Apr 29/13 – I do know how to fly…

OK. So you see all these videos of students flying and ground handling and you may wonder, does the instructor even know how to fly?

Here is a short video of one of the many demonstrations and “air checks” I do for students. Note the sophisticated paragliding boots… ha ha

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Andre touch and go…

Apr 27/13 – Mark and Aaron 5 flights

Gorgeous day at the field. 19 Celsious and almost no wind. Mark worked on his kiting skills and Aaron came to do more flights.

Mark got very close to flying in fact we have tried several times but wind has died and we have decided that it will be better to wait till next time as taking off for the first time with no wind at all is very tricky. Wiond makes it much easier.

Aaron though proceeded to add 5 more flights to his log book. Well done!

Mark

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Mark ground handling

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Aaron

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Aaron landing

Apr 26/13 – Andrew, Sergei and Darren 7 flights

Both Sergei and Andrew needed to ground handle so we started at 2 pm. Winds were nice SW 15 to 20 km/h. Sergei was using the very small but fast training glider and Andrew had the Fides 2 size 24. Both did quite well and Sergei is ready to fly.

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Sergei ground handling

Andrew ground handling

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Andrew

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Sergei

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Andrew with his Cima K 2

At 4 pm Darren showed up eager to fly. He ground handled for 1 hour then winds came down.

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All 3 students have it up….chi chi

Darren quickly managed 7 solo flights tonight. Congrats!

Apr 24/13 – Andrew starts his accelerated paramotor course

Did the usual first day stuff. My ground school is getting better and better. Big screen TV and pretty nice Keynote presentation. Definitely more sophisticated then sheets of paper hanging on the wall by clips…

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Andrew in simulator

Apr 23/13 – Buy used gear on line?

I just want to share with you what a purchase of used PPG gear on line can turn out to be. This kind of thing happens more often then you think.

Recent student, David, had no PPG experience when he purchased his gear on internet from some folks in Texas. This was supposed to be well maintained paramotor with 25 hrs on the engine “ready to go” He has negotiated the price including shipping, paid and then the boxes arrived. The shipping company requested that shipping was to be paid on delivery even though David has already paid seller for shipping. OK, David paid the shipper thinking that he will sort it out later basically paying for shipping twice.

The equipment then sat for couple of months till David came back from his job in Africa. He then loaded the gear up and brought it over to use it through out his PPG course. When he showed it to me, I right the way noticed many issues that needed  immediate attention:

  • Throttle hand control did not have retaining, over the hand, strap – so the hand control would slip out of David’s hand any time he would not consciously grip it – I HAVE MADE NEW STRAP AND RIVETED IT TO HIS THROTTLE CONTROL
  • The wire cable operating the carburetor lever would not return to its idle position because it was old and frayed – this could cause the engine rev up unexpectedly on the ground and cause prop strike related injuries – I HAVE REPLACED THE WIRE FOR NEW AND ALSO INSTALLED ADDITIONAL RETURN SPRINGS
  • Harness was simply too small for David – all PPG harnesses come in several sizes and the one on David’s paramotor was simply not big enough – I WAS NOT ABLE TO FIX THIS – DAVID NEEDS NEW HARNESS
  • The velcro holding the safety latch for the “quick release” buckle was worn out – this could cause accidental harness release and David could fall out the machine during take off climb or on glide before landing – I HAVE REPLACED THE VELCRO WITH MY HANDY SOWING MACHINE AND INSTALLED SECONDARY VALCRO SAFETY STRAP TO FURTHER ENSURE THAT THE HARNESS WOULD NOT OPEN ACCIDENTALLY
  • The engine was missing cylinder/head gasket!?? – I HAD NEW GASKET SO I HAVE FIXED IT

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  • The head was scored and dented – COULD NOT FIX IT BUT THE ENGINE WILL RUN OK LIKE THIS

