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First flight - 5th March 2006 - View the entire paragliding news archive

First flight of the season

Man, I need some new gloves!
This first (powered) flight of the season was mainly to try out the new machines, run in the motors and just check that everything is in working order. With temperatures a couple of degrees below zero we were not planning on flying for long. The sky was clear of all cloud and the sun felt nice and warm through car windows, but it was bitterly cold when we got into the air.
We arrived at Peaks Rock Climbing Gym (Andre`s other business) at around 10 am to pick up the trailer with the paramors and wings. We checked to make sure we had everything and then packed the trailer. Everything needs to go in just the right spot to keep it balanced.
It`s a pretty tight squeeze, but we have had four paramotors and all the equipment that goes with them in this home made trailer in the past. You just have to make sure everything goes in just the right place.
Since the forecast was looking a bit on the windy side, we headed to a local field rather than make the journey all the way up to our Sodom Road launch site. This location is not as ideal and it gets it`s fair share of interested onlookers too. Today the wind direction was perfect for launch and the strong breeze meant that although we would not fly fast, launching would be relatively easy.
Andre got the machines out and gave them a thorough inspection. It is always a good idea at the start of the season to be over cautious, despite the enthusiasm.
Next job was trying out my new one dollar syphon. The machines needed to have the old fuel removed before we could fill them up with fresh stuff. This little syphon did the job beautifully - not bad for a buck! It was a bit time consuming, but it was easier than tilting the machines upside down to get the fuel out.
We emptied both machines. Andre puts it straight in his car. Seems to work ok, even though people keep telling him it will ruin the engine!.
Lastly, I mixed the oil and we were all set to go. Now, these pictures are just screen grabs from my camcorder. This was going to be a little video of the flight and all the preparations beforehand, but as soon as I got in the air I was freezing my nads off. My hands were numb andf my fingers really weren`t doing what I told them too, so I`m afraid the filming went right out of the window! There was no way I could operate the camera while flying with thick gloves on. My hands were still frozen.
We made a short half hour flight over to the lake edge and back. The air was a bit bouncy and the wind chill was numbingly cold. Everything worked perfectly and we are now all set for the season. We just need some warmer weather....or gloves! Next time I will remember my hand warmers.
Coming soon - Performance Flying review: See video preview

Just received a copy of `Parahawking`. Look out for the review next week.

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