Ultralight Flight Over Puerto Lopez, Ecuador #AtoZChallenge
“You did what?!”
“Ultralights ARE deathtraps, Emily!”
“It’s not worth your life!”
“…and decided it was more likely I would land safely on the beach than crash into the ocean.”
So it went when I told my retired pilot father about my first ultralight flight.
I first saw the plane Friday afternoon. The pilot took off, looped the bay, and landed on the beach. I watched several takeoffs and landings, timed the flights (about 4 minutes), and yearned to see Puerto Lopez from the air.
Between flights, I asked the pilot how long he would be here (through Sunday) and how much was a flight ($10 USD). I left for an appointment, thinking what a rarity it is to see a sightseeing plane in Puerto Lopez.
Saturday morning, I watched the plane from my balcony until I left town for an overnight trip. By the time I returned Sunday afternoon, my yearning had not abated. Back on the balcony, the plane called to me over and over. I answered.
As we lifted off, my inner world was in turmoil. While chastising myself for risking my life and wondering what people would say if I died (“She KNEW ultralights were deathtraps!”), I realized I was not breathing. I gave myself a mental butt kicking. “If this is your last moment on Earth, enjoy it!”
Finally settled in, I had a blast. Dad wanted to hear all about it once I promised this was my last ultralight flight.
Have you been on a sightseeing flight? If yes, was it an ultralight? If no, would you go up in an ultralight?
A look back
Last year, I wrote Underwater Endangered Testudines (a.k.a. Sea Turtles)
I'm glad you also photo-documented your potential last moments of life… ;-p
I wanted to do the hot air balloons in Sedona but couldn't make plans fit. I'm sad about that, so glad you carpe'd pilot!
While I was up there, stories of people finding cameras on the ocean floor with still readable SD cards went through my head. LOL! I'm so glad I seized the opportunity, too.
Hot air balloons are beautiful but I'm pretty sure I could never go up in one. Sedona would be beautiful from one! Thank you for stopping by and commenting, Jz!
Oh my! What an incredible experience and view! All for $10!!!
I could never do it but glad you took the leap and shared the pics!
It was incredible! Thanks so much for stopping by and commenting, Laura.
Super! Great pics. And, yes, I would do it too! My daughter actually gave me a birthday gift of a flight in an ultralight several years ago. It was a high wing enclosed one. I loved it. She took a flight after me and the wind had picked up a bit and she got a bumpy ride.
Oh how cool, DC! It is amazing seeing things from the air yet still close enough to the ground that you can make it all out. Sorry her ride wasn't as smooth as yours. Thanks for sharing your experience!
so cool!! I can't believe you remembered to breathe much less take such good photos!!
Yes, glad I remembered to breathe and did not pass out. LOL! Thanks so much, Lisa!
Worth it for those images, stunning. I remember thinking the same when I did a skydive last year, thinking just as I was about to jump out a plane – 'what an idiot!', the enjoying the most amazing experience.
Wow, Iain! I can't even imagine skydiving! I can absolutely imagine having the same thought as I jumped out the plane, though. Thank you for sharing your experience!
So very cool! and such charming photos.
Thank you so much Nila!
Hi Emily – oh I'd do that … but glad your father enjoyed your tales of 4 minute travel. I've never had a chance – but definitely would … nor have I like Iain skydived – wouldn't do that … however I have had many a glide over the cliffs in Perranporth, Cornwall – amazing sport …
Does that chap go up and down the coast offering flights? Cheer Hilary
Gliding looks so peaceful, Hilary. I have not done it but maybe someday.
The pilot was visiting from elsewhere in South America and heading to Peru the day after my flight. He was here once before but I do not know if he will be back. Thank you!
Absolutely I would go!!! My husband felt the same way when he found out we were doing a Helocopter tour of Kauai with out the Doors so I could take better photos. It was GREAT. I LOVE your photos and am so glad you did not miss the chance. I think you would have regretted it!!!
Oh, Nancy, I am not sure about a helicopter ride without doors. Kauai would be an amazing island to see from above! It had to be incredible to see the cliffs, canyons, and waterfalls.
I am glad I did not miss the chance, too! You are right, I would have regretted it.
Laughing at flight without doors. Years ago at your Minnesota State Fair, the wife and I went up in a helicopter without doors. I sat on the outside seat. And, the pilot learned my wife would scream if he did wild antics, so we got a roller coaster ride.
Once upon a time, I belonged to a sailplane club up in Maryland. That was lots of fun!
I can just imagine the fun the pilot had with you and your wife, DC! A memorable one for certain.
Fabulous pictures! I'd be tempted to try, but probably would be persuaded not to.
Thank you AR!
Gorgeous photos and a great story to tell, as well. I admire your spunk.
Thank you Ally!
"If this is your last moment on Earth, enjoy it!" I love that! What an adventure.
Facing Cancer with Grace
Thank you Heather! Glad I said it before we were landing. It was a great adventure!
I taught ultralight flying for many years. They are a lot of fun and are an incredible type of flying. They are not deathtraps. LOL
Dad has lost too many pilot friends over the years to ultralight mishaps so his dislike of them is understandable to me. I did have tons of fun in my four minute ride! Thanks Bill!
i always wanted to try one but never got the courage to do so..maybe some day….
Tongue Twister for V
I never expected to have the courage, either, DeeDee. The limited opportunity window played a big part in my going. It was now or possibly never so I went with now. Hope you have a chance!
J Lenni Dorner
What a great post! I love the views from this. What a great adventure. Thanks so much for sharing this. Happy A to Z.
Thank you J! It was a great adventure! Happy A to Z to you, too.
Ronel Janse van Vuuren
Yeah, I don’t like heights. It looks like you had a great time, though 🙂
Ronel from Ronel the Mythmaker A-Z road-tripping with Everything Writerly: U is for Understanding
Ultralight flying would not be the adventure for you then, Ronel. Thanks for A-Z road-tripping!