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

For Instructors: Paramotor Tandems & Wheels

A quick note. None of this applies to solo ultralight operations on wheels or otherwise.

Log of Jeff Goin's Tandem Certification   Instructing Book

The USPPA tandem exemption only applies to foot launched instruction. Flying a wheeled tandem is in violation of the sport pilot regulation, not our exemption, and carries significant fines. Plus, if anything happens and your passenger sues, it would look decidedly bad in court. A disgruntled passenger or competitor could also make life unpleasant.

Sadly, even though the wording suggests that the motor should be able to support its own weight, they have proclaimed that wheels cannot be used in any way.

Flying tandems with any non-certified wheeled craft is a violation of the Sport Pilot Rule. You can help by making sure that anyone who does so appreciates that they risk a valuable training tool for all, let alone the consequence of a violation.

Typical Tandem Setup & Notes 

Sadly, the FAA has ruled that even this type of contraption is not allowed under the exemption.


There are many varieties of the typical tandem setup but all incorporate similar aspects. They must do several things.

1. They must separate the student from the instructor and give the wing a place to hang from. Connections should never rely on any single point so, if any part fails, the student and instructor remain hanging and be able to control the craft.

2. Must provide a way for adjusting the hang point so, during takeoff and landing, the student leaves the ground before the instructor. This can be done in several ways but must be able to be fixed sufficiently securely that it cannot move in flight. The illustration shows holes in a cross brace which would obviously be fixed.

3. Provide a way of handling thrust so it does not push awkwardly against the instructor or student.

4. Provide a way of corralling the student during launch. This is typically done with a U-shaped push bar as shown.

5. Consider only giving students only partial control over brakes. For example, an extra set of brake toggles on that operate through bungee material. That way, a panicking student doesn't have enough authority to cause an accident. At least one serious accident happened when a panicking student pulled the brakes all the way down and held them there until the two pilots crashed.

Once they've had a few flights, then replace the bungee add-ons with either normal brake extensions or just hand them the regular toggles.

Tandem Setup with Wheeled Support

Any addition of wheels must never support more than the motor and harness's weight. The illustration at left is one idea. There could be others, of course, but be leery of trying to get around the rule. The instructor and student must always support at least their own weight during the entire launch.

It is incumbent on us collectively to operate within the rule. If we don't, if we're seen as trying to "get around" it for the purpose of recreation, than the ability of instructors to legally give tandem training will be rescinded.

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