Learn to Fly

Training

 

We offer an introductory class for $220. It's a one day event, introducing you to the very basics  of Powered Paragliding where we go over the equipment and are happy to answer all of your questions! If at the end of the day you decide to purchase at least a glider we will use $200 from that class towards your purchase.

 

Introductary class: $220 group or $320 private

 

You may also purchase a complete PPG 2 class that will take you through the entire syllabus for the USPPA PPG 2 rating. Pricing is based on each students individual training schedule (some students desire/ require more individual attention than others).

We also offer private classes. Usually people spend about $1.500 to 2.000 for a complete course with a group. Private classes (usually 5 hour days) are available at $320 per day.

 

ALL TRAINING COURSES HAVE TO BE FINISHED WITHIN 90 DAYS FROM THE FIRST DAY OF THE COURSE (NOT COUNTING THE INTRO CLASS). AFTER 90 DAYS EACH TRAINING DAY IS SUBJECT TO A $220 FEE PER DAY.

 

RATINGS ARE NOT GUARANTEED AND ARE DEPENDING ON THE STUDENT DISPLAYING THE REQUIRED SKILLS. IF THE STUDENT DOES NOT WANT TO BE RATED, THEY WILL STILL BE TRAINED ACCORDING TO THE SYLLABUS.

 

Mojo's Flight school reserve the right to end the training at any time if the student continuously fails to listen to instruction or behaves in an unsafe manner.

 

 

 

So what if you're not sure you want to commit yet... Come on down and we'll only charge you for the introductary class so you can get a feel for what it's all about. We have practice harnesses, wings, a simulator and a 85 acre field with two runways and several training hills about 80' high to get you up in the air for a little taste.

Watch a video here about your intructor, the school and the training process.

 

 

 

 

TRAINING PROCEDURES

 

 

THIS IS MEANT AS A ROUGH OVERVIEW OF WHAT IS COVERED DURING THE TRAINING DAYS. THE COURSE IS USUALLY SPREAD OUT OVER SEVERAL WEEKS  (YOU WILL USUALLY SPEND MORE THAN ONE DAY ON CERTAIN EXCERSISES) AND INVOLVES SOME HOEWORK AND EXCERSISES FOR YOU TO PRACTICE AT A FIELD NEAR YOU WITH THE RIGHT CONDITIONS. IT MAKES MUCH MORE SENSE FOR YOU TO GO OUT FOR AN HOUR OR TWO WHEN THE WIND IS PERFECT VS. COMITTING TO A DRIVE OUT TO OUR TRAINING FIELD TO SPEND THE DAY WITH WHATEVER CONDITIONS WE MIGHT HAVE THAT DAY.

 

 

Day 1: 

Introduction to equipment, terminology, and safety procedures including preflight. Hands on forward inflation techniques (or reverse inflations, depending on wind strength), using toggles to steer and flare to prepare for actual flight. Develop proper timing for releasing A risers. Discuss ground speed/airspeed/wind speed.  Weather observations as they affect current flight possibilities. Develop relationship between instructor/student and get the student used to responding to verbal communications. Possible low flights depending on student aptitude and conditions.

Day 2: 

Review of safety procedures and more wing handling. Discuss current weather observations with  student participation in short term forecasting. Discuss glider speeds (trim, best glide, minimum sink, flare) and the importance of having a flight plan. Before the first flight, it is imperative that the student understands that strong control inputs can cause oscillations, and could cause a stall or spin (discuss angle of attack).  Using radio control, do some short low-level flights depending on student aptitude. Constantly assess conditions and break when conditions become inappropriate for beginners (good time for discussion of thermals and wind strength including how wind affects our glide).  If not too windy, practice reverse inflation techniques.

Day 3:

Simulator training covering: surge control, oscillations, getting  in and out of the harness seat, proper flare timing, etc. Have student give analysis of current conditions, discuss flight plan, then more flights at a higher altitude with emphasis on smooth control inputs and flare timing, some turning, ending with a safety review. (Debriefing every flight is a good practice).  Use down time to discuss weather in more detail, prepare for exam, discuss landing approaches including S-turns, figure 8’s and 360 degree turns, air traffic, right of way rules, rotor etc.

Day 4:

Student demonstrates how to slow and speed up the glider smoothly. The student explains how to control direction and correct for an asymmetric wing fold of less than 25% and how to avoid a stall or spin. Proper PLF  technique can be practiced, but be aware that this can injure the student and possibly postpone his/her training. The student now continues adding flights to the log book, each time demonstrating skills learned over the course. (See Novice Rating Requirements). More flights demonstrating control of the glider with weight shift, rear risers turns and exhibiting the ability to use big ears (with appropriate altitude). Understands that rear risers can be used to flare if the control toggles are disabled for any reason.

