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Everything posted by MattMc

  1. It was intense......Great fun and a really good opportunity to push my self and learn with the support of a more experienced pilot.
  2. Thank you Alan I will take a look at it.
  3. Things have moved on a lot this week. I dont know if you were aware of Daniel Jones flying from John O Groats to Lands End. I offered him the use of my field as a stop off and refuel point as we are 25 miles or so from his goal. Daniel not only accepted my offer but also asked if I would like to fly the last leg with him! Take off was a disaster! 4 failed forward launches! Peer pressure was the main issue, Daniel said "oh, reverse launch I wouldnt be doing that today". I should have just carried on but I figured he knew best......I tell you no lies I was knackered by the time I had reset 4 times....I told Dan to leave, do pone lap of the area and if I wasnt off the ground, leave me behind. I set up for a reverse and I challenge anyone to pull off a smoother looking takeoff. Text book perfection. Go me! I chased across to Dan who was fist pumping and cheering like we had just won a prize. Off we set for lands end. I had two goals for this flight. 1/ Use full trim out to keep up with Dan, remembering to add "trim in" to my landing prep. 2/ Select a landing site from the air and land in a field that I had never seen from the ground. We had a stunning flight. an hour or so of pure joy 1500 to 2000 feet most of the way. We flew over some stunning mine buildings, several beaches, Hayle Estuary, St Michael's Mount, Newlyn harbour and finally Lands End its self. I decided to be cautious. The wind was behind us, pushing us towards the sea and it was increasing in speed as we got closer, so I didnt go as far as the actual cliffs. I did pass the Lands End so Im taking that as a win! I had a field in site, set up my circuit and in we went. I decided, at 100 feet to power on and go around, not because I wasnt happy with the approach but because I realised I was going to be a long way from the road, the field was ace and I could get a lot closer, saving myself a bit of a walk. Boom feet on the ground like a bumble bee with sore feet! WHAT A RUSH!! I am delighted with the progress and incredibly grateful for Dans support and encouragement to push myself. Next goal is to map a route on my chart, buy a sat nav / FLARM and do a solo XC flight. If you are still reading this I am amazed and grateful. Any SatNav recommendations would be ace. Do people still have E readers?
  4. until

    Are there any spots left Simon? Im only down the road and would love to attend.
  5. I assume you have already booked a pilot for the filming work. Am I being deft by asking why you dont capture the audio at that time? Not being a smart arse, Im genuinely interested.
  6. Thats a great help Alan. Did you remove the velcro that holds the tip steer handles in place? It looks like a fiddly thing to open in flight. My thinking with the speed bar is that it seems to serve the same purpose as trim but has the advantage of being faster and easier to open and close. I would be interested in peoples opinions of speed bar Vs trim in general.
  7. Wow has it really been over a year since my last post? Amazing how time flies. So quick update. I am afraid that I am that guy....I took on board the advice of a couple of guys I met in Spain and cut out the bread and cakes and as much sugar was I could....22 kilos later..... I had a Uni 1.1 that was too bloody big for me! I stumbled upon the legend that is Clive Mason and not only was he able to offer me a good deal on a replacement but he found me a man in desperate need of my existing wing! I did a mass of research before I took the leap and, much as I loved the Uni I decided to go for a Solo instead. I 100% believe the Uni is a great wing to learn on but the opportunity to take a baby step up in performance was just too tempting. I asked Clive a million questions before I pulled the trigger and even so I forgot to ask the most important one. Ordered in January my new wing arrived in May! Not down to Clive at all, just the way it is but frustrating as hell. Obviously with a new wing in hand the weather went to ratchet instantly and it rained when it wasnt blowing at 90 mph. However it eventually did turn good and I took it out into the field at home and had a couple of hours ground handling. Two things became obvious straight away. 1/ I still had a vague idea of what I was doing. 2/ the solo is definitely a little easy to work with than the Uni. I spent most of May June and July trying to organise a date to get some refresher training and to get my BHPA signed of but we just couldnt make it happen. Distance, weather, other commitments and bloody COVID just kept getting in the way. In the end I was forced to look closer to home. After a quick squint on the BHPA website I found a local guy! Winning! Nope after making a load of promises he has 100% ghosted me. I am not a happy bunny but its his choice how he runs his business, I just wish he hadn't got my hopes up and wasted my time. While all this was going on I took the advice of one of the page members (asquaddie) and joined the club at Davidstow. This is where the story (at last) gets fun. I went along to say hi and to see what the vibe was like, I took my wing thinking I might be brave and do a little ground work, I took all my kit incase there was someone kind enough to look over it with me so that I was happy it was all good after all this time. All of these things happened. Lovely bunch of people, super positive and really helpful. Did a little handling and got a top tip for free that has made my life so much easier. As I was packing up one of the lads asked why I wasnt flying. I told him a brief version