Featured Pilots

Two of our main Values at LawnchairAviator are Inspiration and Participation. All the pilots on this page embody those values to the fullest by enabling others to follow their path. These pilots dedicate a lot of time and knowledge to shedding light on this amazing sport. Please help us give thanks by showing your support on their channels.

 

Andre Bandarra

 Andre Bandarra

 

Anyone into flying a paraglider almost certainly knows of Andre Bandarra. You may have played the paragliding game he is a part of, or seen a number of the videos he has out. There are a few videos where he explores the idea of an un-collapsible paraglider, along with other ideas like using a yoke. Without doubt, one of his clever ideas will lead to innovation in the sport. Ever try his Ground Handling Challenge? It is an invaluable asset that everyone in the sport should be using.  Here is a little more about Andre.

Where are you from?

I’m Portuguese but lived in the UK for 13 years. Recently got back to Portugal to escape the bad weather.

How long have you been flying?

Since 2014

What inspired you get into the sport?

I wanted to be a fighter pilot, didn’t work out. Wanted to get my PPL, didn’t have the money. One day I went for a walk in the green rolling hills of the Peak District in England and found people walking up a hill with some big bags on their backs. A bit further up saw people getting all this cloth and lines out of those bags, a bit further ahead inflating them and floating away. I was amazed and signed up for lessons the next day.

How often do you get to fly with friends?

Anytime the weather is nice, people show up on the hill :)

Describe your favorite flight.

It was probably one of my first. Lagoa das Sete Cidades in the Azores. It’s an amazing place, looks like Jurassic Park Island and you’re flying inside a volcano. The lift band is HUGE, the walls are steep, you can play all day, have amazing views and at the end land by the lake and go for a swim :)

Describe your scariest flight.

It was a bit windy but I was eager, no one else was flying or even on the hill (mistake #1). I launched anyway and quickly found out it was way windier than I expected, but didn’t land (mistake #2). Carried on and flew along the ridge and got strong turbulence at a kink in the ridge. Continued down as going back would be impossible and dangerous (NOT mistake #3 luckily). I got trapped in this part of the ridge and pointing into wind, big ears and full speed-bar on I couldn’t move forward. It’s amazing how familiar you get with your speed-bar when you face the prospect of being blown over the back. Slowly inching forward and crabbing sideways really slowly managed to find a part of the hill with less wind and safely slope landed more than half way down. No damage done, lesson very learnt!

Any advice for new pilots?

Have fun and take it easy. If you stay alive you can fly for much longer to see and experience so many amazing places. 

It is so great to have Andre in the community, and if you would like to follow along with all the creative ideas he comes up with click the links below to show your support! 

YouTube: Andre Bandarra

Facebook: Andre Bandarra 

Patreon: Andre Bandarra

Ground Handling Challenge

 

 

 

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Fat Paramotor Guy

Fat Paramotor Guy Logo

From across the pond Shaun, better known as Fat Paramotor Guy, has been cracking up the paramotor community. He brings his subscribers along on his journey to become a paramotor pilot with many laughs along the way. Now his recent move to Spain and a trike build project are building anticipation for some epic videos to come. Lets hear a bit from Shaun and find out what brought him to start this adventure. 

Where are you from?

I'm from Sheffield in the UK, but have lived in Australia for 2 years, and now live in Spain.

How long have you been flying?

I have a long history with flying. I first learned to fly when I was 18 years old after gaining my PPL. I wanted to become a professional pilot, mainly so I could fly for free, but I did not have the money required to fund the training and at the time. After several years of trying I eventually relinquished my dream, and pursued another career. I always felt I was supposed to be a pilot.

What inspired you to get into the sport?

Later in life as I became more financially successful I considered flying again, but I had also become interested in sailing. Both sports are equally expensive, but I reasoned that you can spend more time sailing than flying for the same annual cost. Watching sailing videos on youtube I came across Woodysgamertag who was interviewing a couple sailing around the world. Somehow I ended up on one of his other videos where he was learning to fly a paramotor. I initially thought 'he's a madman and is going to kill himself' but as I watched more I realized this was a form of flying that was far more affordable. I became enthralled by the idea of flying low and slow over some of my favorite beauty spots and I was hooked. About a year ago, I went on a trial flight, and eventually gained a wheel-based PPG-W licence in Australia. I also did some free-flying, but have not yet foot-launched. This is my next goal.

