Frequently asked questions
Everyone has questions and there are no stupid ones. Here are some of the most frequently asked questions:
In Canada an Ultra light Powered Parachute Permit is required to fly a Parmotor . The permit is quite easy to obtain, all you need is to take the Full PPG training course and then write an 80 question exam at Transport Canada.
Below is some info on PPG(Powered Paragliding)
Complete PPG packages range from $10,000 to $15,000 CDN. Prices vary depending on the size of motor and wing needed for each individual. Like when buying a car there are varying degrees of quality and options available depending on what make you decide to purchase. Plan to spend $7000 - $11000 for a motor and frame, and $3000 - $5000 for a wing.
Training will generally cost an additional $2500 - $4000 depending on where you choose to get trained.
What is a Powered Paraglider (PPG)?
A PPG is the smallest simplest one-man powered aircraft. The unit is strapped to your back and you sit in the harness. You are able to takeoff from level ground, with or without wind. The flight controls are easy, pull down the right brake handle to turn right, left handle to turn left, and both for a gentle touch down. Squeeze the throttle to climb and release to glide down.
PPGs fly at 20 to 50 Km/h air speed. Motion relative to the ground depends on wind speed and direction. Take off and landing speeds vary from 0 to 12 Km/h depending on wind speed.
What height can a Paramotor climb to?
It is worth knowing that PPGs have already flown over 15,000 feet. (Check local air regulations) The air gets thinner at higher altitudes the motor produces less power until it reaches a point at which the climb rate is zero. Most pilots prefer flying at lower altitudes were the temperature is warmer. A safe altitude is one, which allows time to manoeuvre and set up a good landing in an emergency.
A typical PPG will consume about 2.5 to 3 litres of fuel per hour. Assuming a tank capacity of 10 litres, you can fly for over 2 hours with moderate throttle usage. Periods of extended full-throttle will burn fuel at a faster rate.
Is it possible to take off anywhere?
It is possible to take-off almost anywhere as long as conditions are right, you are taking-off into the wind, and you're not in the lee of turbulence from mountains, buildings, trees or other structures. For the utmost safety, you must always fly in good conditions. A football field is an example of a suitable PPG take-off area. Having said that, it is not legally permissible to take-off anywhere, notably too close to towns, airports or in restricted areas. You must check local rules and airspace
regulations around your chosen flying area.
Can a person take off and fly Paramotor alone?
Yes, but it is recommended that you always have an assistant at first for safety.
Arguably flying a Paramotor may be one of the safest form of aviation there is as long as the pilot gets training and makes good decisions on when and where to fly.
PPG has a very good safety record amongst pilots who have been properly trained. Paragliders are very maneuverable and glide with or without the motor running. If during flight for some reason the motor stops running the pilot simply glides down for a safe landing.
How much do they weigh?
Weight ranges from 36 to 70 lbs. depending on the model. These lightweight paramotors will allow you to run and takeoff easily. 5 litres of fuel will add 10 lbs. to the overall weight.
Do I have to wear a helmet?
It is required that the occupants of Ultra-light aircraft with open cockpits wear helmets.
Does it make a difference what wing/glider is used?
YES! Beginner paragliders set up for PPG work best. Their design makes it easy to launch and very stable in flight. Intermediate and advanced gliders make learning and training much more difficult.
Do I need training & how long does it take to learn to fly?
YES definitely! The industry recommends 15-20 days to learn the basics. Wing inflation being the skill most needed to take off and can be practiced at home. With Alberta weather it is reasonable to expect training to take 2-3 months from start to finish as training is scheduled when the weather conditions are optimal for learning.
In Canada Paramotors are considered ultra-light aircrafts. You need to fly for 5 hours supervised by a licensed instructor, plus ground school and then a written exam to obtain an Ultra-Light Powered Parachute Permit.
Who can fly Paramotor?
A person must be at least 14 to be a student, and 16 to get the Pilot permit. Reasonable physical fitness is required with a full range of body movement and the ability to run a few metres with 20-30 Kg weight on you back.
No jumping off cliffs here. The wing is laid out on its topside with the trailing edge facing to the wind. Stepping forward into the wind while holding the leading edge line risers, inflates the wing and pops it up over head. At this point while moving forward the throttle is squeezed to full engine rpm, as you accelerate you will lift off.
How far do you have to run to get air borne?
Just a few steps will be necessary in a 10-kph breeze. However, in calm wind 10 to 20 steps or more may be required.
How do I transport a PPG?
It is easiest to carry a PPG in the back of a pick up truck or take the cage apart and the propeller off in less than 5 minutes to transport in the trunk of a car.
Can I save money on training?
Fortunately the number of options available in Canada is increasing but there is still only a limited number of Certified Instructors. You can't really put a a cost on quality instruction. What you will learn in training likely sets the stage for the rest of your flying career. It's always best to get good instruction and be as safe as possible.
What is the difference between PPG (Powered Paraglider) & PPC (Powered Parachute) PPC?
PPC were originally named because they used a Parachute for a wing where PPG use a Paraglider.
Parachutes are rectangular where Paragliders are elliptical. Paragliders are more efficient and glide better than PPCs. PPCs are usually larger, heavier, have wheels and must be loaded on a trailer to transport. Additionally the control configuration is often different than flying a paramotor.
Paramotors are backpack units that are lighter, easier to transport, and cost less to get into.
Paramotors can also have a trike or quad attachment which makes taking off easier.
Should I buy equipment before training?
Always consult with your instructor before buying any equipment. A good quality wing that is properly sized for the pilot is critical to your success and safety. Saving money should not be the first priority when comes to flying!
If you have already taken the Intro Course you know the importance of mastering your kiting skills. Building these skills takes time and practise which can be done at home before formal training starts after taking the Intro Course. Buying your own wing and kiting harness will put you steps ahead if can arrive to training with a good grasp of these skills. Rent equipment if you are not ready to invest but just plan for the training to take a bit longer while you work on those kiting skills before taking to the skies.
There are some reasons you should not buy a Paramotor click here