launch at Valle de Bravo, Mexico powered paraglider launch at Gardiner Turf Grass farms

SOUTHWEST AIRSPORTS

paragliding training center

Paragliding training details & tuition schedule

The P1 & P2 courses include all gear necessary for training.  Note: As of June 16, 2017, we have had to increase our tuition charges due to a threefold increase of insurance costs in our industry.

WE ARE COMPLETELY BOOKED FOR THE SUMMER SEASON.  PLEASE CONTACT US IN SEPTEMBER TO ENROLL DURING THE FALL SEASON.

Tandem training flights

We do tandem training flights at this time at no charge in celebration of our PASA certification (as time permits).  Please see our tandem operations page for more information.  The weight limit for persons wanting to fly tandem is 190 lb, not 200 lb as mentioned in the physical and mental requirements section.

P-1 PG Beginner Package – $850 for 3+ days

This package will allow you to explore the magic of piloting a paraglider and allow you to complete the first phase of certified training – a P-1 rating for successful students.  We provide everything for you to succeed, including a syllabus to study for the test, equipment use for flying, and as many flights as you can take over the course.  Sometimes the course is extended another day or more if weather conditions are restrictive.  The entire price of the P1 Beginner Package can be credited toward the P2 Novice Certification course if the student decides to continue training to become an independent pilot.  Lessons include the use of our training equipment and ground school.  Depending on schedules and conditions, the course may be spread over several days or a week.  The student will be towed into the air using our pay-in stationary winch at a sod farm in west El Paso.  Beginner pilots (P1) can only fly sites under the direct supervision of an instructor.

P-2 PG Novice Certification Course – $2,590  7+ days

Become a solo novice pilot.  This course is intended to teach you how to be a safe and confident pilot, especially in the difficult and challenging conditions we find in the air near high desert mountains.  Instruction and practice will prepare you to decide how and when to safely fly your paraglider without the direct supervision of your instructor.

P-3 or P4 PG Certification – $550 2+ days

Pilots who wish to become certified as P3 and above must meet all of the USHPA requirements (P3 – paragraph 12-02.15 or page 25; P4 – paragraph 12-02.16 or page 27).  Pilots who train to the P3 level or above must be able to successfully fly Agave Hill or a similar mountain site.  For pilots on their way, Jocky Sanderson made a helpful video on cross country flying called Speed to Fly: A Complete Guide to Cross Country Paragliding (2001) but it is no longer available.  However, instructor Had Robinson collected some helpful notes on the video.

Crossover Training (PG to PPG or PPG to PG) $550  1+ days

Students who already have a P2 or higher rating will need less instruction and time to become PPG-2 and vice versa.  Pilots may choose to earn USHPA Certification. This will allow the pilot to free-fly a paraglider at many soaring sites. Students must provide their own powered paragliding equipment.

PG SIV Clinics

Please go here for information and an important warning concerning SIV clinics.

Student pilot, Jason Tilley, learning how to fly at the sod farm.  Is there anything more fun than this?  View is looking up from the ground.

paragliding flying overhead

Additional Notes

Your training will include syllabus study materials, a computer based log book (by request), ground school, and hands-on instruction.  It does not include the textbook.

Our course will prepare you for mountain flying. You will learn how to layout your wing and do a preflight check. Become more at ease with both forward and reverse launches. Learn to control your wing through turns and mild turbulence. Begin the study of meteorology and its effects on flight and much more.  It includes the use of all equipment needed for training – paraglider, harness, helmet, and radio.

We recommend that pilots purchase a glider at some point when progressing through the P2 program of study.  This will greatly help you later on, as you gain more experience with your own glider instead of a school glider.  Students who have their own glider will be able to practice kiting on their own time and thus gain much more out of their course of instruction.  Kiting skills are essential for pilot safety.  It is one of the most important skills a pilot can learn that will dramatically reduce the risks of this sport.

Successful graduates of this program will be certified as Novice Pilots (P2) and authorized to fly P2 rated sites without the direct supervision of an instructor.  Pilots who make it through our P2 certification will be some of the best trained pilots of any paragliding school.  We spend the time to ensure that you can safely fly anywhere in the world.  Our regional sites provide some of the greatest rewards and challenges that a pilot can face including Dry Canyon in the Sacramento Mountains and Lee's Lookout in Franklin Mountains State Park.  Building your confidence in flying in safe conditions is what we strive for.  If you train with us, you will have the skills you need to always fly safely.

Part of our equipment is an ATV which we use to fetch the drogue parachute after it falls to the ground.  This machine saves time!  (Driver – Tirzah Robinson) Photo courtesy of Jan Auwermann

ATV used to fetch the drogue parachute

Below, pilot Lee Baker thermals away to cloud base from the sod farm after a tow up – he was the first to ever do this.  There is no greater thrill than using hard earned skills to stay in the air for hours at a time using the sun's energy as our "engine."  We rarely have the buoyant air that Lee experienced that day.  Most of the time, our skies are cloudless and the location and strength of thermals are much harder to determine.

paraglider thermalling at cloud base

Launching a paraglider at Agave Hill – photo courtesy of Doak Hoover

paraglider launching from Agave Hill

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