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Why?


norman
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I am really interested to know why people come paramotoring.

As a fixed wing flying instructor I was interested to know why people wanted to learn to fly. When the question was posed, the answers were often quite revealing. One of my guys was a maggot farmer who always turned up with a huge grin on his face and a massive roll of tenners wrapped in an elastic band. He was short in stature, hair and in sight, and was nearly always surrounded by the faint aroma of dead horses - just the merest whiff mind. He always enjoyed his lesson and was one of the most consistent guys we had in that if he booked - he flew. What made me dig a little deeper was that he seldom if ever did did any preparation for his trip.

I quizzed him gently on this and he came out with the revelation, "I don't really want to learn how to fly," he said. "I just love being up there and being amongst so many positive and motivated people."

We stopped instruction from that day and he and I just flew all over the place visiting airfields and doing interesting stuff in the air. He was never happier and came to fly more often after the question, than he had done before. We got him off solo and that was enough for that side of things - he just wanted to be there.

So what rings your bell? Why do you paramotor? What is it about the whole scene that makes it special for you? Are you prepared to say?

I am not just trying to stimulate forum traffic here, I am really interested in the question and look forward very much to reading any answers that may or may not appear here.

Feel like spilling the beans - got the gumption to tap those keys? How about Simon, Clive?

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Hi Norman, here goes then,,

I have always been fascinated in flying since l was at junior school and when l was old enough to join the forces l tried the RAF, but being very young l failed one of the aptitude tests so l then tried the Army and the nearest to getting into the air at that time was the Parachute Regiment. After a year of training l transfered cos not much parachuting but a lot of foot slogging. I eventually made it to the Army Air Corps for the last six years of my ten year service, and actually became quite a fitness freak in the process. Eventually l made it to Aircrew and attained my observers wings and finally got to fly as we were trained to pilot the aircraft incase the pilot became incapacitated.

During those six years l went on a freefall parachute course at Bad Lipspringe in Germany and found that really exciting, the only down side was l had to rely on not only the weather but the plane and the pilot to be available as well, so after about 90 jumps and leaving the forces in the process l thought that was my flying over.

I then had a few flights in a microlite at Popham Airfield but only had the controls for a short while. I then had a holiday in the Isle of Wight and thats where l spotted my first paraglider in the sky above me not going anywhere as it was gale hanging. After watching for an eternity l said to my wife l am going to do that. And eventually went on a course about five years ago and l am really enjoying it but being once again unfit the walkouts were getting painful and as a consequence my XC ventures were slightly curtailed.

I was now looking for something that would get me away from the hill and back again without to much exersion :wink: and a take of window that would include nil wind and no need to wait for thermals. and so over two years ago l started looking for a conversion course to Paramotoring and finally a few weeks ago now my dream became a reality.

Mike

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Well im 26yrs old and wanted to do this since i was 21. It struck me when i went to a well known paramotorist blokes house through a family friend and saw these 5 or so people get this motor type thing on there back along with a wing behind them and takeoff!! I couldnt beleive it and thats what grabbed me by the ***** to want to do it,i sold my motorbike this year and got a cheeper car and thought sod it,im starting paramotoring and havent regretted it one bit. I LOVE IT!! :D

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Like Norman my dayjob (and far too many nights too) is long haul aviation and this was the closest thing I could find to being as far removed as possible from a 4 engined Airbus! Also, it is the only form of aviation I can think of that allows you to use your own common sense rather than be regulated into oblivion. As Norman stated in a PM recently, most flying clubs should these days be called administration clubs because that is mostly what seems to happen rather than flying.

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Thanks guys, keep it coming.

I am particularly interested in what made YOU decide to take up the sport. What is it that gets you out of bed early with a spring in your step and sets your heart going when you spin around into wind and started moving forward. At the point that you hit full power, why are you there?

This might take a little thought but it is my belief that this isn't a sport that people drift into - you select it and need to be collected and determined to do it. My colleagues have a wry smile and are intrigued when I describe it to them, most say that it appeals, but few make the move to give it a try. This means to me that there is something about paramotoring that tweaks the imagination but at the same time stops a wider uptake. Is it the feeling of exposure and the long drop?

Looking at the flying angle, why do you do it in the first place? V23b, Simon and Clive and I are hopeless addicts and have been hooked for years, but what makes YOU fork out for the equipment, go through the physical effort and mental anguish to get in the air?

