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Its not about how fast you can do it!!!


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All,

I am posting this as yes, I am a little annoyed about it as it involves the safety of a student.

I few weeks ago, I was approached by a person who had 'just passed his paragliding course' 12 years ago and not flewn since.

I watched him try to ground handle a wing and gave advice, this was to establish his level of ability.

On that day, there was 1 other PCM instructor and many other high air time pilots who agreed that this person required a full course.

Today I found out that this very same person is learning with a NON PMC school, and he was told that he will be in the air in 1 day. (due to qualification, which has lapsed and he cant find) The only thing that stopped this was the instructor not turning up.

Anyway...

In a nut shell,

PLEASE consider your OWN safety when selecting your training, as it seems that not all instructors will offer you the SAFEST advice, they will tell you what you want to hear.

Is it worth it?

SW :(

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Fair comment ........ but who trains the instructors, how do they get their qualifications and what in law regulates them or the training they carry out if PPG's in the first place are unregulated?

Didn't one of the National microlight organisations recently withdraw insurance from PPG instructors because of some aspect related to the law and regulation of the activity?

Lastly, not withstanding the daftness of the situation, is there anything legally to prevent someone training themselves and then offering PPG training to others?

Please note guys - I am not seeking to challenge the integrity of instructors, or the PPG training they offer - I drive a biz jet for a living, but I'm humble enough to realise that I need to go through a PPG instruction course before I throw one on my back and go flying - I am trying to put PPG courses and training into legal perspective against the background of little to no legal regulation.

Thanx

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No Legal requirement what so ever.

Although, There are great instructors around the world who are independant of any system.

the point is this,

Even if you are a NASA Astranaught qualified, Special Forces, CAA Director, with a million 'type' hours teaching people how to fly..... you still have to use a bit of common to keep people safe.

SW :D

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Fair comment ........ but who trains the instructors, how do they get their qualifications and what in law regulates them or the training they carry out if PPG's in the first place are unregulated?

Didn't one of the National microlight organisations recently withdraw insurance from PPG instructors because of some aspect related to the law and regulation of the activity?

Lastly, not withstanding the daftness of the situation, is there anything legally to prevent someone training themselves and then offering PPG training to others?

Please note guys - I am not seeking to challenge the integrity of instructors, or the PPG training they offer - I drive a biz jet for a living, but I'm humble enough to realise that I need to go through a PPG instruction course before I throw one on my back and go flying - I am trying to put PPG courses and training into legal perspective against the background of little to no legal regulation.

Thanx

would you help some one to get in the air when they cannot control the wing on the ground?

(please answer no)

If you want to train yourself and then be responsible for putting other people in the air then there is nothing stopping you, Until someone injures themselves then ?

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If you fly a Biz jet then you personally will have know problems with Met or Air Law, but to fly a paramotor is a completely different kettle of fish to flying a fixed wing aircraft, or an unpowered paraglider.

Someone had to start somewhere, probably from Paragliding who decided to stick a two stroke lawnmower to their back and see what happens. but l think PPG has come a long way since those early days and most reputable instructors who have been trained by instructors themselves have a good safety record.

The PMC are training pilots now to a high standard of safety and competence and l wouldn't hesitate in introducing a freind to the PMC for PPG training.

Yes it is unregulated but only the insane would buy the equipment, find a field and take off in this modern age of aviation.

8)

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Fair comment ........ but who trains the instructors, how do they get their qualifications and what in law regulates them or the training they carry out if PPG's in the first place are unregulated?

Didn't one of the National microlight organisations recently withdraw insurance from PPG instructors because of some aspect related to the law and regulation of the activity?

Lastly, not withstanding the daftness of the situation, is there anything legally to prevent someone training themselves and then offering PPG training to others?

Please note guys - I am not seeking to challenge the integrity of instructors, or the PPG training they offer - I drive a biz jet for a living, but I'm humble enough to realise that I need to go through a PPG instruction course before I throw one on my back and go flying - I am trying to put PPG courses and training into legal perspective against the background of little to no legal regulation.

Thanx

Hi Gulfstream.

You have hit the nail on the head. This unregulated avaiation persuit we all enjoy is in danger of loosing its freedom if individuals do not follow a code of practice which until recently didn't really exist. The BMA have chosen to part company with Powered paragliders and the BHPA appear to have little time or interest in the PPG side of aviation (I joined BHGA / BHPA in 1989):

For these reasons a dedicated group of individuals within this club who come from diverse aviation backgrounds, some with massive aviation experience, got together and produced the Paramotor Club Operations Manual (PCOM). The PCOM is a structured programme designed to take a novice through all aspects of flying from meteorology through to human performance and of course consentrating on powered paragliding through to instructor ratings x 2 etc. It follows a structure which provides consistancy and hopefully churns out a competant standard of pilot and instructor.

