Paramotoring is Paragliding with an auxiliary motor attached to the pilot. The CAA has defined this recently legitimized form of powered flight as a foot launched self-propelled Hang glider (SPHG). This does not mean that Paramotors are deregulated, They still have to comply with all U.K. aviation law, and some specific restrictions of their own (Click Image to read PDF syllabus here). However these small aircraft allow you the freedom of the skies, with less red tape and costs than any other powered aircraft. With the ability to be able to take off from a small flat field and climb a Paramotor can fly just like any other aircraft. Para motors can have enough fuel to fly for between 2.5 - 4 hrs, can climb to around 500' per minute and fly at between 25 to 45 mph. At Axis training we have a lot of experience with Paramotoring, our first flights were in 1993 on Scobojets, and we have learned a lot and developed great teaching techniques ever since. We prefer if possible to have most of our Paramotorists, learn as much on the paraglider as they can prior to flying a Paramotor. This helps them become much better, safer and more confident pilots. It is no coincidence that nearly all of the worlds top pilots started as paraglider pilots
The beauty of Paramotoring is that this tiny aircraft can fit in the boot of a car, take off from a very small field and land almost anywhere. A Paramotor will cruise at a similar speed to a paraglider, about 25mph, perhaps 40+ mph on the fastest wings! And so is still only useable in fairly light winds. This slow flight characteristic means that very low-level flying 'hedge hopping' is possible, and great fun. It is also possible to climb to great heights (UK record over 11,000ft) and to travel distances- Southern Spain to Tenerife has recently been achieved in one flight of over 1000km.
To learn Paramotoring we believe that there are no shortcuts. Do not believe anyone who tells you that you need no training, or just a couple of days! They are probably just trying to sell you some equipment! Any form of aviation can kill if practiced in error. Knowledge is the key to safe flight! We now have a new syllabus from the BHPA with a first step "restricted qualification" which is achievable in around 6 days or so of training. This new easier to obtain rating means you don't have to take a full paragliding course Your first big flights and circuits will be solo on the Paramotor. The restricted qualification will allow you to fly from your "own" field. If you wish to fly Cross Country and further afield, then you will need to continue to the Full BHPA "Pilot" rating which may take another 2 or 3 days. At Axis we are a BHPA registered school, and we are covered by third party Insurance to teach you. You will also be Insured as the pilot!
As you begin the training, you will begin to realize how much is involved in this sport, it is not an aerial motorbike or jetski, and learning about flying meteorology is essential.
DO NOT BUY EQUIPMENT BEFORE TRAINING!
You do not need to buy yet, as we will provide everything you need during training. You will make a much better and more informed choice after your course. (We often have to tell pilots who buy first, that the equipment they have bought, is either unsuitable, or dangerous or both) It's a man thing; see, want, buy, but really it is a decision that is best done with expert guidance. Honestly, there is nothing more scary than being in the air on a crock, that was a bargain on e bay. Confidence in aviation is everything!
Do you need a special Paraglider to use with a Paramotor?
No, but the selection of wing is very important when using a Paramotor,
the size should just be your normal paragliding size and no bigger (i.e.. body weight + 15-20kg to the upper end of the weight range- No motor weight unless the manufacturer has allowed for this). There are several manufacturers of Paramotoring wings, most will free fly well, and be
good with the motor. There are also some specialist Paramotor specific wings ( Reflex) that do not free fly so well, but are fast and stable under power, however these wings are can be suitable to learn on, or to buy for your first wing We often have nearly new wings in the School that we teach you on, and you can buy these to get you started, as the take off and landing characteristics are so much more forgiving. Then when you have done 50 flights or so and are ready to move up we can give you a guaranteed part exchange price against a Paramotor specific wing!
How much does it cost to learn?
It's not going to be the same for everyone, as people are different, and have different skills and different rates of learning, some are luckier than others with the conditions they get when trying to achieve the tasks. To make it as fair as we possibly can, we charge for all training by the day. So you will only pay for what you do. Someone with good skills, or previous aviation experience, may only need 5 days on the Paraglider and then 2 days with the Paramotor to get to the BHPA Club Pilot Power rating. So this could cost from £900, up to about £1500 maximum (capped), for the full "BHPA Power Pilot Rating" which gets you up to dross country flying standard. This includes all equipment whilst learning, but not insurance and fuel. Equipment will cost roughly £1400-£2500 for a wing, and approximately £3400-£6000 for a paramotor.
I am not that fit/young anymore/had an injury, can I fly one with Wheels on: Trikes and Quads.
Although these machines are manufactured, and legitimate in many countries, The UK regulations state that the aircraft must be foot launched to come under the de regulation in the Air navigation Order (article 155).
