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opinion needed please for newbie - EP/CP first?

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Hi all

I would really appreciate your opinions on training and getting into p/motoring.

I have been sitting on the sidelines for a while watching/reading/checking this forum trying to figure out how I would approach joining yu in this sport.

I have been offered a full free-flying training curse up to CP rating for a very good price. I figured that the best route for me is to do the EP/CP course (after all in effect the motor pushes us along, but the wing keeps us up and best to learn how to free-fly first?). This train of thought is borne out of the following:

My partner and I have a flat in Rio de janeiro where there is a lot of free-flying in an area called Sao Conrado (4500ft t/o with a lovely beach LZ), we go there every year, therefore 1x good reason to free-fly!

Secondly, I'd then propose to do a power conversion after my CP for flying here from a friendly farmer's field in Hampshire. I already have a PM with 2 wings, reserve etc all in good checked-out nick.

Basically, would anyone think that that this is a good way to go?

What would you consider the pro's and con's to be?


M :D

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Cheers Pete

I figured that becoming proficient at pure flying (did my sailplane licence many years ago in south africa) would give me the experience to deal with wing issues, while the ability to t/o from flat land just really appeals for those 'quick' evening flits when the weather is right (I'm really after just getting my feet off terra firma - possibly that's why I also sail :)



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A resounding YES, with a small amendment to Pete's answer - the only 'con' is it will take slightly longer (due to UK weather) but this is more than outweighed by the 'pro's' in that you will become a more skilled and experienced pilot.

The ability to take your PG on holiday by plane opens up amazing opportunities to fly in some incredible locations, although what I perceived to be different aspects of the same sport when I started have actually turned out to be 2 distinctly different pursuits. Not sure if that is a pro or con but I haven't had time for sailing or kiting since flying regularly ..... :lol:

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cheers aquatix

I am of the same opinion as you - in my heart I want to PPG, but also want to have the option of being able to take my kit on a 12hr plane flight to some of the most awsome flying country I've seen and hurl myself off a mountain.

I was about to sign up for a pure PPG1 course, but in a way felt that mastering free-flight would be a good start - no doubt once I taste the engine on my back I may well be a pure PPG convert :D

....somehow the idea of a 'pocket' flying machine has always had a hold over me (all my family, uncles etc were in the RAF during the war - Polish 306/308Sqdn etc)

......so there is a 'genetic' link....................... :D:D:D

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Hi. I say if you have the chance of free flying rio every year then don't hesitate and get out with a wing now and start ground handling that beast and taming her ready for some amazing flying! :D:):lol: (with tuition of course) Also as you already said it will give you more understanding of wing control. I have no idea of the syllabus for EP/CP nowadays but when I done mine I had to demonstrate various wing collapses and manoeuvres. I've got no idea of what you have to do either to get your PPG ticket, but i'm sure Simon W or Pete will be able to tell us?

Got myself wondering now Simon or Pete or anyone that knows, are collapses covered or required for PPG rating? Is there a 'Whats covered on a ppg course' anywhere here on the site? (Pls point me as too laaazzy to look :) )

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Hi Shenzi

I paid up front for the EP/CP PG route but got frustrated walking up hills to be told that the weather was not suitable for a novice.

If you have the opportunity to fly in terrain that as a better weather pattern then I would see if they can give you the training needed. I don’t know what the rules are in Rio compared to the UK but it may be quicker to do your PG there then convert here to PPG if you need to. Unless something has changed there are no licences required in the UK for PPG and with good wing handling and a good instructor you could be safely flying your PPG in a short time. As long has you learn the rules for class G airspace, take off and landing rules and notams and you will not get into trouble. There are plenty of people to help you out when needed.

The other way is to do your PPG here and get your PG in Rio later. I did my BMAA foot launch after flying for a few years because I thought it was the right thing to do to have the papers. The BMAA dissolved its PPG training through politics and the BHPA then advertised PPG training?

The only thing that is going to matter to you in the long run is that you get the right training that you are happy with, you comply with the rules of the air law and that you go on to enjoy the sport and fulfil your expectation of flying in a safe manner.

Some of the primary choices that you will need to make is the equipment needed, Not to make any judgement on equipment but most instructors that are full time have their preferences whether they like to admit it or not. With the cost of paramotoring and the possible damages caused by a novice the equipment is very expensive even compared to a simple family car? With propellers costing £100 to £250 the training cost can rise. Anyone who says they have tried all the equipment available is either rich or a liar.

The balance is to listen to people who have followed the sport for a few years and make the time to visit flying site to talk to people and ask questions.

The majority of PPG people have no agenda on what they tell you but may have followed different routes to get there.

