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Dan - Paramotor Training Blog


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Hi Dan

Why don't you run a course on aerial photography, there must be loads on here who would love to be able to take pictures like yours, is there a secret?


Chaps, thanks for the comments but my photos are barely worth a look when you compare them to ANDREW MCMAHON'S - I believe he takes a DSLR (Nikon D200 with 18-200 lens) up with him on the best days of the year.

All shots taken with gloves on, most single handed, occasionally both, but I always keep throttle in my hand (only possible with a left handed throttle). I wear windproof thin gloves (macwet) and in the colder half of the year, I wear mitts over these. The mitts have a fold back outer half. If I need to change camera settings (or adjust the carb), I fold back the outer half of the mitts. I look through viewfinder in almost all shots (occasionally, I cannot "reach" the angle and sometimes take a "blind" shot pointing straight below me.


The secret is that I have to use photoshop to clear mine up, if it's a bit hazy then it really takes the edge off them so mornings are probably the best time. It's only a cheap £80 point and shoot camera, one that has a strap that I tie to my flying suit but unlike Andrew I have a r/h throttle so have to take pics with left hand and I usually shoot blind i.e. not looking at the screen.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Managed a couple of hours over the weekend at the fly-in....

Modified bike carrier


RAF Oakley, WW2 airfield.


Colin chasing rabbits


Golf course


View of the farm and our field before it filled up


Finally managed to discover a scrap yard (the one behind the farm had been cleared of cars :( )


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  • 2 months later...

Had a couple of flights from Lambourn today, was nice to see the usual crowd and some sunshine.

The morning flight was to the windfarm:


Then over some lovely little houses


Longcot church


And finally past Ashdown house which looked lovely


In the evening I flew to this amazing motoX track which had been busy during the day


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Have just tumbled across your blog and this, combined with a message from Simon to "just go for it" has convinced me of the need to book my training. Now it's just a case of convincing the missus - anyone any ideas!? :wink:

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So that everyone else who is interested doesn't have to trawl back through 4 full pages to October 1st 2007 like I just did, the camera that Dan produces these cracking photos on is a Fuji A800.

Best regards,


Sorry Ian it was a bit late last night and I was knackered. Anyway yes it's an el cheapo Fuji A800 which is most likely obsolete by now, I really need a camera with image stabilisation as loads of pics come out blurry so I'm on the hunt for a Fuji F100FD when I have some spare cash.

Josh the wing is Blue with a bit of orange, I was down your way and I'll keep my eyes open for you on the deck, won't be long till you are taking off to meet us.

Last night there were about six hot air balloons up when I took off but they were all landing as I got near them, one day I'll catch one up :)

Another pic of Bruce over the Hogs Back as the Sun is dipping, made sure I got on the ground before dark this time 8)


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I will have to come and join you sometime Dan. I was up in the air over Epsom/Ashtead last night and got a little lonely when the battery ran out on my MP3 player. :)

Guildfords not that far...in fact, I flew down there on Sunday morning....which was nice. :)

I've been debating the camera option as well...thinking SLR is the way to go, but it's not cheap. :(

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  • 1 month later...

Bagged three excellent flights over the weekend at Simon's Oxford fly-in. The first was Friday evening, the sun was about to set and the big red Virgin balloon appeared on the horizon so I forward launched in hot pursuit. There were about three of us heading his way so once the first one (Dan Burton I think) did a circle so the passengers could all get a good photo we all peeled off and headed to the old WWII airstrip where we were joined by DanP beating up the runway doing footdrags and stuff. Headed back to the field as the sun dissappeared over the horizon and finished the day off with a few pints in the bar on the farm.

Saturday morning was another forward launch off the dew covered grass, this time I headed out to have a play and try for some air to air photos but everyone was playing hard to get, especially DanP who just as I got close bombed up to 8500, too high for me in the chilled morning air. I had gone up with 10 litres so was able to zoom all over the countryside but my bladder decided I could not last out for the full tank as I was desperate for a pee so headed back for lunch.

Saturday evening was the best, totally cloudless and balloons popping up everywhere, I chose two over towards Aylesbury and got loads of waves as I passed by, then chased trains along the railway line and watched a load of GA doing touch and go's on a nearby airstrip.

The glory photo


DanP going up






A prison


Clouds popping up


Family watching DanP take off


Commonleys farm




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  • 5 months later...

