What People Have to Say About Us!
When I first became interested in Paragliding I had no clue where to go nor how to properly locate a “qualified” instructor. After some research, I contacted Mr. Jeff Goin, author of the PPG Bible, and asked for recommendations. He steered me in the right direction by highly advising me to ensure that I not only have someone teach me this sport, but to also ensure that this someone is experienced and qualified as a certificated PPG Instructor. He recommended Midwest PPG.
I have found Dave Halcomb of Midwest PPG, to be fervently knowledgeable, professional, and responsible. I jokingly call him “McGiver”, as he is also very astute and knows how to fix just about any issue regarding PPG equipment.
Dave’s personable instruction has been a delight. He is patient and not cynical. I still enjoy flying under his watchful eye and appreciate him as a friend!
When I lived in Oregon, I watched a PPG pilot launch and fly around one morning. At that moment I decided that I was going to do that just as soon as I could. Two long years passed before I could afford gear and training. When that time finally came, I lived in Indiana and contacted Dave through an online PPG interest group. He set me up with gear and training at a very reasonable cost, and I was off to my biggest adventure yet. I soloed in 2006, which is a year that I will remember because it changed my life. My introduction to PPG, and air sports in general, has given me a radically different perspective. When I climb really high, I feel tiny and insignificant, but down low- gliding amongst the scenery- I feel like I have been gifted with the god-like power of effortless flight. It’s wonderful! Now I can’t imagine life without flying.
I was Dave’s first student when he became an instructor. Having done a little college-level instruction myself, I was keenly aware of his communication skills. He clearly highlighted the important risks that a pilot must evaluate, and he didn’t let me “gas-n-go” until I had demonstrated a high level of kiting proficiency on the ground. That solo was scary, I won’t lie, but I had been well-prepared for it, and it went smoothly. I was utterly obsessed with PPG from that moment on. While the novelty has since worn off, the joy hasn’t, and the ability to fly is a gift I will always treasure. Dave has become a dear friend, but at first, it was the unique bond of flight that brought us together. Maybe I’m biased, but he just happened to be the perfect blend of tough, knowledgeable, and personable for the instruction that I needed.
Although not everyone is fascinated by flying (I don’t know why, but there it is), it IS accessible to just about anyone. And PPG is the freest form of flight- no metal box around you, no carry-on bags, just you, the wind, and most amazing view you can imagine. I often wonder why people wait to pursue their dreams… we’re not getting any younger. Carpe diem!
I have to say, getting into powered paragliding was a little frightening for me and my family. I have flown aircraft in the past, but the thought of my own feet as landing gear and my face as a windshield scared me. The whole thought of a parachute going up into the sky instead of down is very intriguing and strange. I really don’t think I could have done it without a good (great) instructor. It all looks so easy on YouTube, but when it comes down to it, it’s all very scary. In fact, the first flight I had literally took my breath away for a good 30 seconds! I actually thought I was going to pass out when my feet left the ground, but I didn’t. With Dave talking to me on the radio, I knew I looked good from the ground and that’s all I needed as I let out a “whoo hoo!” once he assured me everything was fine. It’s a totally different perspective when you’re the one strapped into the harness with a fan on your back, versus the stuff you see on the Internet.
I started my training with Midwest PPG on my own for two days and then a couple others showed up throughout the week in their own stages of progression from previous training. I must say that the people I’ve met from this are in their own class of [good] humans (not the cocky ass****s involved in most activities).
To back track a little, I went to a fly-in in Indiana and met some really good people there, one of them being Dave Halcomb with Midwest PPG, who is now my instructor. He showed me some PPG basics while I was there and others told me some good stories along with some basic knowledge I had long forgotten from my airplane flying days. All in all, it was a very wholesome experience in which a new fear was revealed to me and also a new thrill, which has topped pretty much anything I have ever done to date.
I told Dave he was the best, most patient and understanding instructor I have ever had in any type of aviation/military instruction. He has actually turned out to be a pretty good friend too.
To anyone thinking of getting into this great sport, I wish you the best of luck and many exciting flights! Get over your fears and have fun, after all, your parachute is already open!