Last week, Brendan was able to visit Andrew Solano up at Skyfield Flightworks for 2 days to film this documentary about his school. Skyfield Flightworks is a brand new Aviator Alliance paramotor school based in Ridgeland, South Carolina and this past October was their 4th consecutive class so far!
Andrew has a truly incredible story. When he was 12 years old, he and his family moved to Okinawa Japan for his father's relocation in the Marines. In Okinawa, Andrew discovered paragliding and learned to fly, acquiring his first solo flight at just 13 years old. From there, he started building ultralights as a teenager and then joined the Marine Corps and became an airframe and hydraulics mechanic, working on the Harrier and F-35 during his 20 year career. After recently retiring from the Marine Corps, his wife Christan helped convince him to start Skyfield Flightworks and begin training people how to fly.
Andrew visited us down at Aviator in Lake Wales, Florida and apprenticed with us for 4 months, learning the ins and outs of our training system so that he could employ it in his own school. He then went on to learn from the venerable Eric Dufour at Paratour in Palm Bay, Florida. In addition, the exceptional Jon Eisele joined Skyfield as an instructor and consultant. Jon teaches here at Aviator as well as many other Alliance schools around the country, and he's been helping Andrew perfect his teaching as he literally gets this business off the ground (pun intended).
Andrew and his wife Christan are a total power couple. Christan handles all the business management and is the primary contact for students looking to schedule a class. They have an amazing facility at Ridgeland airport where they teach ground school. They're in a huge hangar with couches, a refrigerator, a big television, and tons of floor space for laying out wings. The airport is also currently getting a new runway built so the area will be exponentially expanding in the next couple of months, giving even more space for towing, kiting, launching, and landing!
We're so excited to have Skyfield Flightworks join us and we can't wait to see all the incredible pilots they create! If you wish to learn more about Andrew and Skyfield Flightworks, please visit their website at www.skyfieldflightworks.com.
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