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Testimonials on Eric Dufour's Paramotor Training




"Being ever so fortunate to live within close proximity of Paratour, I have had the great fortune to spend a great deal of time with Eric and Elisabeth as my almost 5 years as a pilot.


I stopped counting flights at 2000+ but, can tell you I still continue to learn from what I consider to be the best instructor in the world. 


I've been fortunate enough to witness many new students in the training process with a consistent structured syllabus and training progression which leads to successful safe pilots.

 

I have been treated very well by my friends at Paratour and believe that I have flown about every new glider and most new motors to come on the market because of this relationship.

I still consider myself a student as I consistently receive new flying techniques and hands on training with Paratour.


My gratitude goes out to not only a great company but, great friends!"


Steven Coffey

Chuluota, Florida
stevenwcoffey@gmail.com

March 2014
Steven Coffey enjoying another great flight with his Scorpio paraglider

  

 


"Hi:  Eric

 I first want to say, how grateful and lucky I’m to have been trained by you, you’re a professional and a patience man. Who understand each person strong and weak points, and is willing to go that extra mile.

You instill confidence, with your words of encouragement like “if you don’t give up I don’t give up”.

You’re a great asset to the sport of powered paramotor gliding.  Your assistance Alan is also a very helpful person;

After receiving training, from a professional like you, I have done 3 flights with the guys and everything has gone well thank God.  I still have those words that you expressed during training in my mind."

Thank you and GOD bless you both.

I also want to express my appreciation to Elisabeth Guerin for her words of encouragement.

Eric and Elisabeth are really nice and sincere people, who will always make you feel welcome."

Juan R Fabal
flyboyfabal@gmail.com

St Cloud, Florida
February 2014
0




"I have had the wonderful experience of advancing my flight skills through Eric Dufour. 

He has the ability to watch a pilot fly, and within minutes determine what skills need to be improved upon.

Having visited him a couple of times he has a knack for the sport of powered paragliding and instructing people.

Having met pilots throughout the country that have been trained by Eric, I am impressed at their skill level and confidence they posses as ppg pilots. 

We all have something to learn from him, beginner through advanced, and I cannot say enough about his skill and ability to demonstrate the ppg, when Eric puts on a paramotor, Zen is the only word to describe Eric with a paramotor, be it a trike or foot launch unit.

To any and all perspective ppg pilots and students wanting to further advance their skill level, I highly recommend Eric Dufour."

Stann Honey
Sula, Montana
theppgcowboy@yahoo.com
January 2010



Hi Eric,

I wanted to send you a note to let you know I just completed my first two flights at home after returning from training with you last week.  They were even more beautiful than I expected. 

The training that you provided me has given me so much confidence that I feel completely ready to fly on my own without hesitation. 

I am sure I will be coming back for advanced instruction in the future, but the training you gave me exceeded all of my expectations. 

Not only the training, but the entire experience was a joy.  I think it is a testament to you that so many of your former students travel so far to come back and fly with you.

I am happy with the equipment I purchase from you.  The Ultra Polini and Axis Power Pluto II so easy to use.

It was an added bonus for me to be able to train with your brother - I have not laughed out loud that much in a long time! 

You have provided me with one of the best memories I will ever have and with the knowledge to make even more great memories.  My only regret is that I waited so long to come and train with you.  This is living.

Your friend,

Glen Myatt
glen@hattiesburgcycles.com
Hattiesburg, Mississipi
April 2010

*  Glen did 52 flights during 6 days of training at Paratour.
Glen Wyatt


 


 

Identical twins, Tim and Bob Gaskins, now share the air together.  Bob was already a PPG pilot when Bob expressed his desire to fly a paramotor too.  With their permission, here is a copy of their e-mail recently received:

"Eric,

I felt that I needed to write you and express my gratitude for the great training you gave my brother Bob.

I am not one for long or lengthy letters so I will tell you what I told Bob when he asked me who should he get his training from? I told him, "I would go to Eric Dufour. I also told him that "I would drive across the country to get trained by Eric."

But I think the best way I could sum it up is when asked by other PPGers why not go to someone closer? I said " because he is my brother."

Thanks again Eric, you made one of my dreams come true, I am now flying with my Twin brother."

Tim Gaskins, BadApple #17
Atlanta, Georgia
2010

Tim and Bob Gaskins

"Eric,

I want to say thank you but words cannot express just how much.  I am so happy that you allowed me the privilage to come down and be trained by you.  Your professionalism is unsurpassed by anyone.  How you were truly concerned not only with my training but most of all with my saftey as well.

