Power parachuting is a form of parachuting that uses a vehicle with a motor and propeller that can take-off and land from land or water. Commonly referred to as an ultralight, power parachuting can be done with a single-seat powered parachute or two-seat powered parachute. More than 50 power parachute training schools are located in 27 states, with most of those schools in Texas and Illinois.
Most powered parachute schools do not list the cost of the training because it varies depending on what type of powered parachute pilot training is desired. However, Air Born Paraflite of Ithaca, Michigan, does list the cost of its powered parachute, which can be used as a general reference for other powered parachute schools around the nation. The 10-hour dual flight training costs £715 in 2011 and the two-hour solo flight is an additional £91. The training material, exam test preparation a course, testing, certification and class fees cost an additional £750.
The ground class is a course required by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) before being allowed to take a training flight. The course last approximately 16 hours and can be completed over a weekend to prevent a student from missing work. The course covers preparation inspection, pilot's flight log, mapping, flight computer and FAA pilot's examination preparation. All the licensed and registered power parachute training schools require this course before piloting the first flight.
Many power parachute training schools have introductory flights available for individuals not wanting to pay all the costs of getting the pilot's license. These introductory flights can range from a 20-minute flight with a licensed instructor to a one-hour flight with a licensed instructor. The cost of this introductory course varies, but expect to pay between £32 and £78. The instructor rides along with the individual showing how to do everything and then allows the person to fly the power parachute himself to see if he wants to move onto the pilot licensing courses.
Once a person has taken the ground course, they prepare for the flight. Most power parachute training schools divide the flight into three steps. The take-off is the first step and key because it includes the preflight inspection as well as how to lay out the parachute before take-off. The student pilot then begins to throttle the powered parachute allowing the parachute to inflate then he fully throttles the parachute. Step two of the flight introduces the student pilot to steering the powered parachute. The last step prepares the student pilot for landing the powered parachute.
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