Two Portland Flyers help with Master PPG 2 and 3.

One thing that makes a project like Master PPG doable is the people I get to work with. Such a great selection of humans—capable flyers and just plain fun to be around. A recent trip to Portland, Oregon is a good example.

Parts of the script address subtle differences between launching and flying high hook-in vs low hook-in machines. It’s not much, but warrants mention so I wanted to include it. I needed a modern designed low-hook in machine flown by pilots who are experienced with it. Given proper adjustment, the wobbling that many pilots, me included, find objectionable can be minimized and nearly eliminated. This video will showcase that fact and show how.

During a scheduled overnight in Portland, Martin Blazczyk and Steve Newman agreed to brave the cold for some demo flying while I taped. Normally Portland is relatively mild with highs around 45. Not this time. The night before they got snow fall. Again. But these guys are troopers and no mere snow was going to stop them.

Lighting, in general, was terrible, what with a thick overcast and all that white snow, but there are advantages, too. Namely, you don’t get shadows. And I do hope to get more footage but much of what I shot will certainly work for the planned narration and graphics.

I’m happy to have material that works. Even if I get better looking shots later, at least this is very functional. And these guys did a great job, especially considering the cold weather. It was cold enough that I turned down an opportunity to fly. Chilly and me just don’t see eye-to-eye.

Martin went first and did a perfect side hill launch, required of the direct crosswind.

Their motors, both 100 cc clutch driven affairs, struggled a bit with the cold but worked well enough once warmed up. Their wings, on the other hand, loved the cold. On one launch, Steve inflated perfectly, his motor petered out, and he just stood there with the wing hanging above in almost no wind. It was bizarre.

Both Martin and Steve did multiple fly bys both seated and hanging. I recorded 6 inflations from different angles and got several great shots of getting into the seat and others. It was fun and I got video to go with probably a full minute worth of script. Plus I’ll be able to use some of the footage as a foundation for graphics that will show proper setup.

Thanks to both for their hospitality and willingness to brave such unwelcoming weather.

Australia is next and we’ve got plans for a bunch of different types of shots there, weather permitting. Can’t wait. Even if we don’t get the first foot shot, it will be fun experiencing the other side of our world. Hopefully I don’t fall into space.