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Where can I legally fly


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Hey all, future paramotorist here. I don't yet own a paramotor setup but I plan on doing my training this summer and buying one shortly after. I have been searching around the internet trying to get concrete information on where exactly it's legal to fly, but the information I have seems incomplete. So far I have gathered that I cannot fly:

-In class A, B, C, or D airspace
-Any controlled airspace
-Over national parks
-In restricted airspace
-Over congested areas

I understand that paramotors are considered ultralights and are bound by the same rules. I have read FAR 103 (www.usua.org/Rules/faa103.htm), but it really doesn't say much about where you can fly other than avoiding controlled or restricted airspace and congested areas.

My question is, how can I figure out exactly where it's legal to fly? Is this site: https://app.airmap.io/# enough to determine where it's legal? I'm still learning how to read actual airspace charts, but that site at least shows class B, C, D and E airspace. Am I allowed to fly anywhere that isn't controlled or restricted airspace that's not over congested areas? When I look up local Ultralight associations, most of them only operate out of one location. Looking up paragliding sites doesn't really help much since those sites are restricted to terrain favorable to paragliding. I'm trying to find the closest areas to where I live where it's legal to fly. I am not against joining a club and operating out of their location, but I want to know the legality of flying elsewhere. I have seen paramotorists flying in areas that were not near any local paragliding or ultralight club sites.  Any help is greatly appreciated. I haven't found enough information on this by searching the internet, these forums, the www.ushpa.org website, the www.usppa.org website and the www.usua.org website. As you can tell, I'm a bit confused.

Side note: I'm also confused by the local paragliding club's site. It says on their website that you need to be a member of USHPA even though it appears their flying site is on public land. Here's a link: http://www.rmhpa.org/boulder-site-guide/. Is this the norm? Do I need to be a USHPA member to fly on public land assuming it's legal to fly there?

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45 minutes ago, MileHighBlueSky said:

My question is, how can I figure out exactly where it's legal to fly? Is this site: https://app.airmap.io/# enough to determine where it's legal? I'm still learning how to read actual airspace charts, but that site at least shows class B, C, D and E airspace. Am I allowed to fly anywhere that isn't controlled or restricted airspace that's not over congested areas?

I think the simple answer is yes.

Over here is the same and you need landowners permission also. Don't know if it is the same over there.

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MileHighBlueSky - are you in the Denver area in Colorado?   Let me know if you find a good instructor around here - I am also looking to get into this relatively soon.  Would be nice to have a flying buddy! :)  This forum seems to be GB-centric, but tons of great information and seems very busy here.  Does anyone have a more US-centric paramotor forum suggestion?

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  • 3 weeks later...

I'm a noob myself, in Texas, and I don't know that much, although it seems where you can fly - as in the airspace - is pretty open. Where you can launch and land may be a bit more restricted. 

National parks pretty much no-go as far as landing or launching, but most you can fly over. State parks may vary... I know state parks in Texas don't like drones, so chances are they won't like paramotors either. 

There's a municipal park close to me where some local guys flew, but the municipality's lawyers caught wind and told the group they'd have to get insurance. Sucks, because that park is really close to me. Bad thing is, it IS kinda close to a small airport, but that one's probably not all that busy. 

I picked up a copy of the Powered Paragliding Bible, but haven't gotten that far into it yet. I bet they talk about finding places to launch and land. With the activity becoming more popular, it may get more and more restrictive... after all, that well known guy got the ENTIRE coastline of Oregon banned for PPG.... 

Simon, it's a nice forum and seems to be quite active. The main problems for us Yanks (I'm a Texan, we don't like being called Yankees down here, them's fightin' words!) is going to be metric measurements (I honestly wish the US had switched) and some lingo. Y'all say "kit", where we would probably say "equipment" or "gear", for example. I do find the linguistic differences between British English and 'Murrican English to be fascinating. Y'all simply have some really awesome slang!

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