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INTENSIVE WEEKEND/WEEKDAY CLINICS and TRAVELING PARAMOTOR INSTRUCTION

Please see Clinic Prep for info about preparing for an upcoming clinic.

Submit this form or call 215-630-6759 for more info.

Contents:

1. Weekend, Weekday, and Traveling Clinics
1.1 The Cost and Process of Organizing a Clinic Near You
1.2 What to Expect During Your First Clinic
1.3 Your Second and Subsequent Clinics
1.4 Steps To Take If You're Interested In Flying
1.5 Call Me If You Have Any Questions!
2. A Note About How I Operate



1. Weekend, Weekday, and Traveling Clinics

1.1 The Cost and Process of Organizing a Clinic Near You

Training is most often held at our private field in Montague, NJ. The cost for an intensive 1 day clinic is $325, including gear rental ($300 per person if you bring another student to train with you). In order for me to travel to your area, there must be at least 2 students enrolled in training for at least 2 days - potentially more, if the trip to your location will be costly. Please be aware that practicing with a paramotor is entirely weather dependent. To be safe, you'll be limited to very specific weather conditions during your initial training. Since it's never possible to predict the weather more than 3 days ahead of time, rescheduled rain dates may be required if wind or other conditions create an unfavorable environment. It's also necessary to have a large flat field to use for training. I can help to establish a usable location, but that needs to be completely organised before booking any training days in your area.

1.2 What to Expect During Your First Clinic

During your first clinic, you'll typically learn all the PPG1 ground school topics (laws, airspace charts, weather, aerodynamics, machine setup and maintenance, etc.). We'll also do simulator training with the engine running and helmet communication on (to get you comfortable with the engine force pushing while you're seated in the harness, to work on refining throttle control, to familiarize the vocal commands you'll hear during flights, to repeatedly run through every move in the first flight routine - launch, turns, altitude adjustment, landing, etc.), as well as lots of kiting (wing handling) and taxiing training, and possibly a tandem flight if conditions allow. You'll also get to watch repeated demo flights to see and understand how everything goes together.

Since the Coronavirus pandemic began, most students have chosen to complete ground school book work and other preparatory skill development workshops online, using Zoom videoconference meetings. That will likely continue to be the preferred way for new students to get started with lessons in the immediate future. Book work can generally be completed in 3 online sessions of 2-4 hours each, at a cost of $125 per person, per session ($375 total). The fee for those sessions includes PPG1 and PPG2 certification paperwork submissions, once physical air time and demonstrated skills requirements have been satisfied.

Most likely, you will NOT be able to fly solo during a first clinic, unless you've learned how to handle a paraglider wing somewhere previously. You do need to have kiting absolutely mastered before your first launches, if you want to avoid breaking equipment and hurting yourself. Unless you want to end up with lines and fabric ripped up by a propeller, it's essential to be able to keep your wing centered perfectly overhead, without oscillating side to side or pitching forward or backward at all, in a variety of wind conditions. Learning to handle a wing in no wind requires constant running. Working in 3mph wind, the wing begins to exert dynamic energy of it's own. In 6mph wind, your technique will involve turning in reverse, and the wing's actions will get much faster (requiring reflexive responses to the changes in air speed/direction). At 9mph, you'll be focused on not getting pulled across the field. You'll need hours of practice in each of these conditions just to get the wing over your head, and to keep it there consistently. It looks like a piece of cake, but kiting training is probably going to be much more time consuming than you'd expect. It's nearly always a humbling experience for new students.

1.3 Your Second and Subsequent Clinics

If you want to fly on your own as quickly as possible, the ideal way is to purchase your own equipment at some point before attending a second clinic. That'll allow you to practice kiting with your own wing, as much as you can whenever the weather allows, so that you have every opportunity possible to fly safely during your next clinic session. Kiting takes up a good 90% of practice time during training, and is extremely fatiguing (especially when practicing with the engine on your back - most students are limited to 2-3 engine-on taxi runs at a time, before becoming temporarily exhausted), so getting as much kiting practice done on your own will likely save you significant money on training sessions, and help keep you from breaking any expensive equipment. Training on your own equipment during clinics also helps to build your trust in the exact machine that you'll be flying, allowing you to get to know it intimately before going off into the air at your own locations.

Of course, you can take as many clinics as you'd like and perform your first flights on school equipment, if you're not able to purchase a wing and machine right away.

You can also choose to attend a traditional 7-10 day course, but multiple short weekend clinics tend to work best for most student work schedules, and they typically end up being less expensive in the end.

1.4 Steps To Take If You're Interested In Flying

1) Read through this web site, and call me if you have any questions, or if you'd like to chat about anything having to do with powered paragliding. I'm more than happy to talk and answer all your questions: Nick Antonaccio 215-630-6759. There's an absolutely enormous volume of material available on the resources page, tutorials, videos, FAA documents, manufacturer manuals, etc. All covering essential topics and free to read.

2) Schedule ground school online. That's the best way for us to get started. We'll have hours together to cover the legitimate topics that prepare you to get up in the air. Doing this work online is much more efficient, comfortable, and effective than sitting together outside at the field. Plan on 3 sessions of 2-4 hours each. The cost per each session is $125 per person. When you've completed this book work portion of the training, you'll have all the required written USPPA signoffs completed for your PPG1 and PPG2 certifications.

