Educational


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This is supplemental material to The Powered Paragliding Bible with extras. We embrace reliable knowledge–here’s more on knowledge and how we can estimate reliability.


Exercise for Paramotor Training

This was introduced in PPG Bible edition 6, but here is the latest advice on before-training exercise. Here are some basic suggestions: Cardio. Anything that gets you breathing hard for at least 20 minutes helps with endurance, especially running. It’s valuable for...

Water Risk on a Paramotor

Drowning has been among the most lethal events in paramotor flying up until 2017 when flotation became common. But there’s more to it. This video includes testing where a bunch of pilots actually go into the water with sometimes surprising outcomes. Statistics...

Powered Paragliding (Paramotor) Fatalities

Most accidents happen for predictable and preventable causes: Poor training, steep maneuvering, especially near the ground, water and turbulence are big risks in that order. If water landing is a possibility, have an auto-inflating device in your paramotor. If...

Paraglider Certification: DGAC

See also Paraglider Certification | Why for Paramotoring? | Paramotor Certification DGAC is a certification standard with very little required testing that’s done by the manufacturer itself. There’s little, if any, oversight. If you see the label below...

A *Good* Instructor

There is a lot to it, and Instructors are the sports most important asset, but they’re still humans. The loudest mouths are more likely to be the worst choices. What Makes a Good Instructor? The single most important attribute of a good instructor is the ability...

Lightweight Gliders: Good or Bad?

  Lightweight gliders area a dream to launch. What started out as gear for “hike and fly” free flyers has migrated into every niche of paragliding including paramotor. Over the past few years, they’ve entered nearly every maker’s lineup,...

Death by Physics: Steep & Low Strike a Blow

Someone sent me a link to this crash, apparently in Thailand but I’m not sure. It graphically exposes something that I’ve covered a lot: the extraordinary risk of doing steep maneuvering low to the ground. I’ve lost two friends from this. Much like...

Swatted out of the Sky

Big kudos to this pilot for sharing his video. If only we could all be so selfless. Also, check out his composure while lying there on the ground with broken things—that’s one tough dude. I got a question from a student learning to paramotor who is having second...

Paraglider Line Care

I talked with a representative from line maker cousin-trestec, asking for tips on paraglider line care. Here was his response. Avoid getting the lines wet. If they do, allow air drying as quickly as possible out of sunlight to the degree possible. Avoid high heat. As...

Icarus X Series Race Fatality

A pilot participating in the UK Icarus X Series paramotor race has died. It’s a tragedy on many levels but mostly for the family, of course. These are nearly always vibrant people in prime condition who love life. As one who competed for years in more...

Is More Power Safer?

I get questions about paramotors that sometimes include the comment: “I’d like to have extra power in case of emergencies.” It’s a common and sensible desire, but is it a good idea? And if so, how important is it? Before throwing in my 2 cents,...

Paramotor Tandem Trike Crash into Crowd

This was asking for it. A paramotor tandem was launching in a crowded area with people all around, including at the end of his “runway.” He barely gets airborne then, just a few feet above the ground, and barely climbing, he turns. The turn may have felt...

The Perfect Beginner Paramotor

The perfect beginner paramotor looks a lot like the perfect paramotor (tips on the perfect beginner WING). But given how risky training is, some traits are way more important than others–as in the difference between success and serious injury. These traits are:...

Best Practices for Paramotor Instruction

Learning has proven to be among the riskiest parts of becoming a paramotor pilot but there are some distinctive ways to improve your odds. Start with an experienced, certified instructor who commits to the practices below. Or watch him teach. Is he competent? Does he...

Structural Failure Fatality

A recent fatality in South Florida appears to have been structural failure. According to the accident report on USPPA.org all indications point to a riser failure. One riser broke and the pilot plummeted to his death. A reserve was tossed but not in time to open. So...

The Perfect Tandem Trike

After getting my tandem wheel launch rating in Feb, 2019, I’m looking for a rig. My primary goal is introducing prospective pilots to paramotoring, or to show interested pilots the finer points of control–both how much is there and then how to use it....

Paramotor Transport Platform

This was at our hotel during the Bad Apples fly-in. It’s clever, well-implemented and seemed worthy of sharing. Of course it requires welding and steel cutting but capable humans without those abilities may be able to come up with clever substitutes. One caution...

Radios for Powered Paragliding

Besides being a former PPG instructor, Robin Rumbolt is an electronics guru who used to do helmet repairs and has worked with several different radios. He has offered a few tips while acknowledging there are other good systems out there that he simply hasn’t had...

