The people you get to meet in this sport are just as amazing as the sport itself. People from all around the world come together with one common goal… To get in the air! Recently, an amazing young couple from New Jersey made their way out to California for training at the BlackHawk Paramotor Ranch. Thomas Santora and Darcy Maloney instantly fell in love with the amazing landscape and were very excited to explore it with a Powered Paraglider. “It’s really great to see couples getting involved in the sport together. Tom and Darcy brought a great energy to the Ranch with them.” said Mike Robinson of BlackHawk Paramotors.
It was 7a.m. when Tom and Darcy’s adventure started. After being introduced to BlackHawk’s Head Trainer Rick Hallowes, the couple began their introduction to the gear. A short time later, they had their training harnesses on and a wing in the air. The weather was beautiful, so after a lunch break, everyone headed down to the lake shore for a change in scenery and conditions. Rick Hallowes commented “These guys are quick learners. They are doing really well! I’m sure they will both make good pilots.” It wasn’t until 7p.m. that everyone decided to call it a day, and a very productive day at that. Samantha Whittaker, the videographer said, “Everyone was having so much fun we didn’t realize how long we’d been out there. I’m sure they will be sore tomorrow!”
Day 2 was just as productive as the first. The couple spent hours refining their newly acquired skills. They dug deep into the training syllabus, absorbing as much information as they could handle. The time was spent between mini-lectures and hands-on personal instruction. “If they got tired and needed a break from kiting, we would go right into a product-knowledge or instructional lecture. There wasn’t a minute wasted.” said Rick. Tom and Darcy finished another long and satisfying day, looking forward to some well-needed sleep. They were however, still able to muster up the energy to keep their non-stop smiles going.
Day 3 was when things started to get exciting. Adrenaline was building up as the couple realized how close they were to leaving the ground. After some final adjustments to their form, the tow machine was brought out to the training field. The tow machine is a great tool for students to experience simulated flight, while at the same time having their speed and altitude controlled by an instructor. When Tom was asked about his first time off the ground, he exclaimed, “That’s the coolest thing ever!” Several flawless taxis later, flight was inevitable!
This is just one of countless amazing experiences people have at the BlackHawk Paramotor Ranch. When Tom and Darcy were asked about their overall experience, Tom responded, “It was truly amazing. We had no experience and Rick took us each step of the way. Safety came first. We progressed and after 3 days, I was up in the air. I would definitely recommend it to anyone who’s thinking about doing it!”