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 30: Other Uses

Jan 17, 2007 | Section VI: Getting the Most Out of PPG  |  Search & Rescue

OK, we can't make an airline out of it but we can put it to good use occasionally. The beauty of which is that we can have fun at the same time. As if we need reason.

Beware—whenever our primary focus is moved from the flying, risk goes up dramatically which is why pilots should be highly skilled and experienced before attempting other purposes. Of course that depends on what you're doing, but even simple tasks will divert attention from a pilot's normal routine.

For example, search and rescue usually doesn't involve much extra gear or unusual flying, but the external focus diverts attention from looking for wires, minding safe landing zones and fuel-remaining awareness.

With that understanding, pilots can engage other activities as covered in the PPG Bible and here with only slightly more risk than their regular flying.

This section adds information that is not in the book due to its changing nature or it came out after the book was published.

Flying Paramotor with a Streamer

Although this is covered in the book, it's abbreviated coverage. USPPA Instructor Had Robinson has a thorough article about deploying very long streamers from the air. This method has some advantages if you don't mind launching with a bag full of streamer.

My preferred method is what banner towers use and what's shown in video 3 -- they peel it off the ground by picking up the leading portion first so it doesn't drag. But if you want to take the banner somewhere or climb with it a long way, there's a LOT less drag to be had by using some sort of deployment bag. That's a lot of what Had describes along with appropriate cautions.

Paramotor / Ultralight For Police or other Law Enforcement

Palm Bay Police used Paramotors in 2009

2017 Apr 25 Can law enforcement use a paramotor in spite of FAR 103's limitation to sport or recreational use? There is a blanket exemption that makes this legal under certain conditions. Mark Renkens of the Palm Bay Police department has experience with it and these are some observations.

Paramotor has very limited use and requires sufficient skill as to make it difficult to staff a reliable presence. Wheels help but it still requires participants to become good enough so that they can reliable launch in a variety of conditions. Reliability and limited weather capability made it impractical for their department to continue the program in spite of having gear provided at very low cost.

As to legality, the FAA has a document that explains "Public Use". If that PDF link is dead, search for "FAA Advisory Circular on Public Aircraft Operations".


Besides being a simple blast to fly, the PPG lends itself to other aerial pursuits. Search and rescue, photography, scouting and others. Pictured is Bob Peters cruising the mountains west of Colorado Springs.

Police Using Paramotors

Here is a video showing the Palm Bay Police using a paramotor in 2009. They are no longer using it, having tried several variations of ultralight flight and ultimately determining it wasn't sufficiently dependable.


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