Dear Frank and Johanne,
I have wanted to fly since I was a small child,
watching the guys parachuting at the Stanley Airport.
I want to thank you for helping to make that dream a reality, with your good humor
I started ridge soaring and found the weather conditions were not favorable
when I wanted to fly. The only place
available to me was in Walton but only with a north wind.
There is not enough north wind to appease my appetite to fly. I will continue to paraglide but now when
there is hardly any wind, I’ll be launching from a field close to home. I will have even more time in the sky.
Frank and Johanne have made this course the most enjoyable one I’ve ever
taken and their hospitality is second to none.
I would recommend this course to anyone with the urge to fly.
The Flying Squirrel
I phoned Frank a week ago to ask how the Sussex
weather looked for flying on Saturday. My unsubtle ulterior motive was that, since my last
flight was October 4, 2006, I might like a bit of help. Not a problem, and Frank and
Johanne welcomed me at 06:00 the next morning. Over coffee, Frank sounded out my anxieties
that had accumulated over an eight month hiatus. There was some elusive quality about his
approach that was calming my "butterflies", and while I still didn't feel good,
I definitely felt better.
We were set-up shortly past 07:00 and Frank volunteered an
assisted take-off (an aggressive tug on the right webbing to assist me in getting the wing
up in the next-to-zero winds). At 07:21 there was Sussex below. Back after a 20 minute
aerial tour and Johanne brings a bag of goodies; brief rest and Frank wants the next
flight to be just a circuit of the field - I'm here to work on launch and landing after
all! Assisted launch again, left hand pattern, not a bad landing, then one more time, all
Johanne has videoed the episode. Frank makes a CD and
de-briefs me as we review it. He gives it to me straight: got to build up those leg
muscles, more body impulse to inflate, plan on running out the landing, etc.
It's around 09:30; I've been up and about for six hours so
it seems like late afternoon. The low cloud has been replaced by unlimited blue, and I'm
stretched out on the lawn, lying on my back, surveying the PPGNB estate. It looks like a
mural: terraced lawns, grape covered arbors, serene river. This may be as close to the
Elysian fields as I'll ever get, and I've made three flights this morning! Frank made them
happen and I can't tell you exactly how.
A seventy-five minute drive back to Fredericton and what
I'm reliving! I hope next weekend's flyable so I can tell Frank all about it.
- Dave has been into aviation for over 20 years, he is a Free-Fall Parachute Instructor as
well having his Private Pilots License. Dave has just recently completed his PPG Course
and he has written a testimonial as well as a brief description of one of his flights.
If you could
describe a flying day that was so close to being perfect, that you would think it only
possible in a dream, what would it be?
temperature would be warm, but maybe "fresh" enough that a light jacket would be
nice. The winds would be calm. The sky would be blue. Some like to start their
days early, as do I, but any good start would include break-fast with my family and a hot
cup of coffee with my wife. A leisurely drive to the airstrip and a non
hurried pace getting the flying machine prepared for flight. All systems go and off
into the still air. The flight would be totally spontaneous, nothing planned;
formation flying with a bald eagle, maybe some geese or a duck or two. The
deer in the fields would look up at you with curiosity and caution. The farmers
working in their fields would wave as you passed by their tractor cab, eye to eye
.....Birds would swerve in and out of your path in a playful way. Cars would stop
along the highway to wonder at the spectacle. Sailors on the river would wave
excitedly as you passed just over their mast. Picnic goers on the beaches would wave
and you could see them pointing their cameras....shooting shots they would be
describing in details to their friends, the amazing sight they had seen that day.
There would be moments that it seemed like you were the only one in the universe, and
moments when you were spectacle of many along the rivers edge. Unfortunately, all
fights would have to come to an end, but in this dream it would have a perfect landing in
front of a small family audience following by the sharing of the many stories of the days
Like many…I too dream of flying. Flying has always been one of my passions. The idea of powered paragliding seemed like it
should be another wonderful opportunity to share the skies from. I came to the PPGNB
program like most, I would expect, full of anticipation, excitement and enthusiasm. I also came with some flying experience which I
wasn’t sure whether it would prove to be an advantage or disadvantage. I had only seen PPG’s in action once, over 20
years ago. I was sure things would have
changed significantly since then.
delighted to see the foundation of the PPGNB program is the promotion of safe and
responsible flight for all involved. The facility is outstanding. It has easy access, centrally located, great
flying field, storage facility, training classroom, training aids including a flying
simulator and a “Granny suite”, all within 5 minutes of the town of Sussex.
Frank Savignac is an excellent instructor. He
has an absolutely wonderful talent of presenting the material in a way that should make
sense to both a “seasoned” and/or “unseasoned” hopeful pilot. He has the ability to see what specific to each
individual is being done incorrectly and what needs to be corrected. Frank would
keep telling us what to do….correcting our flaws in technique…and each time he would
manage to change the delivery…just a little….so maybe the next time…we would
actually comprehend what he was saying…it would click…and we would progress and move
I completed my PPG “check
out” on May 25th, 2007 .
