Flying Expeditions » Bolivia 2007

Bolivia 2007

Dean Paramotoring over the Bolivian rain forest at SunsetIn July and August 2007 SkySchool supported John Blashford Snell and the Scientific Exploration Society on an expedition in search for a remote meteorite crater in the middle of the Bolivian rain forest. This was the first time Paramotors had been for a scientific purpose. Dean Eldridge, a SkySchool Instructor, and Mark Williams, a SkySchool Pilot, made up the Paramotoring team. Their equipment comprised of two specially modified H&E 220 Paramotors, Paramania Revolution Powergliders and Gin One G Reserves, all supplied by SkySchool. The Expedition team, led by John Blashford Snell, comprised of 19 people each with unique skills ranging from Dentists and Doctors to Archaeologists and Geologists. The main aim was to research and document a previously unexplored meteorite crater thought to be the largest meteorite to hit earth in the past 10,000 years.

The Purpose

The Paramotors were to be used to support the main expedition team on the ground and act as a reconnaissance unit in search for routes to the crater and water sources. Unfortunately Mark's Paramotor was damaged in transit which meant Dean had to fly solo. Throughout the 6 week expedition Dean carried out no less than 50 flights and logged over 60 hours in the air. He proved to be a vital resource for the forward meteorite team, not only by searching for routes and water sources but also by relaying important radio messages to the main expedition team back at base.

The Results

Dean Eldrige preparing to Paramotor in the Bolivian sunrise

John Blashford Snell wrote the following; ''With spectacular skills, paramotor pilot, Dean Eldridge, took off from the village football pitch to carry out an aerial photo mission of the site. Villagers watched in awe. ‘He is talking with the angels,’ a mother told her child. Dean Eldridge continued to undertake vital flights in the paramotor, seeking water sources and routes for expedition vehicles through the challenging terrain.'' John Blashford Snell described the expedition as being ''one of the SES´s most successful blends of scientific discovery and community aid under very difficult conditions.'' Due to the success of this expedition John Blashford Snell and Alex Ledger from SkySchool have teamed up to run a scientific expedition to Botswana in 2009 using Paramotors and a variety of other adventurous craft.

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