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Learning to Fly: Day Four at Blackhawk Paramotors (Tyler)

by Tyler

After my engine failure yesterday, both of the student 125cc paramotors were out of commission. I assumed they'd fix them before morning, but when we arrived for class around 6AM, neither had been repaired. While this made for a pretty frustrating start to the day, we made the best of it. Tara wound up learning how to fly one of the quads while I took out the heavier/more powerful AirMax 220.

The added thrust of the larger paramotor made for some pretty thrilling takeoffs! My landings, on the other hand, left much to be desired. I'm not flaring fully before touchdown, and I keep forgetting to run after touch down for some reason. On two separate occasions I immediately fell to my knees when my feet reached the ground. Ouch!

Tyler Landing on his Knees with a Blackhawk Airmax 220 Paramotor

I really ought to be wearing jeans, but I didn't pack any for the trip, and it's so flipping hot out here I can barely stand the thought of it anyway.

Tyler with Skinned Knee

After a few flights I put my equipment away and focused instead on helping Tara get ready to fly. More than anything, I wanted her to be comfortable and happy and ready to be in the sky. This looked like running around the the field, following her quad to pick up and reposition the wing as she practiced taxiing down the field over and over again. It was awesome watching her get the hang of it!

When our evening session got underway, the class paramotors were finally running. My flights weren't much to write home about—bound and determined to get the hang of takeoff and landing, I'd launch, circle the field once, land, and repeat. By the tenth go around things really started to click. I was pretty tired so I took a break for the rest of the day to help/document Tara's first flight!

Tomorrow is already our last day here at Blackhawk Ranch—the end has come WAY too quickly. Even so, I'll be glad to get out of this infernal heat. The central valley of California is not for me.

Buddy the Dog
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I went through a week's training with Joe at Blackhawk in early May. I smiled through all the entries you guys wrote here: The early jitters, the incredible exhaustion at the end of every day, the self-doubt after a stumble, the exhilaration of the first flight - and last flight of the week. The whole week was stellar and Joe's skill, generosity and light touch in teaching was the most important part of the whole thing.

I hope you're flying at home now and enjoying the next steps in developing all the skills that come with time and experience.

Posted by Kevin on July 17th, 2016 at 8:46 PM
You guys are crazy people, living a crazy life, and now you're airborne optimists and we're all doomed.
Posted by Jenna on July 18th, 2016 at 12:36 PM