Best Locations in the U.S. to Get Paramotor Training

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Guys handshaking in a paramotor training field
Photo by WonderIsland

Paramotoring brings a thrill that pilots of all ages and experience levels can share. The never-ending rush you get when you surf the clouds will have you going back up for more, no matter how many times you’ve done it. Don’t be surprised if your interest turns into an obsession.

Paramotoring, however, involves a lot of knowledge, skill, and attention to detail if you want to do it safely. The amount and quality of the training you receive can make all the difference in how much you enjoy your in-flight experience.

You might be ready to take your first step into the world of paramotoring but aren’t sure how to begin. Fortunately, with the right professional paramotor training, you can learn everything about both the artistic and technical aspects of these aircraft. You will also learn to fly in a safe and fun environment, surrounded by like-minded people who share your interest and enthusiasm for piloting.

If you have a list of paramotor training schools near you but can’t decide which one to go for, we’ll help you out. Ideally, you want a school that will offer you quality training and instruction from an experienced professional pilot.

After researching several well-known schools, looking at the training they offer, and combing through their reviews from past students, we have compiled a list of some of the top recommended paramotor schools. With this guide, you can make a more informed choice that makes you feel confident about starting your paramotoring journey.

Let’s look at some of your options and how their training can get you in the air.

Midwest PPG (Indianapolis, IN)

What we like
  • Extensive training program
  • USPPA certified
  • Affordable
  • USPPA rating granted upon completing training
What we don’t like
  • Larger classes

Midwest PPG has conducted paramotor training since 2001 and is now a USPPA approved school. Its course meets USPPA’s PPG1 and PPG2 Foot Launch Program. The school conducts training in Franklin, IN.

Over seven to ten days, instructors will take you through up to 10 hours of training that teach you ground handling. Using their professionally maintained equipment, you will learn how to inflate and hold your wing overhead.

Instructors will also show you how to execute both forward and reverse launches, which you can use in different weather conditions based on air currents and other challenging factors.

Before taking to the air, you will first learn with a simulator. The simulation helps you better prepare and familiarize yourself with the feeling of flying before you officially take off.

These simulations amount to 20-25 flights, with your instructor gradually decreasing their input with each flight you take. This adjusted input allows you to progress toward total independent flights, complete your training, and achieve your USPPA rating at the end.

On completing their PPG training program, you will:

  • Understand glider dynamics and fundamental aerodynamic principles
  • Safely launch, fly, and land unsupervised
  • Read the FAA Sectional Charts, allowing you to scout, identify, and differentiate between prohibited and suitable flying locations
  • Understand micro- and macro-weather conditions, enabling you to determine suitable flying weather conditions and use available resources to allow you to fly in safe air
  • Understand the Federal Aviation Regulation Part 103, the law that governs Paramotor pilots
  • Fly safely and conduct pre-flight and post-flight safety checks

BlackHawk Paramotors (Valley Springs, CA)

What we like
  • Extensive and hands-on training for both beginner and intermediate
  • USPPA certified
  • Flexible schedule
  • Beautiful scenery
  • Free refresher course for past students
What we don’t like
  • No simulated training before taking flight

BlackHawk Paramotors manufactures paramotors. It also offers USPPA-certified paramotor training for both beginners and advanced students.

The training takes place at a ranch in Valley Springs, CA, allowing you to bask in the stunning landscape as you learn all the ins and outs of Paramotor flying. The location’s predictable winds create perfect flying conditions almost year-round.

The course lasts seven days, but if you cannot stay the entire week, you have the option of splitting your training into more manageable segments according to your schedule.

The course takes you through everything you need to know about launching and landing. You will also learn about the various equipment and the fundamentals of maintaining it.

Each instructor only teaches three students at a time, so you get a more hands-on learning experience. This more personalized approach enables you to get more from the training and feel comfortable asking questions. The school also offers free refresher courses to past students.

