The Powered Parachute is the safest FUN way to experience the joys of flight. Even if you've never flown before or if you're a licensed pilot with many hours of flight time, it will be the Ride of Your Life!. If the adventure of flying in powered parachutes sounds like something you would like to experience, then you've come to the right place. Extreme Sports Café partner Flight Centre are one of the few areas where you can fly almost year round. Some of the best flying is in the cooler fall and winter months, as we just dress warmer. The powered parachute aircraft will perform even better in the cool dense air, and the morning flying times is extended longer in these months. Extreme Sports Café now offers you the chance to experience Powered Parachute Flight in sunny California, at our partner flight centre.
Extreme Sports Café’s partner Powered Parachute Centre has been in the Powered Parachute (PPC) industry since 1993, making them one of the most experienced flight training centres in the USA today. They are the only year round, full time powered parachute training centre located in Apple Valley, California.
- Extreme Sports Café’s partner Powered Parachute Centre offer a complete choice of flight options, from a discovery flight that allows you to find out for yourself what it is like to fly in powered parachute, the First Flight course that lets you start on the flight training path, flying from the front seat of our dual controlled Powrachute Pegasus with your CFI in the back seat talking to you over the intercom while showing you how to fly the powered parachute and letting you fly the powered parachute yourself, and a Sport Pilot training course, which brings you to the level required to fly a PPC solo, and puts you on a straight & level course to attaining your Sport Pilot rating.
- The flight centre offer complete sport pilot training, as well as all the needed study and Sport Pilot training materials required to pass the FAA knowledge test & the practical test/check ride. They also offer Ultralight Powered Parachute Flight Training for those wanting to fly a single seat powered parachute that qualifies under the Ultralight rule.
- The Chief Flight Instructor, Phil Dietro, is an FAA Certified Flight Instructor (CFI) with a Sport Pilot rating for Powered Parachute Land, (PPCL) or what is referred to as Powered Parachutes. He has also attained his DPE rating (Designated Pilot Examiner) for sport pilot in powered parachutes, and his Sport Flight Instructor Examiner (SFIE) rating. The centre are now able to perform the practical tests required for the issuance of your FAA sport pilot certificate and CFI, for those wanting to become Certified Flight Instructors.
- Extreme Sports Café’s partner Powered Parachute Centre are also California's dealer for Powrachute PPC's. They fly the Pegasus, and offer the full line of Powrachute powered parachutes. Whether you want a powered parachute like the Voyager that meets the ultralight regulations of FAR Part 103, or the AWESOME performance of the 100 HP AIRWOLF 2 place light sport aircraft, Powrachute the centre have what you’re looking for. “Ask the pilot who flies one.” Powrachute, the finest Light Sport Aircraft PPC on the market today.
We highly recommend that you go for a powered parachute discovery flight prior to making any decision on aircraft to purchase, and once you decide to purchase to start your training. This will make you a better informed buyer as to what you want in a Powered Parachute, whether it is a Light Sport Aircraft or an Ultralight single seat vehicle that meets the Part 103 rule requirements.
Powered Parachute Courses & Experiences in California from Extreme Sports Cafe
Powered Parachute Discovery Flight 30 Minutes $125.00
There are many ways to get started on your adventure of flying Powered Parachutes. The easiest way to find out if you will like this (most people are usually hooked on their first flight) is to sign up for a discovery flight.
- First you will receive the required FAA safety briefing, covering seat belt use, communications helmet, the positive exchange of the controls (so we both know who is flying the aircraft) and emergency procedures. (just in case.)
- You will then be taken aloft in our Powrachute Pegasus 2 place light sport aircraft that is equipped with full dual controls with your CFI at the controls. Once we reach cruising altitude you will be able to take the controls if you desire and fly the Pegasus. You will see how it steers, learn how to climb, descend and make nice smooth turns as we fly off into the early morning sky of the high desert.
- When we return to the field, your CFI will demonstrate landing approaches by doing some touch and go landings, setting down and then powering up again and taking off.
- Finally all the fun comes to an end; (sadly) as we set up for a full stop landing that will have us back at our trailer.
The First Flight Course is the start of your flight training. Whether you intend to fly single seat PPC’s that qualify as an Ultralight or go on to an FAA Sport Pilot Certificate, you start out the same way.
