News

Paramotor News Archive to 2014

Misinformation Stopped

Aug 8, 2014 by Jeff Goin

Dell Shanze has proffered more misinformation than I have ever encountered in Paramotoring through his Websites and YouTube Channel. As of Friday, August 8, the biggest among them, his Youtube Channel, has been removed for violations of, among other possibilities, "misleading content." Hopefully it will stay that way.

Among the MANY turds dropped by Dell have included that Reflex wings are deadly, that essentially every paramotor brand is deadly (except his, of course), and that there is a legitimate organization certifying paramotors (only his passed--image that). These are all patently ridiculous. That people fall for this nonsense is sad but, lets face it, we are largely a trusting people, not used to being lied to with so much gusto.

It's thrilling that this source of nonsense has been taken down but we must always remain vigil for other Charlatans who will happily dupe us. Whenever you hear someone making claims that seem too good to be true, look again, ask around, you're probably about to be bamboozled.

Paramotor Calendar

Dec 24, 2013 by Jeff Goin

Perfils, publisher of paragliding books, including the Spanish Language PPG Bible, has come out with a paragliding calendar. pictured at left.

Each page features a large photo on the top with calendar info below. It's 68 x 34 cm (26 x 13 inches). It includes all of 2014 and January 2015.

To order, contact editorial@perfils.info. They're US $19.50 with air mail shipping included. Payment accepted with Paypal or credit card.

Internet Squirrels

Nov 18, 2013 by Jeff Goin

Sorry about FootFlyer's 48 hour absence but, the squirrels that power my server ran out of nuts. I still don't know who was responsible for feeding them, or even if they're being treated humanely, but they're now back in their wheels spinning out data bits. Lets hope the nut supply holds out.

Back to work for a few days of 737 flying while Tim stays busy boxing and shipping. The next two days are a tease since I go down to Orlando then back up to Rochester New York for the overnight. It's a strange trip because I've never been to two of the airports on my schedule. Kinda cool to be at an airline where that's the case -- I've been on the other side of this coin and prefer this one.

Tim Kaiser Increases FootFlyer Role

Oct 24, 2013 by Jeff Goin

Tim Kaiser has played a key role in every project I've produced since joining me in 2003. On Oct 31, 2013 he leaves his full time job as a Wendys Training Store Manager to take over all the front office work of our growing Publishing effort. He is also turning over his USPPA duties to a new membership administrator who will be able to devote more time in that capacity.

This change should allow an increased production pace although the next project, Airspace For Ultralights, is still on target for an August release. It's a much different type of project, requiring more animation and graphics, but is easier in other ways.

This change will let me to concentrate on production and improve order processing. Plus, we're moving to bigger, warmer digs in Central FL that will be better situated to handle inventory and workflow. Having a nice paramotor launch out back and year-round flying has nothing to do with it.

Can't wait.

Welcome Tim!

Hunting Season & PPG in Central Florida

Sept 26, 2013 by Marty Hathaway

Already the ruffled feathers of the local Deer Hunters are flying. This unfortunate conflict seems to reoccur every year despite our many attempts to avoid it.

All should remember, Hunters and Pilots both have the same rights to be pursuing their sports. It's just unfortunate that both parties tend to utilize the same time periods of the day, we pilots for the safer weather conditions and hunters due to the habits of their quarry. Last year we had no known complaints because most all of the PPG pilots successfully avoided the known hunting areas in and around Christmas Fl. Areas such as the leased lands used by the hunters south of the first power lines south of Hwy 50.

What pilots can't know is exactly when or where hunters will be on any given day. Hunters wearing Orange could be easily avoided and given a wide berth so as not to disturb their hunt. However none of the hunters we've talked to are willing to wear Orange to help us avoid these conflicts. They contend "they are not required to wear orange on leased lands". Even if true, they should consider the use of orange in some way to help us in helping them. We local pilots are willing to make the effort, but are the Hunters willing, that is the question?

Notification and communication of their date, time and location prior to every hunt sounds good, but that alone may not insure that everyone gets the word.

One possible solution would be the placement of inexpensive orange safety cones on fence posts. A highly visible que like that would easily let pilots know where to avoid hunters. This would certainly go a long way to easing growing tensions between our groups.

We pilots have been asked (semi politely) to stop flying during all of hunting season, thus giving up our legal right to do so during approximately one quarter of a year. This request is absurd, will not be complied with, nor should be tolerated by the PPG community as the equitable solution to this issue. Remember this would apply to all these rural farm lands, private or leased in un-congested general and legal airspace.

Speaking for myself and for most of the flying community, I want to remind all hunters and pilots alike of a few facts!

  1. Threaten to shoot, pointing a weapon at or discharging a firearm at, an aviator or aircraft is illegal and severely punishable by law!

  2. The use of booby traps such as the stringing of high test fishing line between trees tops is tantamount to attempted murder and considered premeditated, also severely punishable by law! FACT- This has actually happened!

  3. Pilots accidental proximity to active hunting sites should not be concluded as deliberate attempts to disrupt a hunt in progress.

  4. Pilots as a rule don't "Chase Deer" although that may appeared to have happened.

  5. Pilots certainly do not chase cows or any other domesticated live stock in general.

  6. Most pilots are equipped in flight with two way Radio Communication, Cameras and Video recording devices that can be and should be use as evidence in a court of law, if need be.

Martin Hathaway,
Para-Flyers of Florida
 

Another Good Sectional Chart Source

Aug 20, 2013

Thanks to Randy Kester for pointing out a good source for charts and airspace info. It uses a google maps interface and includes terminal area charts for more accurate info near the biggest airports. The link is also on FootFlyer's front page for quick reference. It's http://www.iflightplanner.com/AviationCharts/.

You can click on a specific point and a box pops up offering "View Airspace Info" with airspace details. It also shows current TFR's although it's a good idea to call flight service since you then have a record of exercising due diligence if something popped up and wasn't on this map. Other useful map layers can be added by clicking on the upper left hand side.

It's not as fast as SkyVector.com and may not be as robust. When I tried it the map didn't come up for a while and gave me errors as I typed in airport identifiers. Retyping the URL restored normalcy. When it works it does have more information without that ridiculous disclaimer about being "for entertainment only."

Great Weather Source

July 18, 2013

Tim Kaiser just turned me on to a great source for paramotor weather. It's Ryan Carlton's Balloonists' Wind Forecast page that culls information from several sources to give detailed winds at altitudes that interest us. You need to know the identifier of an airport nearby that has aviation weather reporting. Use Skyvector.com for that and start with the nearest airline airport identifier like KATL. It seems to require the "K" which is the international designation for us airports (so ATL becomes KATL).

It's here: http://www.ryancarlton.com/wind.php?loc=KDPA

Enjoy!

Dell Schanze Dropped By U-Turn Gliders

Apr 16, 2013

It's nice to see a company do the right thing decisively like U-Turn has now done by dropping Dell Schanze as its U.S. importer. Eagle Paragliding, a respectable company, has taken over. Too bad it took so long, for sure, but some people only think of him as eccentric because they have no idea how far he goes with fraudulent claims and lies about many people. Outright lies, not just exaggerations. Even in spite of being caught in many of them he continues to tell people completely false information with a fervor that sounds believable.

Yes, this was about exposing his horrific cruelty to animals, but the need to steer clear of Dell Schanze goes well beyond even that expression of his behavior. Here's the web post from U-Turn. Here's more on Dell including a link to the video.