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WHY.. dont wish to bore all of you .ive all ways liked any type of flight.my dad was in the usa air force working on jet engines.i also like the history of flight.have you ever heard the expression birds eye view. well i wanted a birds eye view from a small seat with lines attached to a advance wing.ive also had microlight lessons and its too expensive. paramotoring is cheaper and easy to put in boot of car or inside a pickup truck.i also like the fans down on the ground waving to me when iam in the air.its as if there thinking ....i wish i was up there too......if i dont get to ground handle or get a flight in within a week i get grumpy.is this normal or iam i the only one.regards tony

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The great thing about people is how different everyone is. Everyone has something that gives them the drive and determination to do something different. You will always have those who do and those who don't. I have always been into extreme sports and am someone who will have a go at anything but my being here actually came from a complete and utter fear of flying. I had a rather unnerving experience flying in Russia, from Moscow to St. Petersberg, prior to which I had regularily flown around the world. My next flight was booked to Miami.... the medics took me off in Detroit. I was grounded. I have someone else very close to me who is also grounded by being locked in a battle with cancer for the last 3 years. She is young and should be having the best years of her life. Instead everyday is a battle and only her determination keeps her going. Watching her go through everything she does makes you think f***k it life is not a rehersal. I was offered the chance to skydive for charity. People sponsored me a great deal of money to even go up in the plane let alone jump out of it. I took on my fear for her and everyone in the same situation. I had a great instructor who ignored my uncontrollable shakes and put his trust in me not to let him fall like a stone from 13000ft when the time came. It was amazing!! There is nothing like turning you fear into sheer exhilaration. Its a real buzz. Static lines followed then a decision to fly a plane. Gliders seemed a reasonable option has they have no engine to go wrong. I loved flying them and all was great until chance allowed me to have a go in a microlite. Engine power and size ment a far greater scope for flight control and the freedom of flight was wonderful. Funny how things happen, but chance also ment I met a man familiar to you all, who needed a sight for his paramotor club. We have a farm on the Downs. My fear is always present but out weighed now by my total fasination with flight. I want to paramotor to prove to myself I can fly with only a canvas chair, a fan and a kite. I want to be able to control all aspects of that flight and to play in a 3D space. I want to see to topography of the land, the colours of the seasons, ancient workings...and perhaps a little spy on the neighbours if the will takes me. It seems as close to the perfect form of 'free flight' a bird pocesses that we can really achieve on a budget. Fear is something good as it keeps you in check, gives you the fight to beat it and by God it is great when you do! I now spend my time taking on more challenges to raise more money for a very deserving cause and get a great deal out of it myself as well as meeting some fantastic people. I want to be a dotty granny with an interresting tale to tell, after all, life is not a rehersal is it?

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Wow, very revealing. Fear is an amazing emotion, it reveals us to ourselves taking us places that nothing else does. 'Strange thing is, having been there you understand yourself better and get a clearer picture of exactly who you are.

Quite a few people decide to learn to fly to overcome a fear, even a phobia. I was teaching a very senior director of an insurance company to fly, he was a charismatic but aggressive individual who took no prisoners in his day job. When we started the stalling and spinning exercises another person entirely emerged. He was completely paralyzed by fear; the exercise stripped him to his essence, his terror robbing him completely of his courage. That discovery was devastating for him.

Thankfully confronting fear is normally exhilarating and life changing in a positive way. It sounds like your experience was a bit like that Pegasus1! :) What brings you back again and again when you have proved to yourself that you can 'hack' it?

Having 'beaten' your fear, do you find it replaced by exhilaration and ultimately love of the sensations and rewards of flight?

Does a little productive apprehension still lurk beneath the surface keeping you safe? If you get short, I can lend you some. :lol:

Lawrence, flying's a drug - face it, you are an addict or even perhaps a junkie! :lol:

I am incredibly impressed that people who have never flow before will ground handle, get briefed up then fly for the first time ever. What an act of faith and no small act of courage! No surprise then that they land with a grin on their face a mile wide! :lol:

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Hi All,

Well I kind of got into it due to being a bit of an adrenalin junkie. I raced bikes for 12 years and kind of got used to my fix. I retired in 2004 due to age and pain. Tried riding on the road again and decided that it just was'nt fun anymore too many yellow boxes and blue lights.

