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Another 1st on the Paramotor Journey


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Morgy and I conducted my first (his second) XC today, and even stopped for petrol.

The day started with an 0700hrs rise and a check of the weather down on the coast. Plan was to fly from West Wittering to Devils Dyke. Stop for fuel and a return.

1st things first we needed somewhere to launch, Mark has just moved to the coast and luckily there are more flat fields than you can shake a stick at.

Mark spotted a perfect stubble field but not a land owner to be seen, quick chat with a chap whom owned a house over looking the field and that was enough permission for us.

Winds on take off were zero, not a breath of air to inflate our 2 Paramania Fusions. My engine has not been run since my trip to the alps and would you have guessed I had a flat battery, again luck was on our side as Mark also has a Bailey, so quick battery share and my 175 is spinning happily.

I took off first without incident other than having to run like the clappers, Mark followed soon after.

WE set off out over the sea to buzz his Mum walking along the beach, I had agreed to stay on his right for the trip to save him constantly scanning the sky looking for me, but as he was over the sea me sitting on his right put me right out into the blue. So I fell in behind.

Quite amazing from 1000ft how small the slither of sand is, wouldnt fancy an engine off a dunking so we set off towards Bognor Regis flying over an estuary which had I not been concentrating on flying would have made an awesome photo of Mark against the dark green on the english channel.

The air at this point was smooth as ice and an average 3 up @ full power, we then moved inland towards the South Downs. Bearing in mind this is cold autumn I was surprised by the amount of thermals throwing us around. I was seeing 10 up bombs throwing me up, on the whole though it was about 5 up.

In the distance I spied Devils Dyke and the half moon wings laid on the floor, many times I have been that person on the Dyke waiting patiently for the right wind to give me 3 mins of flight. And here I am flying over them @ 1000ft looking at the white faces looking back up.

We had been flying for about 2 hours now but as I forgot to turn my vario chrono on I actually had no idea how long we had flown, I also have no idea how much fuel I have so all I can think about is turning back, but Mark keeps pushing east bound and we pass down to the M23/A27 Junction which I guess is where he is heading. If you know the area from above there is a rather large field just to the North of the roundabout, but Mark turns away and starts to make his descent into the football pitches right next to the BP, Mark is on his finals before I make a turn and get ready to follow him in, from above he made it look easy.

I fly over the astro turf where a team are warming up, line myself up between the numerous goal posts and even scarier Rugby Posts, Brakes up lift my ass from the seat kill the engine (all my usual procedures) but something is wrong and I am tanking it in at a speed I could never run off, ok this should be fun. under carriage down and its time to field skid in whilst bleeding off with the brakes, down on my knees and still skidding before the wing keeps going and lands in front - guess that was a downwind landing. Mark is clapping on the side and the burger van has 2 guys whom cant understand what they have just witnessed.

Quick brew and a trek to the petrol station and we are ready for the return leg, wind has picked up nicely and we both have a text book 3 step take off, with a little wave to the still watching burger van.

On the return flight we cruised along the convergence from the sea which enabled the engine to just tick over and maintained height. We shared a thermal or two with sailplanes and witnessed a horse racing event from 1000ft.

Landing was uneventful and we both slapped each other on the back for a good flight, we did about 70 miles and flew for around 4 hours. 10l of fuel used.

All in all a great way to spend a Sunday

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Hey dude just spotted your post!! It was a good flight cold but good.... I have a few more flights planned so bring on the good weather. I have a good xc planned to go to lambourne when the weather is ok.. a little bit of airspace ducking but should be possible...

It was a shame i didnt take my camera but hey ho!!

nice write up by the way.

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