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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

I haven't flown for years!! Back on 29th Nov Paul and I went to Wellingborough to fly with Pitt (aka ParaPigeon on youtube) Shitty weather but we managed to get 3 short flights in staying low o

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Nil Wind + Wet Grass + failed launches = Wet Wing 

Up at silly o'clock this morning to meet Paul and Sean at Penkridge. Perfect 2mph wind, bit chilly, dew on the grass. 
So, after the normal chat we were ready to go. Sean is new, only his 9th flight. He had one failed forward and took off OK.

I had a failed forward, I should have carried on but it didn't seem right so I stopped. I don't think there was really an issue.
Paul had a failed forward.
I had 2 more failed forward attempts - the wing was sodden and just wouldn't come up overhead. I had a rest and Paul got up OK. 

I laid out my wing for one last try not really thinking it would fly being so wet. I tried kiting it and it went almost up so I thought I'd give it a go.
Took off my flying suit because I was melting and went for it.
I gave it a bit of power to get air in the wing and it came up maybe half way but I couldn't run any faster, so I gave it about half throttle to push me along. The wing was stable but not high then eventually it came up over my head and I gave it full throttle.

Well I still had to run. About 2 miles. But I got a bit of lift and into the seat but the wing was having none of it, just plodding along about 3ft off the floor. I gradually got upwards after pumping the brakes a few times then it was OK. 

I really didn't expect to get airborne but happy that I had, I took it easy until the wing had dried out a bit. Gradually the responsiveness came back and we were away over the fields :D 

We had just over an hour, a bit of low flying over fields but generally enjoying being up in the air. 
Now I'm at work :/ 



oh... I landed on my arse 🙄

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Having a van is great 🙂
On Monday 14th I loaded my kit up before work and it’s easy to just leave it in there all day on the offchance it’s flyable after work. As it turned out it as perfect after work and everyone and his dog was flying 😁

The wind forecast was the wrong way for Penkridge but I wanted to test the limitations of the narrow runway so I was headed up there after work. Queue a medical emergency and some delays while mom got carried away in an ambulance and I made it to the field about 6.45pm.  I’ve had a word with mom and told her to be ill on none flying days in future !

anyhow it turns out there was almost nil wind so testing for wind direction didn’t really happen but I took off opposite way to what I normally do.  Giving myself plenty of runway I made it up with an easy forward and over the hedge at the end, the other way is about 200m long. At the near end there’s hangar/sheds for microlight storage and they get in the way. Ok I’m waffling again....

with the little wind being easterly I flew different areas to before which is always nice. Avoiding airspace at Overton microlight field I went over my sisters house which is right next to the m6 near Stafford, and circled a bit. I messaged her but the miserable sod didn’t even come out to wave😂

As the nights are closing in now (boooo!) I didn’t have long so headed back. Lovely smooth flight and came in to land with a long approach along the runway. I was practicing trying to clear up my arse landings and didn’t get ready enough so after racing alongside two rabbits I went around to do it again. 
I don’t know what’s going on really, I came in fast with no wind, completely out of my seat and leaning forward, got my feet down but couldn’t keep up and landed on one knee. 
I never do any damage or hurt myself  with these landings but it’s frustrating.

that was flight 74 - 25 mins with plans already afoot to fly next day in Tamworth 😁

Yesterday 15th Sept..
To the pub we go !
met Richard and Paul at Paul’s field about 5pm with plans to fly out to a pub near Fradley. No wind again. 
Paul got up first go (makes a change😂) then Richard then me. I always feel a little more pressure when I’m last one up because they’re waiting but I don’t let it rush me. Anyhow it was another easy forward. 
Off we went, about 35 mins to go the 14 miles to the pub which is alongside the canal and next to a caravan park. The caravan park has a field especially reserved for paramotor pub visits 😉
Being award that paul had a close shave with a telephone wire in this field last year I misjudged my first approach and came in high. I may have made it but chose not to risk hitting the hedge on the far side and went around. Came in and dropped down onto my feet 😁😁
Now this field is very sheltered and the was absolutely no wind in there so why I got on my feet I don’t bloody know😂

