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.