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Paramotor Radio Callsign

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Hi everyone, I've a question about using the radio whilst paramotoring.

Does anyone have any experience in dealing with Air Traffic Control whilst paramotoring? Is it possible to obtain a Basic Service (formerly Flight Information Service) outside of controlled airspace, or clearance to transit through controlled airspace (e.g. the Class D at Brize Norton). I have an RT licence from my fixed wing flying, so understand that legal aspect of it.

Following on from that, what callsign do you use? 'RED PARAMOTOR' or 'PARAMOTOR 1' for example?!

As the paraglider/motor isn't registered you of course can't use the registration like you would with light aircraft - and I don't believe you can just make up a callsign - it has to be approved by the CAA/NATS.

Thanks in advance


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Having the RT licence is the first part.

You also then need to have the approved radio fitted to and approved aircraft.

The exception to this is the Safety Comm Frequency.

In other words, there is no legal way for you to transmit using airband from a Paramotor unless it on the Safety Comm Frequency.

That said, there are a good few people in a similar situation to you who have come from Microlights or Group A who continue to use an airband radio on frequencies other than safety comm.

If it's a one off, call them for permission on a good old phone before take off. :-)

Hope this helps. :-)


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As Simon Says

call them. I have flown out of Bampton. I called Brize ATC

as follows

ATC, standby -

ATC have you got an air band radio.

me no

ATC - call before take off.

1st time I called we were 2 days into the Libya conflict. they gave permission to route out of the airspace east only. :shock:

next time I asked permission to fly less than or = 500 along the thames river

lovely flight

ATC - very helpful. 8)

my tip would be plan to stay away from the planes in circuit - ask for permission to do something and then make sure you do it, as you will be on Radar.

Good luck


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I have been told by my gliding instrustor, If you need to contact an ATC to inform them of your plan location etc then do so. They will be in most cases happy you radioed in. If you sound professional IE fluent in the radio telephony lingo they will treat you like any other aircraft unless your flying into gatwick.

If you call up asking to enter there airspace with hello paramotor pilot here can i fly in your air space they will tell you to go away...

That said its always a good idea to stay well clear of airspace full stop.

Happy flying



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  • 4 years later...


As you already hold a FRTOL (flight operators licence) you would be, from my understanding, quite legal to use an approved handheld radio (airband only, NOT an Amateur 2m VHF which is very much illegal but still used by many.!) providing the airband handheld is on the approval list, and you hold an "Transportable Licence" as you do not hold an aircraft registration, which incidentally allows you to use it in any aircraft. See form "DAP1902 issue 09" downloadable from the CAA website. (Now added to this post) DAP1902Issue09enabled.pdfDAP1902Issue09enabled.pdf costing 15 pounds for 3 years should as I understand make you all legal.

The trouble is, having spoken to friends that are ATC operators, in most cases paramotors often become removed from the display due to the speed of flight and the radar often filters them out as flocks of birds, meaning its then difficult to keep track of your position without updates from you, this also means they can not tell other aircraft you are there.!

All of them I have spoken to agree that they would rather know you are there for that reason and say a standard position report based on the QNH and intentions of the flight would be welcomed.

A basic service might be difficult due to radar filters but pilots listening on the same frequency would know where you are, your altitude and what you plan to do, so would at least know where to avoid or look out for you. 

Part of my work is an AGCS operator at a busy airfield with Helicopters, Microlights, Parachutes, Paramotors and Models all operating from the same field. Believe me having a call on the radio from a paramotor pilot saying where he/she is and what they plan on doing would always be welcome, as talking to just one airport by phone beforehand is great but will mean the information will not filter down to other pilots/airfields operating nearby with pilots possibly talking to other ground units. They could remain totally unaware of your position relying only on the MK1 eyeball.

Also being able to dynamically change your frequency as you fly means you get a chance to build a better situation awareness of other traffic around you and them of you, even if you only listen on a frequency.

In relation to callsign, it is a grey area as some calls would make it sound like you hold a AOC but it was suggested to me that it is something like your Initials followed by wing size, as then the chances of two or more pilots having the same call on the same frequency would be more remote.

or something like paramotor followed by the last two digits of your year of birth.

Hope that helps in some way, from the point of view of an AGCS operator




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AFAIAA using the registration of the aircraft as a radio callsign is only a convention.  So long as the callsign used stays the same throughout the flight, is unambiguous and ATC know who & what they are talking to I believe anything is legal.  Almost all commercial and many private aircraft use their company name plus a flight number instead of an aircraft registration, and all aircraft flying in a formation will typically use the same ad-hoc root callsign followed by a number.  Even if ATC cannot see you on radar it is useful because they will warn other aircraft of your approximate location and last known altitude, and give you a heads-up about traffic in your vicinity - and they will call you for a position/level update if other aircraft get close to your track.  Remember that altitude is usually reported relative to "regional QNH" rather than actual height AMSL or standard pressure, and on some days this can make a considerable difference if you are relying on reported height differences for separation.

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Thank you for that. I always set my altimeter just before flying so that the ground is now zero. Just seems easier, so I know when I am 500 or 1000 away from stuff. :)

My local airport just knows me as "Paramotor" as I seem to be the only one up here! 

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16 hours ago, AndyB said:

Thank you for that. I always set my altimeter just before flying so that the ground is now zero. Just seems easier, so I know when I am 500 or 1000 away from stuff. :)

My local airport just knows me as "Paramotor" as I seem to be the only one up here! 

That's known as "QFE" (pressure at ground level at a particular location).  That's useful for local flights, but not cross-country flights.  It will not relate to any of the heights on a chart (of objects and airspace), and will also not help you maintain separation should you be told of another aircraft flying at a particular height.  If, for example the bottom of controlled airspace starts at 2500 feet and you are pootling around at 2000 feet indicated - but you set your altimeter to read zero at the top of a 600 foot hill - you will be violating controlled airspace!

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