News

Powered Paragliding News 2007

What's Happening around the sport of Powered Paragliding and FootFlyer.com.

Cold Weather Gear

Dec 18, 2007

Jeff Shriner of Shri-Brova Productions lives and flies in the cold. He's now making life better for cold weather fliers by selling  Gerbing's line of heated attire.

For gloves, he has found that the Snow style works better than the Camo style—well worth their extra $20.00 cost. He carries spare power supplies for the extra serious cold weather pilots.

Core Heat Gloves Snow version - $199.00/pair,

"V" Lite Heated Vest - $99.00ea, Shipping - $10.00

All items come standard, backed by a full manufacturers warrantee from Gerbing. The vests are adjustable enough to just about everybody below 300lb.

For more information, visit www.pappg.com or call 610-527-0882. Checks can be made out payable to: Jeff Shriner, 741 Moore Avenue #1A, Bryn Mawr, PA 19010.

Birdz Eyeware Distributor

Dec 17, 2007

Looking cool is merely a byproduct of the intended eye protection. AeroSmack.com is now a distributor for Birdz Eyeware--appropriate since AeroSmack also deals with paramotor and aviation themed apparel. PPG Pilot and Proprieter Adam Bell tested the gear before taking on the line.

Products include many goggles and sunglasses with padding so that dirt, snow and wind are kept out of the eyeballs. Adam found them durable, functional and do what they say for an affordable price. The padded shades are great for flying and any other activity. The clear Wing model is cool to have when it's overcast or low light—very light weight and do a great job.

Electric PPG Closer to Market

Dec 10, 2007

Yuneec International is getting closer to making the Electric PPG available to the masses. They now have specifications and body design complete. More information is at www.ElectricPPG.com.

New Taiwanese Paraglider Fabric Maker

Dec 9, 2007

A Taiwan based company, Hsienchi Textile Industry Co. Ltd., is offering their capability for Paragliding and Parasailing fabrics. Their press release indicates they've been supporting Paragliding and Parasailing manufacturers for some time on developing new fabrics including the following:

All fabric is Nylon 6.6 Rip-Stop, high tenacity, durable, lightweight with an excellent durability and strength.

Parasailing fabrics are treated with double side silicone, single side silicone and elastimer silicone coating or silicone and polyurethane based compounds. Also, elastimer finishing is available and is light and strong ideal for customers who operate high winds and low winds and operators who require greater durability.

They are highly water proof, shedding water and drying out very quickly. The Rip-Stop designs limit tearing when damage does occur.

Paragliding fabrics have a coating that keeps airproof properties, low weight while remaining crispy and recovering quickly from being packed up. They will retain their crisp handle and appearance even after continuous usage.

They're willing to work with those developing new products. They said "Hsienchi offers you the lowest price available. We will not compromise quality or safety for price, but we are able to offer the lowest prices because we are the largest supplier of paragliding and parasailing fabrics worldwide."

Consumers probably won't have much use for this info but if you're thinking of designing a paraglider, contact them!

International Trading Department, Hsienchi Textile Industry Co. Ltd.
Website: www.hsienchi.com.tw Skype ID : hsienchi.kevin
E-mail: hsienchi.kevin@gmail.com or kevin@hsienchi.com.tw & admin.hc@msa.hinet.net
Address:Gong 8th Rd.Shengang Township,Changhua County
Country name: Taiwan(R.O.C)
TEL: 886-4-7989201-5, FAX: 886-4-7989206

PPG Car?

Dec 8, 2007

This item was sufficiently interesting to garner its own page. Please visit here for a video and the full story on what could become the coolest thing to happen under a canopy. A December 2007 PPG Radio Show segment included information from Chris Bowles about the craft.

Fresh Breeze Solo Xcitor

Nov 25, 2007

Fresh Breeze has introduced a single-place version of it's popular PPC hybrid, the Xcitor. This FAR 103 legal craft is the Cadillac of carts with several features that make it cool for those who don't mind a higher sticker price.

It weighs under 120 kg (264 Lbs) and uses many of the 2 place Xcitor components including the capability to serves as its own trailer.

It will be available in 2008 with different engine options: 1) 50 HP twin 2 cycle Hirth, 2) a 48 HP V Twin 4-Cycle and 3) the 50 HP XR 50 Wankel (Rotary) engine of recent Everest Fame (without the supercharger).

The Xcitor solo uses the purpose designed Xwing, developed in cooperation with Swing. It's 24 m˛ wing includes the proprietary trim system that allows for airspeeds up to 35 mph (56 km/h).

For more information visit www.fresh-breeze.de or www.fresh-breeze.com.

Paratoys Low Boy

Nov 23, 2007

 

Paratoys has introduced a new low-slung quad called the Low Boy. It intends to be highly tip-resistant while being well balanced and sharp looking. The wide after fiberglass axles improve stability and provide a measure of shock absorbtion. They contract into their tubes for transport in a standard flatbed pickup truck.

