Frequently Asked Questions
Anyone new to powered paragliding (paramotoring), will no dout have many unanswered questions. Below is a handful of questions and answers we've been asked in the past, and questions we've had when starting out. Hopefully this is a good start into your adventures in paramotoring!
The short answer is it's as safe as you make it. A slightly longer answer is that it has come a long way since the pioneering days. Almost all injuries and deaths in paramotoring are due to poor decisions on the pilot's part. Flying in appropriate conditions with up-to-date, inspected gear, and good training, is always 100% safe.
There's not enough space here to cover a complete list, but here are some of the key ones: 1) Flying in weather conditions that aren't appropriate for the pilot's skill level. 2) Flying wings that are too hot for the pilot's skill level. 3) Flying over water without floats and good swimming skills. 4) Attempting acrobatic maneuver too close to the ground. And the list can go on and on. Good training will help you avoid ALL of these mistakes.
The speed at which you fly is totally depended on the wing and your all-up weight. Believe it or not, it has nothing to do with the motor on your back. Generally, most wings will fly somewhere in the 18 to 28 mph range (some as much as 50 mph!). The in-flight speed can be controlled by a system known as trimmers. You'll learn more about that in training.
In the U.S. you can legally fly as high as 18,000 feet in most places, although that would be crazy to do so under most conditions. We generally stay under 500 feet most of the time. This height will keep you out of general aviation airspace. Plus, the funnest part to fly is actually just a few feet above the ground. In Georgia we gain altitude to cross sections of trees and water safely. The higher altitude gives you more outs if you need them.
This is just a general rule of thumb, but usually for foot launch the cutoff is somewhere around 70 years old. To successfullly foot launch you'll need to be able to run with anywhere from 55 to 75 pounds strapped to your back. Also, when you're first learning to handle the wing (called kiting), this will require a lot of personaly energy and time and can be quite strenuous. It's not uncommon for someone who thinks they're in good shape to wear out the first day. But, with all that said, once the kiting part is over, it generally doesn't take much energy to paramotor. After all, once you're in the air, you're basically just pulling toggles.
Nope! If you can breath and follow directions, chances are you can learn to paramotor.
The short answer is NO. The long answer is YES. But it depends on weather and skill level, which you will gain during your training. For the most part, here in Georgia, we only fly in the mornings and evenings.
Nope! You will continue to fly, but start to decend. How fast you decend depends on your wing and all-up weight. When flying a paramotor you will always keep a safe landing spot within glide distance of your paramotor.