Beach Blast Cancelled

Apr 9, 2013

Due to insanely restrictive rules proposed by the city council and Mayer of Panama City Beach, John Black had to cancel the event. Needing a rating became the least of anyone's worry with police-state type rules. Besides pilots who were planning to attend from all over the world, the people of Panama City Beach should be livid that such a few people could ruin such an incredible event.

My heart goes out to John who agonized over this after having spent hundreds of dollars and hundreds of hours bringing this thing together. And to the pilots who carved plans out of busy lives to attend. I was looking forward to trying out new gear as always. Here is John's announcement:

After careful consideration and evaluation of circumstances beyond our control, I have decided that there is no reasonable way that Beach Blast can occur this year. I know many of you have already seen a draft of the proposed ordinance and three of the five city council members voted to move this forward. The Mayor Gayle Oberst, Councilman Rick Russell, and Councilman John Reichardt voted to move forward with this ordinance. I had conveyed to the council many times that I could not run an event with such an ordinance. With the proposed vote being only days away from the event it cannot be complied with and puts us at risk of shutdown.

I began issuing refunds several hours ago and should be finished with them in the next few days. I apologize to our pilots and families for not succeeding in this endeavor and I thank you from the bottom of my heart for the support so many of you have given. I am truly honored that you chose to spend your vacations and time here and make Beach Blast into such a success. I encourage you to support other fly ins as these directors spend hard hours working to provide the best environment possible. If I can ever assist any of you please let me know.

Miniplane Importer Changed

Apr 6, 2013

Chad Bastian of Miniplane USA is now the primary importer for the Miniplane and parts. Francesco DeSantis will continue to due very limited training but not doing Instructor training after finishing off his current obligations.

Beware Possible Fake Paramotor Sales Sites

Mar 26, 2013

A paramotor pilot from Australia has alerted me to probable fake websites. Although Alibaba.com is a real website with sound organizations, some companies there may not be legit. Another site, ParamotorEngine.com, probably is a scam. At least according to one pilot who was asking for an advertised wing that was not yet released by the manufacturer. He asked for a photo of the placard and they never provided it. Reputable dealers don't need to go through such hoops but suspicious new entrants must build a reputation and, if they won't do something this simple, they remain suspicious.

Nirvana has specifically listed ParamotorEngine.com as not authorized to sell their products and have no idea if they even have any in stock or even have ANY product in stock.

Be careful. Buy from dealers you know and trust and who have a reputation for good service. This is one additional reason to buy from your instructor.

New Paramotor Friendly Airport Owners

Feb 21, 2013

Congratulations to Paul Czarnecki of www.PlanetPPG.com who is now part owner in the Pine Island Airport where he trains. The new owner is an aviation buff and, along with Paul, plans to make a number of improvement to the site, including some that will make it even more welcoming to paramotor pilots. Among other improvements, possibly the most welcome will be a new bathroom to replace the existing porta-pottie.

SafeStart, Hopefully Soon

Jan 28, 2013

This is the announcement, a bit early but the cat is out of the bag.

Svec Miroslav has made SafeStart a reality. It's not in production yet and I was holding off until he was ready but he has a working model and, in fact, is working on an even more impressive rendition. The fat lady certainly hasn't sung yet since there's no product to buy yet but, he's got a working prototype. Having this device on a paramotor would do more to improve safety than any other effort. It's not the end-all, of course, but it will likely have a dramatic affect on prop strike injuries that happen during start (which is well over 50% of the total).

His newest version doesn't even need a battery. He harnesses the little bit of energy from the spark but I suspect that the battery version would be first in production.

Why is this so significant? Every year there are probably DOZENS of pilots worldwide who get whacked by a prop. The Safety Ring (or any sufficient cage protection) is good but a number of the injuries happen on the other side of the cage. Safestart shuts off the motor IMMEDIATELY if it goes above 3000 rpm (or some value) during the first few seconds after start. That's the most likely time.

Here's a video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AKcnBWpY4zs. It's currently planned to be OEM on a new paramotor being developed, the Scout.

My hat is off to this gentleman and I'd be honored to be the first buyer.

Competitions Planned

Jan 19, 2013

Michael Mixer has agreed to run the USPPA competition in southern California. This is a great development and I sure hope we get pilots to join us who have become high-end fliers. It is scheduled for Feb 7, 8, 9 at the Paratoys event, Salton Sea, CA. I'll be competing since I don't have to run it! Yeah! Anyone interested in joining us please do I and others will gladly offer pointers to anyone who is interested in competing -- sort of a mini clinic.

Register at USPPA.org. See you there.

Major Announcement?

December 19, 2012

It could be the best thing to happen for paramotor safety ever, doing what air bags and seat belts did for cars. Like the Agama that so effectively protects against our sport's most lethal accident type. This goodie has been tested and works. The maker wants to be sure all is well with production before going public but I just couldn't contain myself after seeing the demo. Stay tuned. I'm gonna be the first one to buy if given the opportunity.

Safety Ring Now For Sale

July 5, 2012

Leon Wacker is now producing the safety ring. This could save your arm, hand, fingers, shoulder, etc and is now available for $65. It adds negligible weight and imparts significant strength while also reducing dramatically the chance for the prop to hit your netting, let alone body parts. You can buy it here at SkyCruiserMfg.com. Here is more information about the ring, how to build it, and a video on how to install it on your paramotor.

Sky Gliders Dumps Dell

June 29, 2012

You can now buy a Sky Glider without the dark cloud of supporting a fraud. As of June 27, Real champion pilot Bill Heaner, who dumped Dell long ago, has taken over as importer of Sky Gliders and, in Bill's usual way, will do so in an ethical and honest fashion. He has already been handling the free-flight side of their product line. If you want a lightweight glider, Bill will be honest about the difference between their standard and mountain gliders. Sky itself is a fantastic company with great ethics and wanted to make some changes to provide quality, honest, reliable service handled by someone who doesn't have to fraud customers by making up their own organization or misleading customers.

It was an unexpected pleasure to see Bill Heaner during my recent visit to Sky's Factory but even more thrilling was finding out that this deal was just finalized and hear it right from Sky's CEO.

Kudos to them. We should collectively support those participants who are actually beneficial to powered paragliding. I learned of this myself during a post-Basse Ham visit with several manufacturers in the Czech Republic. Needless to say, I was thrilled that they did the ethical thing. They made a great choice, too. Bill Heaner is not only an exceptional and knowledgeable pilot, but he is a top notch human with high standards. He's also probably the country's best kiter (as many have seen in Master PPG 1). Buy Sky now with a clean conscience.

Simonini Engines Takes The High Road

May 29, 2012

Kudos to Simonini USA for taking the high road and refusing to support Dell Schanze's many fraudulent practices. They announced at Beach Blast 2012 that they would no longer supply their Simonini motors for his business. Tip of the hat for their willingness to do the right thing. We can feel better about buying products with these engines on them. Supporting those sellers who engage in destructive practices harms the sport. We applaud those who are willing to risk losing business to do the right thing.
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Walbro Discounts Available

Jan 16, 2012, updated May 31, 2012

Jake Hearnsberger runs the website outdoor-equipment-parts.com from which I've gotten some good content and linked to. He is a pilot himself (building an RV-10) and is offering a 10% discount on parts for us. Type the word "PARAGLIDE" as a coupon code to get a 10% discount.

GPS Logger

Jan 15, 2012

For those who like to record their flights but don't need or want GPS navigation, check out the AMOD Technology AGL 3080 data logger. This $70 GPS would be a great option for anyone wanting to set world or national records because it wouldn't need to be covered since there's no display of position.

