We started at 7:30 in the morning. There was no wind at all but by the time we pulled out the paragliders and set up the paramotors we actually had a faint breeze. Justin and Adam have never tried forward inflation ever but since the wind was light we were going to give it a go. Both of them got off on the first try!!! These guys are ridiculous – I suspect that they are experienced power paragliding pilots and they’re just pulling my leg ha ha.
We started at 7:30 in the morning with ground school and were done at Peaks at 1:30. Quick lunch then off to the field. I taught Justin how to ground the handle in the reverse in two minutes which was absolutely incredible – I have never seen anything like that. Adam took just little longer because he’s a kite surfer along with a whole bunch of other interesting hobbies so he had to break some habits from kite surfing. By 6 o’clock both guys had the skills to go on their first solo flight and they did. Justin managed to do 2 excellent flights and Adam did 3 prefect ones too. Congratulation guys you are one of the fastest ever.
Because the pole stuck out a lot a forward launch was needed, but wind conditions dictated a reverse launch. I tried the forward, but my weak shoulder coupled with forgetting to do up the shoulder strap, meant that the harness came off my shoulders and I messed up the launch. Andre had the video evidence to prove it. The wind did eventually drop off a bit, but not really as much as we had hoped. We never really got the glassy evening air that we had so recently revelled in. Despite this we both took off and headed towards Lake Erie. Flying high we were making slow progress forwards, but periodically we would drop down low just to remind ourselves that it was still bumpy close to the ground. My wing was flying noticeably faster than Andre’s. Whether I was extra heavy on the machine or Andre was a light on his, it meant that he was always playing catch up. This is not fun when you are flying, because the faster pilot pretty much decides where you go and you have to follow. I would circle around once in a while so that Andre could take the lead if he wanted and explore features that interested him. That was my intention anyway, but I think Andre thought I was just demonstrating how much faster my setup was. Over the radio I heard him joking about how annoying it was that I was flying faster than him.
Arriving close to the massive power cables that run between Lake Erie and Lake Ontario, we both climbed high enough to feel comfortable crossing them. Height is very tricky to judge in these situations and I’m sure we had plenty of vertical clearance, but even so these things always feel a bit sketchy. Once across, I eased off the throttle and dropped down low, but was immediately reminded how bumpy the air was at ground level with an unsettling flutter of the wing. A few feet lower and I would have been chopping beans! Power back on, I climbed out and remained high for the rest of the flight.
Looking down I recognised features that we had seen before on flights from Staff Field and soon there were large arrays of green houses that glinted in the sun. Laid out on the ground were thousands of colourful plants, which as I got closer were colourful pots holding pretty uncolourful plants. From above the swathes of colour in different patches stood out from the patchwork of green fields. I knew we approaching Bieda’s motorsports. This is a place where you can buy all sorts of ATVs and Snowmobiles. We used to fly there a few years back and even trained students there on a couple of occasions. Anyway I hadn’t seen it in a few years and was surprised to see that the fields that we had used were now planted with what looked like beans.
Looking around I was wondering at what point Andre would be heading back. the sun was low in the sky and the night was drawing in. By my best guess we had 30 mins before sunset and Andre was (as ever) still heading further away from where we launched. Over the radio I suggested it might be wise to head back. Having landed in the Staff Field at night before, I was not eager to repeat the experience. Andre agreed and we headed back, making much better time with the tailwind. e took a detour to investigate a fire that we could see. Smoke was pluming out over Fonthill. The smoke seemed to be rising up then slamming into a very low inversion layer before smearing out for about 2 miles over the expensive properties in Fonthill. Whoever was having there bonfire was obviously oblivious to the fact that his fire was probably pissing of a couple of hundred residents downwind. Andre wanted to buzz a couple of radio antennas nearby then we made a bee line for the landing field, then back to Andre’s for some beer and grub. NICE!
I will be here tonight and tomorrow night. Join me.
Going to have some fun…
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Sky Atis 4:
Two months ago, i received seven B gliders to test fly, among those was the Atis 4.Unpacking the glider i was surprised to see four normal risers and sheathed lines from top to bottom.No plastic rods whatsoever…It was a really classic design..So i left the Atis 4 until i finished all of those complicated high tech B design thinking that a simple design like the Atis 4 couldn’t really keep up to those new breeds….I was totally wrong !
The story :
Jumping from B wing to B wing, with some having very few lines and only seven per side was my main preoccupation those last months. Then came the day where i took the Atis 4 for a test flight.
Unfolding the glider on the take off, my eyebrows were lifted and i was confused by SKY decision to make a high end B glider with four risers and sheathed lines everywhere.
There were no plastic rods either on the glider.Pure simple, old fashion look….I told my friend (Blacklight M rider) on the take off, that he must stay near me all the time to assess the performance of this machine, as i was curious and puzzled.
After some adjustment on the brake lengths as they were a bit long to my taste, i took off in a breeze.The Atis 4 is relatively a light glider and this is shown positively on its light take off.
In the air :
Today we flew in our Cedars spot, west take off the at 2400 m .
It was quite solid thermal conditions, a bit turbulent as the east wind was coming from the top at 2600 m making it uncomfortable sometimes.
The Atis 4 is not a dampened glider in the B category. It is a bit alive in the air.Nothing much for the high end B pilot. A new comer for the high-end B category will need some time to adapt.
Handling and maneuverability :
Thermalling the Atis 4 took me back in time, where some artist designers used to let us believe that they could integrate their souls in a glider .
The Atis 4 turns could be described as ,precise,linear ,middle soft pressure,and on its tip…
Flying the Atis 4 26 at 94.5, just on top, next to a Blacklight M loaded also at top, for two hours, i can confirm that the trim speed for both gliders are the same.
Doing some 5 km glides wing tip to wing tip, showed the same glide at trim and same glide at full bar !…
Knowing that the Blacklight has one of the best climb rate, i could see that the climb rate of both gliders was nothing but brilliant !We could never be apart inside any thermal for the whole time of testing.May be the BL has the edge only in very weak thermals.
The Atis 4 did really surprised me for the performances it delivers. The SKY designer did an excellent work creating a superb B glider with nothing but simple and elegant design, proving that with normal risers and line configuration excellence can be reached.Hats off !!