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What pilot training have you had ???

How did you learn to fly a paramotor ?  

67 members have voted

  1. 1. How did you learn to fly a paramotor ?

    • BHPA - free flight & motor
    • BHPA - motor only
    • PMC instructor trained
    • BMAA or other recognised organisation (UK or foreign)
    • Freelance (non affiliated instructor) trained
    • Self taught / no formal training
    • xxxx....... now select one option from below ......xxxx
    • Do you free fly as well as motor ?
    • Paramotor only ?

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Further to recent discussion topic about training, it would be interesting to see how the current mix of pilots is made up.

2 votes are allowed, to answer the bottom questions as well as the training.

NB: it isn't a debate on which training is best, just how people got started in PPG. It is assumed that most UK hill pilots will have had BHPA training or conversion for free flight, so the main focus is on PPG.

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Can the poll be open to selllect more than two options? there are some pilots who are self/ mate taught but now have BHPA pilot through alternate entry (no formal training). Some will be BMMA trained moter, then converted BHPA motor pilot. :D


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This is an interesting idea. I think we would required at least a couple of hundred votes to get any sort of real idea of the spread.

This forum has just over 2000 active members so we should be able to get a reasonably accurate result here.

Come on hit the vote button.


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Can the poll be open to selllect more than two options?

I though it was complicated enough .... you know how confused pilots get when confronted with more than 2 choices .... :lol:

I guess you could tick self taught AND BHPA motor if you converted - since even if they didn't train you initially you have chosen to take an external assessment. The options cover the main entry choices to motoring, but if you did it differently just add a note to the thread.

For instance I started as a BHPA hill pilot, did some motor training with a freelance instructor then gained some hours before a bit of further training / assessment to add the power pilot endorsement to my BHPA qualification. It worked out slightly cheaper / easier and was mainly done to get full insurance cover for both at a lower cost.

As SW says it needs a lot more votes, but so far it looks like the majority are just into paramotoring and a significant proportion are self taught.

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Just a queery, i done a three day course in basingstoke about 17 odd years ago but then done no more till a couple of years back with Sabre Ace.

My question is does anyone know who this was running it in basingstoke, are they on here? i cant remember anything about it (incredibly stoned part of my life :roll: ) come to think about it i cant remember alot back then!

A few friends i done it with bought new equipement on the course and only used it a couple of times they still have it, i will have to get them to dig it out and see what it is.

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Should there be a choice for BHPA paraglider only.

And then other for paramotor? i.e self taught etc

So a mix of formal and informal.

It is just that if you have had 200 hours on a paraglider but are self taught on a paramotor. The odds are probably better than being completly self taught. In particular with regard to air law etc.

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Hi Barry - that would be a tick in the "self taught" box and a tick in the "free fly and paramotor" box .....

.... the focus is on PPG training since the odds are that any UK free flyers are BHPA members anyway, as it is required for most club sites.

Of course with 200 PG hours it should be easy to convert to motor without formal training and be a perfectly safe pilot, but for this survey it is simply self taught.

Early days yet but a fairly even division between the different routes into paramotoring. Hopefully more people will respond.

Slightly surprised by the much greater proportion of people who don't free fly as well - particularly those who trained with the BHPA for motoring, without free flying. :?: Would anyone care to comment why ? (additional cost / time, perceived danger or whatever) ? It holds at least an equal attraction for me, so hard to see how someone can enjoy powered flight without also giving it a go unpowered (without the noise). :)

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Its a flat as a pancake here so free flying is not much of an option :(

Well Dunstable Downs and Thurnham might not be epic, but surely its worth the occasional drive to Newhaven or Devils Dyke ??? (or winch / tow on a thermic day) :)

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I think it should be factored in that this is a Paramotor forum as well of course :-)

Of course, but I can understand why few people on the paragliding forums are keen on "the devil's black art", since they always cite noise, smell and hassle (although many admit to wanting to try it) - just curious why more paramotorists aren't tempted the other way ? :?

:oops: PS - I've just realised the percentages for training have been halved by adding the question about free flying / paramotoring, but thankfully the poll also shows number of votes as well ...... Doh ! It should still give valid results though.

