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Training with PPO - Tuesday 6th September - View the entire paragliding news archive

Training with Jon, Everett and Bruce

Andre and I arrived at the field at 2:30pm. Jon had just pulled in ahead of us. The conditions were fairly good, although there were some thermal gusts coming through. Jon is a paraglider pilot with both foot launch and tow launch experience, now training to use power. Shortly afterward, Everett and Bruce turned up.

As ever, we started with plenty of ground handling. Jon actually got lifted up eight feet into the air. A thermal gust caught him during inflation and he applied brakes making the situation worse. Jon got dragged, while practicing inflating the wing with the additional weight of the machine. The conditions were pretty thermic, so we took a break.

I took the opportunity to ground handle. You can never get too much practice. I was messing about trying to inflate the wing while sitting down. Without being able to move left or right with the wing, it is pretty difficult to keep it overhead, but I managed it a few times. On two occasions, the wing actually lifted me straight off the ground.

When conditions had calmed down a little it was time for the students to get in the air. Jon had a go first, but was unable to get in the air. Next up was Everett. He executed a good take off and enjoyed a smooth flight, landing in the long weeds. Everett and Jon were done for the day. Last to fly was Bruce. His first reverse launch required some adjustments to the machine. It was not tuned properly. The second flight was a forward launch. At this point I took the opportunity to jump in the RR and get some nice aerial shots of the field with Andre's digital camera. I climbed to six thousand feet so that I could get the whole field in the shot. It was a little hazy but I think the results look ok. At this height I was being blown towards Niagara Falls at considerable speed, so I didn't hang about for long. Once I had my shots I turned off the engine and spiralled down to the landing field.

Chris (the collapse man) Miller had arrived. Chris had recently flown with me in the Alps, his first real taste of free-flight paragliding. He had loved the experience, but was concerned because his wing had still not arrived in the mail. He had sent it from Annecy post office over a month ago and had expected it within two weeks. For now he was using one of Andre's wings. I topped up the RR and launched first?perfect (even if I do say so myself). Chris launched and headed off towards the river. I flew around the field to get some aerial photos of Dora's restaurant and the field. We will get them blown up, printed and framed. They should make nice gifts.

Once I had more photos, I flew off to follow a guy on a quad bike, who was riding down the lane. He could hear me, but I don't think he knew where I was. I was quite low at the west side of the field when I heard the engine noise suddenly changed to a throaty throb. Power was reduced, and I was some way off the shorter grass. I headed back to land. Andre was waving me down, so I knew something was not good. When I landed, it turned out the muffler had cracked completely. Luckily, Andre's extra ties had stopped it going into the prop! Thanks Andre! After over 100 hours, (this machine is regularly flown) the muffler finally gave out. We quickly removed all supports and ties and detached the muffler from the machine. Andre has replacement parts in stock, so the machine will be running again tomorrow.

The sun was getting low and Chris had returned from his excursion to the Niagara River. He was coming in to land a little high. There was no wind, so I knew the landing would be fast. This was going to be interesting! I grabbed Andre's camera and ran to the long grass, for this was clearly where Chris would land. Sure enough, he managed to land in the shrubby area beside the main strip and I got my photo.

Bruce made one final flight of the evening, a perfect launch in zero wind conditions. This was definitely a progression point. He made a committed launch, driving the wing up until it was ready to fly, controlling it well with the brakes. It all came together in this launch. Once Bruce had landed, we packed up and headed over to Dora's for a drink and a bite to eat. This is where we will be camping out during the fly in. I recommend the BLTs.

See you all there for the fly in?.(September 9-11, 2005)

Here are bunch of motel and hotel #'s that are very close to fly in.

Numbers for nearby accomodation- for those not wanting to camp at Dora's
1 800 667 7931; 1 800 263 0713; 905 295 3331; 1 866 295 1805

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