Paramotor Pilots A First For Amigo Airsho

POSTED: Friday, October 21, 2011 - 6:29pm

UPDATED: Friday, October 21, 2011 - 9:28pm

The Blue Angles will have to share the skies at this weekend's Amigo Airsho with an aircraft many people aren't familiar with. We're talking about two guys out doing stunts on their paramotors. So, what are those, you ask? "They strap a backpack with a fan and an engine and a paraglider over their head and they fly around all over the place," said Glenn Tupper, one half of the El Paso Paramotor Demonstration Team.

"Other aircraft you're stuck in a cockpit behind glass and we feel the Gs. We feel bugs in our face. It's great!" said Lee Boone, Glenn's paramotor partner.

Flying at 1,200 ft. above the ground, Glenn and Lee have been practicing at a field in Santa Teresa for their big debut at the Amigo Airsho.  "We're going to be the first people starting the show and 30 minutes after the Blue Angels land, we're going to be the last people, so we're starting it and finish it," said Glenn.

Even more exciting for the two is that what they're doing has never been done at the air show before.  "This is a first for the Amigo Airsho and for many air shows around the nation because powered paragliding is still pretty much in its infancy and isn't real well known," said Lee.

Glenn did his first paramotor ride while stationed in Korea three years ago and ever since, he's been hooked.Glenn's nearly 50 lbs. $10,000 equipment includes a helmet cam on which he records his flights.

And since finding out they'd be performing at the air show, Glenn and Lee have been practicing about 10 hrs. a week for the past couple of months. They'll be doing different acrobatic maneuvers during their 30 minute show.

"We're going to be doing seecross spirals, where we fly very close together in a spiral dive all the way to the ground from about 1,000 feet," said Lee. "We're also flying in close proximity to each other, touching our wing tips. And also doing a double decker, where he come in and actually lands on top of my wings and we fly for a few hundred feet."

There's plenty more in store and they say they can't wait to introduce El Pasoans to something new. "This is a really good way to get the sport out to the general public and let the general public see what we're about and what we can do," said Glenn.

Glenn and Lee are performing on Saturday and Sunday from 10:00 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. and from 4:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

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