Friday, April 8, 2011

Paragliding Phoenix, Part II

Back to the LZ for flight number 2.  I had another chance to fly while in Phoenix so I definitely wanted to take full advantage of it as it will probably be a year or so before I get back.  The afternoon and day following flight 1, the wind picked up and was way too strong for my skill level.  As you can see in the background, the wind is pretty strong here (guessing 20mph) and also in the wrong direction for a flight intending to land here.  Carlos had me go through a skills assessment prior to my first flight and would coach me along the flight with the radio's I brought along.  For this second flight, about as quickly as I got airborne, the ear piece came out so he could have yelled that my crack was showing and I'd of never known it.  Glad it wasn't a Full Moon over Phoenix. 
In The Park Practicin' the Torpedo
Anyway :-), I met Carlos on Friday morning for the hour long drive back up to the top of South Mountain in Phoenix.  He said it was a 50/50 chance that I'd get to fly because the wind was picking up.  I silently pouted a bit cuz I just knew that I wouldn't get the chance to fly.  Soon enough we arrived back on top and I started setting up my gear.  Carlos had me set up but we waited for a few minutes to see what the wind was going to do.  Finally there was a dip in wind speed and he said OK.  I could still feel it blowing a little strong so I asked him "Carlos, is it ok to go?".  He chuckled and in a Brazilian accent said, "You're the Pilot in Command, you tell me".  I grinned and away I went.  With the extra wind, it was a bit easier to get airborne this time and I actually climbed a little bit.
As you'll see, I did a "reverse" launch this time as the wind was strong enough to allow me to get the wing overhead without running like a crazy woman off the side of the cliff.  I was able to "fly away", off d'cliff.  I launched from the lil circle on the top of the picture to the left and you can see the elevation track at the bottom of the picture.  I didn't climb much, but my golly I climbed a little. haha.  My flight lasted a little bit longer than the first and I loved every minute of it.  Hope you enjoy the video.  I suggest watching it in HD.  Link here if that one below doens't play in HD: 


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