Patience is the key; many of us got the bug to fly and went the quickest route to get there. I am sure that most of us do not own the same equipment we started with?

Just a few questions to get you asking away

High, medium or low hang points

Two stroke or four stroke engine

What thrust do I need

Manual or Electric start

2, 3, 4 part cage for transporting

Size of fuel tank

Left or right hand throttle

Type of harness or leg straps

Do I want a reserve and where can it be mounted.

What size cage/prop is best for storage or power?

What is best for the cage stainless/alloy/ titanium?

Who gives the best support once the product is purchased?

The list is endless but important.

This is a response that is in no way trying to put you off as I really enjoy the PPG flying and people that take part.

It is just a guide to you getting the best experience of your life without the cost of having the mistake that some of us may of made to get here.


Any impartial advice required I will gladly give to see a happy PPG pilot

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Simon, collapses are not required for EP or CP in the BHPA PG or PPG syllabus - about the closest you get to countering an assymetric tuck is holding in one 'big ear'. Even the full PPG Pilot test doesn't require them since many of the reflex wings are difficult to collapse or 'B' line.

Whilst the PPG syllabus is very similar from non BHPA instructors it is still the best route for dual pilots due to the combined insurance and membership which is required for most PG clubs and hill sites in the UK, plus the internationally accepted qualification, transferrable to IPPI card. More expensive initially but pays for itself in a couple of years.

I still can't say which I prefer - this last week of high pressure has given us lots of fantastic motor flights but only one good day of free flying - I just count myself lucky (or greedy) that I've been able to make the most of every flyable day. :)

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Hi Aquatix. I done mine nearly ten years ago and was doing asymmetric's , big ears, frontals, b-line, rapid descent techniques, navigation out and returns, top landings, thermaling, ridge soaring, theory of flight and lots more. I don't think it was just Michel Carnet's instructors from sky systems, as his school was then, putting in that little bit extra. Maybe I was just lucky enough to do 95% of my learning in some amazing terrain in the French and Swiss Alps. Places like that give so many more flyable days. So if Shenzi can start to get out ground handling a wing ASAP then it gives much more time for learning to actually fly rather than when he gets to rio every year and starts flapping around and getting launches screwed up. Ive seen it first hand, the same pilots coming out on short breaks quite regularly to the mountains and binning the take off time after time when you knew that just a couple of hours a week back home here in the uk spent ground handling would of helped enormously and made their trip more enjoyable. We all know good ground handling is the key to smooth uneventful take-offs for both disciplines. Its a different ball game launching from altitude as well, which is why I think its important for both disciplines to have lots of ground handling practise.

Got away from subject sorry :roll::P:) Shenzi, I think doing either the EP/CP BHPA or PPG courses will get you in the air confidently. What ever route you take I wish you good luck and happy landings! :D


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Hi Simon, it sounds like you were very lucky to get all those extras in your training - they certainly haven't been in the syllabus since I first started in 2005. Saying that, I'm not sure I would have had the confidence to do frontals and b-lines at that stage, although I was lucky to complete my training in the amazing French Alps - a place I love going back to each year.

Totallly agree about the ground handling - Shenzi, if you can practice it at your local landing field you will pick up a lot of useful tips from other pilots which will speed up your training and be safer than doing it alone in a field.


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Hi all

thanks for the valuable posts and the opinions served up......

My free-flying in Rio would only be for a short time every year, therefore training there, aside from the language issue would, in my mind be a non starter, particularly if one takes into account insurance issues - I suppose it's like trying to get decent car insurance premiums based on a foreign licence. I thought it would better to train here in 'trying' conditions which would stand me in good stead in more (possibly) benign conditions. That said, I could then build up valuable air time when there (and freight out my current kit as a holiday backup once I purchase newer equipment with more experience 8) )

As for the kit that I acquired - I have a RADNE120 motor, stainless steel cage, wood prop, wood valley harness, high hang point setup (used for no more than 15hrs), an APCO (L) reserve and 2 wings - a large swing arcus 4 (105-130kg) and a medium Ozone Atom ( 80-100kg - propose to use this for free flying), radio etc - all in excellent nick. I have been practicing ground handling and am getting quite proficient at fwd/reverse launches....but as always practice makes perfect :)

therefore I reckon I'll start with the EP/CP training route and then look to do power training with one of you fine people that frequent this site


thanks all once again for your info - can anybody recommend insurance companies?


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can anybody recommend insurance companies?

Well the benefits of doing EP / CP with BHPA is that you will automatically be covered by their insurance for everything - if you do the power endorsement with them.

Otherwise, companies like Joint Aviation Services will do it.

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