"Once you have tasted flight,
We start with just the glider and harness and learn the techniques of inflation, kiting, launching, flying, approach and landing as well as gathering and caring for the wing and much, much more.
Our first day will often have you flying from the top of our incredible training hill here in Santa Barbara, giving you a true "Taste of Flight"!
Our Full Certification Course for New Pilots is $3000 and includes up to 15 days of instruction, ground school and practice to make you a competent and confident Novice Pilot.
One of the benefits of our program is the fact that we also certify pilots in both powered (USPPA) and unpowered (USHPA - free flight) paragliding for that price if the student chooses.
We provide all of the equipment during most of the training up until we introduce the motor.
We start the program at our Paragliding training hill where we practice and fly for 7-10 days without power to master the kiting and flying skills. During this time, we show you paramotors and gliders that will be appropriate for your weight, skill and flying style.
For your first motor flight, we will have put together a package that fits your needs and it will be your gear that you fly.
Chad Bastian - Learning to Fly
For me, learning to fly was a profound experience. I have always been athletic and into sports that gave me access to the "free ride" that sports like surfing, skateboarding, skimboarding, windsurfing, kite buggying and land sailing had to offer. However, flying a paraglider (whether powered or not) gave me even more access to the third dimensional freedom that surface-based sports aspire to (jumping waves, etc).
Flying allowed me to start at the top of the hill, and if I played it right, I could find lift, climb up, and end up right where I took off or sometimes many, many miles away! Powered Paragliding gives the pilot even more reliable access to flying as high and far as you like and then returning to the point of takeoff. Kind of like a motorcycle in the sky! There's really nothing like it, and the feeling of your knees in the breeze is kind of unexplainable to folks that have not experienced it.
In the first year after I learned to fly, I logged over 900 hours of airtime! You could say it kind of took over my consciousness. I went on to become a competition pilot, then an Instructor where we built one of the largest Paragliding schools in the country. I then went on to becoming a Tandem Pilot and Instructor Administrator where I do most of my work now. Teaching and coaching the Instructors is really challenging and rewarding for me, now especially so with the popularity of Paramotoring.
I understand the need for a good comprehensive training program with a syllabus and lots of real world practice for new pilots to become successful at flying. Many Instructors have put a good amount of energy and expertise into the existing USPPA program, and it is constantly being improved. This gives anyone getting into the sport the best and latest, most updated techniques and methods for learning to fly!
Should I Become Certified?
Many student pilots ask us this, and really, it is up to you. There is no "License Required" to fly a Powered Paraglider, but certainly learning the fundamental skill to operate safely is very important! Certification takes you to the next level in competence and confidence in flying our unique aircraft, but some prefer to just learn to fly without going for the certification. Some of the best Fly-Ins in the country where pilots gather to fly together require the pilots to be certified.
Learning to fly can take as little as 3-5 days for some, for others it will take longer to become proficient. Certification requires a minimum number of days and flights, plus attending some hours of Ground School and finally testing for the rating. The USPPA has been instrumental in creating an outstanding syllabus that is the distillation of years of work by the contributing instructors - making sure all the necessary components are present for what they feel is necessary for a Novice or PPG-2 Pilot that can fly on their own without the direct supervision of an instructor.