Eyes went to the skies over the weekend as paragliders and paramotors buzzed over the small town of Gravelbourg on Saturday. 

Gravelbourg is the home base to an interesting company, Sask Paramotors Lessons and Training; a part-time business taking people to new heights. A Gravelbourg-area farmer began the business with hopes to share his love for flight. 

Gaetan Piché is the owner and operator of Sask Paramotors Lessons and Training. 

“I started paramotoring 11 years ago, it became somewhat of an addiction,” stated Piché. “At that point I decided to get my instructor certification in order to get to share my joy of flying and to share those first flights with students.” 

Piché’s business offers a range of services, from quick 20-minute tandem flights to proper Paramotor pilot testing. The flights around the Gravelbourg area are seeing an increase as weather begins to warm, but Piché stated that he and his students take off year-round. Although he’s from a very rural centre, Piché has no trouble drumming up customers for his part-time business. 

“There's definitely lots of potential; one of the biggest reasons for the increase in the popularity of the sport is YouTube,” explained Piché. “Lots of people are getting exposure to it and finding out about it. And the other thing is that the design of the gliders or of the wings has improved and it makes them much safer and makes them easier to launch and land.”  

He went on to explain that the clear limiting factor of the sport’s growth would be costs of equipment and training, which are likely to total around $20,000 for a proper set up and introduction.