See Paraglider Certification

There is no paramotor certification. That’s too bad because there is a lot of room for improvement, especially regarding prop-strike protection and torque mitigation. I can imagine a fairly simple set of tests that result in a safety rating, much like for cars–objective measures based on criteria in “A Better Paramotor.”

Proposed Certification Tests

If there ever is a certification for paramotors here are some of the tests I would love to see. There may be other criteria but we should be able to perform a non-destructive, objective test in order to include them.

  1. How close does the prop tip get to the fuel tank or batteries with 20% of rated full thrust applied to the tip?
  2. How close does one hand get to the prop when squeezed against the most vulnerable part of the cage?
  3. Can the throttle get into the prop during normal arm motion, including during a fall?
  4. Can a foot be made to get to the prop?
  5. What percentage of the outer cage is protected? Outer cage is the part that goes from 30% of the prop radius outward.
  6. Are cage-protection system (netting on most machines) openings less than 2 x 2″? Big opening could allow hands to through. This test could be done using a cone shaped object and reduced to asking how many pounds of pressure it takes to get it to touch the prop at the most vulnerable point.
  7. Is the kill switch readily available with a simple press of button on the same hand holding the throttle?
  8. Is there an alternative motor-kill method reachable easily from by the pilot in flight or after a fall. This could be a choke, spark-plug puller, alternative switch, or other means. The motor must shut off within 3 seconds.
  9. Hanging from two 5 foot ropes, attached 4 feet apart, with a 200 pound pilot, how much twisting occurs at 100 pounds of thrust (or max rated if less than that)?
  10. How quickly can an average pilot be expected to get out of the harness if he only has one hand free?
  11. How much pressure does it take to tip over the cage forward from the top of the netting. This number may be in the ounces for some machines.