It has been almost five years since team founder Eric Farewell first attended EAA AirVenture and dreamed of the day when he would return with a multi-ship, powered paragliding aerobatic act. Although it took a few years, the Paradigm Aerobatic Team was born in 2016 and performed its paramotoring act for the first time at that year’s EAA AirVenture.
Based in Lake Wales, Florida, the Paradigm Aerobatic Team consists of approximately ten pilots and 20 support crewmembers, most of whom are between the ages of 18 and 25. With each pilot equipped with a harness, powerplant, caged propeller and parachute, the team brings their synchronized aerobatic performance to both day and night shows.
Although the pilots are young, most of them have been paramotoring since the ages of eight or 11. Today, the pilots accumulate at least 500 hours of flight time a year and fly multi-ship formations that include up to ten pilots at a time.
Leading up to a single performance, the team will practice an extensive training regimen of individual and synchronized flying that includes both morning and evening flights. All practices are filmed and then later reviewed by the team to find areas of improvement.
“I like to joke that we are the world’s slowest formation team,” Farewell said. “We will practice a performance 20 to 30 times in a day.”
In every performance, the team shares its love for the sport of paramotoring and lives by its mission that, “Anyone can fly.”
“The thing with paramotor is that it is an affordable way to get in the air,” Farewell said. “No matter your social status, your family status, you can fly, too.”
In addition to being the team’s founder, Farewell runs Aviator PPG, a full-time paramotoring school to train all who are interested in learning the sport. The school has seven schools running and holds one to two practices a month.
“When you fly, you become a better person,” Farewell said. “It changes the way you think, the way you look at the world.”
2018 is quickly becoming a highly anticipated air show season for the team as it is scheduled to perform at both SUN ‘n FUN International Fly-In & Expo and EAA AirVenture. Additionally, the team is in the works of finalizing a flight under the Gateway Arch in St. Louis, Missouri.
To find out more about the Paradigm Aerobatic Team, visit www.paradigmaerobatics.com.