Saturday, 15 July 2017

Paragliding Tow Operator's Course

Last week, Andrew and I, along with other Saskatoon pilots Kegan and Steph, headed to Drayton Valley, Alberta, to take a paragliding tow operator's course at Air Adventure Flight School. Kegan had purchased a Quantum payout winch and we all wanted to learn how to use it safely and properly. The instructor, Claudio Mota, came highly recommended.

We started out by learning how to use Air Adventure's Cloud Street winch on a short stretch of runway for quick turnarounds. It also gave Claudio an opportunity to see what our skills were before we moved on to learning Kegan's winch.
Andrew operating the winch.
Setting up for quick release. This loop goes through here and then this loop goes . . . and then this other loop . . .
Andrew took this series of photos of Steph launching, releasing and landing. 
Ready to launch?
On the move . . . 
Off the ground . . .
Getting higher . . . 
Getting ready to land.
Once we got the hang of that, we moved on to figuring out the best way to use Kegan's winch. There was some trial and error involved as we became more familiar with it and made some adjustments. Huge thanks to Gerry (owner of Air Adventure) who, in the space of a morning, welded together a hitch extension to raise up the winch, even adding a step to make it easier to get into the box of the truck!  

Getting ready to go. Kegan checking the wind sock to ensure wind direction is still okay.
Video of me being towed by Steph (operator) and Kegan (driver). Filmed by Claudio. 

Then we moved out to the road for more practice and higher tows, using the Cloud Street winch.

And when it was too windy to paraglide, Claudio's 8-year-old son, Noah, taught us how to fly the Ozone Imp. He was a good instructor, just like his dad!  :-)

Unfortunately, I didn't take any photos of the facilities at the Flight Park . . . which were great!! A small classroom/office; a "clubhouse" with outdoor/covered kitchen facilities; bathroom and shower; and camping area. Very nice!! We'll most certainly be back! 

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