Diversions: Mach None Flying

By Scott Spangler on February 7th, 2010

One of the greatest joys I found in flying was diverting to some intended destination, usually to hide out from the weather. These stops were not an inconvenience to my schedule, they were an opportunity for adventure, to explore someplace I’d never been before, which is why I was happy to land at MachNoneFlying.com, “the online newspaper of low, slow, affordable and fun flying.”

I landed here because powered paragliders fascinate me. A PPG? It’s the fabric wing you wear like a parachute that’s powered by the meat grinder on your back. Yeah, I want to fly one, so I’ve been wandering around this afternoon looking for someplace to learn how, once it gets warmer.

In the PPG section it has a number of embedded videos that took my breath away. In one a Canadian mounted a camera in his canopy, and when he took off from the frozen lake, the snow looked like clouds and reminded me of those shots you see of the Space Shuttle orbiting Earth.

The second appears to be in a warmer clime and season, humming across agricultural lands and coastlines. Ah, now this is flying. No airports, no hangars or tie downs, no ATC, and no traffic. Keep the rig in the truck; freedom as close as humans can approximate to the birds. The ultimate antidote for thaasophobia. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to resume my research. There has to be a PPG school somewhere close. –Scott Spangler

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3 Responses to “Diversions: Mach None Flying”

  1. Norman Says:

    Scott, it’s a real blast and about as close to being a bird as its possible to be. Getting used to having a piece of fabric between yourself and eternity takes a while for someone who gets nervous about climbing a ladder to de-leaf the gutters. That would be me. LOL

  2. Kevin Kanarski Says:

    Hi Scott, you might have already stumbled on these sites but check out http://www.usppa.org for a listing of schools. Also check out http://www.footflyer.com for a wealth of information on PPG.

    -Kevin

  3. Scott Says:

    Being like a bird was what I was hoping for, Norman. Not too worried about depending on fabric to keep me aloft because hanging out there at altitude doesn’t bother me as long as I’m secured by something, a gunner’s belt or rapelling rig did fine during my days as a helo crewman. Don’t like jumping from any altitude, however, unless motivated by something like fire or structural failure.

    Thanks for the sites, Kevin. I found USPPA after I wrote the post, and I’m digging into Foot Flyer after work today. The best news is that a found a school not too far away. If its refrences checkout, I’ll be rooting for warmer weather.

    Not much chance of that today, however. It’s snowing like a shivering dog with dandruff, and the weather-guessers are calling for up to 10 inches.

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