Soaring Road Trip
PARADISE AIR SPORTS
Flyable wind direction Any
Launch type AT
will train beginners
AT skill rating to solo
To fly this site contact
It was a busy week at Paradise Air Sports in Groveland, FL this week. Pat McDonnell (RAF student from last year) spent Sunday-Saturday there and flew 20 times over the week. I wasn't there Friday evening when he flew, but I was told this morning that he was able to experience a thermal (tandem of course).
I flew twice Thursday morning and got the sunset flight Thursday evening, then two flights Friday morning and one this morning. I finally settled down after Thursday and stopped shaking uncontrollably during the tow. Pedro, the instructor is a very patient and graceful instructor. It really helps to fly tandem and have someone in your ear gently correcting you as you make mistakes as well as stepping in when you get into any "oh shit" moments as a rookie.
This morning was supposed to be the final two flights of my package, but the wind and turbulent conditions didn't cooperate for a second flight. I learned a lot this morning though. It was rough setting up for a landing with such a strong headwind. Now I see how those birds just hover in place sometimes! I have a good/bad habit of trying to flare as I land, but this is bad thing on the tandem that has wheels and needs to be landed like a plane! :)
Overall, I'm in love with the experience once I disconnect from the dragonfly. It's truly an amazing experience. The towing on the other hand has been a harrowing scary experience to get used to. Especially since they intentionally throw curves at you during training to make sure you recover from a messy turn or get too high or low on the tow plane.
I'm so grateful for trying this training method as I have been able to experience a ton from 3000' up with expert guidance. Spring training in Farmington should be pretty smooth as long as I keep swimming to maintain my leg strength for hoofing it up that hill! ;) And for Moritz and Leo, I totally get the need for speed (control) and not crossing my body now! Still a work in progress, but Pedro assures me I'm doing well.
Hope all of you are enjoying your winter. I admire your perseverance and sense of adventure for getting up those hills in the snow. I look forward to seeing you all in a few months.
FYI, Paradise has rooms and a camper for rent, as well as campsites with power and water (or not, if you prefer) at very reasonable prices (~$40-50)/night. Makes for a great warm weather safe distanced break.
Take care, Tim