Basic Paramotor Training
A masterclass in fundamental paramotor skills & knowledge
ParAmerica is your premier destination for comprehensive, entry-level footlaunch paramotor training! We maintain high standards for our staff and students, and take pride in providing a structured, transformative training experience in order to safely and efficiently produce knowledgeable, fundamentally-sound pilots. We’re enthusiastic about sharing the sport we love and have a passion for developing responsible students who represent the sport well. We encourage you to read more about our training philosophy here. Keep reading to learn more about our training program, so you can make an informed training decision!
At a glance, our training program includes:
Complete entry-level training based on a proprietary syllabus
Up to 20 days of active training
Use of all school equipment (i.e. paramotors, paraglider, helmets, radios, safety equipment, etc.)
Ground handling (aka “Kiting”) exercises
Flight simulation exercises (aka “Motor Sim”)
Posture & throttle manipulation (aka “Lean back”) exercises
Up to 30 solo flights
More than 30 hrs of comprehensive, in-person ground school (including topics such as Regulations, Airspace, Meteorology, Maintenance, Aeronautical Decision Making, etc.)
Printed syllabus, lesson outlines, reference materials, and student logbook provided in a personal student binder.
Our goal is not only to help you achieve your dreams of flying a paramotor as safely as possible, but also to equip you with the foundation of skills, knowledge, and tools necessary to operate safely and independently as a beginner pilot; we accomplish this by bringing you the best training experience possible. Our program and exclusive training syllabus meets and exceeds USPPA certification standards, and includes additional elements and refinements from a cadre of experienced instructors. Our phased approach to training not only helps students avoid common mistakes and pitfalls beginners typically encounter through faulty instruction or “self-training”, but also makes it possible for students to gain a wealth of knowledge and experience in a relatively short period of time, which would otherwise take years of self-study and practice to acquire. Our expert instructors place a heavy emphasis on safety throughout the course and guide students through an industry-leading ground school curriculum, which is based on many years of aviation experience and continuous refinement.
While the amount of time required to complete the training course varies, it generally takes 8-14 training days for most of our students to gain the requisite skills, experience, and confidence necessary to achieve the level of independence, consistency, and competence we desire for them. To best meet the needs of our students, we offer multiple Basic Training plans including Full-Time Training, Part-Time Training, and Introductory/Progression Training. The training fee for Full-Time training is $3,000.00 and the training fee for Part-Time training is $3,500.00. You can find more information about our training plans here and current training schedule here.
Too often, students are forced to purchase equipment from their instructor 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”.
Following training, ParAmerica offers the best equipment from a variety of industry-leading manufacturers, a wide range of accessories, and maintenance support. For a limited time only, if students choose to purchase equipment through ParAmerica during or after training and mention this special offer, a $250.00 discount will be applied to the cost of equipment. More information on the equipment we offer can be found here.
Our full-time training facility is located at Hartford Municipal Airport (KHXF) in Hartford, WI. Situated a few miles off of Highway 41 and surrounded by rural Wisconsin countryside, Hartford is approximately 20 min NW of Milwaukee, and an hour and a half north of the Chicagoland suburbs.
We’re mobile, willing to travel to host training sessions, and always on the lookout for new training locations! If you have a group of two or more students and at least one student plans on purchasing new equipment through us, we can schedule a local or private training course for your group. At a minimum, we require a classroom (preferably air-conditioned), and a flat, open, hazard-free area of at least 2 acres. In the past, we’ve trained at satellite locations including Jaco, Costa Rica; Huntsville, AL; Appleton, WI; and Wauchula, FL. We’ve also used RVs, airport FBOs, personal residences, and Airbnbs for lodging and classroom instruction, and would consider doing so again in the future.
If you have a potential training location in mind, we’d love to hear from you! Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org, and we'll further evaluate your site to determine whether it meets our training requirements.
The Learning Process:
Any learning process starts with admitting what you don’t know. To quote the author Mark Manson, “We cannot learn anything without first not knowing something. The more we admit we do not know, the more opportunities we gain to learn.” At some point, anything you have ever learned in your entire life has existed in four separate and distinct stages:
Unconscious Incompetence (i.e. “I suck at something, but I’m not aware of it because it’s not important to me.”)
Conscious Incompetence (“I suck at something that’s suddenly important to me, and I’m now aware of it.”)
Conscious Competence (“I conceptually understand how to do this new thing that I care about, have a basic understanding of the process involved, and know that I can do it—but I have to concentrate on each step in order to do it correctly.”)
Unconscious Competence (“I understand this thing and the process so well that I don’t even have to think about doing it correctly anymore—you could call it second nature. I understand it so well that I can manage multiple tasks while doing it, or can explore new or more efficient ways of doing it.”)
The process of learning to fly a paramotor often appears (and is sometimes advertised) to be easier than it actually is in practice. Although many people mistakenly perceive that they can learn how to fly a paramotor as easily as they can ride a motorcycle, many of our former students (including prior pilots and skydivers) often report that the mental and physical process of learning to fly a paramotor is more nuanced and complex than they initially expected it to be. Our professional staff aims to streamline, simplify, and guide students through the correct steps of the training process as much as possible, however, it’s important to realize that there are no shortcuts to true competence or “success”. Although the sport initially comes more easily to some than others, mastery of the sport will only come through patience, perseverance, active participation, repetition, and hard work.
While this process sometimes involves making mistakes and occasionally requires sweat and grist, our students enjoy the process of learning to fly a paramotor and becoming a better aviator—and in the midst of the metamorphic process, a better, more complete person.
The primary focus of the first few days of training is on ground handling (i.e. learning how to control the paraglider on the ground), ground school lessons pertaining to pre-solo requirements, throttle control exercises, flight simulation, and brief winch tow flights to perfect your takeoff and landing technique without the added weight and complication of a paramotor.
Most students are typically ready for their first solo flight by the 4th training day, although this is largely dependent upon aptitude and weather conditions. As long as mother nature cooperates, 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. When the weather doesn’t cooperate or allow for safe flying conditions, we typically front-load our ground school in order to maximize your valuable time and keep the training progression on schedule.
As students demonstrate proficiency and gradually gain more skills, experience, and confidence through subsequent flights, the instructor staff takes intentional steps toward encouraging them to become more independent. The ground school curriculum is typically completed by the end of the 7th day, and the remaining days are used to gain more experience in the air. If you haven’t already, we encourage you to read more about our full training philosophy here.
As the training process does require some degree of athleticism, we strongly advise students to arrive to training in a good state of physical conditioning which is sustainable throughout the week, and invite you to read more about the physical aspects of training here.