Fly Above All is the oldest continuously operating paragliding school in the United States! That's no accident.
We are passionate about flying! We are constantly searching for the best gear, techniques, tips and tricks for our students and our customers. Our mission is to provide you with a wide selection of the best and most loved gear available to pilots.
The school has been operating at the Elings Park Training hill since it was first opened as a hang gliding school in 1974 and began teaching paragliding in 1989. In 1998 Chad Bastian purchased the school from his instructor Ken DeRussy. Chad was determined to continue the legacy of quality paragliding education for one of the longest running foot launched flight schools in the US.
Christopher GranthamChristopher dreamed of flying hang gliders as a youngster, but in 2001 discovered paragliding. He quickly left everything else behind and dedicated his life to improving the sport.
He currently holds an Instructor Administrator Appointment for both Paragliding and Speedflying, the highest rating qualification for an instructor, and a Tandem Instructor rating. His syllabus and school program, developed from experience while teaching around the world, is nationally recognized and used by many other schools. Like many pilots his passion began extending to other air-sports and in 2007 he began flying small powered aircraft and now extends to hang gliders and paramotors (PPG).
Christopher has returned to Santa Barbara after years of teaching at the world famous Point of the Mountain in Utah. In 2012 he accepted the Instructor of the Year Award from the United States Hang Gliding and Paragliding Assoc. Chris is currently the highest ranked instructor in the US based on the number of students still flying after 10 years. Chris is also a Powered Paraglider (PPG) instructor and a licensed skydiver.
Andi has been involved in various air-sports since 2011 and has recently added paragliding to skydiving and BASE.
Andi has a background in IT, Design and Project Management. She has 1700+ skydives and has worked as a camera flyer, coach, tandem instructor, static line jump master and holds an FAA senior parachute rigger rating.
Andi is the Drop Zone Operator for Air Phoenix, the tandem skydiving operation at Burning Man.
Chad began flying in 1993 and has since racked up more airtime than any other pilot in the US. He holds an Instructor Administrator Appointment and a Tandem Instructor rating, making Fly Above All the only school in SoCal with two Instructor Administrators on the team.
He began competing nationally in 1997 and in 2001 he represented the US National Paragliding Team in the World Competition in Spain. The US Paragliding National Championships in the Owens Valley were organized by Chad in 2002. He also holds the highest safety award possible from the USHPA (Fifth Diamond- 5,000 consecutive safe flights), now with approximately 12,426 flights. He is also one of the few P-5 Master rated Pilots, the highest paragliding rating available. If you're interested in paramotoring, Chad is your guy. He has been building and teaching paramotoring for many years. Chad holds a commercial pilot rating as well as his numerous accomplishments in paragliding.
Bob has been paragliding since 2002 and he quickly found his other activities were gathering dust.
He is exceptionally analytical and has been able to safely guide many students through the trials of their first mountain flights. He holds an Advanced Instructor rating, teaches paramotoring, and is the designer of the best paragliding simulator in the US.