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Hello,

I've started my research into Para motoring, and the more I read, the more I want to give it a shot. I live in South Yorkshire and I've seen a few 'Para Gliders' over the Peak District and out in Castleton way and always wanted try it.

I started my fixed wing PPL and due to certain circumstances, I had to stop. That was a whopping 6 years ago! :shock: I'm now looking at my options in regards to my bug of flying and I'm starting to think that Para motoring is the way forward. Flying in a fixed wing is great, but the freedom of para motoring is defiantly appealing and with soaring costs in fixed wing, its just not economical.

I've been reading the forum and a few training websites on my quest for information, but I do have a few unanswered questions, if anyone would be happy enough to help.

1. What is the Weather restrictions to be able to fly?

2. Can you pull up, rig up and fly or do you have to fly from an approved strip?

3. I can see there is no licence requirements, but is there any ground school knowledge taught in the training?

4. I know there is a Yorkshire Section on here but how do you chose a good reputable training organisation?

Like I say I'm just starting my research by looking into the requirements, costs of running and maintaining equipment and general costs of the flying etc. It is defiantly something I am wanting to try and then hopefully look at starting the training later in the year, perhaps in the Autumn.

Any help, advice or links would be very much appreciated. Thanks in advance.

Ryan

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Hi Ryan

Yes, good move! I originally started off microlighting and moved over to paramotors a few years ago. Partly due to the cost, but also due to the much greater flexibility that paramotoring gives you.

Hopefully this'll answer at least some of the very valid questions you raise:-

1 - Ideally, especially as a beginner, you want to fly in the mornings or evenings to avoid the thermals. Winds should be light but better to have a consistent breeze than less wind and gusts. To begin with, you don't want anything more than about 6-8mph

2 - Legally, you can take off from anywhere where you have the owners permission. The same rules apply with regards to airspace and air law as they do with PPL, so you'll need to know of any airspace restrictions, hazards, etc.

3 - Getting proper training is definitely the way to go. As part of this, you'll spend your first few days doing ground handling and only when you're confident with handling the wing will your instructor consider letting you have your first flight. In between ground handling sessions, you'll also learn about the principles of flight, meteorology, air law and navigation.

4 - There are lots of instructors around. I learnt with Skyschool in Spain ( www.skyschooluk.com ), who were very good. There's lots of excellent schools in this country too. I can't speak from personal experience of any in your area, but i'm sure others can. Paul Haxby is near you (I think) - may be worth checking out http://www.axbsports.com

Hope this helps.

Best regards

Carl

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Hi Carl,

Thank you for your detailed response, I very much appreciate your time and help.

I've had a quick look at the axb Sports website and will look at it in more detail soon. Thanks for that. They are in Doncaster which isn't too far away, so I will get in touch with them.

Watching you tube videos online it just looks amazing, flying in and above the cloud. Do you have to have some form of radio contact with an ATC to be able to fly above the cloud? Was just wondering as there maybe an unsuspecting light aircraft flying close by. :o

Do you know of any books that are a good read for me to learn more?

Thanks for the comment Alan, must appreciated. Hopefully keep you posted on my progress.

Cheers,

Ryan

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Hi Ryan

Glad this was of use. As far as books are concerned, 'Paramotoring from the ground up' by Noel Whittal is pretty good, if a little dated. It does cover all the basic principles, including air law, meteorology, etc.

Officially you should always be able to see the ground and have a min of 3km visibility (I think it's 3km, but I only usually fly when it's more than this anyway).

Most of your flying will be done in open airspace, so it's a case of keeping a good look out for other aircraft. For general flying you don't need a radio, but if flying in/around other airfields or airspace it will probably be required. If flying with others, you can pick up a set of PMR radios pretty cheaply (they're 'walkie talkies').

It's also worth checking NOTAM's (NOTices To AirMen) for your area before flying to see if there's any specific activity taking place (air shows, etc) - There's a NOTAM link at the top of this page

Let me know if I can be of any further help

Best regards

Carl

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Thanks again Carl,

I'm now awaiting delivery of the book.

It will be interesting to read and get to know a lot more about the sport. There is another question, well I have loads but I will wait for the book to come rather than bombard you with questions on here. :?

I'm clueless with how the equipment works and what I would require to use. For example there are a number of different wings, motors, harnesses etc. How do you determine what's right for you?

Regards,

Ryan

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.. no problem; thanks Ryan

Now that's a huge area - the choice of equipment! A lot of this will depend on your budget, but you'll want to chose a wing carefully and make sure you get one suitable for beginners. An instructor will be able to advise, help and possibly source this for you.