According to Stephen Regenold who reviewed it for the The Gear Junkie, it's as accurate as any and works easily for downloading to your computer. It is also approved for use as on paramotor competitions and record attempts as per the FAI.

Difference between a logger and a tracker (thanks to Keith Pickersgill): A tracker sends out position, speed, altitude, etc periodically via satellite, cellular or similar to be tracked live on a webpage or other medium. This device merely records your tracklog which can be retrieved AFTER the flight for scoring purposes in comps or to view on google Earth, maps, etc.

Thanks to Jeff Burrill for the original information.

Airshow Pilot

Nov 16, 2011

Here's a quick note about Glenn Tupper who recently flew in a well-attended airshow.

Flying Accross America

Sept 24, 2011

Longtime parachute test pilot Jon Sepp has set out for a flight across America last week, taking off from  this Dana Point, California intending to fly all the way to Florida's East Coast. He's made incredible progress as this is written, getting all the way to Texas. He's on a Blackhawk 125 Pro Series and Paratoys Recon Wing. The route is loosely planned and will depend on the weather. Unlike the previous group who did a similar flight several years ago, he's not intending to use thermals. But he is flying through mid-day when the weather is relatively benign. Benign is relative, though, given that a sunny day in the desert west can serve up some pretty distasteful nastiness. So far, so good.

We did a radio show interview with Mike Robinson of Paratoys on the Powered Paragliding Show, which is now part of Powered Sport Flying Radio, and plan another this coming Tuesday. Hopefully Jon will be in Texas.

During the radio show interview I loved Mike's realistic comment about how he was doing with so much time in the seat. "he's doing pretty good now, but lets talk after another week of flying." As one who just flew 7 legs in a comfy Boeing 737 I can say that it does feel like you've got the thing glued to your butt after a while!

He's being chased by professional videographer Anson Fogel who has put together some cool material on the Paratoys and other sites.

2011-10-15 Update. At some point along the way these two groups, Paratoys and Jon, parted company. As always there are two stories as to what happened but what we do know is that Jon is reportedly finishing his flight with help from Paradrenalin. If updates are available, they'll likely be on www.Paradrenalin.com. We did another radio show interview but the quality was too poor to put up on Roy's show. It is being hosted at www.WorldPPG.com.

Dell Schanze Strikes Again

Sept 06, 2011

We should not be surprised but we should all be mad as hell.

It appears that Dell Schanze's antics in Oregon has gotten PPG shut down on the state's entire coast. When Schanze took his disrespectful "Superdell" antics to Astoria, Oregon and flew from one of their vaunted monuments, the Astoria Column, it was but the first of many insults that put our sport at odds with authorities. After flying motors disrespectfully around sensitive sites, the locals started looking hard for a way to make launching from the beach illegal. While it wasn't likely the Astoria incident itself, all of Dell's subsequent abuses of decency got the ball rolling. And rolling fast.

"I've got the right to fly here" is a common refrain from the last person to fly somewhere. I'm reminded of a statement by Jerry Daniele who wisely observed that we fly at the pleasure of the people. Piss enough of them off and we won't fly anymore. Simple as that. And guess what? Dell has pissed off a *LOT* of people in Oregon.

Highly respected USHPA/USPPA Instructor Brad and Maren Hill have been instructing on this coast, working well with authorities, for years. They've now been shut down on the beach as a result of all this.

We as a community should recognize this train wreck for what it is. Dell Schanze is a caustic force in our sport and this is just his latest travesty. I can't say it strongly enough: supporting him is damaging the long-term health of our entire sport. Do us all a collective favor and "Just Say No" when it comes to supporting this disrespectful calamity.

More on Dell.

Paramotors on Windows 8

June 2, 2011

Phil Russman has shot and produced the most gorgeous moving pictures in all of paramotoring and none other than Microsoft has taken notice. Phil has obviously sold some of his work as evidenced from this video that I stumbled upon while checking out their new operating system. Move the play head over to about minute 2:00 for some cool powered paragliding action. You want to stop the presenter and say "hey, look at that, this is the cool stuff here!"

 

 

Sport Link For Sale
 

Nov 2011: Airshow Pilot

 

New YouTube Channel,
Powered Paragliding News & Reviews

May 18, 2011

Our sport is full of colorful figures and a new YouTube channel aims to let you hear from them directly through a news-style interview. There will be reviews of equipment when possible since video allows detail that's not possible with a written report.

There's an enormous amount of misinformation on the net, especially youTube, and this is hoped to offer balanced information from the people who make this sport a big part of their life.

Be sure to friend, subscribe, and give thumbs up so these videos increase in rank, especially for the search term "Powered Paragliding."

The YouTube channel is "GoPoweredParagliding". The first interview has been uploaded and, now that the format shell is complete, the rest of them should be coming soon. Bear with me as I learn the ropes of effective live video interviewing but I try to keep them concise. They are between 2 and 12 minutes long.

The first video is here: Powered Paragliding News & Reviews - Palm Bay Police.

Uncensored -- PPG Truth about Dell Schanze

May 2, 2011

Powered Paragliding's least ethical character, Dell Schanze, does it again, telling attendees at Beach Blast to "Look Out" since he has been banned from the event. This was said after a tornado caused millions of dollars worth of damage to airplanes at Sun-N-Fun and Schanze ascribed it to his god as punishment for Planet PPG. Ironically, Planet PPG had it's most successful show to date and had no damage to its paramotors.

It just gets better and better. His verbal diarrhea would be best labeled dellShit, or DS (Rhymes with BS).

There's an amusing discussion board that has sprung up, largely in Dell's honor. the "PPG Truth Unlimited" group on Yahoo. Visit http://groups.yahoo.com/group/PPGTRUTH-unlimited/. They don't serve cool-aid.

For more about Dell Schanze, visit here.

Facebook For Paramotor Pilots: PPGHub.com

Mar 20, 2011

Jason Jasnos has created a website where pilots can connect, share pictures, engage in topical discussions, and other useful bits. It's very well implemented and is worth checking out. We have yet to see how forum moderation will take place as the policies aren't published as of this writing. There are multiple topics so, when "thread creep happens", converesations may be moved. That turns out to be better for everyone, especially later pilots looking for info.

Like Facebook there is no cost so eventually we can expect simple, non-intrusive ads to appear although that's not planned.

Check out PPGHub.com.

New American Designed Paramotor

Mar 11, 2011

Alex Varv, long time importer, promoter and supporter of the Aero Corsair Black Devil engines, has taken the next step to help design a new machine. He is working with Kangook of Canada and their three-part cage Design, creating a new suspension system similar to the Miniplane along with other modifications. It endeavors to minimize torque while providing good weight shift and less fore-aft tilt than others. I hope to review it at the Salton Sea in early February.

The paramotor will be available for demo to qualified pilots at the 2011 Salton Sea Fly-in. For more information visit www.Aerocorsair.com.

Here is the flight review.

New, Powerful 4-Stroke Cart Option Offered

Dec 27 2010

Paratoys has released a new 4-Stroke, the BlackHawk Hell Cat 360. It's biggest innovation is that it uses a made-for-aviation motor weighing 69.5 pounds and generating 35HP. Mated with the production prop it' gets 220 pounds of thrust. It will be introduced and available to qualified pilots for test flights at the 2011 Salton Sea Fly-in Feb 4 along with the rest of the Blackhawk lineup.

For more information visit www.Paratoys.com.

