steps and then ended up face down. Luckily the ground was soft and no damage to me or the equipment, not even my pride as I was soooooo happy!!!!
What a great experience. Lessons learnt - power on earlier, hold the 1st shoulder lever flare on landing. And learn to get in the seat properly!!
Can't wait for my second flight now
My Mrs video'd the event but somehow managed to not get my landing. Shame because I would to have loved to see it!
[/youtubevideo]Excuse the editing- playing with my new Mac Book