We walked round and set outside the pub which was a very nice place, had a quick beer and chat with a couple of locals. 

back into the field for the return journey and we talked about how easy or not to get off in a field surrounded by trees and caravans. Paul got up first go again, his forward take offs are getting good 🙂
I went next nice easy forward, and as soon as I was off the floor the slight breeze over the trees was a surprise. Just meant I opened throttle and climbed but didn’t turn as I would have preferred to keep further away from the caravans. Richard came up next and we set off back home. 
So smooth and so warm, what a lovely pastime we have. Got within a couple of miles of the field and aware of the sunset but had time to come low over a couple of big fields and round some trees. I don’t foot drag but have come down 10-20 ft a few times just building up my skills. 
As dusk fell we went back, richard had already landed, then Paul and finally me. I simply wasn’t ready, tweaking the brakes on approach and coming in fast again I kind of landed on arse and one knee. I know my feet lifted as I approached and I don’t think I flared enough at all. Always learning. 

We then packed up and went to the local pub for a post flight debriefing (beer) 

brilliant evening, and so good flying with people when you’re familiar with their flying style and who can be trusted. 


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Landing out and meeting other paramotor pilots and a helicopter too close for comfort..

When one day becomes flyable in a week of shitty weather everybody goes flying :D

Left work early to meet Richard & Paul at Richards field in Tamworth for a fly out. Got there about 3.30 aiming for a 4pm flight. We were going to a marina about 14 miles away at aiming to land at 6 so plenty of time. 
Paul went up and looked a bit turbulent so we didn't rush, took off with a nice forward take off at 4.30 for a 40 minute flight. My log says 16 miles so I guess I didn't go in a straight line. It was a lovely afternoon, nice and warm but a little gusty. Bumpiest ride I've had for a while but nothing bad. 
We got there and I wasn't sure which field we were landing in. Paul had gone ahead and I couldn't see him on the ground so I flew round the site a couple of times the Richard came in and landed. I came in nice and gently for an arse landing ...
Paul appeared from somewhere and landed last.

Had a beer while we waited for the others. A couple came in (Pete and Joe I think). They both did spectacular arse landings too which makes me feel better :D

Dan and Wayne came in a few minutes later, Wayne on his arse if I remember right, and Dan prancing like a fairy o one foot across the field.

A bit of parabollocks later we got ready to fly back intending to have a bit of low flying and get back before sunset.
I got up first, forward take off again, flying around waiting, Paul got off second.

While we were waiting a bloody helicopter came straight at me a little bit higher. I was at about 300ft, and it wasno more than 200ft above me. I turned away and it went straight over my head. You'd think you would panic but I was just like 'oh shit he ain't gonna see me' lol
The video below is the return flight and the helicopter is about a minute in. The GoPro makes it look miles away but it was bloody closer than Tucker's one!!

Anyway, Pete and Joe got up and went off home, Richard was arsing about and managed a couple of failed forwards. Not sure what happened, he doesn't normally have any trouble. Then he got up and off we went. Once we'd left the area and got over a few pylons we came down low. I'm getting more confident with my own abilities to put the wing where I want it so don't mind the low flying now. Paul came up bedside me closest I've ever been to anyone, probably only about 100ft away. I was a bit twitchy but I know he's a good pilot and won't do anything stupid up close to me.

Had a bit of low over fields, a couple of waves from people too which is nice. The video has a bit of Richard and Paul low flying together. Went up high and over Tamworth where another pilot flew by, a bit too close for me not knowing him (I know who he is, just don't know him) but waved and went on his way. Then I followed the A5 back to the field.

The field is two football pitches and there was a kids match on one of them, bloody cheek lol. Wind direction was across the field and we had to come in and turn across the field. I came a bit high but there was enough field to land, lovely approach, fast with little wind, feet down, run then couldn't keep my legs up with the speed and went on one knee. Happy enough I was in control just too fast for me. I think I'm probably still flaring too early but not sure.