The cart is intended and works best with Blackhawk paramotors but could likely also work with others. A separate seat means that the paramotor harness is removed before mounting to the cart.

This unit is intended for both solo and tandem operations by virtue of having space of a front harness and the ability to hook the wing up on one of many frame holes.

Wheels are high enough speed that it can be run around on the ground even without the wing.

For more information visit www.Paratoys.com.

Mainstream Media

Nov 20, 2007 courtesy Jerry Foisel

People who just discover this sport frequently wonder why it doesn't take off, surmizing "if only it had the exposure of other sports." We do, in fact, get exposure and a few instructors do see inquires go up but not much beyond that.

Will Gadd was on the Discovery Channel recently with his trip accross the U.S. on a PPG. That show landed on the front page of a local Las Vegas tabloid in a beautiful picture showing Gadd flying low. We'll see if schools get swamped but somehow I doubt it.

Jerry Foisel in Las Vegas recently sent us this and appears to be good coverage of the sport. He says it didn't generate much interest, less than Brittany or OJ.

Enjoying the Cold

Nov 18, 2007

If you fly in the cold, Pennsylvania's Jeff Shriner has a solution to warm your chilly blues. He doesn't sell these heated accessories stuff but recommends them highly.

There is a reported to be a big difference between this product and cheaper AA battery powered stuff that costs much less. The adage "you get what you pay for" is especially applicable.

Two elements make it work, Heated gloves costing just under $200 and a heated vest that goes for $100. Jeff says they work extremely well and found the expense well worth it.

Thanks to Jeff Shriner at www.PAppg.com for sharing.

Photo courtesy Bruce Brown

PPG In Ireland

Nov 12, 2007

Pilots who paramotor in Ireland have a new website, www.ParamotorIreland.com. It's set-up mainly to provide a forum for pilots in Ireland to communicate and share information in non commercial format with no involvement in schools or suppliers.

 

PPG In Switzerland

Nov 6, 2007

Like to paramotor? Be glad you don't live in Switzerland.

Apparently, due to noise concerns, the government severely restricts activities that are perceived as too loud. Amazingly, they don't try to find limited areas where citizens can engage in fun but noisy pursuits. It would seem the freedoms of one group trump every other group. Sad indeed.

It's true that soaring sites abound, contributing to a 20,000 pilot population of free flyers. So there is less need for power but, as any paramotorist will explain, our unique freedom is going where you want, not just where the lift lives.

Consequently, there is keen interest in Electric PPG. According to Swiss paramotor hopeful Oliver Padina, the prospective pilot must build an experimental aircraft and get an international license. You'll still need special permission to fly your craft and then must remain with 3 miles (5 km) of your home airport. At least the license is hard to get.

Oliver says that their FAR's require powered aircraft to have a high wing loading of 20 kg/m˛ (44 lbs/m˛) to fly in the country. That's way higher than a PPG.

For the sake of liberating Swiss paramotor hopefuls, we collectively hope that the electric PPG takes off and that Oliver and company is successful.

Electric Paramotor

Nov 4, 2007
A new electric paramotor prototype has reportedly been created in Holland. Visit www.ElectricPPG.com for more info.  

China Happenings

Oct 28, 2007

With the world's best paramotor pilots gathered in China, Michel Carnet got to try a new Electric paramotor developed by Richard of Helix. It's a real machine using existing technology on a standard frame. He talks about it on the PPG Radio show uploaded Oct 29, 2007. There is also an article on it in the latest issue of Paramotor Magazine.

The latest electric paramotor information can be seen at ElectricPPG.com.

 

Electric PPG Production Prototype

Oct 11, 2007

Just the sound of that title is exciting. After a long draught of data from the company, Yuneec International has come out with information on what may become the first production electric paramotor.

Gilo Cardozo of Parajet appears to be part of the project, primarily for cage design and building. Judging from the look of his Parajet model, it will be more Tesla than Prius. I'm sure it will look good. Hopefully it will provide safe protection as well.

The press release is on www.ElectricPPG.com.

Footflyer Traffic Milestone

Sept 29, 2007

In September 2007 FootFlyer.com passed 50,000 page reads per month. Thanks for visiting!

It is our hope to help preserve this incredible pursuit in its minimally regulated form. Responsible behavior is the best way and, with but a few exceptions, we are collectively doing a good job.

Thanks to those who help make this a useful stop on the paramotor information highway. Your contributions have benefited the site and its readers.

More is on the way, including a detailed treatment of wheeled options for PPG pilots. It will first appear in a two-part Powered Sport Flying magazine piece but will then be placed in Chapter 6 under Educational. It represents input from nearly a dozen experienced wheel pilots and instructors.

Final Flight

Sept 18, 2007

A sad turn of personal affairs led a popular Eagle Mountain resident and PPC pilot to take his own life while flying his powered parachute.

