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Performance Paramotors
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Xplorer UltraFlight - Powered Paragliding Training
Cape Town, South Africa
Contact: Keith Pickersgill
Tel: 082 414-8448
Email: keith@xplorer.co.za

What is involved in learning to fly a powered paraglider (i.e. a paramotor)?

If you are a licensed Paragliding pilot (i.e. un-powered), then you need do a simple Powered Conversion Course, which is detailed below.

Note: If you are not a licensed paragliding pilot, then go here to learn about training from scratch.

    The requirements of a powered conversion for a licensed and experienced paragliding pilot are:

  1. An Aeronautical Radio License must be obtained (more info below).

  2. At least Ten powered flights under PPG instructor supervision.

  3. All ten of these must be from level ground launches. You may do slope some launches with your paramotor, but these will not count towards your PPG conversion requirement of minimum 10 flights.

  4. Of these 10 powered flights, at least Three must be forward launches off level ground in wind of less than 5kph and ...

  5. At least Three must be reverse launches off level ground in winds over 20kph.

  6. At least three different days must be flown.

  7. One cross-country flight of at least 30km distance via at least one turnpoint not visible from the launch, where the student manages all aspects of the flight, including all radio calls as required, navigation, Airspace awareness, emergency landing options, etc.

  8. A planned outlanding at least 10km from the launch, where the student does the remote field assessment from the air and makes the tactical decision whether the terrain and weather conditions would permit for a safe landing and re-launch later. If the decision is made to land, then after a minimum of 30 minutes on the ground, the student makes the decision of whether it is still safe to re-launch and fly back. If conditions do not favour completion of this task, then it may be re-attempted at a later flight.

  9. Demonstrate under supervision (with paramotor), all basic canopy handling skills such as co-ordinated wing-overs, assymetric deflation, emergency decent manoeuvres (big-ears, spiral, etc) emergency steering (lost toggle), landing in confined area with engine off at least 500ft AGL as well as power-on low-level approaches, emergency go-rounds (aborted landings), etc.

  10. Write and pass the PPG Theororetical Knowledge Test

  11. Submit PPG license application form, Airband radio license details and your log book of your training flights to SAHPA for your PPG license to be issued
Having said all of that, I can tell you that most of your training is BEFORE your first PPG flight, as the ground-handling for a PPG is quite different to a PG, so this must be completed first, before you can safely launch a paramotor off level ground. Once you start the actual flights, those ten flights can be done quite quickly and usually 3 days is enough if the weather is good.

If you are keen, your first step should be to acquire the book, "The Powered Paragliding Bible" by Jeff Goin, which all PPG instructors should stock at around R450.00 to R500.00 (as of February 2010) or order this from amazon.com at $49.95 (but beware the handling and shipping charges tend to load the price).

The airband radio license, you can do anywhere. We recommend that you do it with a microlight school if possible. If you are based in Cape Town, then I suggest you contact Louis van Wyk at Aerosport, at Fisantekraal Airfield near Durbanville, on 021 975-3891 for your airband radio course and license.

For the PPG training, I charge R300 per hour. Once you are flying comfortably, then we change to R300 per flight, so that you can do nice long flights and not worry about the clock running and costing you more. This will then cover the preparation, the launch and departure, and the approach and landing, including the pre-flight and post-flying briefings.

So you should probably budget around R2500 to R3500 for a PPG conversion, depending on how quickly you progress (which is determined primarily by your ground-handling skills).

You will need your own paramotor though, as well as the airband radio, helmet and headset. Speak to me about this.

Make your booking now!

Contact: Keith Pickersgill
Xplorer UltraFlight
Cape Town, South Africa
Cellphone 082 414-8448
Email: keith@xplorer.co.za

More information on local PPG flying in Cape Town

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