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Should I let friends train me on foot launch?


Solstice
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Hi All. 

    I am new to the group 

I wanted to get peoples opinion on this... Three guys I know fly quads. One guy has been flying ppg & ultralight for  6 years, 2nd guy flying ppg&  over 25 years including sky diving, hot air balloons, and ultra lights. 3rd guy is fairly new and I think he just started flying this year.

 

About me I have never flown anything before......  but I  I came close one time when I fell out of a tree lol.  !!!!! I have purchased paramotor bible and been reading it,  researching a lot great material online and YouTube. I bought a old Apco wing  and have been practicing kiting and few days now. I was wondering should I let these guys train me to foot launch paramotors? Or should I seek professional training? I guess what I am asking is since you already know how to fly could you train someone? Or do you think a trainer would able to do a better job? I asked this because I could save $1,500 to $2,000.

 

It's kind of like saying I have been through classes to do stain glass, and ride motorcycles and I know for sure I can train anyone to do what I do without classes... In your opinion what do you think? Would  you train a friend or family member to fly since you know how? Or tell them to seek professional training? 

 

Thank you! 

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If someone is a naturally good teacher then those skills can be transferred to lots of disciplines for sure.

There's no reason why someone with flying experience couldn't do a great job at teaching someone else to fly.  In fact if their teaching skills are good, they could probably do a better job than some professionals in the industry......however....

This is about learning a skill that could injure you or worse.  Are these people ready to take on the responsibility for your safety and your life?  Are they insured to do so should you get injured in the process?

Personally, if it was me, the angle I would approach it with is to learn from them some skills in ground handling, learn to control a wing on the ground.  Get as accomplished with that as possible, then look for professional training to get you up in the air.  Things you may encounter with this method is that your ground handling skills may differ from how the professional instructor will want you to do it, but it won't take as long to alter your habits as it would to learn from scratch.

This way you'll have a head start on a fresh student and you may be able to make your official training quicker and cheaper. (that will be down to finding an instructor willing to train in this way though rather than just selling you a fixed fee training package).

But whatever your route, I believe you can't do too much ground handling so it's certainly the way I would go.

 

Andy.

 

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17 minutes ago, gordon_dunn said:

Would you let a friend perform brain surgery on you?

 

 

Teaching PPG is not brain surgery...although it might need more patience than patients. My wife is not an electrician, yet I let her do the full electrics installation on a new build house....because I knew she would do it correctly and with diligence. :) Saved loads of money. :)

 

 

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Hi Simon, the guy that's been fly 6 years and great guy! I can't say enough positive statements about him. He is definitely very VERY big on safety! He wants more people come to his farm so he has others to fly with and is will to work with me everyday.

 

Thank you for the advice, 

Randy 

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Hi Andy, 

    I am going to have to agree with you about a person can probably train better then some people who call themselves trainers . I see that at my place of employment all the time. Lol

That's why I bought a practice wing and have been letting my friend train me and to use my judgement to see how good of a trainer he is. So far he has been great and he can answer every question iv had. I guess if I feel confident when it comes time to Taking to the air maybe I will follow through with him and save Money. If I have doubts then you are right I would have a jump on schooling. 

 

I talked with a trainer just because I wanted to see what options I have but I didn't like that he  wanted $1,000 more then what I can get the air conception for online. He was the closest trainer to my house which is a hour and a half away. Where my friend who wants to train me is only 15 minutes away. 

 

I guess I will just wait and see how things go and take it day by day. 

 

And by the way I'm not sure why some. People don't like kiting..... I think it's a blast of fun!! ?

 

Thank you for your advice, 

Randy 

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Hi Randy,

Whatever you decide to do I hope it's very successful and you're up and flying and enjoying it soon.

The fact that you're discussing it here is a positive as it shows you're switched on and considering your options rather than just blindly jumping in and having a go without a care.

