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Pal Takats flew over Mt. Fuji

Pal Takats got off the plane, started his motor and flew from the shores of the Pacific Ocean to Mt. Fuji, Japan.

“Less than 24 hours after arriving to Japan and still fighting serious jet-lag, I managed to overfly Mount Fuji (3,776m) !!! It was simply insane, a dream coming true! 55 km flight with an altitude gain of 4200 meters, launching and landing at the shores of the Pacific Ocean!”

For more about Pál Takáts latest adventure: http://paltakats.com/blog/paramotor-overfly-mount-fuji

 

Video: Island Hopping by Emilia Plak

Constantly looking for adventure and challenge, Ozone team pilot Emilia Plak had an idea to make an over sea flight crossing from Menorca to Mallorca Island, Spain. In late September on a Saturday morning, she took off from Ciutadella in Menorca and 1,5 hours and 68 km later landed in port Alcudia of Mellorca. She flew with a Slalom 19 and was accompanied by another pilot flying the new Roadster 2 26.

Emilia reports:

“Baleares islands are a one night ferry ride away form my house. We didn’t think much about the plan. As soon as the weather looked more or less OK we took a ferry to Menorca. We had no boat following us but we were equipped with all possible safety equipment: GPS, iPhone, Agama water rescue system, life jackets, wet suit, knife, smoke system, torch and … an airbed from a Chinese shop.

“There will be plenty of boats crossing from Menorca to Mallorca during weekend” – said my friend, when we were discussing the plan. In reality there were NO boats at all! Fortunately we had an emergency contact in Mallorca. The flight went incredibly well despite the visibility that day being really bad. After only 30 minutes of flight, we had already lost Menorca from sight. We both flew with trimmers set to have a good compromise between economy and speed, and the average speed was 45 km/h. There was no need to rush. We both prefer to relax and enjoy the flight rather than flying full speed to reach the land as fast as possible. Our max altitude was 100 m and min … 1 m. Yes, I know, it was low but we both agreed this would be an over water flight with all the risk involved rather than hanging in the air too high, being cold and seeing nothing. Seeing only big blue water, huge fish, birds doing wingtip touches and your flying buddy for an hour was incredible! We did approximately 68 km in about 1,5 hour and burn only 6 lliters of fuel each. The next few days the weather conditions were not good enough to make the next crossing from Mallorca to Ibiza. We managed to make two more local flights in Mallorca and Ibiza and head back home. The next crossing adventure has to wait until my next visit.

For me this adventure was amazing but I don’t want you to think that I encourage pilots to fly over water. Flying over water with a paramotor is dangerous. If you do so, it is very important to be aware of all the risks involved and to take all possible safety equipment, wear life jacket, buy an Agama system, and to inform and ask your friends to be ready for a boat rescue mission.”

Emilia Plak

Paramotors: PAP PA125
Wings: Roadster 2 26, Slalom 19
Time of the flight: 1,5 h
Fuel used: 5 liters each
Distance flown: 68 km/h
Average speed: 45km/h

All numbers are only approximate estimations.

Desert Dunes

Combining PPG with other sports can make both disciplines more fun and interesting. Lord Maude Visionary Film Worx recently produced a short piece in cooperation with “Just Gas it”. In it, Ozone team pilot, Emilia Plak, flies her Ozone Slalom 16 together with three top enduro riders across the desert dunes of the UAE.

 

Emilia Plak and Mathieu Rouanet in Myanmar

In December 2013, Ozone Paramotor Team Pilots, Mathieu Rouanet and Emilia Plak, visited Myanmar where they flew some beautiful sites including the World famous Bagan temples – an ancient city located in the Mandalay Region. Bagan was made famous in the movie, “Samsara”.

Emilia reports:

“Mathieu and I went to Myanmar to be the first paramotor pilots to fly in Myanmar and over the Bagan temples with authorization. We were invited by Herve Flejo, a Frenchman, who has lived in Myanmar for over 20 years and is a passionate microlight pilot. He organized everything for us: hotels, transportation and authorization to fly.

Since the beginning of our trip I was amazed by the country, landscape, and kind smiling local people. We were traveling during 10 days starting from Yangon, visiting the scenic Inle lake, where we did our first flights. The main goal was to fly over Bagan. We arrived there in the afternoon and we easily found a place to take off for the first flight the same day in the evening. I remember very well this moment when, for the first time, we saw Bagan temples from flight. What a breathtaking view! We did 3 – 4 flights there and during one of them I landed out on an island in the middle of the river. I couldn’t take off again but fortunately local people arrived to take me to the mainland by small boat. It was a real challenge to explain to them where to take me as they did not speak even one word of English.

The most memorable flight for me was in tandem with Mathieu in the morning over Bagan, together with 10 hot air balloons.  For sure it was one of the most beautiful paramotor flights I have ever done.