Flight back was 48 minutes. I'm now up to 76 flights and still as excited every time as I was when I started.



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Busted frame 😕

Well I came out of work yesterday to unexpected sunshine and still trees. A quick check of the met office weather forecast made a quick decision to go for a fly. As you do. 

home, shower, load up, shout at traffic, get fuel, get to the field about 6pm. Great for a quick flight🙂

now the field at Penkridge is narrow and the wind needs to be going east or west. Ideally. 
it wasn’t completely ideal but the field had very little wind. I decided to set up and see if it was doable. I had to do a slight crosswind take off else I’d be in the barn! 

i fuelled up and got ready, preflight was ok until I noticed a crack at the bottom of my maverick frame. My ass landings are taking a toll after all 😕
The decision was made to carry on and fly based on that the crack was on the bottom outside of the main frame or hoop. 

A couple of failed forwards, not sure why probably just impatient. Third one i got the wing centred and ran. Towards the barn. Kept running. Towards the barn. 
you know when you have to make a decision to cut it or go.... I went. Got it turned to the left of the barn and once off the ground I was away. Could have done with a bit more of a runway but I was up ok. 

As it was unplanned I didn’t have a plan 🙄. So I just got a bit of height and got comfortable. Wind was around 8-9mph at 500ft no problem and it wasn’t gusty. 
I had a nice little fly around the fields, around some trees and just generally enjoyed myself. It wasn’t too warm so I cut it down to about 35 mins. 

 I had been planning my landing bearing in mind the wind direction wasn’t ideal. I came down over the field and the wind socks were almost hanging down so I came in along the runway. Didn’t time it right and flew around no problem the decided to come in over the cornfield and land into the little wind that there was. 
Now I’m getting fed up of ass landings but I can’t seem to nail it. I got ready and leaned forward and came down over the corn onto the runway. All good. Then I still landed on my bloody arse!!

Upon post flight check I had made the crack even worse so no more flying until that’s fixed.

turns out that was flight 79 😁

pic shows damage to frame which is now with a welder man and will be done tomorrow. Disappointed about the damage but had a great flight hedge hopping. video shows my somewhat risky takeoff. Live and learn 🙂




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Nice hedge hop! And great write ups, keep them coming. :)

At first I always had problems persuading my undercarriage to run on landing and often ended up on my arse or knees.  At first I ended up on my arse, until I changed the hang angle a little so that I was much more vertical when out of the seat. This automatically put my legs more under me. However, I then started to 'fall' forwards onto one or both knees. I eventually found that the issue was that my feet didn't like to start trying to run until I had a firm footing, which of course you often don't at first. The trick was forcing my legs to start running before my feet touched the ground. I have only failed one landing this year....and to be fair to me it was blowing 18 mph when I landed and I got pulled over - I nearly had to land a mile downwind as the wind picked up when I was 5 miles downwind...and I was doing 2 mph at one point! 


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Not sure mate. Trying again tomorrow with paul watching and been chatting to Clive to get back to his field. Getting on my nerves now. 
I did adjust my hang point a bit tonight and felt a bit better. At least no arse landing. 
I logged on to update the thread but realised I Was still sulking 🙄😂

I’ll type it up tomorrow. 

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Right then. 
Monday 28th Sept

i went to the field after having my frame welded at the weekend. Having completely stripped everything off and reassembled, and changed my engine mounts I had to check and test fly too. 
I wanted to practice landing see if I could sort it out. First thing is I changed my hang points one hole back. Since setting up over a year ago I’ve added a bit of belly, I nearly always fly with about 10L of fuel, I carry a flight deck full of cameras etc, and I’ve added a reserve. My logic was that I feel like I can’t get forward enough when landing so one hole back will be a test. 
Maybe a 2mph wind on Monday but a bit gusty. The field at Penkridge tends to shelter low wind due to trees which I’ve only just worked out, so this was effectively nil wind but into wind as soon as over trees and sheds. 

