FAQ's

        1617 Chateau Dr
      Olivehurst, Ca. 95961
      (530) 308-3523
Description
This Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) detail sheet is primarily intended to address many of the general and technical questions that frequently and repeatedly arise with regard to Powered Paragliding (PPG)
 

                                             Table of contents

  Basic Questions
What is a Powered Paraglider?
What is a paraglider?
What are the main component parts of a Paraglider?
Is a Paraglider the same thing as a parachute?
Why would anyone want to fly a Paraglider when they could fly a Hang glider?
What is the difference between a Hang glider and a Paraglider?
How much does a Paraglider cost?
How long does a Paraglider last?
What's the difference between a Powered Paraglider and a Powered Parachute?
How much does a PPG cost?
How safe is it?
What about used equipment?
I found this really great deal on eBay...


   Learning to Fly
Can I teach myself to fly?
Do I need to learn to paraglide (without the motor) first?
Where can I find an instructor in my area?
Do I need to buy equipment before I can learn to fly?
How long does it take?
Is there a weight limit?
Is there a minimum or maximum age?


   Equipment Questions
WARNING: Unscrupulous vendors
What is the best wing?
What size wing should I get?
What is the best motor?
Electric or Pull Start?
What about motor size?
I want to start out with a big motor so I can do tandems later...
Do I need a clutch?
Which is better, fuel tank above motor or tank below motor?
Which is better, high hang points or low hang points?
Do I need a reserve parachute?
What octane fuel should I use?
Can (should) I use aviation gasoline (AVGAS)?


   Building your own
I need to save money. Can I build my own motor?
Does anybody sell plans?
I have some great ideas for a new motor, better than anything else out there...
Can I sew my own wing?


   Maintenance
Re-drive Belts
Troubleshooting Re-drive Belts
Where can I get a replacement belt?
How do I set the proper re-drive belt tension?
How do I replace my re-drive bearings?
Rubber engine mounts
Propeller bolt torque


 Legal and Airspace
  United States
Do I need a license to fly a powered paraglider?
What regulations must I follow?
Where can I fly?
Can I use a PPG for a business such as aerial photography?
Can I put advertising on my wing?
  Other Countries


   Radio and Electronics
Radios (Talking to other pilots)
Radio Helmets
Altimeters
GPS


  Travel and Transport
Short distance transport (from home to the field)
Long distance (traveling to a fly-in?)
Can I take my paramotor on an airliner?


   Other Questions
Can I get Insurance?
What about clothing, gloves, etc., for winter flying?


Basic Questions

What is a Powered Paraglider?
A Powered Paraglider is a Paraglider with a motor added, allowing launch from level ground. The motor can be a backpack style motor, with launch and landing on the pilot's feet, or on a "trike" or "cart". Paramotor is another name, less used in the U.S. than Europe due to trademark infringement lawsuit threats by the now defunct Paramotor, who stole it the name from the original paramotor company Adventure Paramoteurs.
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What is a paraglider?
A paraglider is a foot-launched, ram-air, aerofoil canopy, designed to be flown and landed with no other energy requirements than the wind, gravity and the pilot's muscle power.
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What are the main component parts of a Paraglider?
A canopy (the actual "wing"), lines (the cords by which the pilot is suspended below the canopy), risers (small straps connecting lines) and a harness.
In addition, the brake cords provide speed and directional control and carabiners are used to connect the risers and the harness together.
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Is a Paraglider the same thing as a parachute?
No. A Paraglider is similar to a modern, steerable skydiving canopy, but different in several important ways. The Paraglider is a foot-launched device, so there is no "drogue" 'chute or "slider", and the construction is generally much lighter, as it doesn't have to withstand the sudden shock of opening at high velocities. The Paraglider usually has more cells and thinner risers than a parachute.
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What is the difference between a Hang glider and a Paraglider?
A Hang glider has a rigid frame maintaining the shape of the wing, with the pilot usually flying in a prone position. The Paraglider canopy shape is maintained only by air pressure and the pilot is suspended in a sitting or supine position, similar to a lazy boy. The Hang glider has a "cleaner" aerodynamic profile and generally is capable of flying at much higher speeds than a Paraglider.
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Why would anyone want to fly a Paraglider when they could fly a Hang glider?
A Paraglider folds down into a package the size of a large knapsack and can be carried easily. Conversely, a Hang glider needs a vehicle with a roof-rack for transportation to and from the flying site, as well as appreciable time to set-up and strip-down. It's also somewhat easier to learn to fly a Paraglider.
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How much does a Paraglider cost?
A new motor costs between US$5800 - $9000. A new wing costs in between $2500 - $3600. The cost of a complete PPG training is $1600. This training includes at least 20 flights, all fuel, and helmet/radios. If it takes you 7 days or 7 years the training costs the same.
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How long does a Paraglider last?
General wear and tear (especially the latter) and deterioration from exposure to ultra-violet light usually limit the useful lifetime of a canopy to somewhere in the region of four years. This obviously depends strongly on use.
More commonly, paraglider life is measured in (flight) hours, with 200-300 hours being typical.
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What's the difference between a Powered Paraglider and a Powered Parachute?
PPG is a Powered Paraglider, as described above. Foot launched or wheel launched, it has a motor between 15-30 horsepower, and a high performance elliptical wing, the same as used for unpowered paragliding. Control is via hand operated "brakes" on the wing.
PPC is Powered Parachute. These are much larger, more expensive, usually with a much less efficient rectangular parachute (although elliptical wings are becoming more popular nowadays), always wheel launched, and 40-70 horsepower. Control is via foot operated steering bars which operate the wing brakes. It is typically towed on a trailer. Cost ranges from $9000 to $15000.
Some countries, including Canada, lump Powered Paragliders and Powered Parachutes all together for regulatory purposes. In the U.S., the defining line seems to be foot launching and some details of wing attachment (it may be possible to register a PPG trike as a "Light Sport Aircraft" (LSA) in the Powered Parachute category, which allows passenger carrying but requires a pilot certificate, but foot launched PPG's cannot be registered as LSA).
One more thing: Parasailing is getting towed around the harbor behind a boat, usually in Acapulco after you've had one too many drinks. In this case you're a passenger on a thrill ride, not a pilot.