Powered Sport Flying Website

Nov 3, 2010

Powered Sport Flying Magazine has opened up a new website dedicated to our sport and other light flight types. It combines information from the magazine, other websites, the Powered Sport Flying radio show and, of course, its author Roy Beisswenger. One feed includes content from here, FootFlyer.com under the title Jeff Goin.

Go here to check out the home page.

December 2, 2010 USPPA National South FL Competition & Convention is Off

Oct 3, 2010

It was a nice thought but the county apparently wasn't really that interested. When it came to get a contract, which we wouldn't proceed without, they wouldn't come through with hard numbers. Costs for some things doubled and insurance requirement raised their ugly heads.

The U.S. is a great country, don't get me wrong, but our liability problems are crippling in many ways. What a shame.

Other options are being explored but time is obviously running short.

Paramotor Pilot and Innovator Greg Peterson Passes Away

Sept 23, 2010

After a long battle with Cancer Greg Peterson has passed away in Northern California, according to close friend Brett Hays. Greg has been a paramotor pilot and instructor since before I got into the sport in 1999. He was also the type of guy that made everyone feel welcome and tried his hardest to get them airborne. I have fond memories of time spent flying with Greg in the Sacramento area, including one time when a foot drag down some local creek got a little deep. He went in. By the time a couple of us landed by the bank, he had his wing out of the water and on his way to relaunch. Sure enough he pulled it off.

Greg was friend to everyone he met, humble, capable, fun-loving and innovative. To the best of my knowledge he was the first one to pair a motor unit to the original kite buggy.

I didn't know Greg that well but every encounter was always enjoyable and usually memorable. He was that kind of guy. You immediately felt like one of the group and looked forward to being a part.

He will be missed by many.

Parabatix

Sept 19, 2010

Now we're talkin'. Paramotor competition is a lot more fun to watch when there's something to see. And although the cross country aspect is fun for many pilots, it's not much to look at. The World Air Games, USPPA's format and the precision part of FAI's competition is all about precision flying. Now, a new circuit is being flown called Parabatix. Paramotor magazine issue 21 will have a piece on it  but, for now, check out www.Parabatix.com and this article in XCMagazine.

Communications For Paramotorists

Aug 12, 2010

When I went to Australia last Feb the fellow who put me up (and put up with me) for 8 days was Richard Shelton. Turns out, he's an electronics wiz who makes a living building and selling tiny cameras for the model world. Well now he's put those talents to work on our communications needs. Unfortunately I haven't gotten to try his handiwork but can speak highly of Richard. He's got a system that integrates a cell phone, comm radio and music for use by paramotor (and other) pilots. At the quantity he deals with the price is remarkable. In fact, I'd get him to raise his prices so he keeps doing it. They're not cheap, but neither is building quality stuff. And lord know I'm not going to be building them!

He's got a great PDF with the prices and so forth but get the latest from his HiCam web site.

Paramotor Give Away

Aug 11, 2010

I want one.

Paradrenalin, the Nirvana importer in Arizona, is raffling off a brand new Simonini Rodeo. Well, I assume that it's new given the value listed. I've flown one and found it to be a good ride (new pilots want the smaller-prop version). The $25 ticket can be purchased from Paradrenalin in advance, or at the Monument Valley Gathering where it will be drawn and you do not have to be present to win. That event runs Friday, Oct 8 through Sunday the 10th, 2010 (see the Event Calendar). If you're a gambler, this sounds like mighty good odds.

You do not have to be present to win. Concact Ryan Shaw at 602-540-9929 or Skype: ParadrenalinUSA for more details.

French Electric At Basse Ham

July 24, 2010

There is life in Electric Land and it whoed itself at Basse Ham.

Louis Fourdan of Parawatt hade a showing of his drive mechanism which is also being used by U.S. pilot Jean Beney. You can see the videos here and here. More full coverage is included at ElectricPPG.com. Louis can be contacted at +33 1 42 37 20 06 or through email at fourdanlouis@yahoo.fr.

Russian Paramotor Competition

July 22, 2010

This came across my inbox: A cool-sounding competition is planned in Russia.

It seems somehow strange that, while our government leaders hover over their respective doomsday buttons, we angle for another reason to paramotor with each other. And another good reminder of how people are basically the same wherever you go. Fun ones, mean ones, jerks and the playful--all in about the same percentages and all over the world. OK, I digress.

The Russians I've met have been of the fun, playful type so I'm sorry to be missing out on this one. Here's the scoop:

Name: 5'th EVDO-CUP - Autumn 2010
Place: Russia, Moscow
Date: September, 2010 (3 days)
Prize fund: 1500$
The first PPG Freestyle Tournament
Freestyle differs from usual kind of competitions because all exercises done at low height, almost near the ground. And all pilots depends on time-factor.
EVDO-CUP INTERNATIONAL WEB-SITE: www.evdo-cup.ucoz.com
5'th EVDO-CUP PAGE: http://www.evdo-cup.ucoz.com/index/5_39_th_evdo_cup_autumn_2010/0-11
4'th EVDO-CUP Virtual Tour (Flash Panorama) - http://www.voskresensk3d.ru/panorams/Eudocup.html

Enjoy!

Is This the World's Smallest Paramotor?

Apr 27, 2010

This came through my inbox a few days and, being somewhat a connoisseur of thimble-thrusted machines, I was intrigued.

David Frank, from Israel, has fashioned a paramotor from Radio-Controlled big scale airplane technology. He calls it, rightfully so, "Nano." The unit's dry weight, including a Supair PPG harness, is just under 20 pounds. He's breaking the motor in now so we don't know if thee paltry push will be enough but, if it is, that has to be a record. It's 29" prop is identical to that on my direct-drive Solo 210 Fly that still serves yeoman duty. But it weighs almost twice as much. This will be interesting.

David is an Acro pilot so all he wants his puny pusher for is to get enough altitude to let him turn the world upside down or soar in lift.

If all goes well with the prototype he's gonna build an electric start to better enable in-air restarts.

Here are some videos on his efforts: YouTube1 & YouTube2.

Albuquerque's Paramotor City For Sale

Nov 1, 2009

A lot of incredible flying has gone on here but Jerry and Michelle are moving on. They'll still be running the business, and from the same general location, but from a more modest  site. More here.

FootFlyer.com Traffic Records

Nov 1, 2009

FootFlyer.com's website has exceeded 2000 page views per day starting Sept, 2009. Thanks for your support. We'll do our best to provide unbiased coverage of powered paragliding as is humanly possible along with resources and training information

An interesting observation is the effect of Fox TV's Sports Science show where they had me land in a boxing ring. Although there may have been some uptick in page views, it was fleeting. It goes to show that, in spite of what we fliers may think, the general public really isn't much interested beyond the "wow, that's cool" comment, which is normally followed by "crazy, too, I'd never do that!"

When I first got into powered paragliding in 1999 it seemed that it would explode once Joe Schmoe discovered it. Then I realized that it really wasn't that easy of a thing to do, that it takes work and really doesn't get to be fun until a certain skill level is obtained. Not something for Peter Public who is generally petrified at the thought of being aloft, let alone flying the craft himself.

So no, it really probably won't ever become a big thing. Lets face it, if you're successfully foot launching a paramotor, you've achieved something of significant difficulty. Just because someone nails nearly every launch doesn't mean it's easy, it just means they've practiced. Every single launch is barely successful.

Thanks again for your support and keep those suggestions coming.

Animal Preservation Org Seeks Volunteer Paramotor Pilots

Sep 12, 2009

They're ready for paramotor pilots. We just got word today that the Wildlife Action Group International in Malawi is ready to do their herding work and are seeking skilled paramotor pilots that would be willing to come help. They'll provide food, lodging, (consider this an adventure—think hut, not Hilton), local transportation and a launch site, even if they have to cut it. See the news report below.