There are people who have instructed PPG successfully and safely for many years who do not have any instructor rating. This club recognised the need to produce a programme in order to standardise and maintain a high standard of pilot and instructor. Safe fun and professional are the key aims which then attracts respect from the rest of the aviation environment which will hopefully secure our future.

Its not what you are familiar with at your level but in my opinion its the best that is out there at the moment.

Hopefully you will get to experience the wonderfull freedom of flying that PPG offers. Lard arseing on your biz jet isn't really flying, thats cheating. :lol: Hopefully meet you for a beer at a flying event soon.

Regards.

Whitters. :wingover:

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As one of the 'fodder 5, that took the first PMC course I can say that before the course I had flown with SW and could obviously ground handle but lacked a lot of knowledge about other aspects of the sport (Navigation, CAA rules, Aerodynamics, kit maintenance and checking etc) that was keeping me on the ground through lack of confidence.

After the course I gained a lot of confidence and feel that it was all worth it and I now have a different view of the sport.

It is significent that a lot of people try the sport and leave after a very short time because of lack of confidence.

Whilst I appreciate there will always be people that question the validity of the PMC course it seems to me that these people just critisize but offer no alternatives.

What Simon, Norman and the other instructors (Witters, Paul, Alan and Pete) are doing along with Piers and Paul Haxby should be applauded as it can only be good for the sport.

I am willing to listen to options on training specific to our sport.

Are there any?

Eddie

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Great post Whitters :lol:

PS: Eddie, I am not a PPG instructor, I am learning how it's done just like you. I am involved in manual construction, course design and instructor training where it relates to instructors/training skills.

Ladies and Gents,

We are putting together a website at the moment to better inform members of the nature and structure of PPG generally and the club's PCOM/Training scheme. When people come to PPG in the UK these questions are always raised and it takes most people a little while to understand the basis upon which PPG works here. I will pop up URL shortly when it is ready for you.

For the record for any fixed wing pilot who reads this, I came to the following conclusions when I came to PPG after pursuing a few red herrings born of experience flying fixed wing types of all sorts. I found it helped for me to consider paramotoring in the following way when trying to rationalise what I already knew and relate it to what I needed to know about this new, exciting form of flight.

Try picturing a PPG in flight. Place the whole craft and its pilot inside an imaginary bubble. Treat EVERYTHING inside that bubble as a completely new aerial experience. Assume nothing relates directly to what you already know and treat with great suspicion any assumptions that you may be inclined to make.

Almost everything outside the bubble conforms and relates well to what GA experience you bring to PPG except of course the way you might evaluate weather. PPG's tight weather window for flying shifts the emphasis slightly doesn't it?

As an experience fixed wing pilot you arrive (at PPG) with some benefits, but you also carry some distinct disadvantages. You have a bunch of muscle memory and reflex habits to re-educate.

Inside that 'bubble' you are operating a very new flying machine which, whilst it is inherently very easy to fly, it can be quite difficult to fly accurately and well (some things don't change). You have a new set of vulnerabilities and hazards to become sensitised to, the ignorance or disrespect of which could cause you physical injury.

Hope that helps - just another perspective. :lol:

___________________________________________________________

To address the topic.

I believe Simon raises a wise and very important point relating to training that is close to my heart. When people (particularly young males) start to learn to fly they tend to spot objectives for themselves which seem to make sense. Typically they will try to solo in the shortest time possible or make progress as fast as they can, fly the hottest wing etc. I find that understandable and natural, but a flawed way to look at learning and building flying experience.

As we progress through the syllabus we find that there are areas that we make our way through with ease, and others that take a while to understand and master. In any course of ten trainee pilots you will see them making progress rather like athletes or horses do in a race. Some move ahead early, then fall back to recover later.

We all have similar trials with learning as there are challenges in flying for everyone. It tests us in so many different ways, that's probably what makes it such a wonderful thing to learn to do.

When learning to fly we are not taking part in a race, the objective is to learn thoroughly, not quickly - quality matters, not speed.

Perhaps this misconception grew its roots during the time the nation was training pilots for war. Then there was an absolute need for speed and those that didn't learn fast enough were 'chopped'. One consequence of this policy was that flying training losses in some areas, deaths to be frank, were comparable to combat losses.