Describe your scariest flight.

My scariest flight was in an aerochute, which is like a ski lift attached to a glider that you sit in. It is designed to fly as a side by side tandem, but I was flying it single. In order prevent a constant weight shift turn I had to sit in the middle which required me to loosen my harness to slide far enough across. When flying I hit some rotor which pitched the wing forward so I was looking almost directly at the ground. My shoulders came out of the shoulder straps and I thought I was going to fall out as I was held only by the lap belt. It felt far more scary than it was, but the feeling was very scary, and since then I will only fly gliders attached directly to the harness. Somehow it feels more secure.

Describe your favorite flight.

My favorite flight was my first cross country where I could fly from point A to B and get there ahead of my instructor who was driving his car. It was the first time I realized that a paramotor can be used as a form of transport, and it was the first time I could truly enjoy the view after days of brain intensive training.

Any advice for new pilots?

My advice to new pilots is to get an experienced instructor. Teaching yourself to paramotor is not difficult, but instructors know where the pitfalls lie, and there are a few that can catch you out. I'm relatively green, and although I'm not a very good pilot yet, I am a safe one thanks to my instructor. Persevere with the start of your training, it'll be worth it in the end.      

Stop by to see Shaun's trike, come back to see the beautiful scenery over Spain or just stop over for a few chuckles, Its a channel you wont regret subscribing to. Here are some links where you can find him, and a big Thank You to Shaun for joining us on the page.  

YouTube: Fat Paramotor Guy 

Facebook: Fat Paramotor Guy

Website: misadventure.tv

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 Todd Scandrett

Todd S. Resurgence PPG

President of the organization Resurgence PPG, Todd could be called a hero of the heroes. His mission, to help vets who thought their dreams of becoming pilots had been dashed. He helps introduce them to the world of ultralight aviation & sponsors the training they need to achieve their goal. I have a hard time writing something poetic enough to describe the beauty of what Todd and his associates are building, but the joy and sense of accomplishment on the faces of those they have helped can only speak in emotion that words can't reach.     

What is your background in the military? 

 My background in the military.  I went to basic training in 1993 and was commissioned as a Field Artillery Officer in 1995.  I spent the beginning of my career shooting rockets and cannons, then transitioned to the institutional training world.  My institutional training background had me selected to serve on a Military Transition Team when I deployed to Iraq in 2006 – 2007.  This was a group of 14 “trainers” that provided operational oversight and training to an Iraqi Army battalion that fought alongside US and Coalition forces.  I was fortunate enough to serve in both northern Iraq, near Mosul and Tal Afar and then got moved to Baghdad as part of the Baghdad Security Plan, or “The Surge”.  Upon my return from Iraq I remained in the institutional training realm where each of my assignments were focused on training units that were preparing to deploy overseas.  I was ultimately medically retired from the Army in 2013 with a 100% disability rating after 18 years of service.

What is the mission of Resurgence PPG, and where did the inspiration come from?

The mission of Resurgence PPG is to provide an opportunity for emotionally and physically adaptive capable veterans and warriors to overcome personal challenges through adaptive sports participation in order to build resiliency, as well as rehabilitate physically, emotionally, and spiritually.

 In short we want to provide an outlet for disabled veterans to experience something completely different than what most of the typical adaptive sport programs provide.  Not to say that the other programs aren’t beneficial, to the contrary, they are exceptionally beneficial, but not every veteran is wired to get excited about riding a bike or rowing a boat.  This endeavor is for those vets that have a love of aviation and want something more exciting.