It is possible to fly them with wheels, But they are then classed under the Single Seat Micro light rules, and an Appropriate PPL is required from a BMAA micro light instructor.
Paramotoring. BHPA code of conduct / rules.
The document is intended to give general guidance, and unless otherwise stated, its contents are not mandatory. However it should be noted that where disputes arise which could lead to legal action, non-compliance may be detrimental.
2. Association Requirements
In addition to mandatory requirements, the BHPA may introduce regulations from time to time. Pilots should maintain their membership of the Associations to keep up to date with existing and new regulations and guidance. lf you are not a member of BHPA you should join and obtain a rating. lf you become involved in legal action in the future, proof of your skills and knowledge via your pilot rating may well be an advantage. You will be covered by the BHPA insurance for 3rd party claims.
3. Taking Off - General
Wherever possible a Paramotor should take off from a recognized and/or non-public area. One possibility is an existing micro light airfield which has the appropriate Local Authority permissions.
When Pilots take off from existing microlight areas they should familierise themselves with and comply with local rules, particularly those relating to noise sensitive areas and numbers of Aircraft movements per day.
lf a Paramotor takes off from other areas the following procedures should be taken:
'1. Permission should be obtained from the owner of the land.
2. The area should be secure from the possibility of animals and/or spectators being in an area of danger.
3. Any spectators should be properly Marshaled and any dogs should be firmly attached to a lead. (They have been known to chase the Paramotor when it starts to move.)
4. The take-off area should be closely inspected for possible trips and holes. (To at least expected take-off distance + 50%.)
5. Any neighbors should be informed of your future activities.
3.1 Taking off - Planning Approval
Unless the land is in a special zone such as a conservation area you can usually fly from a temporary take-off area on twenty eight days in any twelve months. lf you fly on more than twenty
eight days without Planning Approval the owner of the land may be served with an enforcement notice by the Local Authority and could be subject to a fine. Local Authorities will generally include all of the land in one ownership in an enforcement order so don't try to argue that you are taking off from different fields and they each have a twenty eight day dispensation. The Local Authority may also have local bye laws which should not be contravened.
3.2 Taking Off - Nuisance
Even if you comply with the Planning Regulations you may fall foul of the law of nuisance. For a prosecution to take place there must be evidence that the nuisance has occurred on a regular basis.
A video of you taking off ten days in succession at 6 a.m.. very close to a house could result in a large fine and the confiscation of your aircraft.
3.3 Taking Off - Hang Gliding and Paragliding Sites
Don't - unless you have permission from the club.
4. Paramotor Flying - General
lf you regularly take off from one place, vary your flight path to avoid annoying the general public.
In particular, powered Paragliders flying against the wind will remain in view and earshot for a long period of time, if they fly higher to make less noise they may fly slower due to the wind gradient. if you are not making much headway it may be better to land and get a lift back to base.
It should be noted that German research has shown that an aircraft is a greater source of annoyance if it can be seen.
4.1 Flying Paramotors - Hang Gliding and Paragliding Sites
It will be very tempting to buzz your mates who are grounded on a nil wind day. Don't.
A number of Hang Gliding and Paragliding Clubs have introduced rules which generally exclude SPHG'S (Paramotors) and in at least one case there is a self-declared exclusion zone around each site. (Most such sites were negotiated with land owners on the basis of the activity being silent.) Unless you actually know that powered machines are welcome on a particular site, treat all such sites as PPR (Prior Permission Required), just as you should if planning to visit alternative airfields or strips.
The general rule to be followed is to use your common sense and stay away.
4.2 Flying - Livestock
Adherence to the General exemption should mean that livestock is not disturbed. However, you should particularly avoid bird sanctuaries and riding stables. if you are taking-off from a field you should check that there are no horse riders in the vicinity. if there are - wait.
5 . Landing
For a variety of reasons, you may decide to 'land-out'.
lf you are landing on private land you must find the landowner and tell him/her of your arrival.
Courtesy takes five minutes of your time and invariably results in a pleasant experience. One pilot always carries a miniature bottle of scotch with him to offer to the landowner which is always accepted with amusement and gratitude. (It's the thought that counts!)
It should be noted that some years ago a pilot was fined many thousands of pounds for attempting to land in a field and in changing to a fly-over was reported by two ramblers on the ground. He was
prosecuted for breaking the 500 ft rule.
6. Display flying
The laws on Display flying require each pilot to hold a CAA Display Authorisation. Obtaining a DA involves having your planned display evaluated by a Display Authorisation Evaluator appointed by
CAA. The offices of the BMAA or BHPA will be able to give you the names of Display Evaluators authorised to evaluate SPHG display pilots. (You will also need to become acquainted with CAP403,
the CAA Air Display bible.)
7 . Conclusion
Any breach of common sense or good manners is a breach of this Code of Practice.