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Jeffs first flight.


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Being only a 'novice paraglider', just short of CP and totally fed up of waiting & driving to Brighton to finish to course, I took the decision to convert to Paramotoring before completing the CP course. First half day training on the frozen field in December, asked the question 'why the hell am I knackering myself trying to run across a muddy field with a 26Kg weight on my back in the freezing cold !' Then add to this the broken lines I got due to the frozen stones in the mud, the thought of sitting in the café at Devils Dyke looked quite appealing !

My second half day 'groundwork' training, again in December, in freezing conditions, just running up the hill and not taking off due to the windy conditions, still being totally knackered, the dream of getting up there seemed a long way off.

Six weeks later, the wind finally dropped to try again. Now I had two fears. The thought of using full power while trying to run and the other being the landing with the extra weight of the motor. Both were banished by SteveW’s comments.

Knowing that there was no way I was going home without a flight I got well wrapped up for the impending cold conditions up there. Three feeble attempts to launch, being a combination of crap ground handling by lack of practice & thought and again not being totally committed & lack of power. Again now being totally knackered and over hot, it was time to take a break, de-robe and get my head in order.

Now being totally committed with the thought of just ‘go for it’ and use full power as soon as I turn and start running, worked like a dream. Having a ‘combination’ paragliding/paramotoring Ozone MOJO wing, I was up and away with absolutely no problem, until I got a fair way up and found that I couldn’t make any headway due to the head wind! Now nervingly being blown sideways towards the woods, it was time to fly across the wind to get somewhere. Absolutely, amazing, actually flying around instead of just doing top / bottoms when paragliding. Now to think about the landing. With total confidence and all thoughts of the extra weight ignored, good landing with a couple of steps, all be it flaring a foot to early. All the previous fears of both taking off and landing now a distance past.

Now totally confident, really easy second take off until I tried to get in the seat and found that I had forgot to pull it down before taking off! eventually got settled and enjoying flight until the motor wouldn’t rev and then cut out ! Now glad I had done all thoughs previous top to bottoms while paragliding, my only thought at the time was the walk back with the motor on my back ! Ended up just restarting the motor with no further problems.

Learnt when attempting to take off for the first time you need total commitment & confidence to use full power as soon as you step off and you’ll be up and away in no time. Also learnt to remember to pull the seat down before setting off and not to fly with old fuel !

Now got to try a forward launch when there’s no wind, which will probably be the only time I will be able to fly with my current wing ! Have to raid the piggy bank.

All in all, fantastic experience and now really looking forward to seeing Britain from above. Thanks, Steve.

Geoff :D

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