We don't have those pressures, our primary objective must be to return home to family and friends and relate to them how we faced our challenges and how much FUN we had doing it.

I would encourage anyone to run their training as a personal experience, progress at the best pace for you, "Compare, and you despair" as they say in Yoga. :lol:

Safe - Fun - Professional.

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........... comparable to scuba diver training: there are 2 dominant training programs in the UK - PADI and BSAC (Professional Association of Diving I nstructors and B ritish Sub Aqua Club).

For many years both organisations trained folk and issued certification that held no legal basis to it, but which was universaly accepted (i.e. where ever you were in the world, produce your PADI or BSAC cert and you could rent equipment and or hire someone to take you out on a boat).

More recently both organisations have had their training recognised by Health & Safety - but there is still nothing in law that stops one from purchasing scuba gear and going off to dive.

This is a country known for its petty legislation, bueracracy and red tape, and it suprizes me no end that PPG is unregulated, but like a lot of legislation in the UK, it would appear that so long as participant numbers are low, and the cost of admin exceeds what can be made from enforcement (by way of fines and penalties), then authorities are happy to leave matters as they are.

I fear though that as PPG grows as a sport, so too will the number of idiots chancing their luck.

The best thing the PPG community can do (and which appears to be the case on this and other forums I have looked at - though I am only a member of this forum), is "shop" particpants who do not respect the rules & regs that continue to allow PPG to remain a self-regulated community.

PS - by contrast take a look at the South African PPG Syllabus

(http://www.ppg.co.za/fly/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=59&Itemid=2) - a national syllabus and legal requirement used by all instructors throughout the country - it seems pretty comprehensive.

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In response to an email I got from a member: I am trying to stimulate debate - not challenge the system.

Regulation or not, I am a great supporter of instruction and believe it's only a brave man who tempts fate without instruction. I am also interested in where people think PPG is going as a sport, as participants increase.

There are old pilots and there are bold pilots - there are no old bold pilots!

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....This is a country known for its petty legislation, bueracracy and red tape, and it suprizes me no end that PPG is unregulated, but like a lot of legislation in the UK, it would appear that so long as participant numbers are low, and the cost of admin exceeds what can be made from enforcement (by way of fines and penalties), then authorities are happy to leave matters as they are.
I think you have hit the nail on the head as to the real reason for the lack of UK regulation (so far) !
I fear though that as PPG grows as a sport, so too will the number of idiots chancing their luck.
You express similar concerns to those held by many on this forum. IMHO I think that the entry price of the sport, is high enough to deter many of the testosterone charged youngsters who would rather lay out money on a fast car or bike. Standing in a field waiting for a decent breeze, somehow doesn't quite have the street cred they are looking for. :D

As to regulation, it takes time for any new stream of aviation to be established and recognised. The CAA itself wasn't established until 1972, more than 60 years after the first powered flight in the UK. It then took a further decade until the Civil Aviation Act was passed.

In all such cases it takes a small group of dedicated exponents of such sports to try and establish appropriate guidelines and standards to help legitimise and regulate their sport. I see the current PCOM initiative (by the likes of Norman, Simon et al) in the same light. They are pioneers in an embryonic sport that may well start to grow rapidly with the advent of lighter and more reliable (safer) motors and wings.

As far as self-regulation is concerned, it has to be seen to work. But this is extremely difficult without a clear set of commonly agreed guidelines in place, overseen by some sort of parent organisation. So the greater the number of UK PPG exponents that buy into initiatives such as PCOM, the more likely it has a chance of influencing any future regulation. I for one wish them every success with this brave (and often thankless) task.

Andy

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I think you have hit the nail on the head as to the real reason for the lack of UK regulation (so far) !

Check out one of my earlier postings Andy, I doubt even you with your newbie enthusiasm have managed to read all the postings on here. It must have been part of the reasonings for deregulation:

viewtopic.php?f=1&t=2353&start=0&hilit=deregulation

Cheers,

Alan

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Check out one of my earlier postings Andy, I doubt even you with your newbie enthusiasm have managed to read all the postings on here. It must have been part of the reasonings for deregulation:

viewtopic.php?f=1&t=2353&start=0&hilit=deregulation

Cheers,

Alan

Thanks Alan. You are of course right, as there are indeed still some threads left for me to read, including the one you mention. :oops::wink:
...I was led to believe that the decision to deregulate was at least partly because of the huge choice of wing and motor combinations. The CAA felt that this would create too much work.
IMHO both reasons are one and the same. Too much work for the suits to get their heads around such a marginal sport, for the small potential revenue to justify their attention in the first place. It sounds almost patronising...

