Normal paraglider certification is relevant to paramotor pilots, especially newer ones. Here’s why.
It describes how a wing behaves in normal and abnormal situations. The excuse “it’s different with a motor” is poppycock. Of course it’s different but in only minor ways. Does a wing hang back unnaturally? Does it have any undo tendency to spin? Does it recover predictably from collapses? Does it tend to shoot forward excessively? These all apply even with thrust and ARE TESTED.
By far the most recognized certification standard is European Normalization (EN), which classes gliders as EN A through EN D. The DHV (German Hang Gliding Association) adjusted their own standard to be about the same and calls it LTF but still gives it 5 levels: 1, 1-2, 2, 2-3 and 3. Here are their testing standards.
Training is among the most dangerous phases of a pilot’s flying life and wing choice matters a lot. Before a pilot gains control over oscillations they should stay on EN A wings in the right size (withIN the certified weight range) and responsiveness. Some of these wings can be too responsive, though, so certification is not everything.
Ideally the school has “school” wings of various sizes that they can use for training. I wouldn’t want the liability of doing otherwise given what we know now. Once a student has 40 or so flights AND has gets pendular control (stopping pendulum swings) then they’re probably ready to upgrade.
Flying over Placard
In training students should stay within placard. Two reasons: instructor liability and student desire to not crash. Being within the weight means that you 1) get the glider’s tested behavior and 2) are more likely to survive accidentally pulling one or both brakes too far. When I’ve tested beginner wings
Certification is not perfect but it’s close. And in my experience, an EN C wing is different in important ways differences but look at the tests–they are things we care about regardless of
Adding thrust o