This is serious business. The elephants have killed 3 (one more than our Aug 17 report) mostly because people interact with them improperly.

If you can spare the time and get yourself and your gear to Lilongwe Airport in Malawi and back, they'd love to hear from you. The full request is below on the Aug 17 entry.

USPPA Online Testing

Sep 11, 2009

If you haven't gone through the USPPA ratings program, it might worth considering. For one thing, you can get up to $200 back just for earning the PPG3 rating. Most pilots would qualify for the PPG2, whose biggest challenge is making 3 of the last 4 landings within 40 feet of a target set by your instructor. Sounds easy but next time you're out go draw the circle and try it.

Also, the online testing has been improved with more relevant questions and more material covered. Plus the questions have been worked over to be quicker and more discriminating at the same time. Online testing for the PPG1 and PPG2 is available to all USPPA members. To take the online tests, log into the members services area and select "Online Testing."

Animal Preservation Org Seeks Volunteer Paramotor Pilots

Aug 17, 2009

We got a request for help from the Chairman of the Wildlife Action Group International in Malawi. They're putting up an electric fence to protect the village areas from crop raiding elephants (see www.wildlifeactiongroup.org) but can't close the fence since 10 elephants are still on the outside. So they're looking for one or two skilled paramotor pilot volunteers who could help coral the elephants into the preserve.

These elephants are outside the reserve in farmer's fields. A helicopter is cost prohibitive and ground vehicles can't manage the surface. They feel that one or two excellent paramotor pilots would be able to direct the elephants back towards the reserve using their motor noise and possibly an additional siren.

We would need such an pilot for about 6 weeks, but maybe the task could be shared by several pilots as an adventure holiday. They aren't  in a position to pay salaries and therefore hope for volunteers but will provide food, accommodation and local transport.

If you are willing/able to help, contact Georg Kloeble, Wildlife Action Group International e.V. at the moment in Thuma Forest Reserve, Malawi. Mail:kloeble@wag-malawi.org
Tel:00265 993214979.

We asked a few questions and here are the answers:

What is the urgency?
The reason for the emergency fence is that the elephants killed 2 people within the last 2 month. If we can not put that fence up within a short time and get the elephants back into the reserve they might be shot or translocated.

What are the accommodations?
Accommodation in our bush camp in the Reserve. Beautiful area. Hills and mountains in the slopes of the Great Rift Valley not far from Lake Malawi.
Have a look at the link below in Google Maps: Have a look at the satellite picture. Google Map

What is the terrain like?
Flat in the village areas, some rocky outcrops, towards the Forest reserve 500m bush and trees

Where would the pilot launch from?
Have to locate a site, but will prepare a site in the reserve if necessary!

What are the aviation laws in Malawi?
There is no provisional law for paragliders as far as I know. But know that trikes from RSA were flying here. Should not be a problem.

Are any special permits required for such flights?
Don't think so!

Would aviation fuel be available and two-stroke oil?
I will organize it if you provide specifications.

v2 PPG Plans Now Downloadable from PPGPlans.com

July 22, 2009

The downloadable plans have been added to PPGPlans.com for the version 2 Skybolt. This is, by far, the most widely built plans-built paramotor ever designed, made easier by the fact that no welding is required through an ingenious combination of square and round tubing. The plans site had been shut down by its owner/designer, Jeff Baumgartner, who was moving on to other things. Rather than seeing this great system go dark, FootFlyer.com purchased the website and rights to the plans and is making them available under a limited license for no charge.

Homebuilding is not for everybody but, for those who choose to do so, Skybolt plans represent, by far, the best solution. To see or download the plans, visit www.PPGPlans.com.

Jeff Baumgartner created a valuable resource for the paramotor community and it is our desire to help insure its continuance.

FootFlyer.com bought PPGPlans.com

July 15, 2009

Jeff Baumgartner designed and made available the most widely built paramotor plans for our sport. I (Jeff Goin) had flown both versions of the unit and was impressed. Enough that I did a review and dedicated a special page to home building. When he decided to devote more time to his family and and get out of the business, he took down his website (PPGPLans.com) and discontinued sales, servicing only those orders that had come in.

That seemed like a shame since these were, by far, the most viable plans out there and resulted in a machine that was easy to build and comfortable to fly. So we talked and, on July 10, agreed to the transfer. I built a new website and will be making the plans available within a week.

Jeff B. did a great job and we are both happy that his work will live on. For more information, please visit www.PPGPlans.com.
 

Miniplane Electric?

June 15, 2009

Miniplane had an bare electric motor and prop mounted to a frame with a sign advertising the development of an electric model within six months. Electric guru Mateo is putting some industrial electronics to use in an effort to create a robust control circuit that handles the high wattages required. It would use Lithium Polymer battery technology and a Brushless AC motor.

 

Yuneec Electric Paramotor To Visit OSH

June 15, 2009

Yuneec has paid for two exhibition spots at EAA's OSHkosh fly-in scheduled for July 27 through August 2, 2009. One spot, to show off their fully electric airplane, will be in the general display area. Their other spot will be in the ultralight area.

Another significant development is that they have reportedly begun production. Unspecified upgrades to the prototype we flew in April 2008 have improved the unit in several ways, including a warning system for impending power loss when the battery runs too low. We hope to complete more test flights and report on the outcome here and on ElectricPPG.com

 

Paramotor Magazine Giving Away A Paramotor

Apr 11, 2009 (Correction)

Paramotor Magazine has announced a very generous giveaway during their latest subscriber drive. Kobra is supplying the first prize motor, their new Carbon Sport model. Paramania is providing 2nd place with a new wing, and third place comes from Nirvana with a set of accessories including their Agama water rescue system, Full Contact Helmet and flying suit.

For more information, visit www.ParamotorMag.com.

 

First Production Rotary Paramotor Engine

May 26, 2009

Parajet has announced a new production rotary engine light enough for paramotoring. It will, of course, find many other applications but, if it comes out as advertised, it will be a great step forward in power to weight ratios. There are two versions of the Rotron, as its called, a compact model at 160 cc and a larger 294 cc version.  They will only be sold on Parajet frames and dubbed Cyclone models.

Specs on the machine are impressive and we'll look forward to trying one out when the opportunity comes. One claim that is particularly enticing is that of zero vibration, a unique capability of rotary engines. Fuel injection is also an option. They still apparently use mixed gas to save the weight of an oil sump and pumping system.

Parajet's Jim Edmondson said, in a news blurb for Paramotor Magazine, that fuel efficiency is better than an equivalent piston engine and that mechanical failure should be much less likely. Of course time-in-service is always the best teller of reliability but they have overcome previous issues dogging rotary engines with better materials and technology, especially for the rotor tips.

Production starts "soon" with 15 motors of each size being produced and offered for sale. They're not cheap, but then leading technologies rarely are. The cost will be about US $10,000 with a 50% deposit required. For complete information, visit Parajet.com.
 

Electric PPG For Sale

May 14, 2009

German paramotor maker Fresh Breeze, teamed up with Swing, is now selling electric paramotors, or at least advertising them. The brochure we got was in German and we'll have an English version as soon as Possible. No word on whether or not the motor has landed on U.S. shores but, when it does, we'll try to review it promptly.

