11 Apr 06 - Mike's training continues - Mike and I were at the field bright and early. The winds were calm in which makes for great flying, but very difficult for launching. Mike had made several attempts to launch but with no success. We waited for the wind to pick up a little and reattempted to launch. Mike was successful and he was off on his second flight of the course, it wasn't pretty but he did get off the ground. After a debrief on Mike's flight, we had a short break and attempted the second flight for the day. Unfortunately, Mike had fallen during the launch attempt and had injured his hand. Mike will be returning home, but I'm sure once his hand is healed he'll be back to complete his training. Great effort Mike!!
10 Apr 06 - Mike Fly's - We were at the field early this morning and after pre-flight testing Mike's equipment for a short flight he was ready to fly. The winds were light and variable and Mike had made several attempts to launch. Under these conditions it is sometimes difficult even with experienced PPG pilots. However after several more attempts, Mike had a successful launch and was off on his first flight. We were hoping for an evening flight however the weather did not co-operate. We'll be at the field bright and early tomorrow morning. (Sorry no pics)
9 Apr 06 - Mike's Training - The weather this time of year is very switchy and with luck there was a chance to get some early training in. Mike showed up early this morning and we wasted no time. We covered theory lessons as well as getting hands on (Kiting) with the Paraglider. The Kiting conditions were excellent and Mike did very well picking up the technique. In the afternoon we went on with Paramotor training as well as In-flight procedures. Mike had wrote his Pre-Solo exam and passed . His student pilot permit was issued and we were all set to go to the flying field to combine all of what was learned to date. Unfortunately the winds were high and Mike was not able to get his first flight in. But we'll be back at the field ready to launch at 0700 hrs. (Few Pics)
31 Mar 06 - I'm Back Early - The weather was warm in Florida and I did get some flying in, but unfortunately too windy for decent flights. However, It was great to meet other Pilots and people in the PPG business.
Tony Gibson (South Africa) Spot Landing Vendor Displays Xcitor PPC Flown by Eric Dufour
14 Mar/06 - I will be away at the USPPGA Convention in Florida!!
I will be away from the 17 Mar-7 Apr 06 for the USPPGA convention. If you require to get a hold me right away ,you can contact me on my cell at (506) 476-6502 or Johanne 476-6503. Thanks
12 Mar/06 - Tracy's XC story
Although it hasn't been a great winter for motoring, these last few weeks have been rejoicing in terms of flying.
I've been contemplating for some time now about the idea of flying out at Crabbe Mountain. So, on Thursday, March 9/06 I was presented with my first window of opportunity, both weather and time wise, to actually make an attempt.
I was given permission by Owen Billings to use his field which is located just below the Crabbe Mnt. parking lot facing south, west and in between. This was great because it didn't actually place me running towards the power lines, trees or the road.
Although the wind was fairly intense at times (15 - 22km/h) it was predictable in terms of the shifting direction which was predominantly coming in from the southwest. I watched my sock for several minutes before making the decision of launching. A forward launch was all that was necessary while I waited for the predicted wind to shift.
I made two passes down the field after lift off in order to gain the elevation needed to safely clear the top of the mountain. Avoiding the prospect of flying directly over the populated ski runs I stayed mostly over wooded areas. Surprisingly, it only took 10 to 15 minutes to fly the whole circumference of the mountain. That's even with a pretty stiff head wind after reaching the south side. The landing was picture perfect and the landowner thought it looked safe enough for him to get on board.
The second flight was a reversal because of the steady southwest wind and at times it was elevator just after launch. I didn't stray too far this time on account of the higher winds. So I boated around the road area and where there was an area of congested ski chalets just west of the Bunny hill in front of the ski lodge. Surprisingly I found there to be thermals that provided enough lift to allow me stay aloft simply by letting the motor idle with a periodic rev.