Some of the reports erroneously called it a powered paraglider and, worse yet, indicated he was trying to escape the police. Not likely in a craft with a maximum speed of 35 mph. More probable is that, for whatever reason, he'd had enough of life and decided to make his own final exit. How sad for those he left behind.

Here's the report as posted on the local paper's website, heraldextra.com.

DONNA MILAKOVIC AND JOE PYRAH - Daily Herald
A popular Eagle Mountain resident who shot and killed himself while flying a power parachute on Wednesday night left a message on a friend's phone hours before and "sounded fine."

Greg Kehl was found dead after police responded to a domestic disturbance at his home shortly after 5 p.m. Kehl, 42, was attempting to leave his home via his power parachute when people there took the keys. He then fired a pistol, not at anyone, before the keys were handed over, said Utah County Sheriff Lt. Darin Durfey.

The aircraft crashed near American Fork around 6:17 p.m. Durfey declined to go into detail about a possible motive for the suicide, other than to say Kehl did have stresses in his life.

Kehl was popular enough in Eagle Mountain to have a building named after him -- the Greg Kehl Public Works Building located on Sweetwater Road in Town Center. He left behind a wife and two teenage sons. His friends said Thursday that they were surprised by the events leading up to his death. Kehl, an Eagle Mountain City Councilman from 2000 to 2004 and mayoral candidate in 2001, was remembered as having a good sense of humor and being direct.

"I was shocked when I heard. It was totally out of character," said Diane Jacobs, a friend of Kehl's. "He was phenomenal, meticulous, fun, a super dad. He loved his kids beyond belief and his wife as well. Greg had a way of telling a story that would just keep you in stitches for hours."

Diane Bradshaw, a friend of the Kehl family said, "He was a very colorful person. He loved his wife. He would have done anything for his boys, and he was one of the funniest people I know."  She said Kehl was known for his cleanliness and that he grew wonderful strawberries in his garden. Bradshaw received a phone message from Kehl hours before his death and she said he sounded fine. She said she couldn't explain what happened, but hopes that the public will respect the Kehl family during this difficult time.

Mark Lofgren, who served with Kehl on the City Council, said Kehl "really cared about the City and not his own agenda." Lofgren also said, "What I loved about Greg was that he was not afraid to tell you what he really felt. He was very open, very easy to get along with. He will be very missed."

Willie Miller, who bought a power parachute from Kehl a few years ago, said Kehl was "very fair and friendly." Miller flew with Kehl more than a dozen times and said Kehl was "very good at what he was doing." Miller also said, "Greg was very knowledgeable about flying and very safe. He was very meticulous about his trailer and truck. Everything was immaculately beautiful. If there where specks of dirt on his parachute from the landing he cleaned it off immediately." Miller said he spotted Kehl's parachute headed southwest over the Cedar Valley Airport Wednesday around 5 p.m. and thought the wind was a little strong for flying, but did not think much of it until he later heard the news of the crash in American Fork.

The sheriff's office is asking residents in the American Fork and Highland areas for help with locating the gun used in the suicide, which was not found at the scene. "We're talking a huge area," Durfey said.

The gun is described as silver .357 revolver with a wooden hand grip, between 4 and 6 inches long. Police ask that residents in the area look in their yards and fields for the weapon. If found, the gun shouldn't be moved by anyone other than a police officer. Anyone with information about the gun should call police at 851-4100 or 911.

The investigation is ongoing, and pending autopsy and toxicology results may be available in the next month or month and half. Linda Peterson, Community Relations Coordinator for Eagle Mountain, spoke on behalf of the city Thursday.

"It's a very sad event. We extend our sympathy to his family," Peterson said.

Greg Kehl had listed his 2004 Powrachute Pegasus for sale on 5/26/2007. It was listed as "Spotless, Always stored inside."

Liberty & Responsibility

Aug 22, 2007

Our actions have consequences beyond appearance. I was sent a news report (included below in case the link disappears) that highlights a different kind of risk. Although the craft in this case was probably a fixed wing, it doesn't really matter. The reporter rightly quoted FAR 103 that requires us to not create a risk to others. Low flying has lots of potential to do just that even in rural areas. We must be careful to minimize this type of risk. We're given lots of liberty but must be mindful of the associated responsibility.

Yes, this report smacks of the usual journalistic sensationalism but we can learn from it no less. This is how the public will perceive such an event. Good or bad, it's our reality. Fly carefully.

8-Year-Old Emma Emch Injured When…Loud, Low Flyer Spooks Horse


The peaceful quiet of the rural Emch home was pierced Friday evening, August 3, by a small, probably ultralight, aircraft, as it had been many times this summer. This time the plane proved to be more than just a noisy nuisance and the “neighborhood” is upset.

That Friday evening, Emma Emch and her parents, Scott and Amy, of rural New Auburn, were out riding horses in a 17 acre field on their private property. They had come to the edge of a woods and Amy warned Emma that a deer might come out of the woods and spook her horse. However, it wasn’t a deer they needed to worry about, it was the ultralight or small plane that came over the trees. “It was only about 50 feet above us, very loud and very unexpected,” said Amy.

