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My plane instructor gave me a piece of advice about landing that massively helped me and it applies to Paramotors too. It may help you too. When you flair try to focus on flying a couple of inches abo

Well the last entry was almost 3 months ago! There hasn't been much flying going on due to lockdown, and the bad weather actually helped us through it I reckon. My first flight was on 27th F

Flight number 5 done tonight. clive went up with a tandem as I was happy launching now I know to run like Forrest Gump !  Anyway, forward launch no issues and off for a flight of about 40 mi

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  • 1 month later...

Well.... two months since I last flew. 
my Spider-Man engine cowl and my skull coated prop got their first outing today. 

I had planned to have a day alone flying in Tamworth but a call from Garry got him then Paul to both take the day off. Paul and I went over to Quorn near Leicester to Garry’s field. 
the forecast was reasonable but rain after lunch. Winds from 3 gusting 7 to 7 gusting 11 or so, all of which should be reasonably flyable.  
we got there about 8.45am and set up. Having had my throttle cable off I had to spend some time checking and getting my  engine running right. Paul was up and away, with Garry close behind. 
 

so anyway I got ready and went for a forward launch. The winds were definitely higher than forecast and the position of the field means a bit of rotor too so the windsock was all over the place. 
having regressed to complete novice I flopped my first attempt, made worse by some walkers standing watching. Second attempt was up in a few steps. 
Now I don’t know if it’s because I’ve not flown for ages or what but I got bumped and thrown about and generally didn’t feel like everything was right. I couldn’t see any riser issues or anything so I flew around then decided to land and check everything. 
I came around over the A6 down to the field to be buffetted about on my approach. I had to do a quick detour as I was swinging about so looped round the next field to try again but sink/rotor from the A6 and trees dropped me down suddenly to a couple of feet off the ground. Full throttle to save my ass, then down. On my arse.  In reality I don’t even know whether I attempted to stand I just wanted to get down. I do think such a long break took away some of my confidence. I’m still a beginner after all. 
i checked all my gear finding no issues. Then as it was a bit gusty and spitting with rain we waited around, doing some ground handling or acting and generally talking shit lol

around 1pm it had settled a touch so Paul and Garry went up with me to follow. I really need to stop fussing about and get up, but I did after a while. A bit bumpy but felt better than earlier however it was raining a bit more. Paul and Garry said they were coming back I’m so I landed first. on my knees. Not my day!

deciding not to fly again we packed up. 
paul and I went back to tamworth for a pint and decided the trees weren’t moving much outside so off we went to check out the tamworth field. 
 

wind was more stable than Leicester so went for it. 
had a failed forward launch, I think I just misjudged the wing and it came down on my left. Reset and up I went ! 
now the field is next to some industrial buildings and this is where I found my error. I had somehow picked up the brakes with both of the twisted around the risers. As I took off I managed a sharp right but the couldn’t steer properly due to the twists and climbed out right over the industrial estate. Not my chosen route and glad I didn’t have an engine out, but was ok. Once I gained height I sorted out my brakes and settled down. Up to 800ft and trimmed out, had a fly about waiting for Paul to launch (he fluffed it loads and didn’t get up). The other Richard had joined us and he was up ok. 
mot was reasonably smooth, chilly and bloody raining. So I did about 20 mins before getting back down on an approach I hadn’t done before due to wind direction. Came in really close to a tree and down ok to about 20ft then got chucked about again but managed to land sort of on one knee ish. 
 

then we went to the pub. 

a long but fun day. Racked up three flights of 7 mins, 5 mins and 20 mins. Not exactly much but learning lots. 
 

i like to post all my errors on here too so people may learn. Today was really a bit gusty for me but I didn’t feel unsafe, just struggled with the landings. 
the brakes was a stupid error and I don’t know how it happened as I’m pretty thorough. 
all good experience, nobody hurt and we had a day in a field where it was normal, no viruses or nonsense. 
 

now bring on the bloody summer!!!

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Good post, the drizzle put me off so good one to get off the ground.

You have to look at the surrounding area, trees particularly, in a '3D' fashion and imagine how they can disrupt the wind flow.

I have been caught out by rotor in my very early flying, fortunately without mishap. With greater experience you can anticipate and allow for some rotor if have to get into a tight space. Come in higher and always be prepared to add some power, also if you plan for a go around and instead achieve a good landing it is a win-win.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Well no flying git me messing. 
I made a strobe last year so this year I’ve bought myself a 3D printer to play with. 
first I printed a few things off the Internet (including a paramotor throttle which I will be trying)  but then I had to learn how to design things in 3D. 
Took me a couple of weeks of evenings and corona weekends to decide, design and finally print this. I found online a 3D model of a mount for a skyflar strobe onto a maverick frame. I designed a strobe case including transparent dome which would fit on this mount. But realising that with this mounted it would be above my frame and wild stop me fitting it my ‘new’ van. So I designed a mount of similar shape but with my strobe built in. 
not done the electronics yet, might do that tomorrow. It’s kept me sane!

