greencat Posted February 5, 2012 Share Posted February 5, 2012 As there are only a couple of other Blogs starting in 2012 I thought I’d add mine into the mix... Although I've just started with Simon at Membury I actually started the process of learning the theory and practice of paramotoring about a year ago with a rather good chap called Stephen Hemsley. However, before I'd got to far trying to master wing handling (does one ever actually master it?) my training was curtailed by an (stupid) accident while gardening of all things. I like to perform all my own stunts and this includes falling from trees while coppicing them..doh! So a year on, and with a back that I can bend without crying like a girl, I decided to get back into the saddle. Stephen's work schedule and the distance between us was a bit of a mental barrier for me getting on with things so I decided to find someone a bit more local and who operated full time training...this will give me the opportunity to make the most of the good weather which is, let’s face it, in short supply at this time of the year. I'd been lurking on this forum for a year and seen the comments regarding Simon and with Membury almost on the door step thought I'd take the plunge. Two phone calls and about 48 hours later I arrived at Membury Airstrip for my first session... Day 1: My weather app tells me it's -3C and it is mighty parky out but that doesn't deter half a dozen of us turning up on what is actually quite a nice, sunny day. I'm wearing about ten layers of thermal clothing but my prior experience tells me that this will start peeling off soon enough. I'm the novice in the group (from the point of view of training with Simon) and some time after 9am we all head into the Bermuda Triangle that is the training area at the centre of the three airstrips and I commence with some Kiting. Up to now I've never actually done any ground handling without the wing being clipped into a harness so simple kiting by holding the A and D lines is a new experience. Colin gets me started by explaining how to do it properly and then leaves me to bugger it up over and over again to see if I can learn that doing the same thing every time will result in the same outcome (normally my wing laying upside down on the ground). I'm stubborn and after a battle of wills with the wing Simon eventually comes and reminds me of everything Colin already told me...the wing comes up perfectly and I dart about under it and keep it there. Lesson one, if you do 'x' and it doesn't work, next time try 'y'...don't keep doing 'x'. I've been at it for about an hour but am feeling remarkably energetic still which surprises me from previous experience...then I realise that this is because the wing has spent most of the last hour on the ground. Once I get it in the air and start actually working it I'm sweating in under ten minutes and stripping down to a long sleeved T-Shirt. Next we move straight on to some forward launches. These aren't new to me but it's been almost a year since I tried one. Layout is how I remember it although the methodology of clipping in is a little different so I practice this a bit to reinforce the knowledge. The wind is light but moving around a bit some of the launches need a bit of immediate correction. On the whole the forward launches go well although my brake, turn and land the wing sequence basically sucked. The wind picks up a bit so we can try some reverse launches. Again, not my first time doing this so the exercise is more about remembering how to do it than learning from scratch. Colin doesn't let that stand in his way though when it comes to taking the piss as my kiting control while facing the wing is pretty poor. Colin works on this with me and as we wrap up for the day I've learned a bit more about controlling the wing. It's about 3pm...my legs are like lead and I can't physically run backwards any longer...I've learned loads, remembered quite a bit and, most importantly, reinforced some good practices with regards wing handling and safety. ...24 hours later I feel like I've been in accident. I literally didn't know it was possible to strain that many individual muscles simultaneously. There is nothing I've done today where I haven't thought 'Oooo, that hurts'...even blinking. Sweet...I can't wait for session 2. Michael Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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