ganers Posted November 6, 2010 Share Posted November 6, 2010 Hi all, The first part of this is a but retrospective, as the training started prior to clocking the training blogs, so I appologise if its in one big lump at first. Training is with Richard X, Just a bit of background as how I came to get into this paramotor lark. Firstly from being a kid I always had a thing about flying, I had a taster lesson at Barton airport and loved it, however the cost was a very big issue. Anyway my dad and I tend to think along the same lines and a few times he has mentioned wanting to get into microliting, hang gliding and so on, I just figured it was the same as me interested, but the cost issue would always get in the way. Anyway one day he says to me I’m going to have a do at this paramotoring, he had been mentioning it but I figured it was just that, talk, especially considering he is 62 years old! Anyway he comes over and tells me that he is taking lessons from a bloke called Richard who has a club called “SKYPLAY” that is based in Huddersfield, and that he has ordered a wing! So I'm surprised to say the least, over the coming days he regales me with the tales of ground handling a wing and getting it up, watching it fall and drag him along the ground, I listen intently thinking the old buggers going to do this, so here we go; Saturday 9th October. My dad invites me to watch his first flight so we go over the training field, this at the back of the Red Lion pub, Stainland Road, Halifax just ten minutes off junc 23 of the M62. It’s a football field with a couple of fields around it at the edge of a golf club, bordered by reasonably tall trees. The instructor, Richard, turns up and I must admit I’m interested to meet the man who after all may be responsible for speeding up my inheritance! Richard’s a nice bloke, good sense of humour and really easy going, all important traits for someone who is getting you to leave the ground. So I watch whilst my dad gets the wing out and lays it out, there is a nice even breeze blowing at round 5mph and before long he has the wing up above his head and is ground handling it really well, as far as I could tell. After a while of doing this the motor comes out, and on first impressions it’s like bloody hell you’re going to wear that! Anyway Richard has my dad with the motor on and ground handling the wing, turning, running and shouting power on, then turning and putting the wing on the ground, all looks pretty easy to me. Before long he is sweating like a pig and it’s time for a breather and to get some fluids, I figured his age is getting the better of him. Rested and replenished it’s time for his first flight, wind is good and he seems confident as he raises the wing and turns, then off he goes and hits the throttle, after a one skip he is up and away. However the climb rate seems slow and he is headed for the tree’s, I'm sure that I need to find a ladder to get him out of a tree. No problems he steers it away from the trees and gets some height, next thing is I realise I'm watching my dad FLYING!!! Anyways he does a circuit and comes in at what seems a bloody fast speed, pulls the brakes and does a perfect landing on the skids and arse! I know but at this time I didn't know that’s not how you do it. Apart from really impressed with my dad I am well and truly hooked, this is something I absolutely have to have a go at, so I have a word with Richard and sort out a father and son tag team the next day, I cannot wait. Sunday 10th October 2010. Me and my dad meet Richard at the training field for 1300 hrs; my dad is after doing a bit more on the ground handling and launching side as he wasn’t quite happy with everything the previous day. My dad starts off with a bit of ground handling whilst Richard talks me through the different parts of the wing and the checks that need to be performed, I must admit I’m a bit of an instruction geek and had already digested the manual that came with his wing so I had a good understanding of the different bits and how the wing should launched. My dad takes a break and it’s my turn to step up to the plate, I'm confident, after all if my dad can do it so can I right. Well after we lay the wing out and go through how to check the lines and hook in I'm ready to start trying to build a wall, this is where I start to realise that it’s a bit harder than it looks, and after to trying to raise the wing, it’s a damn sight harder than it looks! However after a few words of wisdom from Richard and me stopping having a touch like a Neanderthal on the brakes I’ve got it up and above my head, by which time I have realised that my dad’s age is not catching up with him as I am sweating my balls off!! By the end of the day I can get the wing up and overhead, I’m even managing a few turns and runs then turning back and controlling it, really pleased