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Jungle flying


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Hello, I have been looking around at various forms of flight in light of my future as a missionary in Papua, Indonesia. The village I will be in is only accessible by helicopter or several days' hike from the nearest town. Neighboring villages are similarly difficult to reach, requiring half to full days hike or canoe up river just to travel a few miles.

Most of these villages have clearings with an area a couple hundred feet long. The terrian is extremely flat, with visibility to the horizon in most directions, and mountains about 20 miles to the north. Rains come in quick and hard, but are easily visible from the sky and seem to only cover areas about a mile across. Judging from the tree tops surrounding the village there seems to be little wind. I will be able to speak with the helicopter pilots more about weather conditions.

I would like to get paramotor training, possibly a pilots license, and take a paramotor when I return to quickly travel around the jungle. I love to hear some thoughts on this from experiences paramotor pilots. Thanks!

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Hi Nebeno

I'm only a newbie, not even ground handled yet as waiting for weather to improve. So I might not be the best person to give advice...

I think the biggest risk is experiencing a motor failure and only dense jungle to land into!

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Hi and welcome.

Pete and I have been asked to fly over a jungle in Africa do some aerial filming, I guess it will be a case of looking at each flying situation as it arrises.

One thing is for sure though, flying over dense trees without 'glide clear' height is a no no. And if we do it, it will be entirely at our own risk and known to be dangerous.

We will also have the back up of a huge ground safety team and will always be flying locally to them and they will know exactly when and where we are flying.

If your on an expedition, sometimes the 'safety' rules have to be broken to achieve your goal it's going to be your call how far you break them.

It's fair to say that you would be putting yourself outside of a normal flying sphere.

SW :D

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If you did have an engine out over the jungle then it is unlikely for you to hit the ground but very likely that you will be stuck some way up above the ground and have to find a way to get down.

O and say goodbye to your wing cause you are not going to get that back.

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If you go as part of the Voluntary Services Overseas, they will teach you to ride a motorcycle for free! Normally I would say that flying is safer than riding a bike but seems not in this case. I used to teach for the company that had the contract for this...I wonder if they would be interested in teaching people to fly in these remote places instead?

Simon.

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Thanks for the advice everybody.

I read up on the glide clear issue. There are in fact rivers connecting most of the area I would be traveling. The problem with boats is there are often fallen trees blocking the river and shallow spots some days. I could fly along the rivers though, going on survey trips first, and marking open river and beaches, then basing my altitude and path based on these considerations.

I ran into a site that a sells a small rappelling system just for paramotorers who may get stuck in a tree :) Might have to invest in one of those. Either that, or learn that cool tree branch balancing stuff from Crouching Tiger =)

For perspective, how often does an engine fail? In reading around forums that doesn't seem to be a common issue. Not that I wouldn't take the safety precautions just in case, I'm just wondering how big the risk is.

Thanks again, keep the advice coming.

-Ben

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Thanks for the advice everybody.

I read up on the glide clear issue. There are in fact rivers connecting most of the area I would be traveling. The problem with boats is there are often fallen trees blocking the river and shallow spots some days. I could fly along the rivers though, going on survey trips first, and marking open river and beaches, then basing my altitude and path based on these considerations.

This is called good piloting / airmanship :-)

For perspective, how often does an engine fail? In reading around forums that doesn't seem to be a common issue. Not that I wouldn't take the safety precautions just in case, I'm just wondering how big the risk is.

The most likely engine failure will be running out of fuel. Its hard to say how many time you will get an engine out, but have had about 5 in the 1000 hours + that I have now flown.

Thanks again, keep the advice coming.

-Ben

SW :D

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