Becoming a powered parachute pilot is one of the more rewarding things you will ever do. Not only will you be achieving a pilot certificate and rating that very few people can claim, you will be able to enjoy flight experiences that most people can't image outside of their dreams or an IMAX theater. Better yet, you will be able to share those experiences with friends and family
Of course an acheivement like that doesn't come without a little bit of dedication from both you and your instructor. That becomes an even bigger challenge when you understand the logistics of scheduling, weather, and geography. These are challenges that nearly all flight instructors and student pilots face, but powered parachute training requires much calmer weather than other aircraft.
In fact more people fail to achieve their dreams of flight due to scheduling and weather than any other factor. This is something we have long recognized at Easy Flight and something we decided to do something about. But the key to solving the problem is first to understand what the problem truly is!
While powered parachute flight is one of the easiest forms of flight to master, there are very few instructors available to assist you in both learning to fly and preparing for the testing involved in getting your pilot license. The numbers tell the story. While there are around 70,000 FAA Certified Flight Instructors in America, only 10,000 - 15,000 of them actively instruct. Even so, if you travel to almost any small to medium sized airport in the country, there is probably an airplane flight instructor waiting there to teach you how to fly.
That simply isn't the case in powered parachutes. Currently less than 100 of the FAA Flight Instructors are qualified to instruct in powered parachute flight. That means that (generously) only 0.7% of the active flight instructors in the country can prepare you for your powered parachute sport pilot license. Odds are, you won't find one of those instructors at your local airport.
Combine that with the fact that most powered parachute flight instructors do other things, which leaves less time for instruction. (Most powered parachute instructors also instruct in other aircraft and/or have 'day' jobs.) Even more discouraging is that many flight instructors don't want to teach a ground school, forcing students to study at home or to take ground school courses that don't apply 100% to powered parachutes. With all of this against the average student pilot, you can see where a lot of pilots take a long time to get their licenses. Others simply give up.
Easy Flight has recognized this problem and has developed a simple solution. That solution is to provide focused training that will allow you to complete your sport pilot license in 12 days. The time to completion isn't measured in weeks, months, or even years. That is because the focus is on you, the student pilot.
We have developed a list of all the things you need to do to complete your pilot training and get your license. We have brought all of the pieces of the puzzle to one place so that you can get everything done at one time. More importantly, we provide a one-to-one student/teacher ratio so that we can dedicate ourselves to the process as much as you will.
It Is All About the Flying.
There is certainly more to getting an FAA pilot license than being able to fly the aircraft, but that is what we focus on first at Easy Flight. The training program is modular so that we are able to do the ground training during the midday or other times when the weather is less than optimum. While on the ground, we stay busy training in the areas you need to know for your license like navigation, weather, regulations, aerodynamics and more. But we always keep an eye to the sky for an opportunity to get flying time in.
In the sky, we teach more than just taking off and landing. We cover pattern work, radio operations, navigation, ground reference maneuvers, emergency procedures, and more. Again this is to both prepare you for your license and to help you become a true aviator.
Invest In Yourself.
The truth of the matter is that you will spend more time with your instructor learning to fly your powered parachute than the factory spent building it. That time should be quality time that is managed efficiently so that you can learn as much as you can in as short a period of time as possible. Spreading the time required to earn your license out over weeks or months is inefficient and makes little sense when you can quickly complete your training and then enjoy flying your friends and family both legally and safely.
Don't give yourself a chance to get discouraged with long training times. Studies have shown that extended training periods discourage students and sometimes cause them to give up before training is completed. This doesn't have to happen to you!
What You Get.
We provide all the things you need to to accomplish your rating. We do not nickle and dime you once you arrive since we want your focus to be on the completion of the course. And if the course goes over because of weather, we add extra days of training and lodging at no charge to you. What you get includes:
- Training Materials
- Dedicated Powered Parachute
- Ground Training
- Dedicated Flight Instructor
- Knowledge Test
- Practical Test
- Check Ride
- Pilot Certificate (upon successful completion of the Practical Test)
- Lodging at a Brand Name Motel
In order to get things done in only 12 days, we also provide that one-to-one student/teacher ratio. Your instructor will be as dedicated to your success as you are.