Field Fix for Damaged Threads

While in Panama, far away from spare heads and helicoils, my spark plug came partially unscrewed. I found out when I went to remove it and encountered enormous resistance. Thankfully it didn’t blow all the way out but id did damage the threads. I could neither...

Simonini Mini 202 Issues & Information

Thanks to Dan Clarke, Contraphioneer I’ve had the kill switch fail to stop the motor on more than one occasion after the motor had been running hard. Judging from the response I got from asking about it on the internet groups, many people have this problem with...

Mx: Simonini Specifics

Resources for some common Simonini paramotor engines 2011 Mar 31 Thanks to Dan Clarke for information on correcting some Simonini issues and general information. 2007 Oct 2 Thanks to Adam Bell for the genesis and initial information on this page. This information is...

Regs: Advisory Circular 103 (AC 103)

FAR 103 | AC 103 | Preamble to 103 | FAR 91 for Ultralights U.S. Department of Transportation, Federal Aviation Circular Administration  Subject: THE ULTRALIGHT VEHICLE Date: 1/30/84 AC No: AC 103-7 Initiated by: AF0-820 |Titles have been altered slightly for clarity...

Harassing the Animals

Be Careful Who You Buzz or Chase. Thanks to Ken Morrison Who hasn’t followed an animal for at least a brief time. For one thing, it’s almost surreal to fly with other birds but we have to admit that it’s not likely they reciprocate those feelings....

Who Owns the Air?

Air may be everywhere, but like most aspects of life, it gets regulated. Sometimes municipalities or other entities, pardon the pun, get in over their heads. In the U.S., navigable airspace is strictly the purview of federal government but that doesn’t stop...

Is it Legal to Fly from Here?

Unfortunately, no, it’s Probably Not Legal To Fly From There Even if you have permission from the landowner, it may well not be legal for you to fly. Nobody will likely care, but if they do, there is probably a law. Many counties prohibit flying from anything...

Paramotor 2-Stroke Ignition System

When troubleshooting motor problems it’s handy to understand how the various systems work. Fortunately ignition is quite reliable and rarely causes problems beyond the spark plug. This may help when it does. Basic Coil Description A correctly timed spark is the...

Pistons & Prevention

How to tell your motor’s condition through it’s most tortured moving part The piston can reveal much about your motor’s condition. Besides showing how well the motor is “tuned,” it can show whether a catastrophic failure is imminent....

Flying Paramotor in Rain

Getting caught in the rain while paramotoring has a rightfully bad rap. It increases your chance of entering parachutal stall and may worsen the paraglider’s ability to recover from a collapse. Ehats worse is that, when combined with airflow degradation on the...

Electric Paramotors

The latest happenings in the world of Electrics OpenPPG.com is the latest in electric paramotors. And it’s a completely different animal with a completely different method of distribution. I flew Rob Catto’s and talked with one of the two brothers who...

Resources: Paramotor Repair & Welding

These shops or individuals work on paramotors for pay. Some extremely helpful folks, like Lance Marczak, do it for the sheer pleasure of helping people, but they can only do so in their spare time when it’s convenient. If you know of a shop that works on...

Review: Paramotor Wing Tips DVD

All about the care and feeding of your lift-giving wing. Longtime paramotor instructor Michelle Daniele retired from teaching in 2007. She now devotes time to do paraglider inspections and simple repairs. Both during teaching and now doing glider inspections, she has...

Seat Fix Sling

Hanging too low? Thanks to Jason Wright If your harness leaves you too low and your butt sinks too far back in the harness, there’s a simple cure. It only requires some seat belt material and . The sling is not structural so it’s failure would only be...

Timber Trike

When a non-flying mishap put Brandon Oberlin’s feet out of commission, he needed temporary wheels but didn’t want to spend a lot of money. He didn’t. He also didn’t want to take the wheels with him so he would only use the wheels for launch....

Free Paramotor (PPG) Training?

Click here for the reality of “Free” Powered Paraglider Training & Kurt Fister Think about it for a moment. How much value will an instructor put on something they’re giving away? More likely you’ll be treated like they’re doing you a...

Where Paramotor Propeller Injuries Happen

Body contact with a spinning prop remains the most likely cause of serious paramotor injury and it can happen in unexpected ways. Here are some examples. Reducing these accidents starts with awareness, and it’s is a good sign that you care enough to learn. Limbs...

Removing (Pressing off) a Top 80 Clutch

The Top 80 (and others) clutch is held in place by pressure against a conical shaft. No spline. It gets locked into position pretty hard and can be a pain to get off. There is an easier way than trying to pry it off with a screwdriver, not that anyone would try that...

