One Student's Experience:
Paramotor Training With BlackHawk Paramotors:
The BlackHawk Powered Paragliding Training course is the most complete in the industry. After over 10 years experience, and hundreds of students later, we KNOW how to teach each individual in a safe and efficient way. We have 90% of our students comfortable and confident flying in just 3 to 5 days (wheeled flight). As a USPPA Certified Training School, students follow a very thorough & progressive Training Syllabus to ensure that all important aspects of flight are covered. BlackHawk Paramotor Training Courses last a FULL 7 DAYS and can be broken up into segments to accommodate those who can’t stay an entire week. Mike Robinson is USPPA certified in both foot launch and wheel launch. (Instructor #2301)
What One of Hundreds Have to Say:
“This experience changed me forever. I had no idea how profound of an effect it would have on my life. It’s now one of my fondest memories!”
-Bobby Gordon, California-
Paramotor School Location:
Our training is done on the BlackHawk Ranch in Valley Springs, California. We chose this location because of its micro-climate, which is flyable nearly 300 days out of the year. We have predictable, smooth winds and a near by lake which is a favorite among students for ground training. We have a boat and land winch for towing students, which safely gets them in the sky, under the watchful eye of an instructor. Towing is a safe way to simulate flight without the use of a motor. Our field is large enough to accommodate a class of up to 6, however, we typically limit class size to 3 students at a time. This instructor-to-student ratio ensures that each individual receives that personal, one-on-one experience we are well known for. The BlackHawk Ranch offers beautiful scenic terrain which pilots and students love to explore:
Paramotor Training Programs:
The goal of the beginner training course is to provide the student with the skills and knowledge base to set up the equipment, properly control the Paraglider on the ground, launch, land, and to reach the goal of flying without the instructor’s assistance in just a few days. The student will learn all aspects of Powered Paragliding, including reverse & forward launches, tips & tricks, equipment maintenance, weather, flying techniques, and much, much more.
The following are just a few of the things covered in the beginner course:
1. Review and understanding of the equipment.
2. Review of the various parts of the Paraglider, what they do, and why.
3. Learn how to put the harness on, make adjustments for comfort, and proper usage for maximum safety.
4. Proper reverse wing launch and techniques for handling higher wind conditions (5 to 10-mph).
5. Proper forward launch techniques for zero or low-wind conditions (0 to 5 mph).
6. Beginner ground handling of the wing covers proper inflation and learning to control both brake toggles. (practice, practice, practice!)
7. Control of the wing while starting in a reverse position and turning to the forward launch position.
8. Multiple advanced ground handling techniques such as: high wind launches, low wind launches, ground handling without a harness, weight shift ground handling, fast deflation of the wing, safety techniques, and upside down inflation to clean debris from the wing’s cells.
9. Reverse launches simulated without engine.
10. Forward launches simulated without engine.
11. Forward and reverse launches with weighted simulator on back.
12. Powered winch tows for your first off-ground experience.
13. Engine on back ground handling.
14. Simulator training to master flying without ever leaving the ground.
15. How to properly get into the harness while in flight, and various in-flight weight shift steering techniques.
16. Complete discussion of first solo flight, launch technique, flight course directions to follow, throttle adjustments, making turns, and landing procedures.
17. Preflight safety inspections and warming up the engine properly.
18. Unpredictable conditions or situations, and how to handle them safely.
19. Multiple flights and touch-n-go’s to reach the goal of flying without instructor’s assistance.
20. Basic engine maintenance, oil gas mixtures, spark plug gaps, cleaning of engine etc.
21. Basic wing maintenance, folding, storing, and methods of care.
22. Discussion of when and where to fly safely, including a review of part 103 of the FAA regulation pertaining to Powered Paragliding.
23. Review of the various equipment options available on the market.
IMPORTANT NOTES FOR BEGINNER COURSE ATTENDEES: Flight cannot be guaranteed by ANY Paramotor School or Training Program – For example: a college can’t guarantee that someone will earn their degree if enrolled in the school… It is extremely rare, however, uncontrollable factors like weather or even a student’s personal ability to learn could cause a Student to not finish the program within the set number of Paramotor Training days. Should this happen, BlackHawk will address the situation on an individual basis, however, if our Instructors feel that a student is not ready to fly, the Instructor will have the absolute final say. There are NO REFUNDS FOR PARAMOTOR TRAINING. If uncontrollable circumstances are presented, the student may re-schedule a time to complete the remainder of the program in the future.
