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G'day from Thailand.


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G'day, my name is Rob, an Aussie now living in Thailand.

I started flying paragliders way back in 1995 and thought it was the best thing I had ever done in my life. I mainly flew coastal sites with ridge lift and flew some 30 hours inland with thermals.....what a whole new world that was. My best flight inland I reached 8,300 feet and covered a distance of 25km. Overall I flew for about 10 years with about 400 hours airtime.

I gradually faded away from the sport (reluctantly) due to the fact that it requires a very narrow window for conditions to be right for flying...wind direction and strength. Then the launch sites are very few and far between, and we came to call it "parawaiting" as that was what we seemed to do more of than actual flying.

Even though I stopped flying, I still found myself always looking skyward, checking the weather and longing to be in the air.

My first introduction to paramotoring was in 1997 when a guy showed up at our local site (Stanwell Park, just south of Sydney). He had this big heavy, noisy, cumbersome contraption on his back and he looked more scared than anything else. With some effort, he took off and climbed to about 200 feet above launch, then started to do spirals. After a few 360's his wing had a huge frontal and didn't immediately recover. The guy dropped like a rock and I thought that I was going to witness my first death in a sport I dearly loved. About 100 feet above the water his glider re-inflated and he powered off to land on the beach....much to many gasps from all the onlookers on the hill.

I asked my instructor what happened and he said that he made the number one "don't do" in paramotoring.....never fly through your own prop-wash.

I know that PPG was in its infancy back then, but I somehow never thought about it again....becoming a "purist" thinking that free flight was the only true form of flight for us wingless creatures.

When I first moved here to Thailand I thought about taking up paragliding again, but found that there aren't many clubs here and even fewer sites, so I thought about kitesurfing..... I had a few lessons and didn't follow through.

Lately we had cable internet connected ( I live out in the sticks) so this was like having a new toy and found myself becoming a you tube junkie. I stumbled on PPG not thinking much about it....still the purist in me.....until I watched a few dozen videos, started thinking, then......Wow! I was converted!

The possibilities of flying from anywhere really appealed to me, not being restricted to dedicated launch sites and being able to fly in nil wind. Then after more research I found that equipment has improved vastly since my first introduction many years ago and I can still enjoy the sensation of "free flight" by turning off the motor after reaching whatever height you desire. One can fly PPG where a free flyer can't go.....the boundaries are comparatively limitless to free flying....I am Converted!

So now I have found this site, and I must say that all the threads I have read here leaves me with the impression that you are all a good bunch of blokes with the same passion and more than willing to share ideas and experiences. I have been even more inspired by the bloggs from Dan, Pete's Progress, Bob's bullet biting and Patricks Progression with useful tips....well done guys.

I have found a school nearby to me (2 1/2 hours drive) http://www.paramotorthailand.org/ and this is run by a guy named Mark Silverberg who appears to have sound credentials....so he will be my launch pad to get me back in the air. I appreciate the fact that to get new equipment, it is best to get it from a close source where spare parts are readily available such as the school where you learn etc.

So I am looking at the H & E R125NG and since Mark is associated with Air Design, I looked at the Rama Flex and it appears to be the wing for me. I was going to ask you guys for any feedback on the H&E but Dan's blogg put my mind at ease, as he seems more than happy with his.

Just a note, my paragliding wing is a large Soul from UP......old I know, but I got it out the other day to brush up on ground handling, and I surprised myself at how quick everything came back to me. Now I really can't wait to start training with Mark so I can get back in the air again. Unfortunately, all my money is tied up at the moment....but the second I can get my mitts on it......look out!

If you have kept reading this far, my sincere thanks.....just another note, it inspires me that some of you guys on here have taken from 3 to sometimes more than 6 months to get your training in, due to work commitments and weather, but you have stuck in there....congratulations.

I am happily retired at 53 and last hit the scales at 85kg and just under 6 foot (5' 11 1/2" to be exact lol) still relatively fit. So I know the biggest adjustment for me will be obviously the motor on my back....more so when landing me thinks.