So some replacement therapy was required looked at plane planes way too much money sailplane's were affordable just but so much hassle ground crew winch storage etc.

A couple of mates up north flew paramotors and convinced me to try one of them. So loads of research read everything watch everything troll through the forums. Then off to ebay. The rest as they say is history.

So the short answer is I,m in it for the buzz the more dynamic style flying appeals to me and my last few flights have been exploring the performance of the wing that little bit more. Also a thing that surprised me, helping to coach people under Simons watchful eye I really enjoy and get great satisfaction from watching them progress through to their first flights sometimes more than flying myself.

Last by most certainly not least the social side is second to none.

Cheers Col.....

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I have always been fascinated by flight. In 1978 people were trying to fly helium balloons across the Atlantic, I was about 10 when, one warm August evening, a hot air balloon knocked the chimney pots off our house and bounced into the field behind. I vividly remember running down the garden in my dressing gown and slippers, climbing over the fence and talking to the pilots - who kindly gave me a lift to the bottom of the hill where they could easily get their trailer to pick them up. It was magic and I was hooked. All the hype about the trans-Atlantic flights and then watching the basket clip the top of the house was just too much for a little boy.

Ever since that day I've been trying to find a way of getting into the air. I was too tall for the RAF and red-green colour blind so a commercial license was out of the question. Then came wife and children and there was no spare cash (or time) for lessons but that didn't stop me from spending hours looking at different forms of flight. I thought about hang gliding but being a bit of a petrol head I never liked the idea of unpowered flight. Too much like hard work to "go" anywhere.

Those of you who know me will know that my life is chock full of stuff - running my own business, wife and 3 children, and... and... and... etc. I love it but at heart I'm an introvert. This means that my "recharge time" comes from being on my own. I wanted to find an inexpensive, unregulated (I hate rules) and technologically simple (my whole working life is full of tech) way of flying that didn't have a passenger seat. Paramotoring fits that bill perfectly. I can't remember where I found it but it was almost certainly after way too much Googling ;-)

My Grandpa flew Lancasters and Wellingtons during the second world war. In fact he got his pilot's license privately in the late 1920s flying bi-planes for fun! He died earlier this year and left me some money. He was a giant of a man, selfless, strong, true and brave. What better way to remember him than spend his money on flying?

So why am I doing this? To fly, to be free, to be alone, to let my body go where my spirit has always soared - on the wings of eagles.

Stuart

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I can relate to most of everyones reasons for paramotoring. I started flying last Feb but did procrastinate for many years before taking my first hill flights. I owned a wing in 1992 but it wouldn't lift me. Flew one tandem flight in Austrian mountains in 1997 then lessons finally began in 2006 (June) when I got a computer put online and emailed a good instructor. He rang the next day and gave me no choice. Within 4 months he was teaching me in the French Alps. Wow.

That was all great but I work a 60 hour week on the farm and there aren't any free-flying sites on it. Microlights were considered but paramotors are just SO convenient. I just stop work and go. Half an hour and bingo. Looking down on a farm where I have bled and sweat for 28 years floats my boat. Nice to spy on the neighbours too. Whilst I kicked the Poplar tree by my house today my brother was sending his miniature helicopter up to meet me. You cant do that with any other form of flying.

Dave

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I am with you there Dave, you get a great feeling of proximity don't you? A kind of connection that just isn't available with any other form of aviation. Up in a couple of steps and down again in the field next door to the house. Unique!

I don't think there is a better platform for arial photography is there............ Dan? :wink:

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It was about 3 and a half years ago that I went to the doctor as I would wake up in the mornings feeling more tierd than when I went to bed.

The doctor asked me what I did and how I relaxed so I told him, work 7 days per week for about 14 hours each day and that was about it.

Anyway after a good chat he said that I had OCD (obcesive compulsive disorder) WHAT but aint that where people keep washing thair hands all the time, well yes he said but in your case you are working all the time and even when you go to sleep your mind keeps thinking of the things you have to do tommorrow (yes correct give the man a carrot).

The result of this was that I had to find some me time so as I looked in to hang gliders many years ago I started to look at it again but the down side was traveling 45 miles to the nearest hill. OY NO.

