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I know its not PC to discuss accidents in any walk of life, but as part of my own personal research into paramotoring I need to get a feel for the risk factors involved in PM'ing.

I can hear you all saying: flying is the biggest risk...thanks :D:D:D

But I took a call this morning from a colleague who I haven't spoken to for a few months. I learned that he had taken up paramotoring and wanted to ask a few Q's.

When I caught up with him, he told me he had quit and moved back to micro lights. When I asked why, he stated that he had done about 40hrs on the PM and loved every minute of it except for the landings.

His reasons for this were because he became more and more aware that anything short of a 100% perfect landing would result in 30kg+ crashing down on his back with quite a momentum.

What capped it all was that of the 4 guys on his course who converted to PM's, one had broken his back and the other had broken his pelvis from landing other than perfectly. One had ballooned slightly to about 5 feet above touchdown and the other had landed in a ploughed feild and tripped.

He has told me to do the taster day by all means but to pay particular attention to wearing the kit for as long as possible, running with it and jumping offa chair approx 3' off the ground, to see how I felt about this weights behaviour.

Can I have an honest opinion/view on what pilots think the risks of less than a perfect landing are? What are the stats like (unofficial obviously as there aren't any recorded stats) regarding injury whilst landing in particular, but also while taking off to a lesser degree.

Does using a trike u/c really change the whole sport? Are the rules associated with trikes that much stricter? Are they essential if one wants to eliminate this risk as much as possible?

Many thanks in advance


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My own experience? I've not had a decent landing where I've touched down as light as a feather. But Ive got up smiling and wanting more from every one. Good landings come with experience and confidence which comes from practice. I know you already know this.

I think age and fitness play a part. I'm middle aged and thought about it. But I've lost weight (thru running around with a motor on my back) and I wear ankle and knee supports.

I've seen quite a few landings some worse and a lot better than mine and everyone has walked in smiling.

I won't say you shouldn't worry but if you fly sensibly you'll be fine IMHO.

Hope this helps.

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I haven't heard of too many heavy landings amongst my PPG mates. Very rough air and stalling whilst too high are fairly easy to avoid. Falling out of trees maybe another (I didn't by the way :o) ) I have landed with the wind instead of into the wind, on the odd gentle day when I had no windsock, but merely point my toes and lean back, setting the motor down on it's skids, and left 30 or 40 feet marks in the wet grass. Always on my feet for the last 2 years though, and gentle, especially with power on landings.

There is a little misconception, especially amongst freeflyers, that a motor is heavy to land with, on your back. Thing is, it's not on you until after you land.....you are on it. And if your seat is 14 inches of the ground, your pelvis and coxix and spine are a bit safer, when you do touch down.


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Yes there are risks. Statistics and personal opinions rate paramotoring as a lower risk than riding a motorbike. Every active pilot has decided the reward far outweighs the risks - if it didn't, we wouldn't fly ....

Most accidents involve starting the motor on the ground - this risk is almost totally avoidable. Take off is at such a low speed that the biggest risk is a damaged prop and dirty knees. Landings should be softer than stepping off a kerb - not jumping off a chair :shock: - but since it takes practice to make perfect, most people will experience the odd fall, arse, faceplant or otherwise embarrassing landing. Seriously bad landings are very rare but even then the cage will absorb a lot of the impact.

The BHPA collates reports and investigates any accidents or incidents involving paragliders or paramotors. These are available for all to view on their website but of course depend on people actually reporting it when things go wrong.

On this forum some experienced pilots have posted about their injuries (some quite nasty). I have suffered a twisted ankle with damaged ligaments that took a good few months to heal after a poor emergency landing (engine failure shortly after take off) and accept there is always an element of risk. This can be minimised by pilot attitude, training and equipment. I've had worse accidents cycling (as a teenager), in a car crash, and falling off ladders.

Trikes have significantly different and stricter rules. They can reduce the risk of some minor injury, but also add other risks (such as narrowing the choice of landing area in an emergency) and offer no real safety benefit in a serious or catastrophic incident.

So like the majority of sports or hobbies there is a constant risk element of minor injury, plus a (relatively small) risk of serious or fatal injury. Most of us don't get to choose how or when we die, but we can choose how to live our life.

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Well i was up in the 120kg weight not including motor etc and the most ive done is landed straight legged jarring my knee which hurt & took about a month to fully recover, im not the best at landing and its getting better every flight/landing. Im 50 this month and have broken my back twice and suffer from a bone disorder so if anyone was fragile etc on landings i would have thought it was me, there is no subsitute for training though a good instructor is gonna make sure your technic is correct thus minimising the risk, but to be fair i think the sport is as safe as you make it, I gave up riding sports bike as i think this is safer!!

Ps I weigh a lot less now lol 103kg

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Thank you very much for your views and your time. Every one of you appears to pass the same message and this the sport is intrinsically safe and training is what it's all about.

I'm past my prime, fit andco-ordinated. Perhaps 2 of those will cancel out the third!!

I'm still going for it and will make the final decision after the taster day.

Fantastic responses - thanks guys!

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my 7Girlfried is right ( Shes always right ) :wink:

She told me when I started to take up paramotoring and the microlighting took a back seat, that the way she saw it the downside of this new hobby was the lack of good strong landing gear...She pointed out that in her mind wheels were always going to be safer......for years and years I took great pride in proving her wrong and that her Initial worries were unfounded in my mind I became a Sky God :oops::oops: cockyness and over confidence in my ability ( It happens to everybody ) even you :shock:

eventually took its sweet revenge on a stupidly tight take off that I should have walked away from brought me back to mother Earth with a bang.........8 1/2 months on from that one mistake that one bad landing will now live with me for ever....its not damped my enthusiasm to fly one little bit and the Micro has swung back into action , but never again will I be able to land on my feet ( or take off for that matter ) not out of choice but because the damage done to my leg/ankle/ foot wont be going away ....I am lucky to be able to walk and to still have a foot to walk on ( I had to sign a form before emergency surgery that said if they couldnt fix it they could take it off ) :o So No way on earth am I ever going to think about footlaunch again

Bring on those wheels :P:P

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1.....Peteb: same dimensions! Here's hoping then!

Gary: where are you in N wales?

Near Abersoch

2.....which brings us to that little voice in your head

always listen to that little voice, it will keep you alive and in one piece

gary knew he was setting up in a tight spot, the voice told him

gary chose to ignore the voice.......

I didnt need to listen to the little voices I was a Sky god ( NOTE ).....**WAS** .....lesson learnt

I also Blame the music I was listening to ( I believe I can Fly ). :lol: ..on that day I couldnt


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