So hopefully when I do start training I can be in the air within the week, as weather conditions are much more favourable here than for you guys in the UK.

To Simon W, many of your students have nothing but praise for your methods, you sound like someone I would like to learn with, congrats. Would love to have a few cold ales with you all.....maybe one day.

Anyway that's enough from me now.

Safe Flying.

Cheers.

Rob.

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Great read! I enjoyed!

I Lived in Brisbane and this is where I learned to Fly with Phil

http://pgqld.com.au/html/instructions.htm

One of the best instructors I've came to know (hard ass with a hart of gold but it's required to teach in this sport)

I miss parawaiting in Brisbane. Had some great flights there!

Moved around quite a bit and then landed in Brazil.

I've been to TL 4 times or so. Nice place (you dog).

I'll type some more later.

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Hope this helps. For me (as we are not getting and younger lol) and I like to keep thing simple. I also came from 5+ years of paragliding. I wanted weight shift and light light light….. I didn't want to take up motoring unless I could find a system under 20k with some sort of weight shift system (my personal goals when I started looking).

You are the almost the same weigh as me (I’m 78-81k on any given day). Now I also fly in the hotter climates and most times in shorts. On a cold day or high altitude day my flying suit is jeans and a 500g flying jacket. Just keep this in mind when thinking about weight.

If you’re looking for the same type of system then you only have a few options. If you’re not worried about the weight you have tons of options. That motor your looking at is only a few kg away from my entire motor setup. So I’m guessing it might be a good motor but (in my view) heavy.

I'm in Brazil with no real support for my motor. I ordered a few extra parts that I know could brake other then that I watch the motor for any parts wearing and order them on the first signs of issues. I didn't want to be limited to the local dealers for a motor.

Check your wing and see if you need to change the risers to add the motor. I doubt it but worth a check.

One good thing I know for you is the Ozone wings are made right beside you if you choose to go this way I can send you the Global reps number and email. I’m guessing they will drop ship to you (they did this for me in Brazil).

LOL where in TL are you? I would love to go there again (with wife lol). Man what a great place to fly! I've thought many times about packing my gear up have heading there.

T

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I live WSW of Bangkok about 160km and am 140 km from Hua Hin, which is in the region of the school I intend to learn PPG at.

I looked at Ozone wings and they do seem impressive, but I am happy to get equipment that my instructor is familiar with. There are a couple of companies here in Thailand that manufacture motors, but until I start flying and talk to locals etc. I am happy to stick with the brands I have mentioned.

There are quite a few videos of flying around Thailand.....I have literally watched hundreds so far....this is another that shows some of the beauty in this country.

Cheers.

Rob.

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s1......adding to your pain?????

My friend....you are flying ......I am not, me thinks I suffer more pain.

To answer your question wrt the wind....the direction depends on the time of year, but no matter what time of year, the one thing I have noticed here is that from sunrise there is nil wind for 1-3 hours, then towards sunset the wind dies down again.

So barring rain, one can virtually fly here every day of the year.....which is my intention....once I get my kit :( .

BTW...I have watched a few videos from Brazil, and that also looks an amazing place to fly.

Take care.

Cheers.

Rob.

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Your right I really have no reason for pain lol

I just would love to fly there. I even talked to the wife last night about this and she gave me the “hell yea” I’ll go. So I see this in my future lol.

Yea waiting to get you own kit is hard for sure.

Right now I’m just a little crazy working on our business (getting the E-store on line).

But I can see doing this next year!

I think you will have way to much fun flying there. However you better be investing in some camera gear to send us videos!

Yea Brazil has some nice places too for sure.

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Yeh I hope to make some videos once I start flying again.....that you can be assured.

I am still kicking myself for not looking into PPG when I first moved to Thailand when I had a few spare dollars. By now I would've had a few hundred hours clocked up. Ah well, no good dwelling on the past, I just have to keep waiting patiently until I can afford a kit and lessons.

I'm happy that my passion for flying has been re-inspired by all those in the PPG community.

Cheers.

Rob.

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