Just like you, i've come across scenarios in life where people are 'training' me and i've quickly got to the point where I thought you're simply not good at teaching!  Being able to do something well and being able to impart your skills to other people are quite different things.   But there are some great people out there offering training so go meet people and don't rule out the professional training just yet, see if you can find someone who you gel with,  you trust and who's willing to fit training around your budget.  As mentioned above, another factor is kit costs, if you slip and break a prop, that's probably two-three days in training costs with a pro who is likely to have perfected their training methods to minimise the slips and trips etc that cause little mishaps.

 

Andy.

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Well, you can get pretty far without starting your engine to get an idea if you can or cannot do this with their help or if you should try a professional trainer. I have seen some really bad training from professionals over the years I been flying and some good. I never seen really good due to lack of time spent per pilot, but then I haven't seen it all. If they are good pilots themselves and are willing to spend time with you to teach you well then it could be an option. But it's so hard to say without knowing either of you.
But I wouldn't listen to them blindly. There are a few videos that are worth watching. Security in flight, ozone made one regarding para-motoring and there are some others as well. No matter if how you get training it is worth watching.

Since you have bought a glider and have started kiting,  how did you proceed with that? What did you learn before you started kiting?
Have you been thought how to do a reverse start with one hand on the A? kite in high wind? Using C to brake high wind? How to move and lay out the glider? Learned that you should only turn in one direction? How to connect the glider to your harness while faceing the glider? How to stop it from dragging you if the wind is high? Things lite that. Or did you just buy one and got on with it? 
If the answer is the latter I would stop and get an instructor instead. If you did get help doing it right from the beginning it sounds more promising. 

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Lots of pilots with just a few years of experience would probably be amazing instructors if they just had the goal to be teaching. We who fly regularly are mostly not idiots who just got lucky that we didn't kill ourselves yet. We do this because we know how, and feel secure with our own decision making.

There is no reason to doubt another successful pilot. And if that pilot is willing to teach, and you feel that you pick up the knowledge, then it works, simple as that.

You already have the book by Jeff Goin, excellent. You have started kiting so you know how it feels, how hard it is, and you probably already know that you will keep kiting for the rest of your paragliding career because that's one part of what a skillful pilot do. To me it sounds like you take the right steps from the start. If you just progress it will come naturally. when balancing and playing on the ground is easy and controllable, then takeoffs will be almost as easy. And flying... steady on the gas, left break, left turn, right break, right turn. I bet you won't pull the breaks down to your ass and full stall, but some newbies without better knowledge accidently do this just before their first landing and hurt them self.

You will try dry launches with engine off, you try running with engine on, but without glider, you try quick and progressive throttle acceleration so you feel and understand the torque and how it might infect your body when you run. You practise forward and backward take offs, and the turnaround when hooked in.

But what's really important is your landings when you finally gets up in the air. They should be correct. So make sure you know what you are doing.

So yes, I absolutely think that good pilots can teach newbies. Would I do it, well it doesn't matter since in Sweden we have different rules.
But if I was in USA and had a skilled friend, then I would definitely take help from him and save the money.

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On 10/19/2017 at 06:11, AndySV1K said:

Hi Randy,

Whatever you decide to do I hope it's very successful and you're up and flying and enjoying it soon.

The fact that you're discussing it here is a positive as it shows you're switched on and considering your options rather than just blindly jumping in and having a go without a care.

Just like you, i've come across scenarios in life where people are 'training' me and i've quickly got to the point where I thought you're simply not good at teaching!  Being able to do something well and being able to impart your skills to other people are quite different things.   But there are some great people out there offering training so go meet people and don't rule out the professional training just yet, see if you can find someone who you gel with,  you trust and who's willing to fit training around your budget.  As mentioned above, another factor is kit costs, if you slip and break a prop, that's probably two-three days in training costs with a pro who is likely to have perfected their training methods to minimise the slips and trips etc that cause little mishaps.

 

Andy.

