Here is a little story about us... Well... About me!
Since my childhood, I dreamed of flying. At the age of 5, my family moved to Dorval, under the airway of runway 06R-24L at Pierre-Elliott-Trudeau Airport. I watched the various planes pass overhead and I dreamed of becoming a pilot. At 7, my dream was shattered because I had to start wearing glasses. I was told that it was not possible to become a pilot if the vision is not 20/20. At the age of 12, I went on a small 2 seater plane ride. Wow! My first taste of aviation! Totally hooked!
At the age of 14, I started with the model aircraft using a string to control the elevator. After several unsuccessful attempts, I quickly dropped the hobby due to the cost of repairs.
Life went on outside of aviation until the release of Microsoft Flight Simulator. I equipped myself with joysticks, pedals and I practiced flying the Cessna, Beaver and several other planes for hundreds of hours, if not thousands ... I told myself that this would probably be the closest that I could come to fly a plane for real.
It was in May 2010 that aviation took a turn in my life. I focused on learning to fly a Blade SR remote-controlled helicopter. It took three months to be able to hold her comfortably in front of me. Phew! What a challenge! So, I added a smaller helicopter to start; the Blade mSR. Super fun! After a year, I managed to master both enough to have a lot of fun without too many crashes.
In 2011, I started FPV (First Person View) with an unmanned aircraft; the HawkSky from Dynam. Completely insane! That's what will allow me to have the closest feeling of flying for real! It's like having my head in the air while having my body safe on the ground, no matter what happens to the plane!
In 2012, I started the adventure of FPV with a quadcopter; the TBS Discovery. I'm moving forward with long distance technology. I'm going a few kilometers away from myself, Cool! Several hundred flights later, I still have so much fun! It's really cool to fly with the head in the air and the body on the ground. The flight duration of the drone is only 15 minutes and the HawkSky around 20 minutes. I wanted more.
In 2013, I started the Radian Pro glider FPV project. With patience and perseverance, I managed to go from motorized flights of 10 minutes to flights of more than 90 minutes without motorization (with always the same batteries). This is where I see what is flying in thermals and dynamic winds. I just love it! What a challenge it is to stay up there as long as possible. It was during an FPV outing with friends that we saw three paramotorists pass through our airspace. We looked at each other and asked, "When do we start this?" I replied, "Next spring".
In 2014, I began researching information on what it takes to become a paramotor pilot. I was hoping that the regulations now allow the wearing of glasses for private aviation. To my great satisfaction, I learned that it is possible for me to become an ultralight pilot despite the fact that my vision is not 20/20! Yeehaa !! ... It's possible to realize my dream of flying, for real, in the air! Not just my eyes through a camera embedded on a remote control flying machine! I enrolled in the course, and in over four months, I got my ultralight/paramotor license. It was quite an achievement for someone who had completely lost his dream of flying at such a young age. 40 years later, I realized my dream!
This new passion has changed my life so much that in 2017 I decided to start my own business in the field of paramotoring and paragliding. This is when I started my first business for the paramotor and paraglider addicts; ParAddix! I want to inspire, inform, train and equip new and old paramotor and paraglider pilots.
My name is Gilles Ranger. I'm the owner of ParAddix, the online store for the paramotor and paraglider addicts.
Have a nice day and clear skies!