 The inspiration for Resurgence PPG came from my own experience.  Due to my own disability I am disqualified from a number of activities.  My doctors told me I needed to sell my motorcycle and I should not skydive anymore.  Those were huge releases for me.  Due to the dramatic changes I had gone through I was dealing with depression and a lot of self-confidence issues.  I spent a lot of time surfing the internet and watching videos on YouTube.  Like so many newer pilots I stumbled across this video of this bushy haired kid that flew his Paramotor to 15,000’(hey Tucker).  I thought that was completely awesome, so I had to watch a few more videos.  After watching a handful of videos I did a search for disabled vets and paramotors.  I was shocked to find very few videos.  One video I did find was from Aviator PPG.  In that video they trained a guy named Tommy Counihan.  Tommy was a single leg amputee who had lost his leg from an IED.  The video was absolutely amazing.  Most profoundly, at the end of the video Tommy says “I am unstoppable”.  That statement hit me like a freight train.  I thought if this sport is so special that it can completely change his mindset, given everything he has been through, it has to be able to change my life as well.

 After watching the Tommy Counihan video I began in earnest to find a nonprofit that might provide some kind of sponsorship or support to veterans that would get them into the sport.  Unfortunately I was not able to find any organization that met that need.  With a wild, hair brained idea, I decided that I would start that nonprofit.

 So my best piece of advice for anyone wanting to start a nonprofit, get involved in the activity first, learn some of the nuance about the community, get your own training and then build the nonprofit.  I was incorporated for seven months before I began my own training.  It really made building relationships difficult at the start when I was not a pilot myself.  As Jon Eisele said, I was basically building an airplane while in flight.  It was not the best plan but we seem to have gotten the pieces in place and we’re starting to make an impact.

 How can people help?

The simple answer for how people can help is simply donate.  Go to our website www.resurgenceppg.com/donate.html and make a donation from there. 

 Another option that doesn’t cost anything is they can go to Smile.Amazon.com and select Resurgence PPG as the charity they would like to support.  Any time they shop via the smile.amazon.com link, qualifying items will automatically donate a percentage of their purchase to us.  They can also do this through their Ebay account by selecting Ebay for charity and setting up their account to donate to us.  If they have any questions they can go to our websites donation page and follow the links to either Amazon or Ebay from our page.

 Most critical to our success though is actually the need for major sponsorship.  If a user is able to put us in touch with their company’s community partnership team, we could benefit from more substantial grants or sponsorships from major companies.  The individual programs that we sponsor are not cheap but they are worth it.  Financial stability will enable us to make a greater impact than what we are currently able to realize.

 How are veterans selected?

Each veteran is submitted via a nomination process on our website.  From that nomination we receive information about their particular disability and physical condition.  We also receive a narrative about them, the circumstances behind their injury and their current life situation.  This is actually the hardest part of working in this arena is reading each personal story and seeing how not only their life but the lives of their family have been impacted.  From the application we try to determine which candidate can we financially support.  We try to find if there is an instructor or a school geographically close that can meet the needs of the candidate.  We try to determine if the candidate would physically or emotionally benefit from our sponsorship.  Ultimately we try to determine if the candidate simply needs a positive break in his/ her life at that moment.

 So far we have been fortunate in our selection process.  Each candidate sponsored has gone on to try to pursue the sport in one form or another.  The main issue at this point is the need for some of these guys to be able to get their own gear once training has completed or getting gear that is reliable and functioning.  So if folks would like to donate functioning motors and wings, I have pilots that would love to take em off your hands.

 Now for the challenges of reality that we face.  We have had one nominee that came through us that we were not able to financially support at the time.  He made some dramatic life changes and figured out a way to get training.   He is now a new pilot that is flying and making some great YouTube videos.  I wish we could have fully sponsored him at the time but he has become a great advocate for us and a close friend.  We have also had a candidate that declined our offer of a sponsorship.  This simply spoke to the fact that each candidate is an individual with their own personal needs and not every program is a perfect fit.

 Where are you located?

Hahaha, this makes it sound like we are a big organization.  We are located out of my house.  I live just outside of Charlotte NC.  I sit under the class B surface area for Charlotte Douglas International which means I have to travel if I want to fly.  My home field is the Shelby Cleveland County Airport.  It is a great public airport with a nice FBO and a very friendly airport manager that welcomes PPG.

