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Below are some of the most common asked questions when first introduced to Paramotor:
What is PPG? PPG stand for Powered Para-Gliding also know as Paramotor.
Can anyone fly PPG? In Canada an Ultra-light Powered Parachute Permit is required to fly Parmotor. The permit is easy to obtain with quality instruction. You need to take the full 6-10 day PPG training course to obtain a student pilot permit to fly solo. Birdy flight center and team will assist you in preparing for Transport Canada’s 80 question exam to be a fully registered PPG pilot.
How much does it cost when first introduced? Foot Launch - Complete PPG packages range from $10,000 to $15,000 which included a motor, seat, frame & wing. Prices vary depending on the size of motor and wings tailored for each individual. A safe budget is between $8,000 - $11,000 for a motor which includes seat & frame, and roughly $3,000 - $5,000 for a wing. Helmets can be purchased as low as $100 up to $450 to include radio communication. Specialty tools i.e. torque wrenches, extra spark plugs, parts and possibly an extra prop are recommended $500.
How long does it take before I can fly in the air? Wind, weather and personal progress all play a factor. It is recommend students undecided if PPG is the right sport for them to take the 1 day introductory course allowing them to experience an introductory tandem flight right away.
How much does it cost for training? Training will generally cost $3,495+GST (locally) - $4,995+GST (abroad) depending on where you choose your training.
What is a Powered Paraglider (PPG)? A PPG is the smallest, simplest one-man powered aircraft. The engine is strapped to your back and you sit in a seat harness. You are able to takeoff from the ground, with or without wind. The flight controls are easy to use. Pull down the right brake handle to turn right, left handle to turn left, and both for a gentle landing. Squeeze the throttle to climb and release to glide down.
How fast can a PPG travel? On average, PPGs fly at 20km to 75km/hr air speed. Motion relative to the ground depends on wind speed and direction. Take off and landing speeds vary from 0 to 12 Km/h depending on wind and wing.
What height can a Paramotor climb to? Paramotors have already flown over 15,000 feet. (Check local air regulations) The air is thin at higher altitudes the motor produces less power and the unit reaches a point at which the climb rate is zero. Most pilots prefer flying at lower altitudes were the temperature is warmer. A safe altitude is one which allows time to manoeuvre and set up a good landing incase of an emergency.
What is the flying range of a Paramotor? A typical motor will consume roughly 2.5 to 3 litres of fuel per hour. Assuming a tank capacity of 10 litres, you can fly for over 2 hours with moderate throttle usage. Periods of extended full-throttle use will burn fuel faster. Larger tanks are available for cross country travel.
Is it possible to take off anywhere? It is possible to take-off almost anywhere as long as conditions are favourable, you are taking-off into the wind, and you're not in the lee of turbulence from mountains, buildings, trees or other obstacles or structures. For the utmost safety, you must always fly in good wind and weather conditions. A football or soccer field is an example of a suitable PPG take-off and landing area. Having said that, it is not legally permissible to take-off anywhere, notably too close to towns, airports or in restricted areas. You must check local rules and airspace regulations around your chosen flying area in Canada. Best practice is always consult with your Chief Flight Officer if you are unsure.
Can a person take off and fly Paramotor alone? Yes, but for your safety it is best practice and highly recommended you have an assistant until you feel comfortable. In time and over multiple flights you will become self sufficient, competent, comfortable & confident!! When flying alone always check in with your CFO or family member before and after your flight.
Is Powered Paragliding a Safe Sport? Arguably flying a Paramotor may be one of the safest form of aviation there is as long as the pilot gets proper training and makes good decisions on when and where to fly. PPG has a very good safety record amongst pilots who have been properly trained. Paragliders are very maneuverable and glide with or without the motor running. If during flight for some reason the motor stops running the pilot simply glides down for a safe landing.
How much does a PPG weigh? Weight ranges from 40lbs to 80lbs. depending on the size of the motor. These lightweight paramotors will allow you to run and takeoff easily. 5 litres of fuel will add 10 lbs. to the overall weight.
Do I have to wear a helmet? It is required under Transport Canada occupants of PPG, Ultra-light aircraft with open cockpits wear helmets.
Does it make a difference what wing is used? YES! Beginner paragliders set up for PPG work best. Their design makes it easy to launch and very stable in flight. Intermediate and advanced gliders make learning and training much more difficult. Some wings are not reccomended until pilots achieve 250hrs of flight. Consult with your CFO what the best wing is for you!
Do I need training & how long does it take to learn to fly? YES definitely! The industry recommends 6 days to learn the basics. Wing inflation and kiting the wing being the skill most needed to take off, can be practiced at home.
Is a license required to fly the Paramotor? In Canada Paramotors are considered ultra-light aircrafts. You need to fly for 5 hours supervised by a licensed instructor, plus ground school and then a written exam to obtain an Ultra-Light Powered Parachute Permit.
Who can fly Paramotor? A person must be at least 14 to be a student, and 16 to be issued a Pilot permit. Reasonable physical fitness is required with a full range of body motion and the ability to run a few metres with 40-80 lbs weight on you back. Trike ad Quad units are available for students 300lbs+ looking to experience PPG flight.
How is the Paramotor Launched? The wing is laid out on its back with the trailing edge facing into the wind. Stepping forward into the wind while holding the leading edge "A" risers, inflates the wing popping it up over head. At this point while moving forward the throttle is squeezed increasing the engine's rpm, as you accelerate you will lift off.
How far do you have to run to get air borne? Just a few steps will be necessary in a 10-kph breeze. However, in calm wind 10 to 20 steps or more may be required on the hot summer calm days/evenings.
How do I transport a PPG? It is easiest to carry a PPG in the back of a pick up truck or take the cage apart (2min) and the propeller off (2 min) to transport in the trunk or back of a car.
Can I save money on training? Lots of factors to consider when seeking professional PPG instruction. First and foremost is safety, equipment used and location providing proper training should be considered. Most schools charge similar prices offering the full PPG course, but money can be saved by choosing a local school, travel, accommodations, food etc.The number of options available in Canada for PPG training is increasing with the demand of students looking to get into the sport, but there are still a limited number of Certified Instructors registered under Transport Canada. You can't put a a cost on quality instruction and mentorship, but you should pick an instructor you feel comfortable learning from as it is a mentorship process and you will have many questions following the course. What you learn in training sets the stage for your flying career. It's best to get quality instruction using the safest gear available.
Do I need to purchase gear before training? No, with the Birdy Flight Center all gear and equipment will be provided during lessons. However, through our mentorship process we work with our clients prior to training, investigating motor and wing options available aligning students budgets with what is available. It takes roughly 30-60 days to order new motors and wings and most students don't want to wait 2 months to fly following their training. It is an advantage to learn on your own equipment purchased through us so you don't have to relearn the basics. All motors and wing configurations fly different.
What is the difference between PPG (Powered Paraglider) & PPC (Powered Parachute) PPC? PPC were originally named because they used a Parachute for a wing where PPG use a Paraglider. Parachutes are rectangular where Paragliders are elliptical. Paragliders are more efficient and glide better than PPCs. PPCs are usually larger, heavier, have wheels and must be loaded on a trailer to transport. Additionally the control configuration is often different than flying a paramotor. Paramotors are backpack units that are lighter, easier to transport, and cost less to get into.
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