On June 8th, I experienced the
“perfect day of flying” as described above.
Total time a loft, 1 hour 35 minutes. Total cost of fuel & oil, less than $7,
everything else was PRICELESS!!!!!
Thank you Frank &
Johanne, you’ve made another dream come true.
Claude Alain -
Here is a photo of me flying without
Frank once again. Frank and Johanne, I want to thank you again for the
excellent service and hospitality. As kid growing up one of my dream was to be able
to fly on my own, every plane or bird that would be flying above me I always stop and look
at them and always wondering what is the view up there, Well one day surfing the internet
luckily I had found Poweredparaglidingnewbrunswick.com
And I couldn’t have find a better place to buy all my gear and
one of the lucky one to get trained by Frank Savignac.
This guy has more patience with students
that a mother has for a child. Frank is one of those people that he will not give up on
you. And while I was taking my course they let me sleep in the “in-law sweet” that no
motel could give you i.e. Screen TV, plenty of powered paragliding videos etc…
Once again Frank and Johanne Thanks again
for helping me achieve my life long dream!
I taught myself to Hang Glide from a magazine
article when I was 18, now I am 50, older, and hopefully a little
wiser, When I decided I wanted to PPG I chose to get lessons, definitely
a good choice. The learning curve is much quicker and you come out of it with a
safe and effective approach to flying. The cost is quite reasonable if you compare
it to the cost of a couple of parablend incidents due to poor technique to say nothing of
When you get your lessons, Frank is your guy, very
knowledgeable, willing to adapt his course to fit your needs, tells you how it is and what
to do differently to make it work better next time. There is a lot to learn but
the training stays with you after the course, I am still working on improving
my landings and what works is to go back to what Frank taught me, eyes on the
horizon , feet down etc. etc. So in my humble opinion, first of all
get training and second get Frank to train you , you'll be doing yourself a
There was a day in my life, 24 years ago to be exact, that
changed my life forever! As a boy of 13, I was walking through the mall with my dad one
day looking in the shop windows when I came upon one of the most amazing things that I had
ever seen! It was a little ultra light airplane on display and its at that moment I was
bitten! Bitten by the bug to fly! Ever since then I dreamed, I saved, I researched and I
studied in the hopes of becoming a pilot one day myself or owning my own aircraft and join
countless people fortunate enough to experience the marvels and beauty of flight! It
wasn't until one day, after years of waiting and trying to decide what type of flying I
wanted to get into, I heard from a friend that he was getting into powered paragliding and
to my amazement, knew of an instructor just outside Fredericton N.B. who was offering just
that sort of training.
It wasn't 10 minutes later I frantically got on the phone
and call Frank with a list of questions regarding his PPG school. Frank was very eager and
interested to answer all my questions and to my amazement, after a few phone calls that
evening, we were making plans to start my training within a few weeks! The main
thing that amazed me about getting in contact with Frank at PPGNB, was he had the whole
package! I spent years trying to get a hold of instructors and finding a suitable schools
that was not only close enough to my location, Prince Edward Island, but was affordable,
didn't take weeks to complete the training, had a reasonable priced aircraft, and in this
case, didn't need a hangar, trailer, or runway. A very attractive prospect for a new pilot
with a limited budget and few resources. We set up some bookings for training and I headed
over for the initial part of my training which ended up being a very pleasurable
experience given the fact I was leaving home to stay at a strangers place for the weekend,
had never been in a PPG before, and didn't know what to expect from the training or
It didn't take long to realize I was in good hands and
Frank and his wife Johanne were very hospitable, easy to talk to, and made me feel right
at home. I left that Sunday with my Student Pilot Permit and very happy to have met two
wonderful people who later would make my dream of flying a reality. Unfortunately, the
following weeks we were plagued with either high winds, rain, or both which wasn't the
conditions we were hoping for and made coming over to PPGNB for the weekend
unsuitable. But with a lot of patience on both our parts Frank and Johanne saw an
opportunity to graciously come over to the Island to help get me in the air while visiting
relatives as well, but he location that we trained, low winds and direction made it
difficult for me to make much progress but it was a very valuable experience which payed
off later. Two weeks later we made another attempt and come hell or high water we were
determined to get the job done, and with a little persistence from Frank and lot of hope
nervousness on my part, I WAS FLYING!!!!!! The first flight lacked a bit of finesse, but
after about the third flight and a calm reassuring voice from Frank on the radio, it soon
became apparent to me this was it, this was going to happen, I was on my way to achieving
my life long goal.
In closing, I'd just like to say, if after reading this and
your still not sure what you want in flying but just know you want to fly, for god sake,
follow in my footsteps and others before me and you won't be disappointed. This is the way
to fly. Open, free, like a magic carpet ride and PPGNB is the place to do it. Frank and
Johanne may not realize it but they are two of the most important people now that I've met
in my life and I express my deepest gratitude to the both of them for the help they've
given me not to mention how important their school is to countless others through the
eastern part of Canada who have a dream like me. Keep up the good work, hope to do some
flying with you in the future and am very proud to be part of the PPG community!