The FAA is interested in making sure that anyone wanting to become any kind of pilot has three things. Those are:
- Flying knowledge.
- Flying experience.
- Proficiency in flying an aircraft.
We make sure that each of those critical areas are covered in the training process.
This first area is where many flight instructors let their students down. Instead of providing the training, they refer you to books, tapes, DVDs, or a ground school that may or may not fully apply to either powered parachutes or sport pilot. That doesn't happen in this course. Even when you aren't up flying, you are still learning. We focus on the areas that the FAA wants us to focus on in Federal Aviation Regulations §61.311:
- Applicable regulations of this chapter that relate to sport pilot privileges, limits, and flight operations.
- Accident reporting requirements of the National Transportation Safety Board.
- Use of the applicable portions of the aeronautical information manual and FAA advisory circulars.
- Use of aeronautical charts for VFR navigation using pilotage, dead reckoning, and navigation systems, as appropriate.
- Recognition of critical weather situations from the ground and in flight, windshear avoidance, and the procurement and use of aeronautical weather reports and forecasts.
- Safe and efficient operation of aircraft, including collision avoidance, and recognition and avoidance of wake turbulence.
- Effects of density altitude on takeoff and climb performance.
- Weight and balance computations.
- Principles of aerodynamics, powerplants, and aircraft systems.
- Aeronautical decision making and risk management.
- Preflight actions that include—
- How to get information on runway lengths at airports of intended use, data on takeoff and landing distances, weather reports and forecasts, and fuel requirements; and
- How to plan for alternatives if the planned flight cannot be completed or if you encounter delays.
Flying Experience & Proficiency.
In order to qualify for a sport pilot license, you must have a certain level of flying experience. In the Federal Aviation Regulations, §61.313(g), the FAA requires that in order for you to be able to apply for a sport pilot license in powered parachutes you must:
- Log at least 12 hours of flight time in a powered parachute
- Including at least 10 hours dual flight training
- Including at least 2 hours of solo flight training
- Including at least 1 hour of cross-country dual flight training
- Including at least 1 hour of dual flight training preparing for the practical test within two calendar months before the date of the practical test
- Log at least 20 takeoffs and landings to a full stop in a powered parachute
- Including at least 10 solo takeoffs and landing to a full stop in a powered parachute
- Log at least one solo flight with a landing at a different airport and one segment of the flight consisting of a straight-line distance of at least 10 nautical miles between takeoff and landing locations
During this flying, we aren't just boring holes in the sky; we are covering critical information that you will need to demonstrate during your practical test, otherwise known as the "check ride". The areas we will be practicing the most come right out of Federal Aviation Regulations, §61.311. They are:
- Preflight preparation.
- Preflight procedures.
- Airport operations.
- Takeoffs, landings, and go-arounds.
- Performance maneuvers.
- Ground reference maneuvers.
- Emergency operations.
- Post-flight procedures.
Testing and License Issue.
Of course the part of the pilot licensing process that causes the most anxiety is the testing. We recognize that and work to make your preparations as thorough (and enjoyable!) as possible by covering all of the material (and the questions) in the knowledge test. You also go through a practice check ride before you go through the real thing. Your instructor is also available to answer your questions all through the training process.
Very important for some people is that the check ride is done at the airport you are already familiar with. For knowledge testing we travel down the road about 30 miles to a computerized testing center. Of course the required endorsements and the costs for the testing are included in the price for the training package.
Reading through this, I'm sure you can see that there is a lot to be done in only 12 days. But with a little dedication, this can be one of the most rewarding experiences of your life. When you are finished, you will have the satisfaction of having accomplished something very few people in life get to accomplish, you will be a pilot!
I hope that you allow Easy Flight to be a part of your journey.
With our one-to-one student/teacher ratio, we stack the odds for success in your favor. But remember, pulling in the necessary instructors to one location requires preplanning. Your schedule, the instructor's schedules and other students' schedules have to be synchronized. There are only six courses planned for this season and they will be limited to three students each.
We have even more information in our free 24 page brochure. To get your copy, use our contact page to send along your mailing address and we will get one shipped out to you!Contact Easy Flight