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Putting in some air time

It's a bird! It's a plane! It's a powered parachute!

Phil Dietro, owner of Inland Paraflite, offers rides and powered parachute flight training out of Apple Valley.

Dietro, an FAA certified flight instructor with two decades of experience, is one of 20 examiners in the nation able to issue temporary pilots certificates. The next nearest examiner is in Utah.

The 65-horsepower Powrachute Pegasus 2-place light sport aircraft and its 500-square-foot FAA approved ram air parachute weighs in at 460 pounds. It can reach speeds of 32 mph and fly up to 12,000 feet.

Paraflyer is a common term among other names for this type of aircraft.

Dietro’s nickname is Master Yoda.

The minimum requirements to obtain a sport pilot certificate is 10 hours dual training, 2 hours solo, a dual cross-country flight and a solo cross country flight of 10 nautical miles.

Introductory flights start at $150, 30 minutes flights for $199, 1 hour for $285. A full training sport pilot certificate — which includes flight training required, materials and ground school — is offered.

More information can be found at, and by calling (760) 242-3359.

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