Since I left and have had the opportunity to fly with others, I can now see why training with some one like you was the right thing to do.  I now get to fly with my brother and that is a dream I thought might not happen.  I hope my other brothers will give it a try as well.

Eric and Elizabeth thank you so much for making me feel like family and for helping me to live the dream."    

Bob Gaskins
Georgia
2010



"One day on my way down I-75 I passed by a field with people taking off on foot and flying parachutes. I thought to my self this is crazy I must do it.  Come to find out they were Powered Paragliders and my life has changed since that day. 

This was back in 2004 when I meet Eric Dufour and asked him to teach me this sport, this was something that I had to do.

Since I was a child I dreamed of flying and thought one day when I got older I would be able to fly.  I never imagined it was  something I would be able to do in my twenties.

Now 5 years later I still enjoy this sport and cherish the fact that I am able to enjoy it with my teacher and mentor Eric Dufour.  His knowledge and pure passion for this sport in unequaled." 

Paul Bobo
paulbobo@gmail.com
Florida


"Hello PPG’ers,

My name is Michael Crotteau.  I’m 52 years old and have been an aviation buff since, well, forever.  I’ve been looking for a way to get into flying for quite some time and discovered powered paragliders a few years ago at AirVenture in Oshkosh. 

Like many others I started training with another instructor but found it just wasn’t working out.  It had nothing to do with the instructor per se it was the distance I had to travel and I soon realized 3.5 hours away really isn’t local.   That’s when I contacted Eric to inquire about training.

Upon arriving in Florida and meeting Eric and Elisabeth I knew I had made the right choice.  Choosing an instructor who does it full time is a definite plus and when you add to that the fact that they also run a glider shop you realize you have a full service shop.  I would find out that the glider shop would come in handy.

When I contacted Eric initially he told me that he typically gives 20 to 25 flights in a week’s time.  When I and my fellow student Jeff arrived for training Eric told us that he was going to push us, that we had a lot to accomplish in the days to come.  But he also told us that there will be times when we’re tired or uncomfortable with something and he understands that. 

Michael Croteau

All in all it was a very enjoyable and fulfilling experience and I came away from it with the skills I need to safely and confidently fly my PPG trike.  I ended up with a total of 47 flights in my 10 days with Eric!  We were blessed with excellent weather but much of my success had to do with Eric’s excellent teaching methods and equipment. 

Earlier I mentioned the benefit of having the glider shop right there.  On my 42nd flight the winds were the highest they had been to date (7-8 mph breeze) and I had a little mishap.  I throttled back a little too much after the wing came overhead and it fell back.  I cut one line and nicked 3 others.  Elisabeth said she would put a rush on it and have my wing ready to go by the next flying day two days later.  Sure enough, my lines were replaced and I was ready to go!  I got in five more flights before I left for home and had a great time doing it!  Had it not been for the glider shop right there I would have had to settle for 42 flights, still not bad but 47 is better!

I highly recommend to anyone who wants to get into powered paragliding to give Eric a call.  Eric and Elisabeth are wonderful people and very skilled in what they do.  They made my PPG training fun and enjoyable and I’ll remember it forever.  I hope to get back down to Florida real soon.   

Happy and safe flying everyone!"

Michael Crotteau
Central Wisconsin
mecrotteau@charter.net
November 2010



"Hi fellow paramotorists!

My name is Jeff Tocci, I am 23 years old currently living in New Orleans, and I just completed a 10-day training session at Paratour.

In that brief amount of time, I
managed to get 64 flights under my belt: 32 foot launch and 32 on trike.

Upon arriving in Christmas, FL, I knew very little about the sport of powered paragliding and my
mechanical knowledge was lacking to say the least.  Thanks to Eric’s unparalleled training regiment, I feel confident as a pilot.

Every part of the training process was customized to my needs and my equipment.

 Eric has a wonderful understanding of his students, and knows just how hard to push them so that they can make the transition into pilots.

“This is not a vacation,” is one of the first things Eric said to me. “I am going to
work you hard.”  And he did.

Physically, I am now in some of the best shape of my life.  Mentally, I learned more about the basics of aerodynamics than I ever did in any Physics class.
Jeff Tocci

Paratour gives you practical knowledge that you can put to use as soon as you’re in the air. I learned about wind currents, how to read air charts, about the subtle nuances and quirks of my equipment, and how to maintain my engine. If you have a desire to learn about powered paragliding, Paratour will satiate that need, and send you home with a

goody bag full of tricks. Not to mention, if anything goes wrong later on, they offer the best customer service you could ask for.