- Before the flight begins, you will observe the CFI performing the pre-flight inspection, required prior to each flight aided by the use of appropriate checklists.
- Next is engine starting and warm up, once again aided by the appropriate checklist. Following that the aircraft is removed from the trailer, and then the required FAA safety briefing as stated above.
- Next we have you get in the front seat with your CFI in the back seat and we taxi the PPC aircraft around the field. This is to insure that you get a feel for how it steers on the ground and will know which way to turn the steering when you want to go left or right, and how much you need to turn it.
- We then taxi to our planned takeoff position, based on any wind and the direction it is coming from. All take offs and landings are into the wind.
- We then start to set up the wing (or parachute, which is the wing) with the CFI explaining what each step is. After the wing is properly laid out your CFI has you get into the front seat, and covers engine start up and shut down procedures, then straps you in with the 4 point lap and shoulder harness, secures your helmet making sure the ear cups seat well and that the microphone is properly adjusted and plugs you into the intercom system. Your CFI then gets into the back seat and secures his helmet, straps in, does a comm. check and has you start the plane. After the engine is warmed up again your CFI does the first take off and gets into the flight pattern you will be following over the field. The CFI explains what is happening during take off and gets up to the pattern altitude. At this time he will demonstrate and explain how to fly the pattern maintaining a straight track on each side (leg) of the pattern.
After several passes around the field, the CFI turns the controls over to you and you are now flying the pattern while maintaining a straight track over the ground and maintaining a consistent altitude and making smooth turns. (yes, we know it won’t be perfect, but that’s why we call it training, and practice makes perfect)
- After you have done this & have the feel of the powered parachute aircraft, the CFI will then take the controls and demonstrate how to do touch & go’s where you set up for a landing approach, and upon a smooth touch down, smoothly add power, taxi, making sure the wing is centred using the mirror & take off again, flying around the established pattern repeating this manoeuvre. This manoeuvre is the key to learning to fly a PPC, because take offs and landings are the most critical areas of operation to master.
- As you will see, flying around at altitude is very simple, because of the self stabilising pendulum affect, which self corrects, so the pilot is not required to add in any control input. This will be explained in more detail while you are doing your first flight course.
Notes Powered Parachute First Flight Course
- Note: When scheduling the First Flight Course, the flight centre now only schedule 1 student per day, and fly from sunrise, all morning, as long as the weather permits. This allows you to get the most time in the front seat, and is almost like a solo flight, except you have your CFI on board with you.
- Note: All of the flight training time you do is logged in the supplied log book, and is time that counts toward the minimum time required to attain your FAA Sport Pilot certificate, which is required to fly any 2 place light sport aircraft, (Powered Parachute). If you want to solo, more training time is required, as we would issue you an FAA student pilot certificate, and follow the FAA regulations for solo flight under that pilot certificate.
- Note: Extreme Sports Café’s partner Powered Parachute Centre are one of the few dealer/training centres that will allow you to solo in their aircraft, because they are confident in the training they offer. (Many dealers & training facilities will take you up for an intro flight, and train you dual in their plane, but if you want to solo, you must buy your own plane). You will find this to be a fun experience.
- Note: Extreme Sports Café’s partner Powered Parachute Centre's goal is for you to have a great flight, while learning to master flight of the powered parachute in a safe & enjoyable manner.
- Note: Extreme Sports Café’s partner Powered Parachute Centre also offer a concentrated 10 to 14 day training package that allows you to learn all you need in order to earn your FAA sport pilot license. The 1st flight course is the start of that program, and if you elect to go on to that within 30 days, the costs of the 1st flight course will be applied to the total sport pilot package price.
Powered Parachute Instructor..
Phil Dietro, President of Inland Paraflite, Inc. is an FAA Certified Flight Instructor (CFI) with a Sport pilot rating for Powered Parachute Land, (PPCL) or what we refer to as a Powered Parachute.
- He is also an FAA SPE (Sport Pilot Examiner) and an SFIE (Sport Flight Instructor Examiner) To receive these ratings, you must be a CFI with a lot of training experience, and must be selected to attend the 1 week long training seminar held at the FAA’s Light Sport Branch in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Here you are evaluated by FAA inspectors, trained in the duties of an examiner, and must pass a practical test & check ride with an FAA inspector.
