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Doug's Training Blog


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Background

My roots are in Southampton and with a fairly poor education under my belt I joined the RAF at sixteen. Twenty four 24 years later I took my lump sum and pension and ran as fast as I could…..So to that time in life where you look back and take stock of what you have achieved and think about what you would like to do in order to satisfy that mid life crisis….. mine was to Paramotor!

During my time in the RAF I undertook Paragliding EP and CP courses at the Joint Services Paragliding School in Crickhowell (Wales); falling just short of my CP due to poor weather.

The support of my girlfriend is one of the reasons I’m here. Thanks do have to go to DantheMan and Ben (huffhuff) for putting her in touch with Simon back in December 08. In fact it was the blog of DantheMan that inspired me to write this, good to look back on too.

So here I am…..the story so far:

24 April 09

Met Simon for the first time at his home field. Plenty of ground handling today which I’m pleased to say was not too bad after my paragliding courses. The field was cut by a local farmer and it looked more like a cricket pitch. Great location to have as your back garden.

3 May 09

Met at Simons field again, this time to practice unpowered take off with all the equipment on. I must have covered that field a dozen times fully loaded….Great fun but hard work. The reward was Simon saying “you are ready, next flyable day you are off the ground”. Slept well.

10 May 09

Met at the flagpole with the wind in the best direction…up hill. Very nervous but getting lots of encouragement and learning a lot from watch others take off and fly. The one thing that has really impressed about the club is how helpful people are. People I have never met offering words of encouragement

So to my flight which did not go according to plan. I had a good brief from Simon and Pete. The RL was spot on and the take off went without a hitch. However, I soon realised I could not get into my harness and although strapped in was hanging out with 18 stone bearing down on the Jacobs and the greatest wedgey of all time. An uncomfortable panic is the best way to describe it. I could hear Pete screaming in my ear “power….power” but all I wanted to do was get down ASAP. So ended my first flight of 50 seconds (yes I did time it) with a down wind landing. No damage to myself or kit….lucky.

LESSON LEARNT:

Check my harness is seated correctly before take off

Avoid landing down wind…even when in a panic.

POSITIVE

I killed the motor before landing

I’d like to thanks those who helped me out of the field, especially the guy in the Chelsea shirt for carrying my motor back, I did not catch his name maybe someone can help.

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Hi Doug

Most of us know exactly what that feels like not to get in the seat, it happened to me again on Sunday morning and such was the pain to my back and the afore mentioned jacobs I turned 180 degrees and got back to earth as quick as possible and piled in hard in nil wind, then a little adjustment to the seat straps before my evening flight and I scooped up immediately as I left the ground.

It takes some fiddling about with to get it right and it goes against the grain to loosen all your straps to make it work but thats what you must do, I've now sussed that I need my shoulder straps back to their loosest setting (i tighten them a little once airborne) and the leg straps so that I can get a fist between them then stand up straight and tighten the seat straps until the seat is digging me in the back of the knees, it all seemed to work!

Cheers

Malc

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Hi Doug

Most of us know exactly what that feels like not to get in the seat, it happened to me again on Sunday morning and such was the pain to my back and the afore mentioned jacobs I turned 180 degrees and got back to earth as quick as possible and piled in hard in nil wind, then a little adjustment to the seat straps before my evening flight and I scooped up immediately as I left the ground.

It takes some fiddling about with to get it right and it goes against the grain to loosen all your straps to make it work but thats what you must do, I've now sussed that I need my shoulder straps back to their loosest setting (i tighten them a little once airborne) and the leg straps so that I can get a fist between them then stand up straight and tighten the seat straps until the seat is digging me in the back of the knees, it all seemed to work!

Cheers

Malc

Hi Malc

It was good to hear from you and thanks for relaying your own experience. I have since set up a hang point in work and have practised getting in and out of the harness. I will/have loosened my shoulder straps and will try your tip with the seat straps. I dont think it helped strapping in sitting on the ground. When I stood up the seat was clearly too high in my back....I will try strapping in standing up next time and ensure the seat is in the back of my knees and not half way up my a**e.

Thanks.....Doug

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