Paraglider & Paramotor Instruction
Being Effective and How Not To Kill Your Students
Teaching people to fly paragliders, powered or not, is tough to do
well. The goal of this book is to share what the most successful
instructors have learned that works well.
Paramotor instruction, in particular, has proven to be extremely
risky--second only to drowning as a fatal accident risk.
Tandem Powered Paragliding & More
Nov 30, 2008 Becoming a Tandem Pilot, Filming, Flying the Green
Eagle and other assorted bits
Information on Tandem Paramotor setups.
This past week has been most eventful and a lot of fun. I headed for
Christmas, FL, primarily for the purpose of getting Tandem Trainee
certified so I could legally get the requisite experience to become a
Tandem Instructor. Quite a few existing USPPA pilots have signed up
through the grandfather allowance, but we (three of us) are the first
group to go through the USPPA program start to finish. Now I need to get
24 flights with a certified pilot.
There were four of us total but one, Scott Adair, was actually
eligible for the grandfather program and just wanted to brush up.
Eric Dufour (Paratour) had a brand new Black Devil Nomad and 38 m²
Power Pluto tandem wing, a hook knife, steel carabiners and tandem
Tandem flying adds a serious dimension to the operation. Besides the
obvious increase in responsibility, it's quite a bit more challenging,
especially doing reverses. You can't face the wing and the risers are
necessarily farther away since they're hooked to a spreader bar. Then
there's the weight of it all. And as a 145 pounder, that could get to be
a factor although it didn't turn out to be an issue.
The flights actually went completely uneventful, including one
forward where the wing came up a bit crooked and I had to maneuver under
it. The tandem program is all new and we were guinea pigs. Eric, of
course, has done a gazillion of them, but we're all learning the new
program. Eric and Chad will be helping revamp the program, along with
input from other tandem instructors and I know I'll offer input after
going through this. Eric did a great job, in spite of recovering from
Now I'll be on the prowl for a lightly used tandem wing. Ashton
Brunner, a builder of many things (as you'll see below), has a nice
looking tandem bar setup. I may be purchasing one of those if I have
enough room for it on the Enterprise. Judging from his Green Eagle, it
will be a quality device.
Ashton was also getting his USPPA instructor and Tandem
certification. But he brought his new creation, the Green Eagle quad,
that runs on Propane, for us to play around with. You could fly to the
site, pull the propane tank off and plug it into your grill. Kinda
handy! I'll have a more proper review up in the reviews section. It was
incredibly stable, what with those wide wheels, and very stoutly built.
Not surprisingly, it was also very green.
I flew it once and taxied with a wing overhead another time for the
purpose of getting video. Several pilots beat around on the thing like a
go cart, trying to flip it (they couldn't) Of course with a wing
overhead, the CG effectively goes up and it would be able to be flipped
but it would sure take a lot to do so.
There wasn't enough timeto do any kiting video but we've got most of
that in the can, anyway. But we did get a bunch of the required footage
for videos 2 through 4 on launch, inflight precision and landing. The
coolest was inflight precision. Using the Parabarge, a surprisingly
agile platform, Stan Kasica flew behind and close while I recorded his
moves using a steadicam. It looks cool. More importantly it will let me
do the explanations I envision.
On the way back from tandem flying, I got an unplanned treat. Mike
Britt, who built the barge, is a high order pilot of his own right. He
had flown out from his field and was now flying back with the boat. Let
me tell you, that turned out to be some amazing footage. The sun was
setting in the west and those shots, over the water, with river wilds in
the background, illuminated by color shades only a sunset could
generate, are amazing to look at. Too bad this won't be a music video.
Eric expertly matched speed with the boat and I just let the tape roll.
It was some good stuff.
Pool was played (not by me, that would be embarassing), too much food
was consumed and I enjoyed seeing the many wing remains in line for
healing. Elisabeth is fanatically meticulous with the gliders. I'm
amazed at how torn up a wing can be but still come out whole.
It was a great time and the Florida flyers are all great people to
hang around with. In fact, they were all so much fun that I wound up
hanging around a couple more days. Hopefully I didn't wear out my
welcome. Powered Paragliding is lucky to have them.