Day 5:

Continued  flights until the number of USHPA/ USPPA flights and flying days are satisfied, and until student exhibits proper skills to qualify for P2 or PPG2 rating. Consult Novice requirements and work on completing these tasks. Student must pass USHPA/ USPPA Novice Paragliding written exam. The student will deliver a signed copy of the USHPA assumption of risk waiver and rating form to the USHPA office and agree to all terms and operating limitations therein. Then graduation culminating in the student buying the instructor a beer or beers in a local venue.

I. Objective

II. Equipment                                                                                                                            

harness, helmet                                                                                                            

glider construction                                                                                                       

airworthiness/certification                                                                                            

maintenance                                                                                                                

pre-flight

III. Beginning skills                                                                                                              

developing habits (hooking in, etc.)

forward launch                                                                         

kiting launch                                                                                       

trim, best glide, minimum sink, flare                                                      

crosswind (launching, landing, crabbing)

safety                                                                                                 

flying the canopy         

IV. Aerodynamics                                                                                                              

L/D                                                                                                                           

soaring

angle of attack

stall and spin

V. Wind and weather

ambient 

air density                                                                                                    

rising air (dewpoint)                                                                    

frontal systems                                                                                      

pressure                                                                                           

anabatic/catabatic                                                                  

wind gradient/venturi/rotor

clouds and what they represent

VI. Landing approaches                                                                             

View LZ/windsocks/smoke                                                                   

points of reference (trees, etc)                                                                 

aircraft approach/standard approach                                                       

S-turns, figure 8’s, 360’s                                                                                      

ground speed/wind speed/airspeed                                                                    

head wind                                                                                                   

upwind/downwind/crosswind                                                                       

circling turns in wind (drift)                                                                                 

air traffic/observe previous landings                                                            

flight plan                                                                                      

VII. Flying skills                                                                                             

asymmetric – control                                                                                      

active flying – surge control, proper brake pressure                                 

big ears, b-stalls, spirals                                                                         

thermalling – ridge lift                                                                                               

ridge rules                                                                                                    

landing etiquette                                                                                                        

flying with faster aircraft

FAR’s                              

 

The training can (and probably will) deviate from the daily syllabus given here based on weather conditions and students progress and is meant as a guideline.               

 

 

 

Check riser/line condition

Check wing for tears/holes

 

Motor and/or Harness 

Check webbing for stress/fraying 

Check prop guard for alignment/stress/wear 

Check all fasteners for tightness 

Check carabiner condition 

Check radio secured 

Check sufficient fuel

Check belt tension

Check exhaust, carb, intake, propeller are tight

Check motor emergency release and or safety straps 

 

Strap In, Hook Up 

Check buckles secure (leg straps !!!)

Check chest strap adjustment

Check harness adjusted properly 

Check reserve attachment 

Check reserve deployment pin 

Check reserve handle in sight

Check risers hooked up correctly 

Check carabiner locked 

Check nothing loose to get in prop

Check radio for volume, clearness, channel (radio check)

Check helmet on, tight, fastened 

 

Startup and Launch 

Check brake lines/risers held correctly, no tangles 

Check kickbar/footbar/speed bar tucked out of way 

Check engine runup to correct RPM 

Check kills switch working (briefly push)

The Forward Launch

You will normally start with forward launch training. You will likely only use a forward inflation when launching in light winds or no wind. As a beginner, most of your first inflations will be forwards due to your need to fly in light conditions. One disadvantage to forward launching is that many beginners stop running as they glance up to check their wing, causing the wing to overfly the pilot. It is the only time you can check for tangles and sticks in your lines before your feet are off the ground. First locate the wind direction and layout your glider into the wind as discussed above. You want the wing to rise into the wind. After you are all set up, find the glider's center by finding even tension on the lines. Take a step back and let the risers hang down. Pull the brakes off their keepers and hold the right brake toggle in your right hand, left toggle in your left hand. Reach behind your risers keeping your toggles in your hands, and lay the entire riser set over your arms. As you do this, grab your A's or split A's before you raise your arms all at once. As you raise your arms the risers should be over your arms, the brakes in your palms and A's in your fingers. Re center and check your lines are clear one last time. Take a half step back and you are ready to forward launch. Yell clear, adopt a fairy stance for motoring or an alpine stance for free flight. Arms back, back straight, chest out or loaded on chest strap. Charge into the wind pulling evenly on both risers. Support both A's in a arc until the wing is overhead. Keep moving forward and let go of the A's as the wing comes overhead. Don't stop running! When launching in light winds, if you stop running to look up at your wing, it could fly past you and collapse. It will also loose internal pressure and be hard to control. Keep running along your course, leaning your shoulder into the riser the way you want to go. You can also use small amounts of brake to keep the glider over head and for directional control. (see pics below)