Elisabeth is one of the few in the world that can inspect and repair your glider just by mailing it to her!  I think it was when I was flying behind a bald eagle at sunset over the St. John’s River that I realized how incredible the whole adventure was. Eric taught me how to fly!  And that is something I will have with me for the rest of my life.

There is nothing I regret about my experience with Paratour.  They taught me everything I needed to know so that I
can now fly safely on my own.  I cannot recommend highly enough their services.  The relationship you forge does not end with the training; I have started a lifelong friendship with Eric and Elisabeth, and can’t wait to visit them sometime down the line.

Safe flying!

Jeff Tocci,
Louisiana
jeffreyptocci@gmail.com
November 2010



"I purchased a used RDM 100 just about the time Paratour moved back to Florida.  It was the perfect unit for me and has given me very good service for the last 4 years. 
 
Since that time I have had the pleasure to get to know these two fine and talented people. 

Eric has been there for me with help and advices on every aspect of PPG.  He has taught me what to look for to keep my unit in perfect condition. 

From what I have learned from Eric, I feel confident to do  repairs and maintenance myself.  Also having sat in on his classes and lectures and advice on the field I have greatly improved my flying skills.

All this and Elizabeth too.  What a sweetheart.  Her skills and knowledge of wings is second to none. 

She is there to answer questions, repair and check my wing.   She has a very important job and I have complete trust in her to do it perfect every time.

I love Paratour and the whole gang at Christmas.  Their kindness and generosity has made this whole experience great."
                               
                                
Richard Weston 
rlweston@bellsouth.net
Florida
April 2010


"I was learning flying locally and did 3 successful flights in couple of years.  It was very frustrating that every morning in the weekend wakeup early and go to flying and come back with broken prop or heart.

Finally I went to right place (Paratour) and did perfect training.  I was there for 10 days and I did 65 flights.  

If you want to learn HOW TO FLY, please do a favor to yourself.  I  highly recommend training from PARATOUR.  I mean it.  It will be favor to you.  If you want to learn flying with fun go to Eric."

Arvind Singh
Virginia
arvindia111@yahoo.com
January 2010

Arvind Sight


"Paratour has been my flying partner since I started flying in 2003. 

 I took my first instruction from Eric, along with my son.  It was professional, safe, and fun.  After a few days we soloed. 

The experience of flying for the first time and sharing the air with my son is one we will both remember forever. 

Eric and Elisabeth hosted us on our return trip as well. 

I am still using the paramotor and wing I bought from Eric six years ago.  He has supported me with repair advice and parts for all these years. 

I highly recommend Paratour for parmotoring instruction, equipment, and service."

Leonard Alt
Virginia
len.alt@intergraph.com
January 2010

Leonard Alt


Alex Donaghy

"I had a rough start with PPG.  I originally chose a local instructor because he was close by which was more convenient.  I ordered gear and when it arrived he was not sure how to assemble the unit, this was a sign of difficulties to come.

My solo flight took place at a crowded airport with sky divers dropping in and jump planes taking off.  After some difficulty, and an ankle injury that still pains me today,  I launched.  The radio didn't work correctly and I couldn't hear his instructions, the motor torqued on my back horribly and put me into a hard right turn over an active runway.  I was scared witless and didn't control the turn until after I had crossed the runway once, and then again on the way back just missing the jump plane.  The rest of the flight went ok, but after it was over I was convinced I had made a bad mistake in taking up PPG.  I bid farewell to my local instructor and went home depressed.  

Later I relayed my experiences to Bob Peters and he convinced me to come with him to New Mexico and train with Eric Dufour.  He chastised me for not going to Eric in the first place and ensured me that Eric would take care of everything.  He could not have been more right!

Eric inspected my motor setup and immediately found the problem that was causing the extreme torque.  Eric then took my gear out and flew it just to make sure it worked correctly.  Seeing my gear flown masterfully really helped me have confidence in the equipment.  

Eric was able to read me like a book and knew just what to do to build up my confidence and get me flying.  Eric has an amazing ability to impart his calm confident manner to his students.  When your working with Eric you just know that he has everything under control.

His training was always clear, concise and delivered in a confident manner.  Training is a skill all its own and Eric has mastered it.  In no time Eric had me launching and landing successfully and I was having fun doing it.  


I now have 450 successful flights over the last 4 years and have traveled all over the country to fly.  This is a magnificent sport which I would have surely quit if it wasn't for Eric.  Eric gave me the gift of flight and for this I will always be grateful.  Don't take shortcuts like I did.  Go straight to Eric and get started on a sound footing.  