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  • 1 month later...

Well after 61 days of not flying I finally got airborne again 😁

My last flight was 19th March which was 15mins.  previous to that My last flight had been 19th January! So long with no air time.

I thought I’d be more nervous but I was fine. Wind forecast was to die down late so we took off around 8pm. 
the grass was very long and we drove over it to make a runway. The reversible wind had dropped right off to almost nothing. 

Now we’ve been in lockdown and I’ve been messing. On my January flight I damaged my throttle cable in my prop. So, I’ve 3D printed a polini style throttle and made a new cable for left hand to free my right for reserve which I hope I never need. Previously I was using the parajet throttle which I always found bulky. 

Forward launch went perfectly once I remembered to add a little brake. Not a lot to say about the flight really, I guess this learning/training blog is going to stop soon. Up for around an hour and stayed about 1000ft. Surprisingly very calm and nice and warm. 
My landing was perfect. No arse landings here 😂...  gentle approach get everything ready in my head , lean in, flare and touch down 30 yards from the van. So easy I don’t know what all the fuss was about!

The change from right to left hand on throttle and to use my two smaller fingers felt quite natural. I didn’t forget where the kill switch was and had my first two fingers free for phone/photos. I got the cable over my arm which I could t do with the old one and just need to shorten is by maybe 6”.  So I’ll be printing another in a stronger material as this was a test one. 
 

Post flight chat in the field - remember we’re in lockdown and no gatherings, social distancing etc etc. Well there was this policeman..... 

we got reported for having a gathering at the farm. 3 of us. 
piliceman came to verify we all live in the same household, had a chat and left. 
all good here 😁

 

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2 hours ago, richjones said:

Well after 61 days of not flying I finally got airborne again 😁

My last flight was 19th March which was 15mins.  previous to that My last flight had been 19th January! So long with no air time.

I thought I’d be more nervous but I was fine. Wind forecast was to die down late so we took off around 8pm. 
the grass was very long and we drove over it to make a runway. The reversible wind had dropped right off to almost nothing. 

Now we’ve been in lockdown and I’ve been messing. On my January flight I damaged my throttle cable in my prop. So, I’ve 3D printed a polini style throttle and made a new cable for left hand to free my right for reserve which I hope I never need. Previously I was using the parajet throttle which I always found bulky. 

Forward launch went perfectly once I remembered to add a little brake. Not a lot to say about the flight really, I guess this learning/training blog is going to stop soon. Up for around an hour and stayed about 1000ft. Surprisingly very calm and nice and warm. 
My landing was perfect. No arse landings here 😂...  gentle approach get everything ready in my head , lean in, flare and touch down 30 yards from the van. So easy I don’t know what all the fuss was about!

The change from right to left hand on throttle and to use my two smaller fingers felt quite natural. I didn’t forget where the kill switch was and had my first two fingers free for phone/photos. I got the cable over my arm which I could t do with the old one and just need to shorten is by maybe 6”.  So I’ll be printing another in a stronger material as this was a test one. 
 

Post flight chat in the field - remember we’re in lockdown and no gatherings, social distancing etc etc. Well there was this policeman..... 

we got reported for having a gathering at the farm. 3 of us. 
piliceman came to verify we all live in the same household, had a chat and left. 
all good here 😁

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Got flight 47 in the other night. 
waited and waited for the wind to be right. Forecasts were good all day then it changed in the evening. Anyhow not a spectacular flight but an interesting take off. One of those where you have to run then run some more, almost aborted it but just got lift before running out of field. 
started my climb out, looked up to check the wing only to see I had a passenger - the windsock, complete with pole !!
I didn’t feel anything so didn’t know I’d hit it and it was caught in my left lines. 
So I stayed low and went around to land back at the field with the only adverse feeling being a slight reluctance to turn right. On approach to the field some others there waved me on as I had deposited the windsock in the next field. All good. 
After all that it was a bit too bumpy for me and I wasn’t feeling it after all the waiting so had a short 15-20 min flight at around 1000ft before returning. 
Gentle approach, descend, flare land on feet again. Don’t know why I ever struggled 😂

lessons of today - don’t underestimate your required runway, you can fly with a windsock, make the right decision if you’re not feeling it then save it for another day. 
 

