I loved Let Fly Paragliding's SIV course, best week ever of my paragliding path so far. Dilan truly made me feel so comfortable doing the scariest maneuvers Ive ever done. I wasn't radio controlled, we discussed in depth the evening before; the next days syllabus. He even brought a white board and drew pictures and diagrams. We ground piloted each maneuver and debriefed over and over and over again until I really understood each maneuver the night before, the morning of, hooked in on tow, & before pin off . His teaching style is the best I've ever had. I want to do another course this year. Check out the videos turn up the volume, good instruction.
Had a pretty intense and enjoyable weekend doing a paragliding SIV course with Dilan Benedetti at Lake Berryessa in Sonoma. Superb conditions and great instruction helped ease the intensity of the whole thing.
For those that don't know, SIV is French for Simulation d'Incident en Vol but translates as "what to do when it all goes horribly wrong!" We tow up over the lake behind a boat to about 2,500' and then go through drills to simulate worst case scenarios. Dilan coaches us in a very cool and calm manner (most of the time) over the radio and, if all goes well, we fly away unscathed. If not, then we throw our reserve parachute and land in the water where the boat collects us. Thankfully nobody threw their reserve in more than 60 flights that weekend!
I have to say, I feel so much safer and aware of my wing and what it is doing and can be doing at any point. I've also realized that modern paragliders are incredible flying machines and most of the time the easiest way to solve a problem is to give subtle inputs and just let the paraglider fly, trying to not over control it.
For any of my paragliding friends who haven't done an SIV, I strongly recommend it as an essential part of your training and experience. For those that have done it, it never hurts to do it again! Come join me in late July when I return to Lake Berryessa to try to burn all of this into my muscle memory.
"I was beyond excited to take my first SIV course in California with Let Fly paragliding this year. Dillan was an awesome instructor and took us from basic pitch and roll control into auto-rotations, huge wingovers, full stalls, spirals and spins. Dillan will inspire you to push your limits and take paragliding to the next level in a safe and controlled environment! It was a full 3-days and I highly recommend Let Fly Paragliding! I'm excited to go back again soon."
"Last year I took my first SIV course. I thought it was pretty good but I had nothing to compare it to. A good friend recommended my husband and I take the next one from Dilan at Let Fly Paragliding. My first clue that this course was going to be a bit different than the first one was that there was a scheduled briefing the evening before. The next clue was that the briefing was going to be 2 hours long. We learned A LOT in those 2 hours! General information about the course, terminology that we needed to familiarize ourselves with, and an overview of what we could expect during the next 3 days.
On the morning of Day 1, Neal (tow operator) provided a thorough briefing on how to launch on tow, how to be towed and how to release. Before each flight, Dilan ensured that everyone knew exactly what was going to be asked of them and what the outcome should be. The tasks and skills progressed in a very logical and individual way as the course went on and some students progressed faster than others. Dilan pushed me beyond, but not too far beyond, my comfort zone each time and I came away feeling more confident in my skills and in my glider.
Debriefings at the end of the days reinforced what we had done during the day and WHY we needed to know these skills. The detailed briefings and debriefings, the progression of one skill moving into the next skill are not things that happened on the first course I took and I really appreciated the attention to detail that Dilan provided.
Since taking the course, we’ve had an opportunity to meet and talk with several other pilots who have taken SIV courses and, without a doubt, Dilan’s courses get the most consistent great comments, especially from pilots who have taken courses from both Dilan and others.
Both my husband and I would highly recommend taking an SIV course from Dilan and to “let fly!
I did a SIV clinic with Dilan and it was so helpful. I have flying XCs for ~13 years yet the clinic teach me so much !
On top of learning a lot, I met a group of awesome pilots and had a lot of fun during the 3 days. Dilan and Ben (the boat pilot) are very nice guy.
I would definitely recommend this clinic to any pilot flying on a regular basis
Excellent SIV and acro instruction. VERY passionate, experienced, and a great setup. I want to come back and do more infinity tumbles! Thank you Dilan!
