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Is Paramotoring REALLY suitable for the UK?


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Living in Devon surrounded by thousands of privately owned fields, national parks, breathtaking beaches... is the UK really suitable for paramotoring? It's a dream of mine to take up paramotoring and I'm so close to booking a full training course, however why is it you hardly ever see anyone paramotoring? 

 

Aren't we too restricted to where we can take off and land? I'm surrounded by perfectly suitable fields to take off and land, but guess what? I can't, because the farmer says no. You know, its got an engine, chucks out fumes and makes a racket and scares the sheep.

Before I throw 8-10k away, what's your opinions? Have you taken it up only to discover you can't use it enough?

Sorry for the rant, but I can't help but think I might regret my decision..

 

P.S - Anyone around East Devon with land I can use? lol.

 

 

 

 

 

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The answers to the above reside more inside yourself. It depends upon how motivated you are and how hard you'll push yourself.

I learnt a good few years ago, and bought the kit... I do not regret doing so nor do I find that I can't fly enough!

That said, one reason you're not seeing them more is because the weather window they can use is restricted. They also require a bit of skill, guts and stupidity to fly! They aren't for everyone.

Once you've trained you do need a bit of self motivation and self belief to seize the opportunities that pop up. It helps if you can find others that fly, to cajole you and to be cajoled!

Best of luck with it... you certainly have a beautiful corner of the country to fly in.

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I get around 100 hours a year... So in answer to your question of course it's suitable to the UK.. As a new pilot your weather window will be slightly more restrictive but the quicker you gain experience and fly with experienced pilots your sky will open up.  Those who fly alone or with other new pilots tend to fly less. IMO.. ;-) 

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1 hour ago, Mark Morgan said:

I get around 100 hours a year... So in answer to your question of course it's suitable to the UK.. As a new pilot your weather window will be slightly more restrictive but the quicker you gain experience and fly with experienced pilots your sky will open up.  Those who fly alone or with other new pilots tend to fly less. IMO.. ;-) 

I fly on my own and would certainly benefit from having others around to talk to about it. In particular the weather and whether or not the rough air I experience is perfectly acceptable or not. Unless it's silky smooth I tend to think it is rough and there is a danger of a wing collapse. Hence my previous question about thermals/rough air but no replies yet ☹️

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Just now, Guy said:

I fly on my own and would certainly benefit from having others around to talk to about it. In particular the weather and whether or not the rough air I experience is perfectly acceptable or not. Unless it's silky smooth I tend to think it is rough and there is a danger of a wing collapse. Hence my previous question about thermals/rough air but no replies yet ☹️

Allot of new pilots think thermals are dangerous,  I guess they can be if you have no clue what your doing but with training and knowledge they are great and bring a different side to PPG flying 

Feel free to give me a call on the Sussex Paramotors mobile number anytime 

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Thanks for the replies :)

 

This is definitely something I want to get into - The thought of flying is just immense and I know full well if I don't push myself I'll regret it later on.

I've been doing loads of research regarding weather, no fly zones etc and will obviously get the training done.

I live fairly close to Exmoor and Dartmoor - there's no reason why I couldn't find an empty suitable space one early morning or late evening right (it's pretty much all open land)? I do know someone who has a few acres of land not too far from Dartmoor which will be handy if he agrees although I don't want to be restricted to one area to fly.

There seems to be plenty of paragliding airfields but they seem to dislike paramotors.

I'll admit, running and finding myself 1000ft up in strong thermals does scare the crap out of me!

Do you guys fly all year round when weather allows or mainly just the warmer summer months?

 

Thanks.

 

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5 hours ago, Mark Morgan said:

Allot of new pilots think thermals are dangerous,  I guess they can be if you have no clue what your doing but with training and knowledge they are great and bring a different side to PPG flying 

Feel free to give me a call on the Sussex Paramotors mobile number anytime 

Thank you Mark, I may well do..........you were previously helpful and happy to talk when I was buying a new wing........got an Ozone Magmax for my trike. Would you mind if I rang you about that at sometime? Many thanks.

Guy

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4 hours ago, Dave_SW said:

Thanks for the replies :)

 

This is definitely something I want to get into - The thought of flying is just immense and I know full well if I don't push myself I'll regret it later on.

I've been doing loads of research regarding weather, no fly zones etc and will obviously get the training done.

I live fairly close to Exmoor and Dartmoor - there's no reason why I couldn't find an empty suitable space one early morning or late evening right (it's pretty much all open land)? I do know someone who has a few acres of land not too far from Dartmoor which will be handy if he agrees although I don't want to be restricted to one area to fly.

