AN INTRODUCTION TO PARAGLIDING AND PARAMOTORING
Paramotoring was invented around 1990. This was when paragliders realised that adding motor to your back would enable them to take off from level ground. This meant they would not have to look for hills and ridges to launch themselves from. Hence the paramotor was born.
The Paramotor provides thrust, and enables pilots to gain height, giving them versatility so that they can fly longer distances, cross country or just go in search of thermals.
A Paramotor consists of a backpack-style ultra light aircraft-engine called a Paramotor; attached to which is a Paraglider wing. These paraglider wings are the same wings which are also flown, without power, from hills and mountains, much like hang-gliders.
Paramotoring is very easy, relatively safe and the most accessible form of powered aviation. The entire aircraft fits into the boot or backseat of a small car and can be assembled for flight within a few minutes.
How do you fly using a paramotor?
As you run forward with the paraglider behind you the combination of the air from the motor, wind and forward motion will inflate the paraglider to float above your head. When you increase the throttle you will lift off smoothly. This can all be done without the help of anyone else in nil wind.
How do I fly it and how far can I go?
You use hand controls (rather like the toggles on a parachute) to steer your paramotor right and left and throttle up and down to climb and descend. Usually you can travel between 1 and 3 hours at speeds up to 60+km/h, depending on your equipment. In good weather conditions, flights of over 60 km can be easily attempted.
Flying time may be extended by gliding and soaring, using lift from thermals, or from air rising over mountains, known as Ridge-lift. In this manner, altitude may be maintained or gained, without using the motor, thus conserving fuel. The motor may be switched off; and re-started in-flight when required.
How high can I fly a paramotor?
They are capable of flying as high as 10,000 feet. Above 10,000 feet, the climb rate starts to slow. Most paramotor pilots prefer to fly low, up to 500 feet
What weather conditions can I fly in?
This is a light-wind sport. Many pilots prefer no wind, but can fly up to a maximum of 28km/h, with limited penatration into the wind.
Where can I fly a Paramotor?
Anywhere that is not in a restricted air space, where there are minimal people. You should keep in mind your paramotor does generate some noise and you should be mindful of residential areas, keeping over 1000 feet above houses.
Do I need a license to fly a paramotor?
Yes...........You need a motor endorsement issued by HGFA (Hang Gliding Federeration Australia)
How do I get a paramotor endorsement?
First of all you need to complete a 9 day paragliding course. Once completed, and your confident that you have over 20 hours logged of free flying with HGFA and providing the instructor is happy with your progress you can book in the paramotor endorsement course.
Is there a list of HGFA licensed instructors in Australia with there contact details?
Yes click on the below link for more details http://www.hgfa.asn.au/Schools/schools.php
Do I need to be fit to paramotor?
No, the motor does most of the work. You must be able to walk around and handle its weight but you certainly don't have to be an athlete. Numerous pilots continue flying into their 70's and others have started as young as 14 years old. Once in flight, the wing is carrying all the weight.
Is Paramotoring Safe?
As with all forms of aviation, there are risks.
As long as you are sensible and follow the training you are given. Even if the paramotor engine stops in flight, the canopy will continue to fly and can be directed like a normal paraglider. It is good practice when flying a paramotor to always have a safe achievable emergency outlanding location beneath you incase the motor fails.