Bit late to start my 2010 flying but am moving house in a few weeks so it's a bit manic, however when I saw the skies today I had to do something about it. Used Simons cricket pitch to have a fantastic hour's sortie with RAF Colin.

First pics with my new camera, FUJI F100FD and it's ace, fiddly buttons with gloves on but still dooable, have to tape up the battery compartment as I accidentally opened it, was very lucky not to send the battery into a field.









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  • 3 weeks later...
  • 4 weeks later...
17,178 reads of this blog. !!

Nice one Dan.

Thanks mate, hopefully a few more hits to look at these lovely photos from the Sussex fly-in...

Met up with the guys at Seymores farm and the conditions could not have been better, no big stuff into Gatwick to worry about and a cloudless (apart from volcanic ash) sky. I said I would have a quick 5 min flight to test the bumps but it was so nice I just got my bearings and headed to the coast. After skirting the bird sanctuary I dropped into the Arun valley between the South Downs.

Amberley castle looked fantastic and I was tempted to call it a day after photographing it and head back to the field but I looked over my shoulder and Morgy was on full bar catching up. We dropped right down and weaved around the river and railway, skirting another sanctuary before climbing to photo Arundel castle. Them the fun began, the river meanders and so we followed it, not a soul in sight just seagulls bolting from their roosts. Finally we hit the coast, the air was freezing cold and very salty but it was worth it as everyone on the beach waved like mad as we had a bit of a play before turning back. Mark was low on fuel and we were both busting for a pee so a quick downwind leg and flight with Tom Clowes to the field to refuel and I was back up chasing all the balloons that were rising to the west.

After a fantastic sunset, Seymore fired up the BBQ to finish the day on a high, thanks mate !

Amberley Castle


Arundel Castle


Looking into Arundel Castle


Morgy following the Arun


River meanders to the coast


Hunter gate guardian




Chasing trains




Littlehampton & Worthing


Tom Clowes over the South Downs


Tom's HP wing from the Venezuela trip


1 man Balloon




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  • 2 months later...

Just had an amazing weekend at the Silverstone PMC fly-in, clocked up another three hours with two of those being on an early morning 40 mile round trip to Santa Pod race track. On Friday eve it was a quick dusk 15 min hop to get my bearings with Steve Haze as we zoomed around the neighbourhood, then try to get some kip to get the best of the Saturday morning still air.

I had a job dragging myself out of bed and I could have done without the forward launch up hill with a full fuel load but the warm air of the sun in my face was worth the effort and I was soon making good progress downwind. I was doing some classic map reading to get my bearings, but had stuffed the TomTom in my mapcase to cheat a little as this has a direction arrow to follow and I programmed it with Poddington village so I could ensure I flew the most direct route. I knew the wind would slowy pick up so every 15 mins I checked the speed on the satnav and worked out I would have an 18mph groundspeed into wind for the return leg which is just over one hours flying. Having bags of fuel on board is fantastic once you are up there and I had enough to sightsee on the route.

Unfortunately there was no action on the racetrack so I took the usual pics and deviated the return leg south a bit to take in a different viewpoint. I had a slightly smaller prop than usual which was increasing fuel consumption, and the headwind slowly picked making me more conscious of my range but I was determined not to land out so kept cautious eye on the fuel level and noted a petrol station with a field behind it - just in case !.

The bumps were starting as the sun steadily rose higher so I bombed up to 3500 which was above the now forming cumulous and was rewarded with loads of glory rainbows as I passed over them. The flip side of my smooth alititude was the drop in temperature so I tucked my hands behind the mapcase to thaw out my fingers.

The scenery slowly passed by and an hour later I was rewarded with Silverstone racetrack appearing to the left of me in a gap in the clouds. I was looking forward to a long pee and a brew but the thermal that I flew into as I circled down to our field was keen to keep me up - luckily the smell of bacon butties from the BBQ woke me up enough to find some sink and get down, with plenty of leg wriggling on the way to make sure I had enough circulation to land on my feet.

In the end I only used a respectable 7 litres of fuel (3.5 per hour) which was far better than expected, and that was all on fast trim with my small spare prop - also my longest flight so far.

Someones posh pad


The Pod, famous 1/4 mile track.


Clouds popping up


Silverstone circuit


Time for a beer


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