Their extensive course also takes you through:

  • A review of the different paraglider parts, looking at their maintenance needs and functions
  • Putting your harness on, proper usage, and adjustments for your comfort and safety
  • Executing proper reverse launch techniques for high wind conditions
  • Executing forward launch techniques for low or zero wind conditions
  • Performing advanced ground handling techniques
  • Flight simulations
  • How to handle different conditions and challenges safely
  • Maintenance procedures
  • The different available equipment options on the market
  • Review of FAA regulations
  • Multiple flights culminating in your first solo flight
  • Pre-flight safety procedures
  • Properly warming the engine up
  • Launch techniques, flight courses, making turns, throttle adjustments, and landing procedures
  • In-flight techniques for weight shift steering

Aviator PPG (Lake Wales, FL)

What we like
  • USPPA-certified
  • Training includes a mix of theory and practicals
  • Experienced instructors
  • Small class sizes available
  • PPG1, PPG2, and PPG3 ratings available
  • Hands-on approach
What we don’t like
  • Limited number of flights
  • Fixed number of days
  • Limited available slots
  • Costly

Aviator PPG offers wheel and foot launch paramotor training. The school also provides PPG1, PPG2, and PPG3 ratings to qualified students. Aviator PPG is USPPA-certified and bases its refined training course on USPPA’s tried and tested syllabus.

This program includes 14 days of training, and you get 15 flights on their equipment, which they rent out free of charge. Using your own equipment, however, grants you an unlimited number of flights.

The training takes you through every aspect of launching, maneuvering, landing, and maintaining your paramotor. You’ll leave with an understanding of the current flight regulations, physics, weather condition fundamentals, and complexities of paramotor flying.

Though the instructors conduct training in groups, the program is tailor-made to your aptitude. They limit the number of available course slots, making it possible for them to assign an instructor for every two students.

During your first few days of training, you will go through classroom work, ground-handling practice with different gliders, and flight simulations. You will also receive training on winch tow flights, enabling you to refine various launching and landing techniques without motor complications.

Depending on your level, you’ll take your first flight on either the third or fourth day. The rest of the days will include a mixture of morning and evening flights, classroom work, and ground handling practice, all meant to help you refine your skills.

Blue Sky PPG (Kunkletown, PA)

What we like
  • Conveniently located
  • Various course options
  • Hands-on approach
What we don’t like
  • Limited course sizes
  • Foot launches require your own paramotor

Blue Sky PPG is a locally owned and operated school that has provided paramotor training for Pennsylvania residents for over 15 years. The school serves the Lincoln, Oroville, Chico, Marysville, and Davis areas.

The training includes up to 80 hours of instruction, with students often receiving at least 12 hours of training before performing their first solo flights. The training course also includes at least 20 paramotor flights, though, for foot launches, you will need to use your own paramotor.

They provide different training courses to meet all your needs, enabling you to conduct solo flights expertly and safely. These training courses include:

  • Basic Course: This program includes up to ten full training days with classes running between six and eight hours—ideal if you can only attend on weekends. The course will take you through all the Airspace and Safety rules and restrictions, ground handling, launch techniques, reading the weather, and more.

To complete the course, you will need to perform 25 spot landings with guidance from your instructor. The final phase of your training will require you to perform mountain launches, demonstrating your flying ability by performing several maneuvers and landing safely with precision.

  • Executive Training Course: This seven day course is designed for those who want to complete their training in the shortest time possible. For this reason, the executive training course is more intensive.

You will receive more hands-on, personalized instruction, and more air time. Because of the hands-on approach, the school limits the course to three students maximum.

  • Tour Courses: Their tour courses create an easy and fun way of learning, allowing you to enjoy the refreshing Colombian air in the process. The course includes airport pickup, a six-day stay at a hotel, and daily reviews of your flights. Each review allows your instructor to guide you on the specific areas in which you need to improve.

Four Winds PPG (Avon Park, FL)

What we like
  • Refined, in-depth syllabus
  • Hands-on approach
  • Free gear rental
  • PPG1 and PPG2 ratings available
What we don’t like
  • Not USPPA certified
  • Limited availability for joining classes

Currently training up to 50 students annually, this paramotor training school offers a comprehensive 14-day training course. The course teaches everything from rules and regulations to launches and maneuvers while emphasizing safety.