With another great landing to log, I was contemplating quits for the day when I noticed my sock was indicating a lighter southern direction. Without too much hesitation I leisurely walked to back to my car and packed the digital camera and grabbed the gas jug. All the while, I told myself I would never jeopardise my safely over potentially taking great pictures.
My plan was simple...I would take off...get lots of altitude and follow the same path that I did when making my first flight. After wrestling with a reversal... it wasn't long before I was zipping around the chair lift area from about a thousand plus feet. I seemed to be getting hit with lots of lifting air which was a sign that the motor wouldn't have to work as hard giving me the opportunity to concentrate less on power in order to slip my glove off. I was able to take around twenty pictures of varying quality by the point and shoot technique while hanging onto my steering toggle.
I knew I was in trouble when my hand started to get cold and the liner of my electric glove was twisted inside. After hitting some pockets of turbulance I gave up on trying to put the camera away so I left it hanging around my wrist with my glove partially over my hand. I noticed I was losing altitude and decided I would go searching for some thermals. I found what I was looking for and persisted on trying to follow my old flight route around the back side of the mountain. No luck...the wind had increased too much from the west again and I was hardly penetrating. At that point while having some interesting wind gusts, I decided to make an unplanned landing on the back side of the mountain. I saw a gravel pit area, the Valley Forest Road, and a clear cut area in which there were some vehicles parked on the side of the main road. The clear cut looked more appealing as an LZ than the other areas, so I made my landing approach. I was very cautious and mindful of the down wind, so I made minimal turns while preparing for collapses. I tried to kill the engine a couple of hundred feet up so I wouldn't risk prop damage but the kill switch wire had broken loose. Now I had a series of new concerns! I realized the LZ I planned to land in was rougher than expected and with many obstacles. Considering my safety and less concern for the gear I went in hot. By the grace of God I was standing upright in a pretty clear patch of wood cuttings with the canopy falling over my head allowing me to prime the machine to kill the engine.
I've been spared! With a holler of excitement I unclipped and walked around the area in sheer amazement that nothing got damaged, and I was safe.
The most painful part of the flight was the walk out. Although it was a mere 200 yards, it was tricky walking over all the cuttings and bushes. I reached the main road in less than ten minutes and sat to rest. I could see a half kilometer away was the logger using a horse to pull logs out of the woods. Smiling to myself, I found it odd I could be saved by a cowboy. Not the "Broke Back Mountain" type either!!
A white, quarter ton sales truck was the answer to my current situation. A kind fella (in which I misplaced his business card) offered me a ride back to Crabbe where my car was parked. I will post a formal thank you once I find his card again.
For all you motor heads, always get permission from landowners before using a field. The relationships you build will not only benefit you but any future pilots who may want ot use the site.
Never sacrifice safety over a good picture.
If things don't feel right when your in the middle of a cross country, or flying in general, don't panic..I repeat.. don't panic! Look around for a window of opportunity that will safely get you back on the ground. That way you can live to fly another day.
7 Mar 06 - Mike trying on his New XC.
Mike and his family arrived today to try on his new XC. Mike is course loaded on the first PPG course running in April.
21 Feb 06 - Where's the snow!!
This morning the weather was cold (-12 Deg). In this kind of weather, your flying is really limited to on how long you can fly before your fingers freeze. I can tell you that the D Cell battery gloves are fine for weather around (0Deg), but any colder and your flight time will be limited. The best combination that I found for keeping your fingers warm in really cold weather is mittens with split fingers (See Pic). I also place hot packs in each finger to aid the warming process and I'm usually good for a 30-45 min flight before looking for a place to land to warm up. You can purchase these Mitts from your local Canadian Tire. I flew a couple of flights in which gave me the chance to fly and break-in my new XC and Fides 26. Just another day in the office!! When's Spring coming!!!
22 Feb 06 - Another evening flight
Myself and Roger took advantage of outstanding weather for this time of year. The Temp was -2 with light winds. A few pics (Thanks Roger)