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Not a good day! - September 5th 2004 - View the entire paragliding news archive
Sunday was just as hot as Saturday but with a gentle breeze it was much easier to inflate the gliders. Jamie arrived after a 4 hour slog from Toronto in heavy traffic. Less running around meant that he was able to attempt a launch on only his second day. The first attempt was 'good to go', but Jamie was a little hesitant on the throttle. I don't think he really wanted to take off!

Now that he had a feel for it he was a lot more determined and the take off was nice and clean. With full power on he was soon up and away climbing nice and high. After a few minutes admiring the view and getting used to this new sensation Jamie was setting up his approach to land. Everything was just great except Jamie forgot that he needed to get out of the seat. This new style of seated running was very funny to watch but not too effective! With a nice headwind, however, there was no harm done and it was still a pretty good landing. With new found confidence Jamie was ready to try again.

The conditions were just perfect and he made his launch attempt. The glider came up a little faster on one side and unchecked continued to swing around to the left. With the engine still running and the throttle still pressed the glider swung around further. With too much going on at once Jamie didn't cut the engine in time and he stumbled and nicked his first prop and the cage putting the machine out of action for the rest of the day. Meanwhile Mark (Butcher) had been acquainting himself with his glider. Several inflations later and a bit tired he was getting a bit frustrated. After some colorful language and a rest he was ready to try again.

There were several good inflations by the end of the afternoon, but the heat and humidity were zapping everyone's energy. Dennis arrived with his machine , but was unable to fly due to a previous injury. Dennis has a tendency to sit down on take off. I think that this will soon be rectified after he watches his slow motion action replay on video. I'm sure he will soon be a master of the launch technique . I look forward to seeing it! Shawn was also hard at work on Sunday. He was determined to build on the success of the previous day. His forward launches were looking really slick now and he had two nice long flights in calm conditions. Shawn was still at the field when everyone else had gone. Andre suggested that he get the spare machine running (to replace the one Jamie damaged) and we all fly over the falls. A great plan! I had been looking forward to this since my first flight. I was finally going to fly over the falls!!!

Well we were all getting ready. Shawn went for a launch. I didn't see it all but what I did see out of the corner of my eye was Shawn doing a somersault with his engine running. Then I heard the now familiar thwack of a prop busting (2 days old!). I turned off my machine and went to see if he was alright. He was fine but PISSED OFF!!! The cage had been severaly dented too. There was no chance of fixing this today and Shawn was grounded. Having seen that he was alright we went back to our machines to continue setting up. Andre was soon airborne after a couple of unusually sloppy attempts (we were all getting tired). I couldn't start the spare machine. I didn't know that it was set up differently. Shawn came over to help. He got it running. Great, I am ready to go. The engine cut out. Then the starter cord snapped! No flying for me then. Andre came in to land and we all packed up, disappointed not to have made a nice evening flight over the falls. Ok so I have covered HOT and TIRED, here comes the STUPID bit..... As I am packing all the stuff back into the trailer I put the keys on top of the trailer. You guessed it, I got distracted and forgot I had not locked the trailer (only shut it tightly and replaced the lock).

Half way home it suddenly occurs to me that I think I left Andre's keys on the roof of the trailer. Well you can bet they are not there now! We pull over and check....no surprises. I can tell Andre is really pissed off, but he doesn't make a fuss. All his climbing gym keys and house keys are on that key ring. We go back to the field and look to see if they dropped off anywhere on the dirt track. Shawn and Andre check the ramp to the QEW and I get eaten alive by mosquitoes. NO KEYS!
Two busted props, two busted cages, a broken starter cord and no house keys.

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The content of this site is Mark Andrews 2005-12, mandrews1973@gmail.com

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