Classes

Paragliding classes are weather-permitting and start with ground-handling at Andy Jackson Flight Park in San Bernardino. Ground-handling, or "kiting" as it is also called, continues until one achieves the skills required to launch a paraglider. The number of classes for kiting really depends on a person's skills; usually after 3 classes a student is ready to take on the training hill.

The training hill is located at the landing zone of Andy Jackson Airpark in the city of San Bernardino. A student practices launching and landing over a 30-foot elevation difference. Every student is different, but the average time spent on the training hill is about 2 full days of classes.

After the student demonstrates confidence in launching and landing, the next step is a tandem flight with the instructor from the 2000-foot launch. During this tandem flight the instructor will explain the techniques of controlling the glider and the approach path to a chosen landing spot. Once the student is familiar with the launch and approach to the landing zone, he or she attempts the first solo flight. All solo flights are guided from lauch to landing zone by radio contact from the instructor.

When the student has made several successful lauches and landings, the next stage of paragliding classes teaches thermalling and understanding of micro-meteorology. This stage of learning to fly takes the most time, but the instructor is always at the flying site with you to answer any questions and guide you through the techniques of using thermals to maximize your altitude and time in the air.

There is much to learn about paragliding and each person's goals and interests in the sport vary greatly. As well, people learn at different paces. The cost for paragliding lessons is a flat $2,200, required after the second ground-handling class. This fee includes an unlimited amount of lessons until one attains an advanced rating "P4" in the sport. For the first two months of classes the school will supply all the equipment needed to paraglide: paraglider, harness, reserve parachute, 2-way FM radio, and helmet. During this two months, the student is looking to purchase his or her own equipment for use in the intermediate stages of classes.

The full package includes all paragliding gear with unlimited lessons up to P-4 (advanced) rating included for $7,000.

Paragliding pilots are tested and certified by the United States Hang Gliding and Paragliding Association, from P1 (beginner) through P4 (advanced). This school provides its students with the training and testing to achieve a level 4 rating.