Paramotoring is not a common sport in Saskatchewan according to Dustin Blanchard, but with a new clothing company and the ability to train, he thinks soon there will be a lot more people in the sky.
It’s a sport involving a big motor and propellers that you strap to your back, aided by a parachute-like device they call wings.
You get a running start, let the wings get air under them, let the motor do its thing and within no time you’re up in the air sailing around.
Unfortunately for Blanchard, there really wasn’t anyone else he could regularly fly with. That was until two guys decided to join him.
“We want to get as many people as we can into the air. For the last three years I was the only paramotor pilot in the area,” Blanchard said.
“Luckily over the summer, we now have two more pilots. It’s a lot more fun flying with other people.”
Those people are Tucker Chornomud and Ryan Paquette.
Chornomud has been flying now for months and Paquette is in the process of training, looking forward to getting up in the air once he’s qualified.
Chornomud said he saw one of Blanchard’s YouTube videos and contacted him and Paquette knew Blanchard already through other sports.
PPG School is one of the places to go if you want to be a paramotor pilot and now, through Blanchard, they’ve opened a satellite location in Saskatoon where he is able to train new pilots.
“It allows them to do all their ground handling and ground school before they do their test flight in Regina,” Blanchard told CTV News.
Now that Saskatoon has more of a paramotor presence, Blanchard and his team decided to start Flyrr PPG, a clothing brand that they hope will bring more people to the skies.
Chornomud said, "We’re spreading the word on social media quite well and we’re getting a great response from everyone, just interested, like ‘what is this thing?’ and ’how do I get into it?’”
The satellite training ground and the place they often fly at is in a field owned by Tuff Turf, who has allowed the group to use their field for practice and future training sessions.
Blanchard said he is looking forward to seeing more pilots join him and his buddies each year, giving them more people to hang out with in the clouds.