PARAMOTORING rears its head, fits in the van, easy and quick to set up and pack away, no need to travel far, so ep off the hill then on to the motor,

Thats about it realy now I prefer to fly with others and distance does not come in to the eqation so thats why I come down to simons to fly with others and for the social side as I get nearly as much out of meeting up and chatting as I do out of flying,

ps still working to much but you gota pay the bills.

Pete

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Col and Pete,

There is certainly a feeling of warmth amoung kindred spirits at Lambourn isn't there?

To often flying clubs of one sort or another are torn apart by politics, cliques and petty jealousies. That is one of the reasons I avoid them like the plague. There does seem to be a solitary element to paramotoring that appeals to many. According to a recent US survey around 51% of American pilots fly alone (as in outside a club). Taking a cross section that doesn't seem to be too far removed from the UK experience. Any comments anyone?

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So what rings your bell? Why do you paramotor? What is it about the whole scene that makes it special for you? Are you prepared to say?

Wow what a question, I could not post so soon after Pegasus as that was a hard one to follow. For me I have always been into planes and wanted to be a pilot even after watching a Tornado crash in a field behind our house, but discovering girls and beer at the wrong time stopped me joining the forces. I did manage to get plenty of airtime with the cadets in gliders and chipmunks & visited loads of airshows etc.

Since getting an ordinary boring job with loads of overtime I often had to work 7 days a week and never got any playtime, but over the years the job has changed and now I can spend the money and take more time off, and realising life is for living not working and I enjoy a challenge and here I am.

I used to do loads of work on the south coast and spent hours parked up watching paragliders soar along the ridges, that looked absolutely magical and I wanted to have a crack but a few months after calling instructors to enquire about courses we got pregnant for the 1st time and I put it on hold.

This year I had some spare time again and went to Devils Dyke to have another look but was shocked to see dozens and dozens of pilots all over the hill and in the air, it suddenly did not appeal as much as you would be spending more time avoiding collisions than enjoying the view.

Then a few weeks later at a car boot sale in Guildford I saw a lone paramotor fly over and was totally captivated, that begun my quest online to see what was required to get my feet off the ground with a motor, and after two training schools and months of practicing in my spare time I eventually flew.

The whole idea of flying from any flat space with virtually total freedom to go where you like is what draws me in, it's like a motorbike with wings, the experience is exactly as I thought it would be. Meeting like minded pilots and the social side is a bonus too, I like "mechanical things" i.e. cars, bikes, planes, engines and that is another thing that draws me in.

Chilling out in fields with big skies and sunsets, fresh air and good company watching clouds float by then taking off to join them, what a sport !

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Also just remembered that I DJ'd a friends wedding in Huddersfield last year and she bought me a flying lesson in a Cessna to say thankyou.

I flew from Blackbushe airfield over my house in Woking. I was able to take the controls and fly where I wanted and that really got me bitten by the flying bug.

£5000 for a PPL was not my bag, neither was a part share in a plane considering that same money gets you your entire paramotor AND training.

Also before paramotoring we managed a hot air balloon flight and that was magical, soaring above rooftops in total silence (between burner blasts). Once you get up there you just want to return 8)

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OK, here's my take as somebody just starting out and having had just one fairly succesful first flight.

When I was 22 (40 now) I did a parachute jump and raised money for Cancer Research. Not sure what made me want to do it but I'm one of those that likes to have at least one go at lots of things just to experience it even if I never do it again. When that plane took off and banked round it scared the life out of me as I was near the door which was open and felt myself sliding out. I was to be first out which suited me rather than watch the rest and bottle out like one of my colleagues did. The day before we had done lots of ground training and jumping out of mock up planes on to rubber mats, we were taught the importance of jumping then immediately shouting "one thousand, two thousand, three thousand, check" and to look up and check the parachute for tangles. So, here I was in a real plane waiting to jump, the engine slowed and I was given the signal to jump. "one thousand, fuuuuuuuuck" was all I managed! What an adrenaline rush, that feeling of quick fall and then the yank from the automatic parachute. After several seconds my radio was telling me to check my parachute which I did only to find it was completely tangled and I was descending quite fast, I put my handsup to pull the lines apart and watched my feet spinning around in front of me until it stopped. Then I experienced the most amazing feeling, I couldn't hear the plane above me nor the wind rushing past me, it was the most silent state I'd ever experienced almost unreal just looking down at the world all on my own and it didn't seem I was going down at all at first, then suddenly the field became bigger and bang, I was in a heap on the floor with a big beaming smile on my face, awesome. The day before there was a girl on the course who was paranoid she would break her ankle, she'd been on the same plane as I so I turned to watch her land, I couldn't help laughing when she DID break her ankle :-). Another guy who had been really cocky and over confident dived from the plane instead of jumping and got his feet tangled in the lines and was coming down head first and fast, what an idiot, he got untangled just a couple of hundred feet from an almost certain serious injury or worse. Anyway, having got the first one out of the way we could go back another time within 4 months and jump for a tenner a time, I went back the following weekend stayed in B&B andthe weather prevented another go, did the same a couple of weeks later and the same thing happened. Never been back but a seed was definitely sown then.

