Frequently Asked Questions
What is a Powered Paraglider?
Paragliding is the simplest form of flight: no plane, no windows, just you floating on air. A paraglider is a foot-launched parachute wing. It is easy to transport, easy to launch, and easy to land. The paraglider itself has no rigid structure and the pilot is suspended by lines. The pilot is clipped into a harness, which is quite comfortable. The motor is a backpack unit with propeller to give thrust allowing you to climb and fly level at your own will.
How much does it cost?
Training is $2000 and includes use of our gear, and we have new ready to fly complete packages starting under 8K!
Tight on cash?
We usually have a selection of quality used gear for sale to get you flying for less!
How long does it take to have your first flight?
You can solo in as little as a couple days with ability, exceptional conditions and intense training. But you a far from ready to venture out on your own. You will need to learn to ground handle the wing and some basics, then when the weather is good you will get your first tow/flight.
What happens if the motor quits?
It’s a glider, and glide it will! The loss of power only limits your ability to maintain altitude. The glider flies about 6 feet forward for every foot lost (a 6 to 1 glide ratio). So you’ll be dropping just over 3 mph as you glide forward at about 20 mph. With even moderate skill it can be landed in quite a small space too. A motor failure is rarely more than an inconvenience.
How long does it take to learn?
Industry experts recommend 8-12 full days of training from a certified trainer. However, bad weather, training on just weekends and other facts of life could mean about about 2-3 months by calendar. Going to a full-time school where you can train intensely and continuously will let you solo and earn the PPG1 in 3 days, depending on conditions and your skill. Some schools do a 1-day solo course but that requires assistance; you’re nowhere near ready to fly on your own after such an introduction
How long can I fly on a tank of gas?
Motor-on flight time can easily exceed 3.5 hours based upon mild throttle usage. Periods of extended full-throttle will burn fuel at a faster rate or with an up down throttle. If your motor is equipped with a starter or you are strong enough to pull the starter cord you can shut your motor on and off as you please, gliding for hours on thermals.
Can I do this every day?
Most likely not. Strong wind and turbulence restrict our sport. On average, you can expect 3-4 days per week of flyable conditions depending on where you live. Some locations are flyable 6+ days per week.
What is this PPG rating thing?
It is a voluntary rating system administered by the USPPA. Pilots may choose to train to receive ratings throughout their flying career that reflect the pilot skill level. The ratings are as such:
• PPG1: Beginner Pilot – Student has flown at least one solo flight. He is required to stay under direct instructor supervision and instructor radio contact.
• PPG2: Novice Pilot – Student is now considered a full-fledged pilot and can fly solo at nearly 90% of our flying sites nationally. It requires basic flying skills but, just as important, knowledge that allows venturing off to fly on his own.
• PPG3: Advanced Pilot – Pilot has demonstrated significant skills and logged required hours. At this point, you are considered a competent pilot and can fly almost every site safely.
How high can I fly?
Nearly as high as you want. Most of the time powered paragliders are flown between 100 to 2000 feet. The legal limit imposed by the FAA is 18,000 feet. But you start needing oxygen at 14,000 feet.
Is Powered Paragliding safe?
It is probably the safest form of private aviation ever devised, It is safer than flying in small planes or riding motorcycles but not as safe as driving. One reason for the good safety record is that most problems will prevent the pilot from successfully taking off. Like other adventure sports, it’s as safe or dangerous as you make it. Powered Paragliding has a very good safety record amongst pilots that have been properly trained by a professional. It is of course crucial that you receive instruction from a certified professional and use safe equipment. Paragliding is an outdoor sport and the weather is unpredictable. A thorough understanding of the air, and the dynamics of flight makes a trained pilot much safer than an untrained pilot. The primary safety factors are personal judgment and attitude. You must be willing to learn gradually and to think with your head not with your ego. If you do not, then you can get injured or killed; if you do, then you can paraglide well into your life.
What do I need to Powered Paraglide?
You will need a backpack motor unit (PPG), a paraglider (wing), and a helmet. Most pilots also fly with radios for communicating with other pilots on the ground or in the air.
How do I dress?
Blue jeans and a t-shirt for the summer or warm pants and a jacket for the winter (avoid shorts in case of fall). Also gloves if you have them, sunscreen, hat and sunglasses. If it’s hot you will need plenty of liquids, so be sure to bring something to drink. The only required item is a good pair of boots. We recommend strong ankle support, like good hiking boots that lace up over the ankle. The most common injury in paragliding is probably a sprained ankle.
How far do you have to run to get airborne?
Just a few steps will be necessary in a 5-10 breeze. However, in a calm wind condition, 10 to 50 steps may be necessary. If you motor unit has more power = less steps.
Do I need to get certified or get a license?
Paragliding is a self-regulated sport, so technically you are not required by law to be a certified pilot. Getting good training is, however, paramount to personal safety as well as avoiding blundering into restricted airspace. However, not getting proper training is a sure way to trouble. The USA regards Motorized Paragliders, powered paragliders, or Paramotors as Ultralight Aircraft, and are subject to the rules and regulations of ultralights in FAR Part 103.
Do I need to have special knowledge or experience?
Yes and No. Your instructor will cover everything you need to fly and should answer all your questions. But there is so much information that we suggest you read up on using appropriate training materials and following some of the links on this site. Make sure your instructor uses the USPPA syllabus or one that covers at least that same material.
Is this sport only for youngsters? Do I need to be fit?
No. Paragliding is an ageless sport. It can be learned by all ages. Most important is a good attitude, willingness to listen, and some casual time to spend learning. You’ll need shoes with ankle support and the ability to run aggressively for at least ten or twelve strides. Your body should be able to withstand jumping down two or three feet. You need to be able, both physically and mentally. If you haven’t had any physical activity in a while, it would be a good idea to start some walking and stretching. Your training will be the most strenuous part of your paragliding career. It’s all about technique, not strength.
How is a paraglider different from a skydiving parachute?
The biggest difference is that a paraglider is not constructed to handle a “terminal velocity deployment” like a sky diving parachute. Where the paraglider has a descent rate of about 3 feet/sec, a parachute descends at 9 to 18 feet/sec and is made much heavier materials to survive the loads of opening. A paraglider also has a more elongated rectangular or elliptical shape than a parachute and, with more cells, much better gliding performance. Paragliders fly more like a wing and parachutes are intended to fix a fall.
Can I take people up?
The regulation we operate under is incredibly simple; intended to limit risk to participating pilots only and not others. Only solo operations are allowed although there is an allowance for two place training which means you must be an instructor and only take up others for the purpose of training. It requires a lot of skill to do this safely since you must manage the motor, wing and another person at the same time.
What is the best way to start?
Contact us to schedule your training! We will provide the gear through training, so you can test fly before you buy!
For Private Lessons or Equipment Orders:
Call Ryan: (512) 545-6280