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Hello, A microlight pilot newbie!


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Hi Guys, I am currently training for my NPPL(m), I have done alot of flying in flexwing's and 3-axis microlights. I currently own my own flexwing, however I would like to fly paramotor's aswell! My ambitions are really to teach myself to fly, I know it isn't a great idea - but who taught the wright brothers to fly?! I am obviously not going to go out and buy a £6k machine and try and fly it, I would like to buy a cheapo secondhand ground handling wing and get really comfortable practising with the wing, (I have access to large fields to practise in) and then get a wing suitable for powered flight (BTW are any wings suitable for powered flight? Or can any be used within reason?) and practise ground handling with that until completely happy, and practise launching. I would then try small hops, and go onto bigger and longer hops, until completely confident.

Is this honestly a feasable idea? I would really like to teach myself to fly, and being a pilot I wouldn't take any stupid risk's and if I feel I couldn't make myself feel 100% happy with my flying I would seek professional training.

Thanks;

Rach :dive:

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Hi Rach,

The stock answer is of course "no, don't do it" - the same as if one of us wanted to just take your flexwing up for a spin without training ..... but, given you are an experienced pilot, aware of the risks and determined to go ahead regardless, then yes, some people (especially the pioneers) get away without formal training.

Without guidance or supervison though it will be hard to know what you are doing right or wrong, and it will take a lot longer to become competent. If you have access to large fields why not invite some paramotorists to fly from there and pick up tips that way ?

Forget bunny hops with a paramotor though as that is the easiest way to injure yourself. Once your feet leave the ground it is always best to climb to a safe altitude, do a circuit of the field and land. Many wings can be flown with a motor but some can't.

In short it will be much easier, quicker and safer to get proper instruction, and much more fun learning & flying with other people. Aside from potentially kiling yourself it could cause serious problems for the rest of us if something went wrong, so I don't think you will get a lot of help from this forum if you choose to go it alone.

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Thanks - I know how damaging a crash can be to a sport, it has happened ALOT with microlighting! I am not completely adverse to training, but would it be a bad idea just to buy a ground handling wing and 'teach myself' to ground handle when I get a spare few minutes when the weathers good? Another problem is I live very far away from any PPG schools, so driving 1-2 hours to sit in the clubhouse would be counter productive! If I could already ground handle, realistically how long would it take to get to a decent flying standard with an instructor? Would 2-3 days be long enough?

Thanks again for your advice :D

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Hi Rach,

Im sure some of the guys, who have similar if not much greater experience of aviation in fixed wing and flexifoil types, will tell you it helped not a jot.

It is poss but will take longer be more frustrating and break more stuff.

Most reputable schools include the use of school kit in the course cost. Your experience would count in the nav,air law, meteorology sections.

Anyway just IMO.

Cheers Col.....

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Whereabouts are you ? Ground handling is the single most important skill to learn. It wouldn't be a problem for you to practice in our field on a flying day and I'm sure others would be the same.

At least it would be safe, you would get some good tips ..... and more importantly give us some amusement between flights ! :lol:

Alan

PS - yes, if you are already proficient at ground handling & know your meteorology, air law etc, then you could certainly be flying solo within 2-3 days of 'instructor' training.

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.. and 'teach myself' to ground handle when I get a spare few minutes when the weathers good?

Hi Rach,

The simple answer to your question is no. As for teaching yourself with a few spare minutes, make that hours to learn the 'feel' of the wing.

Just observing what the wing is doing in response to your inputs isn't the full story, you do need to feel what it is doing also. This is especially true with forward launches as you can't see the wing anyway :lol:

Having an experienced pilot with you will enable you to understand the responses and pitfalls of technique much better and more quickly IMHO.

Good luck,

Alan

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