Stories from The Sky: A brow shaves the day

A missing vehicle, punctured clouds and an eyebrow. What do any of these have in common with Paramotoring?

Just one of many memorable flights.

Paramotoring in Kenya with SkySchool

It was August 2014 and we were about to puncture through some very thick clouds having taken off from The Great Rift Valley in Kenya for what would turn out to be an epic African adventure. Conditions above the clouds were near perfect as we navigated our way to our illustrious 5-star safari lodge. Alas, with any good adventure, drama is always hiding behind the silver lining. On day 12, a ground support vehicle went missing…

What started out as a three-week Flying for Heroes expedition in Kenya, as in any epic adventure, a necessary detour ensued to recover the missing support crew which had literally vanished.

Due to a lack of fuel we had been forced to leave 1 ParaTrike with the support crew and fly the other 2 ParaTrikes on to a remote game reserve called Ol Malo. Some 5 hours after our arrival at Ol Malo, where we were treated every luxury known to man, the support cew had still not arrived! We were forced to comission the use of our host’s airplane and go in search of our missing team members. In the meantime, and during all this mayhem, the support team had managed to rip the axle off the ParaTrike which was being towed behind one of the land rovers.

Our elevated advantage of the airplane came in handy and enabled us to send the much-needed directions to a truck in order to recover the damaged paratrike. You would have thought the fun ended there.

Oh no, the “bet” was yet to come.

Kester Haynes, who has been part of the SkySchool Team since 2007, had helped me train the group of WIS how to fly the three Xcitor ParaTrikes specifically for this expedition. He was also the official mechanic for the expedition and unflappable in the face of adversity, he confidently announced he could fix the axle, even though the spares truck had broken down 150k away and our Ops Manager John Coles had been arrested for venting his frustration on the local garage owner’s head. Amidst laughter at Kester’s declaration, Ed Sroud wagered him an eyebrow that it couldn’t be fixed. Not a man to back away from such a challenge, Kester set out to save his countenance!

This led to another adventure in the airplane to collect the spare parts and after a sleepless night slaving away in the hanger, the expedition continued with us back in the air minus an eyebrow. Not Kester’s however. He had fixed the axle, much to the dismay of (Ed)’s missing brow.

Our Flying for Heroes expedition pushed onward to Ol Jogi, a stunning 250,000 acre Rhino sanctuary. Nothing compares to viewing such magnificent landscape and game from an unencumbered seat on a paratrike (even sans one heroic eyebrow). It spells out thrill and freedom like nothing else.

I eagerly look forward to seeing you make your own stories from the sky.

Happy landings,

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