- The SPE is authorised to test Sport Pilot candidates, administering the Practical Test & check ride. Upon successful completion, he issues the new sport pilot their temporary pilot certificate. As an SFIE, Phil is able to administer the practical test & check ride for sport pilots that are ready to become CFI’s, and issue their temporary CFI license upon successful completion of the CFI practical test. A CFI must know all that a sport pilot knows, but to a more precise level and be able to teach it as well. Their flight skills must be to a more precise level as well.
- Phil has been flying powered parachutes since August of 1992, and has tremendous experience that he shares with all his students. As a high time pilot and CFI, Phil brings a wealth of real world flying experience to the table and can share and teach things that a new or low time CFI has yet to experience for themselves.
- One of our goals is to constantly update our training material and actual flight training as student needs may require. You will find that Phil is both a competent instructor & pilot, and is very professional in his training, and he expects the best from his students. Phil’s primary goal is providing you a safe, fun and exciting experience in Powered Parachute instruction and flying enjoyment.
- Phil was very fortunate to go through the last class given by the inventor of the Paraplane, Steve Snyder. He's also the inventor of the self-opening ram air parachute, which is used by the military and most sport skydivers. The Ram Air Parachute is used on all powered parachute aircraft. We have a great deal of involvement with the Powered Parachute industry and your instruction, including knowledge, experience and commitment. This allows YOU to relax and enjoy...
Powered Parachute Location
Extreme Sports Café’s partner Powered Parachute Center is located in the beautiful high desert of Southern California, in Apple Valley, which is next door to Victorville just off Interstate 15. They are less than a 1-hour drive from Ontario International Airport (ONT), so, while they are on the West Coast, they are easy to get to. They are also about 2 hours from Los Angeles’ LAX & Orange County's John Wayne Airport.
- Other attractions close by are the Disney parks, & Knott's Berry Farm, 90 minutes south of us in Orange County. And, of course, let’s not forget all the beautiful beaches available to you while having your flying vacation. We also have two major league baseball teams; the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Los Angeles Angels that you can plan to take in while you’re out here on your flying vacation. To the north about 3 hours drive is Fabulous Las Vegas, and closer, on the way, is Calico Ghost Town. You can explore the old mine shafts, and see a restored Wild West town.
- Contact us today to schedule your introduction to the fun of low & slow Magic Carpet flight in a Powered Parachute.
Frequently Asked Questions - Powered Parachute
1. What Makes the Powered Parachute So Stable?
- The pendulum effect (pilot and airframe suspended by an airfoil) provides self-compensating stability.
2. How Fast Does It Fly?
- The Powered Parachute flies at between 26 & 32mph through the air. This is determined by the type of wing, (rectangular or elliptical) & wing loading. The heaver your payload, the faster you will fly. The ground speed is determined by the speed of the wind relative to the flight direction.
3. How Does The Parachute Deploy?
- Simply lay the parachute out behind the aircraft, make sure it is squared up to the airframe, make sure all the lines are clear and free of tangles, get in the aircraft, secure your helmet & seat belt, and start the engine. As the pilot and aircraft start rolling forward for takeoff, the parachute will kite overhead. Before going to lift off power (usually full power) make sure the Lines are free, all cells are Open, and the wing is Centered. We call this a LOC. Once this is completed, increase to full power and the parachute will lift the pilot and aircraft up into the sky.
4. What if the engine quits?
- It gets very quiet. In the unlikely event that the engine should fail, the pilot can safely steer the unpowered gliding Powered Parachute back to a landing site. You will have a glide ratio of anywhere between 3:1 to 5 or 6:1, depending on the type of wing you’re flying. (rectangular or elliptical)
5. How Is The Powered Parachute Transported?
- All that is required is a small trailer. Of course, there are many trailer options available, including fully enclosed models that will sleep 6, has full kitchen and bathroom facilities, and can carry a Powrachute Airwolf or Pegasus easily.
6. Why a Powered Parachute?
Why a powered parachute? Boy is this a broad question – you sure you want to go with this question? OK, OK, well, because:
- It is probably the most fun you can have with your clothes on.