The motor is based on the Sport-X frame and sports a 130 cm prop spun by 10kW electric motor. Weight is listed at 33kg (72 lbs). The brochure seems to suggest that it will fly a 78 kg (170 lb) pilot for 23 minutes of powered flight time give or take 10% for wing efficiency. Cost is listed as €6990 which would be around $10,000US.

Hopefully we'll see a production version at be able to demo it soon.
 

Police Using PPG

May 05, 2009

The Palm Bay Police department has established a program to use paramotors for certain, appropriate police missions. They have 4 officers on board including two where were already paramotor pilots and thought the craft could fill certain missions more effectively and at much lower cost than other means.

Police departments have special exemptions that allow them to operate these Part 103 craft legally in this application.

Phil Russman, pictured on the pole, is providing the training in a rigorous package that includes USPPA certification. They are learning both foot launched and wheel launched flight in an endeavor that has garnered wide publicity, from local news to national news. ABC is reported to have a piece planned within the next week for one of their national news broadcasts.

Police pilots are learning on Dudek wings and Paratoys motors, some of which has been provided at cost or donated for some period of time.

The program, dubbed S.O.A.R. for Search Operations Aerial Response. Phil tells us that they are very aware of the limitations of the craft and have put safety above all else, knowing that there's no point in going out if you're likely to need rescuing yourself.

Phil plans a video and more updates at his website, www.LiteTouchFilms.com.


New Blackhawk Engine and Paratoys Website

May 03, 2009

Paratoys has launched a new engine, the BlackHawk 185. Components are made in Japan and are assembled at the Paratoys shop in northern California. Some parts common to the Aero Corsair Black Devil 172 engine. They report 25.5 hp and up to 150 pounds of static thrust, depending on prop size and other factors. For more information, visit http://www.paratoys.com/bh185paramotor.html.

The Paratoys Company, which recently sold to Mike and Michelle Robinson, has also launched a slick new website, done by paramotor pilot Brian Thivierge. Web work is what he does, and obviously does it well. Their URL remains the same at www.Paratoys.com.

Training is conducted from the Robinson's large, and very scenic, ranch located about an hour southeast of Sacramento. It is where the most recent Paratoys Fly-In was held and is long enough for small airplanes to takeoff and land on.
 

New Paratour Quad

Apr 25, 2009

Eric Dufour of Paratour had introduced a new wheeled option to his existing lineup of paramotors. The SkyKart quad portends greater stability and safety by virtue of combining a wider wheelbase with a stout roll cage system that protects the pilot.

It also features the "steering bar," a device that limits brake authority for new pilots so they are less likely to overcontrol on early flights. This is optional and can be removed if the pilot wants to.

For more information, visit www.Paratour.com.
 

Top80 USA Closed

Apr 24, 2009

Brad Weiss, who for several years maintained the parts inventory for Top 80 paramotors under an agreement with the inporter has discontinued the business. The websites, Top80USA and Top80USA2 are no longer active. Those wanting parts should now contact the importer, Francesco DeSantis at francesco@powerglider.biz.

The Top 80 engine is currently being sold on Miniplane Paramotors, PAP's and I-Flyers.

 

Stolen Paramotors

Apr 12, 2009

Former world champion and World Air Games competitor Mathieu Rouanet had just finished a 3-month expedition in South America. An experience he described as magical but, unfortunately, reality came when both he and his friend, Emilia, had their paramotors stolen in Cusco, Chile.

Emilia's motor was in a black wheeled travel box with no logo on it. The aluminum frame is painted red. Itframe , box type "travel box" with wheels. It has a carbon fiber 2-blade prop with no logo on it. The motor is a Radne Raket.

Mathieu's motor was also in a big black case. His frame is gray steel with fishing style net. The frame comes apart in 4 parts and uses a Ros 125 motor with Helix brand two-blade prop.

If you come accross this motor, please contact Mathieu.
 

First Commercially Available Electric PPG

Apr 07, 2009

This date, April 7, 2009 is to be remembered as the day electric propulsion started for the masses. Although we haven't gotten to test fly the products, we have gotten independent verification of their existence. Finally there is an Electric Paramotor being made available for retail sale. Here is the press release.

Electric driven PPG's are on market and can be ordered from now on.

At the exhibition and airshow AERO Friedrichshafen (April 2-5, 2009) SWIFT/Fresh Breeze and PAP Team Germany showed their new electric driven paragliders both equipped with our drive chain based on HPD 10. These 2 different drive units have already got the approval by German DULV (FB) and DMSV (PAP) and can be ordered from now on. Together with an electrified version of the light trike Dragonfly from FLYLIGHT (GB) and Toni Roth's E-Lift - both also using our HPD10.

Testpilots showed impressive flights at the airshow on these motors. Strong climb-rates of more than 2m/s and very low noise-level of less than 50dB(A) set new standards for electric flying. Both drives are based on standard frames FB/Sportix and PAP 1400, using propellers of 1.3m diameter at 2000 Rpm. Different types and size of batteries can be supplied to stay airborn from 20 - 60 min without themalling.

For detailed specifications and prices ask SWING www.swing.de or www.papteam.de.

For those who prefer to make their own project we can supply drive chains (battery, charger, motor, controller, propeller and management system) directly. Ask www.geigerengineering.de for details.

Fuel Injection System Paramotor

Mar 18, 2009

Bailey Aviation has announced the arrival of electronic fuel injection system for paramotors. It was unveiled for the first time and flown at Las Candelas 2009 and is expected to be be available on all new V3-180 and 4V-200 engines as an option "soon." Initial fuel consumption test suggest a 15-20% improvement over the carbureted engine with a slight power increase.

See Bailey Aviation for more information.
 

Green Eagle PPG/PPC

Feb 28, 2009

Wheels just got bigger and the line between PPC and PPG blurred a bit more. The new Green Eagle PPC is out. They plan on doing assembly videos of both PPC, PPG, and PPG to PPC conversion kit instillation, torque guides, and others.

The FAR 103 version has the Black Polymer Rims verses heavier metal rims. This one weighed in at 238 which is 8 pounds heavier due to dual controls as a PPC. The PPG weighs in at 230 you can go with a lighter seat and take off 7 more pounds.

For more information visit USParagliding.com or write to ashtonb32@yahoo.com.

 

Thailand Paramotor and Prop Maker Selling To U.S.

Feb 11, 2009

A new entrant to the prop and paramotor maker is offering gear to the U.S. market. We don't have experience with them yet but hopefully they will be able to deliver as promised. ParamotorPropeller.com has complete paramotor, parts and price lists.

You can see the complete list of gear makers and paramotor-related services on the Resources page.

U.S. Fields a Paramotor Team

Jan 19, 2009

It's finally happening. The U.S. put up pilot into a global competition and they did quite well when pitted against counterparts flying the same tasks worldwide. Enough so that 3 were invited to take part in an international World Air Games scheduled for June, 2009 in Turin Italy. See USPPA.org for details. Yours truly was among those selected.

Thanks to Roy Beisswinger who put this thing together and to the other volunteers, especially David Rogers and Jeff Steinkamp who have put tons of energy into making the whole thing work.

 

England Gets Unlimited Fuel

Jan 19, 2009

We like to fancy our situation in the U.S. as among the most flexible but lately that has not so much been the case. Geoff Soden of ParamotorsUK sent us a note detailing how the CAA, England's FAA equivalent, has removed their fuel limit. We still have to adhere to the 5 gallon limit even for foot launchers. Not that many pilots would want to heft more than 30 pounds of fuel on their backpack units but it would be nice to have the option.

Kudos to an open government agency.