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How much does a PPG cost?
A new motor costs between US$5800 - $7200. A new wing costs in between $2000 - $3500. The cost of a complete package (motor and wing) from BlueSkyPPG includes training. If you choose to purchase your unit and wing elsewhere training is $1200. This training is unlimited until you solo, if it takes you 7 days or 7 years the training costs the same.

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How safe is it?
Like many sports, powered paragliding safety depends largely on the pilot. Pilots who like to make radical maneuvers at low altitude, or who choose to fly in stronger weather conditions, are more likely to get hurt than pilots who just fly around smoothly in gentle conditions. That said, what limited statistics are available seem to indicate that PPG is about as safe (in terms of fatalities per flight hour) as general aviation. Minor injuries (sprained ankle, etc.) are doubtless more likely. Compared to other forms of ultra-light aviation, you're probably more likely to have a minor injury, but less likely to get killed. The database that is available has 50 deaths recorded in a 30 year period worldwide. Bear in mind that when flying, you are responsible for your own safety, unlike a motorcyclist who is at the mercy of other idiot drivers on the highway.

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What about used equipment?
Used equipment is available and can sometimes be a great deal, but the rapid advance in technology over the past 10 years or so means that there is a lot of obsolete (and sometimes dangerous) equipment out there, even though it may be in "good" condition. Unscrupulous or unknowing sellers offer this "almost new" stuff to unsuspecting buyers. All used gear should be checked by an instructor or other experienced pilot before purchasing!

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I found this really great deal on eBay...
See above for comments on used gear. Even new equipment may be of questionable design, or unsuitable for a beginner. All reputable dealers will sell to a beginner only as part of a training program, or if the student is working with an instructor elsewhere.
Many instructors will only train new students on equipment they have sold the student. While reasons may vary and a profit motive may seem apparent, the dealer/instructor is best positioned to support your piloting career through equipment they can obtain parts and service. There is some equipment that is extremely difficult to find parts, and thus the "great deal" may not be a great deal if you have to wait months to find the part.
Consult with your instructor that will train you before buying any gear from any third party.
Learning to Fly
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Learning to Fly

Can I teach myself to fly?
It's been said that anybody who teaches them self to fly has a fool for an instructor. Yes, some people have successfully self trained, especially in the early days. However, for every one who succeeded, there is a cost. Usually many botched launch attempts, broken propellers, body parts, and great financial burden etc. The odds are that if you self train, you will spend more on equipment repairs than you would have paid for instruction. Even if you do succeed, you will likely miss out on the finer points that an instructor would teach you... which can make a big difference in safety over the long run.
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Do I need to learn to paraglide (without the motor) first?
Opinions vary on this. If you live (or will train) in a mountainous or coastal area where free flying (unpowered paragliding) is possible, it's an excellent idea. You can learn the basic flying techniques before risking the expensive motor equipment, and gain a better appreciation of micrometeorology as well. However, many if not most paramotor pilots start with no free flying experience and do just fine.
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Where can I find an instructor in my area?
You are in luck! BlueSkyPPG is local to the Sacramento area. This is our full time business so nothing else takes priority to your training. You can call anytime for basic information and to set up an orientation. This orientation is an opportunity for you to come out and see others flying and training. Orientation flights with an instructor are available for a small fee.
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Do I need to buy equipment before I can learn to fly?
No. We supply all equipment to get you started. You will not need equipment until you have the minimum of 20 flights and we also have rental equipment available. Most students use the school equipment to begin training and eventually get their own as they progress. Much of the training and practice is done on the ground prior to flying and must be practiced repetitively so that it becomes second nature.
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How long does it take?
It depends on the individual. We recommend 7 days of continuous training or more commonly 1 or 2 days per week for several weeks. We can’t control outside problems like weather. Most students take approximately 3 lessons they solo if they come once per week. The most difficult part of learning to fly is handling the wing on the ground, which takes hours of practice to become really proficient, and must be mastered before the first attempt to actually fly. Existing pilots of other types of aircraft may be able to move quickly through some parts of the training (regulations, aerodynamics), but the basic flying of a PPG is completely different from any other aircraft, with little transfer from other types of flying.
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Is there a weight limit?
The short answer is yes. Most units are designed to carry a person between 160 pounds and 215 pounds. We are one of two paramotor dealers in the US that has the Adventure S4 which is suitable for pilots and passengers up to 440 pounds. Since it is a tandem rated motor it can safely take single pilots up to the same weight. It is important to note that a 350 pound person is not likely to be able to foot launch and must use a trike. The trike has a max weight limit of 500 pounds but if you take into account that a hard landing from a 350 pound person may increase the G-forces on the trike and can bend it due to their single weight in the back of the trike as opposed to a typical two-person configuration where the weight is distributed. Basically, good instruction will prevent any issues from arising when you begin to fly.
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Is there a minimum or maximum age?
Legally no. They should be able to carry the motor alone with little or no assistance. Usually a 14 year old can do this no problem. We have seen student pilots as young as 11 solo and as old as 82. The typical age group for this sport is 35-70 years old!
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Equipment Questions

