Paramotors are recreational aircraft that employ a soft-aerofoil, or parawing, attached to a powered tubular structure, slung below the wing by what are referred to as risers. The idea for the aircraft was primarily developed and promoted by English pilot Michael Byrne in the early 1980s. Aircraft of this type are governed under FAA Part 103 (Ultralight Aircraft) and, as such, there are no formal licensing requirements associated with medical certification, training or operations except limitations on wind speed, weight and daylight operations. However, pilots are encouraged to undergo formal training at a certified flight paramotor company before attempting to operate the aircraft.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Challenging
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To enjoy the sport of powered paragliding the first thing to do is locate a reputable school in your area. The United States Powered Paragliding Association is a great way to get started. The association offers information on training schools in various regions, in addition to allowing the prospective student to learn more about the necessary equipment and supporting gear. Once you've identified one or more likely candidates, call each one directly to discuss the potential program to ensure that a good personal fit is in the offing.
Once you have identified your school, you need to buy the right equipment. In this case you can lean on the United States Powered Paragliding Association for a host of good manufacturers. As an example, American Paragliding.com offers a series of packages ranging from £3,896 to £5,196 These include all of the necessary kit to get ready to fly. A typical package includes:
ParaToys II paraglider Two year warranty Risk and reward DVD Wooden Propeller Glider carry sack Harness Flight suit Wind sock Prop covers Tool kit Spare parts Assembly DVD Paramotor bible Engine Manual Fuel mixer
In essence a powered paraglider is a shaped parachute with a motor hanging below it. As such, training programs typically require the pilot to learn the ropes by using his paraglider as a basic unpowered craft first to understand the characteristics of the soft airfoil. Once the pilot has mastered these tasks, an instructor will attach a power unit and begin the powered training in earnest.
After all the training conditions are met, it's time to produce a first solo. For the student, there is always a degree of concern, such as, am I going to make a fool of myself and break my paramotor? But if the student has followed his instructor's admonitions, first solos are typically a time to savour the experience of flight.
To Become A Paramotor Pilot
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