Flying Circus Wrap Up

The drive home was good. I had a massive cold front following off my left shoulder all the way from Albuquerque. At one point the shadow from the leading edge was playing tag with the truck and we were doing 80 mph! Fortunately it stalled at Raton and I never had to deal with icy roads.
The Arizona Flying Circus was great….frustrating but great. Lots of vendors including ParaToys who would never have been welcome or inclined to attend under Bob’s ownership. Nirvana and Paradrenaline were there and their “factory Pilots” put on a great demonstration of flying in ratty air and high winds.
I spent most of my time dealing with equipment issues. The first morning was the most heart breaking because I walked off the field when the battery died. It was two days later that I realized that all I had to do was use the pull start. Doh !
The new cage arrived on Friday afternoon and I spent the afternoon working with Bob Pelloquin to get it assembled and mounted on the frame. As fate would have it there was a crowd of luminaries standing around when it was time to fire it up. Sure Nuff there was a prop strike and one of the tips was damaged. That evening after dinner with Jim King and a couple of other pilots I sat in the hotel room and replaced the blade with one that Johnny Fetz had repaired while at the Salton Sea.
The IVO Prop is an amazing design that enables you to adjust the pitch of all three blades simultaneously by turning a bolt in the hub. Counterclockwise to increase pitch and clockwise to reduce pitch. I had to take it apart and assemble it twice before I got it right but that seems par for the course for me at this fly-in.
The next morning I attempted a launch but the wind picked up and I didn’t react fast enough when the wing pulled me backwards. The buggy rolled to the left and I was forced to kill the engine and abort. Jeff Goin was filming so he was able to brief me on what the wing did. I’m going to have to increase the tension on the steering bungees so that it rolls straight. While I was out there a pilot asked me to start the machine so that he could hear it. Right away it was obvious that the prop was badly out of balance.
The rest of the day I spent working on the machine. Bob and I did some creative bending to increase the clearance and Kent helped me out with shortening the blades by 2 inches. I was wary of making the cut but Kent dug in and they are looking good and well balanced now.
Saturday afternoon was the Bowling Ball Cannon and later the Banquet. It’s all Good.

Author: JoeO

Powered Paraglider pilot since 2005

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