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Rimouski Fly-in - 27th - 29th July 2007 - View the entire paragliding news archive
Rimouski Fly-in

It seemed like a long way to go for the weekend, but Andre and I decided to bite the bullet and make the thirteen hour drive to Rimouski for some PPG fun... Quebec style!

Blah blah blah.. take me straight to the videos!
Csaba's crash, fire juggling/breathing, Friday night flight, Island flight

Friday 27th July 2007

After a grueling 13 hour drive, split between Thursday night and Friday, we arrived at the Rimouski fly-in. Having registered with the organisers we headed off to find Frank and Joanne who had been holding a spot for us. Frank is an ex-student of ours who now runs his own PPG school in New Brunswick. Dan and Natalie were camped beside them. It was nice to see some faces we had not seen for a while. We unpacked our gear and got the tent set up before getting ready for the first flight of the weekend. It was really nice to see some new scenery; Quebec has lots of it.

This was my first time outside Ontario. Even though it was still only Friday afternoon there were a good number of pilots in the air by the time we launched. We all headed upwind, making slow progress in the strong breeze.

Andre was flying the small 'Fides 2' and was soon way ahead of me. I did not even try to catch up. Instead I was content to do some filming, making a short video of our flight. Having check that all my video equipment was functioning well I landed just before sunset. We packed up. It was time to relax with a few beers,

some home made Hungarian ghoulash cooked by Thomas

and some of Dan's super crispy fries, which are always a big hit (apparently it's the sugar water that does it.

Then it was time for some fire juggling/breathing before turning in for the night.

Saturday 28th July 2007

I got a great night's sleep, having stayed in Frank and Joanne's enormous motor home. I was waiting for 7am to launch since the site guidelines indicated there was no flying until that time. By 6am one pilot had launched. I later learned that it was ok to fly as long as you did not stay near the campsite, so I grabbed a machine and got a quick flight in before breakfast. The air was damp and it started to rain at altitude, so I decided to land, have cup of tea and wait for the conditions to improve. Andre emerged much later after a bit of a drinking session with Csaba the nigt before.

After some tea and cake for breakfast courtesy of Joanne, Frank and I assisted Arnaud and Tim with their launches. Tim went for a nice flight to the local island opposite the town of Rimouski. Mark and Stan returned from an hour or so later, but there was no sign of Tim. Then the cell phone rang. It was Tim. He had landed on the island after his engine died and needed to get a boat to pick him up, but the tide was out so he would have to wait a few hours! He later told us that he had been low flying over some slippery rocks along the shore just moments before his engine stopped. Fortunately he managed to set it down on a sandy beach. There is a lesson o be learned here...

Stan Kasica, Csaba Lemak and Mark Dean and I decided to go for a flight to the island to see if we could torment Tim!

This time I left my wing behind and flew the small 'Fides 2', so that I would be able to keep up. Heavily loaded, it flies like a torpedo compared to my wing. Csaba and Stan were really pushing their luck as they made their way to the island with very little altitude. I was not too confident with how my machine was running and stayed nice and high until I was within easy glide of solid land. Csaba, Mark Dean and Stan were having a great time flying really low along the beach, but I did not dare to join them since my engine was sputtering at low revs. I remained high and did some filming. The results are quite steady since the air from the water was blowing in relly smoothly. I'll post the video on the website as soon as I get time to edit the footage. Anyway, we headed back to the mainland and landed, since the air was getting damper and we knew there was rain in the forecast. I managed to squeeze in a quick flight wearing the gorilla suit before the rain arrived.

An hour later Tim arrived, wet and weary after his little adventure, hopefully a little wiser after nearly landing on the slippery rocks. We sat out the rain for a few hours and then it was Csaba's turn for a little excitement. The ground was still wet from the rain shower, but a few pilots were taking off again. Csaba took off, made a right hand turn and realising he was pretty low near the crowd pulled a hard right again. This was at slow speed. There was an almighty thwack as one half of his wing stalled he dropped into the ground and his prop smacked into the ground and he cage. People were running to the field as Csaba lay motionless, in the tangled wreckage that was recently a paramotor. For a few tense moments everyone was very concerned, but with paramedics stationed at the event he was in good hands. It was clear that he was in pain, but just what was the damage? In typical Csaba style, and with just a hint of bravado, he lit up a cigarette and asked his concerned wife to fetch him a beer! At this point he was sitting up with a crowd of onlookers staring at the scene. He was adamant that he did not want to go to hospital. We we packed up his wing, salvaged the remains of his paramotor

and carried him off the field and tried to convince him tht he really should go to the hospital to get checked out. He assured us he would, once he was back in Toronto.

Later that evening we learned that someone had caught the action with their camera phone. The resolution was pretty low as we watched the action on a borrowed laptop, but we could all clearly see what had happened Csaba's crash. It was time for some hearty food, courtesy of the organisers and of course one or two beers to end a very eventful day.

Sunday 29th July

The morning was clear, but the ground was soaked, perfect conditions to put my forward launch skills to the test. I was a little disappointed being the second pilot to launch on Saturday morning, so before most people were even awake I was lugging the machine out to the far end of the field. I used the propeller to 'blow dry' a small area for the wing, then set out the glider. It was a long run before take off, but the gently sloping field sure did help. Having grabbed the first flight of the day I soon landed, we intended to leave early in order to get home before midnight. We had a long drive ahead of us. That was the plan, but we decided to stick around to film the 'mass fly', where they attempted to get every pilot in the air at the same time. One after another pilots launched and joined the circuit. I got the aerial footage, landed and packed up. We said our goodbyes and began our long drive back home,leaving just before noon and finally arriving home after midnight. Great flying, great people, not so great drive... definitely be there next year.

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