Walsenburg Spanish Peak Airport … 648

Not a soul except one unhappy old man.  Light breeze out of the SSW.  Launch was slightly rugged due to the portside brake toggle locking up. The forest fire had been knocked down from the high plumes of the day before.  Instead of the dramatic footage I was hoping for there was a faint smokey haze covering the horizon.  I changed plans and checked out the north end of Walsenburg.  Nice flight …. Calm air
Great airstrip

Route 66 and the Wild Horse Canyon

Every 2 years Michelle Daniele Hosts 

Route 66 Flyers Fly-In 
at Paramotor City

This year I did a sprint. Drove down on Friday and drove home on Saturday…. 

It was too windy to fly Friday night (at least for me) but Jim King went for a quick spin in the sunset.  Sue had stopped by the tent announcing that the wind was coming down and that she was thinking of going up.  So….. While Jim and I  walked back to our trucks we debated the value of rigging up for such a short window of flyable air.  Jim was saying it was hardly worth the effort and I said yea , but it might be real good.  Jim looked at me and said , Ya know, You might be right.   Five minutes later Jim is setting up. AND…
It was spectacular!   Jim took off with a beautiful full moon behind him and rode toward the Sunset. After he had tasted the air,  he found it not so sweet, so… he turned back to land. and, “stuck it”,  like a gymnast going for the gold.  Jim Doyle and I stood there in awe of Sky King, one of the unsung heroes of  PPG history.


A personal highlight was sleeping in the bed of my truck under the stars.
It brought me back to the summers when I “slept out” 6 days a week.  That night we were experiencing what is called the “Super Moon”, the brightest moon in 75 years.  About 11:00 somebody foot launched and flew around the field for about 20 minutes.  Very cool.  His wing wasn’t light enough to video but it did reflect the moonlight on the turns.  I’m going to have to try it someday.  Tonight was the perfect night and all I can say was good for him.  One of these days …. It’s officially on my Bucket List.  Maybe at Lake Jean or Apex in Nevada.   But one of these days I’m going to do a moonlight flight.
Saturday morning I got up at 5:00 and launched with Jim Doyle who was leading the cross country to Wild Horse Canyon.  Great flight …. good air all the way.

After the flight we enjoyed the traditional omelets in a bag breakfast.  My jalapeño bacon was a huge hit, they ate all 5 pounds!
The Route 66 crowd is family and it was so great to see my friends.
Thanks Michelle for having us back.

Endless Foot Drag 623 to 626

Britton Shaw has hosted the “Endless Foot Drag”  for many years.  One look at the field and it is easy to see why people come back over and over again.  Miles of Bermuda Sod bordering the  Mike Bennett and I had driven through heavy weather to Fort Smith Arkansas for an Instructors Clinic that Chad Bastian was giving.  I arrived Tuesday night and rather than pitch a tent on the saturated field I took advantage of Dawn’s gernerousity and asked her to book a room for us at the Hilton affiliate.  I had been looking forward to camping but a first class room is wonderful too!  We spent the day with Chad and 6 other pilots in the Hampden Inn board room.  What a group…. I think I was the only one there who wasn’t a licensed GA pilot.  Bruce and Terry had been flying for decades, Shawn was a CFI and Apache driver.  Garrett had thousands of sky dives and was a GA pilot.  It was humbling.

We were given the luxurious “Board Room” to have our clinic and spent all day Wednesday, Thursday and Friday morning doing class work.  Chad was great keeping us on track and covering the entire syllabus.

Wednesday and Thursday we broke up at 6:00 and went out to the field.  Wednesday was great!  I got in two flights and way over 2 hours of flight time.  I even turned on the strobes and stayed up well into nautical twilight.  Thursday was at the event site and equally good. Friday afternoon I picked up Dawn and we returned to the field where the event was starting to ramp up.  Vendor booths were being assembled and pilots were arriving.  I was tickled to see so many old friends from Fly Ins past.

Just as Dawn and I were getting ready to walk the field and show off Beau, Britton came over and informed us that dogs were not allowed on the field.  The landowner was concerned because of a dog bite to a child the previous year. What a drag.  We set up the spare tent to keep Beau in but he would have none of it, jumping at the door and biting the fabric.  Dawn eventually sat in the tent and stayed with Beau while Chad walked us through some radio training.  It was too windy for any but the most skilled pilots so we watched until dark.

The next morning I got up early and was able to get in a short flight in strong and ratty air.  Kurt later told me the wind was 9 mph gusting to 17 when I landed.  It wouldn’t have been fair to leave Dawn to sit in the hotel with the dog for the rest of the weekend so I packed up the rig and said my goodbyes.
So I didn’t really get to enjoy the Famous Endless footdrag but I did get my Instructor Certification.  Perhaps we could have put Beau in Doggie Day Care but thats water under the bridge now. 

Dawn and I pulled out of Fort Smith at 1:00 pm and power drove back to Colorado.  We were in bed by 1:15 am

Thanks Britton …. You have a great Fly In … I look forward to flying with you in the future.

