19th & 20th Baja Seasons

19th & 20th BAJA SEASONS!

Aug 28th 2006
19 was a tandem flight with Casey Cadwell Aerothrust paramotor and a Pasha Tandem wing. First experience with the “Low and Slow”. I spent a couple of hours training with Michael Purdy and learned a new way to hold the risers …Top hand on “A’s” and the bottom on the “D’s”, Bottom hand moves left to right and forward and back to provide brake input. I also tried the Blackhawk but it was too heavy. I had a hard time with the Aerothrust motor because my helmet was hitting the top of the frame and I couldn’t see the wing overhead. After several failed launch attempts I got an assist from Michael and Casey and launched like a rocket. Casey chewed me out for using to much thrust and gave me a lecture about a power on stall. It was good to be flying over the sea again there just isn’t anything like that thick air and sea breeze. The Baja Seasons resort is a bit pricey for 2nd class accommodations but the restaurants were great with wonderful music.

Review for the Big list:
Hey Gents,You asked for a report on Michael Purdy’s new venture Baja PPG andI’m just back.Wow ! This place could be the PPG Mecca of the world in a few years! It’s almost exactly 50 miles inside the border so you can drive a rental car in without paying huge additional insurance fees. The entry to Mexico is a piece of cake and it’s a clean highway all the way down…no worries about dealing with Mexican traffic. On the way out you have to give time for the border crossing and it can be hairy jostling for position…but hey were fearless PPG pilots RIGHT?Baja Seasons Resort is between Rosarito and Ensenada about 5 klicks south of a rocking surfer’s beach. It’s a nice gated and guarded resort with what appears to be 4 levels of accommodations…Standard hotel…Deluxe Hotel, (probably means air conditioning and nicer furniture), private beach front Villas and Full RV accommodations.The pool is beautiful, it’s the perfect place to be at the end of the day sipping margaritas and critiquing the day’s flights. There are a couple of nice restaurants and spas within 20 minutes drive upor down the beach and not much else. I’m not hip on the tourist seasons there, but on a Monday at the end of August it was deserted. Perhaps the weekends are packed but we had the place to ourselves. The beach is at least 250 yards wide and miles long.Wonderful flying conditions with smooth laminar air all day long.Baja Seasons Resort is the perfect location for an intensive training site. Beautiful location, all day flying conditions, anice resort, and not allot of people or things to get in the way.There is a big screen media room to watch videos of your launches and landings and beautifully appointed lounges for classroom work.One thing I really liked about this operation is that Michael is taking a little more comprehensive approach to PPG training which will go beyond basic instruction and coaching … it’s going to be top to bottom training with extensive classroom instruction including understanding the machine and basic maintenance. And he didn’t say as much but I expect the PPG Bible with be the text if not the curriculum. He has a couple of different training packages for new pilots including full equipment packages from the Paratoys inventory. And for pilots that have been flying for awhile who want to take it to the next level…He has an intermediate level course that will do exactly that.One of the nicest things about training at Baja PPG is that he has helpers to act as kiting coaches or to just hang by to keep your wing properly laid out after an aborted launch or kiting goof.After my last flight Juan trotted out …unhooked my wing, carefully pulled it together and carried it up to the shade to be folded for return to the airport. All I needed for perfection was a beautiful Mexican Princess to hand me a frosted mug as I shrugged off the motor! Baja PPG will be fully up and running by fall and I expect we will be hearing allot about this “Most Excellent Venture”AND …For experienced pilots it looks to be a great place for a flying vacation, I look forward to my next trip, I’m might bring the whole family and let them play in the surf and pool while I alternate between kiting, flying and swimming. When my wife starts to look like she has had enough I’ll send her to the Spa for the whole treatment. That usually mellows her out for a day or two.Hey Michael I know your out there! I can hardly wait for the first big Baja Seasons Fly-in. Sign me up NOW!( NOT A PAID ENDORSEMENT )If you want to know more it is…www.bajappg.com

11th thru 18th

11th –18th Flights
June 25th thru August 14th 2006

Paramotoring is the Art of Flying Nowhere Slowly

By now, I was getting in about one flight a week. Sometimes I’d meet John at the field but more often than not, it was me alone, at sunrise. Often I would get up two hours before dawn and stop at the Waffle House for breakfast. I’d read through my log and review past flights, think about what I did right and wrong and how to prevent it from happening again. One of the techniques that was helpful was to visualize different procedures and scenarios I might encounter. I’d imagine the wing coming up crooked and visualize running to the side while using light brake input to re-center and stabilize it. Or visualize the risers in my hands while set-up for a reverse launch, how the brake lines were routed and where various pieces of equipment were positioned. I was pleased by how well this prepared me and can think of several instances when I would pause during a launch because I noticed something was out of place. It definitely helped me with my problems getting the risers correctly positioned for a reverse launch.

I’d usually finish breakfast by closing my eyes and visualizing the upcoming flight. Looking back, I’m sure the folks at the Waffle House thought I was some kind of early morning weirdo. a solitary guy sitting in a booth, with clenched fists held slightly above his head, preparing to flare for an imaginary landing. Regardless, by the time I left the table I was mentally prepared, buzzing with caffeine and raring to go.

That summer every flight was a major event. Each time, I would roam farther from my landing zone exploring the State Park. Occasionally on those summer mornings a hot air balloon would be launching at the west end of the lake. I looked forward to the opportunity to fly with those big boys.

Somewhere around my 15th flight I was pleased to notice that my takeoff runs were getting smoother and on those light wind days where I would lift off and then drift back down I discovered that I could take a couple of extra steps without the terror of falling. Several times after one of those no wind or light wind launches, when I ran seemingly forever, I noticed that my thighs would burn for the rest of the day. I took it as a good thing because it meant that I was stretching muscles that were trained for cycling but new to running.

By the 18th flight I was feeling good, beginning to know the equipment and gaining confidence, so… to keep things interesting, I began to incorporate gadgets and work on the paramotor. When my kill switch stopped working I rebuilt the throttle assembly and while I was at it, mounted a Tiny-Tac to monitor the RPMs and added a cruise control. This complicated devise was a piece of eraser that I could use to wedge the throttle in a set position. For the first time I used the Garmin Fortrex, worn like a wristwatch, this tiny GPS gave me all kinds of good info like; speed, elevation, and my rate of climb and descent. I also started taking pictures and was listening to special “PPG” playlists on the Ipod. It was programmed to play the theme from the Sopranos while I was setting up, then “Straighten Up and Fly Right”,during the launch and when I heard Freddie Mercury and Queen sing, We Are the Champions, I knew it was time to head back to the landing zone.
I really wanted to try a sunset flight but the increased thermal activity toward sunset spooked me. The sun may have been lower in the sky but summer evenings in Colorado have beautiful sunsets for a reason and warranted or not, those clouds rolling in over the foothills scared me.