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Aerochute Adventure

Guest Fred Bear

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Guest Fred Bear

Video coming soon...



Today I had the honour of meeting John G who flies an Aerochute Powered Parachute out of the Richmond area. To start with the Missus thought it was a good idea to re-visit The Oaks today seeing as though it was such a beaut day so that we did (good choice too Emma).:)We rolled up and I found a powered chute on the back of a 4x4. This was instant excitement (trust me it does not take much). I met John the owner of the powered chute minutes later and jokingly asked to go for a fly in the machine. John, who is learning to fly the Jabiru, was more than willing to take me for a spin. A winch on the back of Johns 4x4 and down went the airframe. Set up the canopy (a massive parachute) and RWY 36L at The Oaks. Many millions of 'strings' and a nylon type material later and presto, one powered parachute! I strap on my helmet, tie my camera in with my harness and I really get the butterflies!:ah_oh:John starts the machine and full throttle into the wind! We head for the ditch in the middle of RWY 36L at The Oaks. John aborts the take off. As John explains to me later there is no directional steering on the ground in the Aerochute. The reason for this is simple. The canopy or chute wants to travel into the wind. If you try to steer opposite to this motion, the airframe may roll over. Makes sense really (if you studied or have a basic understanding of physics). Second attempt. Full throttle and up we go! Quite an amazing feeling to become airborne with hardly any speed or run up. Once that canopy is deployed, up you go! Once John and I were able to gain some height (which took a while with our weight combined) we joined downwind at The Oaks. During this leg of the circuit I realised the true freedom and unrestricted view outside. There are no wires or any other obstructions around. Simply your body and the environment! On downwind I also experienced the pendulum like effect of flying this type of machine. The backward and forward movement of the airframe under the canopy. Something that you must experience to believe! John then cut the throttle to idle and we began a gentle descent and tight base leg back to RWY 36L. John showed me at this stage how everything is controlled by the throttle and how little concentration is required on final (so he says)! We began our gentle descent (on idle) toward the field. An amazing feature here is the gentle descent on idle. You really do not fall like a ton of bricks. A nice smooth landing followed by a 10 or so metre roll (without brakes) and the canopy falls to earth behind you. Truly an experience I am sure to never ever forget! John has made an offer to fly again. Quite a few acres on my parents cattle station and an Aerochute. Hmmm, sounds like there could be some potential there! Our CFI at The Oaks Dave R wants to know if there is anything I will not fly in. Simple answer...no! Enjoy the video!



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Guest Fred Bear

36L and 18R were closed yes, but not to an a/c such as the aerochute. They have just mowed and aerated (I think that's what they call it) that particular runway so they are trying to give it a break from a/c constantly doing touch and goes on it.



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  • 1 month later...
Guest Fred Bear

Well this morning Sunday 29th April brought the opportunity of another wonderful flight in John Glassfords Aerochute. We departed from Freemans Reach (near Richmond Air Base). Tracked out past the air base on a SE heading.On return overtook some air traffic (helium balloons) rising up from the Hawkesbury Show far below. Lots of patchwork scenery and turf farms in this area.Makes for some real scenic flying. Second flight this morning was a little more exciting. Departed again tracking over the Hawkesbury Show on a Westerly heading this time. Well that forecast 30kt Westerly on the ARFOR started to come through.Made for a fantastic ground speed for us of 6 kts :;)2: Was a quick trip home though! 006_laugh.gif.0f7b82c13a0ec29502c5fb56c616f069.gif Had a little bit of a fly this time. The Aerochute sure does need a little bit of elbow grease to fly around the sky. Don't know if I am a convert yet but for freedom of flight and visibility I'd like to see something come close. Below are some pics from this morning. Enjoy! :)


All rigged up and ready to go.







Not before a visiting Robbie drops in to say hello!







Up we go!





725ft and still climbing...slowly.







I knew our wing was there somewhere!







The river below.









Beautiful patchwork scenery below.












Hope you enjoyed. Now I'll go hassle Emma with the video!



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Guest danda

I would just love to learn to fly one of those one day, they where at Holbrook 2 Easters ago "I guess not a time they would want to remember"


and I was awe struck with them then sad they didn't come back this year great spectacle all these brightly colored canopies filling the skys buzzing around. Great bunch of people.


greats shots to Darren





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Guest Fred Bear

Thanks Don! Kev, you have to be quick here mate! It was nice to finally meet you too.You will have to pop down.Would love a ride in your mates Robbie one day too! Perhaps he can visit us at The Oaks...More pics and story on my web page to save Ian a little bandwidth here.



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One would be hard pressed to find a better aerial photography platform than the Aerochute.


Absolutely awesome view




fabulous pics


thanks for sharing


especially all that green stuff





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Guest Fred Bear

No problems David.I'd love to take one over Sydney Harbour.Just imagine the quality of the shots you would get on a good day.



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If you were tether a surf board to the aerochute then fly with the surfboard


floating on the water could you call yourself a water craft and fly under the


harbour bridge?


or the Bolte bridge?


In any case


I can't see why in Melbourne you could not fly your Aerochute up the VFR lane up the Yarra that the helicopters use.


I presume there is a similar lane in Sydeny, i don't have a Sydeny VTC chart.


Just thinking





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Guest Fred Bear

Lane of entry in Sydney would offer some magnificent views in the chute!Dave C knows more about this one. I have not flown it for ages.



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Guest David C
Lane of entry in Sydney would offer some magnificent views in the chute!Dave C knows more about this one. I have not flown it for ages.

Yes the lane of entry via Parramatta , Pennant Hills , Hornsby and Patonga would be great . The ultimate flight though would be a V1 flight down the coast from North Head in a southerly or the reverse direction from Stanwell Tops . Just imagine the views of Sydney Harbour from an Aerochute .... fantastic .. ;) . I have seen trikes flying the same route , lucky devils .. Incidentally , there was a trike over the Sydney Harbour Bridge and Opera House this morning . It was piloted by the blind guy and was on its final leg of its fllight from London .... Some flight hey .011_clap.gif.c796ec930025ef6b94efb6b089d30b16.gif



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Guest Fred Bear

Would be good and good on the bloke I say. See, a disability does not limit one to chase their dream of flight :)



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something that I wrote back when the Aerochute was my ticket to fly. Hope you enjoy.






At crowing of cocks


there's a searching for sox


and rousing of spouses


missing their houses.


With none keen to get up;


campfire's Chardonnay promise


of kites up at sun up,


then so easily given,


now at risk of a miss.


But fliers are driven.


When windsocks are slack


rushing skwards a given.


Prior to coffee's first pour


the spade it is searched for


and tarp is rolled back disclosing the beast


as fingers of light reach up from the East.


The nuts are all counted,


the tyres are a'pounded


a splutter of phlegm as Rotax is pulled through.


(since mother is watching the checks are true blue.)


A tugger,


a shudder,


a rattle 'n die.


Enrichen the mixture


'll improve the picture


both levers down,


to answer the frown.


A tugger,


a shudder


a rattle 'n roar,


a second or two to settle the beat


both levers up she's running a treat,


Down on the pedal to turn up the heat


at three and a bit there's a feeling of living


passing through five she's stretching and pushing


at six and a half the trailer's a shudder


all raring to go with nary a rudder.


Fuelled up,


rugged up;


a check of the windsocks


a clearing of small rocks,


then settle her down like a sprinter at chocks.


Carefully set with nose to the breeze


canopy poised to jump up with ease


a burst from the tap


'chute leaps with a flap


Keeping eyes on the kite


ease the power back a mite


when all full and centred


full right foot and plant it





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