The noise spooked Emma’s horse which took off at a dead run across the field. Amy kept her head and fought her mother’s urge to give chase, instead heading out on an alternate course to try and get ahead of the run-a-way horse. Unfortunately, the pilot of the aircraft didn’t veer off to the left or the right but continued on course in the direction the horse had taken off running. Amy said the horse might have calmed down and stopped if the plane had changed direction. “It was almost like he was playing chase,” Amy said, “From the air it might have looked real pretty when the horse took off across the field with her tail in the air, but it was terrifying for a mom when her daughter is on the horse.”

Emma stayed with the horse until it made a quick turn right and Emma “took a quick left,” as her mom said. Emma came down on her left arm, completely severing the bone. The doctor’s at both Luther Midlefort Chippewa Valley in Bloomer and Luther Midelfort Eau Claire were so concerned about nerve damage from the severity of the injury they transferred Emma directly to Mayo in Rochester, MN. In a cast up to her shoulder, Emma finally got her first full nights sleep without waking for pain medication on Saturday night, over a week after the accident.

“The doctors kept asking me if I could move my fingers,” Emma told Meghan Kulig from TV13 on Friday. Amy later explained that the doctors were very surprised that there wasn’t permanent nerve damage.

This wasn’t the first time the aircraft was seen this summer by the Emch’s, who moved to the property 10 years ago because of its secluded location on the end of a dead-end road. Amy said they’ve seen or at least heard the plane on a very regular basis this summer. “At least every weekend for sure,” said Amy. At times the plane has come right over their house. “It’s an invasion of privacy,” Amy said. It sounds like a go-cart or loud lawn mower she said, adding, “If it was a dirt bike or four-wheeler they wouldn’t be allowed on our property or to do this.”

The accident, and subsequent publicity, has gotten the attention of people from just east of New Auburn on up to the Chain Lake area who have also been seeing a small aircraft flying very low and sometimes very close to homes, livestock or docks. Amy says people are calling her and leaving their names and numbers wanting to know how they can also can lodge a formal complaint. Both the FAA and the Chippewa County Sheriff’s Department are looking into the incident in which Emma broke her arm.

If the aircraft is a true powered ultralight, (i.e. weighs less than 254 pounds empty, fuel capacity not exceeding 5 U.S. gallons, air speed not more than 55 knots and power off stall speed not exceeding 24 knots), there is no minimum elevation or distance from objects specified in the FAA regulations. However, the ultralight regulations (Part 103) do state “No person may operate any ultralight vehicle in a manner that creates a hazard to other persons or property,” and the FAA can fine an ultralight operator who breaks that regulation. Ultralights do not have to be registered with the FAA but Wisconsin State Statute 114.195(2) requires ultralights to display an identification number assigned by an organization, approved by the Department of Transportation, which issues identification numbers for ultralight aircraft.

If it turns out the aircraft is bigger than an ultralight the plane would fall under Part 91.119(c) of the Code of Federal Regulations, Title 14 - Aeronautics and Space, which says that in sparsely populated areas an aircraft may not be operated closer than 500 feet to any person, vessel, vehicle or structure.

Persons who believe they are having problems with an ultralight aircraft should contact their local sheriff’s department. The FAA office in Milwaukee would handle complaints about other aircraft.

Emma Emch, 8, suffered a broken arm when she fell from her mare, Scharina, when the horse took a quick right turn at a dead run after being spooked by a low-flying aircraft.

Radio Show Update

Aug 11, 2007

A new method for producing the radio show has been established that improves quality and makes it more flexible for the hosts. I will now be producing them for the time being although that duty may rotate.

As always, we try to provide intelligent treatment of various subjects, even if we don't always agree on them. In fact, that disagreement usually leads to more interesting radio.

Check out www.PoweredParaglidingRadio.com for the latest episode and thanks for listening. Your input is welcome. Thanks for continued encouragement to keep producing the show. It's a lot of work none of is is particularly interested in making a job out of it which is why, at this point, advertising is not being solicited.

Image courtesy the BBC.

Record PPG Attempt Aborted for Weather and Mechanical, Trike Record Set

July 9, 2007 (Sidebar text added)

Weather didn't cooperate for Spanish record-hunters attempting 1500 km in Sweden July 2, 2007. They did manage to set a world record in Paratrike (PL2) and Dani Martinez announced that he will try again in August. His team partner Paco Diaz, who flew with a cameraman in a tandem trike (Fly Products Eco 2 with a Gin Beetle glider of 41m2), set a new PL2 world distance record of 430 km. Paco, an expert trike pilot, reported very strong conditions, with thermals up to 2000 fpm (10 m/s.) He landed at dusk with 40 litres of fuel remaining.