Good people, good training, good fun..........and very
Darren Testimonial -
Dear Frank & Johanne, I just want to thank you both again for your
hospitality and kindness while I was training with you. It was a fun &
challenging and rewarding experience.
I heard about it.....I read about it......I watched videos about it.......I
talked to people about it.......I dreamed about it...alot...Then I did it ...... I made my
dream come true. They say you only get out of life what you put into it. Well,
I wanted to fly. I flew fixed wing airplanes..that got too
expensive. I tried to build an airplane...that got
too frustrating and took too long. Then I discovered powered
paragliding. It was cheap, safe, portable, and
easy to learn. I did some research and found Frank Savignac of PPGNB. I called
him and he answered all my questions and concerns. I made the decision to train
and become a PPG pilot...... What a blast and what a great experience.
Frank, and his wife, Johanne, are such quality
people. Pleasant, professional and down to earth. The training I received was
top quality. Very well presented with a common sense approach. He will teach
to your level with patience and enthusiasm. His knowledge base is extensive and
interesting. The Walkerjet Product line was very reliable and , from what I've read,
on the leading edge of paramotor technology. Safety was definitely a priority with
Frank's teaching. If your ready to live your dream, powered paragliding with PPGNB and
Frank Savignac is the way to go.
I have always had a passion to fly, wanting to see
what a bird sees. When planes or helicopters pass over, whatever I was doing I would
stop and watch. Last spring my mother phoned me on an early Saturday morning and
told me that a fellow was flying out of her field. I didn't ask what he was flying,
I just raced to the farm. There I saw not one, but three PPG pilots. This
looked exciting. I saw their equipment and thought "holy %&*# " this
is neat! Frank Savignac who is now PPG New Brunswick, talked to me and answered all
my questions. He told me that he was going for his instructor license. He
thought maybe by fall he would be an instructor and as soon as he became one, he would
call me. Well, sure enough he called just like he said, that he would the first part
of fall. I was excited to hear from him. I ordered my glider and
paramotor. It was going to happen!! We trained at my mother's farm,
which is now his training field. I find Frank to be a good instructor. He has
lots of patience and is always talking about safety. I found it was very easy to
learn from Frank. Classroom time was in Frank's home. His wife Joanne
helped when needed and always made me feel comfortable. I thank her for that.
So, now I'm flying, which I thought I would never do! I made new friends in the PPG
community who are all great! So if you think you can't do it, think again. If
you've always wanted to fly, make your dream a reality call Powered Paragliding New
Brunswick, Frank Savignac.
Five Star Rating! Thanks, Roger Harris
Glen's Testimonial - This is a voluntarily submitted
“Testimonial” to Frank Savignac’s one-on-one PPG Refresher Course, September 2 and
name is Glen Boyd, and here's a brief Curriculum Vitae:
I earned a Private Pilot's License in 1975, was active in Sport Parachuting between
1978-1983, purchased and trained on my current PPG gear in
June 2004, went back for a Refresher Course
in October 2004, and didn't get into
the air again until the morning of September 4, 2005, at 07:48.
Already I can see you thinking: if Internet sites tout PPG as THE way to fly, how come
Yours Truly seems to be contradicting this image vis-a-vis an eleven month hiatus?
Be reassured that if you try it, you'll be hooked.
During training there was an intangible sense of security afforded by the mere presence of
experienced pilots on the flying field. Back in Fredericton last fall I lacked the
confidence to attempt a flight without the placebo. Then in April of this year, I
had the great good fortune to meet Frank. Have you ever noticed that when someone
makes something look easy, it probably isn't, and conversely, they must be good?
That was the impression I got while watching Frank fly.
Frank called a week or so ago to announce
his PPG Instructor status, and offered a refresher course. I took him up on that and spent
four very instructive hours on basics; and, yes, they are basic. They become “second
nature” to some faster than they do to others, but in any case, don’t try to fly
without them. Sunday was the big day: bright and early, no wind: ergo Forward Launch
(assisted). It really, really works: the glider inflates and comes over your head – no
strain, no pain; release the “As”, bit of brake; gradual application of power and
“run-run-run” - except my boots hadn’t splashed through very many feet of dewy
clover before there I was again, aloft, just like last October. Hey, Frank, guess who’s
the happiest person in the world this minute, and guess who made it possible?
OK. I’ve had my say, thank you very much; but this is about Frank, not me. Why would I
unreservedly opine that if he can’t train you, then PPG is not your cup of tea? Let’s
face it: while technical skills come first and foremost, “people” skills are an
essential compliment. Sure, it’s easy for an instructor to be full of praise while the
weather and a student’s progression go “by the book”. Impatience, frustration,
whatever, undoes all the student’s learning to date; and instructors have, figuratively,
“shot themselves in the foot” – bye-bye to hero status.
Frank intuitively sensed my “hang-ups”, and patiently worked me through them,
one-by-one, and at my own pace. He also gave an honest and unadorned critique after each
Like you, I take most of what I read with the proverbial grain of salt. You don’t have
to take my word for it: call Frank and judge for yourself.
September 5, 2005
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