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Backcountry flying, take-offs and landings?

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Having never flown a PPG, I am interested in possibly using one to get off-road, (perhaps 25 miles/40 km out and then back) in Alaska and was wondering how practical this would be.

How difficult would it be to take off in long grass? Uneven ground?

Is it possible to carry a payload, such as a small amount of camping gear?

How reliable are the motors?

I have parachuting and backcountry experience but no PPG experience.

Thanks in advance for your input.

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Thanks! Any advice on choosing the best PPG keeping in mind rough landing areas, reasonably long flights over remote country and with a payload?

I weigh about 175 ready to fly.

How much of an external payload could I carry? Would that be on a front mounted attached bag perhaps?

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At 175 you would be on a large wing (possibly even a tandem to be honest)

As far as payload is concerned, its more to do with how much you can carry and take off with....

Attaching bits of kit to your paramotor is always a mission, I have sone it twice with a Tent and sleeping bag,, tent was across the back of my head, and sleeping bag was on my lap.

Tight landing spots, are down to your piloting skills more than the wing. (get good at spot landings and engine out practices)


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Hi Buck,

Ah at 79kg it brings you back into the weight range of the standard size's of wings. Makes it a lot easier to find kit that will work for you.

I would also suggest you invest in a spot tracker or similar system in case you get into trouble in remote locations as engine outs or twisted ankles on landing are not unheard of.

Look forward to seeing some photos from your flights.

Cheers Col...

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Hello and welcome.

You probably already know this so apologies if I come across as patronising but if you google "vol bivouac paramotor" you will find loads of blogs, photos and websites for people who do just this!

That said you have definately come to the right place for friendly advice on all things paramotor though.

I must admit that flying and camping would be an amazing way to see your fantastic scenery.

Take care


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A Spot would be a good idea. I've got a satellite phone I might use, too. I've got lots of experience in the wilderness, but none with paramotors so I'm just getting oriented. In fact, I'd never heard of "vol bivouac" so that was a good tip, thank you. Some of those links gave me some very good information and ideas.

I would expect some bias here, but just considering take-off and landings on rocky and/or bumpy ground, tall grass and whatnot, would a paramotor be the best choice amongst the powered parachutes?

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Yes, I'm biased but would say that a light paramotor with a floaty wing and as little kit as possible would probably one of the best methods of flying in that kind of environment due to it keeping the weight off of your legs for the longest time possible.

That said, I don't know that I would want to be running over rocky, bumpy, scrubby ground on a launch run. A broken ankle or propellor in a remote location would be pretty inconvenient!

But then it depends whether the risk outweighs the reward and that is a question which only an you can answer as everyones risk tolerance, capability and experience is different.

It would definately be worth you getting into paramotoring for paramotoring sake as it is such an awesome sport, with a view to taking it into the back country if and when you feel confident to do that.


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hi Buck

I used to live in Anchorage and down on the Kenai, and have flown all around South central Alaska in light aircraft. Never had an engine failure in 1500 hrs, but since I have started flying paramotors it has happened 3 or 4 times. They are a hell of a lot of fun but not what I would call reliable. That said with practice you could easily land places a supercub would struggle to go. For camping out the main problem is weather. Strong winds or rain are a definite show stopper and a moderate 15 kt head wind can make a 10 mile trip suck up a full tank of fuel.

I have a friend, Kenny Macdonald ,a Bush pilot, who lives out in the woods near Willow,in the Mat-Su Valley and I believe he has a Miniplane paramotor, which is a nice bit of kit. It is just about the lightest and most reliable out there.

Have a chat with him on 907 495 5525 and give him my best

Enjoy your Summer. Wish I was still out there, Seymore

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Good information seymore, thanks. Did you do takeoffs and landings in the kind of places I'm talking about? I'm thinking about grassy Alaska lakeshores. Alpine tundra and gravel bars should be fairly easy once a guy knows what he's doing.

As for weather, I'd be willing to be patient.

Did you rig up any way to carry extra gear with you, food, water, fuel, rain gear, bug dope?

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