I won a balloon flight in a raffle a few years later and although I did get a flight it was a short one thanks to a sudden wind and we had a very lucky dodgy landing, that was nice but not the same as parachuting.

Aside from the actual experience of the individual pastime or sport, for me I need something to get me away from the stresses of every day life. Back in 02 through to 04, I was running a stressful business, had a huge mortgage and a marriage on the rocks, I needed a release, somewhere I could go where none of these things would be on my mind. I took up quad bike racing and found that on a Sunday morning when I'm sat on that start line waiting for the gate to drop, none of these other irritations were on my mind, all I would think about was that first corner and doing my damndest to get past any other rider in front of me, it was a huge relief to have this other place for my mind to go to and made Monday mornings much easier to cope with. I wasn't great at it but I bagged a few trophies and didn't injur myself once but it was the freedom from life I enjoyed most. The downside was that it was costing me around 15k a year to race which is big money, the serious guys spend about 4 times that, well their sponsors do!

So, the business went bust, the marriage went tits up and I lost my house, my vehicles, pension & savings, the whole works! Oh well, so now I'm living in a rented house with my new girlfriend (now my fiancee) and she gets an offer of a job in India paying good money even by English standards, she asked if I wanted to go and was happy enough for me to just enjoy being somewhere different while she worked, it didn't take me long to decide and within a couple of months we were living the high life like royalty in this crazy country and all my stresses and strains were gone, just crossing the road there was an adrenaline fix itself and we were on holiday most weekends flying budget airlines all over India (www.malcolmshipp.co.uk) and having the most amazing fun, we had trips to Sri Lanka, Singapore, Maldives, went on jungle safaris, got chased by elephants, went scuba diving (not for me but gave it a go) and simply had the most amazing time for 2.5 years and certainly fulfilled plenty of times of thinking about nothing else other than the fun we were having. Her contract ended last October so we had to head home reluctantly to UK, we planned to stay with my Dad for a couple of months to get on our feet (with our new business importing and retailing INdian handicrafts on the net) before moving into our own place. When we got back my Dad was in hospital and had just been declared unfit to look after himself any longer (diabetes had taken the use of his legs and he had huge sores on his feet) so here I was with all our plans and a sudden new dilemma. He'd always said he never wanted to go in a home, my brother and sister were not in any position to help so I became his full time carer with the help of my wonderful partner. It meant all our plans were on hold, no social life and no fun, so we just amended our plans to suit him, Jen got a job and I worked on the net part time whilst looking after him, bought a wheelchair bus and started taking him out and about, he really enjoyed himself and we had a lot of laughs between us. He had to have a leg off in March but survived that and we were working on his health and fitness and got colour back in his cheeks, said he hadn't been as happy in years. Suddenly on 26th June he had a heart attack and died right under my nose, it was 11 in the morning as I was about to get him out of bed, a massive shock but what a great way to go, exactly how he wanted. So, more dilemmas, what to do now, had a great funeral for him with laughter in the chapel and the party afterwards, perfect send off. Then it turns out he'd seen his solicitor several weeks before he'd died and altered his will in my favour. Very nice of him to do that but its brought on more stress than ever, my brother had his business several years ago so out of the equation but my sister (who I can't stand) has made a challenge so now the solicitors are doing their level best to strip the estate!!

