Paramotor Foggy Sunrise Flight 2-2-18

Paramotor Foggy Sunrise Flight 2-2-18

Foggy Sunrise Flight February 2nd 2018

This has become one of my all time favorite flights.

Mornings can be a pain with the dead calm air, wet grass, and fog not to mention having to get up at 4:30 AM to make the LZ before sunrise.

But once your wing comes up and you lift into the air, it becomes all worth it.

An amazing experience I believe can only be had while flying a paramotor. Sun rays shining through a low layer of fog that floated along the tops of the sugar cane about 10 feet in the air made for a spectacular visual experience that I'll attempt to convey through the pictures below.

We arrive just before sunrise to find the sugar factory going full steam and a thin layer of fog blanketing much of the ground.

Immediately at sunrise, the crop sprayers take off and start their day.

The direction of the smoke coming from the stacks indicate winds coming from the north as Anuadi prepares to be the first into the air.

Steve's flawless launch

Here I am taking off, Brian and Cappy up next.

This is what I saw right after taking off, Steve flies in the distance.

I decide to drop down low and explore the foggy landscape.

Flying through the fog I come upon a herd of tractors...

I think of freeing them but how can I free those so agreeable with a life of servitude?

So I fly on through the fog...

In the distance I see menacing towers rising from the ground!

I breach the perimeter but quickly flee after rousing the ghosts in cell block C...

...and return my attention to the sun...

So I break free and climb into the air...

...and then swoop down to surf the tops of the sugar cane fields...

...cruise out over the flat lands...

...and out to the coast of Lake Okeechobee.

I discover I'm low on fuel and at least 5 miles from the airport so I climb up, let the trimmers out and make a bee line for the LZ..

On the way back I could feel the warmth of the sun on my face and I noticed the fog was almost completely gone.

I look for potential landing zones in case I run out of gas.

The smoke was going almost straight up so I prepared for a fast landing.

I make it back to the LZ just in time!

The mighty GT comes to rest and awaits another day....

Of all those that fly, none run into the sky and fly like a paramotor pilot does...

Paramotor Juno Beach Flight 2-1-18

Paramotor Juno Beach Flight 2-1-18

Beach Flight February 2nd, 2018

Juno Beach is one of the few beaches you can fly on the east coast of South Florida.

Beach access is a breeze and all the locals I've met are friendly and curious about our sport.

The winds were a steady 8mph on this day gusting to what felt like12mph and while the "beach breeze" usually provides for smooth sky sailing, on this day the air was a bit turbulent and more characteristic of inland flying with strong winds.

Come to find out my lens filter glass had a smudge on it that affected a lot of the pictures so I almost didn't create a journal entry for this flight.

I botched the first launch because of my own impatience so my buddy Ivan helped to reset my wing :o)

My feet leave the earth as a friendly crowd watch on.

They knew I was going to takeoff and enjoyed the show.

Here's Cappy just before he shoots some pretty epic splashing waves footage. See the video HERE.

Brian in the middle of a reverse launch as Ivan watches on. Notice the two wings off in the distance.

One of the cardinal rules at Juno Beach is don't fly over the pier!

Here we are looking south, not a lot of mega high risers here like there are further south.

This is one of the tallest building on the beach here. This is looking north up toward the inlet which I've decided to fly up a ways.

A couple hundred meters from the mouth stands a grand old lighthouse that I immediately have the urge to fly around but decide not to almost just as fast since it's probably frowned upon by the locals so back to the beach I go.

Cappy flies north as I decide to head back and try to get some footage of the other pilots.

Jorge and Brian entertaining the beach goers

Drag racing Brian down the beach.

Brian Cruises Juno Beach.

It looks like he's coming straight for me!

Flying over the white-capped waves.

Brian and Jorge fly overhead.

Cappy heads straight out to sea.

Saying hi to some friendly locals

The might GT comes back to earth....

