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PILOT'S CORNER

Walter Engelken's Summit Powered Parachute.

In early January 2005 I began communicating with PPC companies and began a necessary process of elimination. In the process, I established a great exchange with people excited about this industry. One can buy any of the machines I looked at and be a happy flyer; I have no doubt. I narrowed it down to five manufacturers and had fun. However, my attention kept going back to the Summit’s visual simplicity and clean design (I also liked the steering/instrument system and foot controls). Having an engineering background, the frosting on the cake for me came after spending considerable time in Summit’s web page going through the details of construction. One can get right down to the nuts and bolts and see how this machine goes together and why it has such physical strength. 

My first flight in a PPC was in March (Blue Heron) and it was great. A club in the Houston area (Bay Area Recreational Flying Club) invited me to check them out and go for a ride. It’s a growing group of flyers with a current membership of about thirty-two. I will be joining their fun.

I have waited over 40 years to achieve my dream of flying; but I never dreamed that something like a PPC would be the “bird.” After a long and busy day of training on the beach near San Luis Pass, Texas (20 miles west of Galveston) I took to the air on August 7, 2005 about 6:00 PM and realized that flying the machine is totally different than riding in one. You and the PPC become one and soaring like our feathered friends becomes total reality. More simply stated its pure magic and medicine for a flyer’s soul.

 To my knowledge, this is the first Summit-II in the Houston area. My trainer had seen the web page but had never seen one up close. He was pleasantly surprised and kept walking around it saying “sweet.” His attention later settled into the details of engineering and he loved the beautiful GSC three blade wood prop. Like I said, one can buy any of several PPCs and be totally happy, but if you ever see a Summit-II, or just simply study it on their web page, you can’t ignore its uniqueness and how well it is constructed.


Sincerely,

Walter Engelken
Houston, Texas

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