3) Complete any additional training you'd like online. I can provide much of the same preparatory instruction that would typically occur at the field, using Zoom video conference. Setting up your equipment, learning to hook in to the wing, performing inflations in still air and basic kiting skill development, simulated flight run-throughs, and more can be completed when weather and your schedule allow. This will prepare you to practice on your own, and save you a tremendous amount of precious time at the field, so that you can get up in the air more quickly.

4) Come to training sessions at the field. We'll hone your kiting skills, run through simulation drills in person, demonstrate launches, landings and in-air maneuvers to clarify how it all works, and then when weather conditions are right, and your skills are prepared, you'll be guided through your first solo flights. Depending upon student needs and other factors, you may also get a chance to take tow and/or tandem flights with your instructor.

NOTE: The training schedule is entirely weather dependent, and impossible to schedule with more than 3 days' notice in this area of the country (weather forecasts just can't be as specific as we need to stay safe, more than 3 days ahead of time). When you're ready to come to the field, please be sure to submit your information here, check the published schedule, call me several days beforehand to let me know your intention to take part, and be sure to confirm the day before the session: Nick Antonaccio 215-630-6759.

1.5 Call Me If You Have Any Questions!

If you're interested in scheduling any training, or if you'd like to watch any session before attending a clinic, please let me know which weekend dates, and/or any other days you're available. I generally travel to each remote training location 2-3 times per season.

If you have any questions, I'm more than happy to talk about equipment, or anything related to PPG, before you decide to schedule any training time. Submit this form or call, text, email any time!

Nick Antonaccio 215-630-6759

2. A Note About How I Operate

You may have come across paramotor instructors who prey on the fears of new students, discrediting any equipment but their own brands, and insisting that any instruction but their own will get you killed. Or you may have seen ads offering free instruction, only to find that the machines you must purchase for training cost thousands of dollars more than comparable brands.

I've been an instructor for more than a decade, and no student I've worked with has ever experienced a serious accident under my care. I'm currently certified with both ASC and USPPA, and I'm an authorized instructor for Blackhawk paramotor, covering all of the US Northeast Coast. I provide certified PPG1, PPG2, and PPG3 ratings after you've completed training. If you search for "Learn Powered Paragliding" you'll see that my web site is the first genuine result in Google (not a paid ad), because my instruction pages have been linked more than any other on the Internet by other authoritative sources. That's been the case for more than 12 years.

Most US schools currently charge $2000-$3500 for a 7-10 day course, for which you need to miss at least a solid week of work, get airline tickets to a remote training location, pay for hotel accommodations and restaurant food, etc. Add this to the average $10,000-$14,000 total cost for an overpriced engine, wing, accessories, etc., and you're in for a very expensive vacation. Many sellers nickel and dime you for thousands of unexpected additional dollars, to buy required parts and 'accessory' hardware such as wing bags, your 'choice' of harness and propeller on a machine, oil mixing containers, wind socks, etc., plus exorbitant replacement prices for broken cage parts, suspension lines, etc., if you damage anything during training (often, thousands of dollars (!!) if you trip and bang your cage even a single time).

I you want to purchase equipment from me, I deal with the best selling paramotor brand in the industry, in business for more than 20 years, with manufacturing based in the USA and quick/inexpensive replacement part availability, your choice of any popular motor on the market (the EXACT same ones most paramotor brands sell for several thousand dollars more), for an average total price of $8300, including motor *and wing, with all accessories, and shipping. I don't play games with prices, I just offer reliable and comfortable equipment that has been used safely and put through the paces by thousands of pilots.

I'm more than happy to teach you how to fly on any brand of paramotor you own, as long as it runs reliably, and your wing has been inspected safe and in good condition. I've owned and flown many dozens of different machines and wings, and can help you with virtually any used equipment.

You'll never hear me speak badly of any other individual instructor, or try to frighten you into taking lessons only with me, or to purchase anything I have to sell by saying that other equipment is more dangerous (that's a rampant tactic in this industry). The fact is, nearly every paramotor on the market uses the EXACT same motors, harnesses, propellers, carabiners, etc., made by just a few core manufacturers. There are just a few basic differences in engine power, hang point, and frame geometry, but they're all basically an extremely simple backpack mounted propeller which pushes you forward under a wing. Anyone who tries to sell you 'the best' paramotor features, based on differences in equipment, is deceptively splitting hairs, and selectively ignoring key pros and cons, to get you to spend money unnecessarily. Spend some time talking with lots of experienced pilots, and you'll discover that every single paramotor on the market - really, every single one - is a trade-off in simple features around a simple 2 stroke motor design (there are some fringe electric and 4 stroke options, but they're not popular, for good reasons).

Paramotoring can be statistically safer than driving a car, but your safety relies almost entirely upon your basic skills and training, understanding of weather conditions, and the choices you make while flying.

You'll be completely physically spent if you train with me, but you'll have fun, you'll learn how to fly safely, you'll get the patient help and instruction you need, and you'll receive legitimate certified ratings when you earn them, without having to overspend due to scare tactics.

Email, text, or call me any time you want to talk, I'm happy to chat casually and answer any questions you have.

Nick Antonaccio 215-630-6759

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