 How long have you been in operation?

Resurgence PPG was formally incorporated July 2017. 

 What excites you about the future of  the PPG industry?

Wow, there is so much I am excited about.  I think the biggest thing I am excited about is the acceptance and encouragement of growing the disabled and adaptive community within this sport.  If you look at Chris Santacroce and Project Airtime and the efforts they put in to helping the adaptive community realize the beauty of flight, it’s awesome.  I have been blessed to be able to build some amazing relationships over the past year.  It seems everyone sees the benefit of this sport as a rehabilitative and therapeutic avenue that it provides.  I love the technological advances that have come from guys like Eric Dufour and his Skykart, and Project Airtime and their soaring cart.  I see the community getting more excited about expanding this sport to what might be viewed as non-typical participants.  Greater exposure of this sport as being a viable option for the adaptive community will only benefit our overall acceptance to the non-participating public.

 Tell us a little about your favorite flight.

My favorite flight.  I have had a number of great flights but I would have to say my favorite flight was with the Paradigm Aerobatic Team flying in front of the St. Louis Arch.  I was in St. Louis with the Paradigm team, supporting them as ground crew for the July 4th Airshow.  That in itself was a great experience.  On July 5th, Eric Farewell still had the FAA waiver in place from the airshow the day prior.  He and Travis Burns had requested permission to fly in front of the Arch once again for a photo opportunity.   With the waiver still in place, the FAA approved the request.  As hopeful as I was, I was still shocked when Travis very nonchalantly asked if I was going to join them in their flight.  Um, yeah.  So here I was, a fairly new pilot that was taking off from a towered airport, in Class D airspace, in a metropolitan city, under a Class B shelf, flying in some rowdy air, with the premiere aerobatic demonstration team in the USA.  To top it all off, I got to fly right in front of the St. Louis Arch.  Not too many pilots can make that claim to fame.  I count my blessings every day for being fortunate enough to have that opportunity.

As always we would like to thank Todd for joining our page and and ask everybody reading this to spread the word about this amazing organization. Stop by www.resurgenceppg.com/donate.html to donate or shop with Smile.Amazon.com to help someones dream come true.

 

     

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Robert Michiels

Robert Michiels

Robert is a free flight pilot that is doing great things in our industry. He spotted a need and is currently building something amazing. He began hosting the ParaglidingTalk show less than a year ago and it has quickly become a must see program on Thursday nights. Paragliding Talk is a live show on YouTube where Robert and the chat can pick the brain of some top pilots for our sport. It offers tremendous insight to many different facets of paragliding and PPG alike. Lets find out more about Robert.        

   Where are you from.

I was born in MI and grew up in Phoenix, AZ. Currently live in San Diego.
 How long have you been flying?
I have been flying for 15 months.
   What inspired you to get into the sport?
I saw a Tucker Gott video where he flew to 15,000 FT and started watching
his videos. Before long I was calling around trying to find out how I could get me a paramotor.
   How often do you get to fly with friends?
I try to fly with friends at least 2 times per week. If I can squeeze in more because of good conditions, I will.
   Describe your favorite flight.
So far my favorite flight would have to be the day I hit cloud base for the first time and went on a XC from Little Black. We only went about 4 miles or so, but it was a big milestone for me. It was my favorite video to make as well. 
   What was your scariest flight?
It would have to be the time where I hit wind shear at about 6k over Palomar. The thermals were strong that day and we were flying in convergence. I felt the wing doing some crazy stuff and before I knew it, I took a 50% collapse and fell into a face down spiral. That turned into a full stall and a twist. I was able to sort it before I had to throw my sheets. It was crazy. It was all self induced. Heavy hands.
   Advice for new pilots.
Take it slow. This sport takes time to learn. Muscle memory plays a huge roll in what we are doing. Its like skating. You don't just jump on a skateboard and land a 900. It takes time. Lots of kiting. (Gavin McClurg) still kites all the time.
   Why did you start the show?
I started the show after talking to another pilot who had been breaking all the local records. We talked about all things flying while we were hiking down and his info really encouraged me. I thought to my self, wouldn't it be cool to have a show where we talk to people face to face over the computer. A big inspiration was Cloud Base Mayhem. Here is the video where I was talking about doing the show. https://youtu.be/Uoxrv-eB9wI?t=14m18s
 
Check out ParaglidingTalk.com  & come hang out with Robert and all the wonderful moderators and guests. Head over to his YouTube Channel to find more great videos. And Thank You Robert, for joining the page!

