George's legs over Arakao crater, Niger

George starting a take-off in Kenya

About Flying

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Getting there

The whole thing packs up into three bags weighing less than 50 lbs (23 kg.) which is the limit for standard baggage on most commercial aircraft. Thus I enter most countries without significant problems from customs or aviation authorities. I don’t need an airfield for take-off or landing, only a clear area a little larger than a basketball court. This has allowed me to fly in countries where aerial photography is very restricted like China, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Oman, Libya, South Sudan, Algeria, and Morocco. In the US, the aviation authorities consider it an experimental aircraft, and no license is required for either pilot or aircraft. Upon arrival I have to spend a few hours assembling and tuning the motor, and then it all fits through the rear door of a 4×4 car, or onto the back of a camel, speed boat, or canoe. With ten liters of gasoline mixed with 2% oil, I can fly for 2-3 hours. It’s a beautiful thing.

Camera equipment

For taking photos I rely on one camera body and a couple of lenses. Digital cameras have made my life much easier, and many of my Canon lenses have image stabilization built into them. I prefer zoom lenses in flight as they save me from having to change lenses often. On a motorized paraglider, there is nowhere to put anything except for a few zippered pouches strapped into my flight harness. Flying this kind of aircraft is an exercise in minimalism, and anything that adds weight or complication detracts from airworthiness.