Powered Paragliding Vance Brand 605 & 606

What a nice afternoon.  Yesterday it took 2 hours to drive into Denver with heavy snow but today it’s 61 degrees and the field is soft and barely damp.

On the way to Vance Brand Airport I stopped at Boulder Municipal to see if they would let me fly there.  I approached a group of sky divers waiting for their ride outside the Executive Terminal and struck up a conversation.  Good guys.  Bruce told me he had never seen any of us flying in the area but didn’t seem against the idea.  There was very little activity and unless there was some bad history I thought there might be a chance.  I watched the sky divers take off and eventually met the lead instructor at the flight school, a friendly enough guy named Tracy.  The airport manager was out but he didn’t have any problems with me flying there.  When he called the manager I was told that there was a city ordinance against us basing at B.M. Airport but he was cool if I quietly took a few flights.
The air was a bit sketchy with little gusts blowing in every few minutes from the West.  B.M. Air is much closer to the Flat Irons and I was concerned with rotor from the hills and city so I decided to save it for another day when the conditions were calmer.  I chatted with the pilot of the skydiving plane for a few and set off to Vance Brand.
5 miles North it was much better.  The winds were 4 to 7 mph from the North West and there wasn’t a soul in sight.  I launched by the swoop pond and headed over to the High School.  While it was calm at the field it was very turbulent to the south.  I climbed to 500 feet and it got worse.  I climbed to 800 feet and it was worse still!  So… I descended back down to 100 feet and headed back to the field where I played around with the low and slow and practiced touch and goes on the new taxiway.  Eventually the air smoothed out and I enjoyed the glass of until the sun went behind the mountains.

Palm Bay PAL Fly-In

PAL Palm Bay Fly In

Dawn and I flew into Tampa for the weekend.  She had a seminar to attend and I was privileged to come  along for the ride.   On Saturday morning I took the rental car and drove across Florida to Palm Bay for the2 annual  Pal Fly-In. It was good to see Jeff ,Leon ,Ray Eric and Elisabeth ….CC, Tim Gaskins and Marty Hathaway and several others.

Small RCA cars that could go 100 mph+.   Very cool
 Leon’s new frame that,accepts wheels.        Very Very Cool
Ray’s new water cooled motor.                      Very cool and light
The PPG DANCE.    OK … we’ll maybe not so much the PPG DANCE

Breezy  but flyable…. The inland waterway is not too far ( 1 Mile)and the ocean is obtainable (2 miles).  It would be a great place for the Falcon.  I dont know how high I would have to climb to cross the inland waterway but looking at Martin Hathaway’s photos … It would have been Epic.

Photography by Martin Hathaway