What I Did on my Winter Alleged Vacation

I’m on a couple of ultralight forums on Yahoo, though Yahoo won’t let me log in to either of them on account of what I did in May, 2002: described how to flip the then-new death towers with simple orgonite

My posts show up as answers to others’ posts in the digests, though email. I think it’s hilarious.

A guy in the regional ultralight forum who lives in Salem, Oregon, had posted this video of flying his powered parachute at the Oregon Coast, recently:

So I answered back with this:

Don Croft <[email protected]>
10:48 AM (3 minutes ago)

to eaaulchapter127
That’s some really inspiring film footage, thanks Jason!

Last Memorial day at the turf farm in Quincy I had a great time, flying my little Kitfox among the PPCs but I wished I’d brought my trike along and the experience also inspired me to see what you guys like about the PPCs, so a few weeks ago I went to Phoenix and learned to fly PPG from Ryan Shaw of Paradrenalin.com

This is the most fun kind of flying I’ve done, so far–dreamlike, in fact, and I think Jason’s video captures that feeling.

It’s also the easiest and fastest to learn, at least in my experience. I soloed on the third lesson and was spot landing immediately:

My wife, Carol, and I usually go south in January for a short period in order to endure the winter here in N. Idaho more easily but in Phoenix the weather was quite cold for the week I was there–below freezing most nights. I was alone on this trip and slept in my comfy car to save money, which is just as well because even though I’d prepaid for most of the aircraft and loaded up my credit card to the six thousand dollar limit all of that was taken up by necessary accessorizing and the minimal Cruise Carbon trike which attaches to the motor pack with three quick release pins. Carol had to send money for my trip home.

As soon as I got home I took this photo at the airfield where we live:

The runway hasn’t been completely plowed, this year, so the only planes using it have been ski planes but I finally managed to use my snowblower to make a path from our hangar to the runway and I’m in the process of clearing a very short strip in the plowed bit for this aircraft, which takes off in a very short distance and lands in practically a hover.

I trained at Pleasant Valley Airport, directly across the field from where I got certified to fly the ‘Strategic Benefactor’ a year ago:

Ryan Shaw is a world champion in this sport and I enjoyed every minute of our time together, including hearing his many stories of growing up in Zimbabwe, where he learned to fly paragliders at age 14. His dad, James, who is my age, retired to Phoenix and helps him with the business. I enjoyed his company and stories, too. He made the windsock attachment for the car’s trailer hitch receptacle–very kindly traded that for one of our Terminator zappers. The windsock attaches to a 24’ long painter’s pole that I got from a local Home Depot. James is also making an attachment for the hitch receptacle that I can load the trike/motor onto the back of my car with.

Ryan usually has several students in the air and he keeps track of them over the radio like a mother hen. I can’t imagine a more conscientious trainer. I was inspired to watch his girlfriend, Deanna, footlaunch, fly and land her PPG. Next summer I intend to learn footlaunches from him, after I get very proficient with the wing by using the trike. I also intend to finish my hang glider training next summer (near Milwaukee, WI) so I can finally fly my Doodlebug after five years.

I’m working my way toward a Mosquito ultralight helicopter & maybe by then there will be an electric version. PPG will probably always be my favorite method of flight, though.



I’m finding a lot of pilots i my travels who are receptive to aerial gifting. Ryan wanted to experience it, for instance, so I left a bucket of towerbusters at his place when I picked up the aircraft on my way home. He does a lot of mountain flying, which is what I got this for. You don’t need a runway to fly a powered paraglider [Image Can Not Be Found] and it lands safely just about anywhere. The only caveat is that you can’t fly one in very turbulent weather or the wing will collapse. I spent $500 on a little, very efficient reserve parachute like the one Ryan uses.

My African professional-pilot friend tried his hand at powered parachute flying, recently, but hadn’t gotten any training for it and found it kind of challenging, perhaps overwhelming. Training is essential for any new kind of flying if one wants to learn safely. Chuck Yeager got training before he attempted to solo fly an ultralight airplane, for instance. The African can’t toss orgonite from the aircraft he flies professionally because it goes too fast to open a window [Image Can Not Be Found] so he needs to fly something more minimal before he can be inducted into the Etheric Air Corps.

I thnk the main reason I slept in my car is because I’ve been buying pikipiki (motorbikes for orgonite distribution) since last summer for the kikundi in Kenya, Sudan, Somalia, Tanzania and Ethiopia and couldn’t afford more luxurious accomodations; also haven’t been able to afford any aerial desert-reversal sorties, which is mainly why I learned to fly in the first place. I got the last pikipiki this week and Hibrahim in Ethiopia has been very patient, waiting for his motorbike. I think that by summer I can seriously engage the desert, perhaps starting with that pre-ancient desert-creation barrier that Dr Reich identified and temporarily reversed in California’s Eastern Sierra in 1954. I know the money was better spent in Africa for now.

When I was there, Ryan’s partner was in Kenya filming a documentary about powered paragliding, there–how weird is that? I hope to meet him next summer and perhaps introduce my ndugu mpendwa (beloved kinsman), Benedict, to him in Phoenix, Mungu akijalia (God willing).

During a time when most of the aircraft businesses are suffering these fellows are doing quite well. Ryan flies a Bonanza and a couple of gliders.