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The most important thing is keeping the wing right over head but not pulling it over head ... you have to sidestep under the wing not pull the wing to you. Keep running!!! (see pic below)

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The last thing is to keep your shoulders square with the wing. If you twist you will pull on one riser more than the other and that is the same a a weight shift turn, so keep your body square. You can also imagine a long pipe thru your shoulders. Keep the pipe parallel with the leading edge of the wing as this will reinforce good posture.

The Reverse Inflation

Reverse inflation is a method of inflating your glider using the wind to bring the glider overhead, much like flying a kite. Once the glider is overhead, you then turn and launch from the forward position. Reverse inflations will offer you several advantages over a forward launch. A reverse inflation allows you to launch in higher winds as it allows you to brace yourself against stronger winds that may pull you backwards during launch as well as allowing you to inspect the canopy and lines thoroughly before leaving the ground. Layout the wing as before and hook in. Now pass a riser over your head as you turn around. The way you turn is up to you, but make a habit of going one way to make your turn automatic. Now the risers will be crossed in front of you. Now grab the brakes off the rears and put them in your hands. Find your brakes by following the inside (facing your body) of the carabiners down the spine of the risers to the brake handle. Remove the brake from the riser and check that the brake line is routed directly from the pulley to your hand. Next grab each A' and it's split A' one in each hand opposite to the side of the wing it goes to. Now build a wall in preparation for launching. Step back to tension the lines and find your center. Lightly pull the A's and the glider will start inflating. Release the A's. Pull the brakes and step forward to the glider. It should lay on its back and look like wall with the cells open and pointing up. Now when a good wind comes up, inflate the wing by pulling on the A's in a arc. Keep pulling the A's until the glider is all the way overhead. Letting go of your A's too soon is a major reason for an aborted launch ... so keep pulling your A's until it's up over your head. Now you may need to back up to keep the wing inflated. Keep a eye on the wing when it's straight and square. Make a quick turn forward and run like discussed above, keeping the wing overhead. Also add throttle as you turn if you are using a motor as it will keep the wing loaded and will accelerate it to flying speed. The turn is what's important. It must be quick and controlled and you may need to keep backing up and moving as you turn. (see pic below)

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In Flight controls, turns and glide judgment

Brakes or toggles as they are sometimes called are your primary means of control. Pull left go left, pull right go right. The trick to braking is to make sure you let up when you are done with your turn. Excessive or aggressive braking can result in a stall or spin. When you have completed your turn, return your brake toggle to the neural position with just a few pounds of pressure on it (about the weight of your arm). You should only use as much brake as needed to make the turn until you've got some flight time under your belt. Some teach this as a light system down to your shoulders "green light" -safest; down to your sides "yellow light" -risk; down to your waist and beyond "red light" -danger. You can also steer the glider with weight shift. Lean left go left; a good turn is to lean into it and pull some brake to make it carve a nice turn. As you get into soaring you will learn to make flat turns by leaning in the turn, adding just a little brake and some outside brake to flaten out the turn. (see pic below)

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Now look at the picture ...

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So did you just look at the tree in the middle of the field ? Odds are you did. You see our eyes try to lock on a fixed target when our bodies are in motion or finding reference as in this case to try to keep a fixed idea of where we are in space. This allows us to have a natural sense of direction and balance. Paragliding needs you train your mind over again to realign. Now when flying and landing your mind is trying to realign constantly so you will tend to pick an object and lock on (with time you will learn to reference the horizon like GA pilot's and the ground rush to time your flair). Now we start your story of object fixation ... (yes ... yes ... we no you never had object fixation .. . uh hua .. sure.. ya . ya. ya.)

50 feet to go...

So now you're looking at the tree 50' off the deck and you mind is saying ok that way is a tree so this is up and that is down "I'm Cool". Meanwhile your are saying I got to miss the tree and you focus on the tree to make sure you avoid it. But remember your mind is locked on that object for reference so you start shifting your body to the tree or we could say, "weight shift turn". Remember the body follows the head, which follow the eyes, or where you look is where you go.

