I just got back from the Florida paragliding competitions (Spring Fling and East Coast Paragliding Championships). Weather was subpar for this time of year in Florida, but we still had a couple 100+ mile days! Congratulations to Dustin Pachura for setting the new Florida paragliding distance record at 140 miles!
In Spring Fling, I took 3rd place in Serial Class. I only made it to goal once, but I made it fast! I didn’t place in the ECPC this year. I blame my mental state after my December accident, and getting to know my new wing. After flying almost 90k with David Prentice and Chandler during one task, I know it’s not my wing, it’s me. Despite the uncooperative weather, I had a great time. Neverland Flight Park is growing fast, and the people there are like family to me.
Ok, now to business: I picked up two Air Conception Nitro 200 motors from Aviator PPG in Lake Wales. One motor is a pull-start, the other is electric start. These are the two School motors that you will be learning on if you purchase the $2500 no-gear-commitment package, and I think I’ve picked the best motor family to accommodate most pilots. A lot of thought went into this choice starting from my first demo on an Air Conception at Beach Blast 2016. You’re going to enjoy learning on these motors!
Out of the 26 motors I’ve flown, this is the first Electric start, and man is it fun! it makes flying whimsical. The motor weighs only a little over 40lbs, so I can kite the wing to feel out the air for half an hour, then just turn around, hit the electric start, and take off. You don’t need to do a superhero lunge to stand up with the motor, either; you just put it on like a backpack and stand up like a normal human being. Mainly, these motors are light and powerful, and they’re going to fly my 260lbs guys as well as my 150lbs guys.
I built a large hang test in the backyard, as the previous hang test– my woodshed– really didn’t look like it can take any more abuse. This things is a behemoth. It’s 10 feet tall and weighs more than twice as much as I do. I was able to construct it single-handedly, but not without sacrifices– I destroyed one lawn chair when a 4×4 went through it. In the near future I plan to have pilots run their motors at full-throttle while attached to a realistic set of risers hanging from this thing (I was inspired by the excellent setup at Aviator PPG).
One of my students couldn’t make it this month, but one student will be the inaugural graduate of the new 9-day flash-course format. We’re starting a little early since it’s just him and it fits his schedule better. Weather looks excellent for the next week, so we lucked out! It’s going to be hard teaching the classroom subjects when it’s 75 and sunny outside.