November 15, 2020. Sunday morning was an early morning for most of the group as some of the pilots had to begin their travels back home. As the group began to disband there were some that got in a few more flights in Glamis that morning. Others were headed back to Phoenix to catch their flights home.
November 16, 2020. Monday was a recovery day as those of us that were back in the Phoenix area cleaned up our equipment and rental vans for their return. That evening a group of four remaining pilots were fortunate enough to finish off the trip in high fashion. They were able to gain permission to fly from the Pinal Air Park just north west of Tucson. This site is significant because it is one of the largest staging locations for commercial airliners in the United States. The airport is famous due to the sheer number of large commercial planes parked all around the property. Many of the planes are in a mothball status awaiting a return to active flying. It was immensely enjoyable finishing up the trip by flying among such giants of the sky while being strapped into a small two stroke motor and a nylon wing over your head.
The following day everyone was either already home or on their way.
From the outset, the purpose of Adventure Wingman was to do something outside the norm while sharing the experience in a way to expand the sport. I would contend that this group absolutely encapsulated the ideals and goals of Adventure Wingman. Nowhere else has such a diverse group of disabled and adaptive veterans been brought together for such an incredible type of adventure. Although the flights were not as challenging as say an Icarus race scenario, each location presented their own challenges for the pilots. As a group they overcame these challenges and had an amazing time.
The greatest validation for the experience had to have come from a number of different instructors that have been involved in international adventure flying. They stated that this event was one of the best trips they have ever been on. That sentiment was shared by nearly all of the pilots. The greatest challenge now is planning the next trip and trying to replicate the magic that so many of us experienced on this trip.
Thanks and acknowledgments: I have to thank Miroslav Svec, Adventure Wingman, Scout Paramotors and the Scout owners for allowing this dream of a trip to become a reality. It was Miro’s vision of expanding horizons through adventure flying that was the spark to organize this trip. For that, thank you Miro.
Special thanks also go out to the Instructors and Schools that attended and provided support on this adventure. Without their assistance and support, this trip would not have been nearly the success that is turned out to be.
Team Fly Halo – Canyon Hansen and Boyd Stratton
One Up Adventures – Travis Burns and Kyle Mooney
FlyMIPPG – Mike Cotter and Justin Fox
Nebraska Paramotor – Josh Boden
Predator Paramotor – Chris Holbert
Class Q Airspace – Johnson Qu
Desert Aviators LLC – Jeff Fletcher
I must also thank all of the supporters that have made donations to Resurgence PPG to support our programs of getting veterans in the air. We hope this adventure solidifies your belief in our cause and motivates you to share our story and mission with others.
This adventure was captured by numerous camera men and is currently in editing in the hopes that we will have an amazing documentary about this trip in the not too distant future. Please stay tuned for the release.