Flash Starters on Clutched Paramotors

First the why. On larger paramotor engines, pull starters rely on flywheel action of the prop to pull through the their strong compression. That works because these units have a belt-driven prop. If you want to put a clutch on these bigger machines, that doesn’t...

Fuel: Priming & Primer

Priming is squirting fuel directly into the carburetor’s air/fuel intake stream, usually before cranking the motor. It helps with cold starts by providing an immediately combustible mixture. Squeeze bulbs are commonly used. They have two one-way check valves so...

Ignition Problems on Paramotors

Help troubleshoot ignition problems, especially on 2-stroke paramotors A gas engine needs fuel, air, and spark delivered at the right time and in the right amounts. Spark involves really high voltages (20,000) which can create a number of problems. Kill switches on...

Simonini Ignition & Charging Issue

Troubleshooting Common Coil/Stator/Ignition Problems on the Simonini Paramotor Engine | Overall Ignition / Charging Thanks to Paul Czarnecki  who disassembled his Fresh Breeze Ignition System to show us how to fix two of the more common problems. Like all two strokes,...

Walbro Buyers Guide

Rebuild/Repair Kits for the Walbro Carbs used on Paramotors Walbro carburetors are used on more paramotor models than any other brand. Most have two needles for idle and high rpm and an idle stop adjustment although for smaller motors, the WG8 is prevalent. It only...

Walbro Carburetor Troubleshooting & Tuning

Adjustment and correction of problems found on Walbro Carburetors See also membrane carburetor overview, Buyers guide for Walbro Carbs and Rebuild Kits Visit http://tech.flygsw.org/walbro_tuneup.htm for even more detail. The most relevant parts have been included here...

Para2000.org is Dead: Go Here

It was a sad day when this easy database of paragliders, Para2000.org, went dark. I don’t know the story but the owner just let it die.  At this point the best we have is an archived version of it as it was in September, 2018 which, for now at least, is...

Are Competition Wings Dangerous?

I plan on selling two of my competition wings, A 2016 Doberman 19 and a 2012 Viper 18, but that got me thinking, who would I sell them to? And is flying them more dangerous? Do they take more skill? It’s complicated, but the short answer is “no” with...

Powered Paragliders From the Past: Paramotor History

A look at the early machines that shaped our sport As best I can tell, the well documented 1981 flights of Mike Byrne were the first. He built the thing himself and dubbed it “paramotor.” There wasn’t anything to buy until 8 years later when Pagojet...

Paramotor Communications – M101 system

2019 Note: Bluetooth comm systems are becoming popular but have much less range unless you’re in good cell range. They have many advantages and a few drawbacks.  Staying in touch is always problematic. Finally, a solution.| Ham License in a Day | Home Built Comm...

Beginner Wings

Survive the Learning Process  Training is dangerous but the risk can be hugely reduced when instructors use best practices. A big one is insistence on benign-handling beginner wings flown within their rated range. Also insist on enough tow, hill, or tandem flights to...

Separation Anxiety: Detachable Cart

Wheels are great for conquering the still-air launch blues, but what about once you’re airborne? They don’t do much good there and, for some, get in the way. So Jack Woods decided to do something about it. We don’t have the details but it’s...

All About Fuel

Extracting this much power from such tiny, lightweight motors, requires great care. The following will help you to make the most intelligent fuel choices for your favorite propulsion. Excerpted from Group K Technical Documents. See also Alcohol in Fuel,   Does AvGas...

Task Ideas For Competition

Here are just some ideas for fun competitions created to decrease risk if the event is flown over land. The following requirements are meant to keep using pilot’s bodies. This would be tough for most competition pilots who fly uncertified wings at super high...

PPG Flying In Wilderness Areas

Is It Legal to fly in Charted Wilderness Areas? I was working on the airspace video section that deals with wilderness areas — those lines with blue dots as shown at right — and thought it deserved some attention here. Pilots are “requested” to...

Sky Diving or Base Jumping From A Paramotor

In early May, 2012, a wing suited “BASE” jumper died after leaping from a tandem paramotor. His parachute never opened. And we think our sport is unforgiving. It’s a calamity for the jumper, his family, and the paramotor pilot who was, no doubt, a...

Spot Landing Risks

What a useful skill it is to be able to land where you want without power. Pilots of all craft recognize the importance being able to put it down after thrust stops thrusting. We PPGers are lucky in just how small of a place we can alight, even landing on tiny targets...

Stretching Glide: A Story

Click here for Stretching Glide to Shore, Road or Point While planning the Panama Canal flight an interesting subject came up regarding selection of altitude. We all know that the higher you go, the farther you can glide. This flight had one portion that followed a...