with myself things were clicking into place. That’s me well and truly hooked and I order a wing off Richard, after disclosing my, classified top secret, weight and a discussion of what I want from the sport I opt for the Dudek Synthesis 34 and get it ordered for next time. Saturday 16th October 2010. The weather is dry but cloudy, and at 12 noon on the training field its blowing a 7 mph wind with slight gusts up to 10, Richard hands me my new wing and I'm well and truly on the path now, we get them out and my dad starts kiting his wing, I go through the aspects of my wing with Richard, I harness up and Richard gets a good grip of me. I was a bit surprised as last time I was handling my dad’s wing on my own, however after building a wall and attempting to get it in the air I realise why. The synth is a good bit bigger that my dad’s Reaction tst 29, and boy does it pull on lift off, it also handles completely different, the reaction feels to a lot more responsive where as the synth seems to slightly more docile. After getting acquainted this proves to make it a bit easier to fly and I’m soon handling it by myself and doing practice reverse launches, now I'm loving the synth and really pleased, I even like its orange colour. As the afternoon progresses the wind has dropped, so Richard talks me through the forward launch, immediately I don't find this as comfortable as the reverse, and it hits me as an all or nothing launch option. I set it up and set off running, the wing comes up ok, but sensing which way it’s going or if its above you is near impossible, however Richard tells me that its getting up ok, and keeps giving snippets of advice I must admit his patience boots your confidence here and he allows you to progress at your own speed. Several runs and pints of sweat later and I'm getting the wing up every time, I'm still struggling to feel the wing via the risers but can steal a quick glance at it overhead to allow for corrections, however I set the wing up slightly out of wind a couple of times, which caused it to turn into the wind on launch and gave me some work to do to correct it. Again Richard boosts my confidence and tells me if I keep this up I will be ready for moving onto the motor! Now we’re talking! I confidently lay the wing out for another forward launch run, however like a plonker I’ve set it slightly out of wind so when it comes up it veers to the right, no problems I’ll just take a big push off my right leg and get under it, simples! As I do this my right calf pings and I'm hobbling along as the wing crashes to the ground, bollocks I’ve just pulled my calf muscle and that’s me for the weekend and rest of the week. That leaves me to sit back and watch my dad for a while practising forward launches, he has a bad shoulder and was really struggling to get the wing up level as he was pulling on one riser more than the other. However after a few adjustments to technique from Richard he is making it look really easy ( cocky get ), but it did make me smile on one run when he got the wing up really well and was running like hell checking his wing so much that he forgot to check where he was going. Me shouting wall stopped him running into the small dry stone wall at the end of the field, should I have kept quiet for a bit of petty amusement? Debatable but I didn't, at the end of the day a very very big lesson learned, when forward launching SET UP IS EVERYTHING and from a newbie’s point of view they are bloody awful! Wednesday 27th October. I had a trip down to Basingstoke to pick up a motor, it’s an ec extreme simonini mini plus 2, it was a long way to go but I'm really pleased with it, and its cheered me up no end considering I missed a lot due to my calf muscle and having to work weekends, but doing hang tests and learning about it kept me busy. Thursday 4th November 2010. Well I’ve got the upcoming weekend off, and I’ve been looking for to it for ages, my calf feels ok and I’m hoping to my new motor on and maybe a first flight, but I'm working afternoons till midnight so I'm spending my time at work thinking about getting aloft. Wouldn’t you just bloody know it, my calf blows up on me big time at work just as I thought all was well, and I end up at A&E with my leg in a cast!! I ring Richard and explain I'm out of action for god knows how long yet, and he gives me the expected sympathy by telling me I would have got my first flight in had I not been injured, Bar steward! I did say earlier he had a good sense of humour! So now I'm sat on my arse and waiting to hear how my dad’s lesson went and he isn’t rubbing my nose in it, NOT MUCH anyway. So ill post up my dad’s progress while I'm stuck with reading the forum and watching YouTube vids to keep me sane! Cheers Lee. Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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