The plan was to meet at 7 AM at the field. For some reason I woke up at 4 o’clock in the morning after five hours of sleep, checked the weather and it was 20 km/h wind. I thought that’s quite a bit this early in the morning. By 6:00 AM the wind was 24 km gusting to 33 km/h. I texted the guys and made a decision to scrap the morning. I was simply assuming it will only get windier. As it turned out at 7 o’clock TAF was showing 17 km/h that was supposed to last till 9 AM. Since Kevin was ready to solo I thought we better take a chance on that.
When I got to the field the wing was 15 gusting to 20 not very stable but acceptable. Kevin got ready and on the third inflation got off the ground. The wind was quite strong initially Kevin got pushed back a little bit but then I told him to be sent and he started to penetrate and everything looked OK. I could tell it was quite windy so I wanted to get Kevin down ASAP. I brought him in on the long final for landing and my radio battery ran out when he was about 50 feet in the air so couldn’t give him any guidance at all. At this point he already had engine turned off so I was just hoping he’s going to make a good landing. Not so much though, he had gradually started to turn crosswind and then down wind… It wasn’t very hard landing, no damage to the equipment but it certainly wasn’t according to the book. Ha ha. Mind you I felt like I have exhausted little bit of my instructors luck.
Congratulations Kevin on your first solo flight. Conditions were not easy but you handled yourself like a pro except the downwind landing.
Mike was happy to video.
Konstantin started to ground handle shortly after Kevin landed but wind got stronger and gusty so he only got about half an hour out of it. Then we were off for breakfast.
Kevin will have to buy round a beer next time we go to a pub after flying
It looks like tonight will be evening off – we will have some thunderstorms coming in!
The forecast was calling for high winds till 8 PM but you never know, it can change. Our plan was to meet at 6 PM and wait it out. I double checked the forecast around 4 PM and noticed that it was much better. So we para waited at the field from 5 PM to 8 PM watching various thunderstorms to blow by.
Just after eight the wind started to come down, we dragged all the gear out into the field. Kevin was ready for a solo so I have focused on him but by the time we were ready to go it was absolutely zero wind and the cool air was thinking as it usually does around sunset. We have tried six times using forward inflation but that was about as hard as it gets for PPG take off.
To make a long story short Kevin did not manage to get in the air he did manage to wind up lunch of lines into his prop hub to the point that we had to cut one to get it out. We then proceeded to replace it with temporary line and fix his glider. By the time we were done and it was dark. So that was it.
I left my prescription sunglasses somewhere in the field. I hope I find them tomorrow. That it was off for a couple of beers to celebrate Mike’s first solo. It was frustrating evening but that’s the way PPG rolls sometime.
This morning at 6:30 AM there was almost no wind at the field. The grass was a bit wet and it was overcast.
We started with forward inflations and Mike quickly locked those in. Konstantin and Kevin needed a little help but that’s normal.
Mike was so good that I have asked him to put motor on his back andf try for solo. After third attempt he took off for his first flight. All went well, half decent landing too. It was just a short one as it was getting bumpy already.
Congratulation Pilot Mike – Kevin will solo tonight.
Mr. E was in May course and this is what he wrote as far as feedback goes.
“I am a licensed commercial helicopter pilot and had always wanted to try motorized paragliding. I found Mr. Zeman’s website and was very impressed, all relevant information could be found there and always up-to-date. His e-mail communication was also always on Q. I spent a week in the Niagara Falls area learning from him. All my equipment was there, ready to go just as I’d ordered. He was very professional, safe and had great attention to detail throughout the course. Once the in class training was complete I felt confident to move on to flight. I had a great experience and would highly recommend this school for all who are willing to put in the time and dedication to learn.
Mr. E. Ottawa”
We started very early this morning – 6 AM – ouch.
Very nice and warm morning. Winds were around 20 km/h and this gave us a chance to practice reverse inflations with the real size paragliders. We did some hand tows and worked with mock up throttles.
At 9 o’clock it got too strong and too gusty so we packed up I went to Peaks to do the ground school.
We have accomplished everything by 5 o’clock. P star was written and student pilots permits were issued.
Great day, I’m glad we end up switching the order because it was super windy and raining later in the afternoon today.Tomorrow looks like a good day we are meeting at the field at 6:30 AM
Three guys in this course – Mike, Kevin and Konstantin.
The weather forecast for Saturday was very good but Sunday forecast was calling for very high winds. Therefore, we have decided to switch the order and go to do kiting at the field on Saturday and do ground school on Sunday.
It was very decent day at the field – we got lots accomplished. Mike have mastered the reverse inflation in 15 minutes because he is kite surfer and it was quite similar to kite paraglider in reverse. He had much harder time with forward handling because it is quite different.
Kevin initially struggled a bit but caught on soon. Konstantin is working slowly and meticioulsy – a guy like that often first one to solo.
It looks like we will do some kiting on Sunday morning and then ground school for the rest of the day. Winds are supposed to be very high and we will have some rain later in the afternoon.
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