Last weekend I took part in the Pfälzabatix, a performance training and fun competition organised by a Paramotor club 160km away from my home.
German National Team Pilot Armin Appel was there to coach and train us.
Many pilots arrived already Friday afternoon and got a briefing for the 45km long navigation task.
In the evening Sascha showed us the video of his great flight across Germany to the north sea.
Saturday we prepared the pylons and started with a little kiting session cause the wind was very strong and gusty. Midday the wind calm down and we started flying. First we did no low level flying cause it was still a bit gusty , so we did „Dragon Tail chase“.
You take a 7-10m long paper and release it in the air. Than wait one second before turn and try to catch it again with body or lines.
I never tried it before, but is was very funny, I think I will do this more often in future when flying alone, so I will be not bored at the lonely winter flights =)
Jürgen playing with the rings =)
I also did the navigation task Saturday afternoon. I never takeoff with this cardboard on my legs and also never tried to do navigation only with a topographic map.
After takeoff I needed a few minutes to find the beginning of the track and started following the line on my map.
It was really exciting to look on the map and for points on the drawn line like streets… than I also can find on the ground.
I did quite good for my first navigation task without briefing =)
I will try to get the „original“ track so you can see how close I’ve been to it.
Can you recognize what it is?
Yes, its a Asterix head =)
In the afternoon the wind calm down and we started to do a bit pylon flying.
Evening was again really fun, we watched the tracklogs of the people who have already flown the navigation task and checked how many hidden gates they missed.
Sunday morning we had much time for breakfast cause it was really foggy outside. Sight only around 20m.
Midday it opened again and we started flying! Armin told us we are going to do 2 more tasks for the fun competition. First is kicking sticks, 4 sticks (2m high) around 20m behind each other in a straight line and second task was called „Skittles“. They had some bottles filled up with sand and with a piece of foam on the top. Around 50cm high.
We had to kick them, like at a bowling landing, but without touching the ground.
Many people in the training had no experience in low level flying so it was really challenging for them. But we had all much fun and improved our skills.
I did the kicking sticks and skittles as one of the first pilots so I had lots of time to play low with some foam rings.
One got into my propeller =) so I killed the enginge 1m over the ground, but landing was still good, even when not into the wind. I was a bit scared my prop could be damaged but it was all fine.
I need to cut the video, but internet connection is to slow to upload all today.
Jens Hicken with Dudek Nucleon and Parazoom Triostar is the Winner of the Pfälzabatix 2014 with 17 points, Markus Holler with Nucleon and Fresh Breeze and I (Benedikt Bös) got second place with both 16 points. I was flying my BGD Luna22 and Nirvana Rodeo.
Thomas got third with 15 points
I hit all sticks and skittles but missed two hidden gates at the navigation task.
Thanks a lot to Werner and Hansi for the organization of this great event and of course Armin Appel, for the great coaching!
Late afternoon we started a flight with a group of nearly 20 pilots to visit the castles in the area around the airfield