- It is the easiest flying vehicle we know about – only two airborne controls. One to control your rise and decent through the skies, (the throttle) and the other to make turns (via your feet and the foot rudder bars).
- Besides keeping the unit sturdy, clean & dry, you only need to change the oil and the plugs to maintain it.
- It takes very little room to store it – a single car garage can hold three units. And hence it is also very easy to transport – a common utility trailer can easily carry your PPC to any fly-in. Heck, some people just add an extended shelf to the rear of their pick-up trucks and put the PPC there (without any trailer).
- You can fly year round, weather permitting of course.
- It requires no ground crew; you can easily unpack, take-off, land, and re-load your PPC all by yourself.
- It has an incredible safety record (despite the fact that mere humans are allowed to fly it).
7. What does it feel like?
- Flying a powered parachute is the closest you may ever come to actualizing those childhood flying dreams. It is the closest you will ever come to soaring with the eagles. Another aircraft may never match the slow & low abilities of the PPC. It is an incredibly safe and fun way to sail-the-skies!
8. What is the ceiling of the PPC? (How high can you go?)
- From the factory, the 2-seat PPC with a 65hp engine will normally obtain around 12,000 feet with just an average size pilot, and around 8,000 feet with 450 lbs of occupants. As of July 2001, the altitude record is over 17,700 feet (I believe by Bud Gish of Alaska). With the Sport Pilot rule, you are limited to 10,000 feet MSL (above sea level) If it is a single seat Ultralight, you are not limited to the same ceiling as a sport pilot, but if you plan to go much above 12,000MSL, you will need oxygen.
9. Can I train myself?
- Since there is considerably more to flying a PPC, than pulling an elevator control back, or pushing a foot (steering) rudder bar – I would have to say "NO" for safety’s sake! And honestly, anyone that says that they can safely train you in under 6 hours to fly solo—is not giving you the complete picture; too much information would have to be skipped—go elsewhere for your training!
10. What kind of license do I need to fly a Powered Parachutes?
This is going to have to be a 2-part answer: one part for true 103 PPC’s and one for the 2-seat light sport aircraft (2 seat PPC’s).
Relative to true 103 PPC’s: No license or registration is needed – HEY!
- [Note: a true 103 ultralight will weigh under 254 lbs, have a single seat, fuel capacity that does not exceed 5 gallons, go slower than 55 knots (63 mph) and have a stall speed less than 24 knots.]
Relative to a 2-seat trainer: Yes, you will need a Sport Pilot certificate. Your drivers will serve as your medical, and any restrictions placed on that will apply to your sport pilot privileges. This is an FAA pilot certificate. The minimum requirements are;
- 12 hours total time, with 10 hours dual training, that means you and your CFI in the plane together, learning to fly the powered parachute.
- 2 hours solo flight training. (yes, you’re all alone up there when solo). 20 takeoffs & landings to a full stop, with 10 of those being solo.
- A dual cross country training with a flight greater than 15 nautical miles straight line distance between takeoff & landing point.
- A solo cross country flight of a straight line distance of at least 10 nautical miles between takeoff & landing points.
11. What winds can a Powered Parachute safely fly in?
- You should never fly in winds that exceed your flight skills. And, it is recommended that all PPC pilots should avoid flying in winds above 15 mph.
12. Do I need to own a plane, before I take lessons?
- No, at Inland Paraflite, Inc. we train & solo students in our aircraft. There are some CFI’s that will not allow you to solo in their aircraft, so you should take that into consideration when selecting a CFI. We also recommend that you take lessons before purchasing a PPC, so that you can learn the pluses and minuses of each PPC design.
13. What is the maximum weight you can carry?
There are quite a few factors that come into play when considering this answer.
- The strength of the PPC frame.
- The size and strength of the canopy.
On average however, I will venture to say that around 450-500 lbs of payload is workable for a 2-seat trainer. Your weight and balance documents that are required to be on any 2 seat light sport aircraft will spell this out for your particular aircraft. It will also be spelled out for any single seat PPC from the manufacturer.
