Salton Sea 2007 a

Salton Sea 2007
#34 #35 #36 #37 Feb.1, 07
One memorable thing was the time I killed the motor while trying to get into the seat. I had just enough time to turn back into the wind and land at the downwind end of the field. Nobody raised an eyebrow …a non-event.

#38 #39 #40 Feb. 2 07
A Grand Day

NO Fly Day Bad Knee Feb 3, 07
It was ironic that the orthopedic surgeon called me while I was hanging out on the field watching and wishing. He had reviewed my MRI and was suggesting surgery as soon as convenient.

#41 Feb,4, 07
Johnny Fetz “Allen C’s Memorial Style Competition


Last day at the Salton Sea I blew the first launch but got of clean on the second attempt. Great flight! Over an hour in the air at both high and low altitudes. I was nice to revisit the area and say goodbye. I’ve come a long way from last year but there is much to master.

21st thru 33rd

9/4/06 #21
The morningof the wet wing… Strange takeoff “Lift no Lift” run out.

9/06/06 #22 Great Flight …Saw one man personal Balloon by the Swim beach… going farther afield

9/12/06 Incident with equipment damage

The whole fam damily showed up to watch a flight and I blew it when I got a wrap around the left hand and fell on takeoff. The wing came up good but started to turn during the run. I popped up briefly but came down immediately on my left side, breaking equipment and injuring my knee and wrist.

#23 9/25/06 Most Excellent Flight!
Got video of the whole thing…Including John Sieb’s exploding “cheap Mexican” propeller.

this was a milestone flight. My first long flight in Denver with another pilot. The DVD is the best video yet.

#24 9/28/06 Lots of People some didn’t fly. Sunset with layers of cold air mixing and causing bumps

#25 10/06/06 Short lap and landing after noticing a half twist in the risers

#26 10/13/06 Flew till out of gas . Pulled lots of break with no power and experienced quick turn and rapid decent Poor landing

#27 10/23/06 Clint Murphy was observing from home field…great to see him
Tweaked knee on run out

#28 11/03/06 Short flight Perfect takeoff and landing..Some virga scared me down…using knee brace all the time. video of landing is good and later ended up on my Ipod.

#29 11/8/06 Good flight …Broke exhaust bracket…exhaust was clipping prop.

#30 11/19/06 So So flight butt landing

#31 11/22/06 High winds Experienced extreme crabbing of the wing..Good reverse good landing

#32 11/25/06 Good long flight

#33 11/26/06 2nd Annual Birthday flight

Death of Barton George

No Fly Day 12/08/06 Rookie mistake… Jumped into sky …Broke prop and bent Frame…This was the end of my first season. It would be a long time till I flew again.

#33 Second Annual Birthday Flight

And…Boy was it a tough one !
I tried three reverses a forward and another reverse before I finally got off. During the reverses I wasn’t releasing the A’s soon enough and then I would turn before the wing was stabilized. AND the forward wasn’t any better…it seemed like no matter what I did the wing would come up to the side or I wasn’t able to get moving fast enough etc.
After half a dozen failed attempts Monte and John landed and Monte said, “Come On you’ve got to get up on your birthday. So with Monte’s encouragement I tried one more time and and made a successful reverse launch.
I’d let my leg straps be as loose as ever and had a heck of a time getting into the seat. The wire on the north end of the field was coming up so I turned to the west and as soon as I cold let go of the brakes and used both hands. The landing was not pretty…I flared too soon and did a partial face plant…. no injury to body or machine.
Happy Birthday to Me !

Flights 21 to 33

9/4/06 #21
The morning of the wet wing… Strange takeoff “Lift no Lift” run out.

9/06/06 #22 Great Flight …Saw one man personal Balloon by the Swim beach… going farther afield

9/12/06 Incident with equipment damage

The whole fam damily showed up to watch a flight and I blew it when I got a wrap around the left hand and fell on takeoff. The wing came up good but started to turn during the run. I popped up briefly but came down immediately to the left side, breaking equipment and injuring my knee and wrist.

#23 9/25/06 Most Excellent Flight!
Got video of the whole thing…Including John Sieb’s exploding “cheap Mexican” propeller.

#24 9/28/06 Lots of People some didn’t fly. Sunset with layers of cold air mixing and causing bumps

#25 10/06/06 Short lap and landing after noticing a half twist in the risers

#26 10/13/06 Flew till out of gas . Pulled lots of break with no power and experienced quick turn and rapid decent Poor landing

#27 10/23/06 Clint Murphy was observing from home field…great to see him
Tweaked knee on run out

#28 11/03/06 Short flight Perfect takeoff and landing..Some virga scared me down…using knee brace all the time. video of landing is good and later ended up on my Ipod.

#29 11/8/06 Good flight …Broke exhaust bracket…exhaust was clipping prop.

#30 11/19/06 So So flight butt landing

#31 11/22/06 High winds Experienced extreme crabbing of the wing..Good reverse good landing

#32 11/25/06 Good long flight

No Fly Day 12/08/06 Rookie mistake… Jumped into sky …Broke prop and bent Frame…This was the end of my first season. It would be a long time till I flew again.