There seems to be plenty of paragliding airfields but they seem to dislike paramotors.

I'll admit, running and finding myself 1000ft up in strong thermals does scare the crap out of me!

Do you guys fly all year round when weather allows or mainly just the warmer summer months?

 

Thanks.

 

Go for it Dave :launchland: For winter I use motorbiking heated jacket (and heated gloves if needed).

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Hi Dave, I'm just a few months ahead of you. See how my sport has gone.

I flew paragliders (20 years ago), then family and kids stopped all my fun. Both kids now over 16, so I started up again but realised I lived too far from the hills. Two hour drive to find forecast not accurate, so drove back home again; you can only do this so many times!

Something had to change, decided I should try with a motor, therefore take-off from flat field, YIPPEE.

Took the short conversion course in Oct 2017 and then realised new kit would cost me about £9k. Decided that I would work some overtime and put the money aside for PPG. By April 2018 I had £3k saved, so spent almost £2k on a parajet Zenith polini 130 and almost £1k on a Paramania REVO2 reflex wing. You can get into the hobby cheaper, but to get half decent kit, I was advised to budget £3k minimum.

I used my old helmet, boots, vario and found no-one uses 2m radio (144 MHz) but rather the 70cm band (350 MHz).

So I met up with the local PPG's in the Worcester area and they called me up for my first flights. Usually evening flights when the thermals have switched off and the air is much more calm. As with paragliding, it is very weather dependent, I'm always watching the wind speed and direction, and I have been surprised how long a field you need to take off in. Obviously you need an area to run, but also the long slow climb out, they are not all fantastic climb outs !!!! Also no trees up wind that could cause rotor.

I'm averaging a flight every week around work commitments and family events. The first few flights did take several aborted launches, but I'm happy to say I'm much more likely to get off first time now....unless it's nil wind. Power launches do work, but you have to put 100% trust in your wing and run for ever......

Unfortunately the money hasn't stopped spending, new radio, helmet, reserve (£440), towbar (£295), Thule bike carrier for conversion to PPG carrier, I still need a flight deck, kobo tablet, etc... So the overtime goes ever onwards.

Yes, I'm having fun. As a paraglider pilot I hoped to take off from the flat, get high, cut the engine and thermal again. This doesn't really happen ! You tend to fly a smaller wing for speed, stability and ease of launch, the trade off is a worse glide, and the motor is heavy. With fuel another 30kg on your back. It's a different sport. But you fly over a BBQ at 600 feet, and everyone waves at you. You feel like James Bond and the "NUMBSKULLS" in your head are shouting at you to show off, throw over a few wing-overs, spiral dive, and kill yourself for their entertainment....

Take your time, settle in; keep at least 500 feet up, you are quieter and safer, room to throw a reserve! I have found if you keep between 500 and 1000 feet you are below cruising altitude for most small aircraft, and high enough not to upset the locals. It is difficult to find good launch areas, so give the farmer a bottle of wine occasionally, take off and leave the area, don't buzz his animals and neighbours.

ENJOY

 

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Hi Mark - What an excellent post! Enjoyed reading that thank you :)

I'm pleased to say I've booked for a days trial on a course in a few weeks time.

Weather does worry me though, like this evening for example, decided to head up to one of the tors on Dartmoor for a stroll and thought to myself 'cor would be perfect to take off from here right now'... ten minutes later I could hardly see my hand in front of me due to low cloud that rolled in. Just shows how dangerous it can be and how quickly the weather can change.

 

One part of me screams yes do it, another part noooo wtf are you thinking! 

 

We'll see how the trial day goes :)

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Dave you will love it, getting this far there will be no stopping you afterwards.

You will learn all about the weather and lots of other stuff that makes things safer. 

Then go travelling with your kit, I'm near Criccieth at the moment and had a lovely flight last night.

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12 hours ago, Dave_SW said:

Hi Mark - What an excellent post! Enjoyed reading that thank you :)

I'm pleased to say I've booked for a days trial on a course in a few weeks time.

Weather does worry me though, like this evening for example, decided to head up to one of the tors on Dartmoor for a stroll and thought to myself 'cor would be perfect to take off from here right now'... ten minutes later I could hardly see my hand in front of me due to low cloud that rolled in. Just shows how dangerous it can be and how quickly the weather can change.

 

One part of me screams yes do it, another part noooo wtf are you thinking! 

 

We'll see how the trial day goes :)

Weather will always be unpredictable. My local forecast for last night suggested a very light easterly but when I got to the field it was blustery from the west, so I didn't fly. It might be the other way around tonight so I'll give it a try then.