With motors, you get lots of options; 2-stroke, 4-stroke, manual or electric start, all with various weights, power and price tags.

With wings you really should only look at something suitable for beginners. Something like a Revo2 from Paramania is usually around £2.5k

You can get second hand motors and wings which could obviously save (i've got a beginners wing for sale if you're interested :-) - it's a Sting PowerPlay 160)

Choice of kit is really something to be discussed with an instructor but there's loads of info on this forum too.

Bests

Carl

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Training wings have very docile characteristics and are generally very easy to launch.

There are also smaller sizes so ground handling can be continued when the wind strength picks up a bit (rather than you getting pick up when you least expect it :lol: )

Cheers, Alan

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Thanks Alan,

So, it would be advisable to have a lesson on ground handling, then buy a training wing, find a suitable field and practice, practice, practice. :) I suppose when you have completed your training you can always practice the ground work should you not be able to fly or feel more practice is required?

I was having a look around my area for a suitable field yesterday, that I could practice on and then hopefully fly from, once I had tracked the owners down.

Cheers, Ryan

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  • 1 month later...

I did my training with Paul Haxby and I can't recommend him enough! A fantastic and very patient guy with 15 odd years of experience.I too was a complete newbie and Paul sorted me out with all my gear including a brand new motor that he with a friend has developed and it is a peach! He flys at a field just off the junction for Thorne on the M18,give him a bell you really can't find a more helpful guy.if you type Paul into YouTube there's loads of stuff to look at including my first solo,good luck you will never regret it!

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  • 4 weeks later...

Hi Ryan,

We are moving up to the Baslow area in the peak district, middle of May so will also be on the look out for fields and sites to fly from,

I know there are a few clubs around further south but i don't see the point in traveling too far to fly :) for such a pretty place to fly over it seems relatively quiet when it comes to finding people to chat to about flying sites :(

I have been flying for about 3 years so still learning lots all the time, however i know a fair amount about wings, motors, kit needed and kit not needed but preferred :)

I have no affiliates with any makers so can give you some unbiased opinions on what you need and what you don't,

I say speak to instructors and gain knowledge of kit but please speak to as many as you can as they "can" be very biased to selling you kit that they stock.

Obviously they make money from sales and they are running a business which i fully support, just make sure you are buying whats right for you.

By the way if you have found some members or flying sites since you posted this id love to hear about them :)

many thanks.

Dave.

:wingover:

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I did my training with Paul Haxby and I can't recommend him enough! A fantastic and very patient guy with 15 odd years of experience.I too was a complete newbie and Paul sorted me out with all my gear including a brand new motor that he with a friend has developed and it is a peach! He flys at a field just off the junction for Thorne on the M18,give him a bell you really can't find a more helpful guy.if you type Paul into YouTube there's loads of stuff to look at including my first solo,good luck you will never regret it!

I should probably add a bit of balance here. I also trained with Paul Haxby and could not recommend him at all. I witnessed none of the positive attributes mentioned and in fact saw the very opposite with some students. I was also sold one of the AXB paramotors developed by Paul and his friend and had nothing but trouble with it - the most critical being that it cut out on me almost every flight, dumping me on the ground each time - to the extent that I was afraid to fly away from the field, knowing that at some stage I would have engine failure. I eventually gave it back to Paul and asked for a refund. He refused. This was over a year ago. I have never received a refund. Turns out I wasn't the first to have this happen to them, and I expect I won't be the last.

I'm sure that some people will be happy with the training they get and may leave positive comments (as will an instructor's "friends"). Unfortunately when others have a poor experience in training it can put them off paramotoring for good. As a result, they're no longer around PPG forums to leave comments like this, and poor instructors end up with recomendations that they might not otherwise deserve. Fortunately there are several very good paramotor instructors in the North, and I would recommend people to have a look at them first.

I hope this helps.

Dom

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi Dom

I am very surprised by your comments about Paul,I really didn't see any of the negative stuff you obviously did! I can also say I am not one of Paul's friends and would never recommended anyone if I didn't rate them.You are right to look around as there are many good instructors out there I just happen to think Paul is one of them!

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I agree that if you're in the North and interested in learning PPG, I would certainly recommend people to look at the following highly regarded (and perhaps less controversial) instructors and schools:

Paul Kilburn - Manchester Paragliders

http://www.manchesterparagliders.com/

Airways Airsports - Derbyshire

http://www.airways-airsports.com/

Yorkshire Paramotors - York & Selby

http://www.yorkshire-paramotors.co.uk/

Dean Crosby - Active Edge - Harrogate

http://www.activeedge.co.uk/

Hope this helps.

Dom

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