A one hour lesson and you are in the air?


This video is from Steve Snyder’s old Paraplane advertisement.
Steve also says on the video that over 30,000 people have soloed in a Paraplane The twin engines were cantankerous to maintain and very loud. If it were not for Steve we would not be flying our powered parachutes today



Wow. It used to be so simple! Now we are required to kite the wings for like 9 hours and then sit through ground school, then maybe solo being towed by a truck … then maybe a tandem flight and then after a few more $300 lessons a real solo flight.

For reasons as such I cannot even pursue this amazing hobby. (I’m a dad, work full time, $$$$)


Yep - they say it is the cheapest form of flight – not cheap but the cheapest! You got to do some heavy time studying and searching for a good deal on used equipment and that is always sketchy.

In the US you dont need to take lessons. This guy learned from the internet did pretty good. He did just as well as I did on my one and only flight and I paid 2300$ for training because in Canada we are forced to seek an instructor for certification.

Only few people are more intuitive on such skills then others so maybe it is for the best to take lessons on average.

Cheers, Patrick


The guy says - somewhere between 20k and 30k, then says this is probably 30,001 taking off now. 10K is a big gap to loose count!


Careful study is important.

Thanks, a lot! (10,000) lol


I feel lucky to have only had to do 2-3 hours of ground school before my first paragliding solo… Different places do it differently I guess. Though I’m doing my P2 before transitioning to PPG, does PPG require more ground school?


I am in no way instructing you right now but based on my experience I would have to say not really that much. Controlling the wing is controlling the wing for the most part, which is the very important if not the most important after motor safety. You want to be able to fly with all your fingers.

With the motor you need to learn safety 1st. The number one thing should be never ground start it. Lots of people do it but if your throttle sticks your in trouble. If it is on your back you have time to react and hit the kill. If you have to start on the ground you strap it up against a nice beefy post.

Once your hang point and harness fit is established, the next thing is the learning thrust. Trainers should have you throttle it up on your back so know how it feels. That thrust can feel very strong with no wing, when you get that wing on there and the motor is pulling the wing that thrust feels reduced on you and now pulling the wing so you dont feel the push as much. This is the one thing I was not prepared for, I was still trying to do my training harness method and trying to pull the wing with my body after the wing was up, instead of using the motors thrust. You do the training harness method so much it becomes entrenched in your mind. This will be the difference between good instruction and poor instruction. A good instructor will going over the differences with you at the different stages and repeat them until that stage over and over until it is natural.

Also, I dont think anyone should be going to a training that does not have a method of getting you off the ground during practice be it a good hill or towing. My instructor got behind me and pushed with his hands on level ground to get me one foot off the ground, ok for initial “off the ground sensation”, but not good enough IMHO for learning some wing handling before strapping a motor on.

I had mastered my wing handling in a training harness but found that once I put the motor on the weight totally through my balance off. Just looking up at the wing was so much harder with the motor and helmet on.

I totally advocate for seeking a good instructor. But if at all possible, but probably harder, is find a good instructor that is close by. I took a week off to do my training. The conditions were not in my favor to finish so I was travelling 3.5 hrs to get to my instructor after that to finish up - took me a year to get one flight a now a couple of us trying to finish our time a closer field/instructor now 20 min away for me. We have no choice here in Canada, has to be signed off with an instructor.

There are many factors that apply to learning to fly - if you can be close to a good instructor then that is much better. Don’t go to an instructor that does not have a record of successful students. Chicken before the egg scenario - if they are brand new instructor they may not have a successful students yet - they should be up front about that and have a shit load of years of flying to back them up as one important factor IMHO.

Most important - dont get a friend who just learned to teach you. They are still learning! Can someone learn enough off the internet to fly - the correct info is out there, some can and they will do fine, but these people are taking a risk. Some people are very intuitive learners, level headed and mindful of everything they learn and can transition to flight just fine on their own. Those people are rare and just because they did does not mean you can. As their are some out there that learned on their own that just got lucky!

Best wishes