What soars 700 feet above the trees and cruises at 27 mph? Me!

So I went up in Dad’s new SixChuter on Sunday, and took some film and still pics while dangling precariously above the earth for a couple hours. Photos here on Flickr, and Youtube videos here, including a beautiful sunset and a bumpy, windy landing. Flew alongside some ducks, startled some cows and horses, and flushed a huge owl out of the trees. Got lots of waves from people in lawn chairs and on porches.

me: “Hey, Dad, I brought my camera- I’m going to try to get some video while we are up.”

Dad: “Does that thing have a strap? Does it? Good. Better hold onto it, 'cause anything gets loose it flies directly into the prop and we’re going down. Okay?”

me: “urp.”

The take-off is the best: noisy motor winds up, then you are traveling along the grass faster than a dirt bike, and the sail behind you begins to inflate. With no warning at all, you are plucked gently from the ground as though God has you on the end of a string.

Any questions? Ask the chick who flew in the ultralight…


How much does one cost? What kind of certification do you need to fly it? Does it fit it the back of a truck?

Anywhere from $11,000 used to $25,000 new, fits on a trailer behind the truck, * medically certifiable * helps :wink: , but only a valid driver’s license is necessary to satisfy physical eligibility requirements.

(But Dad has his pilot’s license, and has all the GPS, beacons, and experience necessary to pass muster amongst fixed wing pilots at the airport.)

Definitely a cool machine. I remember when the FAA relaxed rules about ultralights. I’m pretty sure you can rent one in the Santa Inez valley (it’s where Sideways was shot). It’s fairly rural with pretty stable winds so I guess it would be safer. I’m kind of surprised I haven’t seen one on the coast here, but maybe there are restrictions in place. There’s lots of paragliding around here though.

Nice videos, I’m jealous. I’ve been up in a heavier two passenger thing with a hangglider sort of wing over Victoria Falls. Next time I’ve got 25 grand to blow, I’ll have to look into it.

Yeeeee-Ha!!! for you Beau… I love flying, and have always wanted to go up in an Ultralight. Can’t load the videos on slow ol’ dialup real well, but the photos are great. What a freeing way of flying. Did you feel at all vulnerable with nothing between the air and yourself ?

Wonderful cool guy Dad you have , too.

Are you going to do it more often?

Yeah, Dad’s cool. He is the original extreme athelete, always looking for new ways to scare us all.

I’ve flown in every different style of ultralight, and feel oddly safe in them- much safer than in fixed wing craft. You see, if the motor dies, or my untethered camera jumps into the prop, the parachute/wing ensures that I would gently float to the ground like a falling leaf. (At least, that is what I like to tell myself.)

It feels a little vulnerable to be hanging in the windy air, but it is worth swallowing any reservations just to see the hills and treetops without obstructions.

Every chance I get. I’m a hangar rat who will climb into a plane with any grinning pilot, but I think flying lessons are long overdue.

Well then, hie thee to a hangar and a flying instructor! I’d like to hear about your trials and tribulations.
I don’t know anyone personally that’s flown or got their license, so it could be enlightening.

The hangglider style of trike is much safer because the passenger can reach and control the wing should the pilot decide to take a nap, and the engine can safely be killed for long moments of silent gliding. Love those things. However… I once made the mistake of climbing in with a pilot wearing a Curious George t-shirt, who flew me over a beautiful canyon full of thorougbred horses. He killed the engine so that we could glide noiselessly on the thermals. Most beautiful experience of my life. Until George asked “Are you scared?” and after I stupidly replied in the negative, pulled the bar hard into his chest, causing the nose to point straight down, causing us to dive WFO at the ground below. Just when the horses fled in terror, he pushed the bar away, and we climbed straight up into the sky. As soon as I was able to catch my breath and scream for salvation, he did it again. And again, and again, and I think I blacked out, and I’m certain I peed a little.

When we were finally back on the ground my knees were jelly and I just collapsed on the ground beside the plane and quietly cursed George’s mother.

He didn’t exactly ruin me, because to this day I still love to fly in small craft. But I still hate Curious George.

Just go for those flying lessons, Beau. I’ve got two flight manuals that I’ve read, and had a chance to take some lessons on the cheap by someone who just wanted to pass it on for love of it; moved away and did not do it. Kickin’ myself now.

Hmm, simulpost…well, go for the flying lessons still. George was a baaaaddd lil macho monkey.

I’ll do it. My goal for this time next year is to shed the *hangar rat * title, and become “that crazy chick who scares my horses each Sunday”. LOUNE, will you be my first passenger, or will it be just me and elelle leading the next flock of sandhill cranes to Florida?

Sure! Lemme know when and where.