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I am not sure if the fact that I come from the skydiving fraternity gives me a different outlook but I just wanted to fly and paramotoring is a great (and cheap) way to do it.

I have never had the slightest inclination to try paragliding as it seems to be very restricting and a totally different sport, whereas with a paramotor I can pick and choose (within reason) where I fly to, and from. Also, in 'less restricting' weather conditions.

Probably also the reason that I trained with paramotorists and not the BHPA.


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I see your point Eddie - it takes longer to reach the 'freedom' stage in PG (although it is ultimately more challenging & stimulating), whereas a PPG pilot could climb to 6000 feet or go XC on their very first flight. Skydiving is great fun, but all over too quick for me .... :lol:

I can also see why BHPA training / membership offers no perceived advantage to someone only wanting to paramotor.


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Well so far it seems that only 1/3 of pilots on here do any free flying.

Training wise a slight majority (just over 1/3) have come into paramotoring via the BHPA, almost as many through PMC, with almost 20% through freelance or BMAA instructors and the same number self taught.

Quite a diverse mix before you even factor in skill level / experience / flying hours, or whether they are insured or not. Does anyone consider this when organising a fly-in for example ?

Also, what to do about pilots who fly in a dangerous manner or continually break airspace or other rules ? We had one decent enough pilot who was overconfident and prone to taking excessive risks (he earned the nickname "Dangerous Xxxx" at an early stage). His low level 'acro' stunts got so bad that people had to put their camera's away, turn their backs and not look in case they encouraged him. Friendly advice went unheeded and he has gone off training 'students' for paramotor and even hill flying - where he has no experence or qualifications ....

In an unregulated sport with no rules or governing body do you just look the other way and hope you don't hear about a fatality ?

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I quite fancy trying paragliding as I have only ever paramotored but it is a time factor. When home I can see if the conditions are suitable for me and in 10 minutes I can be in the field getting set up,whereas with paragliding it would be at least 30 minutes each way and no guarantee the conditions would be any good.When there is always work to be done on the farm I know this wasted time would wrankle.


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Alistair, think you hit the nail on the head with that comment. The Paraflying to Parawaiting ratio is significantly higher for paramotoring compared with paragliding.

I've just had a trawl through my log book and I've had just 1 abortive UK PPG trip this year out of 27 outings, compared to 8 failed UK PG outings out of 15 last year.


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8) My logbook shows 21 days PG flying and 18 PPG so far this year - all in UK ! It would be more even except Simonini had my motor back for over 3 weeks.... Last year showed an almost identical number of logged hours for each. Admittedly I have also had at least 10 failed PG outings compared to only a few with PPG, and it does impact heavily on work to fly that much in UK. :(

Off to Turkey next weekend for a weeks flying holiday. :D That is the big advantage of a 'dual rating' as it is cheap & easy to take a paraglider to more exotic llocations. Going with a few PPG pilots who don't really glide over here but treat it like skiing, with one or two annual trips to paraglide.

Alan, I doubt it would help to name & shame him since he really doesn't give a toss what other people think or say. Do you think it would be easier to deal with such a 'rogue instructor' under the French system / FFVL ? Over here he can simply get away with endangering people since the authorities can't stop him without imposing regulations across the board.....

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We will have no naming and shaming on this site!

The ONLY option is to stop him/her from using the take off site. Talk to the land owner I am sure you will get his/her support.


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SW, I had no intention of naming him on here. I only know him through others who have already pretty much ceased contact with him (although we keep hearing about his antics, plus the odd youtube video). :roll: . He has also been thrown off BHPA sites, but even that is unlikely to stop him using other fields or hills.

The problem with this approach is he will probably get up to worse antics outside the framework of a 'club' environment. He isn't "instructing" as a business but more a case of teaching 'mates' how to fly - and not necessarily in the correct or safe way...

Since you, I or anyone else can set themselves up as a "paramotor instructor" do we actually have any right to criticise someone else - even if we feel their actions are potentially dangerous / fatal, and any repercussions could impact all of us ?

Perhaps I'm making too much of the 'duty of care' element because I was a senior outdoor pursuits coach for over a decade. Maybe the current unregulated mix of self taught and formally trained pilots is best. I'm just not 100% convinced, although the relatively low incident rate recently is excellent. Hopefully it will continue.

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