WARNING: Unscrupulous vendors
Sadly, there are some vendors selling outdated or poor quality equipment, or equipment unsuited to a pilot's weight or experience level. Typically these vendors will encourage you to "order now to receive a special discount", or claim "we are the ONLY (whatever)". If an equipment vendor makes statements like this, or is willing to ship equipment to anybody without verifying a new pilot will be getting training, beware! Fortunately there are only a few such vendors, and their reputations are well known to the PPG community. For legal reasons I won’t name the worst offenders here, but before buying equipment from anybody (except an instructor you have personally met and trust), please do yourself a favor and do some checking.
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What is the best wing?
There is no single "best" wing. There are many excellent wings available today, with new ones coming out all the time. The wing does need to be properly sized for your weight as a too-large or too-small wing can be dangerous to fly. Beginner wings should be DHV 1 or 1-2 rated (DHV is a German standards organization which tests Paragliders and rates them according to their flight characteristics). There is also AFNOR, the French standards organization. AFNOR rated wings are generally for PPG beginner pilots.
Your instructor should be the first place you should go for advice on buying a wing. Your instructor will take items into account such as your body weight, motor weight, altitude, and typical terrain you will be flying over to properly size you into the safest wing for your normal flying conditions. Two identical pilots, one flying in Colorado versus one flying on the gulf coast may have two different recommended wings and motors. 
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What size wing should I get?
Wings are sized according to the weight they will carry. If your wing is too large, you will fly slower, and collapses will be more likely as the slower flight speed means the wing's internal pressure will be lower. If your wing is too small, you'll fly faster (and takeoffs and landings will be faster too). Collapses will be less likely, but collapse recovery may be more violent.
For free flying (no motor) you should shoot for the middle of the wing's weight range. If you're motor flying you will want to be a bit on the heavy side. As a general rule, if you're in the middle of the wing's weight range without the motor and the added motor weight puts you near the top or even somewhat over, you're fine. Note: This applies to the DHV/AFNOR weight rating. DULV (another standards organization) weight ratings take the motor weight into account, so you should be within the DULV weight range with the motor. Most wings have only a DHV/AFNOR rating; some wings intended primarily for motoring have a DULV rating, while a very few have both. 
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What is the best motor?
As with the wing, there is no "best" motor. Most of the motors available today are good; the "best" motor is one your instructor is familiar with (or sells), so he can help you with parts and any issues that may arise. Also, it can be helpful to buy the same type of motor that other pilots in your area own. Different motor manufacturers emphasize different features. Adventure brand units have been around the longest and have the most “options” like Tachometer on the throttle, CDI (electronic ignition), electric start, and decompression valves.
How you will transport your motor may affect your decision. See the section on Travel and Transport. 
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Electric or Pull Start?
Some motors offer electric start options while others offer pull start options, and there are some that have both combined. Electric start offers the easiest method to restart an engine in the air while pull start units can be anywhere from 5 to 12 lbs lighter as they eliminate the battery, starter, flywheel, and charging system. Some pull-started motors can be started in the air while others can't (don't always believe the manufacturer's claims in this case!)
 
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What about motor size?
Again like the wing, the motor must be sized to your own size. A small person doesn't need (and can't handle) a great big motor, while a small lightweight motor will be insufficient power for a really big guy.
As there are a wide range of motors, there is also a wide range of horsepower options. A pilot at sea level will need less horsepower than a unit launched at 5000' above sea level. These are questions your instructor/dealer/trainer will be able to properly advise you before your purchase. 
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I want to start out with a big motor so I can do tandems later...
This is a bad idea unless you are heavier than the 215 pounds mentioned earlier. Foot-launching a tandem PPG with a passenger is a surprisingly difficult task. It will take you upwards of a hundred hours before you develop the skill and experience to safely conduct a tandem flight. You will enjoy the sport more, and progress faster with properly sized equipment. Tandem rated motors are large, weigh more, and are very powerful, usually too powerful for a beginner. A tandem wing is somewhat difficult and potentially dangerous to fly solo unless you are a bigger pilot that can maintain cell pressure adequately with your body weight.
In most countries, including the U.S., you must have some form of official qualification to conduct tandems. In the U.S., that is done through one of several ultralight organizations which have an exemption from the ultralight single-person rule. This exemption is intended only for instructors to teach people how to fly using tandem flights. Sorry, you can't give your buddy a ride. Than again I still have yet to see the PPG police…
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Do I need a clutch?
A clutch allows the motor to run without the prop turning. You don't "need" a clutch and some higher power engines do not use them as they might wear out quicker but they do offer a few advantages:
• The starter and battery can be smaller as they don't need to turn the prop
• It is easier to warm the engine, or ground handle the wing, if the prop is not turning
• The engine can be left on for landings which allows you to abort your landing without the danger of a spinning prop tangling in the lines

