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Light and compact setup for traveling for newbie?


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I'd like to learn how to paramotor and I'm a beginner at all things flight.

The schools around me all seem to offer free instruction with the purchase of gear for both paragliding and paramotoring. Therefore, it seems that my choice is mainly going to focus on what gear to get.

My end goal is to be able to actually travel around the world with a paramotor kit as check-in luggage and also in the trunk of a car. So it needs to be compact and lightweight (as well as safe).

I'd really like to be able to take some light camping gear with me and fly-camp-fly from place to place as well.

I'm not really looking for extreme flying. In fact, the more stable the better for aerial photography. And the ability to also do free-flight with the wing is a big bonus.

It would also be neat to do tandem flights with this gear, but I'm assuming that this would require a *completely* different set of gear (bigger motor, bigger wing) due to the added weight?

Would something like the MiniPlane and Spark PPG be a good investment?

http://www.miniplane-usa.com/pages/models.htm

My situation is unique - I'm an American but I'm currently overseas and looking to get my training and gear purchase done here, so I *have* to get gear that's logistically easy to get back to my country of origin.

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I don't think the airlines allow an engine to be transported once it's been used due to the petrol issue.

Oh, really good point. I could disassemble the motor and any other parts that touch fuel and ship them separately via FedEx or something with the proper declarations.

Does anyone else with experience shipping have any tips?

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I have been on a plane with my PPG gear on around 30 flights now.

Never been an issue. However, this was mainly around Asia.

Every time I have pulled the motor from the frame and put it in suitcase, wrapped in several thick poly bags. Jetstar/Quantas has a procedure for taking engines on a plane as checked luggage...

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Fuzzy

If your strong, young and weigh less than 160 lbs. Your going to have a better time of doing the kind of flying your talking about. Light pilots get to fly small motors on their paramotor. Which in turn allows lighter frames and so on.

But. Flying to and out of areas your not familiar with can be dangerous for a new pilot. Your going to spend your first year learning so much which will open your eyes to all the problems you can encounter. As a new pilot you don't know how to evaluate each situation well enough to reduce your risks. Flying in and out of the same ideal home base will hone your flying skills and allow you to venture out to experience different flying conditions yet still have the consistency you need to stay out of trouble.

Camping? Carrying extra weight can be difficult for takeoff and landings. How fast can you run with 65 lbs. on your back in zero wind?

Finding and buying the right gear can be a dizzying experience. My first experiences were that each instructor claims theirs to be the best and better than all the rest. Some talked down the competition so much I felt at the end of my search I was the only one I could trust. This is just my experience and can't say you will have the same but it's best to do a great deal of homework on your own. Go to flyins and watch the flyers. Learn from both the good and the bad.

Don't be afraid to buy a beginner wing. It pays off in spades launching and landing. Your going to buy more than one wing anyway. Intermediate wing is good too.

Lastly, kite your butt off. Learn wing handling like a Ninja. Get started in the most steady wind conditions. You will learn faster if your not getting knocked down with rotors every other minute. Learn to handle all wind conditions. When the wind dies practice the forward launch. Because when you put the kit on your back all bets are off and you will need every still you've got to fly the wing.

Al

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Fuzzy

If your strong, young and weigh less than 160 lbs. Your going to have a better time of doing the kind of flying your talking about. Light pilots get to fly small motors on their paramotor. Which in turn allows lighter frames and so on.

But. Flying to and out of areas your not familiar with can be dangerous for a new pilot. Your going to spend your first year learning so much which will open your eyes to all the problems you can encounter. As a new pilot you don't know how to evaluate each situation well enough to reduce your risks. Flying in and out of the same ideal home base will hone your flying skills and allow you to venture out to experience different flying conditions yet still have the consistency you need to stay out of trouble.

Camping? Carrying extra weight can be difficult for takeoff and landings. How fast can you run with 65 lbs. on your back in zero wind?

Finding and buying the right gear can be a dizzying experience. My first experiences were that each instructor claims theirs to be the best and better than all the rest. Some talked down the competition so much I felt at the end of my search I was the only one I could trust. This is just my experience and can't say you will have the same but it's best to do a great deal of homework on your own. Go to flyins and watch the flyers. Learn from both the good and the bad.

Don't be afraid to buy a beginner wing. It pays off in spades launching and landing. Your going to buy more than one wing anyway. Intermediate wing is good too.

Lastly, kite your butt off. Learn wing handling like a Ninja. Get started in the most steady wind conditions. You will learn faster if your not getting knocked down with rotors every other minute. Learn to handle all wind conditions. When the wind dies practice the forward launch. Because when you put the kit on your back all bets are off and you will need every still you've got to fly the wing.

Al

Amazing. Solid. Thank you.

What exactly is kiting? Flying without a motor? Or just general wing handling?

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Hi Fuzzy,

Kiting is wing handling on the ground. You have to master this before going anywhere near a motor, hence the 'kite your butt off'.

Good post Al :D

Oh, gotcha. Yeah, ground handling ground handling ground handling. Do I need to do kiting with an assortment of different, smaller wings? Or will I be able to do it with whatever primary wing I end up buying with my paramotor?

Am I correct in assuming that I need to get ground handling down first with no motor because the additional weight of the motor just makes everything way more difficult than normal? And even more can be said of taking a passenger for tandem?

Ideally I want to join a course that has a VERY strong emphasis on ground handling. It appears that flying isn't the tough part - the bits that are close to the ground are what get ya.

Ground handling is also something that can be practiced in less than ideal conditions, yeah? In fact, if the conditions aren't right to fly, they might be good for kiting instead?

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Smaller 'practice' wings are only used in stronger wind conditions, usually in a school environment.

You will be ground handling with your primary wing in order to master its particular characteristics. Different wings do have a slightly different feel, the good news is that as wings have developed they have generally become easier to launch.

You certainly have to nail the wing handling before the motor is introduced. I think most pilots remember thinking it just got a lot harder once you have the weight of the motor on your back.

The goal is to learn the 'feel' of the wing through the harness and pull of the risers without having to consciously keep looking at what it is doing. This does take quite a while to master.

Ground handling in different (but not excessive) wind conditions is vital as you need to develop control for forward and reverse launches.

As you say the bits that are on the ground are the tough ones, takeoff is the hardest part for a novice where lots of things are happening at the same time.

Good luck, you'll enjoy it :D

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