Dani was forced to land after covering around 310 miles (500 km) in straight line due to stormy weather on his route and some problems with the paramotor. First, the exhaust pipe broke causing the engine to lose power along with lots of noise. Then, Dani hit a very strong thermal and one of the fuel bags on the side of the paramotor touched the tip of the propeller. “Suddenly I took a shower of fuel; it was very scary to think that I could burn up there with a spark! So, I killed the engine and waited to get dry to restart it, but I had lost nearly 35 litres of fuel—a third of the total. Moreover, I had a full tank on the other side and the weight forced me to correct the course with the glider brake for the next 6 hours—very tiring”, recalls Dani.

Still, he thought it would be possible to complete a big part of the route if there was south wind on the way, as forecasted, so he pressed on. Paco decided to land safely before it got dark and left Dani alone heading to the midnight sun. After some distance, he found a threatening cloud on the way and decided it was the end of the journey but not of the X-Sweden 1500 project.

“The most difficult part of a challenge like this is to have all the elements you need to complete it: right weather, no engine failures, good wind for launch, a bit of luck… But I am now convinced that it is possible to do it. I felt well during the flight despite the difficulties, and I know I will be able to make it, maybe in August when I go back to Sweden, if the weather cooperates”, says Dani, who flew a Fly Products paramotor with Corsair engine and high hang point, and a Paramania Revolution glider of 36 m2. The pilot launched with 140 kg of gear on his back after waiting until 10:30 am for some wind to help with the inflation.

The former European champion gave special thanks to the ‘X-Sweden 1500’ supporters and all the people that followed the record attempt on internet last Monday. “Records are there to be beaten, and I hope to offer you all a 1500km-flight soon”, he concluded.

More information is available at www.xsweden1500.com

Dani and his team mates prepare for launch. Not surprisingly, it took a few tries to get this behemoth airborne.

We asked for verification of the incredibly heavy weights involved and the organizers kindly provided the following:

1. Motor was 68 pounds

2. 28 gallons (106 liters) of fuel was 185 pounds (using 6.6 pounds/gal).

3. Rescue chute, instruments, beacons and other safety elements (not listed total) was

Weight of gear totaled 308 pounds (140 kg). Amazing. Just lifting that much weight is a feat worthy of note let alone managing it for launch.

The A fully clothed and ready-for-flight Dani weighed.

Irish Paramotoring

July 2, 2007 (Sidebar text added)
After several exchanges with Jerry Parles, Chairman of the IPPHA, it's even more apparent that humans everywhere share this passion for flight and the freedom to pursue it. We can only hope the regulatory folks let their people experience it with an appropriate amount of minimal rulemaking.

This also affects how pilots from the U.S. would fly there, as well. We'd be welcomed there by the flyers, lets hope that welcome extends from the government as well.

Jerry sent this off today:

Dear Everyone,

We are currently in consultations with the Irish Aviation Authority (IAA) regarding the licensing system for powered paragliding and powered hanggliding in Ireland. We will post important updates to legislation and how it may affect our national and international powered pilots as it becomes available. In the meantime we appreciate your input to assist us in finding a viable solution to the following in the consultative process with the Authority.

We have asked the Authority for a means for pilots from other jurisdictions that would enabled them to fly powered PG & powered HG in Irish airspace on a temporary basis. However as it is presently proposed, it would appear that some form of Class 2 medical from a nationally approved air medical practitioner will be required, along with a recognized national qualification/rating for powered PG or powered HG from the pilots country of origin may be accepted.

We would like to hear/read your opinions on whether this would accommodate visiting powered PG or powered HG pilots to fly powered while on holiday in Ireland as an interim solution. This process is by no means over and we would encourage and value your input and suggestions with a view to moving the situation forward.

SAFE FLYING

Best Regards, Michael Peters
Secretary, Irish Powered Paragliding & Hang-gliding Association (IPPHA)

eMails to: mpeters1509@yahoo.co.uk

 

The association is trying to work with the authorities to minimize the impact of planned regulation. Authorities are planning to implement a private pilot license requirement for paramotor pilots in answer to a perceived risk to other aviation and the prevalence of self training. According Jerry Parles of IPPHA, numerous pilots have caused enough raucous by flying low over populated areas that the authorities feel compelled to act.

World Distance Record Threatened

June 23, 2007

The current foot launched distance record of 590 miles (951 km), set by Ramon Morillas Salmeron, is being threatened by his friend and competitor Dani Martinez who is planning a wholloping 932 mile (1500 km) flight in Sweden.

The people, planning and gear makes for a fascinating story and we look forward to the telling. Here is their press release:

Dani Martinez arrived in Sweden for PPG record attempt

 

The crew of the ‘X-Sweden 1500’ expedition is now in the south of the country, at their base camp in Ales Stenar, completing the final preparations and waiting for the right conditions to fly 1500 km by foot-launched paramotor, to the north of Sweden.