One last thing; I switched gear after my first year and bought an Escape wing and SD Nomad from Eric.  I'm still flying this gear today, three years and 200 flight hours later and loving it.  My Black Devil motor still runs like a champ.  I have flown many other units and wings since then and I still love my SD and Escape wing."

Alex Donaghy, December 2009
Colorado Springs, Colorado
719-391-2996
alexdonaghy@gmail.com



 

"I am a 51 year old emergency physician, in "As long as I can remember I have had vivid nighttime dreams of flying…I don’t mean flying in a cockpit or machine but really flying…sometimes like superman, sometimes more like swimming into the air. 

Although I have been in small planes, sailplanes, helicopters, balloons and even been skydiving, none of these provided the sensation I most longed for…flying without the constraints of a cockpit or big machine.  Then I discovered powered paragliding.  In good physical health with a wife and family and certainly not interested in extreme risk or injury, but sincerely wanted to achieve this dream of flying.

I simply hoped I hadn’t waited too long in my life to do so. In talking with others, it was very clear that good instruction was going to be the key not only to success in achieving my flying dream but in doing so as safely as possible.

I was fortunate enough to have be directed to Paratour… so after a few phone calls, I found myself on the way to his school for instruction at Paratour.


My instructor isn’t only and expert pilot and competitive champion, but he is without doubt one of THE BEST instructors… just ask anyone in the sport.   

A sound program of ground handling and  kiting skills progresses thru simulator training, tow training and culminates in that first flight.

Eric is a superb teacher, in part because he is able to read a student and discern their best style of learning and then adapt his methods.  Initial foot launch training is strenuous but fun, and the training site is incredibly beautiful with the adventure of a boat ride each morning to the flying site. 

Eric is patient but appropriately demanding, and always, always interested in safety first.

 On Oct. 17th 2007, the morning of my third day of training I fledged with my first foot launch flight…. and since that time I have logged almost 80 flights. 

The training I received gave me the needed skills and confidence, but an equally important awareness of my limitations, a healthy respect for weather and site conditions with an emphasis on the importance of attention to equipment preflight, maintenance and motor starting safety. 

I owe my success to the excellent instruction received at Paratour and look forward to many more years of  flying fun.  I hope to return for more training in advanced techniques in the near future.

Scott Wright

If you have dreamed of flying as I have, and wish to enter this sport…getting the best instruction possible is imperative to your success and safety.  I encourage you to learn from the best and remember if you don’t do it this year, you will be another year older when you do get around to it.

Live your dreams and fly safe!  Call Paratour!

Thank you for helping me achieve this dream."

Scott Wright MD, FACEP
Independence, Virginia
slwright@embarqmail.com
2009



"My training and first 25 flights as a PPG pilot were under the instruction of Eric Dufour.

Eric is a naturally gifted teacher and PPG pilot.

During my training Eric was patient, professional and reassuring.

He instilled me with confidence that I could safely fly a PPG and made my foray into PPG an enjoyable one.

I returned home with solid skills to continue flying and improving upon. 

Three years and over 300 flights later I am still flying my SD Nomad and loving every flight."

 

Mathew Wich 
Colorado
sungwich@msn.com

Webmaster

Pikes Peak Powered Paragliding Club

www.poweredparaglidingcolorado.com

December 2009 
 



"I'm a Canadian PPG Instructor and I run a  Powered Paragliding School in New Brunswick, Canada, during the summer training period. 

I've known Eric & Elisabeth for several years, but I've had the pleasure of residing next door to them in Christmas, Florida, for the last 2 years.

Eric's flying skills and knowledge of teaching PPG is second to none.  I've had the opportunity to see Eric train students on many of occasions and his dedication and experience of almost 20 years teaching PPG shows in his graduating students. 

Students can expect to fly solo around 30 flight's.  Most PPG Schools in the USA will not even come close to this level of time to get their student's to a safe level of flying.  In fact, there are instructor's that allow their student's depart with less than 10 flight's!!

Paratour also provides:
- Sales of outstanding PPG equipment;
- Service and repair;
- Readily stocked PPG part's;
- Glider inspection and repair.

There is no other PPG School in North America that provides the same amount of Full service to the sport.

Frank Savignac

 
In conclusion, students training with Paratour can expect nothing but 100% dedication from Eric to get you to a level of flying experience that you can fly with confidence and reassurance that you have the knowledge and skill to fly safely.