Myanmar is not an easy country to visit with a paramotor. It’s still military controlled and you can be arrested for flying without permission. I hope to come back there one day to fly in different locations, and to find out more about this wonderful culture and kind people.

Mathieu and I would like to thank Herve Flejo for making this wonderful adventure happen.”

Here is a video from their trip:

Ozone Welcomes Pal Takats to the Team

We are pleased to announce that our friend, Pal Takats, has joined the Ozone Team.

Pal is young, but is already a three-time World Champion and one of the most talented pilots in the history of paragliding with a long and impressive career in the sport. We look forward to flying with him for many years to come!

In the very near future we will be announcing a Trickster 2, which is the “easiest” competition acro wing that we have developed so far. Pal will be flying the Trickster 2 along with a full complement of Ozone wings, from the Fazer 2 to the Enzo 2 and everything in between. His PPG flying skills are also on the rise, and we are confident that he has a very bright future in all branches of our sport.

For more info on Pal, check out his website, and facebook page.

Emilia’s Chilean Adventure

After 3 months of travel with Mathieu Rouanet in Peru, Chile and Bolivia in 2009, I missed South America a lot. I was happy to receive an invitation from our Ozone distributor in Chile, Francisco Fluxa (FLX Parapente www.flxparapente.cl) to make a paramotor show in Santiago during Feria Pro Tiempo Libre – a big event for outdoor sports in early autumn. Apart from the Feria and the show I had no other plans for my time in Chile… and that’s how three months of adventure began!

Feria was a big event organized by Santiago City to promote outdoor sports. Paragliding and paramotor was a discipline represented by Francisco Fluxa and local pilots from Santiago. Francisco and I made a PPG show over the city of Santiago flying Slalom 19 and Speedster 19, Here is a video:

I travel a lot all around the World with my motor and I have to admit that the warm welcome I received in Chile was wonderful and totally unexpected. As soon as I arrived I had some problems with my luggage (not all of my paramotor arrived) – everything was sorted and organized for me within a few days. I received invitations from local pilots to visit many places in Chile and Argentina to fly PPG with local pilots. I visited all the nearest to Santiago local flying sites such as: Colina, Vizcachas, Maintencillo. I also had the opportunity to fly with Elke Reinarz in Puerto Montt, who is the only female PPG pilot in Chile. Elke’s house is situated on the cliff above the beautiful bay of Couhuin, and we had a great time flying together for several weeks.

Video with Elke Reinarz, in Puerto Montt:

YoutubeHD:470,300,ofurHwBUpc4

Another event, this time in Licanray, was at a lake surrounded by volcanic mountains. Many PPG pilots arrived from Santiago and Temuco. It was the biggest number of Chilean PPG pilots that had ever met in one place in Chile. The weather was wonderful and we enjoyed many hours flying together. The biggest gift for my last flight in Chile was an evening fight to the beautiful Villarrica Volcano. The late hour and the lack of power in high altitude didn’t allow me to climb all the way to the top but I was within 200m of the summit (Villarrica is 2847)! Landing in the campsite after the dark I thought to myself, “next time! At least I have another good reason to come back to Chile.”

Thank you my Chilean friends for all your help and sharing so much time together! See you next year, you are awesome!

Exploring South Africa by Speedster

We were camping at the Khaya in the Witteberg reserve with friends, and I grabbed the maiden flight for the area on the first evening just before sunset.  The wind was very strong the next day, so we went on a 4WD trail instead, but our last morning dawned with a favourable forecast.  I had planned a route to take advantage of the wind directions, flying south and west into wind and then using the tailwind to return.  The area is very remote, with alternating mountain ridges and flatland valleys leading up to the Witteberge themselves.  True to the Karoo, it’s a whole lot of desolation scattered with a handful of isolated farms; the mountains themselves have many hidden, trackless valleys.  Not the sort of place you’d like to be stranded… but the rewards are great.  Many of the old farms have been converted over the years to game farms and nature reserves.  I packed spare water, energy bars, flares and survival kit and filled my tank to the brim.  Launching at 3000ft above sea level with a heavily loaded, fully-fueled paramotor is not for the faint of heart, but the Ozone Speedster lifted off without difficult and carried me into the unknown.

My first leg was through the southern end of the WPNR into beautiful flatlands.  Eastwards I could see the Anysberg National Park, and the land unrolling beneath me was soon dotted with curious springbok, twitching their tails in uncertainty as to whether I was a threat.  I flew into a gentle southerly, but with trims open maintained a comfortable 40 km/h ground speed.  Although it was early, the sun breaking through patchy clouds was generating small thermals.  This called for constant throttle adjustments; I tried flying at various levels but eventually settled for cruising at 300ft above ground and riding it out.  After 20 minutes of southward progression I turned west along a valley, rewarded with views of some ruined stone farmhouses and dilapidated kraals.  A hefty eland bull regarded me with contempt while his two cows batted their ears.