If a student purchases their own equipment to train on (instead of using our provided School equipment), the student will be expected to assemble their Frames, Quads, or Trikes in order to practice assembly and learn this important process. This should be done with your Instructor. Of course all engines will be built by our Professional Mechanics, however, the remainder of the assembly is the Student’s responsibility and part of the Training experience at our California location. Knowing how to reassemble your gear upon returning home is important. Upon completing Training, Students must disassemble their equipment for shipment to their home (this includes the disassembly of the Frame, Quad, or Trike, removal of the prop, and completely emptying the machine of any gas). If you would like BlackHawk to assemble or disassemble your equipment for you, advance notice must be given (no less than one week prior to your Lessons starting) and a minimum of a $100 charge per assembly / disassembly may be applied.
The goal of this course is to increase the PPG pilot’s knowledge base and skills to equal several years of weekend flying – in only a few days. The advanced course covers: flying with other pilots, cross country flights, in flight advanced skills such as: big ears, low to the ground flying, spot landing, and the fine tuning of both ground handling skills & in-flight skills. Also includes an “SIV clinic” and boat towing. This course requires that the student own and fly their own equipment during the course. Certain additional safety gear may be required prior to participation in this course. Call us for prices and Instructor availability, or to make sure you have all the required safety equipment for participation.
Advanced Paragliding SIV Clinic
Advanced Training Courses and SIV Clinics must be scheduled in advance. Please call us for more information and pricing.
Training at the BlackHawk Ranch is truly an amazing experience. We want to make sure you maximize your training time by having everything you may need. Here are a few things to consider bringing on your adventure…
NOTE: After reading this information, please contact our Head Instructor Joe Cruz to confirm your lesson schedule… The time of day Lessons begin may change due to seasonal conditions. Joe Cruz can be reached at (707) 688-1100 or ParaCruzer@Gmail.Com.
1. First things first… Layers! If you are coming to train in the winter or fall seasons, make sure to bring plenty of warm clothes. Even in the summer, it can get cool in the mornings and evenings. When you take your first flight, the windchill factor can make it an uncomfortable experience if you are not dressed properly. If it’s the middle of the summer, it can get hot running around the flight field with a Paraglider all day. Please do not wear shorts while training. Make sure to bring some lightweight pants and T-shirts.
2. We also suggest bringing gloves and a face mask – especially if it’s winter. Make sure the gloves allow you to “feel” and are not thick snow gloves. Many students get dirt bike riding gloves or motorcycle gloves.
3. Boots with ankle support and a solid sole are a must… Make sure the sole is somewhat flexible and doesn’t prevent movement or bending. For safety reasons, make sure there aren’t any metal lace hooks or obstructions that may catch on a glider line.
4. Sunglasses are important as you will be looking up at the glider for long periods of time. A baseball cap or hat is recommended as well.
5. SUNSCREEN!!! Even if you are accustomed to being in the sun, make sure to bring plenty of SPF 50 sunscreen. A bad enough burn can prevent training for some people. Don’t forget this one!
6. You may want to invest in a small cooler for water and snacks. The ranch is a little bit of a drive from the nearest store.
7. When you get here, you will want to buy plenty of bottled water. It is extremely important to stay hydrated on the field, especially in the summer.
8. Consider buying a bulk pack of granola bars, or a large bag of trail mix. We want you to keep your energy up and train as long as possible each day.
9. Bring a digital camera for the memories! We highly recommend a GoPro camera for recording your flights.
10. Swim suit and towels to enjoy the lake if time permits.
HOTELS AND ACCOMMODATIONS IN VALLEY SPRINGS CALIFORNIA
The 10th Green Inn – CLICK HERE FOR WEBSITE (or) Call 209-772-1084
OR Call 209-772-1084 **Mention you are a BlackHawk Student and receive a discount**
The BlackHawk Ranch – FREE RV or Tent Camping On Site (NO hookups available)
Call BlackHawk’s Office PRIOR to arriving to arrange your stay (209) 786-7899
“Stay With Rick!” – Stay with retired Head Instructor Rick Hallowes in his personal trailer.