If you do your homework and compare what other PPG Schools provide, you'll easily choose Paratour to fulfill your PPG dreams."

Frank Savignac,
PPG Instructor
New Brunswick
frank@poweredparaglidingnewbrunswick.com
www.poweredparaglidingnewbrunswick.com
December 2009




"I spent 3 days with Eric, and I was in the air the very first day.  I purchased my wing from Eric and have had many many hours of enjoyment since. 

Eric will push you as hard as you allow him to because he wants you to make the most out of your experience.  His training is thorough, professional, and he will capitalize on all your strengths.  

When someone asks me about getting into the sport of Powered Paragliding, I do not even have to think about where I will refer them.  If my son or daughter ever gets the desire to fly PPG, I would take them to Eric."


Mike MacPherson
mmacpherson@comcast.net

Pequea, Pennsylvania
February 2005    




"Leonardo da Vinci once said: "For once  you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been, and there you will always long to return".

My instruct
or at Paratour personifies this timeless quote. If you are looking for a passionate, dedicated, and meticulous instructor who will push you to be the absolute best you can be, look no further than Paratour.

From the first time handling the kite, on  towing, static and dynamic simulators, I just can't see how there could be a better progression anywhere.

He'll lead you confidently every step of the way - progress seems exponential.

30+ flights later, I can still here his voice on all phases of flight (actually, you end up hearing him even on the ground, far away from the airfield).

I have been involved with air sports all my life - skydiving, flying airplanes/helicopters, kitesurfing, and now on to paramotoring. I have had many excellent instructors in this journey. However, in the
way that my instructor has allowed to keem my dream moving forward, he definitely has set himself apart from all the rest.
I will always be grateful for the additional wings that he's given me, and I can only look forward to keep training and learn more from him, and someday become as good as him. This will be a daunting task to say the least.  He's the best.
 
Thank you Paratour for a world class operation and experience!
 
Carlos Curti, November 2007

Florida
ccurti@cfl.rr.com

Video of Carlos Curti's flight # 28

 

January 2012 Testimonial Update from Carlos:

"The thing about flying is to be up in the sky and remain there as long as possible.  In all the years I can remember, Eric and Elisabeth never let me stay on the ground too long.  Whether it was a prop, a faulty carburetor, a glider repair, or any other issue that needed immediate attention, they made sure to get me back up as soon as possible, sometimes the same day!  I think it would be very challenging to find a full service shop like this anywhere, and the people to make it happen."  - Carlos



"If you are thinking about learning to fly a powered paraglider or parachute, PLEASE do yourself a favor and go to learn with Eric Dufour or Michelle Daniele.

I just finished my foot-launch PPG training course with them and can't say enough good things about my experience.

I went to train with them after training locally the previous year, and suffering with numerous broken cages and props. I was so frustrated I was ready to give up.

I had only 2 flights and hundreds of dollars in broken equipment. All of this changed when I got to see Eric and Michelle. 

Both work so hard to give you the most out of your time there. One of them was always with me, giving me guidance and acting as my chase crew.

They maximize your learning by concentrating on the important things. After landing, I would usually take a few breaths while Eric or Michelle saved me time, money, and heartache.

The last point I want to address is the high quality of their equipment.  I arrived with my own equipment (motor and paraglider).  After one flight with the SD RDM 100 and EZ-glider wing (I believe this is pretty much the same as the Escape wing they sell now), I was shocked to feel how much easier it was to launch.  The weight distribution of the motor was perfect, and the wing is so willing to stay up in the air while launching.  So, I decided to purchase them on the spot and sell my old equipment. 


Again, I would have saved money if I just went to them first.  They also have a full motor and glider shop on site, so if you have any equipment malfunctions, they can usually be sorted out the same day so you can continue your training.

I can keep going, but I will sum up with the bottom line:  If you want to learn to fly a powered paraglider (or powered parachute), make the investment in going to the best.  PLEASE take my advice and go to see them – there is simply no substitute for doing things right the first time around.

PS – you are welcome to email me any questions/comments."

Paresh Karandikar,  August 2006
Herndon, Virginia

pkarandi@yahoo.com



Chris Johnson

"I wanted to drop you a note to let you know how my flying is going and how much I appreciate the training you provided.  The techniques you use to build a student up to solo flight. 

After all the ground handling, simulator, and towing practice, by the time I was ready to solo I felt pretty comfortable that I had the skills to pull it off.  Once I did get in the air, your continual radio contact and directions made it surprisingly easy.

