Friday, October 09, 2009


After listening to some encouraging words, I have decided to keep my Pterodactyl project and keep on building. I've done the math and I'm about $850 from it being complete. To be safe, we'll say it's $1,000 from being complete. I have about $250 of that $1,000 right now, so I have $750 to go. A lot has happened since my last update on the Dac so expect a video or something of the sort soon.

Training is a whole other issue that I'll have to address. It looks like the FAA, who always emphasizes safety when in public, isn't allowing folks full access to safe ultralight flying. We are back to the 80's when people were dying left and right due to the lack of proper training.


Jack Fleetwood said...

So the last post looked like you were done and moving on. Now it seems you're going to finish it. No more silent P had me guessing! I was hoping Powered Parachute - I really love mine!

Don't give up on the training, it's not that hard. Find someone training in a Quicksilver for SP. There's nothing saying you have to finish the training. Train until you and the instructor think you're qualified and then go fly! I know you may have to travel a little to do this, but there has to be someone not too far from you.

Mark Zinkel said...

You were close Jack. I was thinking about getting into paragliding and then eventually powered paragliding. I was frustrated because I thought my project was further behind than it actually was. Sometimes my perfectionist attitude comes back to haunt me.

You would think that powered paragliding would be less expensive than standard ultralights, but it isn't. At least the initial costs are more expensive. I would expect operating costs would probably be a bit lower, but who knows.


Jack Fleetwood said...

I used to fly powered paragliders, but I didn't enjoy running with 75lbs. on my back. I love powered parachutes.

With the powered paragliders, I find that most of my friends have a lot of engine issues. It's usually not a safety issue, but it can get expensive!

Stick with it, you'll enjoy the Pterodactyl. It's a cool machine.

Anonymous said...

Hi Mark, came across your blog while googling something else. Glad to see you're hanging in thre with the 'dac; I've never flown one but they're supposed to be a blast. To clarify one thing, though... the FAA isn't prohibiting training in ELSA's, rather they're prohibiting training FOR HIRE in ELSA's. But, it also looks like they will be working around this by issuing deviations since there are so few slower SLSA's available. Jack's right that you don't need to do a full SP course, but just enough to be safe to fly the 'dac.

I gotta differ with Jack on one thing though, I've flown PPG for 8 years now and compared with the snappy handling of a PPG I personally find PPC's somewhat boring. To each his own, though. I'm flying my UltraStar more than the PPG now since it's the "new toy", but it's different... I'm not giving up the PPG either.

Mark Zinkel said...

Thanks Dana,

I sure hope that the FAA comes up with a reasonable solution. I'll cross my fingers that's what will happen. If not, I will have to break the law in the name of safety.

Enjoy flying your UltraStar. That's another cool airplane.