Choosing the Right School

Anyone can declare themselves an instructor so make sure they are at least certified by the USPPA or USHPA. Even better is that they come recommended by a responsible, trusted pilot. There are a few great instructors that aren’t yet certified but it is up to you...

Water: A Fatal Attraction

“I’ve been in the water several times, it’s not so bad” is like saying “I played Russian Roulette several times, it wasn’t that bad.” The reality is that going into the water, even shallow water, without automatic flotation...

Safer Starting Stand for Paramotor

Passive starting safety for paramotor pilots, thanks to Randy Bridge It’s inspiring to see pilots making this sport safer while realizing that choices will be made. Such was the case of Randy Bridge who implemented an idea that will work with essentially any...

Prop Stopper and Prop Protector

Pap has a cool idea for their clutched machines. It was probably made to prevent the prop from free spinning during transport, but it can also provide some protection during start. Just like the “Rope Trick,” leave the prop cover on while starting. If the...

Rope Trick I: Paramotor Prop Stopper

For clutch equipped machines | Rope Trick II another version As we’ve covered, props eat body parts on a regular basis. Clutched machines are no better since, although the prop may not spin at idle, it sure spins up fast at throttle-up. Further, the fact that a...

Mid-Day Mishap

Thermally conditions dump experienced PPG pilot A mid-day sojourn in moderate winds went sour for one high-time paramotorist resulting in a nearly disastrous impact. Surprisingly, the pilot walked (probably limped) away. At 20 feet or so while landing, a quick...

Paramotor Fatality from Spiral

On Friday evening, several hours after I had left, tragedy struck when Richard Biggerstaff (right) was, according to two witnesses, doing a spiral from which he hit the ground. There was a small post-impact fire that was extinguished almost right away. Another pilot...

Experienced Vs. Safety

How Safety relates to Experience Experience gives you the potential for greater safety. You can either spend that margin on flying more often, or in a wider variety of conditions, or spend it on safety—flying in the same conditions but with wider margins. It’s...

Helicopter Rescue Gone Horribly Wrong

The lessons in this captivating and sad story could save my life, maybe yours, too. A hiker got lost in the woods and faced a cold night in deteriorating weather. This is the story of a helicopter rescue gone horribly wrong. It is a powerful reminder of forces that...

Understanding Paramotor Torque & Twist

This is one of the most confusing aspects of paramotor dynamics. Here are the basics: Various torque effects conspire to twist your body left (belt drive), redirecting thrust that now pushes your body left, which causes the wing to bank right like in the illustration...

Do This if you feel Torque Twisting

One of the more common paramotor crashes happens because of torque twist. At least one has been fatal. So what to do? First and foremost practice what to do if it starts: Reduce power, reduce brakes. It’s better to land straight ahead or with minor turns than it...

Paramotor Torque Twist and Crash

One of the sport’s more common control-related accident types See also Understanding Paramotor Torque, Fixing Torque By Hand At this point he has twisted 90 degrees to the wing, looking towards his right hand, and still under power. This is the natural torque...

Paramotor Caught in a Thunderstorm

Rapid wind change ensnares PPG Pilot. Thanks to the submitter for his willingness to share. The evening started with little wind and clear skies. A friend and I launched at 7:20pm from our favorite flying field just east of Colorado Springs. The first half hour of...

Shutting down: Motor Won’t Stop

The motor continues to run even after activating the kill switch | Emergency Kill All gas paramotors that I’m aware of shut down the engine by preventing a spark. The preferred method is by shorting out the coil with a switch on the throttle stem. Anything that...

Safety: Prop Injuries to Legs and Starting

You wouldn’t think this could happen. During launch the pilot somehow got his calf muscle into the prop while making large strides. As of Sept, 2007, I know of two similar incidents. The only solution to this is make sure your machine doesn’t allow it. Is...

Paramotor Crash: Distractions and Hangar Thwack

by Phil Hyland, submitted by Jerry Starbuck. Thanks to USUA Club#1 It’s insidious. You look down for just a moment to take care of some problem and lose focus on your primary task: aviating. Jets crash due to it, too. Plus, focusing on distractions frequently...

Weather: Rotor

Invisible eddy that eats us for lunch Rotor and mechanical turbulence are close cousins. Rotor is the rotational swirl that forms downwind of certain shapes, usually a persistent, strong rotational flow. Mechanical turbulence is a more random stirring of the air...

Paramotor Paraglider Certification using DMSV

See also: Paraglider Certification This may help understand what led up to creation of the short-lived DMSV. In 2008 Paramania wanted to get their gliders certified for sale in Germany. The main certification body said they must be certified as regular paragliders...