As I continued to practice, I noticed that you do an amazing job of knowing what your students are doing in the air, even while working with other students on the ground. 

I always felt like you were watching out for me and making sure I did not screw up!  Now that I am around some other pilots with other training I can really appreciate the solid foundation you provided in both launch technique and safe flying.

I also wanted to tell you how happy I am with my equipment.  Everyone I have met seems to agree that the Sting is the best wing for a beginner.  I am amazed to find myself pulling off successful forward launches, when some other pilots are having trouble getting off the ground.   

 I have no doubt that the Sting was the perfect wing for me to get into this sport with.


The SD RDM engine you provided is performing very well also.  I have ample power to climb and I have had no starting problems.  Many veteran pilots I have met have commented on the apparent quality and sturdiness of the design.  I also love how easy it is to remove the cage.  I have a topper on my truck and I just remove the top half and slide the unit in to keep it out of the weather.  Recently there has been allot of talk about problems with carabineers and its great that with my SD and its backup system I don't have to worry about that.

I have been flying every chance I get since I finished training and have been getting together with a group of guys in this area.  In the process, I have seen one pilot have his wing get wrapped up in the prop and one destroy a prop and cage.  Too bad these guys did not have your equipment and training!  

I am very happy to report that all my flights have been successful and without mishap (so far!) even though many of them have been in less than ideal conditions.  I can only attribute my success to the quality instruction and the excellent equipment you provide.  Thanks again for helping me make this happen, and keep on doing what you do so other pilots can safely enjoy this sport as much as I am!   Later,"

Chris Johnson,
Tennessee
Cjohnson@carrickcontracting.com
February 2005



"When I came to Eric in 2003, it was out of frustration.  I had been training with another instructor because he was the closest.  Months later, I was still practicing ground handling and had not flown.  While ground handling is great fun and necessary, it is not what I wanted to do forever.  It was like wanting to play baseball and doing nothing but batting practice.

I had explained my frustration to Eric and he had said that he would get me flying. 

We started the day with some ground handling, I immediately saw the difference between Eric and my other instructor. 

He is more like a sports couch than a flight instructor; which is exactly what is needed here.  I was learning about ten times faster than I had with my first instructor. 

Within two hours on the FIRST DAY he had others and myself in the air on tow.

After several more tows and simulator training we broke for lunch.  After lunch we did several more tows and more simulator training. 

As the sun was setting and the winds became "perfect" the "crew" strapped me in to a motor, put a helmet on me, and rigged and checked radios.  Eric said once again as he had said all day, don’t think, just listen and do.

I was given clearance to start the launch when I was ready.  As soon as I started forward, Eric's hand and voice instructions started, "step right, half throttle, run, full throttle, RUN, RUN…"  Seconds later I was flying like I had never flown before (I have 1200 hours in general aviation airplanes).

I returned the next month and stay most of a week, to become confident and safe.  I have been flying a year now and it would not have happened with out Eric and crew.

Am I saying you will solo the first day if you train with Eric?  No, I am saying that you will solo as fast as YOU are capable of in a safe and friendly environment."

Mark Evans, February 2005
Alabama
vivovoyager@comcast.net



Paul Kluga

"This is a thank you going all the way back to last year, for the great hospitality, fabulous training, wonderful equipment and after sales support.


My only regret is that the weather here in Connecticut hasn't been very pleasant on the weekends I had a chance to fly.  As soon as the weather warmed, I went to a UL friendly field in Madison CT. 

I arrived shortly before 9 am to find a clear, beautiful sky, a warm 4 - 5 mph breeze out of the west and an open field.  Set up, pre-flighted and warmed up the red SD, which purred in anticipation. 

Forward launch with the EZ Glider was a breeze, airborne in 3 or 4 steps of full power.  Procedure turn left to avoid the houses lining the field and headed for the beach. 

Air was like glass and did not find a single bump all the way up to 1500 feet.  View was wonderful, with the high ridges just south of Hartford and New Haven Harbor visible in the distance.  After a perfect hour, return to the field for a easy two-step landing.

Since then I have put a total of 40 flights in the log book, all safe, all comfortable due to your comprehensive training and ultra-reliable SD RDM Lite. 

My only regret is that it took me 50 years to find this sport.  Again, thanks for helping to get me safely into this.

Sincerely,"

Paul Kluga,    
Connecticut 
pckluga@yahoo.com
December 2004  




"It's hard to believe I've been flying now for a year and a half (since September 2003). 

Were it not for Paratour, it wouldn't have happened.