-Iain, British Columbia
Let Fly is the real deal.
Before this course as a brand new pilot, when I took off from the mountains and I had a lot of "what-ifs" going through my brain that I didn't have answers for. "What if a gust somehow cravats my wing? What if I turn too hard and go into a spin? What if I accidentally stall? What would I do?" This cloud of doubts hampered my confidence and my skills in the air. This course changed all that, and made me see clear!
Dilan is one of those very rare individuals, who can unlock potential in you you never knew you had. He pushed me through several of my own mental barriers, so the next time I go fly I no longer have what-ifs, I have answers.
Amazing people, in a picture perfect place. I'll be back soon!
-Chris Kopack, California
I just spent the long weekend with Dilan and Neil of Let Fly Paragliding at Lake Berryessa. For reference, I'm a 'new' P2 with about 20hrs total flight time. Never done SIV before. About as green as they get. In a class of 8 students, there was a good amount of diversity among student flying experience.
It didn't take long for me to learn Dilan is a genuine, honest guy who cares most about advancing your skills safely. The key word here is "you". Beyond my own instruction it was really terrific to see Dilan probe and understand each and every pilot individually. It was after he 'found the key' (his words) to unlock you that he could push you comfortably outside your own personal comfort zone. His purpose as I could see it was not to get every student to check all the boxes. No, his purpose was to push YOU further than you've been pushed before. After almost each flight, he was there to give honest (and sometimes brutally necessary) feedback to help you out.
I also learned this course for me is not a one and done. I'll be back regularly. It really opened my eyes to the potential issues we could face while flying. This course will help you manage that trouble should you ever need it.
Five stars. Go see Dilan and Neil, often.
Thank you Let Fly Paragliding for an amazing SIV course! As a new P2 pilot I feel that Dilan did a great job coaching me and making sure I was well prepared and comfortable before each maneuver. I highly recommend any new pilot going to see Dilan as soon as you can. You will gain so much knowledge along with an appropriate amount of confidence with your wing. Thanks again Dilan!!!!!!!!!
-Chris Garcia, Oregon
My wife and I took Dilan’s three day Let Fly SIV Clinic the weekend of Sept 7-10 2017. Simply put: Dilan will make you a more confident, skillful pilot which will increase both your safety and your enjoyment of our amazing sport. He is an exceptionally rare combination of gifted pilot, focused, effective instructor, and motivated, caring coach. I was also impressed to learn he is a certified IPPI SIV Instructor – a qualification that USHPA does not offer and something no other SIV instructor in the U.S. has.
Dilan will fill the holes in your training that you didn’t know. His passion for paragliding as a professional shows as clearly as his “child dreaming of flight” enthusiasm. Plus he will hold your intention and is a fun guy to be around.
He will encourage you to challenge yourself but won’t push you if you communicate your limits and personal comfort threshold. He is a good communicator. He has the ability to modifying the course for each individual student.
So if you have been hesitant about an SIV, like me, because of fear, anxiety, or whatever - just leave that bullsh*t at home and go enjoy it and challenge yourself. The price seems daunting but you get a lot for what you pay for. And an added bonus: a learned a lot from the 7 other pilots and their experiences.
I’d recommend a Let Fly SIV Clinic to any pilot from low hour P2s with solid forward launching skills (absolutely necessary for towing) and acceptable landing skills all the way up to XC gods and aspiring acro pilots. There’s something for everyone.
FYI: I’d never met Dilan before, I just did some research on the internet and heard good things. I recognize this is a raving review (and maybe a little long, if you're still reading) but this is in no way a compensated endorsement. I paid full price just like everyone else - although he did offer me a beer the night before the first day of class. If you want, just ask him for my info and we can talk.
I little about myself: My wife and I I’ve been flying just over 4 years. I have about 100 hours since I got my P3. (Interesting to note, 3 of the 8 pilots where woman and they rocked it.) So now thanks to all the hard work this weekend I'm planning to get more air time, with more confidence and a bigger smile on my face. See you out there.