When I arrived at the field the microlight club owner was there as he’d cut the grass. Never met him before so we had a chat and he said he’d wait to see me take off. No pressure then!!😂
Anyway, reasonable forward take off with no issues from new hang points and didn’t make a fool of myself. I had warned him I would be headed right towards his car but would be up ok. It was a long run but I was up easy enough and gave him a wave as I went over. 
I had a little fly about, 15 mins, then decided to try a landing. 
Because of the issues I’m having it adds pressure because I’m trying to get it right. This makes for feeling rushed, or forgetting things or just making bad decisions and it’s not good. 
I came in along the runway slightly across the little wind there was. This meant minor corrections on approach which is ok but I was already trying to think through everything and it was just  another thing to manage. Add to that I was at the far end of the runway and I hadn’t been down there before. I came in and got surprised by a rise in the runway, decided to abort and got back in my seat but a bit too late. Tip of prop just touched the ground and split the ends. Very minor damage but seriously posed me off. I went around knowing my prop was damaged because I could hear it, came in again and landed on my knees. 

Gave myself a bollocking and put on a spare, previously repaired prop. This one is about 115cm now after hitting the crops a few weeks back but turned out to have plenty of thrust.

At this point I was ready to burn the damn paramotor.
I set up to take off and failed twice then realised the wind had done a 180 change and I was running downwind. It was literally next to nothing but made a difference. Changed round and took off ok. Had a very short maybe 3 min flight couple of laps of the field and came in to the field at the end of the runway which allowed me to go properly into wind and across the runway. 
I came in fast and ran about 3 or 4 steps but still fell over. Whether I stumbled in the ruts in the field I’m not sure, possibly but not using that as an excuse.

So I set up and took off properly into wind in the field, no issues straight up. One lap maybe a minute flight, and came in. Bloody same again, couple of steps and on knees. 

By this point I was too tired and I packed up, thoroughly pissed off. 
Got home, started to fill in this blog and realised I was still pissed off hence the grumpy entry 😂

Last night, Tues 29th. 
Met Paul at Penkridge and had arranged to go for a fly the he was going to watch me land to see if he could see any issues. He also got the photo below trying to show my hang angle in flight.
A little upright but comfortable and I’ve checked with Clive and will be leaving it like this for now. 933E782B-0EA9-4DC6-83C9-A310B0E1A232.jpeg

We got off no problem forward take off. Paul had rebuilt his carb and wanted to take it easy and we went for a longer flight than expected. Had a great fly past Stafford, over the old Hixon RAF site, a bit of fun round Chartley Castle, back along the edge of Cannock Chase and over Shugborough Hall. Waved to my sister as I went over her house and she waved back this time.. did a bit of hedge hopping on the way back and basically had a lovely 75 min flight. 
Came to the field, as planned Paul landed first. I came in, everything feeling good but fast. Came down, flared and feet down then on my knees. It feels to me like I don’t have enough brake to flare enough. Clive is going to fly my wing and see for sure, maybe my brake lines are a bit long. 

Got ready to go up again and again had a couple of fails - the wings wouldn’t come up. Turns out it had changed direction same as Monday night but third go I outran it and got up ok. Very quick flight as it was getting dark, round a couple of trees racing rabbits and back to the runway, into wind. Same old .. got ready, came down, fell forward. 

So there you go, more crappy landings. 
Still a better day as we got a great flight in and that always lifts my spirits. There’s something about being up there, seeing things the masses don’t see, flying free without being enclosed in a plane. I’ll never get bored of it and eventually I will sort out these landings. 
I’ll  add some video footage maybe tomorrow. My laptop takes ages to edit video but should have some good bits especially around the castle ruins. 

I did go facebook Live for most of the flight if you fancy seeing it’s here :

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  • 1 month later...

Well the weather has been rubbish lately and I've been slacking on my updates so here goes..