14. How much room do you need for take-off and landing?
- Again, weight, weather and faith come into play here. But for two people, you will need about 300 to 400 feet for take-off and around 50-100 to safely land. If you have obstacles at the end of your runway, you should plan to have enough room to clear them safely.
15. Are ballistic or emergency parachutes used on PPC’s?
- No. When you have an aircraft with the safely record of the PPC, it is extraordinary to find one with an emergency chute. Besides, you’re already flying your recovery system, the ram air parachute wing on your plane.
16. Are PPC’s useful in aiding Search & Rescue operations?
- The PPC is so ‘right’, so useful when it comes to search & rescue operations, that sometimes, the Civil Air Patrol will get a little jealous about the PPC. Except for getting to the ‘lost’ sight quickly, there is no better aircraft than the PPC for aiding in the search of the lost. (Heck, you could find a lost rabbit with a PPC!)
17. Can you fly at night?
Well, here’s another 2 part answer.
- No, if it is a part 103 ultralight vehicle you cannot fly at night. If it is a 2 place light sport aircraft, as a sport pilot the answer is still no. There is one way to legally fly at night.
- There is also a Private Pilot rating for powered parachutes. This is not to be confused with an airplane (Cessna) private rating, because they are different. If you have the private pilot rating for powered parachutes, along with the required position lights, you can fly at night. So far, there are only 4 Private Pilot PPC examiners in the entire country, so it is very rare to see. You also must pass the private pilot written test, then the practical test and you must have at least a 3rd class medical, so for most of us, we will just fly in the daytime.
18. What are the age limits of a PPC pilot?
- For a true 103 single seat ultralight, there is no age limit; for the 2-seat light sport PPC, 16 to solo with a student pilot certificate and be at least 17 years old to hold a sport pilot certificate.
19. Is a medical required to fly the PPC?
- No, for a 2 place light sport aircraft, you will be able to use your driver license, or in lieu of that you may have a 3rd class medical. If it is a true Part 103 ultralight then no medical is required. If you choose to get your private pilot rating for PPC’s then a 3rd class medical is required.
20. Can I fly in or over a National Park?
- There has always been confusion over this question. Except for hazardous areas like the Grand Canyon, the FAA has no restrictions on the air space over National Parks – it is only strongly requested that you maintain 2000 AGL (Above the Ground Level) when over a National Park. However, the Park Service will probably ticket (and yell) at you for violating Noise & Disturbance laws, if you fly too low!
21. Am I able to take my friends or family for ride if I fly a 2 place PPC?
- Yes, once you have earned your Sport Pilot license.
22. Do I have to be a ‘mechanical’ type, to maintain my PPC?
- No, if you can change the plugs and change the gear oil, you will be fine.
23. Are we required to register the PPC with the FAA?
- Yes, if it is a 2 place, then you are required to register it (a $5.00 one time fee) and you will be assigned an N number (tail number like you see on a Cessna). You will also be required to have an airworthiness certificate. If it is a single seat that meets the ultralight rules, then you are not required to register it.
Enjoying the feel of flight while the ground seems to rush by as you follow the dips & turns….Flying in a powered parachute is the closest you may ever come to experiencing a magic carpet ride.
Powered Parachute Courses & Experiences in California from Extreme Sports Cafe
Who runs our Extreme Sports Courses?
Extreme Sports Cafe and it's partner run extreme sports courses and experiences worldwide including Skydiving, Kitesurfing, Windsurfing, Surfing, Wakeboarding, Paragliding, Paramotoring, Climbing, Freediving, Bungy Jumping, Muay Thai, Bike Racing, Rafting, Kayaking, Scuba Diving, Zorb, S.U.P, Car Hire, Insurance and more. We offer a range of exciting, challenging and fun experiences for you to enjoy whilst on holiday and will have more sports and adventure centres & schools elsewhere soon...
Where do I take it from here?
You can go on to improve and expand your horizons; develop your technique; learn new skills and enjoy more advanced courses, become an instructor and teach others, join a club and buy your own equipment and go on an extreme sports adventure safely whenever you want. Let us know how we can help...
If you have any questions, then please don’t hesitate to get back to us – we’ll be only too pleased to help. After all, the team at ESC are passionate about our various sporting disciplines – we want you to be, as well!
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