 


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Marc Amenson

Marc Amenson

Here he is, The flying Sportsman! Marc's YouTube channel offers many different ways to view the beautiful state of Wisconsin. Anywhere from cruising along on the dirt bikes, catching air on the paramotor or even a few appearances on the crazy contraption in the picture above. A snow dog!? Seems like a handy, (and more importantly), fun way to get the job done! Marc never fails to bring entertaining content with every video. Want to know more about the man filming the adventure? Here is a peak.    

   Where are you from?

I grew up in the shadows of Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wisconsin. We then moved out to the country and I grew up in rural Wisconsin and at our cottage near the Upper Penninsula of Michigan. Always outdoors, fishing and exploring the wilderness.

   How long have you been flying?

I had my first paramotor flight in September 2014. Since then I’ve flown in Florida, California and here in Wisconsin. I am looking forward to more XC flights around here and taking the paramotor with me to Utah.

   What inspired you get into the sport?

My brother told me about paramotors and I told him he was crazy, but after a few days we decided to go to EAA Airshow in Oshkosh and check them out. We arrived early and spent all day there asking questions to Mike & Heidi from BlackHawk. They let us put all the gear on helped us understand what flying was all about. 3 days later we both purchased gear and after it arrived I was flying in a week.

   How often do you get to fly with friends?

A lot less then I’d like to. 🙂 I fly alone often and it’s a always a treat when I get to fly with my brother or some friends. Fly-in’s are my favorite, I get to make new friends and go out exploring together. After each flight it’s great to share stories and laugh with other pilots about the days adventures.

   Describe your favorite flight.

My favorite flight was tree slaloming in Valley Springs, California. It was just amazing, beautiful scenery and everything just was on point. I was down low banking turns between trees on a grassy ridge with water on both sides. I was yelling to myself a lot on that flight. Pure joy and feelings of weightless freedom.

   Describe your scariest flight.

There’s been a few, I think my first flight was the scariest though. I self trained and was out kiting with my motor on, then it was with the motor started. On my 4th try the wing came up perfect and I rolled onto the gas and was airborne. I was flying right towards some trees and a radio antenna tower. Things ended up going alright but it was certainly a intense experience.

   Any advice for new pilots?

This is an amazing way to fly, learn as much as you can from all the info sources out there don’t be afraid to ask questions. Take your time learning and don’t rush into the sky. Good training really is worth it, a good instructor will take the time to help you form correct habits and get flying safely. From there you might be an acro stunt pilot, a low and slow cruiser or XC adventurer, the sky no longer is the limit

A great quot to to finish it out. Beautifully said, and great advice Marc! Head on over to Marc's channel and follow along on all the fantastic adventures to come.

YouTube: Marc Amenson

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Dmitri Zyuzin

Dmitri Zyuzin

For all you gear heads out there that love the home built side of paramotors, here is your guy! Dmitri took a $99 Harbor Freight engine and redesigned it from the bottom up to make a fantastic 4 stroke paramotor engine. The best part is, he documented parts of the build on his YouTube channel to share it with the community. Nothing helps grow our sport like watching enthusiastic innovators like Dmitri doing what they love. Lets find out more about him:

Where are you from?

I was born in Moscow, Russia but grew up in Washington.

How long have you been flying?

About 9 months.

What inspired you get into the sport?

A few YouTube pilots like Tucker. Also, I saw a few home made units and it really inspired me. I knew it was time to build when I bought my new home and one day noticed the large meadow and immediately knew it was time to begin.

How often do you get to fly with friends?

I have yet to fly with another pilot.

Describe your favorite flight.