And a few disadvantages:
• It adds a extra weight on manual start machines
• One more thing to go wrong though they do appear to be quite reliable
• It is not possible to instantly stop the prop (by turning off the engine) as it will continue to free wheel. However, the free spinning, unpowered prop only turns a few times and are very unlikely to cut lines.
• Clutch style PPG’s are generally not as powerful due to the engine-clutch-prop connection.
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Which is better, fuel tank above motor or tank below motor?
It probably doesn't matter. Proponents of bottom mounted tanks talk about the risk of fuel leaking on a hot motor and starting an in-flight fire. However, fuel simply dripping onto a hot engine is unlikely to ignite; a spark or other source of ignition is required.
Top mounted tanks are required for machines using float carburetors unless an external fuel pump is used. The more common diaphragm carburetors have a built in fuel pump.
A bottom mounted tank can be more susceptible to damage in a hard landing (and at least one has caught fire in this situation). The only in-flight fire I've heard of involving a top mounted tank was caused by a rag that got dropped behind the muffler. 
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Which is better, high hang points or low hang points?
It depends on user preference. Proponents of low hang point’s say it's more like a free flight (unpowered) harness, and this is only somewhat true--having to balance 45+ pounds of motor/fuel will never allow it to be very much like free-flight. Some say that low hang points allow more weight shift control and this may be true, but weight shift ability is more a matter of the relative position of the hang points and the machine/pilot's center of gravity (CG).
High hang points tend to provide a more "stable" feel and less balance issues, possibly at the expense of ease launching.
If you are considering a machine with low hang points, you need to be sure your bodyweight and the weight of the motor unit are compatible. As the risers hook in below and in front of your shoulders, the cg adjustment is also below your shoulders. A light pilot on a heavy unit may put the risers uncomfortably close to the pilot’s shoulders, possibly to the point of limiting movement. Moving the CG too far forward (to move the risers away from the pilot’s shoulders) may cause the propeller angle to be tilted downward too far. This can and has caused torque and asymmetric blade thrust issues which can lead to a dangerous situation. The longer the propeller, the more critical this becomes. Low hang points are a great option, if set up properly. 
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Do I need a reserve parachute?
Carrying a reserve parachute is a personal choice each pilot must make. The pilot must evaluate the risks they are willing to take, and the conditions of the flight.
The United States Powered Paragliding Association (USPPA) and the United States Hang-gliding Association (USHGA) both recommend the use of a reserve for any flight in which the pilot will be high enough to successfully deploy the reserve if needed. Most manufacturers recommend at least 200 feet of altitude to successfully deploy a reserve, but reserve parachutes can and have been successfully deployed as low as 80 feet.
Talking with your instructor about the use of a reserve is highly recommended as he can better explain and help you evaluate the potential risks involved with the sport.
Most reserves cost between $500 and $800 and usually require the purchase of a reserve container, reserve bridles, and mounting hardware to attach to a PPG. If you are not familiar with reserves and how they operate, please let a professional (your instructor) install your reserve on your PPG.
Note that unlike skydiving reserves, in which the main canopy is cut away before deployment, paragliding reserves are designed to open at low speeds and deploy with the paraglider still attached to the pilot.
Free flight pilots flying in thermic or turbulent conditions almost always carry a reserve. Many motor pilots flying in calm conditions and/or at low altitudes feel that it isn't worth the extra weight and bulk. 
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What octane fuel should I use?
There are a lot of misconceptions about fuel octane. Octane rating indicates one thing: resistance to detonation. Higher octane fuel does NOT run "cooler", and vice versa, provided the fuel has a high enough octane to prevent detonation ("pinging"), which is when the fuel ignites before the spark plug fires (this can and will cause an engine to run inefficiently and thus hot, but is extremely hard on the engine in other ways). This should not be an issue in a properly tuned paramotor engine. As long as your fuel has a high enough octane rating to resist pinging, anything higher will run exactly the same... not cooler, no more power. If detonation is occurring, clean the carbon from the combustion chamber; otherwise, there is absolutely no advantage to using a higher octane fuel or adding an 'octane booster' to regular unleaded car gasoline. You run more of a risk of burning a hole through the piston if you run high octane fuel and too lean.
Powerful, high compression engines require high octane fuel to prevent detonation, but the increased power comes from the high compression, not because the fuel itself is more "powerful".
There is also some confusion about what the numbers mean. There are two methods to measure a fuel's octane rating, the Research Octane Rating (RON) and the Motor Octane Rating (MON). In general, the MON will run about 8-10 points below the RON. In most countries, the number displayed on the pump is the RON, but in a few countries (including the U.S. and Canada) the number on the pump is the average of the two, or (R+M)/2. Because of the 8-10 point difference noted above, the (R+M)/2 rating will be 4-5 points lower than the RON. Thus when a European motor manufacturer says to use 95 or 98 octane fuels, an American pilot can safely use U.S. 90 or 93 octane fuels with no problems.
 
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Can (should) I use aviation gasoline (AVGAS)?
In general, it is possible but not necessarily recommended to use 100LL AVGAS on most modern 2-stroke engines, since the lead content will increase deposits in the combustion chamber and on crankshaft ball bearings and some 2-stroke oil brands do not dissolve thoroughly with AVGAS, inducing premature wear. It does have a higher octane rating than most car gas (see the section on octane rating above), but this is probably not significant for a paramotor engine. Your engine will run just fine on unleaded car gas.
Many people feel that AVGAS smells better. This could be an issue if you carry your motor in a closed car. This is partially due to better control of the fuel's vapor pressure (volatility) than car gas, to prevent evaporation of the fuel at high altitudes, and also due to the fact that AVGAS doesn't have all the additives common in car gas. Keep in mind, however, that AVGAS does contain tetraethyl lead, which is highly toxic.
Gasoline does go bad after a month or longer, especially if not sealed in the container. Avgas will go much longer before degrading, which could be an advantage if you fly infrequently. Old gas can run poorly or not at all.
Some manufacturers recommend AVGAS, some don't. Check with your dealer or your owner’s manual to find out what fuel (and oil) is right for your PPG. 
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Building your own

I need to save money. Can I build my own motor?
Many people have built their own motor. Whether you will save money is another matter; the profit margin on new paramotors is pretty thin. Most people build their own motor for reasons other than cost. If you're just looking to save money, purchasing a used motor is probably a better option.
Plus there are critical aspects to a safe machine and, unless you already have significant experience, it could be very dangerous to build your own. If you do undertake such a project, contact an experienced pilot or instructor so they can go over important details before getting too far along.
If you buy a kit, consult with an experienced pilot—there are scams out there with machines that are more marketing hype than realistic aircraft, especially if no hardware kit is offered.
 
