My first motor was (I still have it as of 2019) a direct drive Fly 70, modified by my instructor Mark Sorenson, no a SWA 737 Captain. Being a direct drive the propeller spun at ear-splitting speed, pushing the air away with sheer volume. That’s all I knew, though. It’s all I had. And I was desperate to get in the air so, while I would try to minimize my noise footprint, it was a nearly futile effort. Kinda like trying to be quiet with a chain saw: there’s only so much you can do.

Pictures below were of a couple of those early sessions including one at my brother Mike’s house. Sadly, it’s lost on me who the photographers were.

Another observation is that I’m already footdragging. That started probably on my first flight at home. At least the attempts. No doubt it didn’t go well and I had to run it out several times, but at least you’re already on the ground. Learning this stuff was invigorating–like discovering that you have superpowers if you can just launch that pig of a wing. Nothing against the Apco Santana but it was made for mountains; the steep slopes of which made coming overhead less of an issue than surging too far forward. That wasn’t my situation and she was none too thrilled about coming up in no wind.

One time at home, early on, it took me 5 tries to get airborne. And no doubt I would have (unwisely) tried another 5 had that one not worked.