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Southern CA NewB Looking for Training/Equip Advice

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Hello all. I am a 155lb newby ready to get started. I have been considering this for many years and finally find myself with the time and finances to do it. I apologize if my questions have been asked and answered before on the forum. I just registered and haven't had time to search through all the posts and I want to get started asap.

First, does anyone have any recommendation on training in southern California or Arizona? I have located a couple of places on the net and would like some input.

Next, what should I be looking for as far as motor and wing size. I'm not contemplating any acrobatics for a while and actually believe I would be more interested in altitude of maneuverability. I am leaning towards a Blackhawk motor and would like to know pros and cons for the various sizes (100, 172, 313).

Basically any advice from the pros or lessons learned from other beginners would be greatly appreciated. I will continue reading the forum and picking up info, but I am ready to start tomorrow and need some direct, to the point advice asap. Thank you all in advance.


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Brian, welcome to the group, it's nice to have a new face from your side of the pond.

You will find that most of the folks on here are from the UK, so knowledge of US based training is likely to be limited.

You may find a different perspective regarding equipment from us, than you will get from an American club or group, mainly because a lot of us have British or European made units. This will either help you make a decision or confuse you completely.

There is a good Yahoo group that goes by the name of PPGbiglist which will probably be able to give you more US centred advice, but in the meantime, please stay and visit with us to tell us your tales from America.

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I have spoken to Bob Armond of Paratoys/Black Hawk fame on the phone a couple of times and he seems a pleasant enough chap. I tried to meet up with him to fly last winter when I was in LA but he had gone down to Mexico at the time. I plan to go flying with him next time I'm back in LA. I believe he is not far from where I stay in Pasadena. There is also a guy called Claude Fiset who runs a show called Uptimal. He is near Malibu. I tried to buy a prop off him a year ago but I was really unimpressed with his lack of interest in communication and wouldn't bother trying to deal with him again.

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