 

Initially I emailed Eric Dufour and as he said at the time, "If you have the desire to fly, I will train you."One has to appreciate an Instructor that talks straight without being vague or half hearted.  That's Eric's style.

 

When you're tired and ready to give up and take a break, fall out or fail, he coaxes one more try out of you.  Mainly you feel all the better for having done so and continued...

My words after my first solo flight "Se magnifique !!!", with a huge smile.

 

Add to that the other half of Paratour, Eric's wife Elisabeth, (skilled PPG pilot, Wing Maintenance Technician, video editor, and business genius, as well as a very stylish lady) and you have a one stop answer to your PPG flying needs.



Did I mention Eric's line of SD Paramotors?  Eric has a motor range for the lightest to the heaviest pilot.  I fly an SD mini monster and haven't had so much as a hint of a problem with it.  The mini-monster because I'm one of the heavier fliers at 260 lbs, Paratour because I took good advice and liked what I saw when I followed up on it.  You will too if you do the same.  Don't hesitate to email if you have questions.

 

Fly Safe, Fly Again,"

 

Robert Dawson,

Valkingwinger@aol.com   

Georgia

January 2005



An open letter to all interested in flying a Powerparaglider. 
 
"When I decided to learn  to fly a PPG, I was 70 years old.  I just bought one and signed up for lessons.   
 
My initial experience with Eric Dufour was a bit intimidating.  He looked me straight in the eye and asked how old I was.  The next question was if I thought I could do this. 

He then proceeded to tell me he was going to push me to learn.  I rather expected someone a little less blunt.  At that point I almost wondered if I had made a mistake.

Well, he did push me.  Never beyond what I was capable of and if I indicated to him I was a bit tired, he bluntly said “Rest for a few minutes”.  He also informed me to do as much as I could and at any time if I was uncomfortable in any way to let him know.  And he did work me hard that first day.  In the evening during the debriefing he let me know I was doing okay.  (Just okay?)  I had memories of being back in Marine Corps boot camp.


Next day more of the same and he never let me (or anyone else I have discovered) slack off or if we made any mistakes, he was quick to let us know and also let us know how to do it correctly.  What a perfectionist. 
 
That second day at noon he asked me if I wanted to solo that afternoon.  Me solo, but, I was sure if he said I was ready, then it must be so.  I did and had the pleasure of soloing side by side with Matt Hoffman (BMX Champion).  He seemed as thrilled as I.
 
If I made Eric Dufour out to be an ogre, he most certainly is not.  What he is IS dedicated, precise, very alert to all that is going on with all students at all times and very concerned that all learn skills and above all safety.

I have the fortune of living within a decent distance of where Eric teaches and therefore am able to fly there often.  I have become friends with Eric and his wife Elisabeth and have had some personal conversations with them both.  Eric truly is dedicated to each student and teaches with a passion.  If I do something wrong even today (and it might be a half mile from him) he will see it and correct me.  Eric is without a doubt the premier Instructor in this business and when you learn from him...  You WILL LEARN from him. 

By the way, he really is a fun persons, but when he instructs, he is all business and gives you everything he can.  He will teach you how to fly and how to fly well.

Sincerely,"
 
Don Andrews
Florida     
captdon.1@earthlink.net

February 2005



"As a well experienced PG pilot but neophyte PPG pilot, I had to come to the "Mecca"  of  powered paragliding to see for myself.........ie  St-Jean-Chrysostome.

Both Eric & Elisabeth were very welcoming  upon my initial arrival.  Eric checked out my paraglider and it seemed ok......but after installing the new short risers on my Pro- design Effect.......we were ready" to rock & roll" Trim tabs do make a difference. 

Eric is not only a technically excellent flyer, but he seems to add an artistic component as well. 

His swoops and steep turns are a joy to watch and an inspiration to all who aspire towards advanced flying goals.  

 

Eric uses instructional metaphors that stay with you long after you have departed. For example, I was reminded that I needed to "make the motor my friend"....this because we, PG pilots, are simply not used to having 55 lbs of excitement on our backs & a throttle in the hand..... so, understandably, this can generate some apprehensions.As a PG pilot, I quickly learned that what was acceptable ground handling for ridge soaring (always reverse launches) was insufficient for motorized flat surface launches  (often forward launches).  So the operative word was..."practice, practice, practice".

When it comes to PPG, you can never do enough ground handling.  It is easy at times to get away with sloppy launches when free flying, but it can be outright dangerous to get into bad habits leading to sloppy launches when motoring. 