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Great topic and read , just started my training a week ago and was worried about the exact same things as you Dave but ive took the plunge and cant wait to get in the air, hopefully there will be other pilots leicester area wlling to meet up . best of luck Dave

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51 minutes ago, gazbpool said:

Great topic and read , just started my training a week ago and was worried about the exact same things as you Dave but ive took the plunge and cant wait to get in the air, hopefully there will be other pilots leicester area wlling to meet up . best of luck Dave

How you getting on with the training? Easy enough? Had any flights yet? :)

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hmm, watch the video I've put up. then you decide...iam very lucky over the years I've built up a relationship with a farmer. I have large fields to fly.. in as seen in the video. I have over 1,000 air hours.. iam no expert I make mistakes .iam human. i practice when i can. as I get a bit rusty...waiting for the weather to be flyable.. finding a field to practice ?? just keep asking. the farmers... if your learning then it will be harder. as no one wants anyone to get hurt and maybe you sueing the farmer...oh thermals can be dangerous... if your a novice or experienced pilot  .      live and learn  or learn and live. flying a paramotor is abit like life ...  it has its ups and downs...   just like life.                 

 

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Great, huge fields, low hedges, no pylons!!! Where are you based?

NIce flight, plenty of height so it doesn't p*ss people off, even the cows weren't bothered by you. I prefer to cut the engine on final approach, stops me pulling the trigger by mistake, cuts noise, and precautionary to stop a line getting into prop. and dragging whole wing in!

Lovely flying in the evening with the sun low.

Edited by Mark Pugh
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Again thanks for the replies.

Well I thought I'd be clever and book myself onto a paragliding experience day yesterday for some early ground handling training (it was between paramotoring and paragliding). Wind was lightish but kept changing direction slightly. Was doing ok with the forward launches and running down a slight hill controlling the wing.

Next stage, further up the hill on a steeper slope it was time to run and 'hop' a meter or so above ground. Running like mad, wind must've picked up suddenly and I found myself what felt like 30ft up in the air fast approaching a barbed wire fence/hedge and road in behind, I panicked, managed to turn to avoid the hedge and as I was approaching the ground I didn't pull enough flare as I'd forgotten everything by that point and landed HARD on my right leg and rolled over 3 times.

The pain in my leg was so intense I thought I'd broken it but luckily eventually managed to hobble back up the hill.

somehow managed a 2nd go which I just missed colliding with a huge hawthorn hedge but landed on my feet. 3rd time was near perfect.

 

Now suffering from a badly sprained leg, probably off work for a few days unpaid (job is very physical) I've come to the conclusion this sport isn't for me I'm afraid. I can't afford the risk of injury thus not being able to pay the mortgage!

 

I can't imagine what its like landing badly with 30kgs strapped to your back! 

 

Stay safe guys :)

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20 hours ago, Mark Pugh said:

Great, huge fields, low hedges, no pylons!!! Where are you based?

NIce flight, plenty of height so it doesn't p*ss people off, even the cows weren't bothered by you. I prefer to cut the engine on final approach, stops me pulling the trigger by mistake, cuts noise, and precautionary to stop a line getting into prop. and dragging whole wing in!

Lovely flying in the evening with the sun low.

hi, i left a message on u-tube .what happened when i began to land.my throttle cutout switch wouldn't work. worked at preflight checks before I took off.no problem thou. I can land with engine on tick over. but if I had a choice I switch engine off just before landing.. found out solder came apart causing disconnection.. depends what iam practising for? did u like the big ears?? sunset flying is like flying on a different planet.. = magic  ;0) . pylons are there !!! i avoid the pylons... mess with pylons and they will make a mess with you.tx for your comment

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On 03/07/2018 at 16:05, Guy said:

Thank you Mark, I may well do..........you were previously helpful and happy to talk when I was buying a new wing........got an Ozone Magmax for my trike. Would you mind if I rang you about that at sometime? Many thanks.

Guy

Oh yah I remember... 

Always available 0800-1800

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  • 5 months later...

Hi Dave_sw, 

Not sure if you are still following your post, but thought I would add a point. I've signed up for training for March onwards this year. Saving money like a madman to get started. 

Your initial thoughts have been on my mind for myself wit regards to others locally.  I live and work in North Devon on Exmoor doorstep and will be keen to join up and fly with anyone local when I get in the air. This will happen (flying for me I mean) it's just a matter of time.

Cheers for your post. It was all good reading.  (Every days a school day)

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  • 3 weeks later...

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