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6 minutes ago, Viking1000 said:

Maybe that's the way forward Rich.If you have an engine out and can't restart... drop the pole and windsock to check the wind direction before landing 😃

 

Yep. I reckon so. Great for xc landing out too. 😁

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On Tuesday 2nd June my mom was 80. 
I went flying 😁

got to the field to meet Paul about 7.45pm in time for the last hour or so of light. 
wind of around 8-9mph, not too gusty so went for a reverse launch. 

when in training with Clive my feeling was that reverse was far more controllable and a better way to take off. At flight 48 this was my 3rd reverse take off. I just find forward so easy. 
however reverse was needed and first attempt flopped as the wing tried to overtake me then I over compensated and lost it. Simple reset and tried again. Up, turn, check, run. Done. Easy. 
bit of a non-eventful flight really. The wind was too strong to go anywhere and at one point I was doing 4mph. Turning just meant I’d get taken downwind somewhat and spend the next five minutes making up the distance I lost😂

so I ended up mainly flying slowly in a straight line before turning back and getting a max recorded speed in ppgps of 50.9 mph. Now that’s more like it 😁

quick circle of the field and gently down with a little bounce after flaring because of the strong wind, nicely on my feet. Becoming a habit this!

52 minute flight, average speed 17mph. 
 

some of you long term fliers may know Nathan Washington. He found us at the field and introduced himself after trying to find us for weeks. He’d followed us back after I was circling over his house. 
I thought it was going to be another complaint. 
 

Watching the forecast and deciding when to fly.. it was a nice enough flight, not too bumpy, but the wind made it not the most exciting flight. I’m still glad I flew. Got my camera out and got a few decent pics of paul too. 

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Flights 51 & 52 last night. 
joined the mile high club 😁😁

first flight half hour, I didn’t put my flight suit on. Mistake lol. 
had a little bimble around a quarry I hadn’t seen before. Nice little flight but I was cold. The houses you see when flying too! A mansion hidden in the trees you’d never know was there. 
went back to field to get more layers as I was too cold and fell forwards on landing into my knees. 
 

then got my suit on and went up again. Me, Paul page, Richard leishman, up, up, and above the clouds. Such an amazing feeling. Both my phones died of exposure just approaching 5200 so I just kept climbing. First time above a mile for me and Richard. Three of us up there, clouds below us. So peaceful I can’t even describe the feeling. (Well I can, it was bloody freezing!)

I glided down on tickover all the way down to 900 ft before touching the throttle. Got a video of it all so that will follow but no proof of the height. I guess I’ll just have to do it again 😁

came back to field and fell on my knees again🙄 

after a few mins I got the feeling back in my fingers and realised I’d twisted my ankle. By the time I’d driven home I couldn’t walk! Had to get my son to help unload the van. 
ice, painkillers, elevation. Doesn’t feel so bad this morning but not out of bed yet 😂

I only have 38 hours flight time total. Still a beginner. 
I love flying 😁

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Well I’m definitely back to being a beginner!

3 failed launches and two shitty landings. 
but two great 25 mile xc flights 😁

planned to fly with paul to clives field in market harborough from Tamworth.  Got to the field about 3.30 nice and early to set up. The windsock was playing silly buggers with nil wind really but gusts in all directions. 
paul took off and I set up in the same place. The grass in the field is too long but we have flattened a bit for a runway. Anyhow, I ran and ran and ran and ran out of runway but kept going into the grass. Fail. I gave up when I ran out of field, just couldn’t run fast enough in the long grass to get up. 
I was exhausted. 
then set up on the tyre tracks where it’s flat but not such a good direction but nil wind thought I might be ok. Fail. I was so tired from running with 40kg on my back that I couldn’t do it. Paul was circling and I gave it a few minutes and failed again. I told him best to land as I need a rest. Really wasn’t feeling it by this point. 
had a drink and fries the sweat off the set up to go again knowing if I failed I was going home. 
paul went, I stood engine running waiting for the windsock to show a little something. Finally I ran for it and just got lift before getting far into the long grass again. 
so off we went on out 25 mile journey. The first half was quite bumpy, not really enjoyable but as we approached market harborough it smoothed out. Great flight otherwise, no dramas. 
found Clive in a different field to what I was expecting and came in high and quiet as requested to glide in for a landing. Now the field is massive, and I got just over the hedge to get in (engine was running so no danger , I could have gone round) nice approach then promptly landed on my arse 🙄

oh well

we chatted for a while and set off home about 8.30. Forward launch nice and easy straight up. Stayed mostly around 2000ft but after about half way back it was bumpiest I’ve ever flown. Hands on brakes as the gusts kept turning me. 
got back to the field ok, no wind, came in fast and onto my knees/ face. 
 

so got two hours flying in which was great. 
lost all ability to land and had the most failed launches since I’ve been flying. 
just a day of not quite getting things right. 
 

apart from that it was lovely 😂

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'apart from that it was lovely', that made me grin.

Unfortunately we all have off days, was at the field on Monday, wind was twitching around then dropped to almost nothing. OK I thought go for a nil wind launch, a gust caught me and took the wing sideways. Hit the kill switch but was rolled sideways and ended up with a distorted cage quarter.

Oh well.

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