Saturday, September 22, 2007

PPG Flying - Polo Field

It was a beautiful evening for a Powered Paragliding flight in the Chicago area. Since this is my first PPG post on this blog and you are wondering what the heck it is you can click here to find out more about it. Or you can click here to see some pictures of it from a couple years ago.

The call went out on our local Yahoo group and we had 9 pilots show up. Three of them came up from the Joliet area. I did some initial kitting since the wind was still a little gusty. Kitting showed the wind to be smooth so I decided to throw on the motor and go flying. I did a reverse launch for the first time in a while but it went without a hitch. The wind was still a little gusty but not bumpy at all. I flew around for a while and watched other pilots arrive. As the sun dipped lower it began to get cooler. I had launched with jeans and just my short sleeved t-shirt so it was time to land and get the long sleeve pull over on. I ended up falling to my knees when I landed but stood up right away. The wing was still flying so I walked it over closer to my car. The wing is what we call the paraglider wing flying over our heads giving us lift. It's like flying a really big kite.

When I relaunched I did a forward launch (reverse and forward are different ways of launching a PPG and each one depends on the strength of the wind). My motor died on me twice before I started the launch. The first time I took it off my back and restarted it. The second time I was already hooked into the wing so I flagged Dave over to help me start it. It's a pull start motor like a lawn mower and is hard to start yourself when it is on your back. After the motor was started the launch was uneventful and off I was flying again.

Shortly after sunset we all landed, packed up, and talked about the evening flying. It was good too see all the pilots again. Some I used to fly a lot with in the past but hadn't flown with this year until this evening.

Flickr photo set

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