How To Start, what is my next step!
What is Paramotoring?
Powered paragliding, also known as paramotoring or PPG, is a form of ultralight aviation where the pilot wears a motor on his back (a paramotor) which provides enough thrust to take off using a paraglider. It can be launched in still air, and on level ground, by the pilot alone — no assistance is required.
In many countries, including South Africa, powered paragliding is regulated and requires a license. The ability to fly both low and slow safely, the ‘open’ feel, the minimal equipment and maintenance costs, and the portability are claimed to be this type of flying’s greatest merits. Powered paragliders usually fly between 125 and 72 km/h at altitudes from ‘foot-dragging on the water’ up to 18,000+ ft (7400 m) although most flying is done under 500 ft (150 m) AGL (above ground level).
Due to the paramotor’s slow forward speed and nature of a soft wing, it is not safe in high winds, turbulence, or intense thermal activity. The paramotor, weighing from 18 to 40 kg) is supported by the pilot during takeoff. After a brief run (typically 10 feet or 3 meters, at sea level) the wing lifts the motor and its harnessed pilot off the ground. After takeoff, the pilot gets into the seat and sit’s suspended beneath the inflated paraglider wing like a pendulum. Control is available using brake toggles for roll and a hand-held throttle for pitch.
Prices for a complete new package (wing, harness, and motor) vary from approximately R140,000 up to R250,000 for new equipment and training. You also got the option of Powered Paratrikes, Single seat and Tandem unit to choose from.
DO NOT BE FOOLED by instructors or dealer telling you-you first MUST do Paragliding! You can Train from scratch, start flying by training directly on PPG, PPT or PPC’s No need to do first PG.
You HAVE to do research before you buy anything. Be very careful. Don’t settle for the first deal which comes your way. Your instructor should guide you on what to look for, what size motor you need, which wing to buy etc.
Most of the instructors will be able to assist you with new and second-hand equipment. Some of the biggest mistakes I have seen and still see are new pilots who open some web page, buy a motor or a wing from some classifieds etc. for a bargain! Well you might buy a bargain but it most cases it will cost you more in the end. You will arrive at the school with your bargain and the instructor will inform you that the unit is not airworthy.
The wing might be too old, unsafe and in almost 100% of the cases never tested, serviced or certified. KEEP in mind your life is in his hands and at the same time, he has to test fly it for you. Personally, I would not test fly any equipment that is not tested, certified or serviced.
When it comes to motors, you need your instructor’s advice. You have to look at your weight and location. If you weigh 100kg and you try to train on a small top 80cc motor in Gauteng, you will not fly. Again do not be fooled by sales talk. Always keep in mind that it is only a sport.
Decide on school, speak to the instructor, preferably one-on-one, important that both parties understand each other. Your school/dealer can assist you with the correct equipment, new and second hand. Important to buy correctly from day one.
Remember, buy from second hand online stores or forums, you stand a big chance in buying junk, buying the wrong equipment!
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