Ohio Powered Paragliding
Owner - Bruce Brown
Paramotor Sales, Service and Training since 1998
20683 Hull Prairie Rd , Bowling Green, OH 43402 in NorthWest Ohio
Near Toledo at the Crossroads of the Ohio Turnpike(I-80/90) and I -75
Trike + Quad
|We returned alive and well from a free-flight paragliding trip to the central mountains of Mexico about 100 miles southwest of Mexico City. Three Ohio PPG pilots: Pat Barton, from the Cleveland area, Dave Purdin from Southern Ohio near Cincinnati, and I, Bruce Brown of Ohio Powered Paragliding near Toledo, flew into Guadalajara, Mexico. We were picked up by our friend and PPG instructor Don Jordan who lives in warm Mexico through the winter months while we get to enjoy the magnificent change of seasons in the north. We all felt sorry for Don having to miss the exciting snow and ice storms that delayed our flights by one day from Ohio.|
|We had signed up for a week long introductory PG course to fly the Mountains of the Valle de Bravo area with Jeff Hunt of the Fly Mexico Paragliding Operation. He and his training partner, Glen from Paraglide Canada, were very PPG friendly and seemed to have a good understanding of the strengths and needs we came with. We were ready to experience PG at its best. We flew from a launch site close to a pine cone shaped mountain called "El Pinon". Many of the PG bloopers in the "Try Hard" Video were filmed at this location. We met the instructor who said 90% of the video came from his cameras. Other instructors said most of them were his students, but I'm not sure that was true. Disparaging opinions are not limited to any one particular flying community.|
|As we all know,
and lift are stronger the closer one flies to the mid-afternoon, strong
sun. A typical PG day included one launch in the morning (from
to 11:00) and one launch in the afternoon (from 4:00 to
Since we were rookies at PG, on Monday our instructors, Glen and Jeff
us first thing in the morning and later in the afternoon. There are no
bunny hills at Valle de Bravo, so we went straight to the top of launch
for our first flight. Your launch skills better be good because
down at the valley from almost 2000 feet could be intimidating.
need to have complete confidence in your ability. As experienced
PPG pilots and instructors, we know how to launch.
In the morning we were the thermal-wind-dummies to see if thermal activity in the valley might yield a 10 minute sled ride to the LZ or a more than one hour thermal extravaganza. The goal during the week was to improve our piloting skills and increase our "bump" tolerance so we could launch later each morning and earlier each afternoon. My first two flights on Monday were sled rides of 10 minutes in the morning and 15 minutes in the afternoon. Tuesday was a rather cloudy day that allowed a 15 minute flight in the morning and two flights in the afternoon of 10 minutes and 18 minutes. Staying up 8 minutes longer than a straight flight to the LZ was a start. For the first day and one half, I suffered from motion sickness. Between the bumpy truck rides up the rocky mountain roads to the launch area, and the turbulence of flying in 360 degree cores of thermals, I finally had to get some Dramamine. Taking this before each drive up the mountain really helped. Things were starting to come together.
we had the
opportunity to visit a select area of Mexico where four to eight
Monarch butterflies migrate. They travel there for the winter
all over North America. We were, however, unable to see
fly. With the partly cloudy sky,the sun did not warm them enough
to become active. Just being there to see them hanging in the
was a real treat.
was my longest
flight of the week of just about one hour. It was a real thrill
stay up for an hour without anything but the thermic air to stay
The challenge of keeping the wing overhead and evenly pressurized was
to become more acceptable. The thermals were stronger and the air
was quit buoyant. I was excited by the achievement but willing to
land as the conditions became more active with the stronger sun.
I reached the LZ with over 1500 feet of altitude and used big ears and
spirals to get down.
|On Friday a group of 30 PG pilots came from Norway to Valle de Bravo to experience the excellent flying conditions at El Pinon. At launch there were paragliders everywhere preparing equipment. On Friday night, one of the Norwegians ended up throwing his reserve, coming down hard between the trees and breaking his leg. With the 30 pilots already there, the 29 new Norwegian pilots, and just too many pilots competing for the "house thermals", it was a bit intimidating. For my last flight of the week on Saturday morning, I launched early and enjoyed a 25 minute light thermal flight to the LZ. Pat Barton and Don Jordan, stayed up longer and actually achieved a 6.5 mile, one-and-a-half hour cross-country flight over the top of the mountain landing at a totally different site. An accomplishment to be very proud of.|
|Saturday afternoon we elected to pass on flying and watch about 6-8 pilots launch from above the town of Valle de Bravo and compete in a spot landing contest to a small 40 feet by 70 feet LZ surrounded by lake, stagnant water, trees and docks. Several people landed in the water in good fun, but one instructor flying a tandem with his wife had some trouble. We were fortunate to miss his landing attempt. We were told as he came in along a tight tree line to set up his landing, he misjudged his distance from the trees and snagged his wingtip in a tree. He and his wife spun into a dock and were seriously hurt. They were eventually helicoptered out to a hospital in Mexico City.|
20683 Hull Prairie Road
Bowling Green, OH 43402
Bruce Brown - Owner