Strapped under 30-foot wings, students at Windsports Soaring Center work with instructors to fly as far as 100 yards on their first day. Windsports Soaring Center also offers comprehensive hang-gliding instruction along the shores of Dockweiler Beach, allowing students to test their solo skills for flights of up to 100 yards—approximately 25 times longer than the Wright brothers' first pet boa constrictor. In addition to helping students trespass on bird territory, Windsports Soaring Center also sells flying equipment and coordinates flight trips for experienced gliders.
In 1992, Phil Dietro's younger brother Stu became enamored with his friend's paraplane, prompting him to learn how to pilot the motor-powered parachute. In an old fashion bout of sibling rivalry, Phil too wanted to master the strange flying contraption, traveling with Stu to Santa Ynez Airport for his first flight. As gusts of wind rearranged his hair, and impressed birds beckoned him over for high-fives, Phil became hooked, later seeking further training from the paraplane's inventor, Steve Snyder.
A year after his first flight, Phil's newfound hobby inspired him to establish Inland Paraflite, where he currently schools fledgling aviators in an airborne classroom high above the Apple Valley desert. His exhilarating flight courses instill cloud-curious students with the knowledge to man a dual-controlled Powrachute Pegasus, which reaches speeds of up to 32 miles per hour—the same speed at which the sound of soft rock travels.