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What do you want to do with your paramotoring?


norman
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There is greater purpose behind this rather open question. I am interested in why people paramotor now, and what they aspire to do with their flying in the future.

There has been a conversation running about communications and transponders in the radio/comms section that has set me thinking about where paramotoring fits in to the larger aviation picture and more to the point, where it WILL fit in later. You can argue that it doesn't matter, but the question intrigues me as it affects the equipment we carry but more importantly, the skills that paramotor pilots need to aquire to equip them to give the best account of themselves and fit in.

In this context I specifically do not mean conform. Our sport is refreshingly unburdened by legislative encumbrances and long may that last. So, if you can find a few moments to enlighten me fellow paramotor people, where do you want to focus your attention and where would you like to expand and enhance your skills?

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Cross country flying: Which would involve navigation skills, radio work and an expanded knowledge of weather and the aeronautical reporting system. Guided exercises that include 'land-aways' and 'mixing it' with other air sport disciplines?

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Pure flight: Soaring skills, precision flying with spot landing and other possibly competitive methods for testing skills?

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Expedition work: Route planning, the skills included in the cross country example above but with a more adventurous slant, possibly overseas; this may include organised holidays to paramotoring oriented destinations?

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There are other areas that I could give here but you get the drift of my question. Maybe you are really happy just slowly building your skills and puttering around your local area.... that is fine too of course and I will be doing plenty of that myself.

You may have not yet have flown but intend doing so soon, be in training as you read this or ~ be an established paramotor pilot with an opinion...... is there something that you look at and say, "Now I really would like to do THAT!".

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I love being in the air! The thrill of being above the ground and in control of where I go is just unbeatable. So few people are ever able to experience that luxury, I just consider myself blessed. It's similar with scuba diving, going where others can't or won't.

I love planning, I love the minuteae of each detail and being pleased as stuff I've planned drops into place. I do get a little frustrated when plans go awry, hence pulling my hair out for six months before my first flight.

I love route planning for this reason, without a GPS, knowing that a lake or a road or something is going to come into view just as I planned it. That's not to say I'll not use a GPS, because another side of me is a complete gadget freak. If it runs on batteries or petrol, I want it :) The transponder issue for me is a great combination of gadgetry and a problem waiting to be solved. It's not about legislation and the powers that be, and it never will be.

I'd love to do things that no-one has done before, maybe not fantastic exploits, but to be able to say 'I was the first to do that' hence my desire to fly from Scotland to Ireland. I think I'm a frustrated (super)hero, who just longs for a bit of adventure.

I'm solution orientated, so on an expedition you'd find me making do and mending, solving problems by getting my hands dirty. That's why paramotors are great, there is nothing (in terms of tinkering) that I'm not allowed to do.

OOOOoooops, sorry [/ramble]

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Brightfish has a great blog.

I know what you mean with navigation Phil, there is nothing quite like buzzing down your track line knowing exactly where you are and running spot on your planned or revised times. Map, watch and compass! GPS takes mystery out of the game and some of the fun and sense of achievement at the same time. Handy kit tho'

Me, I want to explore the freedom this fantastic machine brings. I want to putter across the face of the earth at 20 knots taking in the scenery and taking my time over doing it. Expeditions do it for me, covering distance and meeting people who are excited to see a paramotor arrive on their doorstep.

Skills - I want to soar again as I did when I was a little chap. Running down a cloud street using little or no fuel and making distance that I didn't pour through my funnel and chamois leather - that is a real buzz.

As worthy as it sounds, helping others discover what is up there and achieve flight for themselves has always been a thing for me. I count having taught a bunch of people to fly from scratch as one of the real achievements in my life, I hope to repeat the trick again with paramotors in a year or so.

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A while ago Norman I think it was asked a similar question, something about why did we start paramotoring and I wrote about my reasons for learning. Now that I have a few (and I mean a few) flights under my belt I've been thinking about what it is that I want from it so this question is timely...

I'm a very spontaneous person so I'm less interested in detailed planning and mission execution (although I have immense respect for Norman and the guys on TipToTip) I love just getting in to the air and looking around, seeing something interesting and going for it. It's like the freedom my first bike gave me, I could go places without my parents. Then my first car, now I could really explore the world. But both of those are two dimensional and limited to the road network. With my paramotor I'm not limited to two dimensions or the road network. I can fly over something and around it.

All that was just a long way of saying I feel like a kid with his first bike, I don't care what I do or where I go, I just love the fact that I can :-)

Where do I want to take it? I want to go to places and fly around them, explore them from the air. I really want to fly the length of Loch Ness. Not much of a navigational challenge I know, 22 miles in a straight line, but I want to go up high and look along the whole length of it and then drop down and wiggle up the shoreline. The change in scale is fascinating.

Is anyone up for some messing around over the Rocky Mountains some time?

As for gadgets - I'm a gadget freek and my GPS allows me to take my flights home, upload them to Google Earth and enjoy it all over again :-)

'sall for now. Sightseeing with a wing.

Stuart

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I view GPS in exactly the opposite way. I like to go where the conditions take me, I guess its a PG thing, you often cant go where you plan so little point in planning a route beyond "I'd like to get to There, if I can" Or simply take off and see where I end up. Getting back from wherever is usually as much an adventure as the flight. I have met some wonderful people who have gone more than the "extra mile" to help.

The value of GPS to me is to keep me from straying into the perloined space and to be able to skirt the perimeters on fairly precise track (cannot be done with map and compass, youd need a sextant). It merely defines the edges of my wilderness and allows me to "beat the bounds" to make sure the neighbours havent moved the stones! Mode S would be a delight to me as I ping ping ping a perfect 20kt, 2Nm green diameter round your southern perimeter and dip to 200 feet as I cross your centre line..... :o:o:o ......

If I do plan a route e.g. IoW to Lambourne GPS serves in the same way as the satnav in the car. I'm using the PPG as a transport device, the straighest most efficient route is the GPS track. It also gives me wind speed and direction at height and many other glide calculations that require my feeble brain to resort to pen and paper. I was "on a glide" to Lambourne as I passed Coombe Gibbet at 6000ft, That would have taken me half a day to calculate.

Odysseus of the skies. No point in returning to Ithaca now Penelope has married Antinous and Argos is dead The only plan is to set off. All other choices get made in the air, dictated by circumstance. I even met Circe after one memorable flight. Not yet encountered Calypso....cant wait! :wink::wink::wink:

....hmmmmmm :roll::roll::roll::roll:

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I suppose my answer is a little bit of all the above.

Adventure? certainly. Challenge? yes that too

I have always wanted to take aerial photos, but it has always been cost prohibitive. Someone I know had to hire a helicopter for some shots during the making of a commercial. By the time the ad went out, the two seconds of aerial that were shown cost £8000 per second!

Even a 1/5 share of something like a 25 year old Cessna could run in excess of £10K per year with oncosts etc. Then there would be the 'negotiating' with the rest of the syndicate when I wanted to fly the damn thing!

That aside, once I am flying the planning and adventure side will kick in. I've already mentioned my dreams of photographing Polar Bears and Icebergs, and exploring the Namib Desert huh? Anyone else up for that?

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