My name is Chandler
Papas and I am an USHPA (United States Paragliding and Hang Gliding
Association) certified Advanced instructor (# 81661) whose passion is to
do exactly that. I help people on their Journey of becoming complete
paragliding pilots. I've learned that individually paced skills mastery
teaching creates a safe atmosphere and helps me cultivate safe, aware and
respectful pilots. I am also an USHPA accredited Tow Technician.
I have been fortunate enough to have had
some of the best in the world teach me and continue to today. I learned
right here in Arizona from former world team pilot David Prentice, the
late great Dixon White and also Dustin Martin. I quickly learned to
respect the ever changing and unpredictable weather of the southwestern
desert and high desert. From Scott Harris and Matt Colmbs in Jackson
Hole Wyoming with "Tow Tuesdays" beginning my love for the incredible
world of ACRO flying and XC, to the endless towing which enabled me to work with Charlie and have the tow systems we have now. Not to mention the endless
mentoring from countless incredible pilots, to my tandem training
starting with Pete Michelemore of Gravity Hawaii where I fly and offer
paragliding tour guide trips throughout the year. My teachers have been
incredible so I have an incredible respect for this sport, the discipline with judgement that's required to keep it safe, and the
incredible weather we get to indulge our selves into.
primarily further my ACRO training with the renowned Chris Santacroce of
SuperFly, and of course by cultivating respectful safe and aware pilots I
further my learning of this incredible sport almost everyday.
The world record is somewhere around 563 kilometers (350 miles). Mine is 140 Km (86 miles). Not much to brag about with the big dogs but I sure do feel good about getting that far safely. I'm buckin for a hundred and hope when I do get it a couple students are with me or I'm trying to catch up to them. I swear I'd be happier with the latter. I give up a lot of my flying and free time to train. I'm still not sure where the passion to teach paragliding came from but it sure did get me. It could be the first flight smiles, or the first thermal smiles, or the first wide open "Holy Cow! ACRO eyes, or the look on their faces when I pick them up after their first Cross Country flight,...I'm not sure what it is but I sure do love to teach people to become really safe pilots who have a whole lotta fun even when the weather isn't flyable.
I've been flying for over ten years now, I've flown all over the U.S. and numerous other countries as well. I fly and help organize Fun Competitions and will most likely be flying some sanctioned competitions within the next few years.