Sunday, August 31, 2008

Waking Up Is Hard To Do!

I know, it's a corny title... it's the best I had! I was thinking something like the early bird just wants to sleep in. This has been a long weekend and for me it's not even over! I don't go back to work until Wednesday.

Chris, Travis and I headed out to Bill's to meet with Bill and Chip for a couple of days of flying and hanging out. It didn't look like our Friday evening flight was going to happen as there were storms everywhere, but when they cleared it was perfect. It was nice and cool with no wind at all.

Bill set up in his PPG (his PPC is getting some maintenance) and started to launch. We're not sure what went wrong, but something caused the net to get into the prop. He brought out another PPG, but it's gas tank started leaking. He fixed the net on the first one only to have the starter quit. We would get it fixed that night, but Bill wouldn't get to fly on Friday.

Chris setup and was soon in the air. Travis was close behind.

I was left on the ground looking up at them, realizing it was perfect air. Now, if you follow my Blog, you already know I haven't flown my new PPC yet. I'm sitting there thinking that I will kite the wing and go down the field a few times to get the feel of it. You also know that this usually doesn't work for me. It didn't this time either. I got the wing up partially because I didn't put in enough throttle, added some throttle and it came up nicely (much easier than my PPG). I was tearing across the field, looking up at the parachute, it was all looking good, but I was running out of runway. I added more throttle, flared and left the ground. This was amazing for me. I worked so hard at the PPG trike and it was always that - work. I was alwasy so tired when I did get into the air, I never enjoyed it. I also hated flying around with my arms up all the time. This was so much better and it was so calm that I just sat back and enjoyed the ride. After about 30 minutes, I came in for a smooth landing and I couldn't help but smile. I knew that selling the PPG was the right choice for me.

We crashed (slept) at Bill's. Between Chip snoring (I probably was too) and the anticipation of flying in the morning, I didn't get much sleep. At 6:30, I looked outside and saw it was getting light outside, so I threw a pillow at Chris (he was sleeping in a loft!) a few times and woke him up. I think I heard Travis mumbling something about no sane person gets up this early, but he rolled out of bed soon after as did Chip and we were soon getting ready for another day of flying.

Chris and Chip were first in the air, with Bill soon after. Travis was lagging a little due to his engine running rough - he wanted to check his plugs. I too was soon in the air. Kiting was easier and smoother this time as I went a little further on the power initially. I looked up at the parachute, it looked good, so I rolled on the power and soon joined Chris and Chip and headed toward Lockhart Airport for a short cross-country. We played around along the way and buzzed a few fields. Chip had to head back as he was uncomfortable with his EGTs. Chris and I made it to Lockhart and then headed back. After flying around Bill's field for awhile, Chris landed and the wind was picking up, so I came in for a landing. I had a high sink-rate, so I had to stay on the throttle, but all went well and I now had flight #2 under my belt. I'm loving this. 1.5 hours. I couldn't have afforded this weekend in a fixed-wing. Thanks Bill.

Sunday morning was looking good too, so back at home, Chris and I went to Taylor. He brought his great-uncle Donny and we headed out to fly around Granger Lake. It was a very pretty morning, especially watching the sun come up and flying low over the fields. It was very cool down by the fields and felt great!!

I didn't take too many photos at Bill's. Chris got a few of me and I think Chip took some too. Being my first time flying a new machine, I left my camera on the ground. I did take it Sunday though and got some good shots.

It's me!! In the air again. Photos by Chris.

My PPC on the ground at Bill's.

Our PPCs. Left to right, Chris, Me, Chip, Travis, Bill.

Sunday morning photos. Yes, it was as calming as it looked.

My shadow.

Chris and Donny entering the pattern at Taylor.

The Taylor Police came out to watch us land.

Thanks for stopping by,

Monday, August 18, 2008

A day late...

For some reason, I never got around to posting this one! On July 18th, Chris' wife Stephanie invited some of her co-workers and their families out to fly. Chris, Chip & Bill took turns flying them and Travis showed up later and took his wife and a friend up. It was a long day, but it turned out great.

Want some candy little boy?

Till next time... Jack

From PPG to PPC

This is a long one, so consider yourself warned :-)

A few short weeks ago I decided I'd had enough of the Powered Paraglider. I have a bad hip and taking off and landing from my feet was never a good option. I really liked the idea, so I convinced myself that it was right for me. It wasn't...

I had a trike with my PPG, so I could fly it from wheels. A lot of people like the PPGs, so don't think I'm bashing them!! I personally don't like the wing. It's too unstable (my opinion!). I've seen experienced guys have difficulty getting the wing stable for takeoff. I've never seen my Powered Parachute flying friends have any issue with their parachutes. My final decision came when strapping my 220lb self into the harness designed for foot launch - it's not comfortable, you still have to steer with your hands in flight, you have to hold the throttle, the A-lines, and the brakes in your hands for takeoff and find a way to push the starter button while your hand is already strapped to the throttle..... enough!! If I'm going to use wheels, it might as well be in comfort.

I put my PPG up for sale and quickly got an offer. I found a powered parachute called a Powrachute Sky Rascal for sale in Georgia and after some planning, a friend and I were off to get it. This was a 2000 mile round trip journey. We left at 4PM on Friday, arrived in Georgia around 8AM, loaded the plane into the trailer and headed out by 11AM, arriving home around 5AM on Sunday morning. Whew... I'm still tired.

I've now got the PPC in my garage and will begin going over it with a fine-tooth comb today. I already love it!! Looking at it on the internet, I wasn't fond of the purple color. In person, I've grown to love it. My friends have orange, yellow, light green, and dark green, so we're all different! You fly the PPC with your feet, so this will free my hands up for photography which is one of my favorite hobbies! I can't wait.

Here's a couple of shots that were used by the seller. I haven't taken any of my own yet.


Thursday, August 07, 2008

Early Morning in Taylor

I'm having some trouble with the Blog, so I had to delete a couple of posts. Bear with me and I'll get it fixed.

I couldn't get rid of these photos:

Umm, no officer, that wasn't us flying.

I clearly heard the officer say, don't make me tell you again.
Maybe Chris didn't hear him.