I have a couple of friends who Power Paraglide...you know those 30ish sq m kites and an engine strapped to your back for power. Mark has about 100 flights in and also has been kiting with me a few times. George, who is a fixed wing pilot, just got a new, top of the line ppg package but...he has not flown ppg for a while...PPGing is a low or no wind sport so on Sat when the winds were forecasted 25-35 kmh we decided to go kiting.
There is a headpond a short 20min drive from where we live and the conditions were perfect for skiing. Smooth ice with an inch or two of snow. George knows of this perfect spot to launch because a few (20ish) years ago he had the misfortune of having a 4 seater aircraft he was flying lose power. Since the plane did not have floats it quickly became a submarine. George and his 3 passengers escaped wet but unharmed.
Mark and George both weigh 215ish and I am about 130 lbs. I figured Mark could handle my 3 m kite on skis and since it was George's first time kite flying he could play with my 2 m. I didn't think I would have any problems with a 5m.
Ã‚Â I launch the 3, pass it to Mark, and proceeded to prep the 2 for George .... OPPPS ...Mark is being dragged across the ice and only stops when a tree grabbed the kite. NOOO problem...I take the handles from Mark and picture perfectly back the kite out of the tree...hehehe...I then decide maybe Mark should start with 2m and I'll try the 3...Sorry George, 2 is as small as I've got...
Mark is doing great ...strong turns...going up wind.. sineing the kite in lulls...I figure its time for me to have some fun and head further out where it is obvious from blowing snow that the wind is even better...After becoming airborne (without my expressed permission) during a couple of turns I realize that these winds are a wee bit stronger than 25 Kmh and when I later check recorded speed I find they were 40 gusting to 70 Kmh. My GPS recorded 57 Kmh maximum speed and I wasn't really trying for speed... happy to keep things under control..
That evening while we were checking George's new 100cc, 23 hp 2 stroke ppg motor, I discover my ...F@#$^%G ....wallet... is... missing
!!!! and I have a funny feeling that it is spread all over hells half acre. Being good buddies they offer to go back and look for it but with the winds howling like they were I was sure it was gone... but 'hey' they say...we'll do an aerial search for it tomorrow...no wind forecasted... no problem...simple to spot a brown wallet on white background...
After a couple of aerial passes over the area there is no sign of wallet...my GPS had the track I took and I figured just maybe I might find a piece of ID or salvage something... off I walk, letting GPS guide me to an area where I figured most probable...stumble across a mess of fur where an owl or eagle dined on a rabbit .....and then BAMM...there is my wallet.. contents intact...The guys couldn't figure out why I was so awestruck about finding it until I showed it to them.
as you can see it is more of a filing cabinet than a wallet...hehehe
To top off an excellent weekend we met a gentleman who lived in the area when George had his little incident... he had pictures of the salvage operation which provided details of the paint scheme so that George can make an exact scale remote control model ....his other addiction..