The World Waits for PPG Pilots

img_7880It’s been a long time.. A long time since I lost my love, but the world waits for PPG pilots. PPG for me has always been about adventure but even more so about managing the risk involved which, like all things aviation, is considerable. But don’t let this deter you from flying your paramotor; rather, just keep it as a footnote in the back of your mind and realize that with risk there is, especially in this case, some incredible reward.

After almost 9 months away, I flew my paramotor today, yesterday, and the day before. The first flight 2 days ago was spectacular- I flew to two thousand feet and then down to tree top level- simply amazing. Last evening though had cold, wet, heavy air in the valley floor below my house (the SkyBound Ranch) and it took four attempts to get airborne – when I finally did the motor just didn’t have the umph over the eve’s humidity to get me more then a few feet up before the terrain rose and an oncoming barbed wire fence just made itself a little too ominous. In other words, I was on a collision course to hit it lol (it’s such a personal sport), so after traveling 200 yards or so, giving last evening’s mission of flight every opportunity I possibly could, I had no choice but to stop while I still had a chance. But I still got a little flight, which was cool.. Albeit 200 yards cool, but I wanted a much deserved and valid repeat for tonight- Last night was like candy I didn’t get to eat and I wanted more…

img_7995I knew I had to tune my motor though as these wintery conditions up here in the Central Cal foothills had my summer tuned machine lagging. It would run but not for long… So after seeing a positive charge to the spark plug (hint, check your digital tach when your pulling the starter cable) I knew it must be fowled. I ended up replacing the plug after seeing the old one a little too black/wet and not brown enough.. I made sure it was gapped correctly (otherwise your coil may have to work overtime) and torqued it correctly on it’s new compression washer and she started right up- But there was still more work to do. She wasn’t idling well and that meant two things- a mixture adjustment was in order and a touch of increase to the idle screw. I leaned out the mixture 1/2 turn and the idle screw 1 turn- in. The result was a smooth running, reliable motor that wasn’t coughing anymore.

It’s amazing how much seasonal changes affect our motor’s tune. The same can be said for human beings too.