7th October I met Rich & Paul at Tamworth. It was quite a windy day if I remember rightly. The field is surrounded by buildings though and the wind can be a bit unpredictable. 
I got up with a forward takeoff during a lull in the wind, with Paul & Rich having already gone up. Now my wing isn't as fast as theirs at the best of times, and I took off a couple of minutes after them. 
That was it, never caught them. I think they left me on purpose.

I was heading into wind of around 10+mph and making little progress. Gained height easily, and managed to head east over the M42. I got my first look at Drayton Manor Park from the air. Everything looks smaller than on the ground!
I was following the others about half a mile behind. We flew for about 50 minutes and got nowhere, but we still flew.

Coming in to the field is always fun because of the surroundings, but I always take a long approach and I came in and landed on my feet for the first time in ages!!

Quick video shows the approach to the field and my landing. At last video evidence I can do it. Sometimes!

More updates tomorrow...

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All the rubbish weather we've had for weeks and the first good flying day is also the first day of Lockdown - the sequel.

Oh well, chase me Boris ya scruffy headed gimp !

So with the good forecast for 5th November I had a day off work and met up with two other rebels at Tamworth. It's been 29 days since I've flown, I can hardly remember what it's like. And what a day it was :D

First things first, I got my van stuck in the mud getting into the field. The other two (let's call them Paul and Jay) came and pushed me out. Good start to the day.

10am approx, getting set up and expecting the gusts to die down by 11ish. maybe a 5-6mph wind meant I'd be practicing reverse take offs today. Of 80 odd flights I'd only reversed 4 times - no reason as such I just find forward takeoff easy. Unlike Paul (not his real name) who tries to reverse in nil wind because he's scared of forwards 😆

Once set up I kited the wing a couple of times to get that reverse feeling and as Paul had messed his up I went for it. Straight up, turn and go. Such a quick take off compared to going forwards, the wind helped too.
I find it surprising how after a few weeks off I'm less comfortable in the harness. Nothing drastic, just takes me longer to settle. 
I went up to around 1200ft and Paul got up no problem, then we waited for Jay. He'd only had a dozen flight before that day but was confident enough in himself to go up last. He took his time getting ready and all good, got off with a nice reverse.

We went downwind a couple of miles and over the Mira test track at Hinckley, good to be above when they're testing the cars there. They always seem really slow from above. Then off up towards the M42 into the wind just enjoying the ride. A little hedge hopping for Paul, I stayed a bit higher this time, then as we weren't making much forward progress past the M42 we went back. I was getting cold too, the winter is coming. Thermals and gloves out already!
Coming back to the field nice and easy, Paul did a good spot landing on the tarpaulin by his car, I came in gently to a lovely LANDING ON MY FEET :D:D:D

Stopped for sausage and bacon before flight 2.
Another reverse with no issues and away we went. This time we headed towards Mallory Park race track. I've never been there before so it was nice to see. We buzzed around there for a bit then we all flew mostly pretty low on the way back. Because bonfire night there were fires everywhere, so it was only expected that we would fly through the smoke of one :D  Not sure why everyone lit their fires during the day...

A few hedges hopped and trees flown round I came back into the field only to land on my bloody feet again :D:D:D 

Jay had to leave then so Paul and I went up for another flight. We knew Richard (also not his real name because lockdown) was flying at another field so we flew over there and he joined us. They did a wing tip touch which was good to see but waaaayyyy to scary for me. Unfortunately my GoPro was flat by then.
We flew round for a bit just enjoying being in the air. After a while cold got to me and we headed back for a hat trick of foot landings in one day. 

After 3 flights over 3 hours in the air, 2 reverse, 1 forward and 2 foot landings I think I can say this was a rather good day.
This took me to 88 flights with 65 hours total air time. Getting better every time (the fun, not me!)

more to come...



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Lockdown? Where?


