Darkhorse 450 pt. 6

Tullahoma(THA) to Smithville(0A3) Oct5 2019

This one may be a little longer than normal. It was one of those very rare perfect flights and I’m not sure how to describe it without sharing all of it.

Warmup at sunrise, Tullahoma.

My first time flying Tullahoma was just over a year ago. Several guys got to watch me blow launch after launch trying to make my second flight. One of those guys, Scott Dowdy, came out to see me off on the run to Smithville.

Scott Dowdy showed me where to launch at Tullahoma.

We met up with him just before dawn and followed him out to the launch area. He planned to fly with me on his trike for as long as he could. It’s hard to explain how much all these acts of support do to keep you going.

There was no chance of finding a replacement O-ring for the fuel bladder so I built a seal out of sandwich bags and electrical tape. Wasn’t sure if I would need the fuel but I wanted to be as prepared as possible.

Homemade fuel seal.

If you’ve never been there, sunrise at Tullahoma is a sight to see. It’s an aviation town and the airport is everything you would expect from people who love to fly.

There was zero wind on the ground when I laid out my wing so of course it picked up and was 90 degrees different after I pulled out all my gear. Such is paramotoring. Reset the wing, warmup the Talon, said goodbyes to everyone. And blow the first launch.

Blowin it at Tullahoma.

Reset, gear up, clip in and hit it again. On round 2 everything went perfect. I circled back to wave then got out of Scotts way.

Leaving Tullahoma.

I kept my trims in and tried to fly slow during climb out to wait for Scott but I wanted to clear the airspace to not be a nuisance. The light wind on the ground rapidly gave way to a ripping tailwind and I was gone. I got a message from Scott saying he was hitting 50mph and couldn’t catch me. I really wanted to turn back to fly with him but I wasn’t 100% on my fuel situation so I pushed on. Thanks again for all the help Scott.

Normandy Lake

Picturesque does not adequately describe the flight out of Tullahoma. Everywhere you look there is something amazing, for the entire flight. It starts with Normandy Lake just to the North and just gets better as you go.

The air was fast at my back but buttery smooth. Perfect for a cross country flight.

I made much better time to Smithville than I had planned. I even beat the ground team. On landing I met up with some very special people. Some were expected, some were not.

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