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Casually careen through the air with today’s wind-grabbing Groupon. For $125, you’ll get a 30-minute powered parachute lesson from Arizona Powerchutes, a $289 value. Suspended from a stabilized and inflated big cloth, you’ll fly just like predatory birds do, soaring high above the picturesque Sonoran Desert at a modest 26 mph.
Your flight will be a lesson supervised by FAA-certified flight instructor Randy Long, a gliding guru who’s logged more than 2,000 airborne hours and boasts a flawless flying record to boot. From epic heights, you’ll spy arid temp-dwelling critters such as the piggish javelina and beady-eyed banded gila monster. Your rainbow-hued bigcloth is powered by increasing or decreasing engine power and directing the steering bars to turn right or left; opt to gently swoop over mountaintops as if you were a seacrest-grazing pelican or waft through the highest elevations like a bar-headed goose. At the end of your flight, you'll receive a certificate and pilot's logbook that you can use toward a FFA Sports Pilot's license.
In terms of air transportation, powered parachutes are the next-best flying apparatus to sprouting a pair of feathered wings. Breezier than airplanes and speedier than parachutes, these two-passenger motorized carts are super safe. Get this unparalleled parachuting experience as a gift for thrill seekers, people who already own everything, or air opportunists.
Google reviewers give Arizona Powerchutes an enthusiastic five stars:
- I have now been up in the powered parachute a few times, and it is a blast! The Arizona desert is very gorgeous to see from up in the air. – Andrew
- All my life I've wanted to fly like a bird. By far, this experience came the closest to doing that. Randy is a superb airman, instructor and gentleman. – PPC Flight
- What a ride! My first time in a powered parachute and it was fantastic. I have flown in everything from a hot air balloon, glider & gyrocopter and this is by-far the safest adventure flying you'll ever do. – Maiden PPC Voyage
Randy Long entered the working world as a travel agent, a vocation that whet his appetite for globetrotting, adventure, and haggling with airlines. When he became a father and husband, he passed a passion for thrill seeking on to his family, and their recent escapades include scuba diving in Barbados and dog sledding in Alaska. It was this thirst for exploration and a love of aviation that drove Randy to become an FAA-certified powered-parachute instructor and found Arizona Powerchutes.
Powered parachutes are comprised of two-seater, wheeled carts that float 20 feet beneath 40-foot parachutes. At sunrise—or sunset during the cooler months—Randy and a passenger climb aboard the cart, and Randy hits the throttle, gathering speed for about 100 feet before the parachute fully inflates and hoists the cart into the air. Randy adjusts the altitude to his patron's comfort level and steers crafts over the exotic plants and mountain silhouettes of the Sonoran Desert, averaging a speed of 26 miles per hour. After journeys, powered parachutes float to land safely, as they are inspected by the pilot prior to each flight and by an FAA-approved facility after every 100 hours of operation.