7th November I went to Penkridge on a cold foggy morning. Forecast was good if the fog lifted.
Got to the field and got stuck in the mud... again. With nobody there to push I eventually decided to walk my kit to the runway. 
After 3 trips of about 100 miles each I finally had everything laid out on a tarpaulin because of the wet grass. The fog had lifted around the field so I got ready to go. Never the same on your own is it?

After making sure I'm all good to go I went for a forward and straight up into the hazy sky. I climbed to 1100ft which took me above the haze and into the sunlight. Lovely and warm with approx 8mph wind but not at all gusty. 
All around I could see where there was still fog - to the West I could see the wrekin poking through, to the East was more clear. I hoped to fly over home which is about 10 miles east but as I headed that way several things were evident - headwind was slowing me down, my house would still be under fog, I wouldn't be able to fly above to to living in the outer limits of Birmingham airspace and I wouldn't be able to go above about 700ft at home. I'll fly over one day when the conditions are right.

I then decided to fly over Cannock area which was all clear so I headed that way. Flew over my mates dad's house. He saw me but I couldn't see him as I was at about 1800ft. It's always nice when people you know see you flying.
I flew past Pye Green tv tower which looks big on the ground but tiny from the air, over Cannock & Hednesford, past Hednesford Hills banger racing track.

After having a fly about generally enjoying the views I headed back. Came down to about 600ft once I'd crossed the M6 and it was getting hazy again so I made sure I could get back to the field. I did a fly by the field to check windsock then came in and broke my run of good landings by falling on my knees. 

Had a great 70 min flight in conditions that were a pleasure to see. I'm so lucky to see these views that the general public don't see :)

Packed my stuff away in 3 trips to the van, then lost my keys. Just what I needed, locked in a field in the middle of nowhere with no keys. A 15 min search and lots of walking round the field didn't find anything, but then I checked the tarpaulin... I'd folded them up in the middle.. dope!

Fantastic day - flying in the morning and walking in the woods with my granddaughter in the afternoon. Good times :)


Couple of pics - one of the fog near Cannock, one of my flight record so far. Still loving it!




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2 hours ago, alan_k said:

That's quite a comprehensive record you are keeping. Excellent reading.

Thanks Alan. I was thinking about it this morning as it’s not really much of a training or learning blog now but more a flight blog. I don’t want to stop doing it though because I read back occasionally and see experiences I’d forgotten. Nice if a few people enjoy it too 🙂

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2 hours ago, alan_k said:

That's quite a comprehensive record you are keeping. Excellent reading.

Just realised you might have meant the excel record. Yep. I’m a bit of a numbers person. I count stuff 😂. It’s just the basics plus a few notes for each flight. 

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Keep doing your "flog", it is always great to read. I am a little obsessed with recording flights as well. I used to record take-off and landing errors...but then stopped making any. In the past 18 months I have fallen onto my left knee once and failed no launches! Here is the last bit of my log.....

184 20-Sep-20     20 8316 138 36 Ac Nitro 200, R2 26m Redcar, got rained on, very, very wet 74 36 34 39
185 28-Sep-20     56 8372 139 32 Ac Nitro 200, R2 26m Milburn field 75 32 34 39
186 29-Sep-20     100 8472 141 12 Ac Nitro 200, R2 26m Tim's field Ladybower 77 12 34 39
187 01-Oct-20      60 8532 142 12 Ac Nitro 200, R2 26m Redcar 78 12 34 39
188 04-Nov-20     2 8534 142 14 Ac Nitro 200, R2 26m Redcar 78 14 34 39
189 04-Nov-20     5 8539 142 19 Ac Nitro 200, R2 26m Redcar 78 19 34 39
190 04-Nov-20     37 8576 142 56 Ac Nitro 200, R2 26m Redcar 78 56 34 39
191 06-Nov-20     36 8612 143 32 Ac Nitro 200, R2 26m Redcar 79 32 34 39
192     8612 143 32            
                 Nitro hrs     Tornado  
Flt no. Date            Flt length  Total mins Total hrs and mins     Kit Comments     Hours     Mins    Hours       Mins


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