Home
SlugShop Engines Paragliders Training Contact Information About Pictures

E-mail - Intro letter.

Below is a little letter I send out to everyone interested in PPG, it's a cut and paste thing it may have more info than you asked for but I just send it to everyone.

Hello Neophyte PPG pilot !,

Powered paragliding is an extension of paragliding, in that you add a back pack unit to the setup and this backpack allows you to fly without lift from natural sources. I first train you to fly the glider then I add the motor. This is the old school way of teaching and I still follow it. It takes a bit longer but you will be a better pilot for it. You will have home work !!! You must kite the glider 10 to 20 hours on the ground. This practice can be achieved at any grass spot school, park, construction site, etcetera. (You are welcome to use any of my fields as well.)

I have all the school gear you will need to see how this works and what your starting into. The first day or so of training all you need to bring is your body, but before you will be able to fly up in the air on your own you will need your some of your own gear, which I will help you size and fit to your body type, fitness level, and weight. (I specialize in training the "hefty guy" as I am one of the few serious "hefty guys" that is active. If your petite you will have an edge on most so your fine there.)

Foot launched PPG units remain inside the FAR103 government ultra-light rules and no training is required to legally fly. PPG's do however require a lot of personal learning to balance with a spinning propeller on your back with 45-65lbs of gear. Then also then coordinating the wing into a flying position for takeoff. So if you don't train you will most likely spend as much as training in repairs to your unit before you can fly; or even worse hurt yourself in the process.

PPG is a very odd aircraft we don't have many of the things that are considered normal in aviation; cockpit, landing gear, a front facing prop, runways, control panels, and we are totally exposed. However the open flight sensation you experience in powered paragliding is the closest to fulfilling the dream of personal flight we all had as kids, so while the road is longer with PPG when you are trained and ready to fly your reward goes way up as there are things a low and slow craft can do that is unparalleled in aviation.

My name is James Coblentz, however everyone calls me Slugger ... (a flying nick name) I offer training and sales of PPG units and wings ... We fly out of Shippensburg, PA and Libertytown, MD depending on weather and capabilities of our members. Training is $1350 to a PPG2 level. Once you are signed up as a full student there is no limit to how many times you come out and train. This never ends please come fly with us after your training as well! Expect 3-6 months over the weekends to get to flight status. The only restrictions to this full unlimited training is if you don't show up for a year straight at which point I basically would have to re-start from scratch anyway. I do understand that work, husbands / wife’s / kids, winter (Dec. thru Mar.), Illness, and other stuff happens and am not a stickler to any schedule. This open format is required to fly as well, due to the fact we have to work with the weather we got, and sometimes weather can prohibit any flight activities at all.

I do offer training per day at $150 ... and a first day feeler course for $125. My prices reflect making pilots not just selling gear and orphaning people NOTE... I reserve the right to refuse training to anyone, I may request or even require you get a trike attachment if I feel it will make flying more enjoyable/safer for you.

There are two releases "liability" you will have to sign to fly with us they are formal and a major release of your legal rights in an effort to protect myself, my friends, and my land owners from legal exposure. The fact is you are flying an open cockpit plane with no frame at all and if you crash serious injury can occur. Most of the risk can be mitigated thru training and technique but sport aviation is aviation. From what I have seen on the USPPA.net risk assessment it is more dangerous than driving a car and less dangerous than riding a motorcycle.

When you come out to the field you will see we a group of people who share a passion to fly. We support each other and help each other in our endeavors to fly. Picnics and other get together’s are common and all are welcome. In the end we are just a bunch of air junkies who like to hang out and fly.

Cost to be flying new gear (approx.) Motor $6500-$7200 (Motor includes a harness some are easy to use both on the motor and off and some are difficult to connect and detach from the unit.) Wing $2850-$3850 Helm $450 Radio $150 So as you see it's sort of like a motorcycle in cost in the end ... You can start with just a wing and learn to ground handle / tow / & training hill, (up to ph.3) then you need a motor. This also has the added bonus of spreading out the cost a bit.

