Powered Parachute Setup and Teardown

A friend has expressed interest in flying powered parachutes.  To help him understand the setup and tear down process I’ve created a couple of videos that illustrate this process.

In the above video, I made reference to deferring the flight until later.  Here is that flight, which I flew the next morning.

 

And here is the pack up procedure for the Six Chuter P3 Lite.

 

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Wednesday Morning Pattern Work

I don’t have to report to work until 11am today so I decided to use my time wisely by getting in some pattern work this morning out at New Jerusalem.  I just spent a bunch of time going around and around the airport it was still a very relaxing break from work.  Enjoy!

Friday Update

Nothing much to report.  I snuck in a quick flight before work on Friday.  The winds for the weekend were forecast to be pretty stiff so Friday was my last chance.  Here is an unedited video of the flight if you’re interested.

 

On Saturday I just spent some time working on the PPC cart itself.  The strobe had stopped working so I repaired that.  It seems the wires came loose from the strobe switch.  That was a quick repair.  I also replaced a faulty CHT probe.  Another quick repair.  Now I just have to wait for another flyable day.

Memorial Day Flight

It’s been windy in the valley for weeks.  After enjoying a weekend flying at Red Hills I drove out to New Jerusalem on Memorial Day.  Conditions were PERFECT!  It was warm, there were no winds, and the air was buttery smooth.  I took off and flew up the San Joaquin River over the confluence of the Stanislaus.  Just enjoyed the morning.  No tweaking the engine, no working on technical skills, just enjoying the view.  I hope your Memorial Day was just as memorable.

And never, ever forget those who gave their lives for our country.

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Red Hills Fly-In 2018

I can’t believe another year has come and gone and we’ve had another Red Hills Fly-In!  The Red Hills Fly-In is held at Jack and Myrna Moyle’s Ranch, nicknamed Back To The Future Two Ranch because numerous scenes from the movie were filmed there.  When I had my airplane I would load it up with my camping gear and fly in.  Now that I have my powered parachute I load all my camping gear into my trailer and basically camp in the trailer.  The Moyles’ ranch is located in prime territory; completely surrounded by the Red Hills BLM Area of Critical Environmental Concern.  As such, no hunting or motorized vehicles are allowed in the area.  Other than the sawmill on the other side of highway 120 it is completely serene and peaceful… except for the airplane noise!

Most people fly in.

But others like me have to take the winding dirt road through the BLM land to get to the Moyles’ ranch.  But that’s really not a problem as it’s such a scenic drive.

Once there we pretty much just chill, relax, and catch up with old friends.  Many of us only see each other once a year but when we get together it’s as if no time has passed.  We talk and eat late into the evening and when the chill hits we keep talking and eating around the campfire.

This year was notable for me as it was the first time I had the confidence in my skills and ENGINE to fly my powered parachute from the field.  Well, and the wind was cooperating this year too.  My flights weren’t long because I’m still tweaking on the engine and learning to trust it.  But they were beautiful.  I’ve flown my fixed wing through the area for years but there’s something about seeing it from an open cockpit 300 feet up.  You can smell the smells and really see what you’re flying over.

Jordan Langley caught my take-off and landing on video.  He also got a great shot of Joey Meyers and I flying by in (very) loose formation.

All in all a VERY enjoyable weekend and I can’t wait to go back next year!

All Dialed In

I went for a quick flight this morning before work.  I have to say it was a really pleasant flight.   On my last flight the P3 was pulling to the right fairly strongly.  This morning’s flight was to try to figure out what was happening.  However, the right turning tendency was gone this morning.  I have to assume that the issue was either a stick stuck in a line or something wonky with one of my risers.  I laid the chute out slowly and carefully this morning and double-checked everything for tangles.  The air was calm, the engine was just purring, I made a few touch and goes and decided to call everything good.

My next opportunity to fly will be this weekend.  However, the weather doesn’t look as though it will be cooperating.  I might get to sneak a flight in on Sunday morning at a new location.  More about that when/if it actually happens.  For now, here is a short video from this morning’s flight.

P3 Light Final Tweaks

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My last flight on the P3 had me setting down early due to high cylinder head temperatures on my engine.  I called J-Bird and they made some suggestions.  This morning was the first non-windy day I had to go on a test flight so I headed out to New Jerusalem Airport just before church.

Happy to report that all went well.  CHT’s were well below where they were on the last flight.  I made several changes to the P3 to achieve this:

  • Change the prop pitch bocks to 13 degrees (they were at 12 degrees before)
  • Change the carburetor jet needle position.  The retainer clip is now 1 slot down from the top of the needle.  This causes the carb to run richer at midrange throttle settings.
  • Change the carburetor high jet to 360 from 370.

All these worked together to reduce the engine temps.  I also change the CG of my P3 by moving the retaining clips on the lift tubes from the bottom most position to the second set of holes up.  This allowed the P3 to ride closer to level and has also eliminated the left turning tendancy the cart had in flight.

Here is an abbreviated clip from this morning’s flight:

 

And here is a quick rundown of the P3’s status at this point: