Wednesday, April 22, 2015

The pros and cons of flying a motorized paraglider

The pros are easy. You are basically flying in a flyable parachute. So, what happens if your engine quits?

Basically as long as the winds aren't bad below and you have enough flat land to make a soft landing on you are going to be okay.

Is there any danger when the engine quits? At what altitude you are at when it quits is the biggest factor. For example, you might not want it to quit between zero and 100 feet elevation (if you are at sea level).

IN a paraglider (as well as most flying vehicles big and small) zero to 100 feet above the ground tends to be the most unforgiving aspect of flight.

Motorized Paragliders are no exception. However, it should be noted you are not in a hang glider with a 10 to 1 glide ratio.

Instead you are in a literal parachute. So, as long as you are in a parachute you have only the problems of a parachute to worry about.

For example, a gust of wind hits you as you land and your chute drags you along the ground. Or a gust of wind hits you and lifts you up 10 or 20 feet and suddenly drops you and breaks your legs or back.

So, being aware of what the winds are doing zero to 100 feet wherever you are going to land is very important to your well being.

So, generally when you are taught to fly a PPG (powered paraglider) you are taught to quickly after your feet leave the ground you are encouraged to quickly take the kite above 100 feet which protects your ongoing safety. because you really don't want to be zero to 100 feet above the ground unless you are taking off quickly or landing quickly. Hanging out zero to 100 feet above the ground can be fatal in many instances, especially in the 20 to 100 foot range.

So, you make yourself safe by going and staying above 100 feet above the ground. However, most new pilots stay at first between 100 to 500 feet above the ground because this usually feels safer to most pilots even though being above 1000 feet gives a much better margin for error if an engine suddenly quits because it gives you time to think about where you can safely direct your flying chute to land safely by gliding down parachute style at that point.

So, unless you are a military unit of powered paraglider specialists (like Seal Team 6) or something like that you don't want to be ever flying your PPG above 5 miles per hour winds anywhere along the ground.

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