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  • Pull start cord was completely worn out – I HAVE REPLACED IT WITH NEW PULL CORD
  • Pull start pulley on frame was damaged – rope cut through it – I HAVE  REPLACED THE PULLEY WITH NEW, HIGHER QUALITY ONE
  • Carburetor was missing lock washer that holds main control shaft. All membranes inside were too old and needed replacement – I HAVE FIXED IT
  • Carburetor – the throttle plate inside of carburetor was missing screw that fastened it to main control shaft – I HAVE FIXED IT
  • Carburetor return spring was held down by blob JB Weld, someone did ugly half fast fix – I HAVE REPAIRED IT PROPERLY
  • Priming bulb was old and of lowest possible quality – not the original that usually comes with this machine – REPLACED WITH NEW, HIGH QUALITY ONE AND REPLACED MOST OF FUEL LINE UTILIZING PROPER STAND OFFS
  • The electrical wiring harness was shoddy, about to break in several spots – I HAVE REPAIRED AND REPLACED SEVERAL PARTS OF WIRING
  • The gas tanks were fastened to lower cage by velcro that have completely disintegrated – I HAVE FIXED IT WITH HEAVY DUTY ZIP TIES
  • Paraglider – did not have risers with trims and was unusable like this – I HAVE FIXED IT BY REPLACING RISERS WITH PROPER PPG RISERS
  • The day David was leaving, the pull start stopped rewinding back – I DID NOT HAVE TIME TO FIX THIS BUT SOLD DAVID NEW PULL START MOSTER KIT – HOPEFULLY HE CAN FIX IT ON HIS OWN
  • We have also realized that the carburetor was leaking fuel on hot muffler. After cloes inspection we have determined that the carburetor is internally damaged beyond repair – DAVID NEEDS NEW ONE

David sent several emails to the seller about the above but to this day received no response…

What it all comes down to is this:

You can buy used car on line because you can call nearby car repair shop and have them to look at the car and tell you what shape it is in. They will be unbiased and work on your behalf.

You can’t do that with PPG gear because there are typically no repair shops or professionals near by that would verify that you are getting  what you are paying for. You are completely on the mercy of the seller. And even if you buy used gear locally, you may get “screwed” because you do not even know what to look for. David is a great example of this and I feel bad for him…

 

 

 

Apr 23/13 – Greg, 3 more PPG flights

Greg started with his paramotor training late November and managed first flight early December. Greg got nausea so bad the another flight was out of question that day. Then I put my gear away for the winter so today was the day when we will see if the nausea was a fluke or whether that will be an on going problem.

Greg was bit nervous because it was pretty much 4 months since his first and last flight. He had couple of nice forward inflations but was hesitant to add power. After about 3 tries he finally went for it only to stop running… He had a stumble and nicked the prop. We did not actually noticed it, so his first flight today was on a damaged prop.

Unfortunately Greg got sick again, not perhaps as bad as last time. We changed the prop then Greg did two more flights but very very short. Pretty much take off, large circle and lading. This did not seem to bother him too much so there is a hope after all.

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Greg after flight

 

Apr 22/13 – David, 4 more PPG flights

At 7 am it was bit warmer at the field – 2 celsius. Still cold though. We had slight wind from SE for the first 3 flights. All nice forward take offs and landings. The last flight was reverse then it got too bumpy to continue. Good job, David, on adding g 4 more paramotor flights to your logbook.

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David at the end of the session.

 

Apr 21/13 – David, still engine problems and bad weather ;-(

The evening session did not turned out so well. We have discovered that on David’s motor, fuel is leaking from carburetor onto muffler – not good. Did not want to turn David to Katniss from Hunger Games. We waited for wind to come down but it did not! Damn – forecast was good. Crap! We will try again tomorrow early morning.

Just before we packed it in.

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David riding his S-Trike before we discovered the leak.

Apr 21/13 – David, first 6 paramotor flights

So weather finally started to co-operate. This morning we started at 7 am. No wind – 5 Celsius. Brrr. Where is spring? By the time we set up very very slight breeze. I was hoping that David did not forget anything in the 2.5 days that we could not do any flying due to high winds. And he did not. ALL his forwards were flawless and take off good as well. In short time David managed 6 flights. CONGRATULATIONS!

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David on flight numero uno.

David landing into “thermal hole”

David after 6 sucesful flights.

 

Apr 18/13 – Nice note from Aaron

Hey Andre,

Thanks again for a great weekend! Flying was awesome. I really appreciated your safe approach and it was great being able to trust you with everything.
Thanks!
Aaron

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