First day feeler course ($125.00):
I have all equipment for your first day flying ... with some luck we may go to a hill that wind is "commin" into and get you a little flight, else we just practice wing control all day we take a break mid-day when it’s hot and nasty and do lunch or something. I will go over the glider and its attachment and some theory, but not too much on the first day. We then get right to it and ground handle the glider and run around doing various flying tasks ... my goal for this day is to make you see what you are getting in to and if you like it. Many people see it is not just run and fly and quit ... and that is fine ... better to find out in the beginning before you have $10k worth of gear to try to sell. :)

1'st day stuff you need to bring

1.) Be well rested ... a very physical day for most be ready for it.
2.) 1 cooler 20 waters ...well maybe not 20 but a lot "BRING WATER" some Gatorade type stuff is cool as well but water is king.
3.) We will be mobile we will go to where I think we can get some work done ... all my stuff is ~50 miles around ... be ready to move to a new location.
4.) Good comfortable boots/shoes ... don't go buy new ones for this day we want broke in shoes over new "no flip flops/sandals etc." ....
if in shorts .. bring a pair of pants as well we may be in high brush and shorts suck in brush. If it's sunny sunglasses and a hat are always good as well.

If you chose to continue training: There is 4 major phases you move thru to complete your training.
Phase 1 > Ground handling "The wing is a part of you and you can control it"
Phase 2> Tow and training hill flight's "No motor"
Phase 3> Motor Clinic "How the motor messes up what you just learned" <(You will solo your first time as we start this section.)
Phase 4> Motor flight training to USPPA PPG2 requirements.

This is my longer, but better pilot maker layout and many free flight pilots agree they are much better off for learning to free fly first and then adding the motor as a tool to "fake a lift source".

About me:
My name is James but everyone calls me Slugger I am a founding member of the Dukes of Windsoar and started flying in 1999 I have logged over 2000 flights and 100's and 100's of hours of air time. I worked full time as a instructor for Southern Skies under master pilot Chris Bowles. I currently hold a USHGA P4 "Advanced rating" and a USPPA Instructor rating as well as many special skill sign offs and other ratings. I am a very seasoned instructor and am able to help most anyone find there feel to control their gilder. I have flown in: MD/PA/WV/NY/VA/OH/DL/MA/NC/SC/GA/FL/CO/UT/NM/NV/CA/Mexico/El-Salvador and love to free fly without the motor and catch thermals and such.

If you’re in doubt, do the first day feeler course, My goal that day is you make you see what PPG is so you can make an informed decision about PPG.

Links to stuff that I do.
My web page: http://www.sluggersppg.com
The German Fresh breeze site. (The best motors quiet and precise "What I sell") http://www.fresh-breeze.de
My Facebook page, (lots of pictures and info about the group) https://www.facebook.com/sluggersppg

Last of all:
There are 100’s of scams out there in the internet, Don’t buy anything you can’t go to a field like mine and see flying and being trained on, don’t give into the free training with purchase gimmick, free training equals just sell the gear and move on. Don’t buy used gear and expect to fly it, most of it is junk and will be useless to any instructor who cares about your safety. Don't buy the newest/hottest glider, you as a beginner will never realize all of its performance and its performance will probably bite you in the butt. Lastly the best instructors are not pushy and not sky gods if there looping there glider over the top and talking faster than a used car sales man, all I can say is buyer beware; and don’t become an orphan. (Orphan def. - A PPG owner who is not properly trained or scared and or has no support community to help him or her learn to fly correctly and who’s gear is sitting in there shed/garage unused, but paid for in full.)

PPG is very accessible, but it’s still an aircraft, proper equipment, training, and safety will save you $1,000’s of dollars and just maybe your life, find a down to earth instructor with and good skill set.

In the end:
Come see me for a day and do the intro, Learn what PPG is and become an informed shopper, what’s a $125 bucks compared to $10k in gear sitting around busted and or left to rot due to lack of proper training; it’s nothing.

Slugger