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Does anybody sell plans?
There are a few people selling plans. Most are obsolete and unrealistic. Before buying a set of plans, consult an instructor  
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I have some great ideas for a new motor, better than anything else out there...
Perhaps you do. We'd all love to see it. However, if you're a beginner just learning to fly, do yourself a favor and learn on an existing design. Learn the strengths and weaknesses of existing designs. Once you learn to fly, many ideas that seemed like great ideas turn out to be unnecessary or impractical. Also consider: Do you really want to be a student pilot and a test pilot at the same time?   
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Can I sew my own wing?
Doubtful. Nobody sells patterns, anyway. A paraglider looks deceptively simple, but is the product of years of development and testing. Even minor changes as a result of age (fabric or lines stretching or shrinking) can have a profound (and in many cases dangerous) effect on how the glider behaves. And there's a reason why factory test pilots carry two or three reserve parachutes!   
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Maintenance

Re-drive Belts
Most paramotors use industry standard "poly-v" belts, similar to the "serpentine" belts found on many newer cars. A few machines use one or more standard "V" belts, and in a few cases, toothed "timing" belts.
  
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Troubleshooting Re-drive Belts
To save weight and space, most motor designs use belts in excess of the manufacturer's recommended ratings, resulting in short life. This is not a problem provided that attention is paid to the belt during preflight inspection, and the belt replaced when necessary.
If the belt is too loose (see the section below on belt tension) it will wear quickly, and the engine may become difficult to start, since the flywheel effect of the propeller helps to pull the engine through the compression stroke (this only applies to engines without clutches). Early signs of wear on a poly-v belt are when some of the ribs on the belt start to disappear. The belt may still be serviceable for a short time, but it's time to order a replacement. When too many ribs are gone, the belt may come off the pulley, leading to power loss and an emergency landing! If ANY teeth are missing from a timing belt, the belt must be replaced immediately.   
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Where can I get a replacement belt?
If you can't get a replacement belt from your dealer, you can usually get one from our website. We carry almost every size belt for every machine available. If you can't find it, contact us so we can help you directly.
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How do I set the proper re-drive belt tension?
The following is taken from a belt manufacturer's catalog:

Watch these points carefully when installing drive:
Do not force belt over sheave grooves. Slack off drive for easy mounting of belt. Align and adjust drive so that belt operates free and clear of all obstructions.
Belt tension is highly important. When in operation, both tight and slack strands of the belt should be in a straight line from sheave to sheave, and with no sag or bow. Check belt tension after eight hours operation, followed by periodic inspections to be sure belt is under sufficient tension and that belt is not slipping.
Proper tension may be determined by the pounds of force required to deflect the belt 1/64" per inch of belt span shown in the table below.
Belt Small POUNDS FORCE

Section Sheave
Dia. Range
PER RIB
Min. Max.
J .80"- 1.00"
1.12 - 2.00
2.12 - 3.15
3.35 - 4.50
5.00 - 6.00
1/4
1/2
9/16
5/8
11/16
5/16
3/4
7/8
15/16
1
L 3.0"- 3.6"
3.8 - 4.8
5.0 - 7.0
7.2 - 9.2
9.4 - 12.0
12.0 - 14.0
1-5/8
2-1/16
2-1/2
2-3/4
2-7/8
3
2-7/16
3-1/8
3-13/16
4-1/8
4-1/4
4-1/2
M 7.0"- 9.0"
9.2 -11.0
11.4 -13.8
14.0 -18.0
20.0 -26.0
30.0 -44.0
6-3/8
7-5/16
8-5/16
9-1/8
9-7/16
9-7/8
9-5/16
11
12-1/2
13-5/8
14-1/8
14-13/16

Do not install a new belt on worn sheaves. Such sheaves should be replaced to insure a proper fit of the belt in the grooves and prevent slippage and belt wear.
Keep belt clean. Do not use belt dressing. If belt slips, clean and readjust belt tension.
Keep extra belts stored in a cool, dark, dry place.
  
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How do I replace my re-drive bearings?
Now, people talk about excessive tension damaging the bearings. We worked out the bearing side loads according to the engine's power and the belt manufacturer's recommended tension for our S-4 engine as described above, and it was around 620#, which is well within the capacity of the re-drive bearings. According to the manufacturer's specs at that loading the bearings should last around 1700 hours! That they don't last that long is more due to loads from out of balance prop, etc., which hurts the bearings far more than the steady belt tension load.
  