and he replied..."your ground work looked solid mate, you had that all under control, if I was you I would have sent it" I drove away feeling a bit daft but I knew I had to do the right thing. That lasted 24 hours. To cut a long story short, I went back a few days later, got set up and sent it! Aborted take off the first time as I wasnt 100% happy, aborted the second time, the wind had shifted and I stupidly decided to adjust once the wing was up.....third times a charm! Up and away for the most amazing flight, best part of two hours! Now to be honest the wind was very light and I did manage to take...wait for it....4 attempts to land but once it felt spot on I nailed it. Couple of meters from where I wanted and on my feet nice and light. WHAT A RUSH! At that point I leant a very valuable lesson. It was pointed out to me that I have landed with about an egg cup of fuel. 1/ get fuel gauge fixed and 2/ put too much fuel in, just in case. My objectives for the flight were to achieve a smooth take off and landing, feel my way into the new wing, fly in reasonably close ranks with other pilots and to land as close to a predetermined spot as I could. All achieved, I was delighted. Packed up and went home a really happy chap. Two days later I went back for another go. My objectives where the same as last time but I added in that I wanted to use trimmers for the first time. Just a little out to feel the effects and pop them back in. I arrived to a deserted airfield as everyone else had decided to have a day off. So add a new objective, fly without the perceived support of other pilots. What a weird sensation! Really nice set up and take off, hour long flight, trimmers tried briefly and a decent landing after just two attempts ( I over estimated wind speed on approach and was going a bit too long). Two flights in three days and I am really happy so far. Oh I have been emailing my new "instructor" asking when we might meet up all of this time by the way. Two days off during which we baled hay at home. I was standing in the field saying "this would be a great place to someone to take off from" as I walked away I burst out laughing.....the whole point of this entire saga was so that I could fly from home without needing a whole team! I ran home, jumped in the car (still loaded with my kit) got set up and bugger me if I didnt achieve the dream I started out with! Took off like a ten year veteran, an hour over my home area (not too close or too low to avoid upsetting the locals) turned for home and dropped it back onto the launch field like I have been doing it for years. Well apart from the bit where I stumbled and fell onto my knees at the last second. As no one was here I am going to pretend it counts as a decent landing. So thats where we are at as of today. The weather in Cornwall has turned for a few days so its time to relax and reflect. I want to fly from the airfield next with the objective of using my tip steering for the first time and if I get the perfect conditions I would like to try the trimmers again and maybe the speed bar. Massive thanks to everyone who has encouraged me or even just put up with me and here's to the rest of the summers flying. Oh...if anyone knows a BHPA instructor who might be on holiday this year looking for a flying buddy, I would still really like to get signed off. Heres a quick picture taken from close to my house.
  8. I am so sorry that there has been nothing to post on this thread but..... There is news. We are almost able to fly again and I cant wait. Time to get back to training and get my rating finalised! In other news I lost almost 20kg during lockdown so need to replace my wing. I managed to sell the uni and there's a new wing on the way! Spring is in the air people so lets get some Cornish air time going on!
  9. Im looking to buy a large harness for use while practicing ground handling. I figure I may as well get one I can use for paragliding if the urge to ever hits me. Does anyone have anything hard decent they no longer need? Budget of up to £200.
  10. So today is an important day for me. All my kit has now arrive home from Spain. I am so sorry people but I am sure the rain and wind is my fault..... Every time I get anything new that needs decent weather it turn full apocalypse on me. I have now taken up a new hobby. I like to call it Parawaiting.
  11. I cant tell you anything about the PAP but I am the proud new owner of a maverick and from an engineering point of view it all feels like good stuff. Everything well machined and all fits like a glove. If I had to be super critical I would like to see the tank just a little shorter so it wasn't on the ground in the event of a bad landing. Im going to fit a motocross style skid plate under mine just in case. Also the fuel filler is in a proper twat of a spot. I am going to try and get a permanent funnel 3d printed.
  12. When I set out to learn it was motor all the way but Im felling the need to do some free flying since Ive had a go. I need a harness to practice ground handling so I may as well get one good enough to fly with right?
  13. I kept a record of hours on the motor but not individual flights. What a numpty I am.
  14. You know what? i forgot to keep a record for myself. Steve has the books. Im going to say I managed 10 flights of between 10 a 40 minutes.
  15. Wise words buddy. I am blessed with almost no ego so Im not under any pressure from anyone including myself to push myself out of my comfort zone. I was with Steve.
  16. Im a little intimidated by the thought of flying with experienced people but also very excited at gaining skills. Im back in Cornwall tomorrow, subject it not having blown away, my motor and wing are being shipped and will be with me in a week. Bring on a clear calm day and new Cornish flying friends!