Anyway, I digress! By the time September this year came along I'm starting to really feel it, I miss the old man terribly and am still living in his house, no idea how long it will be before things change and we can be reunited with all our belongings that have been in storage and it drives me insane working from home in front of a pc all day running a business I'm not really enjoying and all alone. I got very down and depressed, was getting chest pains, breathing difficulties and palpatations of the heart. I couldn't sleep and I couldn't go anywhere to get this crap out of my head, have a milion things I need to do every day and end up not knowing where to start and not doing any of them, I needed a fix and needed it fast. I'd been to Bristol balloon fiesta in August and watched a fab paramotor display there, with Tetbury only up the road from me and Julius Gee being a Bristol lad, there was lots of news coverage about this tragedy on my local TV and radio. Strange how a tragedy like that can spark an interest in the same sport but it did somehow, I'd thought these things were simply something homemade as I'd only seen the odd one or two before that. Then also in September one flew over my little town. That was it, I was on the net desperately trying to find out more, took a while as I didn't know what they were called and knew nothing about paragliding either. So I read up lots, found it quite unbelievable that you can simply find a field nearby and take off in a few minutes, the sport and the stunts don't interest me, the feeling of just floating around up there looking down, a place where nobody can bother you, nobody can join you, nobody can phone you is what intrigued me most, I figured that would relax me. So I found a link to Skyschool and contacted them about taking a course, they came back and said there was a place on the course in Spain in October. I couldn't afford it really but sent an email to Jen at work and said "hey love, do you mind if I bugger off to Spain for a week and spend about fifteen hundred quid learning to fly a paramotor". Bless her, she didn't bat an eyelid! I couldn't do the second week of training as I had to be back to do my VAT return and boring shit like that but as it turned out the second week got rained off anyway, but I've paid for it so will complete that in April.

Anyway, still highly stressed and with chest pains I hopped off to Spain. After the first day of ground handling the stress and pains were gone, I only had paramotoring to focus on. Got a little stressed at the end of the week as the weather was screwing us over and my launches were not tip top so I was desperately worried I would have to come home having not done it, that really worried me. But, I did get my flight thanks to Deano giving up his Sunday morning to get me up. Within 30 seconds of leaving the ground it hit me, that feeling of controlling the world, that same peacefulness (apart from the engine of course) as I'd experienced in parachuting all those years ago, nothing else mattered, all my troubles could go to hell, this was a moment to savour, it is rare for someone to smile and laugh out loud when not in the company of others but I was doing just that, I radio'd to Deano to thank him so much for getting me up there. I did have one big worry on my mind still though, the landing, that still scared me and having never broken more than a finger I didn't want to start now. After 3 or 4 laps my arms were aching and it was getting a bit turbulent so time to come down. I didn't brake correctly on approach and my flare wasn't quite right (apparently I should have taken a wrap), well I did take a wrap across my knuckles and right leg. Landed with a thump, no real damage and I couldn't break that smile off my face even though I was still shaking.

So I'm hooked, I can't wait to go again, can't afford the kit until new year at least, could get myself an old wing and practice ground handling but there is two problems with that. 1, I don't really fancy the cold at the moment, 2, if I get a wing and start ground handling and get on well with it, it will frustrate the hell out of me that I can't fly, what a dilemma, so I'll probably wait until a few weeks before my second part of the course, start ground handling then do the course. A few years younger and I'd probably take a bank loan and just start flying with the littlke training I've had, thankfull I'm older and wiser and I know that I would not have a clue what to do if something went wrong!

So for me it is more about the escapism, my friends play golf or snooker which does nothing for me and lets be honest guys, when someone asks you what you do in your spare time "I play golf" doesn't have the same ring to it as "I take my motor and wing to the nearest field, run 5 steps and fly where I want for the next 2 hours" does it? And it is SO much cheaper strangely enough. Add to the escapism a little danger to keep you focused and sharp and a teeny bit nervous and thats the fix for me. Others slip into *removed by admin* or drink for escapism, I'm so thankful I never had that desire.

Hopefully will see lots of you guys lots of times next year. Sorry about the life story, they never start out like that but seem to end up that way and when you look at it, it's all relevant, sort of! :D

Cheers

Malc

PS: I do have a fear of flying! :roll:

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Something becomes increasingly clear as these posts keep coming. It is not just the straightforward exhilaration, the adrenaline rush or even the feeling of conquest that makes flying so important to us all. It is the context that it takes in our lives and the space that it fills in our desires expectations of ourselves. It is about what flying brings to life's great party.