Andy

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ive said it before, but ill say it again just to join the debate......

I am not opposed to regulation, powered parachutes (not dissimilar) are i believe regulated to some degree (a few hours mandatory instruction). I enjoy the freedom, however i believe that we should be made to register our aircraft and show this registration on the wing so as to afford some sort of accountability, this would make people think twice.

I tried 3 schools and found none to be any good, the first guy sold me some 'ideal' kit (solo 210 engine and im 18 1/12 stone)then never bothered turning up to train me.

The next guy tried charging me £1000 up front for all the training that you want in the year (but not giving much training at all unless you also bought the kit, and most guys then only got about a weeks worth).

The final guy charged me a day to watch me with my own wing, doing ground handling that i already knew how to do, to decide if i was ok, then the following day when i took off told me not to worry about a riser on one side hooked under my under arm bar!!!

I, and other newbies, just wanted a syllabus and introduction for about 1/2 day before getting to grips with a wing, the boxes ticked as we progressed. a basic understanding of air law woundnt go amiss either!! (even people trained at the other places did not have it explained to them!)

the problem lies in the fact that the only place that i could find instruction was the internet, which ever site came up in the listing was the one that i visited because there is no feedback until you visit the site and talk to other guys. it was worse when i first looked into it back in 2002, it was nearly an underground sport!!

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Safe

Whatever we do in life we want to know that, particularly when what we are doing is potentially dangerous, that our safety is paramount in the minds of those teaching us. We want our training to be well structured using as many of the best techniques that can be mustered for us at a reasonably competitive price.

Fun

Don't we all aspire to be part of an organisation that delivers our training in an interesting and engaging way? A non-stuffy system as devoid of politics as it is possible to be carrying true to its core the needs of its members. If an experienced pilot or instructor wants to build a business doing the thing he has come to love most, as well a checking and verification he expects guidance, encouragement and support from his parent organisation.

We want our sport to thrive and recognise that for it to do so we must play our part. We must deliver a balanced experience for our pilots loaded towards safety but packed with enjoyment and a sense of achievement for those taking part.

Professionalism

... is an attitude of mind, a personal and collective objective. Anyone can be a cowboy, it takes training, effort and application to fly safely with consideration for those around you to highest standard you are able to turn in. That is where PCOM hopes to help.

We all need help whoever we are, we need guidance from those who we look up to to define those standards for us and outline an ethos - a vision. None of us wants to be lectured at by a group of elitist posers, we want assistance delivered with humility, consideration and respect. That is exactly what well trained instructors do. If you have found different out there draw your own conclusions, you won't be far out. :)

____ ____ ____

Wing Registration

This has been discussed here and elsewhere. It does have its benefits, the problem is administering it. Would you as a PMC pilot submit to a registration scheme within the PMC? Would you pay for the adhesive letters or numbers to be applied to your wing to a regulation size for every wing you own?

The BHPA has exactly the same problem if it wants to do the same. "Who says I must do this!" is the call, " Who pays?" is the next. Voluntary registration? Would that fly?

The BGA used to register its gliders with its own numerical system, now they have a national registration scheme. I would happily register my wing or mark it so that it could be identified. Any registration system may need to be lodged with someone like the CAA to give it 'reference' value. We have a freedom at the moment but it comes with it own price. Abusers can get away scott free.

An interesting debate to have don't you think?

'Box Ticking'

Bignos has it right on in a paragraph.

Let's just recap why a syllabus is important. It is a structured way of acquiring knowledge - of learning a skill, information delivered at the right time in the right place.

Without it there is no shape to learning, carts appearing before the horse and stable doors get slammed after drama has unfolded. A syllabus is an aid, a framework. Without it quality training just doesn't happen. A syllabus can exist in someone's head, but nobody can see it, it needs to be accessible - hence PCOM.

Everyone reading this can recognise quality training when they get it, it sends you home with a glow in your gut and a desire to move further next time. Disappointment leads to drop-outs, the bane of GA - the 'churn rate' is a significant and often debated problem within GA flight training. By the sound of it PPG has a similar problem.

Pitch up, have a lesson, buy the kit, fly, put the kit in the garage and polish it, get out of currency, give up and sell the kit. Not a pretty cycle but great for the equipment sales people.

To make it to the sunlit highlands you need a good guide and mentor. Then you stay there.

:wingover:

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