You will leave with in-depth knowledge of the complexities of not only flying but ownership and maintenance of your paramotor. The course also touches on airspace, safe weather conditions, gliders, and several other tricks and tools of the trade.

They also rent their gear for free, helping you find the right equipment for you and your flying style during the up to 20 flights you will perform. This variety allows you to learn what you need and prefer when the time comes to purchase your own gear.

The school accepts up to four students twice a month. With one instructor for every two students, you are guaranteed a more hands-on approach in your training.

Using a more refined version of USPPA’s PPG2 syllabus, the initial days of training involve more classroom work and simulator sessions before your unforgettable first flight three or four days later. The solid foundation this training offers goes a long way in ensuring that you enjoy paramotoring for years to come.

For students interested in attaining their PPG1 or PPG2 ratings, the school can make arrangements for you.

Fly Mi PPG LLC (Lansing, MI)

What we like
  • USPPA and ASC certified
  • The course includes classroom sessions
  • PPG1 and PPG2 ratings available
  • Offers accommodations
  • Free access to equipment
What we don’t like
  • On-site housing is one house—not enough room for all students
  • Fewer details available about the course before taking it

Fly Mi PPG LLC is an ASC and USPPA-certified school and a member of the Aviator PPG alliance. The school offers a detailed paramotor training course covering both ground handling and class lectures.

During your training, you will have access to much of their equipment, including their motor simulator, helmets, harnesses, radios, Ozone and speed wings, Air conception Nitro 200, and more.

You will also have three on-site instructors who will guide you in both the outdoor and indoor sections of the course, ensuring not only your proficiency but your safety as well. On successful completion of your training, the school can issue you PPG1 and PPG2 ratings.

The training lasts up to 10 days and takes in a maximum of six students. The school also offers housing for current students at the Forest Hills Airport for the duration of their training at a flat rate.

Lonestar Training (San Antonio, TX)

What we like
  • USPPA and ASC certified
  • Certified instructors
  • Various in-depth course options
  • Various training locations
  • PPG1 and PPG2 ratings available
What we don’t like
  • Beginner courses cost more than other options

This paramotor training school conducts courses that abide by ASC and USPPA requirements, making it possible for you to obtain those ratings upon completing the program.

You receive training in various south-central Texas areas, including the school’s airport facility located north of San Antonio.

The school has several course options catering to students at different proficiency levels. Available courses include:

  • Beginner Courses: This training program is designed for those new to paramotor flying and includes either ten- or seven-day programs for foot-launch and wheel-launch options, respectively. The course covers all the knowledge and skills every beginner needs to perform solo flights.
  • Discovery Courses: This course is excellent for those who would like to test the waters before committing to a full paramotor training program. Students take to the air with one of the school’s certified training instructors for an introduction to paramotor flying as they learn whether they want to pursue this type of flying.
  • Confidence Builder Courses: This program is ideal for those who have rusty skills or incomplete training. They also help you if you want to refine your technique, attain PPG2 ratings, or build on the proficiency that you already have.
  • Trike Transition Courses: This course is meant for those interested in transitioning from foot-launch pilots to trike flying. The program covers all the skills you need to make a successful transition.

Paramotor Schools by Location

You can find several paramotor training schools all across the country. One such school is Paradrenalin, a USPPA-certified school found in New River, Arizona. Other options include:

  • Utah Powered Paragliding based in South Jordan, UT
  • North Dakota Paramotor located in Fargo, ND
  • Paramotor Flyers found in Durant, OK
  • UFP Paramotors in Jasper, AL
  • Paragliding unlimited situated in St. Louis, MO
  • Wisconsin Powered Paraglider in Greenleaf

With these and many more options available, you’ll have no trouble finding a paramotor training school near you.

Before rushing to get signed up, however, there are several factors you should keep in mind. These factors will help you choose the right paramotor school for you.

