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Ace Duffy

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Ace Duffy last won the day on October 31 2019

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  1. A fid is a hollow or semi-hollow pointy tube for pushing rope through places it doesn't want to go - like a second time through a tight o-ring. https://www.amazon.com/Samson-Rope-Splicing-4-Inch-2-Inch/dp/B002MC2UZW
  2. Would a fid be useful? That's the tool I reach for whenever I have to push rope through a small space that doesn't want to accept it.
  3. I'm complete novice to paramotoring - so don't take the following as well informed. But as a former safety officer in the USAF who's spent much of my life on flightlines, , I'm a bit surprised at the state of the paramotor design. It feels like where automotive safety was in 1903. There are a few paramotor designs that treat the netting more seriously. The Skytap Angel for instance; it's netted like a tennis racket and claims to be as strong. I'm not endorsing the product as I've never seen one, and have asked the designer several times about its weight with no response. But I do think that there is an engineering trade worth considering- safety vs weight and convenience and cost. At the very least, the netting on motors could be sheathed dyneema (like the wing lines) instead of easily damaged and highly stretchable nylon. Jeff Goin has a good section on footflyer.com on building a safer paramotor. I particularly like this: ****** Cage Hand Test A critical test for paramotor prop safety is whether it can withstand the hand test. You should be able to put your hand anywhere on the cage and, at the motor’s full rated thrust, NOT be able to touch the prop. It’s a simple test: push on the weakest part of the cage netting nearest the prop (usually its tips) and see if you can touch the blade. If you can, you’re at higher risk of a prop strike. There should also not be any large holes that would easily allow a stray hand to go through. **** From what I can tell, there's a weird history about stronger netting, and it's related to the infamous Flat Top by U-Turn. The Flat Top suffers from a spokesman who makes terribly inaccurate, irresponsible, and offensive claims about its safety while denigrating everyone else. He's aliened nearly the entire community with his arrogance and grandstanding. But we may be throwing out the baby with the bathwater. The motor does have some interesting ideas in it, one of which is a net that you can stand on without deflecting into the blade. The Skytap Angel does that. I think that if the Flat Top weren't associated with such an a**hole, a few more manufacturers might pick up the idea and make incremental improvements. An aside: I'm also looking forward to when hip belts (like on rucksacks and xc backpacks) on paramotor harnesses are standard. Scout just put one out, but it's not for novices. This a safety issue, not just comfort. The longer you can stand there in the ready position, waiting patently for a favorable cycle, the less likely you are to make a poor go/no go decision because you're hot, tired, shoulders are aching, and you've blown three launches already. The times I've come closest to catastrophe with chainsaws, table saws, electricity, and romantic relationships all have one thing in common - exhaustion had snuck up on me.
  4. There seems to be two universal pieces of advice I see from long-time flyers to newbies: 1) Get good, reputable training from a non-self-aggrandizing school . 2) Do not buy equipment until complete (or very-nearly complete) with your initial training. ( The coffee mug does not count as equipment - so good news there.)
  5. Yes, yes, yes. I'm one of those Americans, and I'm here because it's good to have a place to go where there's a moderator and people treat each other with respect.
  6. Thank you, Simon. Drove up to New Hampshire again this weekend. There are great people up at Morningside. Not so much great weather, though. Two days there and only about 2 hours of kiting. With winter coming quickly, I think I'll be starting over in the spring. So THAT's why they call it parawaiting.
  7. I started training at Morningside Flight Park in Charlestown, New Hampshire, USA two Sundays ago. I spent a week there working the instructor, Heath Woods, and camping on site. Heath's down to earth, knowledgeable, and careful. Since it's a hill that also trains hang gliders and paragliders, I got a few launches off the 150 foot hill, a few tows, and a fair amount of kiting. The weather was uncooperative - they don't have a particularly large field, so if the wind's not in the right direction, no flying. To look at me, you'd think I was pretty athletic and coordinated for man approaching 50. But I am feeling every one of my years. My knees hurt, my back hurts, and I pulled my right hamstring something nasty during a tow launch. The day before, I tripped on another tow launch and skidded a good 15 yards across the ground. All of this without even a motor on my back yet. But I'm heading back up for more this Sunday - weather permitting. And assuming the hamstring heals acceptably. Right now it's complaining that it didn't sign up for this flying thing.
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