Barton George is Killed in Mid Air Collision

Report on Barton’s Incident


From Bubba:
No one will ever really know exactly what happened the day Barton died. There will be a report posted on the USPPA site. But, here, after much discussion by those of us that were there, think happened.It took two simultaneous mistakes for this accident to happen. Both pilots were in the pattern. One pilot was trying to adjust his radio to find the right channel for the clinic instructor. Someone had given him the wrong channel to monitor. The other pilot simply turned onto his base leg without clearing first. If either pilot had been alert, this tragedy never would have happened. The higher pilot looked up from his radio equipment to late and found the other’s wing in his lap. He pushed the wing off his lap and then pushed the remaining lines off, hoping that the lower pilot’s wing would re-inflate as it fell. There was enough altitude for this to happen. Unfortunately, when the lower pilot fell free, he fell backward into his wing. As he did, he pulled full throttle and ate his wing and fell to his death. The other pilot, fortunately, recovered and landed.In the 14 years that this sport had been in North America, only one other major mid-air collision has been reported and both pilots survived with minor injuries. That’s a pretty good record when you compare hang gliding, free flight paragliding and other ultralight sports. PPG is still the safest way to take to the air. So safe, in fact, that it appears we may have become complacent.This should be a serious wake up call for all of us. First, always be aware of the air space around you. Above, below and to both sides. If you need to remove your hands from the toggles to perform some task, first check the air space. You may need to fly away to a clear area first. Never do this in the pattern. Second, always clear the air in the direction you intend to turn before you do.

USPPA Incident Report

General Information:
Fatal Midair Collision
Date: 10/09/2006Time: 0800
Location: Albuquerque, NMPilot
Age: 40
Gender: Male
Pilot weight (without motor): 150 US Pounds
Rating: None Experience: Less Than 10 Hours Solo
Incident: Collision with Other Aircraft/Ultralight Primary
Cause: Pilot Error
Inflight Contributing Distractions: Radio Transmission
Windspeed: Light (Less than 5 MPH)
Wind Type: Variable Thermal Conditions: Light (Less than 300 FPM)
Visibility: 6+
Surface: Dirt or Small Rocks
Terrain: Flat Site Elevation: 5300 (feet above sea level)Phase of Flight: Cruise Purpose of Safety Gear Used: Helmet
Communications: Two-way Radio w/ Helmet Mike & PTT
Damage to Pilot’s Equipment: Severe (Greater than 20% of New Price) Wing: DHV 1Motor: n/r
Injury InformationPilot: Fatal

Narrative: While flying a morning session of practice and general familiarity, a collision occured between two powered paraglider pilots. Pilot Y was flying a yellow wing in an east direction, climbing slowly and in a shallow turn to the right. Pilot B was flying a blue wing in an east-southeast direction, straight and level. Pilot Y was to the North (left of) pilot B and they converged on a generally southeast course. They were about a half-mile from the field, east of the pattern in use, and heading away from the field. Pilot B says that he looked around then looked down to change radio frequencies and when he looked back up he was upon the yellow wing which was turning towards him. The middle of the yellow wing hit his feet and tangled in pilot B’s body/motor. The yellow wing hung up, slowing him down and causing the blue wing to surge forward. Pilot B emerged headed down steeply, pulled the brakes hard to recover from the dive at about 50 feet. The force pulled Pilot Y’s wing sideways forces which likely whipped pilot Y upward and sideways, causing him to fall into his wing. He hit the ground from this condition, wrapped up in the wing. Pilot B landed immediately, essentially unhurt. Others arrived soon after to administer CPR but Pilot Y could not be revived.

No one will ever really know exactly what happened the day Barton died. There will be a report posted on the USPPA site. But, here, after much discussion by those of us that were there, think happened.It took two simultaneous mistakes for this accident to happen. Both pilots were in the pattern. One pilot was trying to adjust his radio to find the right channel for the clinic instructor. Someone had given him the wrong channel to monitor. The other pilot simply turned onto his base leg without clearing first. If either pilot had been alert, this tragedy never would have happened. The lower pilot looked up too late and found the other’s wing in his lap. He pushed the wing off his lap and then pushed the remaining lines off, hoping that the lower pilot’s wing would re-inflate as it fell. There was enough altitude for this to happen. Unfortunately, when the lower pilot fell free, he fell backward into his wing. As he did, he pulled full throttle and ate his wing and fell to his death. The other pilot, fortunately, recovered and landed.In the 14 years that this sport had been in North America, only one other major mid-air collision has been reported and both pilots survived with minor injuries. That’s a pretty good record when you compare hang gliding, free flight paragliding and other ultralight sports. PPG is still the safest way to take to the air. So safe, in fact, that it appears we may have become complacent.This should be a serious wake up call for all of us. First, always be aware of the air space around you. Above, below and to both sides. If you need to remove your hands from the toggles to perform some task, first check the air space. You may need to fly away to a clear area first. Never do this in the pattern. Second, always clear the air in the direction you intend to turn before you do.

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.