-John F. California
Thank you Let Fly Paragliding for an amazing SIV clinic! Dilan has created a logical progression of drills and I learned so much in 3 days about how my paraglider responds to my input after various collapses, spins, and stalls. Dilan provides excellent briefings at set stages of preparation; this repetition was very helpful - especially when I got to go first. I'd asked a friend if I should bring books to read (!), but the time on the lakeshore was easily filled up by focussing on the next flight’s maneuvers or helping the next pilot up. The lake was calm in the mornings, however Dilan and Ben are skilled at adjusting the lap around the lake as the wind comes up and changes direction later in the day. It must be said, Ben worked some magic during launch by simultaneously gunning the boat forward, looking backwards, and adjusting the tension on the line of spectra attached to me. Towards the end, I like to think I’d improved a bit on the actual towing part. Time will tell, because I’ll definitely return for another SIV clinic.
Just finished day 3 of the SIV Clinic. Im new to paragliding and am so glad i did this before flying on my own. Preparing myself for the different scenarios that eventually will happen is the best investment i have made with paragliding. I am a safer and more competent paragliding pilot today than i was four days ago. Its intense and a bit unnerving at times, but i definitely recommend o have these experiences over water with an amazing pilot like Dilan on the other end of a radio guiding you through each maneuver than being on your own... The debriefings at the end of the day are incredibly helpful in teaching you when to do what. Simply an amazingly beneficial experience.
Thanks so much Dillan for the SIV was a great experience and also thanks so much for care so much about are safety, like you said you work with each person different depending therir own limitations
I feel very safe doing my maneuvers having you in the radio
Muchas Gracias una vez más !!!
If you want to be a safer pilot, take your XC flying to the next level, learn Acro, Dilan is the guy you need to see. Massive wing overs, full stalls, spirals, spins, even throwing your reserve all this and more. Under the knowledgeable and only officially certified SIV instructor on the west coast Dilan Benedetti.
"While working towards my P3 I decided I needed to take an SIV course, so this year, I went out to take Let Fly's SIV clinic. And wow. What I learned about my own Paraglider, and getting out of formerly panic causing situations was probably the best investment I've made towards paragliding.
To put it bluntly, this SIV is intense. Under Dilan's instructions you will be mentally and physically challenged over 3 days. I had to take in a lot of information, but I gained both knowledge, courage and focus while flying.
Dilan does a great job of hammering (repeatedly) what you need to know before each flight. Provides clear instructions while practicing the maneuvers themselves and also knows when to back off. His syllabus is more of a guide and he makes sure you have each skill down before progressing as they all build on each other. He also provides a lot of practical lesson on how to utilize the maneuvers. He provides a type of strict, yet encouraging Instruction that was invaluable throughout the clinic. His team supporting him was top notch to boot. I fell in the water and within 20 seconds I'm being helped onto a boat and by that afternoon I'm flying again.
I highly recommend Dilan's SIV clinic to anyone doing their first one or wanting a refresher".
"I've been collecting some thoughts about the SIV this past weekend and realized I should send this before too much more time passes and it's not as useful. Overall I just want to say how great the clinic was! Dilan is an excellent coach, and I've been encouraging everyone I know to sign up for a clinic with him. He keeps a close eye on safety while also encouraging participants to push their boundaries a little bit and maximize the opportunity. But he never pushes, and I really appreciated the balance between setting goals while also respecting individual limits. I also found the explanations of why we were doing the particular exercises to be very helpful and really expanded my thinking about SIV. I look forward to doing another clinic with him, hopefully after a little more upper-body muscle-building and I promise to not bring any orange juice"
-Julie Spielger, California
"Had a great time with wonderful people. Learned and experienced a ton. The instruction was fantastic. Dilan really communicated well not just what the air can do to you and what you should do in response, but how your wing reacts to that and your inputs as well and how to manage those energies and recover. I'm definitely going back to him for more! Thanks Let Fly Paragliding !"