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Rubber engine mounts
Rubber
vibration mounts (sometimes called "silent blocks" or "sandwich mounts") should be inspected before every flight, and replaced if there is any sign of cracking or separating. Like belts, if you can't get replacements from your paramotor dealer, they can be purchased from our website; however, ours are one size fits all so it may not be identical to the ones you have but they will work just the same. Rubber sandwich mounts should always be backed up with a nylon strap which will hold it together even if the rubber fails.   
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Propeller bolt torque
Properly torqued propeller mounting bolts is very important. The propeller is driven through friction against the drive flange, not though shear loading on the bolts. Thus, the bolts must be tightened correctly. If too loose, the propeller can hammer back and forth, elongating the bolt holes and possibly leading to bolt failure through metal fatigue. If the bolts are too tight, the propeller (especially wood props) hub may be crushed. The only way to be sure you have the correct torque is to use a torque wrench. J.C. Whitney sells an inexpensive 1/4" drive torque wrench which works well for these torque ranges.
If your motor or propeller manufacturer specified a torque to use, use it. If not, use 120-140 in-lb (10-12 ft-lb, 14-16 N-m) for 1/4" or 6mm bolts and 130-160 in-lb (11-13 ft-lb, 15-18 N-m) for 5/16 or 8mm bolts. Work up to the final torque in a few steps, alternately tightening the bolts in a diagonal pattern around the prop. Torque should be rechecked after a few flights when a new prop is installed and periodically afterwards.   
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Legal and Airspace

   United States
Do I need a license to fly a powered paraglider?
Not in the U.S.
Canadian pilots require an Ultralight Pilot Permit, restricted to powered parachute. See "Other Countries" below.
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What regulations must I follow?
In the U.S., powered Paragliders are considered "ultralight vehicles", which are governed by Federal Air Regulations Part 103 (ULTRALIGHT VEHICLES). Contrary to what some people believe, ultralight vehicles are not subject to the provisions of FAR Part 91 (GENERAL OPERATING AND FLIGHT RULES), except for sections specifically referenced in Part 103.

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Where can I fly?
The precise regulations are given in Part 103 as referenced above, but in general, you must stay out of controlled airspace (around larger airports) unless you have permission, and you must stay below 18,000'. You may not fly over "any congested area of a city, town, or settlement" or "over any open air assembly of persons" at ANY altitude. As far as launching and landing, it's up to local laws, if any, and landowner permission. Your instructor will teach you about these things prior to flying.
The FAA under Part 103 has given us the ability to fly with minimal requirements. However, within those requirements, we must exercise good judgment or we risk losing various sites and/or risk having more rules imposed on our sport.
Although an established free flying site might seem to be a good choice, chances are your motor noise won't be welcome there, and at many sites motors are prohibited. Always ask first! Please don't jeopardize the flying sites that are dedicated to non powered flight.
The sport has lost a number of sites due to irresponsible behavior. A number of sites have been lost due to pilots flying over people or creating other hazards and nuisances. Local areas may impose various ordinances prohibiting launching and landing from parks, beaches, etc, however, local communities can not regulate the airspace once our feet leave the ground. They can though, file reports to the FAA should they observe any infraction.
It is best to be courteous to any official. Most enforcement people enjoy watching the sport, but when a complaint about loud noise, etc. is made, they will respond. Generally, indicating you won't fly in the area of that home or community may resolve the issue.
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Can I use a PPG for a business such as aerial photography?
Probably not. According to Part 103.1(b), an ultralight vehicle must be "used or intended to be used for recreation or sport purposes only." This is elaborated in FAA's Advisory Circular 103-7, which says, in part:
(1) Is the flight undertaken to accomplish some task, such as patrolling a fence line or advertising a product? If so, Part 103 is not applicable.
(2) Is the ultralight equipped with attachments or modifications for the accomplishment of some task, such as banner towing or agricultural spraying? If so, Part 103 does not apply.
(3) Is the pilot advertising his/her services to perform any task using an ultralight? If so, Part 103 does not apply.
(4) Is the pilot receiving any form of compensation for the performance of a task using an ultralight vehicle? If so, Part 103 does not apply.

However, AC 103-7 also says:
"Persons are not prohibited from flying ultralights and then authoring books about their experiences for which they ultimately receive compensation."
This would seem to indicate that publishing a book of aerial photographs might be acceptable, whereas selling homeowner photos of his house probably would not. In case of any doubt, contacting the local FAA office beforehand is probably the safest course of action.
In many ways this is a pity, since a PPG can be an ideal vehicle for aerial photography, with its low speed and ability to operate close to the subject. Of course, you're still free to take all the photographs you want for your own enjoyment, as many PPGers do.
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Can I put advertising on my wing?
It depends. As discussed in the section on aerial photography above, the flight cannot legally be "undertaken to accomplish some task, such as patrolling a fence line or advertising a product". However, AC 103-7 also states:
There is no prohibition which would prevent you from taking advantage of any discount on the price of an ultralight a company might offer where its logo or name appears on a portion of the vehicle. You cannot, however, enter into any agreement which might specify the location, number, or pattern of flights contingent on the receipt of that discount. Any operation under such an agreement could not be conducted under Part 103.
Thus you can put your company logo on your wing, or get a local business to buy a wing with their logo and give or loan it to you, provided there are no conditions on where and when you fly it.
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Other Countries
Regulations in most countries are more restrictive than the U.S. Feel free to add here...
Canada requires licensing per: Transport Canada's Aeronautical Information Manual (AIM), LRA 3.2.1 and 3.2.2 ALSO see Canadian Aviation Regulations (CARs)Standard 421.19 (student pilot permit) and 421.21 (Ultralight Aeroplane Requirement). You also need to register your paramotor CARs 202.13 (2) and carry 3rd party liability insurance TC/AIM/LRA 1.5 and 1.8 please see http://www.tc.gc.ca/civilaviation/regserv/Affairs/cars/menu.htm 
http://www.tc.gc.ca/CivilAviation/publications/tp14371/menu.htm 
Australia requires licensing through the Hang Gliding Federation of Australia. This function has been delegated to the HGFA from the civil aviation Safety authority. Powered paraglider pilots operate as paraglider pilots with a motor endorsement on their pilot certificate. A HGFA pilot's license is required in Australia.
Japan uses the exact same laws as the US with regard to flying a PPG with one exception, if you are flying with trike in Japan you have to be licensed through the Civil Aviation Administration. On the same note though, in 5 years of flying in Japan I never saw the PPG police come and bother me or my students.
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Radio and Electronics