The valley widened, and in the distance I could see a large farm, my first accessible bail-out point after flying 50 minutes. I checked fuel carefully.  I had been observing that the wind was very westerly in the valley I had been flying, which was limiting my ground speed and increasing fuel burn.  I wasn’t sure whether this was due to the topography or if the forecast was wrong, but my fuel situation was just acceptable:  more than one-third into my planned route I had used 5 of my 14 litres supply.  To be safe, I decided to shorten the route, and climb through a valley 10km closer.  Turning north, I ran low-level thorough beautiful vlakte devoid of any sign of human influence.  A startled group of rhebok cantered off on a tangent; a single massive but elegant gemsbok shook its long horns at me. I began to climb into the mountains.

The westerly wind was blocked in the valley, and in its absence the thermals had been building.  Feeling the familiar lag of the wing dropping back as we entered a thermal, I throttled back in anticipation of the exit, but after a few seconds was still climbing.  A brain-switch flipped; suddenly I wasn’t a paramotor pilot but an XC paraglider.  Leaving the throttle I threw my weight over, pulled in the trims and was soon lazily circling at 1.8m/sec upwards in a beautiful morning thermal.  What a pleasure…and good for fuel consumption!  The bliss was prematurely terminated; reaching ridge-height the thermal rapidly became turbulent and then broke up.  I checked my drift and realised the cause:  the westerly wind was in fact a north-westerly that had been channelled along the valley, 90 degrees off the forecast!  This was bad news:   1h15 into my flight I had burned 9 litres, and still needed to fly back across a head-wind.  Opening the trims again, I angled towards the only road leading back to the reserve.  A small herd of zebra ran along my path, almost as if to offer encouragement.

Reaching the road I turned and kept low, using the hills to funnel the wind into a tailwind.  My fuel was receding into the bottom of the tank, but now I could see the mouth of Elandskloof and the WPNR ahead.  I gave up on checking fuel checked possible landing fields as they passed.  Coming into the valley, I made a quick radio call: “Witteberg International, WMX approaching low-level from the north, requesting expedited landing runway 01.”  I could hear the laughter in the background as my wife answered from the “tower” (our tent): “WMX, land at your own discretion!”  The Speedster descended me gently through the turbulence, and I took a few minutes to enjoy the silence and smell of mountain fynbos before checking the fuel one last time.  Just over a litre remained… but my tank of experiences was full to the brim.

Ross Hofmeyr, SA

The track log on Leonardo can be found here.

Andy Campbell: Pushing the Limits

At the beginning of the summer, a relatively new PPG pilot named Andy Campbell contacted us looking for information on the Speedster. When we learned about what he planned to do with it, we immediately offered our support for his amazing 30,000 mile journey around the world. Andy is a paraplegic and has just begun his incredibly long trip, which will take him across Europe and Asia, through the Pacific, and then the entire length of North and South America. Not only content to simply circumnavigate the globe, Andy is crossing the longest sections of several continents, from the UK to southern China and then from Alaska to Tierra del Fuego!

Andy’s adventure includes several means of transportation, including hand-cycle, kayak, paramotor, kite buggy, and wheelchair. His route will see him across the wilds of Kazakhstan, the Gobi Desert, the Alaskan wilderness, the Mississippi River, and the interminable difficulties of the Pan-American highway. We are, simply put, very impressed.We are also very proud that Andy chose an Ozone Speedster to get him through the airborne sections of his journey, and we look forward to hearing his feedback on the wing’s performance. Andy will be flying a custom trike supplied by Parajet with his Speedster.

For more info on his truly inspirational journey, check out his blog: http://pushingthelimits.com/30000-miles/ and be sure to like him on facebook.
Cheers from all the Team, and best of luck!

Paramotoring With Rob Whittall

Rob Whittall, co-founder of Ozone Paragliders and chief designer of Ozone Kites and Speed-Wings, recently starred in this short film about the beautiful PPG flying in New Zealand. The footage is inspiring on many levels – the natural vistas of the NZ coast, the tranquil glides over green landscapes, and the convenience of taking off and landing from home without being at the mercy of thermals 😉

Although Ozone started as a pure free-flight company, we have enjoyed expanding into PPG wings and of course all aspects of kiting… we continue to urge dedicated free-flyers to discover the pleasure of PPG flying, it is a splendid branch of our sport!

Cheers from all the Team.

The Firefly Goes to Hawaii

After a tough winter in the northern hemisphere, we decided to send the Firefly to Hawaii to get some sun and a bit of ocean air. The resulting video is a beautiful tour of the island of Oahu, with a few members of the Ozone Team showing you how versatile and fun the Firefly is. If you haven’t yet soared or foot-launched a Firefly, then you’re missing out! Get a demo from your local Ozone dealer and experience the stable speed and ultra-compact feel of this exciting new toy for your collection.

Cheers from all the Team, and happy soaring!