Icarus Trophy Report - Day 4

Ryan you can be my wingman any day.
— Byron

Byron Leisek and Ryan Southwell, dubbed ByRy, made it to the finish line Blackhawk Ranch just before sunset today. Flying as a team, this means they take joint second place in Race Class. 

Ryan continues to produce stunning pictures. Unsurprisingly, since he is a photographer by trade:

The night before the final push:

Everything is a blur... Ryan and I are getting it done. We landed at an airport that was miles from town with non...

Posted by Byron Leisek on Thursday, October 15, 2015
After a bunch of problems over the last three days with crash take-offs, being shit-scared, having bad weather and making bad decisions I was finally in the air and loving it.

Perfect smooth air, amazing scenery, super chilled out - probably my most relaxed flight ever.
— Claire Mackay

Further north, Claire Mackay, David Wainwright's student, finally got in the air this morning. For about half an hour. 

She was thirty minutes into the "best flight so far" when trouble struck. Testing out a new reserve fuel tank when the engine decided to cut out. Choosing a spot to land: "I thankfully picked the right field. It was right below me. But it could have been the one just down the road that had basketball sized boulders in it. It's always stressful - you are flying along, trying to look for possible landing options in case this happens. And then, when it does happen, you make a totally different decision!"  

Incredibly, a local saw her descent and came running across the fields to meet her. She had been watching the tracker when she'd heard Claire's approach, and according to Claire was able to identify her immediately. To you, Claire's volunteer rescuer and mystery Icarus fan, we extend a virtual salute. 

Claire reckons the problem with her engine, a dodgy reserve tank, is fixed now. This does mean she'll have to adapt tomorrow's flight plan because with her drastically reduced range, she'll struggle to make it all the way to the next airfield. Fingers crossed everything goes smoothly for her now. 

Ky also landed in a field. Although eyewitness Duncan describes it as more of a "brilliant face-plant."  We've got this picture of the aftermath:

Yup, look at that dust pattern. It may be circumstantial but then this isn't a court of law. Judge rules face-plant landing.

Much of the rest of Adventure Class spent the day flying hard: Mr Tom did an impressive three flights while Jason Taylor and James Borges made excellent progress to reach Chiloquin. Harry, Ed and Cayle were flying in formation when they passed the Icarus H.Q. RV.

As well as our pilots, the Icarus Trophy is supporting a growing entourage of pals and crew. The updates from them today sound as wholesome as an Enid Blyton novel. Killing time between rescues and bad conditions, they've been exploring an abandoned jet, enjoying a spot of swimming and cooking lots of food in a camper van. The highlight of Alex's day: "I cooked a lovely stew." Good.   

For tomorrow, we hope for continued good weather. And not just so we can get more of these:

Cayle Royce has set a trend of pilots sending us horrible close up photos of their ugly mugs in flight. Here's one of Shane Denherder! Keep them coming guys...#icarustrophy

Posted by Alex Ledger on Thursday, October 15, 2015

Now it's in the Race Report, we're anticipating more. As can you. 


If you think you could be a contender for the crown next year, or want to join the flying hobos in Adventure Class, applications are open for the 2016 Icarus Trophy.

The first 10 pilots to sign up will get in for the 2015 entry fee.

If you don't yet fly, there's still time to learn - Fisch has only been paramotoring for a year. Check out our training partners here.

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