Radios (Talking to other pilots)
A number of pilots use FRS/GMRS radios (like Motorola talkabout radios at Walmart) for pilot to pilot communications. There are other parts of the country where VHF radio contact is preferred, especially when flying out of local airports where regulations permit. Also, many pilots carry a cell phone so they can call for pickup should they land away from their point of destination.
VHF Aviation Band radios such as the Icom IC-A5, A6 or A23 are recommended. No license is required for their use. It is always good to be able to communicate with airports and other flyers, especially in the more populated parts of the country. In some areas, the ability to communicate with the control tower is required.
Use of radios made for the amateur 2 meter band is NOT legal unless you are a licensed amateur radio operator. Hams are very protective of their frequencies and do not like interference generated by unlicensed flyers. Many hams own direction finding equipment and will enjoy the sport of finding you and reporting you to the FCC. Recently, a major fly-in was issued a warning by the FCC not to use the 2 meter band for communications. Also one California interferer was just sentenced to 7 years in jail and fined $25,000 for unlicensed use of 2 meters.
Unlicensed flyers are relatively easy to spot as they are not aware of the 2 meter band plan and will just "pick a frequency" for use. They stick out like a sore thumb and are easy to track.
Your best bet is to stick with FRS and aviation band radios.

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Radio Helmets
Radio helmets are protective headgear that includes earphones, a microphone, usually a push-to-talk switch, and usually some electronics to tie them all together. Most have noise canceling microphones. Some have intercom and side tone electronics. Some also have Active Noise Reduction (ANR) circuitry.
Be SURE that the helmet you're considering has a push to talk button. Some don't! Also check to see if the helmet you're considering has the button on the left or right ear cup. You want it on your "free hand" side. Also check to see if there is a provision for an external PTT switch. External PTT switches can be added later, but it is good if your helmet of interest already has the capability. Ask the helmet seller if he can furnish the external PTT or can recommend someone to do the modification for you at the time of purchase. Ask the seller if the helmet will work with the exact radio you plan to use the most. Sometimes the helmet has an internal adjustment that must be made in order for the push-to-talk function to work at all!
Some helmets also have an external input for an MP3 player or other external audio source. Be aware that helmets are normally wired for mono sound only and would need to be rewired for stereo operation. A stereo to mono converter plug or cable could be used to get both channels. The connector supplied with the helmet is usually an RCA female mono phone jack. An adapter would be needed to interface with an MP3 player. Also be aware, MP3 players usually do not have enough drive capability to produce sound levels high enough for comfortable listening levels with a paramotor running. An external booster amplifier would then be needed.
Most helmets just use a resistive mixer to mix audio inputs together, although at least one brand has a function whereby incoming radio audio will mute the MP3 input.
Due to the wide variety of radio plug schemes, make sure, before buying, that the radio helmet of interest has the correct cable for the radio you will be using. Also, many helmets will NOT work with some aviation band radios. Many aviation band radios require a higher microphone audio level. ALL require a separate PTT line. Some adapters are available, but finding the one that will work with your equipment can sometimes be difficult and frustrating. ASK before you buy!
Quality radio helmets cost in the $300-$350 range, but converted surplus helmets can be had for less. Also there are do-it-yourself radio helmet plans posted on www.poweredparaglider.com  and on the inventions page at www.aerocorsair.com
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Altimeters
Some type of altimeter is a necessity as many flying sites are bounded by controlled airspace. Many people choose a meteowatch, a vario, or a GPS with altimeter display.
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GPS
A GPS device is not required, but can be very useful when flying a new launch site as one can very easily lose the landing zone. Also, should one have to land away from the landing zone, the GPS can provide important information for a pick-up crew to find you.
A GPS can also tell you your ground speed which is very helpful in estimating fuel requirements, and ability to get back to your original LZ.
Many GPS units include barometric altimeters and magnetic compasses. At least one, the Garmin Rhino series, includes an FRS radio.
Most GPS units will allow for the downloading of detailed area maps and topographic maps. They also keep a track log which shows were you've been. There are several computer programs that allow overlaying track logs onto detailed area maps.
Some GPS's will allow you to set an alarm if you come within a settable range of a given point. This helps a pilot to avoid controlled airspace incursions but only if they can hear the alarm (remember you're likely to be wearing ear defenders and have a running engine on your back).