All in all this was a great flight. On the second try I had a great takeoff and in the end a nice, soft landing. This was the second time I've flown here and definitely the windiest which gave me some needed experience.

Paramotor Sunset Flight January 24th 2018

Paramotor Sunset Flight January 24th 2018

Sunset Flight January 24th, 2018

This is a photo journal (paramotor pictures) of my second flight of 2018 and the one in which I accomplished my first 3 touch and go's.

While I do have some video footage of this, the stills are rather unimpressive for a photo journal so I've decide not to add them below for the sake of keeping this journal a little bit interesting. Maybe I'll add the footage to a video.

By the way a touch and go is when you land at take off again keeping the paraglider overhead the whole time. This is a lot easier when there is a constant breeze to help keep the wing in the air while you are on the ground.

On this evening the winds would be as low as 2 to 3MPH with erratic gusty bursts up to around 7 or 8MPH and like the flight four days earlier, the air in the sky below 200' was very turbulent which made doing the touch and go's a little more challenging.

 

The airport we use is primarily used by an aerial spraying company. These are the planes they fly.

During sunrise flights we share the airspace with these sporty little crop dusters but in the evening they are idle leaving the sky free for the paramotors.

Pre-flight inspection of the Kangook, I especially keep an eye on the throttle cable connection at the carburetor.

Right after takeoff. The air at this low altitude was really bumpy so I decided to climb higher to see if it would smooth out.

Up here the air was smoother but I still experienced an occasional jolt from turbulence. You can see Lake Okeechobee in the distance.

Farmers seem to always be burning stuff in the fields on the same low wind days we fly paramotors creating interesting scenery at the expense of diminished air quality.

An old abandoned prison, if you look close you can see the guard towers around the perimeter.

I couldn't help but think as I flew away how many eyes over the years, locked behind those walls days on end, would stare skyward, wishing they could just fly away....

Even though the air down low was bumpy, I decided to head back to the airport and see if I could do a touch and go.

At this time of the evening the crop dusters are parked and the airport is quite.

Today's flight was short so I didn't get many pictures but in the end it was a success and now I look forward to more touch and go's.

When I fly alone I like to stay close to the airport. When you fly, it doesn't take long to travel a long distance creating a potential challenge if you have to make an emergency landing and end up in a far away field with multiple fences blocking your path back to the landing zone (LZ).

The weather forecast for the rest of January is really windy so it looks like this will be my last flight of the month.

Paramotor Sunrise Flight January 20th 2018 in Pictures

Paramotor Sunrise Flight January 20th 2018 in Pictures

Sunrise Flight January 20th, 2018

This is a photo journal (paramotor pictures) of my first flight of 2018 and one I'll remember for a long time.

The thing with flying at this location is that you can get a good idea of what the wind is doing by watching the smoke stacks at the sugar cane factory.

On this morning the smoke was shifting a good 20 to 30 degrees or more in just minutes which is a huge clue it was going to be a bumpy flight.

And it was.

Just after takeoff, notice the smoke coming from the stacks...

About to fly over the sugar cane a few minutes later, notice the smoke now. That's Brian flying in front of the sunrise.

The sky is beautiful during sunrise and with a paramotor you feel like you're part of it. These photos are untouched stills from my helmet cam.

Brian flying over a freshly tilled sugar cane field. I love the contrast of his wing against the blackness of the soil.

Anaudi, Steve and Brian flying the fields south of the sugar factory. Notice the smoke now.

I decide to go fly around the big radio antenna way up ahead. The wind is coming from NNE so it's a go trying to keep from drifting SW.

The air is really bumpy this morning so after flying around the antennae I decide to head back toward the airport.

The city of Belle Glade to the left and Lake Okeechobee off in the distance.

By this time the wind has come up quite a bit and the air is turbulent so I decide to circle back around to the airport and land.

After landing, Steve (foreground) and Brian pause for a picture.

Juan showing off his kiting skills.

L to R - Anaudi, Brian, Juan, Steve and Mike(me).