 

New Footflyer Products & Resources

Oct 11, 2008

Want another chance to qualify for the 2009 air games? You'll have to travel farther than Greenville, IL (unless you live in Europe)

 

2009 WAG Qualifier in Italy

Aug 9, 2008

Want another chance to qualify for the 2009 air games? You'll have to travel farther than Greenville, IL (unless you live in Europe) since this one is going to be held in Torino Aeritalia Airport, Italy. Pilots attending may have some advantage if they qualify because the organizers plan on flying the tasks with pylons in addition to doing them with sticks.

It's for paramotors and weightshifters and will be run on 27-28th September 2008. For more information, visit http://fivu.it/wag2009/index_en.htm.

 

New Importer for Dudek Paragliders

Aug 8, 2008

Ray McMahon has become the U.S. importer for Dudek paragliders. Dudek makes a number of models but is most famous for their reflex gliders, including the Plasma. FootFlyer hopes to review this one by the end of September, 2008 and will have it posted.

 

Low Hook-In Fresh Breeze Revealed

July 24, 2008

Fresh Breeze has introduced a new paramotor with low hook-ins and a dramatically different pivoting arm system. Southern Skies has an example of it and hopefully, I'll get my hands on it to review someday. It has some similarities to the Miniplane's system which I've reviewed and like. Only testing will tell.

 

Basse Ham 2008 Update

June 28th 2008

It's the largest gathering of PPG pilots ever to grace one field. Jeff Hamann reports there were 525 registered pilots and a mass launch apparently 325 lofted to a new record. He says there has been one injury, a midair, and the pilot is OK.

 

PPG Bible Edition 2 Story

June 6th 2008

The initial print of books was done in May 2006 with the expectation of lasting 3 to 5 years. That we ran out much earlier is mostly good and we took opportunity to improve. There have been many changes in the sport over the last two years and I'm amazed at what I've learned. For one thing, I went from having only flown 3 trike flights to having flown nearly every wheel-launch configuration out there. And wheels have become a bigger part of the sport. The new book reflects that reality while still remaining foot-centric.

Besides paramotoring, I've learned a lot about book production, photography, and Photoshop techniques. One that I've been using in magazine articles for the past couple years is the composite, where you overlay multiple shots of action on one picture with the same background. It conveys timing, an otherwise missing element from still pictures. The forward launch is a great example. There's a spread across two pages in Chapter 5 that features over 15 shots of a launch along with description. It's like video on paper and the new book uses it extensively. Plus, we paid extra for "bleeds," where the pictures/graphics can go all the way to ("bleed off") the edge. 

We've improved explanations, overall color, added lots of new pictures, more relevant pictures, added new diagrams and improved existing ones. New new technologies have been added along with new information, corrections and much more. There are going to be typos and errors but they have been greatly reduced, especially in substance.

We printed 30% more books this time so, since the "pipeline" is already full, can realistically expect this to last 3 to 5 years.

Hope you enjoy!
 

Air Festival of El Yelmo

Added June 4, 2008, Press release May 26th 2008

One of the major appointments for paragliding lovers in Spain, the International Air Festival (FIA), will be back on July 3 to 6 at the foot of the emblematic mountain of El Yelmo in the Sierra of Segura, province of Jaen.

Like in its previous editions, this great celebration of the aerial sports and activities developed in the air will have plenty of spectacles, by outstanding acrobats and flying teams of first level. Some of the highlights of the program are the paramotor night show of lights and fantasy by Paraddax (also known as “European Paramotor Team”); the return of the paragliding acro team SAT, formed by world champions of this discipline who perform the most radical manoeuvres; the Red Bull BASE jump team and the squad of parachutists of the Army, or the acrobatic airplanes of the RACE (Royal Air Club of Spain) carving the sky at full speed.

Among the new activities for this ninth edition, the Festival organizes a special endurance competition of mountain and paragliding, in which the pilot-athletes will have to make their way on foot to the takeoff of El Yelmo carrying their flying gear, to then fly down to the goal at the Festival premises. Also new is the 1st Paramotor Open of Freestyle, with impressive ground-skimming tasks at high speed that can be observed by the public. This is a qualifying competition for the World Air Games of Turin 2009.

Born in 1999 as Air Cinema Festival, El Yelmo keeps this section dedicated to the latest productions related to air activities, so it is a great place to learn about ground-breaking feats, epic trips in the lightest aircrafts or aerial adventures in the most remote corners of the world, through the films in competition coming from different countries. The films will be projected every night on the main stage of the FIA and in the Cinema by day, inside the air-conditioned Fair. Registration is still open for filmmakers who want to submit their works to the contest.

For pilots and companions looking for new sensations, there will be tandem flights in paragliders and helicopter rides in the area, games and workshops for the children, and astronomical observations from the mountain every night. At night, the celebration or ‘fiesta’ of the Air will continue with batucadas (Brazilian and Africa rythms), DJs sessions and concerts by well known Spanish bands. The objective of El Yelmo Festival is that all the participants enjoy the most playful and visual side of flying in a fun weekend for both aficionados and those who feel curious about this activity.

You can see the complete program as well as information on the event and the zone in their Website: www.fiaelyelmo.com. Or email comunicacion@fiaelyelmo.com.
 

Website Added

May 23, 2008

The website http://www.FlyPPG.com has been separated from FootFlyer and its own content added. There's still a link here but it will have it's own little verbiage with a slightly different twist on why humans should fly PPG.

English Exclusion

Apr 18, 2008 Geoff Soden

The British Microlight Aircraft Association (BMAA) has dealt a blow to foot-launched paramotor pilots. After a failed attempt at updating the

ir training program, insurance was not renewed by the underwriter. The organization then stopped issuing foot launch ratings. Hopefully we can find out more details about what exactly they couldn't agree on that was seen as so necessary to the insurers. The relevance is that, if it's bad for the insurance company, might it not be bad for the pilots?

Geoff Soden adds "If anyone is about to start training In the UK or abroad we suggest that you check the validity of the course's on offer or BMAA instructor training overseas which will now be null and void."

The syllabus is still useful as a guide and the organization will continue to support foot-launched flight in other ways. The British Hang gliding and Paragliding Association (BHPA) also represents paramotor pilots in the U.K. Here is the BMAA Press Release.
 

First Production Prototype Electric To Fly

Apr 4, 2008, Updated Apr 18, 2008 The Electric Paramotor came. And it was good. Here is the review.

The Electric Paramotor cometh. Clive Coote of Yuneec International tells us that the first production electric paramotor has been Fedex'd to the U.S. and will debut at Sun-N-Fun. Flights may be made elsewhere due to the many flight restrictions there. Clive has offered us the opportunity to try the machine and a review will be posted, including pictures, here on FootFlyer and on ElectricPPG.com. I hope to fly it Tuesday at Sun-N-Fun and again on Wednesday in a venue with no flight restrictions, maybe Christmas, FL.

Experienced pilots (PPG3 or equivalent) are welcome to try the machine. There will only be one battery pack so we'll get to see how it holds up to a couple days of moderately heavy use. This is likely the iceberg's tip of fundamental change in our sport. Electrics won't replace gas engines for a long time but will become a significant portion of the market as technology improves. A look at the Radio Controlled model airplane arena provides some prescience: probably half of every R/C model sold is electric powered now. Yuneec seems to be taking the Tesla Motors tack, bringing a classy looking performer to market right off the bat.

We'll soon see!

