"I have had the
wonderful experience of advancing my flight skills through Eric
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
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."
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.
sure I will be coming back for advanced instruction in the future, but the
training you gave me exceeded all of my expectations.
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.
* Glen did 52 flights during 6 days of training at Paratour.
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:
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."
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."
Eric, you made one of my dreams come true, I am now flying with my Twin
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
"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
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.
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!"
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
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
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
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.
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
"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
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."
"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."
"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."
"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
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
Alex Donaghy, December 2009
Colorado Springs, Colorado
"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
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.
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
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.
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
"Eric & Elisabeth,
Thank You Very Much!
That is the easy way to explain my gratitude to you both, but now you have to
tolerate the long version.
Back in April of this year I was so fortunate to meet Eric
Dufour from Paratour out at the St. Johns river in Florida. I realized the
first time that I met him that he would be the man that would help me to fulfill
my dream of flying. There's no possible way at that time I could realize
how important to my life you both would become.
First not only by teaching me to fly safely but also introducing me to a
great group of people with the same passion of flying.
Eric I learned in my last days of training was very ill but still very
dedicated in making sure that I was trained properly and safely before releasing
me to fly with the local group. It was at that time that I realized that
not only had I made the right connection in the ppg community but I had also
made a very good friend.
I have had the good fortune to be around
as Eric has trained many more fulfill that same dream of flying and see the high
level of making sure that safety is the first thing on Paratour's mind.
It's not about sales it's about making sure that a new
pilot has been given the best training by what I feel is the best instructor for
Elisabeth, you have always been there with reinforcing
conversation of safety and inspiration as I have made my way through this long
learning process of flying safely.
You both have taken your time
and passion to inspire my wife into at least taking the first steps in becoming
a pilot and in doing so, have made my family stronger in bringing us close
After my 50th solo on September 14, 2009 I was handed a glass of wine by
Elizabeth and she said " and here is to your 100 flights" on September 15, 2009
Eric successfully completed ground training and safely soloed my wife which
filled my heart with happiness.
On November 21, 2009 I was fortunate to have had completed my 100th flight on
my 47th birthday. Also on this day was fortunate to be a part of the
celebration of your families successful completion of the visa process to become
citizens of the United States. Even though this was your celebration of
bringing friends together to share this monumental event in your life you still
found time to make it one of the best birthday celebrations that I've ever
had. (thanks for the gloves)
So with this I bring it back to the simple statement "Thank You!"
With all the love and respect for you and your family.
"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
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
Three years and over 300 flights later I am still flying my SD
Nomad and loving every flight.
Peak Powered Paragliding Club
"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
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;
inspection and repair.
There is no other PPG School in North
America that provides the same amount of Full service to the sport.
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
If you do your homework and compare what other PPG Schools
provide, you'll easily choose Paratour to fulfill your PPG dreams."
"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.
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
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."
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".
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.
first time handling the kite, on towing, static and dynamic
simulators, I just can't see how there could be a better
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.
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
Carlos Curti's flight # 28
January 2012 Testimonial Update from
"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
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
"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
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,"
"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
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).
Mark Evans, February 2005
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."
"Learning how to fly a Powered Paraglider is a fun and exciting sport, but
the training process should be safely planned by a professional instructor.
In a sport that requires careful attention and precise habits, I believe that
shortcut compromises should be avoided.
My training with Eric Dufour
provided an excellent experience. It was very enjoyable, safe,
and it moved me in a step-by-step approach of learning at my own pace.
The techniques on how to kite and control the glider, fly close to the ground
with a tow line for practice landings, sit in the harness of the hanging motor
simulator, and then put this all together to fly, are all methodical and proven
I have learned skills that help me be a safe and consistent pilot, and I
am very satisfied with my training decision to go with Eric.
In getting my equipment, the motor and glider were properly fit for my size,
weight, and needs; and I became familiar with my own equipment as I trained.
The motor and glider wing are made with quality and reliability. I really
like my equipment!
Eric is a hard-working innovator of
this sport and has helped Powered Paragliding advance to new levels of
I have been watching and wanting to do this
for many, many years and I knew that I could not go wrong training with
Paratour. Thank you for your dedication, Eric!"
Maine in summer & Florida in winter
*Scott Adair created a Yahoo Group for anyone who wants to use his
flight log and made it freely available at
"This is a thank you going all the way back to last year, for the
great hospitality, fabulous training, wonderful equipment and after sales
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
My only regret is that it took me 50 years
to find this sport. Again, thanks for helping to get me safely into this.
"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
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
Fly Safe, Fly Again,"
|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
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.
"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
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,
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.
"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
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.
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
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
"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
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
Eric and Elisabeth are really nice and sincere
people, and will always make you feel welcome."
November 2001, Pilot since September 1999