My favorite flight was definitely my most recent motorized flight. I spent a couple of weeks rebuilding my home made engine and everything was dialed in, I had good power and there was finally a break in weather. There was good wind but I was launching from a new location and it was very smooth,  warm and sunny. It was one of few times the conditions around where I live (in the foothills of the Cascade mountain range) where the air was still enough to fly hands free and it felt incredibly rewarding to be flying something I made myself and having it perform exactly as it was supposed to.

Describe your scariest flight.

I was learning to ridge soar on a smaller ridge and had a thought cross my mind "should probably pack up and go". Any time I have been in a sketchy situation, I had the same thought, and then launched anyway. This time was no exception (although I have since learned to listen to that voice and respect it). The wind swooped me up as my wing inflated in the middle of the ridge (it was too strong up top to launch) and I got dragged into air. At first, I was soaring perfectly and was having a good time but the gusts came one after another, then another and as soon as I was higher than the ridge I went straight up on an elevator ride and was flying backwards. Gladly I picked a site which has a huge dessert behind the ridge and I eventually was able to get down by pulling big ears and borderline parachuting all the way down (still flying backwards). I was glad to get down and had a nice and long "hike of shame" with my wing over my shoulder being an over sized windsock on the side of the road.

Any advice for new pilots?

Keep ground handling every chance you get and learn as much new stuff as possible, every day.

Facebook's Paramotor Homemade group is a great place to find all kinds of tips and tricks. You can often find Dmitri here passing around ideas. Follow the links over to his channel and find out more!

Youtube: Dmitri Zyuin

Facebook: Dmitri Zyuzin

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Tom Kubat 

Tom Kubat

Spring is in The air and many beautiful flights are on the horizon. Follow along with Tom as the season warms up and be sure to catch up with some of his great videos like the Beer Drop, & Near Miss. The near miss video will have you on the edge of your seat watching two airplanes play chicken on the same runway, all from a birds eye view. Meet the pilot and follow along with his up and coming channel.    

Where are you from?

I grew up in the Chicago suburbs but currently live in the Charleston, SC area.

How long have you been flying?

I learned to fly in 2015 and Midwest Powered Paragliding in Indiana under the instruction of Dave Halcomb.

What inspired you get into the sport? 

I’m a lifelong lover of aviation. Growing up, I flew RC airplanes, built & flew model rockets and probably have more hours on Microsoft Flight Simulator than anyone. Someone bought me a cheap drone with a camera on it one year for Christmas and as I was considering getting into the hobby of drone flying, I saw a YouTube video of powered paragliding. I clicked the video, and that was it, I immediately decided that I was going to become a PPG pilot. I sold my dirt bikes, paid for training, bought gear, and that was that. 

How often do you get to fly with friends?

Now, I fly with friends more than I do alone, although it did take some time to meet other people in the sport. When the weather is favorable, we fly at least once a week.

Describe your favorite flight.

Every flight is amazing. However, I’d say my favorite flight was the first time I ever flew on the beach. We took off, flew over the ocean to another island and foot dragged the beach until the sunset. Watching the sun set over Charleston from 1500’ above the beach for the first time was unreal.

Describe your scariest flight.

The most scared I’ve ever been while flying was getting caught in some gnarly weather while trying to get back to the airport alone. The wind had made a 180 degree turn so my flight home was accompanied by a headwind. I battled a 30 mph headwind and some pretty gnarly turbulence while flying a wing with a max speed of about 31 mph. It was a stressful flight home, and once I landed I had never been happier to be on the ground.

Any advice for new pilots?

First, do as much research as you possibly can before considering training or gear. It’s not hard to come across some bad apples in this sport but it’s important to keep in mind they are not the majority. Most of the people in this sport are good people who love aviation just as much as you. Secondly, be respectful to people on the ground. One of the things that makes this sport so enjoyable is the freedom that comes with it. At the rate this sport is growing, it’s more important than ever that new pilots take the time to learn the law (FAR 103) and fly respectfully.

Show your support, head over to his channel. Subscribe and share so more people can enjoy this beautiful sport. Thank you Tom for your participation on the page and for all the great content you share with us all.

