Right after I returned home from Beach Blast, I uncovered the Scooter tow, spooled the line onto it, and bought a new battery; I shouldn’t have left the old battery in the cold over the winter. The end result was a smooth-running, easy-starting pay-in tow system. With help from my neighbors and friends, we lifted the scooter tow onto my trailer and brought it out to the field.
Student Chris demonstrated excellent kiting skills from the beginning, so I knew it was time for him to fly. Chris’s wing hadn’t arrived yet, so he practiced kiting the school wing, which happened to be just the right size for him. My wife Diana also came out to the field to help with the towing (and get a flight herself). Chris got 4 flights– his first time piloting, and his first solos! His launches and landings were superb; the consistent launch technique he demonstrated comes from his kiting prowess. With the landing flare practice under his belt, I have confidence that he’ll perform gentle landings with the motor.
Diana got a flight at the end of session. Though we didn’t have a lot of room to tow and the helpful wind had died down, Diana got much higher than Chris, owing to her light weight. She pinned off at the top of the tow and glided to the end of the dirt road.
This week, I’m in Utah, practicing Cross Country paragliding in drier, windier, higher conditions than I experienced in Florida. I helped my friend Norm move out to Utah, and now he and I are laying down some miles. Last night we ended our XC practically in Norm’s new backyard– a school next to his house. It doesn’t get better than that!
Paragliding can greatly improve your Powered Paragliding skills. Cross Country paragliding requires the spot-landing skills that are so important in Maine (Maine has small fields lined with tall trees). Learning to fly just the wing– with no motor– gives you control and feedback from your wing that is sometimes hard to notice with the motor.