Enjoy a comfortable stay for only $50 per night. Call (209) 765-2259
This is a full course to learn the “ins and outs” of Powered Paragliding.
The Powered Paragliding Course provides the skills and knowledge you need to confidently fly on your own. Learn about the equipment, launching, and landing! Get the fundamentals of maintenance, weather, and many other tricks that would take years to learn on your own. Only 3 students are allowed per instructor, therefor space is limited. Please call to reserve your spot. Training is available 7 days a week at the BlackHawk Ranch.
We also offer FREE refresher courses to all of our students. Give us a call and spend a day or more working with our instructors to get you over whatever hurdle you need practice with. We will be here for you now and in the future.
With the purchase of a Paramotor Package:
Quad Training: $1,200
Foot-Launch Training: $1,600
Without the purchase of a Paramotor Package:
Quad Training: $1,600
Foot-Launch Training: $2,000
National Training Centers:
BlackHawk Now Offers APPROVED National Training Centers:
Our National Training Centers are held to the highest-standards in quality of facility, training, and equipment.
BlackHawk Ranch National Training Center – California (CLICK HERE)
BlackHawk National Training Center – Illinois (CLICK HERE)
BlackHawk National Training Center – Indiana (CLICK HERE)
WHO we are and WHAT we do:
30% of Our Students Are From Abroad!
Directly From The Students:
I’m sure my BlackHawk experience began similar to so many – I kept seeing a guy flying by my office window each week (over the ocean), and said to myself “that looks so easy, and so fun, I have to do this”!!! – so I started seriously looking into the sport.
My research kept leading me to BlackHawk Paramotors, as they seemed to meet (my) essentials requirements.
- Training Facility – the BlackHawk Ranch is 100+ acres of beautiful pasture, surrounded by mountains and Hogan Lake – it’s a vacation experience just to be at their facility. Minimum distractions allow students to completely focus on the training program.
I would highly encourage new students to either rent a motor home or camp at the Ranch – maximize your training experience!
- Dedicated (Qualified) Staff – I have led service organizations for 20+ years – and have very high standards for Customer Service. Mike, Heidi, Joe, Luis, Edwyn, these folks truly personify “world class customer service”.
Telephone calls (pre-sales) were promptly returned – my endless questions were patiently answered; every email and inquiry was answered to my satisfaction.
During the training process, Joe sensed my challenges and was calm and was very reassuring throughout.
I did solo on my 3rd day of training, and the 1st flight experience is one I’ll never forget, especially when you consider I flew straight up to 800’, then accidently killed the engine getting in my seat (common newbie mistake) – fortunately the BlackHawk 125 easily re-started, and I was allowed to continue the flight!
- Service After the Sale. This is critical. The BlackHawk Team has been awesome in providing post-sales service. I’ve worked with them on several different wings, had a minor (engine) service issue that Luis and Edwyn worked diligently to resolve and get me back in the air. The service team is reliable, available, and totally professional – simply could not ask for more!
Additionally, BlackHawk maintains a (continuously updated) “Tips and Tricks” video library online – this material is comprehensive and very useful in refreshing my training and maintaining my equipment.
- Product Performance. THE most critical aspect of our sport, “can I count on my gear”? The answer better be “YES”, your life depends on it!
I frequently fly with a small group (who fly larger, more costly non-BlackHawk gear) – and the running joke is “how many pulls will it take”? Everyone is amazed that my BlackHawk 125 tends to start on 1st or 2nd pull, time after time – while their engines take 6-8 pulls! Additionally, my BlackHawk 125 runs very cool – 335 degrees is common, while other engines exceed 400!
I have completed 61 flights, 18 of those being >20 mile over ocean cross-country – and not a single engine out!
Not once has my engine quit – in all that time – not a single blown launch (from equipment anyway) – this gear is ROCK SOLID!!!
One thing you’ll quickly discover when you take up this sport – is the constant attention and inquiries from bystanders – when you think about it, who among us hasn’t fantasized about personal flight – BlackHawk provides a solid, safe pathway from fantasy to reality.
I am often asked, “where do I begin”? My answer is “call Heidi Lee at BlackHawk, you won’t be sorry”!!!
Happy flying – see you in the air!