YOUTUBE: Tom Kubat

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PapaPapaGolf1

Bryan

If you have been following paramotor pilots on YouTube, Here is a pilot that will make you hit that Subscribe button. Meet PapaPapaGolf1, Air Force Airman, Father, Husband, Paramotor Pilot!  

Hello everyone, my name is Brian Welling and I personally would like to thank LawnchairAviator for this amazing opportunity. I have been very fortunate to be able to learn and get into this sport and have such an amazing experience. Thankful for my wife who supports me 100%. I can't wait to have my 3 kiddos grow up and enjoy this sport as well! My instructor Ron Toran with Lonestar Paramotor, literally and figuratively took my under his wing to teach me all that he knows on how to be a safe and successful Paramotor pilot. Flying a Paramotor has definitely been a dream come true, no matter which side of the Mississippi you were born on or if you say soda, coke or pop. When someone flies a Paramotor the smile is always the same.

Where are you from? 

I was born in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Moved to Arizona when I was 13 and grew up there loving the outdoors. Since being in the military, Uncle Sam brought me to Clovis, NM the windy plains. Winds always provide either an upset or a energetic exciting flight. If you can fly in Clovis, NM you can fly anywhere.

How long have you been flying?

 I had my first flight on July 11, 2017! A moment I will never forget and truly cherish for the rest of my life. I fly every chance I get. Weather permitting of course. Since learning to fly in July, I have about 60 hours in the air.

What inspired you get into the sport?

I have always had the itch to fly. To view this world from a point of view which can only be dreamed of. I have taken helicopter flight lessons and knew being in the air makes me the happiest. What better way to enjoy flight than a Paramotor. The motorcycle of the skies! Being 9k ft above the ground and able to swing your feet is something that is just unforgettable, flying above the clouds, swooping down through valleys, inches above corn fields, soaring through canyons, or simply flying towards a sunset is what made me want to take my first flight.

How often do you get to fly with friends?

Flying in a small farming community, I thought I was the only Paramotor pilot, however they say if you flying it they will come. That statement is so true. One day while driving to the airfield I noticed two individuals kiting their wing. I made a hard left and met up with them. So we pretty much fly together every chance we get. Since the wind conditions can be few and far in-between. Usually we fly about 1-2 times a week.

Describe your favorite flight. 

My favorite flight other than my very first flight, was when I first got my strobe and was able to fly 30min post sunset. The air was butter smooth! The lights from the town were so bright! The sun was blazing up a beautiful multicolored canvas across the sky. I truly did not want to come in to land. The flight went absolutely perfect!

Describe your scariest flight.

My scariest flight was when the winds picked up unexpectedly. It was hard for me to even come down. With me being a new pilot, I became focused on the ground and realized I wasn't coming down. The air became very rough and the bumps were making this flight one to remember. I started to spiral down to loose altitude and finally made it back to my LZ. Coming down felt like 1 ft a minute. When my foot touched the ground and before I could turn around to deflate the wing, a big gust of wind picked me back up and flipped me over. Thankfully nothing was broke on the prop or engine, just hurt pride and a bent gas tank bracket. It's ALWAYS better to be on the ground wishing you were in the air vs in the the air wishing you were on the ground. Although this was a very scary flight, It made me a better pilot. I learned so much about weather, wing handling, active piloting, and most importantly what I can handle as a pilot.

Any advice for new pilots?

Know your limits and take your time progressing! This is a very fun and safe sport if you want it to be. Flying a Paramotor isn't about getting from point A to point B, it's enjoying the experience on the way.

We would like to Thank Brian for working with us to bring you this great article & for sharing his videos with all of us! Let him know your watching, head on over and hit the like & subsribe buttons!

YouTube: PapaPapaGolf1

 

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Bryan Richards

Earlier this month Bryan ran a fantastic race, placing first in the 2018 Icarus X down in Florida. Imagine what it takes to win one of these races. Imagine the focus, the discipline, the drive. Imagine flying 250 miles in temps hitting 30's, landing for gas, food and to camp next to crocodiles in a tent. That was what he was up against and he did it with a smile and jokes. With ten months under a canopy this 27 year old form Nebraska won his invitation to fly the Icarus Trophy in South Africa this summer. If you thought camping by crocks was nuts how would you feel laying by a lion? 

