Educational by Chapter of the Powered Paragliding Bible

I: First Flight

01 Training Process

02 Gearing Up

03 Handling the Wing

04 Prep For 1st Flight

05 The Flight

06 Flying With Wheels 

II: Spreading Wings

07 Weather Basics

08 The Law

09 Airspace   

10 Flying Anywhere

11 Controlled Airports

12 Setup & Mx

13 Flying Cross Country

14 Flying With Others

III: Mastery

15 Adv Ground Handling

16 Precision Flying

17 Challenging Sites

18 Advanced Maneuvers

19 Risk Management

20 Competition

21 Free Flight Transition

IV: Theory

22 Aerodynamics

23 Motor & Propeller

24 Weather & Wind

25 Roots: Our History

V: Choosing Gear

26 The Wing

27 The Motor Unit

28 Accessories

29 Home Building

VI: Getting the Most

30 Other Uses

31 Traveling With Gear

32 Photography

--- Not in book ---

33 Organizing Fly-Ins

34 Places To Fly

35 Preserving the Sport

36 Tandem

Chapter 08: Powered Paragliding Law

Feb 17, 2007 | Section II | Common Sense & The Law

AC 103

FAR 91 for Ultralighters

FAR Preamble 


Enforcement Run Amok 

Chapter 8 

Harassing Animals 

Who Owns The Air

Filing A NOTAM

Washington Airspace  

Shipping Legality 

It's Probably Illegal  

Base Jumping Legality  


Airports & Ultralights  

Getting Banned  

Flying Wilderness Areas

Jets & Hang Gliders Sylmar

Probably Not Legal  

PPG & Airports? 

PPG Base Jumping  

2010 Tandem Exemption  

Getting Shot At   

Sport Pilot

Rogue Inspector

Is This Legal? Clouds/Vis

The U.S. has less regulation for powered paragliding than most countries. Many places haven't even addressed the sport, so it's probably illegal since anything that flies and carries a human would be a regulated aircraft.

Our freedom is as precious as it is fragile. By knowing the law, following it and, most importantly, practicing courteous common sense, we can preserve this amazing freedom.

The single biggest guiding principal of flying our craft should be:

Don't piss anybody off!

Of course you need to know when and where you can fly but, if you follow the rule above, you'll not likely have to demonstrate your superior knowledge. 

The book's Chapter 8 provides a concise resource to understanding our regulations but this material is included for a quick reference and to update some of the violations that were mentioned in the book.

Chapter 9 covers airspace and how to read charts but you can also get some good tips on the subject from FootFlyer's airspace coverage.

Remember, even if your flying may be technically legal, anybody feeling threatened by your actions may contact the police. They are obliged to contact the FAA. If the FAA believes you were endangering them, or anyone else by your operation, you can be found in violation of our FAR 103.

Knowing the Law

Know the law because frequently the enforcers won't. In Sept, 2007, a paramotor pilot in Texas was ticketed for violating a local ordinance prohibiting aircraft from flying below 500 feet. The law applied to aircraft without mentioning ultralights but even that law was flawed. The problem is, once the ticket is written, you must spend  time defending yourself.

That ticket was written from ignorance of a law that itself arose from ignorance. Remarkably, this local office never noticed that federal law rules navigable airspace. Cities or other local governing bodies cannot usurp airspace. Rightfully so; can you imagine trying to fly an airplane across the country while trying to handle a myriad of local laws? They can make noise ordinances but they cannot regulate the airspace. Federal law, which overrides state and local law, makes it clear that regulating airspace is the jurisdiction of federal government.

Even the birds have protections. See this piece to find out why we can't be seen "harassing" the birds from aloft.

Law Enforcement/Police Use of Paramotor

Here is information related to the topic under Chapter 30.


LooksBad.jpg (148116 bytes)

Yes, this looks bad, flying over all that congested area. Had it been more than a trick of the camera, we'd have to chastise David, the pilot. But he was, in fact, over lake Michigan when I pointed my zoom lens at him to make it look bad.

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