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Gah, PPG is SO good!


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I recently did a bit of a road trip in which I drove and flew around a bit of the north island of New Zealand. I've done similar solo drives before in NZ with my PG gear, but this was the first time with my PPG gear.

One of my main frustrations after getting my PG license was that I just wasn't flying. Wind not strong enough, wind direction not good enough, no accessible launch sites, no accessible landing sites, logistically challenging to get back to the car, etc. The list just goes on. And on. And on. And on. And on. Did I mention it goes on?

I figured that wth a PPG I would be able to fly at least twice as often. 

Holy crap.

Let's try 10x+ as often. And in more places, always seeing different stuff.

I remember driving up to Te Mata, a mountain range close to Hastings, and had the standard tourist view of the range at the scenic overlook. And wow, the PG launch looked sketchy as hell. The wind was blowing parallel to the ridge instead of on it. And the landing was a 20min drive back up to the launch so I would have to hitch a ride back up. Didn't feel very safe for PG (what's new?)

Called in to the local PG club and they said the landing paddock isn't allowed for motor launching, but that didn't stop me. I drove down to a nearby sports field and took off and commuted the 10km distance via the air.

Flew over Te Mata, got the you-would-have-to-pay-hundreds-of-dollars-to-charter-a-plane view, played around there, and then buzzed many kilometers over a river, over some flats, over some rolling hills, to the ocean, next to some cliffs, and flew back and landed at my cheap econocar and chucked everything in the boot. Flying Te Mata would have been impossible on PG, and that's not even counting the cross country roundtrip over flats, hills, a river, to the ocean, and to some cliffs.

The next day I drove to a little town by the ocean (Wairoa) and was like "hey it's not raining and there's no wind - I'm going flying!" So I went to another sports field, took off, buzzed above the town, above the endless stretch of beach, along the river, over the nearby mountains, landed back at the car, and basically had another great time in the air.

On the way back to Auckland there was rain in the mountains way in the far distance but nothing on the flats, so I took off again from a sports field, went for a fly around a bay, observed the nice looking rain in the mountains, felt a gust front coming, and landed back at the car. 

And during this entire time there was not a single flyable day at the ridge that all the PG people go to fly. So I got to fly more, see more different spots, and launch and land from the car.

I mean, MAN. I was missing a LOT with just PG. 

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