 

The Spanish pilot and former European Champion Dani Martinez believes that he and his partner Paco Diaz –who will fly in a tandem trike with a cameraman-, will be able to launch this Saturday (June 30th), if the weather forecasts are right. The area is perfect for the take-off, with a wide grassy field that receives a gentle sea breeze -that will certainly help Dani in the inflation and start run with over 120 kg on his shoulders!

 

During the last 10 days, the Spanish pilot has been doing extensive testing of the gear he will use for the record attempt, a paramotor Fly Products “Special Edition” with Corsair engine and extra tanks to fit 116 litres of fuel and a Paramania Revolution glider of 36 square metres. After many take offs and touch-and-gos with the highest possible load, Dani is confident that he will have no problem starting with such a heavy gear.

 

When you run with the paramotor at full throttle and so many litres of fuel on your sides there are vibrations and movements that make it very strange, you really have to watch your steps! But I think that the breeze will be a good help for the inflation. It’s going to be a long journey and I need to be alert all the time, but this will not be more difficult than being awake for an entire night of work…” says Dani.

The record flight will be tracked online in real time through http://www.regattacontrol.com/x1500/ and CompeGPS: http://hal.compegps.com/broadcast/webmap/?channel=xsweden&

 

The X-Sweden 1500 team is posting regular news in their blog (in Spanish) with many pictures to show what they are up to at the moment: www.xsweden1500.com

Dani Martinez trying out the specially built Fly unit that he hopes to smash a record with. Coutesy www.xsweden1500.com.

German Paramotor Association Able To Certify Paramotors

June 23, 2007
For some time the German Paramotor Association, headed by Harald Rost, has been working on gaining the right to certify powered paragliders, a requirement in Germany. Hopefully this will be a boon to the sport since the organization is devoted specifically to paramotoring.

Their authorization comes from the German Aviation Authority (LBA) and is effective starting June 8, 2007.

We're trying to find out what the certification requirements are. They can advance the sport if makers find value in certifying their gear. That, of course, will depend on whether pilots place value in buying certified gear.

Pilot Dies on Cross Country

June 23, 2007

Tony Gibson has reported that a pilot member of an adventure cross country has died while enroute. He did not show up at a planned stop and could not be contacted. An extensive search turned up nothing for over a week. According to a Paramotor Magazine report by Jaco Wolmarans, he was found by a group of off-road motorcyclers 12 days after disappearing. No word on what went wrong.

 

 

Tragedy In England

June 14, 2007
On June 12th, Paramania team pilot Julius Gee was killed in pursuit if his passion. He crashed during open flying between competition events at the English Nationals. He was doing steep, low maneuvering and lost control.

He was a good pilot, knew the risks and did what he could to minimize them but it appears that it caught up with him. Our community is saddened by the loss.

 

 

Paramotoring Everest World Powered Paragliding Record Altitude Blasted

May 15, 2007

This record has yet to be certified by the FAI, and problems with the recording gear may prevent it from being accepted, but few people doubt they did it.

Two paramotor pilots, Bear Grylls and Giles Cardozo blasted past the previous altitude record, climbing to 28,000 over Mount Everest in specially modified Parajet paramotors. Giles motor quit and he glided to safety while Bear continued to the new world record altitude of 29,500 feet above sea level. Their Nepalese base camp and launch site was 14,500 feet. The record still needs to be officially verified but there's little doubt they made it during this highly publicized and highly covered event.

Bear circled near the mountain for brief period before his motor started having problems and he, too, glided back to safety. The mission was an effort to raise money for Global Angels, a charity supporting children in Africa.

For the complete story, visit http://www.gknMissionEverest.com for details.

courtesy www.GKNMissionEverest.com

Where Did the Powered Paragliding Radio Show Go?

May 11, 2007
A new website has been created for Powered Paragliding Radio. We've been getting lots of questions regarding the show. It has not disappeared and the archives are there, for now. are still there (as of this writing). But you gotta dig for them.

After Michael Purdy sold his interest in World Talk Radio, the website was changed, making it far more difficult to find shows, ours included. We're exploring options on how best to handle this in a way that will be easy for people to find and be reliable.

It will be back in a few weeks, possibly in a different location. Stay tuned here for information. Our PPG Radio link will be updated when the change occurs. Thanks for your patronage!

courtesy Harris Corporation

Real World Test of Agama Water Rescue System

Apr 21, 2007
How effective is it? I've never been willing to stray away from shore's dry option but having the Agama Water Rescue system may let me rethink that.

My worry is that it may not be as effective in a face-first water landing with a near empty gas tank. Could it float you powerfully face down? Admittedly, even then, you should be able to unstrap and get clear of the paramotor, but I'd like to know. So a test has been planned.

On Sunday, April 22, we are going to put it through it's paces in a pool. I'll have the Agama mounted properly on a Snap 100 Sky Cruiser devoid of fuel with it's muffler and air intake sealed off. We'll have one person in the water with a scuba tank and underwater camera, and two above taking video and still pictures.

