By LEIGH C. MERRIFIELD
News & Journal Editor
Sporting activities are popular hobbies – golfing, biking, jogging, etc. Others may whet their appetite surfing, rock climbing, or race car driving! But one local man has truly become passionate about getting ‘up, up and away’ from it all to find a distraction from his ordinary days.
Chris Egress of Fairmont has an electrical business called eSolutions. He says he began his career as a power lineman and always liked being in the air. Over the years that “like” hasn’t changed, but now he “loves” being in the air – as a sporting activity! And it’s one he is more than just a little enthusiastic about.
It all got started when he and six of his friends from Mannington got together and decided they should all try sky-diving. It sounded unique! However, Chris really became a fan and was the only one to back for more. In fact, he is now a sky-diving instructor with 1,600 sky-dives under his belt.
He also does power parachuting and paramotoring. If you live in the Shinnston area, you may have seen him soaring above Shinnston from time to time.
“I have both a power parachute (2-seater) and a paramotor that I lodge at both the Fairmont Municipal Airport and at Maley’s Airstrip near Shinnston and I fly from both places. I get up in the air as often as I can,” he said. “It has really become a passion of mine and just about as far from electrical work as you can get!”
Most often you’ll find him doing paramotoring, and he explained what it entails. Essentially, it is a canopy hooked onto a backpack motor. Its engine is similar to what a small dirt bike would have. It uses…