Sunday, July 07, 2019

Luis Ruiz arrived early at the Parque del Norte in Hatillo and his first reaction was to suspend the activity. Clouds passed very fast from early in the morning through the area indicating strong winds for what would be the day of flights in the area. Little did Luis imagine, that by giving an opportunity to the day, this would become a memorable day for all those who said present.

It turns out that today, after several months of absence for professional reasons, the pilot Carlos Cándido Rodríguez (CC) made an appearance. Together with Luis, also present were, Chey Sánchez and his wife Arlene, Luis’ wife, Jessica with her children Ian Darrell and Noah Enrique, Pablo Cruz and his wife Millie, Juan Carlos Correa, Gregory Santiago, Omar Román, Randy Tirado, David Silva and public interested in sports.

In the morning, the firsts to fly were Luis and Omar. Meanwhile, the rest of the pilots arrived from their respective towns. The wind, although strong, was laminar, and flyable.

With the arrival of Juan Carlos and CC, we began to evaluate the possibility of flying all the way to “Las Criollas” beach of Barceloneta. A big party called “Mojanola” was carried out with a lot of public and artists. This locates about 18 miles away from Parque del Norte. So we decided to try it around noon, if things did not go well with the wind, Pablo would go to the Posa del Obispo in Arecibo with extra gasoline to land there to recharge. The distance to Faro and Posa del Obispo are mostly the middle of the distance, 10.2 miles.

The wind although laminar was at noon at 18 mph with some gusts above 20 mph. Given these conditions, we decided to do it … Pilots who signed up were, Luis Ruiz, Carlos Cándido, Omar Román, Chey Sánchez, Juan Carlos Correa, Gregory Santiago and the rookie pilot Randy Tirado.

With the assistance of Pablo in the area, all the pilots were leaving. Randy demonstrating great progress along with the most experienced pilots. Not everything was easy at the start, but everyone went to the air. Luis was the last to leave but with his fast paraglider Apco NRG PRO was catching up with the rest of the pilots on the way. Once we passed the Arecibo Harbor, the wind continued to increase. Suddenly we found ourselves flying in winds above 23 mph with some gusts that probably touched the 30 mph intensity 😲!!!!. Chey indicated on the radio that he barely reached 5 mph and has his paraglider at the maximum speed trimmer setting.

Este vuelo salió de El Gran Parque del Norte en Hatillo hasta la Poza del Obispo en Arecibo. De frente tenemos el Arecibo Lighthouse. Un día espectacular con mucho viento.

Posted by Radames Tirado Zapata on Sunday, July 7, 2019

Posted by Carlos Candido Rodriguez on Sunday, July 7, 2019

Once we arrived at the Posa del Obispo, and with winds of over 20 mph, Luis was the first to land. Little by little he was followed by the rest of the pilots who faced problems in controlling the paraglider once they reached the ground. Once everyone arrived in the area, we took some well-deserved minutes of rest in the area. Pablo had taken a pickup and we were discussing how many paramotors could be climbed into the truck before the possibility of not being able to take off in that wind.

Given this situation, Luis decided to launch and fly to Hatillo. Luis registered speeds of 67 mph 😲 down the Arecibo Lighthouse area (winds higher than 30 mph are estimated to be able to do this.) The flight time to return to Hatillo was only 12 minutes.

Once Luis left, Gregory decided to try it, and I manage to leave as well. This raised the flag and nobody wanted to leave in the pick up anymore. Everyone wanted to take off. One by one, again assisted by Pablo and Ian, they left, and that included Randy despite the advice that he did not. But in the only attempt that was given, he controlled the paraglider very well and went flying.

Posted by Carlos Candido Rodriguez on Sunday, July 7, 2019

This led to all the pilots reuniting back in Hatillo after the flight. And in what arrived Pablo, we thought that Randy came in the pick up . Once Pablo arrived, we were all scared since Pablo indicated that he did not bring it, that Randy had flown down. Calls to his cell phone were not answered. He was supposed to be with us for some time now 😲…

We mobilized, but to where ?, a friend of Pablo had called him indicating that he had seen someone flying low over the Sam’s Club area (this eventually result that was CC). So 2 pick up were going there. When leaving the area in those minutes of anguish, Randy finally communicated by phone … It turns out that he was recording a video “Live”, and because know little about the area, he had passed the fly area and had reached flying “El Guajataca” in Quebradillas🙄!!!. Everything was fine, but we had to look for it in Quebradillas …

Posted by Radames Tirado Zapata on Sunday, July 7, 2019

Once all gathered in Hatillo, we were hearing the stories of Randy, who definitely had more than memorable day. We always thank God for these opportunities that allow us to live💪💪💪.

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