PatPux Posted May 27, 2013 Share Posted May 27, 2013 Here is my blog! I hope I can keep to the ethos of these blogs which is to assist others who are coming into this great sport and give a flavour of what to expect. This first entry will contain stuff I have been keeping offline, but in future I will try to keep the enties up to date day by day of training. I am sure the way it is written will reflect ones stage of learning and you will be able to look back in time and see how green one was at the time, but that's part of the point, I think. I will try to highlight specific learning points in the text And you can be sure that there are enough experts about who will step in , in a constructive way, if I write something that is mis-leading or dangerous where I have misunderstood something. I think I first visited Simon's school at Membury http://www.paramotortraining.com over 2 years ago to discuss doing a course, and decided then that I didnt want to start till I'd definitely got the funds to be able to buy all the equipment immediately after the course. Well, that was never going to work, there always being some other pressing need. So,in March I decided if I didn't get on and do it, I never would (aged 57). And if I get bitten by it,as I am sure I will, I'd find the money somehow, even if it meant losing some of the other toys! So I waited through March and into April for what I thought was the right weather. Looking back now , here is learning point number 1: The weather is everything, especially when youre training. What looks like a nice day to average Joe can be the worst possible thing, learning to read the conditions for safe flying will be one of the most important things you grasp and I guess long after you can handle a paramotor competently you will be learning how to do it. In the end I think that this will be an area where there is no substitute for experience I kept in touch with Simon flying and the weather was never quite right. Remember, he has- I dont know- 50 pilots at various stages of training, he cant ring you to suggest you come down, the onus is on you to contact him and to be fair he will alway respond promptly as to whether its flyable or not . I usually text. Finally there was a Sunday that looked OK for a first practice day at the end of April. Day 1 28/4/13 Although the wind conditions were good for practice it was a pretty cold day for late April, but the bonus was getting Simon one to one as there was no one else there. So I got 2 hours ground handling in breeze up to 10mph. And for day one that was enough, you are taking in a lot of info and exerting youself pretty hard. When you start you will get a booklet containg a comprehensive syllabus of what you will learn. there is no set length to the course, it being governed by weather and the rate at which you progress. yo will complete the course when you have covered the syllabus and when you are competent to go away and fly by yourself, without endangering yourself or others. That day I covered PMC Course Exercise 1 and 2 Introduction, Club Equipment Ground and Safety Brief. How to hold te harness for Ground Handling. Building a wall with the wing, learning to place wing square to wind, kiting with wing overhead How to drop wing if taken by wind: release the A risers Steer: push D risers towards dropping tip Keep walking backwards if not enough wind Ensure D risers vertically below A risers for neutral Day 2 1/05/13 All day with about 8 others at different stages, 3 of which were hoping for first flights Harness training, sharing with Sam with Colin B teaching Pretty much immediately got the laying out and squaring off to the wind done as I more or less had the night before Very quickly then got the hang of launching the wing in reverse. Had to keep reminding myself to keep thumb bases locked together as I levered up the A risers. Started to get the hang of anticipating when to come off the As and onto the brakes and balancing the wing What changed today was anticipating when to make the control input and just as importantly when to stop the input to avoid overshooting. Generally got the hang of the reverse launch, managing about 6 runs in control, putting the wing down at the end under control , managed about another 3 where I was able to turn and go for a forward launch, with fairly good control of the canopy. However I was not able to be consistent and was still having a number of failed launches in the increasingly thermic conditions. I think another day of ground work is required to get me consistently launching in reverse, turning, going forward and then being able to turn back, all in a controlled manner. Next few days looking too windy. So hope for another 2 consecutive good days, and I might be in the air! Day 4 5/5/13 A half day of perfecting reverse launches, launching, balancing the wing then turning and running, by the end of the session was able to consistently launch, turn and then turn back and drop the wing in a controlled manner. Learning point, you havent really got it till you can do it without thinking about it.You go through the stages of intense thinking about exactly what your movements, actions and reactions are, getting it wrong, then starting to get it right, but still thinking about what you did to get it right, to learning to anticipate both the inputs and when to stop the inputs (ie not over controlling), to just doing it without thinking! Day 5 6/5/13 FLIGHT 1 Got straight into forward launches and within the space of one session with a short break for a drink had them sorted. 10 practice forward launches with good control able to feel which way the wing was going and correct and then laying it down. Feeling the wing without looking up at it and combining moving under the centre and light brake action tokeep it overhead were the key here. Never fight the wing-it'll always win! Simon and Colin agreed I was ready for my first flight! Wow that all came on quickly this morning! So started getting used to the motor on my back, then on the ground power runs of the motor to get the feel of the thrust. Throughout the day we were kept entertained by low passes and smoke from a Stearman giving wing walking rides. Day 8 26/05/13 Things should have calmed down nicely from the storm 2 days ago, with the weather showing a nice steady light breeze. I arrived around 9 at the field and you could feel it was different from yesterday, but maybe a little stiffer than the forecast had indicated. I got the Synth out and after a quick bit of hand kiting to check the breeze and the wing got in the harness and banged out a few practice reverse launch runs without any drama. As others arrived, Simon set out the order of the day: Paul and Phil? who each had some flights under their belts were going to be sent off together to fly to the White Horse - tick, flying with others training. Gary then Richard (the paragliders) were going up next, so Gary got the Macro on his back for some motor familiarisation, wandering round the field blipping the throttle and feeling the thrust. Phil got away Ok and circled waiting for Paul to take off. He had a couple of failed attempts, so had a bit of rest. Phil continue with field circuits with Simon watching his wing carefully to judge the ever increasingly bumpy conditions. Both Gary and Richard were now looking a bit nervous about making this their maiden day. And I could see my chances of flying today slipping away. Simon's philosophy is clear: you might be able to fly perfectly safely in the conditions but it would as bumpy as hell and not be enjoyable and put you off for the future. Plus landing with a wind that might drop away at your critical moment of arrival is not good. I am completely cool with that.............but it doesn't make it any less frustrating not to fly! But I would say , you can help yourself by really committing and getting down there every flyable day there is. I know that depends on travel distance and having flexible enough work, but it pays off if you can. Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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