We're bringing premier, entry-level paramotor instruction to Central Alabama!
After hosting previous training sessions in Huntsville, AL in 2018 and 2019, we're beyond excited to bring our training program to central Alabama, within easy driving distance of Tuscaloosa and Birmingham!
From Dec 2-11, 2022, ParAmerica will host a 10-day paramotor training session at George Downer Airport (KAIV), in Aliceville, AL. The class size is limited to six students and there will be a 2:1 student-to-instructor ratio. Justin Fox and Alexis Quintana of Leading Edge PPG will be bringing their instructional talents to assist ParAmerica's Jon Eisele in providing you a safe, life-changing training experience!
At a glance, our training program includes:
Complete entry-level PPG training
Use of all school equipment (i.e. paramotors, paraglider, helmets, radios, safety equipment, etc.)
Ground handling exercises (aka “Kiting”)
Flight simulation exercises (aka “Motor Sim”)
Posture & throttle manipulation exercises (aka “Lean backs”)
Up to 30 instructional/solo flights
More than 30 hrs of comprehensive ground school
Printed syllabus, lesson outlines, reference materials, and student logbook provided in a personal student binder.
You can read more about our training program below and download a student application from here.
What is a Powered Paraglider?
Also known as a “paramotor”, a Powered Paraglider (PPG) is an ultralight vehicle that uses a paraglider (similar in appearance to a parachute) to allow a pilot to run into the sky. The pilot is suspended beneath the paraglider by lines and secured into a harness, which is attached to a backpack-like motor unit with a rear-facing propeller. Paramotors are easy to launch, easy to land, and easily transportable – pilots are able to takeoff and land within a football field-sized area, and a complete PPG set-up is small enough to fit in the trunk of a compact car. The sport itself is the most affordable form of personal aviation, and easily accessible to anyone who has always dreamed of flight, but perhaps never had the means or opportunity.
The ParAmerica Training Program
Our training program is designed to equip students with the requisite knowledge, skills, and experience to safely, legally, and independently operate PPGs as a beginner. Our deliberate training process helps students build skills as safely and efficiently as possible, while avoiding the common mistakes and pitfalls beginners typically encounter through poor instruction or in the trial-by-error process of “self-training”.
Paramotor “Boot Camp”
As our program is designed to be accomplished within 10 consecutive days, it is fast-paced, and involves many long hours of training and periods of outdoor activity throughout the course of instruction, leading many to describe it as a “Paramotor Boot Camp”. Weather allowing, students typically arrive at sunrise and spend the first few hours outdoors. Throughout the middle of the day, students receive scheduled breaks and ground school lessons. Students then return to the field for the last few hours of the daylight, followed by a daily debrief period.
The primary focus of the first few training days is ground handling (i.e. learning how to control the paraglider on the ground) and lessons on regulations, airspace, and airport usage. The next few days are focused on pre-solo training including more ground school, throttle control exercises, and flight simulations. Students then progress to winch tow flights, which allow them to perfect takeoff and landing technique without the added weight and complication of a paramotor. Although largely dependent upon student aptitude and weather conditions, most students are typically ready for their first solo flight by the 4th or 5th training day.
When the weather allows, subsequent training days include numerous flights in the mornings and evenings, as well as afternoons spent completing the ground school syllabus and continuing to refine ground handling skills. As students build proficiency, experience, and confidence through subsequent flights, the instructor staff takes intentional steps to push more responsibility to the student and encourage independent growth. The ground school curriculum is typically completed by the end of the 8th day, and the remaining days are used to gain more experience in the air.
You can read more about our training philosophy here.
Weather Contingency Days
The weather has a significant effect on the training schedule and student progression; while our program is designed to be completed within 10 days, the amount of time required to complete the training course sometimes varies. Generally, it takes 8-12 training days for most of our students to gain the requisite skills, experience, and confidence necessary to achieve the high level of independence, consistency, and competence we desire for them. In the event of a weather delay, Dec 12-17th will serve as weather contingency days.
Training Fee and Equipment
Too often, students purchase equipment before beginning training, leaving them stranded with gear that is outdated, incorrectly sized, uncomfortable, or otherwise inappropriate for them. At ParAmerica, we believe your purchasing decision should be based on knowledge and personal experience, not marketing gimmicks, social media trends, or what an instructor says you should purchase. For this reason, the use of all equipment is included in the training fee, leaving you with the freedom to “fly before you buy”.
The training fee for the course is $3,250.00, which includes the use of all equipment for training. After the student application has been accepted, a $700.00 deposit is required to reserve a seat in a training session. Following training, ParAmerica offers the best equipment from a variety of industry-leading manufacturers, a wide range of accessories, and maintenance support. More information on the equipment we offer can be found here. If students choose to purchase equipment through ParAmerica after training, a $250.00 discount will be applied to the cost of equipment in addition to significant discounts on safety equipment including reserve parachutes and floatation devices.