       


This is where having an accomplished instructor who is able to give you instant feedback via 2-way radio, can boost the 'ol learning curve.......  and Eric sure fits the bill in that regard!

Clearly, there are adjustments that have to be made in switching to PPG from PG.  Some are subtle and some are glaring.  For example, forward launches are no longer done by dropping your arms straight back in a delta formation and dropping the upper body in a "charging bull" formation.  In PPG, this  procedure would lead to a major launch malfunction.

In summary, I would strongly encourage all my PG compadres out there who are contemplating powered paragliding, to get some serious quality instruction from an instructor who appreciates the hurdles and challenges we, PG pilots, face as we make the transition to another flying style/mode.  If you live in a flat terrain area, PPG can be just the ticket you need to go thermal hopping to cloud base.

Fly Safe"

 

Herb Hornig

herb.hornig@sympatico.ca

Ontario
October 2001



 "I have great respect for Eric Dufour as a professional powered paraglider instructor.  

I investigated quite thoroughly the various schools in North America that were providing PPG instruction.  

Based on extensive reading on everything that I could find, I discovered that the most qualified individual in the field is Eric Dufour.  I don't think there is another individual out there as qualified as he. 

I would like to say something about his integrity.  I scheduled a flight training week with Eric for the week following the "Sun n' Fun Fly In" in Florida in April 2002.  I met with Eric at the Fly In and we discussed my reasons for wanting to learn to fly and own a PPG. 

You’ve no doubt heard about people who have O-D’d and thought they met God, well no disrespect intended to “Her” divine inspiration, but, Mr. Eric Dufour has been an instrumental cog on my personal path to spiritual enlightenment and manic nirvana. Flying has changed my life and respect for (almost) everything around me, from consideration of close family and the workplace, friends and journeys to expectations and goals.

Mark Dean

 
Safety in flight is what I gained from this man, and it started with trusting the equipment and understanding how to use it.  The bookwork, simulator, ground-handling, winch tows and running around with a motor on my back made for good familiarity of equipment and a solid prep for flight.  It is this teaching technique that I blame for robbing me of that expected rush on my solo flight.  My solo flight just felt natural, the rush and/or addiction to flight creeps up on the well instructed pilot, I think anyway.

Before meeting Eric, I had  done some shopping for equipment and teachers of this sport.  I thought I knew what I wanted but took the advice of the guy I decided to trust and sure glad I did…  I watched another guy fare differently for sticking with what he thought he knew instead of following the advice of a well rounded guru.  Trust is the main ingredient for the student and purchaser of equipment and Eric Dufour knows what you need despite the things you think you want. 

After 8 days at his school in Quebec, I headed home to fly alone, now there are 7 other paramotors around me in 3 short years. After the sale, the service was/is great – the cost of parts are reasonable and they are sent without delay – the advice continues to flow and I have only good things to say about Mr. Dufour except that he flies every day where I only wish I could.

There seems to be a great gap between what most people think about the dangers of this sport and what I know as calculated risk. Knowledge and understanding the limits of our equipment are not all confined to the classroom though, I have continued learning and reading regularly because my instructor does not fit in my tool box – too bad. Understanding of the weather cannot be taught except for the basics in a classroom, this takes years unless you have absolutely nothing else to do. So, if you’re like me, you may only get 138 flights in a 3 year stretch, but those flights are in benign conditions and super enjoyable.  People wonder why and how anyone could climb so high to shut their motor off and glide without fear of dying – I tell them to get a good instructor and the latest equipment and join us on this wonderful journey above ground level."

Mark Dean
New Brunswick
Mark.Dean@gnb.ca
December 2004



    
   

"I trained at Paratour's school in Quebec in 1999, and have been hooked on PPG ever since.

 

I find Eric Dufour to be straight forward, hard working and honest.

If ever I have a question regarding PPG he is there to help. 

 

I have called him on several occasions from my flying field and in most cases the problem is resolved.

 

Eric takes his passion seriously and teaches with safety being #1.

Paratour is a small family run business.  Both Eric and his wonderful wife Elisabeth, make an excellent team. 

Eric started me out on a Apco Prima 30 and now, with the proper training and advise I got from Paratour, I fly a small Silex.  A fast and exciting wing. 

Eric will stand behind his word, he will offer continuing support. 
 

Eric and Elisabeth are really nice and sincere people, and will always make you feel welcome."

 

Phil Clark,   

Ontario

propwash@rogers.com     

Web site:  www.PoweredParagliding.ca

November 2001, Pilot since September 1999