Bob Peloquin

Chad Bastian

Flying the single surface glider


Andy McAvin

Mike Bennett

Denver to Galveston Pier to do’s

From: Denver, CO 80210 US> To: 2502 Harborside Dr, Galveston, TX 77550-1463
US> > DRIVING DIRECTIONS> ————————————————–>
A) Denver, CO 80210 US> ————————————————–>
1. Start out going SOUTH on S RACE ST toward> E EVANS AVE. (go 0.1 miles)>
2. Turn RIGHT onto E EVANS AVE. (go 0.1> miles)>
3. Turn RIGHT onto S HIGH ST. (go 0.1> miles)>
4. Turn RIGHT onto E ASBURY AVE. (go> 0.3 miles)>
5. Turn LEFT onto S UNIVERSITY BLVD. > (go 0.3 miles)>
6. Merge onto I-25 S (Crossing into NEW> MEXICO). (go 214.3 miles)>
7. Take the US-64 E/US-87 E exit, EXIT 451,> toward RATON/CLAYTON. (go 0.2 miles)>
8. Turn LEFT onto CLAYTON RD/US-64/US-87.> Continue to follow US-87 E (Crossing into TEXAS). (go> 127.3 miles)>
9. Turn SLIGHT RIGHT onto> US-385/US-87/RAILROAD ST S. Continue to follow US-87> S. (go 38.8 miles)>
10. Turn RIGHT onto US-287/US-87/S DUMAS AVE.> Continue to follow US-287 S/US-87 S. (go 46.4 miles)>
11. Merge onto US-87 S via the exit on the> LEFT toward I-40. (go 2.3 miles)>
12. Merge onto I-40 E/US-287 S toward> OKLAHOMA CITY/FORT WORTH. (go 8.4 miles)>
13. Merge onto US-287 S via EXIT 78 toward> FORT WORTH. (go 288.8 miles)>
14. US-287 S becomes US-81 S. (go 30.9> miles)>
15. Stay STRAIGHT to go onto I-35W S/US-287> S. (go 8.9 miles)>
16. Merge onto US-287 S via EXIT 51. > (go 8.4 miles)>
17. Keep LEFT to take US-287 S via EXIT 34A> toward WAXAHACHIE/DALLAS. (go 1.5 miles)> 18. Keep RIGHT to take US-287 S via EXIT 444> toward LITTLE RD/WAXAHACHIE. (go 50.7 miles)>
19. Merge onto I-45 S toward CORSICANA. > (go 246.4 miles)>
20. Take EXIT 1C toward TX-275/HARBORSIDE> DR/FM-188/TEICHMAN RD. (go 0.3 miles)> 21. Stay STRAIGHT to go onto BROADWAY> ST/AVENUE J. (go 0.5 miles)>
22. Turn LEFT onto HARBORSIDE DR. (go> 4.6 miles)>
23. 2502 HARBORSIDE DR is on the LEFT. > (go 0.0 miles)> ————————————————–>
B) 2502 Harborside Dr, Galveston, TX 77550-1463
TOTAL ESTIMATED TIME: 17 hours 19 minutes > DISTANCE: 1079.46 miles> > >
To view your map, click on the link below or copy and paste> it to your browser: > http://www.mapquest.com/mq/3-hUBEfGzFUoKq

Booking #44J0W7
1)Velcro for Sat Radio
2)Get Regulator checked

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.

#259 and Carnage at the Sea

hLast flight of the Simo
It was a normal launch in every way…Until… I looked up to check the lines and sure enough there was a great big twig twisted into the A lines. It was deforming the leading edge near the center of the wing and I decided right then to get down so I flew over the field and the scrub that borders the north edge and set down in the first sandy patch available. Up to this point it was a non event, I had plenty of clear space ahead and the surface was soft but not too soft… so I set up for another launch. The wing inflated and the taxi was going fine until the sand got allot softer and the buggy sunk in to the mixture of sand and shells. Instead of killing the engine and aborting I added power and a split second later heard a loud crack.
Some lines were cut, the prop was broken, both of the top pieces of the cage were bent and the frame broke at the top motor mount. It’s hard to believe that a line in the hub could do so much damage.
I was hugely bummed to say the least. Grounded and there was still 6 days of flying ahead!

El Mirage The Flying J Ranch


After visiting with Saundra Painter in Santa Barbara I drove out to El Mirage and waited for the wind to die. I’m camping at a small private airstrip that caters to ultra light Delta Trikes. They have a Quonset hut hanger with 6 trikes and several shipping containers where guys like Chad are storing their equipment. To the south east there is another facility where they are assembling and test flying the Predator unmanned vehicles for the military. All afternoon while I set up my camp there was a predator circling over the field. Its a very strange looking plane with the bulbous nose and lots of junk hanging down. The landing gear are on long sticks and the twin rudders are mounted below the fuselage. At the right angle when you cannot see the wings it looks like an insect…more like a grasshopper that a plane flying at 800 feet.

About 40 minutes before sundown the wind dropped and I went up for a test flight. Beautiful smooth air ! While I had the chance I practiced spot landings and several times I was able to touch down within a few feet of my wing bag.

I climbed to 100o feet and chased the sun. The dry lake is partly full but even so there was only a couple of inches of water. It’s less than a mile from the airstrip and a wonderful place to practice the low and slow, there are miles in all directions without a post or obstruction of any kind. 8/10 of a mile to the south west is a small uprising (probably 1000 elevation climb)called Grey Mountain. I climbed until I was even with the top and watched the sun set. When the shadows disappeared I cut power and descended to the LZ.

It got cold quickly and rather than try to heat up a can of soup I drove to the edge of the closest town and had a burger. Back at the tent I listened to the IPod and spent a very cold night in the desert.