Alexis Quintana, Leading Edge PPG
Alexis Quintana is a multi-faceted USPPA certified instructor with a background in accounting, aircraft dispatching, and adventure. Alexis's aviation journey began as a child when she dreamed of becoming an aerospace engineer, but was led astray by an adult who explained that the space program was being shut down, and advised her to pursue something "more practical". Though she dreamed of flying, it seemed so unattainable that she never pursued it.
It wasn't until 2013, when she started as a Customer Service Representative for Denver jetCenter, that she started to realize the options she had to fly for herself. After working her way up to the role of Customer Service Manager, she became an accountant for jetCenters of Colorado in 2015, and earned her FAA Aircraft Dispatcher certificate in 2017. "I wasn't enjoying accounting or being confined in a cubicle, and wanted to find another fun job in aviation", explains Alexis. During this time, she also served as VP for the Women in Aviation Mile High Chapter (Denver, Colorado) for three years. Although she had an obvious passion for aviation and a strong desire to fly, like so many others, obtaining an FAA medical proved to be a difficult obstacle to overcome; although her dreams of flying were on hold, she planned to someday learn how to fly gliders or ultralights, which do not require an FAA medical to operate.
Thirsty for adventure, in 2019, Alexis and her boyfriend sold their house and all of their belongings, moved into a cargo van with their dog Nash, and spent the entire summer traveling across the US and Canada. In the process of building their camper van, Alexis stumbled across a video of one of Tucker Gott’s “Van Life” videos, and discovered the sport of paramotoring in a roundabout way. During the trip, they visited 12 aviation museums and went to AirVenture, where she decided to try her hand at volunteering in the "South 40" aircraft parking area. Coincidentally, it was there underneath the paramotor flight path that she was introduced to Jon Eisele and ParAmerica. She was hooked on the idea of flying paramotors and signed up for training at Lone Star Paramotor the day after the show ended.
After training in September 2019, she quickly realized that paramotors not only satisfied her appetite for flying, but also fueled her passion for adventure. She started to work for Lone Star Paramotor doing bookkeeping, marketing, and other "behind the scenes" work. After several months, she leveraged her background as a dispatcher, and began to teach certain ground school lessons including weather, airspace, and regulations, and then began apprenticing as an instructor.
Hungry for more, her paramotor journey escalated quickly, and after completing her first SIV course with SkyLab, she traveled to Utah to get more free-flight experience and formally start her instructor rating with legendary instructor, Chris Santacroce. Once she saw that RISE paragliding announced an advanced "ladies' week course" in Ölüdeniz, Turkey, she signed up the same day. "It was the most amazing experience. It was my first time traveling internationally on my own. I flew a paraglider off of a 1900m mountain, did SIV over the Mediterranean Sea, and got more comfortable with free flight. I learned so much and progressed a ton in that week. I immediately signed up for their next course the week I got back home", laughed Alexis.
In July 2021, she moved from Texas to Oshkosh and began working with other PPG schools including FlyMi PPG, One Up Adventures, and ParAmerica, and became an instrumental founding member of the Airythmia aerobatic team, which made its debut performance at AirVenture that same year. She earned her foot launch instructor rating in February 2022, and started instructing with Leading Edge PPG in January 2022, where she continues to live her dream as a para-nomad.