Learning to fly is great fun, but it must be accomplished with a safe professional instructional program. For anyone who is serious about becoming a good pilot, you will make two critical initial decisions: 

1.       The selection of your instructor.

2.      The selection of your equipment.

 
 The best way to proceed is to train with an experienced and well-respected instructor. Based upon my experience and my approach to paragliding, I believe that I am the Senior Instructor  you are looking for.  Please, check out references from my previous students.  We will talk about equipment later…

Novice Rating ($2,400+ HST)

The purpose of the Novice Rating is to provide you with all the necessary skills to safely fly solo in novice atmospheric conditions (light winds and light thermals), at novice rated sites (generally gentle slopes with wide open places to lay out and launch and with large fields to land in).  This rating will allow the pilot to fly most novice sites worldwide.

The novice training program is intense, but also a lot of fun, and takes a minimum of 30 high flights to accomplish. In addition, a written examination and a practical examination (flight test) are required. Our novice course is limited to a maximum of four students, to give you the attention you deserve.  The course is designed to exceed the HPAC requirements.  

Pilots registered for their novice certification will be assisted in the selection and purchase of all of their required paragliding equipment.  

We take pride in selling only the very finest, state of the art equipment.  We make no compromises when it comes to your paraglider.  We don't believe in the principle of second-class flying equipment.  We have conducted thorough research and price comparisons in selecting the brands we sell, so you can enjoy the best value for your money. We also buy/sell our used equipment to/from our customers provided the gear is in excellent shape, has been properly serviced and maintained, and is not more than one equipment-generation old.  More on this later.

The course includes the following:

- One-on-one instruction
- Two instructors per course
- A book on the theory of paragliding
- Classes on the theory of paragliding
- First Class Transportation at the flying sites
- Tandem instructional flight
- 35 flights  
- Flight Test
- Novice rating written examination

Your comprehensive training will include a variety of lessons throughout the course depending on your stage of progress and specific needs. 

The course is divided into three modules with ongoing review of the flying theory and its components throughout the course.

General Theory. The course begins with a theory session introducing students to the general principles of paragliding, including micrometeorology (weather conditions) and aerodynamics.

Ground Skills.  It is critical for the student to master control of their glider on the ground before progressing to flight

Flying Skills.  As we progress through the 35 flights, each session will have a specific focus to lead the student through a series of progressive flying skills.  Your progress will be carefully monitored.  We will vary the terrain and conditions of your flights to teach you to use the different approaches that work in particular situations.

Stage I - Basic Ground Handling

Knowledge of the equipment, launching and landing techniques are conducted on a slope of no more than 15 degrees of inclination. This practice takes place at Dallas Road, Victoria, which is an excellent location for consistent wind from the ocean and is also the safest place to practice this manoeuvre. This stage lasts at least a full day depending on the student’s progress.

Stage II - Take Off and Landing

                       
 Training hill videos
  

You will learn to launch and land on a medium slope, which is approximately 30 meters in altitude. The training hill is located at a private farm in Duncan, 45 minutes north from Victoria. It has one of the best slopes for paraglider training in Canada. There is a vast launch area as well as a spacious landing zone.  This location offers the students their first feeling of what flying independently means. I would say that this training hill is one of the safest sites for beginners that I have ever seen. This stage lasts at least two to three days, depending on the student’s progress. 

Stage III - Advanced Launch, Approach, and Landing

                     

A tandem flight is part of our program. Tandem flying involves flying a large glider designed to hold two people (you and the instructor). With a tandem flight you can acquire a feel for a high flight and operating the controls, safely with your instructor. A tandem flight will give you the confidence and knowledge to start independent flights with radio supervision.

The student will work on flying patterns and will improve his/her launches and landings. This is done on a slope of more than 200 meters and students perform numerous turning manoeuvres. There are three different places to practice this third step: Mt. Provost in Duncan, Malahat landing on Bamberton beach and Saturna Island. Saturna Island is a particularly good site as it is an easy and safe place for launching with an expansive landing zone. Satura Island has been used mostly by my students over the past few years. We will go to at least three different flying sites and possibly more if we have the chance.  The idea is to give the student the opportunity to develop his/her own flying instinct. All flights are supervised by radio and during practice we discuss the micrometeorology and aerodynamic conditions, the appropriate use of the controls of the equipment, the accessories and of course the habits of safe flying.

Once all the requirements are completed, the student will receive a certificate attesting that s/he has successfully passed the course and their novice level card through HPAC .

Owning Your Own Equipment

Owning your own equipment is mandatory for my course.  As I have emphasized, for me personally, both as an experienced pilot and instructor, SAFETY ALWAYS COMES FIRST . Therefore, I do not recommend that anyone start to learn to fly using a glider that is more than six years old, for safety reasons. 

Having new equipment will ensure, that the most advance materials were used in the making of your paraglider and therefore you will experience the best performance and the highest level of safety.

Each student will use his/her own equipment during the course. As a result, the student becomes familiar with his/her wing faster therefore expediting their own progress;

Being the only owner of your equipment you will use during the course, it will guarantee you that the equipment is in a perfect state every time you will need it.  

I have extensive experience and knowledge of the equipment available on the market and can assist students in selecting the best equipment for their individual needs.  I am a dealer of some of the best paragliding companies, like SOL SPORTS, NOVA, PARAMANIA, FLY PRODUCTS, FLYTEC, ASCENT and FLYMASTERS . I am able to offer competitive prices and service for any equipment that you purchase through me.

What are the advantages of purchasing your own equipment through me?

- If you require more instruction after the completion of your 30 flights, it will be made available to you at no additional cost until you are capable of flying on your own
- As noted, we limit student enrolment.  Students who purchase equipment through the school have first priority in such cases.
- Advice on which paraglider best suits your individual needs
- Access to a variety of makes and models
- Instruction and advice throughout your flying career
- Assistance if you ever need replacement lines, repairs, inspections and a loaner glider if you need one
- Special price consideration in case of a stolen, or totalled glider
- The opportunity to trade in or sell your used paraglider
- An instructor that will be able to offer you the latest paragliding gadgets (accessories)
- An importer/ distributor that will take responsibility for warranty protection on your paraglider for its entire lifetime regardless of the demise of the manufacturer

I have 17 years of experience, and have been teaching for 15 years.  As a Senior Instructor, I am very committed to my students.  I am willing to give the time required to make sure that each student will eventually become the best pilot they can be.  My goal is to see students flying independently, soaring the skies and having the most fun…. but always, safely.  To see this is the best reward an instructor can have.


SPECIAL CAUTION

You may on occasion see inexpensive used paragliders for sale in papers, on the net or from individuals. Be cautioned that old gliders are not necessarily airworthy because of line stretch or design faults. Often a great “deal” usually turns out to be useless or dangerous. Please resist the temptation to teach yourself or to learn from a friend. Many potential dangers have been detected and corrected through years of experience, and it is foolish to learn the hard way by repeating them. If you do wish to purchase used equipment, have it checked out by an experienced professional.