25 feet to go...

You are now completely locked on the tree like it was a tiger and you are a little bunny. Your mind lock's up as the reality of the crash sets in. Do you think our bunny is ready to perform a complex hard brake and weight shift turn requiring pilot input and smooth control actions as well as changing his minds point of reference?

10 feet to go...

Mind and body shut down for a instant as the crash happens "called sensory overload" This also happens when you make your first skydive It's about 5 seconds long and you don't remember or do anything during it. So once you are on the LZ and the jump master walks up and says what happened right after your feet left the deck of the plane? You look at him and stop for a second and say "I don't know" Then you realize you lost a few seconds of time. How about what happened right as you had a car accident? Or in our case why didn't you turn as you approached the tree? There answer 99% of the time "I don't know".

So now you have a base understanding of what is going on in your head and why you failed to act in time. What can you do to keep it from happening again? Well you need to retrain your eyes and mind to scan for reference while flying and learn of angles of perception. So first you need to scan about to find your location in space and look to the horizon to locate up and down at 90 degree to it. And scan for holes to land in. So look at the grass between the trees. Look where you want to go "simple hua ?". Only scan over the tree to note it in your picture as a non-hole. Ok now you have your landing spot in your head and in your "pilots" eyes and your mind is happy with what's up and down, left and right. You are ready to judge your glide to make sure you going in to your spot and not short or long in to "your tree". As you glide in you will need to be able to do this at a glance so even though I go thru and explain how to this step by step. You need to do this as quick and automatic as pushing in a clutch on a car. So while flying the bunny hill or tows note "your glide" and learn a feel. There are two good ways of doing this that I like, point on you relative to point on ground, and point on ground to point on ground at different elevation. However no technique will adjust for lift or sink, which could land you way way off on its own. Also you outgrow these tricks to identify your glide and learn to look out and say, "I am going to land there". These tricks help you learn the eye for it not how to do it. As far as lift and sink go shoot high you can always do circles or s-turn's or pulls some brake to retard your glide, but the air behind and above you is useless. Go to the LZ directly when in doubt and once you are there do S-turns to put your glide to the front middle portion of the LZ incase there is lift or sink in the LZ you will still be in.

 

Points on ground at different heights

 

Point on you vs. point on ground

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Your View of the LZ to start.

Note: The top of the bush lines up with the power lines.

Your View of the LZ to start.

Note: The top of your feet line up with the spot on the field.

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Case 1

As you approach the LZ the bush moves over the power line. You will clear the power line.

Case 1

As you approach the LZ the spot moves up from your feet. You will not make it to the spot.

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Case 2

As you approach the LZ the bush moves under the power line. You will not clear the power line.

Case 2

As you approach the LZ the spot moves under your feet. You will over shoot the spot.

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Case 3

As you approach the LZ the bush stays at the power line. You will go thru power line and hit the bush. (bad idea)

Case 3

As you approach the LZ the spot stays at your feet. You will land on the spot. (good idea)

To get all this put in to one simple idea when you are gliding in on a straight line you are going to land at the spot on the center vertical line in front of you that seems to not be moving up or down.

Landing techniques

Landing into the wind is a good idea because the head wind will result in slower ground speeds. Slower ground speeds at landing are safer and reduce the speed you have to run as you flare. When you are about your height above the ground you should be prepared to land. Get out of your seat wiggle upright with your landing gear down (legs). When landing (approximately 3-4 feet above the ground), you will flare the glider by pulling the brakes all the way down. This is done relative to your decent in a smooth action but when you are done you should be at full flair. Be sure to pull and then push your brakes down to your hips and hold till you are stopped. You may need to run a few steps as well.

After landing, you must immobilize the canopy. Continue your full flare and turn to the wing crossing the risers. Mushroom up the wing as normal and clear the LZ to make room for the next pilot. If the wind is making this hard try walking around to 90 degrees off the wind then gather the glider.

Harness Egress... To get out of your harness while hanging (most likely after tree landing). You may be 10 feet or more in the air but if you think you can make the jump here is what to do. First undo your chest strap (parachutists have died by hanging by there chest strap). Then undo your leg straps and wiggle out of your shoulder pads now grasp below the biner on the harness with both hands (between seat and main biner support webbing) and slowly slide out of your seat and transfer your weight to your arms. This will get you 6+ feet lower to the ground after you have reached full length of your arms let go and PLF. When in doubt about height DON'T JUMP!

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