The highest level of hands on XC experience for pilots

XC Training Tandems with Eagle Paragliding are available from September through May in the front country, and June through September in the back country. The Eagle team believes these educational tandem flights for certified pilots are the best tool for thermal and cross-country flying. What other sport allows you to be in the front row flying with a seasoned pro, giving you the opportunity to go beyond your own limits as  a solo pilot. Pilots see tremendous growth in their solo flying after an XC training tandem with an Eagle Tandem Instructor.


Fly Cross Country with a PRO, and take what you learn on your solo flights.

What to Expect

We usually meet at 9:30am, but it will all depend on what the weather forecast is looking like on our flying day.

Our primary meeting spot is near Parma Park in Santa Barbara.  The Eagle van parks near 736 Rockwood Drive. This is the intersection of Rockwood Drive and El Cielito Road.  Please avoid parking in front of the house or mailbox at 736 Rockwood Drive. We request passengers park just down the street on Rockwood Drive, and walk up to the intersection of Rockwood Drive and El Cielito Road where you see the Eagle Van parked. The meeting location is a short 10 minute drive from Downtown Santa Barbara.

The passenger is flying in the front seat exposed to the wind. The temperature at altitude may be quite cold even though the surface temperature is warm. It’s best to prepare for cold by bringing multiple layers. Your instructor can brief you on the expected temperature at altitude the morning of the flight. We also suggest you bring your flight deck and radio. This flight allows you to spend more time learning how to use your instrument, since you can put more of your focus there as a passenger.

It’s always nice to have a wingman. We will show you how to properly enter thermals with other pilots who are already working a thermal. We discuss and point out details on how to best thermal with other pilots, and highlight ho we work the thermal together as a team. We discuss options about your line, and how what you are seeing with other pilots, your instrument, and what you are feeling factor into your decision about where you point your glider in search of your next climb.

The plan will be to get established and get as high as possible after launching. After topping out we will makes moves depending on the wind direction, and what we see. The objective will be to stay airborne for hours, and fly back and forth on the Santa Barbara range to give you real life experience in areas you haven’t flown yet. We may even attempt to head well down range to the east toward Ojai if conditions are promising.

Generally it is our hope to stay up and fly at least 2 hours, but if the conditions are good the flight will be longer. We may end up needing a retrieve if we flew a longer distance out of the Santa Barbara area.  Be sure to set aside a day where you don’t have any afternoon obligations so you can get the most out of this educational experience.

Yes, but we suggest on making the educational opportunity your primary focus. The amount of information you will be given during this educational tandem is invaluable. We see pilots utilizing these tandems on our Colombia tours, and by the end of the week they are making big moves flying XC. It’s only after going past your comfort zone with a tandem pilot are you able to make informed decisions from you own experience.  It’s a huge opportunity to make moves and go places you wouldn’t normally go as a solo pilot. This experience allows pilots to make astonishing leaps and bounds as solo pilots.

As a certified pilot you realize the temperature varies in the mountains.  You should be prepared for cooler weather by bringing options, and simply layer appropriately.

The Fine Print — Tandems

If we are unable to complete your tandem due to weather, you will not be charged. Participants may schedule a tandem via email. Reservations are required, and only confirmed when held with a credit card, or full payment has been made. The deposit for tandems is the entirety of the fee. Deposits are refundable only if participants do not get to fly, or a cancellations is made at least 24 hours before a scheduled tandem. Eagle Paragliding reserves the right to modify, change, or delete any aspect of the tandem programs or fees at any time. We strongly recommend that students have their own medical insurance. Most anybody can enjoy paragliding. If you don’t meet the weight requirement minimum, or have anything you feel may prevent you from having the physical or mental ability please contact us to inquire.