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Timm9227 - Airbourne at last


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After many years of trying different forms of flying I decided last year to look into paramotoring. I started searching through various websites and came across the pmc.org forum who were looking for 5 guinea pigs to take to France as fodder for an instructors training course. I enrolled on the course and luckily came across a complete kit for sale, I just needed to learn how to use it.

In March I went off to France to begin my training and was amazed that for an extreme sport I was one of the youngest (41), fittest, best looking ones there !!! The weeks course was great fun with some great characters and although very useful was not quite long enough for a complete novice like myself, could have done with an extra day or two.

I arrived home not having flown but able to ground handle my wing and knowing a lot more about my kit and some useful theory stuff too. So that was back in March this year and I was hoping to be airbourne by the end of April, but after travelling down to Lambourn quite a few times and the weather not being on my side I started to get a bit dis-hearted. With the crap weather we have been having time passed by and I found myself starting to drift back into DIY around the house to my wife's relief!

Just as I thought it was never going to happen, a local experienced paramotorist in the form of Nigel D saw that us Northampton bunch were struggling to find local sites so contacted me and offered to help. So me Nigel and another pilot Lyndsay arranged to meet up last Saturday and took me to one of their sites. The weather was looking good and after a few hours ground handling and practising forward launches we prepared for my first flight. So with motor running I started to run only to have my throttle slip around in my palm so was not able to pull the lever and had to abort that attempt. Second attempt was better with the wing coming up nice and even, I just kept running like mad with full throttle and that was it I had finally left the ground. Totally out of breath I just dangled from my harness thinking Oh Shit I've got to get down, but as I gained height I slowly parked my brakes and hotched myself into my seat and everything started to settle down and I started to feel relaxed.

I spent the next 20 minutes getting the feel of it doing some manouvres and a few practice approaches ready for landing, on my final one I decided to land, good job I did as I was running on fumes!

All went to plan with only a little step forward then dropping to my knees, just glad to be down in one piece.

It really does help to have local sites so that you can fly at the drop of a hat if the weather is ok and from my experience all the paramotorists that I have come across are only too willing to give a helping hand and advice.

Many, many thanks to all who went to France and their excellent help and tuition and especially Nigel for finally making it happen - coz i was getting fed up with the DIY !! Roll on the next flyable day !


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