Guide to Choosing the Right Paramotor Training

Even with the above recommendations, you still need to exercise caution when picking a paramotor training school. Personal research will ensure you get the most out of your course. Here are a few factors to consider when choosing the right paramotor school for you.

School Certifications

While certifications are not a requirement for every paramotor school, it helps if the school you choose has a USPPA certification. This designation means that the school has met all regulations and is authorized to conduct paramotor training, teaching you all you need to know in a safe environment.

Qualified Instructors

The school you attend must have qualified and certified instructors conducting the training. A certified instructor has a wealth of tried and tested knowledge, techniques, and experience that they can draw from during your training.

Merely having the ability to fly doesn’t automatically make someone qualified to teach others. Paramotor flying carries some element of danger, and carelessness can prove fatal. Having a qualified instructor taking you through your program will help to ensure your safety.

Some might choose the option of self-training, taking regular input from a personal instructor or mentor. Though we don’t recommend it, if you select this option, having a certified instructor is even more crucial.

Teaching Approach

While an instructor’s certification is essential, you should also consider their teaching approach. We all learn at different speeds and respond differently to specific teaching styles. Some might feel comfortable with a more formal system, while others like more flexibility.

Ideally, you want your instructor to have the empathy and patience to help you through any difficulties, attending to your concerns, and offering you expert guidance and motivation when you need it.

It helps if the approach they take breaks down the complexities of paramotor flying so you can quickly understand and ask questions.

Although the right instructor depends on your preferences, you should look for these general characteristics:

  • Your instructor should follow an accredited syllabus, taking you through the program in gradual increments.
  • They should aim to give you constructive feedback, building your proficiency and confidence.
  • They should monitor the equipment you use, ensuring that it suits your level and is safely and correctly set up specifically for you.

Ideally, you want someone who you can turn to for advice about the best flying locations and equipment. Though your instructor’s knowledge about the sport and techniques will ensure you get the right information, your training will run more smoothly and will be more enjoyable for you if you feel comfortable with them.

Schedule and Location

Most paramotor training programs typically last between one and two weeks. Some offer a more flexible schedule. Many schools, however, will recommend that you set aside the time to finish the program all at once.

This condensed training may raise scheduling concerns for those with ongoing responsibilities like work or school. One way around this issue may involve scheduling your training during vacation, summer breaks, or a time that allows you to be away for however long it takes to complete your course.

The school’s location also brings about accommodation issues, especially if you choose a school in a different state. Some schools will offer you accommodations at an extra cost, but most of them will require you to find your own accommodations.

Costs

Because the price varies from school to school, you probably won’t have a problem finding one that falls within your price range. You should, however, pay attention to what the costs include.

Most schools include the use of their equipment in the training fee. Others, however, rent out the equipment to you at additional prices. Others will require you to use your own equipment.

Besides the training fee and possible equipment rental, you should keep in mind the total cost you will incur due to transport and accommodation.

The most important thing, however, is to ensure that you get your money’s worth by the end of the training program, no matter your budget.

Your Goals and Ambitions

Clearly defining your intentions enables you to know what you intend to get out of your training. What is your motivation behind attending paramotor training? Do you view it as a hobby you only plan to share with friends, or do you want to attain a specific certification level?

With these questions answered, you can confidently pick a school that offers everything you need to accomplish your goals. For instance, if you view paramotoring as more than a hobby, you should choose a school that provides you with certificates upon completing your training.

You know better than anyone else what you desire from your training. Therefore, while making your decision, ensure you explore all the possible schools in your area, and seek more information if you need it.

Reviews

Nothing lets you gauge the kind of experience you will have better than reviews from past students. Reviews offer you information about the best and worst parts of a paramotor school from those who have previously attended it.

Reading other people’s experiences also shows you what to expect. Knowing what the training involves makes it possible for you to go into your course with the commitment and confidence paramotoring requires.

With these guidelines and recommendations in mind, you are ready to begin your journey into paramotoring.