You can find Bryan on YouTube refineing his skills and and enjoying the amazing countryside in a way very few get to experience. Follow along on his future races and watch this amazing young pilot expand his horizons along side this great sport.

Follow Him On Youtube Here: Bryan Richards 

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Scott Wohlgemuth

A bright new year and a great new addition to the Featured Pilots Page! Scott is a great role model to new and experienced pilots alike. His Analytical nature and caution shows how we should all strive to keep learning with every flight. Scott has a passion for growing the sport and spreading knowledge. His channel on YouTube is a great place to follow along and share in some great fight experiences like the lighthearted video where he flies in to pick up some milk. Subscribe, and share his content with anyone you think would love the amazing feeling of open cockpit flight. 

Scott Wohlgemuth: YouTube

 

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SKYHIGH JOE

Like so many of us Joey way drawn to the sky from the very beginning. His passion for the sport is apparent after seeing his ear to ear grin upon every landing. He has captured some inspiring paramotor videos for his YouTube channel SKYHIGH JOE, where his low and slow flights have a wonderful way of showcasing the beauty of this sport.       

Let's hear from Joey:

Flight has always been at the point of my focus.  It’s one of the most amazing gifts we humans are given, and I knew it was for me at a very young age.  RC airplanes was as close as I could get to controlled flight at age 13, and they weren’t cheap then.  I worked a roofing job with my Dad one summer to make enough to purchase my first plane and with my Dads help, we built it and learned to fly.  RC’s lead to hang gliding here in Southern California, which lead to fixed wing airplanes, which lead to this AMAZING sport of PARAMOTOR’s.  Low and slow, or high with thought, Paramotors allows us to fly in just about any environment our imagination will allow.  Of course, weather conditions must always be RESPECTED with these little aircrafts.  I’m grateful to the entire Paramotor community that opens its doors and embraces new comers with priceless advice.  I’m grateful I was directed to an affordable school with extremely qualified instructors. I’m grateful to God for the gift of flight.

We would like to Thank SkyHigh Joe for putting out great content that helps a growing number of people discover powered paragliding. Show your support and follow along on his beautiful flights! 

YouTube:  SkyHigh Joe

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KYLE O'GLEE

Kyle O is one of the most fun loving pilots you will come across on You Tube. His personality alone inspires people to dream big. If you missed his video "Flying in the Game Ball" be sure to check it out. Look around the crowd and imagine how many minds opened up to greater possibilities, not only in flight but overall achievement in life. You can often find him in Facebook's  "Paramotor Group" showing his passion for learning and helping others. 

His Experience: "I have 9 years as a private pilot, single engine, tail wheel and high performance endorsements, also some intense aerobatic training and 20 hours instrument flying. I've got this sickness where I'll fly anything they'll let me. It's my 4th year ppg, and 3 and half years free flight. His Inspiration: " I think I was born with the sickness. When I was 3 I used to jump off the couch arm and try to fly like superman, now ppg let's me do just that! Two things on my flying bucket list is to get proficiency in Delta wing weight shift trikes, and fly sailplanes."I like to focus on my weakest skills, (or the rusty skills) if I have a choice about it. Some days I'm on a mountain launch, and the thermals are ripping in, and some days I'm standing in the flats on a butter smooth evening. Some days, (if weather forecast is lining up) I call up my own personal tow army, and we have tow operations here in Louisiana."

His Inspiration:  I think I was born with the sickness. When I was 3 I used to jump off the couch arm and try to fly like superman, now ppg let's me do just that! Two things on my flying bucket list is to get proficiency in Delta wing weight shift trikes, and fly sailplanes.

Thank You Kyle for being a great influence to the sport! Follow along with all his great adventures and show your support with the links below.

YouTube: Kyle O'Glee

Facebook: Kyle O'Glee