Although I hate to admit it, I totally “froze” and not only did I not register what was being hollered to me, but I wasn’t even paying attention to where I was running. I had long since made my mind up that I WAS going to get airborne and I WAS going to fly this thing. I got really lucky that I missed those cars and I know it would have left a mark. Not only that, it sure would have caused a lot of work for a lot of people to get me and the PPG gear out from inside of the van after having flown into it via the hole I would have made. “Entering” the van with the prop spinning at full throttle would have been about the same as sitting in a running dryer with a chain saw fired up. Not purty!
This time, I did stay on course and didn’t come close to the cars. Well, Kevin made us move them all to a different field so the only way I’d come close was if I went on a search and destroy mission. I didn’t and I wasn’t. The flight plan was for me to get airborne, fly a small rectangular pattern and come back in for a landing. The first flight I didn’t remember even getting airborne so this second flight would be like the first flight had never happened. I launched on the first try and held that throttle down for all it was worth. I could hear and register what Kevin was saying about a minute after each of his transmissions. He’d tell me to begin turning back and I’d fly another mile out. I finally did turn around and start heading back in.
I was more aware of what was happening on this flight and actually had time to even look around. Nuclear John, who was a student in an earlier class was doing all the videoing and picture taking for me. He made landing look so easy so I thought I’d follow his lead and softly touch down on this flight and we’d call it a day. Instead, I came in at about 120 mph (or so it felt) and ended up landing (sliding about 20 yards) on my behind again. This landing on my feet like the others were doing was my next big goal. That, and steering it of course. I had survived my first two powered paragliding flights and I had met a dream that I’d had from way back in my youth. Nice!
Kevin asked me about 12 times if I’d successfully gotten seated in my chair, I finally acknowledged after dodging the power lines and a building. It seemed to me that I spent 4 minutes getting seated only to be told that it was time to get back out of the seat so I could prepare for landing. I was still damaged goods after the bean event two flights earlier so I decided I’d delay my landing prep for a second and take advantage of the glide down and rest up. It was a beautiful day and the morning temps of August weren’t actually all the bad. I was determined to land on my feet this time (and stay on them); all I had to do was everything I’d learned over the week before. Uhm, chances are I was about to crash again, I had 4 flights, 4 crashes, and video to prove three of them.
I slid back out of my seat and did a descent check to guess which field I would land in. It looked as though I’d land in the same field I took off from so things were feeling pretty good. I stretched my legs out and got ready to pull the brakes all the way as soon as I thought I was about to plow into the field. If I did it right, I’d not even make a dent in me, the gear, or the ground. I thought it was about time just as Kevin hollered for the 3rd time to flare and pull I did. I landed on my feet and was tickled to pieces. I turned around quickly to lower the wing in front of me so the running motor and spinning prop wouldn’t eat my wing. That’s when I realized that I forgot to turn the motor off. I sheepishly press the kill switch and wondered if Kevin had noticed. Certainly he didn’t hear the engine running right beside him, feel the air blowing past him, or see the prop spinning around him, certainly. That’s when he started counseling me. For the next 2 minutes I relearned what I should have learned a week ago and then learned it again. Boston John was with me videoing my first stand up landing.
|Flight Number One||Flight Number Six|
|Flight Number Two||Flight Number Seven [HD Available]|
|Flight Number Three||Flight Number Nine [HD Available]|
|Flight Number Five||Flight Number Ten [HD Available]|