The plan is to run into the deep end such that I wind up face-down in the water. Then we'll see if the Agama inflates automatically sets me upright. If not, then I'll try to unfasten and come up on my own to see how difficult that is. We'll then remove the Agama and do the same thing with just the paramotor. Results will be added here and probably in Powered Sport Flying Magazine alongside an incidents column that describes an actual near-fatal water landing.

The Agama resting on it's mount-to-be.

Record Web Traffic for Footflyer

Apr 16, 2007

On Monday, April 16, FootFlyer.com recorded record traffic with over 19,000 "hits." We continue adding content that will be useful to powered paragliding pilots. Thanks for your interest and support. Thanks also to contributors of pictures and other content.

The primary purpose of the site is to support content provided in the Powered Paragliding Bible. Significant additional material has been added and more is coming, especially for wheel-launch pilots. Motor reviews of the Fly Ohio Spirit, Fly Products low hook-in Compress, Miniplane and others are planned for the coming weeks.

We also hope to test and photograph the Agama water rescue system in a way to simulate a real face-first water landing. Thanks to www.uCanFly2.com for providing a unit to test.

Photo by Marty Hathaway.

World Record Set in U.S.

Mar 31 2007
In an effort to get the ball rolling for U.S. pilots to get involved in record setting, David Rogers of Florida has become the first U.S. pilot to get into the world aviation record book with a powered paraglider. He has much bigger plans but this was a start. He hopes more powered paragliding pilots enter the fray and establish significant records that will be significant accomplishments.

The FAI has recognized his effort, actually a much longer flight, for distance in a closed circuit with limited fuel. Much of his motivation was to establish the process that other pilots will use to set records in the future.

Here is the now-ratified claim:

Claim number : 14303
Sub-class :RPF1 (Microlights : Paraglider Control / Foot-launched /
Flown with one person)
Type of record : Distance in a closed circuit with limited fuel
Course/location : Miccosukee, FL (USA)
Performance : 1.26 km
Pilot : David ROGERS (USA)
Paramotor : Apco Thrust
Date :09.11.2006
Previous record :  no record set yet

David Rogers helping with the 2006 U.S. Nationals.

Photo by Randy Vallance.

Website Renovation

Mar 28 2007
This website has, for years, relied on a proprietary web technology that has proven pockmarked with problems. After wasting too many non-flying, non-writing hours dealing with those problems we've taken a huge step towards improving the structure.

By using standard "Dynamic Web Templates," content is largely separated from its formatting which speeds up the entire process.

Unfortunately, there are a lot of pages that all must initially be manually converted. Automating the process is possible but it doesn't look nearly as good.

The result is that, for some time, you'll periodically see pages that don't "look right." We're converting them as time allows. Fortunately, once that laborious process is complete, much more time will be spent on providing useful content and new content will be quicker to produce since there will be less time wasted on formatting.

Thanks for your understanding!

Note: As of April 5, 2007, the entire website has been updated.

One of the changes is an icon that quickly identifies the site if it's listed in your "favorites" folder (and thank you if it is!)

Agama Water Rescue

Mar 25, 2007

The Agama Water rescue system, being sold by UCanFly2 in the U.S., was developed in Czech (aka Czech Republic). Ondrej Kubicen is a Czech himself who knows how it started. He tells us that it began when a friend of his was learning acro and wanted to have a small life preserver that wouldn't bother him when flying.

That acro pilot had a friend who is into kayaking and used similar devices. The paragliding community in Czech is large and connected. They put their heads together to develop the Agama system. The Czech company Nirvana sells many units to Japan where they fly close or over the water so they adapted this devise for paramotor and made it into product.

Know you know!

In Europe, visit www.flystyle.biz, in the USA visit www.UCanFly2.com.

One of these days we'll get around to reviewing this product but hopefully not by need.

Arizona Flying Circus 2008 Is On

Mar 15, 2007
Mo Sheldon has gotten approval from the Francisco Grande Hotel that they will be welcome back in 2008. Dates are already set as Feb 7 through the 10th.

The hotel management was basically pleased with the way things turned out and it was worth the effort and risk. There were around 100 paid pilot registrations and many indicated a desire to return.

A lot of pilots made the trek to the Salton Sea then to Phoenix with some stopping into Glammis dunes on the way. Both locations offer something different and desirable. Putting on such an event is taxing and we're grateful to those who take it on.

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View from the Enterprise Saturday at the Flying Circus. The Enterprise will be in Florida during winter of 2008 but we'll still make it out here.

German Certification Change 

Mar 15, 2007
The German requirement that paramotors be able to jettison the motor from the harness has been eliminated. While that may not mean much to those outside the U.S., it has changed the way some motors, mainly Fresh Breeze, needs to be built.

The safety benefit from the capability proved miniscule over the years and so they eliminated it. Fires and water immersion are the two primary reasons it was likely instituted but fires have proven rare and pilots who go in the water usually do so with their motors attached, even those that were jettisonable.

