Guest of Paratour

Dawn and I got up at 4:45 and amazingly were on the road by 5:10. It is a 50 minute drive from the Orlando World Center to Christmas Florida where Eric Dufour and Elisabeth Guerin have established Paramotor City East and Paratour. I was concerned that there would be no flying due to the ground fog, but when we arrived everybody was confident that it would burn off before they arrived at the field. Eric was training two new pilots and retraining an instructor who had started his career with Dell but seen the light.

Flight #482 &; #483 was at the training field with Eric Dufour and his students. Elisabeth was very generous and allowed me to fly her new Kangook trike with polini motor. Eric gave me a quick briefing on the machine. … How it started and to be aware of the left hand torque which, by the way was very mild and not really an issue. The wind was almost non existent but I would have to launch from a position that faced some tall pines. Not something I would be able to do with the Falcon but Eric didn’t make a big deal out of it so I took it on faith.
Then… Eric was gone to get his class together and I was alone on the foggy field. I taxied the Kangook at speed to get a feel for how it accelerated and around the corner to see what my options were for turning to gain altitude, just in case I couldn’t clear the pine trees at the get go. Ten minutes after Eric had pulled out,  I was set-up and ready to launch.  I waited another five, soaking in the quiet and thanking the gods.  Life is good.

local mascot
The Eden III came up clean and I was in the air very quickly. Climbing at 350ft/min I was able to clear the trees with ease and found the highway without problems. The terrain was thick pines all the way to the wetlands where Eric was training so I climbed to 1300 feet to give me lots of room in case of a motor out and then I headed East looking for the gang.
Where is the Training Field?
The sky was a beautiful pale orange softened by ground mist. Small lakes were scattered in the pines, off to the east I could see where the trees abruptly stopped and the wetlands began. Ten minutes into the flight I saw a mowed field 300 yards off the highway and a wing laid out ready for launch. In the top corner of the field I could just barely make out the word PARATOUR cut into the grass.

From high, I watched Eric coach one of the new guys into the air. It was a picture perfect launch and when he got to altitude I headed in his direction to ” go play”. Passing at 200 yards I swung behind and started to descend to the field. At the field Eric was gesturing strongly for me to move out of the area. The pilot was doing his first flight and he didn’t want me anywhere near his rookie. After 20 minutes I came in for a nice soft landing. Dawn and I chatted a bit and Eric explained where he was going to be working the new guys so that I wouldn’t be a concern. Then I reset and launched again.

training field
Dawn McLane looking good on the Kangook
After my second flight, Dawn and I watched Eric train his students and later he put on a motor and treated  us to a few minutes of the Dufour Magic…Foot Drags… wing overs … etc …  the master of fine wing control.  It was….a
Great day …
Thanks to Eric and Elisabeth of Paratour for making it happen.

Author: JoeO

Powered Paraglider pilot since 2005

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