Thanks Andy for wishing me success... I'm the type of guy that I won't quit no matter what and I am really looking forward to flying! ? sometimes I am really tired stubborn. My right foot was giving me problems and swelling up and the guy that wants to teach me to fly ask me over that day so instead of cancelling I taped up my toes & foot and went kiting anyway.lol 

 

As far as the guys training me I believe can go through all the steps of training, kiting skills, setting up paramotor hang points, hanging engine and have me practice with throttle and getting in and out of the seat. The only thing they can not do is pull me and the wing without the motor and get me in the air to practice take offs and landings. And from what I read their is mixed emotions of training that way. I know for a fact they are great pilots and always push for safety for  everyone around. I have watched them fly and I can't wait to get in the air. But my friend doesn't want me into the air until I know how to control my kite with accuracy so he is trying to keep my patient lol.

Randy 

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On 10/21/2017 at 04:17, Juan Carlos said:

 

I think you should get a professional, your life depends on it,I'm not a trainer but if you come to Florida I fly with you .after you learn good luck 

Hi Juan, 

 

   Great video I enjoy watching all the videos I find on take offs and landings and anylizing then. I especially like watching the paramotor fails on YouTube to see where others have failed so I am aware of what not to do even though my friend tells me all the time... Its nice to see it in action of what not to do. 

Thank you for your advice I really do appreciate it... And I will have to take you up on that offer to fly with you on day... I look forward to it ??

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15 hours ago, Casper said:

Lots of pilots with just a few years of experience would probably be amazing instructors if they just had the goal to be teaching. We who fly regularly are mostly not idiots who just got lucky that we didn't kill ourselves yet. We do this because we know how, and feel secure with our own decision making.

There is no reason to doubt another successful pilot. And if that pilot is willing to teach, and you feel that you pick up the knowledge, then it works, simple as that.

You already have the book by Jeff Goin, excellent. You have started kiting so you know how it feels, how hard it is, and you probably already know that you will keep kiting for the rest of your paragliding career because that's one part of what a skillful pilot do. To me it sounds like you take the right steps from the start. If you just progress it will come naturally. when balancing and playing on the ground is easy and controllable, then takeoffs will be almost as easy. And flying... steady on the gas, left break, left turn, right break, right turn. I bet you won't pull the breaks down to your ass and full stall, but some newbies without better knowledge accidently do this just before their first landing and hurt them self.

You will try dry launches with engine off, you try running with engine on, but without glider, you try quick and progressive throttle acceleration so you feel and understand the torque and how it might infect your body when you run. You practise forward and backward take offs, and the turnaround when hooked in.

But what's really important is your landings when you finally gets up in the air. They should be correct. So make sure you know what you are doing.

So yes, I absolutely think that good pilots can teach newbies. Would I do it, well it doesn't matter since in Sweden we have different rules.
But if I was in USA and had a skilled friend, then I would definitely take help from him and save the money.

Hi Casper, 

I agree with you about being a expieranced pilot. That is why I was thinking I would not have any problem training people with the skills I have as hobbies and i train people to become machinist at work alot. These two guys are very experienced flyers from what I seen and their hasn't been a question I asked that they has a answer for. And as I have been reading the paramotor bible it clarified what these guys are saying to me. I just want to be certain and have no doubts when I eventually fly. I want to know what to expect before I am in the air and these guys have radios in the helmets to communicate to one another and me when I launch. I feel confident in them but I was just curious what others experienced pilots thought about this. The best part is the one friend of mine told me to stop by everyday and he is willing to work with me. And I would but I am not as fortune as him and I have to work. Lol

As far as kiting goes it's absolutely blast and a awesome work out on windy days in love it! My friend said alot of people don't like kiting but I don't understand why not. We have a lot of good  laughs while doing it. 

You talked about landings and that's one thing I told my friend I look forward to doing it touch offs so I get completely comfortable with the  landings. 

I have talked to a trainer and he said training would consist of 7 to 10 days and to me that sounds like it will be rushing and throwing me into the air and calling me a pilot. Where as I would rather take my time and become really good with the wing first so I am not second guessing my lunches and always asking some to watch me and say launch or abort. 

