Flying with Hot Air Balloons

Sometimes my job takes me on the road for weeks or months at a time.  That puts a damper on flying PPG.  Between golf, march madness, and then more golf, my March and April of 2013 was spent mostly on the road.  I could easily transport my paramotor everywhere I went except the airlines won’t accept gasoline motors for transport.  So when I was offered a job in Phoenix in the middle of March, the first thing I thought of was flying with Ryan Shaw at Paradrenalin.  I had no idea it would be a flight I would never forget. Working on the west coast usually means earlier TV air times and sure enough we were getting done with enough daylight for a few hours of flying each day.  I called Ryan and asked if I could secure a motor for the week.  Pretty much every conversation I’ve ever had with Ryan ended with “no problem.”

On March 11, 2013 I woke up in Puerto Rico and boarded the plane on my way to Phoenix via Atlanta.  I had booked the earliest flight possible with then intention of picking up my motor that afternoon and possibly getting a flight in.  I picked up my rental car in Phoenix and headed out to Pleasant Valley airport on the NW side of town.  When I arrived, Ryan had a Nirvana Rodeo waiting for me although it was a bit too thermally still in the desert to fly so the parawaiting commenced.  There was a small group of pilots hanging out at the airfield, all with Nirvana motors so it was a good chance to check out the different setups and learn about the motor I was going to fly for the week.

When the thermals finally relaxed a bit I hit the air and flew around the airport.  I had lived in Phoenix before so getting to fly above the desert was pretty cool.  Nearby there were some hot air balloons setting up.  I typically fly at the beach in SC where the ground is flat as a pancake.  Flying in the valley surrounded by small mountains and hot air balloons really gave me a 3D sense of flight.  Although it was still a bit bumpy, flying next to a hot air balloon in the desert was pretty cool and made for a Paramotor Moment I will never forget.

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>