Flight For Life

Mar 29, 2008

An international team of pilots is joining together in a first-ever crossing of oceans along the Panama Canal. The flight will be publicized on Panamanian TV, in Paramotor and in Powered Sport Flying Magazines. Eight pilots, representing Panama, Canada, the U.S., and Germany will participate in the 40 mile aerial trek over jungle shrouded land, roughly paralleling the famous Canal.

Remy Swaab and others have worked through the many bureaucratic hurdles to make the flight possible. The entire experience will be documented by Phil Russman of Lite Touch Films, creator of the very popular "Why We Fly" and "Risk & Reward" DVD's. The team of pilots featured in "Why We Fly" is being reunited for the mission and several of them will remain for a second segment aboard Jeff Hamann's catamaran yacht, the Gloriamaris.

Kobra PPG

Mar 28, 2008

Italian paramotor maker Kobra has lit up production as of February, 2008. The machines look to be a similar style to the Pap, with low attachments and pivoting arms. They use the Sky 100 liquid cooled motor that seems to be making a bit of a comeback. There are no U.S. importers as of this writing.

For more information, visit KobraPPG.com. It's a nicely presented site but may take a while to load the flash-heavy content.

Fresh Breeze Tanks Up

Mar 10, 2008

For those who want to go long, Fresh Breeze has introduced new, larger, gas tanks for several of their frames. The 13 Liter tank for the Snap will probably fly a 170 pound pilot on a Silex type wing for over 3 hours.

The Monster/Solo frames also benefit from a 16.5 Liter tank. Pictures and more information is available here.

Illinois Ultralight Safety Seminar

Mar 09, 2008

A sizely group of ultralighters and potentials came to Springfield, IL on Saturday, March 8 for a seminar on various topics. A number of useful presentations were given and gear was shown on site.

I was the sideshow, giving a presentation on something I'm barely qualified to do, let alone talk about with authority: flying the Nanolight hang glider trike. Yes, I own one of these in partnership with Harry Rosset and Roy Beisswinger, the organizer, asked me to do a presentation. The talk was about perspective, not expertise, since I don't have much time on the craft and only have time in the one craft, a Samba. Frank Beagle MC'd and was most gracious. It was good to see many familiar faces.

If you've not been to one, I highly recommend it. Jeff Steinkamp displayed his PPG and, next time, we'll have to give him company.  The seminar is usually in February but building problems prompted a postponement.

Convention News

Mar 08, 2008

As most have gathered, there is no convention this year in Florida but there are a couple fly-ins happening. The first at Paul Czarnecki's place near Naples and next at Mike Britt/Eric Dufour's place near Orlando. Eric's is limited to 50 pilots so let them know right away (info@paratour.com) if you plan to be there.

The good news is that we are planning a convention for 2009 and it will be at a large, wide-open field either near Panama Beach or Orlando. We've were granted liability insurance to have a convention this year but it was just too late in the game to put something together. Having insurance is a big, big deal because all the large venues we looked at required it. USPPA will be setting up the insurance.

Wing Maintenance DVD's Released

Feb 12, 2008

Michelle Daniele of American Flyer PPG, also known as Paramotor City West, has released two DVD's about wing maintenance and inspection.

The first video, Understanding Your Wing Inspection comes in a CD (media file) or DVD and includes the following: 1) Step by step explanations of the inspection process, 2) Slide show with full color pictures, 3) Explains of what all the test numbers mean, 4) other services offered.

Next up is Wing Tips, a 45 minute video to familiarize pilots with their wing, how to care for it and how to perform small tasks without having to send it in to a repair facility. It is set up in chapter form for easy access to the area of your interest and includes: a. How to fold your wing, b. How to store your wing, c. Familiarization and wing terminology, d. How to clean your wing, e. How to change and order a line, f. How to measure a line correctly, g. Checking your trimmers, h. Proper brake line knot, i. How to make small repairs.

Understanding Your Wing Inspection is $14.99 plus $3.00 shipping and Wing Tips is $29.95 plus $3.00 shipping.

You can order the videos from www.AmericanFlyerPPG.com. If the paypal is not setup, you can email payment, using paypal, to information@americanFlyerPPG.com.

Tandem Exemption Efforts

Feb 2, 2008

As of January 31, 2008 the tandem exemption that allowed two-place PPG expired. FAR 103 has always been for single place flying but, to allow safer learning, an exemption was granted to several organizations to allow tandem training.

I've working with USUA and USPPA in an effort to get a new exemption. The USPPA submitted an exemption request in 2002 and worked out the details with Sue Gardner. After Sue left her post nothing else was done. The USPPA joined forces with USUA and didn't act further on its own application.

The USPPA's proposal is based on the USHPA's (hang gliding and paragliding association) tandem program where a tandem pilot must first have significant experience and demonstrate high-level skills.

On Feb 1, I talked with an inspector at AFS 800 where the exemption requests for this are handled. He assured me that they did not intend to leave us hang. He also reiterated they wanted to make sure any exemption we get doesn't overlap those craft under Sport Pilot. The sport pilot rule specifically excludes PPGers by virtue of the wing and/or motor attaching to a harness rather than a frame.

The gist is that we will be getting an exemption in some form but probably only be for foot launch. That would be unfortunate but we must do what we can. If the USPPA exemption request is approved, it would be much like the USHPA program where prospective tandem pilots acquire experience flying with other rated pilots before being loosed on new students. The prospective tandem pilot must also be an instructor which, surprisingly, is not required of USHPA tandem pilots.

We should know more on Feb 5 and I'll pass any news on here.

Coming Competition

Jan 19, 2008

Who's the best pilot on the planet? We're about to find out.

Several developments and some committed individuals have combined to finally give U.S. paramotorists their chance to compete on a world stage and a level playing field. And you won't even need a passport. Nor will you need a fast wing—this one is all about precision flying. No economy tasks and no cross country tasks.

The FAI is selecting the best 100 pilots to compete in 2009's World Air Games.

Each country will host a competition using exactly the same rules, scoring system, course dimensions and requirements as every other country. Total scores will be tabulated then compared across all countries and only the top 100 pilots will be invited to Italy for a low-level match up of high level top dogs.

The big news is that Roy Beisswinger, Powered Sport Flying radio show host and Powered Sport Flying magazine columnist, will be hosting the U.S. event in Greenville, IL. You can bet your booty that I and the Enterprise will be there. Hopefully we'll also see Stan Kasica and Eric Dufour (previous U.S. Champions). Eric is, unfortunately (since he usually beats me), my winning pick if we can get his lovely loving wife, Elisabeth, to go along with it.

Thanks to Roy for stepping up to the plate. His flying area is huge and he's got plentiful expertise in hosting large competition events. This will be an FAI sanctioned event that the USUA and USPPA will likely sponsor. Don't miss out. Can't wait. Better start practicing!

Dates aren't set yet but we'll keep you posted here and elsewhere. They'll probably be sometime in July or August when the weather is best. Roy will be on the PPG Radio Show soon to talk about it.

Gloves

Jan 14, 2008

Darren from Connecticut Paragliding shared this tidbit for cold weather flyers. He found some gloves at Home Depot that are great for paramotoring and only cost about $10 a pair. He uses them at his school and has found them effective, especially given their cost.

Electric PPG to U.S.

Jan 7, 2008

Electrons may yet propel us. Yuneec International is planning to bring several of their machines to the U.S. national convention tentatively planned (hoped) for April 3 through 6. Even if the convention doesn't happen there will be some event on that date and pilots will be able to see the electrons fly.

Yuneec has reported that three pilots are in South China flying the motors to wring out any possible problems.

More details are on www.ElectricPPG.com

Tim Kaiser is now capably running the business end of FootFlyer.com..


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