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Travel and Transport

One of the great things about PPG is the ease with which it can be transported. This is truly the "airplane in your trunk" which people have dreamed about for years. Since speeds are low and the range is limited, carrying your PPG to a new location is a way to see new places. However, you do need to give some thought to how you will carry it: 
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Short distance transport (from home to the field)
How you transport your equipment depends on the vehicle you drive, which may in turn affect the type of motor you buy.
If you own a pickup truck or open trailer, you can carry your motor without disassembling. You'll need to strap it down securely, as any bouncing around could damage the motor.
If you drive a van, minivan, or SUV, you may be able to get inside without disassembly. More likely, though, you'll need to remove at least the top portion of the cage (usually not a big deal on most units).
If you drive a smaller vehicle, your options are more limited. You'll probably need to break the motor down almost completely (removing all the cage sections and probably the propeller) to get it into the back seat or the trunk. If you need to lay it down, you may also need to drain the gas. This is where the motors that break down and pack into a shipping crate have an advantage.
Another option (for any type of vehicle) is a cargo carrier platform that plugs into a "receiver" type trailer hitch. These carriers are available from BlueSkyPPG and let you carry a fully assembled motor even if you drive a small sports car. Some paramotor manufacturers also sell custom hitch carriers, but the idea is the same.
Many pilots who carry their gear exposed (pickup truck, etc.) choose to store their wings in a large (Rubbermaid, etc.) plastic box to better protect it from sun and wind.
Finally, some pilots splurge on a larger enclosed trailer. Such trailers can carry several motors and associated equipment, protected from the elements. If you're short on storage space at home, such a trailer can do double duty as a place to store your stuff. 
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Long distance (traveling to a fly-in?)
See the section below on carrying your motor on an airliner (probably not a good idea).
You can ship your items via UPS to other location across the country that you may be traveling to. The motor should be clean and the tank MUST be empty and dry. Declare the contents as "motor driven fan" to avoid any headaches with explaining what a PPG is.
Depending on size limits, it may be more economical to pack it in two separate packages. Most important is to pack it well to prevent damage. If you plan to ship your motor often, it may be advisable to buy or build a special case, or buy one of the motors that pack down into an included carrying case.
You can ship large packages via Greyhound bus, but you have to drop it off at the bus terminal, and somebody has to be at the other end to receive it.
Organizers of major fly-ins often arrange to have an address for attendees to ship their equipment to. 
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Can I take my paramotor on an airliner?
Maybe. Don't believe paramotor manufacturers that include "airline approved cases" with their motors. While there doesn't appear to be any federal regulations against it (provided there is absolutely no fuel or oil in it), many airlines have different policies. Some say no gas engines at all, period. Some say it's OK only if it's never been run. Some say it's OK if there's no fuel smell. Some people have simply sent their stuff through without saying what it is... probably a bad idea if somebody checks on it. Things were looser in the pre-TSA days.
Often it seems to come down to the interpretation of an individual airline employee, regardless of what the rules say. You may manage to get your motor to your destination... and then be stuck on the way back, with your flight boarding and your motor refused.
Probably it's better to ship the motor separately to and from your destination.
Bringing your wing along as checked baggage is fine, though. Use a plastic trash bag around the wing to protect it from any spills. The straps and such on many wing carrying bags can catch and snag on baggage conveyors, so putting the whole thing inside an army duffel bag is a good idea.
A call to the TSA in June 2007 revealed that ALL internal combustion engines are NOT ALLOWED (new or used) as checked baggage due to their gasoline vapor.
 
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Other Questions

Can I get Insurance?
Liability insurance, probably not. However, there are some things afoot:
The U.S. Hang Gliding Association (USHGA) is currently considering whether to expand their scope to include what they term "powered harnesses". This is a major change for USHGA, involving a membership vote to change their Articles of Incorporation, so it's far from certain. As one of the major benefits of USHGA membership is member liability insurance, this is an exciting development for us. However, any change on this is probably a year or two away.
The U.S. Powered Paragliding Association (USPPA) has also looked into an insurance program, but the chief problem is that there simply aren't enough members to make it worthwhile for an insurer, while keeping the price down to a reasonable level.
Life Insurance is available for pilots from the Pilot Insurance Center as well as others.

Canada 3rd party liability insurance is mandatory and available through Marsh, an affiliate of COPA (Canadian Owners and Pilots Association) please see
http://www.marsh.ca/en/specialty/copa/silver.shtml  and
http://www.copanational.org/non-members/index.htm
 
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What about clothing, gloves, etc., for winter flying?
Most cold weather pilots wear one-piece suits with thermal liners, a combination of multiple layers of insulating clothing covered by an outer shell of nylon or other material that does not allow for wind penetration. Some wear typical ski apparel consisting of separate pants and jacket, primary purpose to provide insulation and block the wind. Face covering is recommended for temps below 35F, thin full face coverings worn under helmets with either full face shield or ski-type goggles. Most important part of cold weather flying is quality gloves. With your hands up in the air above your heart, blood flow is reduced and fingers get cold quickly. Many pilots resort to electrically heated gloves or glove liners or a thermal heat pack on the back of the hands to provide needed warmth. Foot wear should also be well insulated although most cold feet occur while standing around preparing to fly, as opposed to actual flying. Pay special attention to gaps in clothing, between gloves and jacket, or at neck and leg cuffs as these introduce cold air. Most flying in winter can be comfortable done down to about 25F but lower temps are tolerated by some. Additional clothing and gloves make winter flying more challenging, pay attention to excess body heating before the flight as excess sweat will reduce insulation properties of most clothing.
"Lobster Mitts" (mittens with one or two fingers separate) work very well, and can be found at bike shops (I've seen similar, but heavier, mitts at army surplus stores).
Heavy gloves or mittens can be cumbersome, though, particularly when launching. Often in cold weather it's easiest to launch with no gloves, and then put them on once you reach a safe altitude.
BlueSkyPPG.com sells electrically heated gloves for around $30. There is also information on homemade heated clothing here and here.
This is not an all inclusive list but covers the most common questions we get from students. Any other questions can be asked via email or by telephone to BlueSkyPPG.com.
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