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Flying to height ... Advice?

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Airspace you should always check and the Notams anyway

Wrap up warm

Make sure your motor is good (full rpm for a long time probably)

If you want to go that high

Pick a warm day and remember your motor will run more and more rich with hight= less power.

Have fun

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Yes- Great fun! did a couple of high altitude flights this summer- warm weather being the most essential ingredient- don't forget the temp gradient!!!!

Some of the most important considerations are-

1) Airspace- are you clear. Any operational NOTAMS?

2) Weather- is it stable, anything more than 50% cloud and forget it. You must be able to see the ground at all times. (legal). DON'T EVEN THINK ABOUT FLYING THROUGH IT!!!

3) Wrap up well- don't forget about gloves.... very sunny at high alt too... so sunglasses are a good idea.

4) Take your time on the way up... don't use full throttle as 25% of your fuel is just wasted.... Take it easy at 80% throttle and keep your trimmers at 'Take off' for maximum climbrate.

5) If possible use thermals or ridge lift to your advantage (on a recent flight i got a lot of free lift)

6) Don't leave it too late in the day. It will take a long time to descend again, even with the tirmmers fully off... The sunset time will appear later than you expect, as you are higher than gound level... You think you will have plenty of time, when infact the sun may have already set on the ground. Make sure you land during daylight! If in doubt abort and land immediately.

7) Keep a constant eye on your position, and note the wind direction. Wind direction and speeds can change at different levels, so beware. I've seen completely opposing winds before-- when you get this there is usually significant turbulence between the layers. (windshear)

8) During the climb i kept into wind the whole way, so that i could 'freewheel' home on it if the engine failed.


In this flight i reached 8035ft, could see the whole 'north end' of Ireland. Considering that my takeoff point was more than 80 miles inland, this was a very spectacular view-



Full set of images at http://www.flickr.com/photos/20961594@N ... 826055703/

Only went to 5,000 on this one due to cloud cover (Sky was completely clear behind me)


This pic was taken at 7,000ft on the North Coast of Northern Ireland


Full set at - http://www.flickr.com/photos/20961594@N ... 728882660/

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Thanks for the reply's there is some great advice there :-) and Gordon your pics are great and just make me want to do it more!

Had a look at my airmap and round here I can't get above 8500' :-( so will go for the mile first to see how I get on then find somewhere to go higher :-)

Rob- Where are you based?

Cheers, Tom :-)

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  • 4 weeks later...

Although not in a paramotor the highest I have flown as P1 is 11.500 feet, on the 29/08/1988.

It was an August bank holiday and we had a three day Microlight fly-in at Lilford Park in Northamptonshire, we had all done quite a bit of flying on Saturday and Sunday, flying treasure hunts, spot landings, over and under's etc, followed by beer and BBQ.

I woke up at 05.30 to answer a call of nature, to find one of the best days you could have, for any type of flying, so I untied the trike and pushed it down the field so I wouldn't wake everybody on site.

It was a nice gentle take off with a good rate of climb, I wasn't my intention to go for a high flight and as I started to climb out, but thirty minutes later with hands just about frozen to the bar I was at the magic 10.000', at that stage I thought to myself why not see how high you can make it, so I pushed on for another ten minutes and made it to just over 11.500', by that stage I couldn't stand the cold in my hands and wrists, so I killed the motor put my hands inside my Oozee suit under my armpits and just let the trike fly itself in about a half mile descending circle and took in the view.

What a view that was, by that stage I was overhead the then active USAF Alconbury Airbase, I could see the clear outline of aircraft sitting outside hangers, and in the far distance I could clearly see the outline of the Wash on the east coast, the air was as clear as gin and as cold as hell, I have no idea what the temperature was, I could also see the A1 going North and South for miles and miles with motors like ants.

It was like a dream flight just sitting there taking in all that there was to be seen, the decent was very slow, it was trimmed out at about 35 mph, by the time I got down to 2.500' I thought it's time to restart and go for breakfast, it was at this point that the flight started to go wrong.

The Rotax 447 didn't have electric start so I flicked the switch and pulled the cord, nothing try again, a good pull and nothing try again and this went on for some time, I am now down to 1.800' and looking for a good field to drop into, over to the south was a private strip where we used to glide so I turned and headed there, now down to 1.000' check all round, check seat belt, check switches off and fuel off and go for a straight in landing, then at 500' the cold leaves my brain to start working again and I think to myself "I.m a lot warmer down her" the the eureka moment hit me "if I'm cold so is my little Rotax", so it's switches on, fuel on, CHOKE ON and pull, with just 200' left to go it full power and home for breakfast, another lesson under the belt.

In those days digital photography was unheard of and I didn't normally carry a camera so unlike Gordon, I have only memories but it was a great flight that I often think off when out flying, and you don't get that many clear days either.

I wonder if I will ever get the chance to do it in my Paramotor, one day finger crossed.


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  • 2 weeks later...

I am well up for it have been thinking about it for a while and after seeing colins vid i just have to do it..

I will have alot of free time now the house is almost finished so pm me or give me a call... as soon as we get some good weather i am going to have a try at a lower level one first...

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