We're told that Fresh Breeze will continue making the system available as it is, to our knowledge, the only company that provides this capability.

Fresh Breeze with Jettisonable motor system.

Recognized in Atlanta 

Mar 05, 2007 | One of our own gets his due
Anybody who has seen Meet Powered Paragliding, been to a Florida convention or has spent much time around this sport will recognize the name Bruce Erion, aka "Brewster." His humorous stories and offbeat commentary on life have been a long source of enjoyment to me and many, many others.

He's also been in the presence of a president and been a well-known TV figure in Atlanta. A local news station recently did a feature on his interesting past, including a picture of Bruce pursuing his passion to paramotor.

Here is the story from the Atlanta Constitution Journal. Hopefully we'll be seeing Bruce again at the convention in Atlanta.

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Bruce Erion at the 2001 Parastars Convention.

Michel Carnet May Compete in U.S.

Feb 28, 2007 | Coming to America
Michel (pronounced mishelle) Carnet is planning to attend the U.S. National Powered Paragliding convention near Ft. Lauderdale. If all goes as planned, he will compete in the Wednesday competition.

He will be representing the new Paramotor Magazine that starts its first issue in April, 2007 and should have copies available there. 

Michel has been flying ultralights (microlights) since they first hit the scene in the early 1980's. He's competed at numerous European events and, most recently, won the English Nationals in 2006.

Anybody even thinking about competing in U.S. even should sign up now at the USPPA registration page. You must be a USPPA or USUA member, have at least 50 flights logged or have a sign-off from your USPPA/USUA instructor. Basically, if you can reliably launch and control your flight path reasonably accurately, you can compete.

photo courtesy FlyMicro.com

Bailey 4-Stroke mounted On Skybolt Kit

Feb 27, 2007

A Bailey 175cc 4-stroke motor has been mounted on the PPG Plans Skybolt frame. Jeff Baumgartener, the designer, just finished it and hopes to try it out within the next month. 

The motor and frame weigh in empty at 69 pounds but he anticipates that low fuel burn will lighten the gas load enough to offset the engine's higher weight. The Skybolt is a kit made with no requirements to weld. It weighs within 3 pounds of a similar factory built machine and costs significantly less. 

To my knowledge this is the first application of a Bailey motor on another maker's frame. For more information visit www.PPGPlans.com. For a review of the Bailey on it's own frame, visit here. I'll look forward to doing a review on the Skybolt version if I get the chance.

photo courtesy PPGPlans.com

PPG Bible Sales

Dec 30, 2006

It's good news and bad news. 

The good news is that we've sold over half our entire printing in 10 months. It was intended as a 3 to 4 year supply of books. That's good, we obviously want to sell them. Some of that was getting the supply line filled. 

It's possible there will be a brief time where no copies are available (from us anyway) but we're obviously going to work very hard to prevent that!

Paramotor.com Owned by Chinese

Dec 23, 2006, Hans Lintner

The website who's name is our sport's primary hardware, Paramotor.com, was sold on December 22 in an auction. According to a whois.net report, it was purchased by 

YY No.5 Fuchenglu
Haidian Dist.
Beijing, Beijing 100830, CN

The site is now only being used to trap traffic looking for paramotors into other search items. What a shame.

Paramotor Calendar

Dec 16, 2006, Mo Sheldon

This is the first professionally printed paramotor-only calendar that I'm aware of. Mo Sheldon has put together a host of gorgeous pictures including an eye-popping  centerfold. Even though I shot the picture, I was amazed how good it looked all blown up like that. It makes me want to go fly the Piccacho Park again.

Print quality is top notch and there are other smaller pictures throughout. For more info or to order visit Airparamo.com.

Paramotor Magazine to Start

Dec 14, 2006

A magazine devoted to the sport of paramotoring is set to begin in the spring of 2007. The U.K. based XCMedia is the same company that publishes the long-running Cross Country Magazine for hang gliding and paragliding and formerly Kiteworld Magazine.

The quarterly subscription for US Customers is $54. Visit www.paramotormag.com for more information.

Paramotor.com Sells for $20,250

Dec 2, 2006

In an auction offered by SnapNames, the domain name Paramotor.com was sold to the high bidder who has yet to be identified. 

Paramotor Inc was a longtime manufacturer of paramotors until recently. As of November, 2006, their domain expired which prompted the auction. They seem to have stopped doing business as phone calls have not been returned for several weeks. The status of their much-challenged trademark, Paramotor, is in limbo.

FootFlyer.com was one of the bidders but dropped out when it went north of $20k. We hoped to present our products and insure that solid, realistic information was presented about powered paragliding. 

One of our sister sites is www.ParamotorInfo.com. It is our desire that the inappropriately trademarked name Paramotor be rescinded and returned to the public domain where it belongs.

 

 
What's newsworthy. Agama changed the safety of flying over water.


© 2016 Jeff Goin & Tim Kaiser   Remember: If there's air there, it should be flown in!