Be sure to consult with us before buying any equipment. this is very important
Welcome to Happy Thoughts PPG and The Suwannee County Airport.
We are thrilled that you have chosen us to be a part of this amazing journey! This promises to be challenging and rewarding. It’s our pleasure to share a number of ideas with you in advance of your arrival so that we all have the best chance for smooth sailing and success. First, we’ll share the details, then a bit about the philosophy of our program.
As you begin your training, we will make sure you are in good hands. You can look forward to the following:
a manual, syllabus, informative videos and handouts
a simulator to practice sitting in the harness
8+ hours of ground school over time*
comprehensive lessons with briefings and debriefings
an instructor who will work with you to factor in various elements, including how you are feeling on a given day, what your intuition tells you about the day, and the weather
We aim to be very “hands on” when helping you to learn to kite or launch. We do this to ensure you achieve the right postures and pressures on the controls, and we are very good at helping you to learn quickly. Certainly, some people bring a lot of skills and experience to the table. For example, skydivers, airline pilots, and kayakers tend to do great. They can often gain decent skills in as few as 6 hours. Most people begin to look like pilots that could fly without supervision in about 10 flights which can take approximately 10 - 16 days, but it all depends on the weather. We will back away and allow you to kite/ launch on your own as soon as possible. some come for several days and then return weeks or months later for “upgrades” such as learning advanced kiting and touch and goes. That's why an unlimited lesson program like ours is a great bet.
Where We Train
We meet at and fly form the Suwannee County Airport
we have an RV that you can stay in that is right next to the airport for $40 per night.
There are several options all located close to the airport. motels within 2 - 5 miles, campgrounds within 10 miles.
- Econo lodge 386-362-7459
- Quality Inn 386-362-6020
- Sunshine Inn 386-362-7828
- Best Western 386-362-6000
- Holiday Inn 386-362-2600
- Suwannee County campground
A liability waiver must be completed prior to hooking into a glider, going on a tandem flight and/or participating in tow operations. You can fill it out on-site and we encourage you to be on time so you can read it and understand it fully. If are going to you use the schools equipment, an additional waiver must be signed before flying with a motor on your back (if you wish, we can send you copies of the paper work ahead of time so you can make sure you are comfortable with the terms)
Helmet: For your first few kiting lessons, it is nice to have gear you’re familiar with. If you have a favorite biking helmet, bring it. We also have a few helmets you can borrow. Paramotoring helmets are special, You will want to buy one by the time you have had a few motored flights.
Kiting Harness: this is another item we have a few of but you will want to also get one pretty quickly so you can practice on your own once you have gotten your own glider.
Radios and Phones: These are an essential part of our program. As a beginner, we favor having radios on each student. We also have helmets with integrated Bluetooth so we can talk to you through your phone so make sure it is charged fully.
Other: We also recommend sunglasses, sunscreen, and bug repellant if its summer. If you have a history of ankle injury or if you just want every bit of protection, please bring any protective gear you may need eg. ankle brace
Physical Preparation for Training
There is some incidence of muscle strain while learning the sport. While these injuries are not catastrophic, they can be an annoyance. We recommend stretching, hydration and, most importantly, not overexerting yourself particularly during your first lessons. You will need to make the call that you have had enough, and we recommend doing it as early as possible.
If you have a history of shoulder, elbow or bicep injury of any kind, please tell us. You need to let us now before we begin training with you. That goes for any history of shortness of breath, heart or respiratory ailments, ankle, knee, hip or other physical strain, as well as vision, hearing or spatial awareness conditions. We won’t let this put you at a disadvantage, but we can be the most effective if we know these things right away.
Each student is different but it’s most common for people who live in the area to train 3-5 times per week for anywhere between 2 to 4 weeks before flying unsupervised. They come to lessons as often as they can. On average, people from out of town make 2-3 separate trips to learn with us. While scheduling a 10-14 day block of time can work, most find that they need to take a multi day break after 5-7 days. Most often, a third trip lets us tidy up on the remaining tasks and topics.
Pick your dates as early as possible so that we can save you a spot on the schedule.
Your Commitment to Us
We are going to pour our heart and soul into this evolution to help you progress as a pilot. That’s our commitment to you. In turn, we ask you to be open and teachable, pay attention, notice subtle changes, and react well. This equation works great as long as you are 100% committed and focused on becoming an exceptional pilot. You can demonstrate your commitment by 1. frequently showing up at the airport with your “A Game,” 2. being present and teachable, and 3. getting your own gear as soon as practical.
Our journey together will be much like a parent raising a child. It’s going to be all-encompassing for you, and it’s going to take everything we have as instructors to get you where you want to go. It’s navigation in 3 dimensions with no pause button, and it doesn’t even compare with other forms of aviation. This is unlike anything you have ever done, and we are excited that you have chosen Happy Thoughts PPG to help you on your journey!