  17. Sorry Ive been a little quiet but its been a little busy around here. I am packing tonight to fly home to the UK after two very interesting, challenging, chaotic, testing and enjoyable weeks. Have I flown? Yes. Can I fly.....um Im feeling pretty good about progress but certainly not close to confident by any means. It feels important to try and give an accurate description of the time I have spent here, the lessons I have learned so far about flying paramotors, the experience of learning to fly overseas and the reality compared to my expectations. Number one, the weather in Spain has extended the amount of work you can fit into a short period of time much higher. Plus side is you learn more, down side is that you had better be fit or you will really suffer (more on that later) Two, the scenery from high above this part of Spain is stunning with clear blue sky allowing miles and miles of visibility Down side could be seen as the amount of messy air mountains cause and the issue of thermals though the middle of the day. Learning in cold still air might not be as good for your tan but might well extend the hours available for training. Three the people. I have met some of the best guys ever over the last two weeks and I am really looking forward to seeing them again later in the year so we can see how far each of us has progressed. I did think a few times how hard it would be, away from home if I have been here for this long with less amazing course mates. No Mrs or mates to go home to would make that hard. Four Reliability of kit. I am really bloody glad I made the daft / brave call to buy the parajet before I got here. If you are off the beaten track kit issues can eat into a days training really quickly and take away your opportunity to learn about flying. Plus side would be a course in mechanics for anyone unfamiliar with how engines work and what tools are for. Five ground handling. If you are even thinking about a course with no ground handling experience get your bumps felt! Its way harder than it looks and will eat into your time away like nothing else. Buy a harness and a cheap old wing, grab a willing local expert (not a youtube video) and get as much practice in as you can. I spent a good few days being dragged around by an angry table cloth when I could have been making way better use of the instructors skills! Remember when I said you need to be fit? I shit you not bear wrestling would be easier than three whole days of ground handling! i have never been so beaten up, bruised and knackered! Six. Strings! I know thats not what they are called but thats what Im going to call them until I master them. If you have no real ability to be methodical in your packing away, no desire to quietly spend what feels like hours knitting a set of lines and you find the idea of being laughed at when your instructor shows you for the tenth time that pulling this line through here and flicking this over there means your twenty minutes of macrame wasn't actually needed then you really really really need to get some practice in before you start. I think at least a day over the last two weeks could have been put to really good use if I had even basic prior cats cradle experience. Seven. Paragliding. Im not sure how this will go down but having been here for two weeks I rather wish I had been in a position to have done at least two days paragliding training before I came to Spain. Ive seen first hand just how valuable that is by watching how many steps other students were ahead of me from day one. Eight. Joy! The joy of my first flight will live with me forever. Nothing prepared me for that feeing as the wing loads, the harness starts to lean on the back of your legs and ten steps later you are up and away! Nine. Fear. I have seen a few guys in the last two weeks "get the fear" I would beg you experienced guys to try your hardest to find ways of sharing learning experiences that dont involve the words "He will be alright in the end" or "shame really he was a really nice bloke" I know we are all boys and spinning a yarn is part of the fun but pretending to be blasé about accidents in front of brand new pilots just adds a layer of concern that isnt healthy. Ten. Be realistic. Ive done two weeks. Im physically exhausted, mentally drained and Im not as far along as I intended to be. Dont put pressure on yourself to hit goals just push on as comfortably as you can, take each step in your stride and enjoy the process rather than focusing on the endgame. Im looking forward to getting home to my wonderful wife tomorrow and I cant wait to get to meet the Cornish massive for the next step on my flying adventure. OK thats it for now, Sorry if this is boring, old news, self absorbed, indulgent or just bullshit. I would love some feedback on my opinions as well as any questions. I will add a bit more actual detail regarding what Ive done so far as soon as I processed it myself. Stay safe you hear!
  18. So today was a totally different day. I arrived a bit worried and feeling like it might be a few more days before ground handling made any sense at all bit after a few more coaching sessions I feel like I made really good progress. Setting the wing and me up for a launch seems natural now, forward launches are way better after today and I even managed to kite the bloody thing! Better than that, towards the end of the day I reverse launched the wing, kited for a decent time, turned forward, ran forwards, span back to reverse and kited again, spun to forwards, fared, turned and landed the wing. TWICE! Not exactly flying yet (its only been two days!) but it feels like I made good progress. Things have been made way easier by having a really good bunch of lads on the course, including my new mate Ian who I believe has now joined the forum. Dont tell him I said his ground handling is way better than mine because he might get big headed LOL Oh dont tell him thats because he had an easier wing or he will call me a liar! Tomorrow is a whole new day and I really hope I make as much progress as today and that at least one of the more experienced P.I.T. gets airborne.
  19. So day 1....... Holy cow my legs are sore! Lots of learning regarding pre flight checks etc. More learning regarding design, construction and maintenance of wings, harnesses and motors. Wow so many mnemonics! Will Geordie Have His Cat Aboard Today? ha ha ha Mostly however today will be remembered as the day I ran further than I have run in years (fat lazy twat) and the day I found out that kiting is way, way, way harder than it looks. Forward launches feel intuitive and natural ( I need to get way better but I get it ) reverse launches and kiting feels like trying to think in Spanish, answer in Chineses while listening to an American auctioneer sell cows! Please tell me my legs will get stronger and that my brain will be able to make my hands do the right things to keep that bloody wing in the air! Loving it so far people.
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