Thanks for the insight Malcs, a remarkably frank and open story.

The only place I missed when I went from longhaul to shorthaul for a spell, was India. I would love to paramotor around the country in the winter, particularly in the North... Just think of the fun you could have lobbing into the odd hill station for tea and tiffin! Magic! One for 2008 perhaps?

darj(rh252-4643).jpg

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Dan,

One the recurrent theme in these stories seems to be the man dangling beneath his wing seen buzzing idly across the sky. I too saw one and the same and it set me thinking back in 2002. I was fascinated but it passed me by, probably just as well really because it is only now that we have wings and motors up to the job.

Just imagine how this sport is going to propagate as it start to grow in the UK. There will be an increasing number of fascinated bystanders who like us will start with a Google search and end up at... Lambourn or somewhere like it.

Keep taking the pictures matey.... :wink:

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Thanks for the insight Malcs, a remarkably frank and open story.

The only place I missed when I went from longhaul to shorthaul for a spell, was India. I would love to paramotor around the country in the winter, particularly in the North... Just think of the fun you could have lobbing into the odd hill station for tea and tiffin! Magic! One for 2008 perhaps?

Agree, I know some fabulous places in the south too, imagine cruising over the carpeted tea mountains of Ooty or Munnar, the waterways in Kerala, fantastic, wouldn't be difficult to arrange either, you just have to know how India ticks. The only thing that would bother me is a trigger happy cop thinking you shouldn't be doing what you are doing.

Every time I go to North Goa there is a chap that flies up and down patrolling the beaches at all times of the day, it used to be a trike but now its a paramotor, not sure if he works for the goverment or just a pleasure flyer.

There are paramotor clubs already in India, definitely one in Pune with dual prices for training, if youre white then you gonna pay double!

Count me in for any future trips chaps!

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Guys,

Strange that the topic of flying in India should come up as I've been thinking along similar lines myself recently. I’ve been a regular visitor to Goa over the years and it would be awesome to get the chance to fly out there some time.

I came across a video clip on Youtube the other day of Piers Dent (of Freshbreeze fame) doing some flying in Goa and contacted him to try and get some gen. He did say that he goes out there every year but he wasn’t very forthcoming when I asked about the logistics and whether or not he had any local contacts.

They do like a bit of bureaucracy and form filling out there and I can imagine that it could be a bit of a nightmare. What would bother me most would be getting my kit confiscated; on second thoughts Malc’s point about getting shot at would bother me most but having my kit confiscated would be a close run second! :( At the end of the day it would probably all boil down to finding the right palms and giving them a liberal greasing, it’s the way most things seem to work out there.

I’ve spoken to a few people about transporting Paramotors by air and they’ve all had different experiences. One thing that they all agree on though is that if there is even the faintest whiff of petrol then the airlines won’t take it. I’ve even heard of someone who drains the tank and then puts aftershave in it to mask any lingering odours. I’ve heard of other people who just describe their kit as “Sporting Equipment” and take their chances.

Maybe Norman or V23nb could advise on the rules for transporting Paramotors by air and the best way of getting them accepted?

Regards

Togsie

Here’s the Goa video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q8OBxTMG6wg

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The transportation of internal combustion engines, be they lawn mowers, paramotors or car engines comes under the heading of 'The Carriage of Dangerous Goods'. As such there are UN/HSE/CAA/DfT regulations and airline specific regulations to meet with regard to the type, packaging and labeling of the cargo.

The rules broadly state that if the engine has been run or contains any petrol, oil or lubricants it becomes 'Dangerous Goods' and the rules for handling them become complex and fairly expensive.

The latest copy of Paramotor magazine had a good (if risky) article on getting your motor around the world. Briefly it recommends that you should pull the engine to pieces and clean it and all components completely of oil and fuel residues then pack it up in bits.

This is possible and (for the moment) it works most times. The trouble is if it doesn't and your kit gets offloaded, then you are in for a relaxing and expensive holiday. 'You pays your money and you takes your chances'.

I would recommend one further move as an addition to the steps taken by Pascal - vacuum pack all the engine components as well. Your challenge then will include getting the process reversed when you fly home, but at worst you will need to find alternative ways of getting your motor back - unless of course you sell it before you fly home..... :roll:

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