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So you spoke to a trainer / instructor 

.....he said training would consist of 7 to 10 days and to me that sounds like it will be rushing and throwing me into the air and calling me a pilot.

In an earlier post you said 

..I could save $1,500 to $2,000....

 

It sounds like you've already made up your mind.

 

Bear in mind that there is a big difference in participating in a sport and being able to teach it in a safe methodical manner. 

There is no correlation between learning this sport and anything else you've learnt or taught so far.

My attitude was simply - when something goes wrong, as it does with any ariel sport, I want to have the skill set and knowledge to give myself a fighting chance.  For me that could only be gained by proper structured learning.  

Good luck ! 

 

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I observed 9 other people being trained as the same time as me. Four during my first week training and 5 the second. My first week was only 2 days as mother-in-law got killed on a zebra crossing and I had to leave!

One person was in the air and VERY competent on day 3. Two only flew once. And 2 others I know have never flown after doing the training. My point is that the amount of training is very dependent on learning rate - how able the trainee is to learn....and overcome the scary factor. The trainers I had were VERY aware of this.

If you are a quick learner and know will love it in the air then maybe a mate is not so bad. However, if you would appreciate learning at a nice slow rate then doing all the basics with a mate might not be a bad thing, but I would ask whether they are fully equipped to deal with all the things that could go wrong when you first fly.

 

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28 minutes ago, AndyB said:

... fully equipped to deal with all the things that could go wrong when you first fly.

 

Perhaps it would be a good resource to create 'things that could go wrong' or perhaps 'what to look out for and proven remedies'  for those new to the sport?

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Good idea....let's start a list....

1. Hold the power on. I have seen 2 guy's who kept getting scarred at the change in angle as full power kicks in and nearly crashed by backing off!

2. Know when to abort the take-off.........and when not to. I had a tangled brake line that was much better dealt with at height.

3. Torque steer (well thrust really) correction. Which side and how much to expect. I have seen a guy pull so much brake he swung round the other way.

 

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1 hour ago, AndyB said:

Good idea....let's start a list....

1. Use full power for take off. Hold the power on. I have seen 2 guy's who kept getting scarred at the change in angle as full power kicks in and nearly crashed by backing off!

2. Know when to abort the take-off.........and when not to. I had a tangled brake line that was much better dealt with at height.

I think this needs specific examples, eg. if you prolong oscillation (side to side movement) by over-correction then abort.

3. Torque steer (well thrust really) correction. Which side and how much to expect. I have seen a guy pull so much brake he swung round the other way.

4. Apply brakes smoothly, restrict brake travel until familiar with the wing.

 

If I may amend your list a little, between us (and others) we should be able to post some excellent tips.

Any input to the list welcome to give concise and easily understood text. Please suggest better phraseology.

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1. Use full power for take off. Hold the power on. I have seen 2 guy's who kept getting scarred at the change in angle as full power kicks in and nearly crashed by backing off!

2. Know when to abort the take-off.........and when not to. I had a tangled brake line that was much better dealt with at height.

I think this needs specific examples, eg. if you prolong oscillation (side to side movement) by over-correction then abort.

3. Torque steer (well thrust really) correction. Which side and how much to expect. I have seen a guy pull so much brake he swung round the other way.

4. Apply brakes smoothly, restrict brake travel until familiar with the wing.

5. Know how to use your reserve and how to check it before take off. Anyone seen the video of a pilot taking off....then his reserve deploys all on its own?

6. .............

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On 10/21/2017 at 09:17, Juan Carlos said:

 

I think you should get a professional, your life depends on it,I'm not a trainer but if you come to Florida I fly with you .after you learn good luck 

Excellent video, Juan.

Great editing, great flying skilz and most importantly - appropriate music!

So many vids you see have a soundtrack with bloody awful music or a screeching distorted engine noise in the background..

I enjoyed watching that.

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