Let’s be serious. We don’t dabble around with powered paragliding, we aren’t rookies here, and we aren’t setting up shop out of our mom’s basement. USParagliding is a full service company with over 13 years experience dedicated to helping you fly better, and safer. Still not conviced we’re the best? That’s fine, still feel free to check out some of our frequently asked questions below, you’d be surprised what you will learn.
Is our sport safe?
Yes, absolutely! However paragliding and parachuting is really as safe as you are. Safety is a state of mind. You can increase safety factors by equipment you choose such as advanced or non advanced or maybe choose a Green Eagle as it’s the safest personal aircraft on the market with a roll cage, NASCAR racing seat, Four point harness. But in the end the ball is in your court as to how you fly, the equipment, time of day, and the weather you choose to fly in. All these things will be addressed by your instructor.
Is Paragliding is an extreme sport?
This sport only becomes extreme when you do. Meaning, if you become an ACRO pilot, then the sport is extreme.
If you’re a weekend flyer driving your car in traffic is statistically more dangerous by far.
What if my engine quits?
It gets quiet……. You do not fall out of the sky like heavy aircraft, you glide. Most pargliders have a minimum sink rate of 7 to 1 meaning you can fly 7 feet for every one foot you lose, so you should have plenty of time to prepare to land unless flying very low to the ground. The slow speed of our craft and the ability to stall at 5 miles per hour make it very safe, even if you had a force landing. Parachutes have a 3 to 1 ratio meaning you will descend fast but again not falling. We often make our students land without power. You would be surprised how far you can fly with power off. We often make a game of it.
Do I need a license?
No you need to simply follow the guidelines of your country and in the USA there is no license if FAR103 is followed.
How high can I fly?
This really depends on the wing and the Flight restrictions imposed on the airspace you are flying. Many PPG units can reach altitude of well above 11,000 feet. The fuel injected Green Eagle can take you to where you are unable to breathe over 14,000 feet. By law you are to be under 10,000 in class G airspace.
Remember carburetors have altitude issues usually above 6,000 feet unless it is an aircraft CV carb or fuel injection. Most people find life is sweet at 500 feet giving you 3,500 feet over 1,166 yards glide ratio with and engine out at only 7 to 1 glide ratio.
What is the difference between parasailing verses paragliding?
A parasail is a parachute with baffles cut out of the rear to allow escape of air for forward momentum while being towed behind a boat. The lift is generated usually by a boat pulling the passenger that has very little control as you are connected via a tow line around 300 to 500 feet in length. This allows the boat to control your flight. The boat takes you were they decide to go not you.
Paragliders require no towing to get airborne unless being towed to be released at a designated height like around 3,000 feet. Commonly used in free flight. (just harness and glider) You can control your decent or glide without assistance from another craft. Paragliders are more agile and more of a personal aircraft.
What's the difference between a Parachute and a Paraglider?
The paraglider is almost given away by its name. It is a glider and the parachute is a decent vehicle. Paragliders can remain airborne soaring like a bird while a parachute has a fast decent rate. We train on powered parachutes as well and they need a lot of power to stay airborne. They are nowhere near as efficient as a paraglider. The sink or glide rate of a paraglider is often 3 times that of a parachute.
What is PPG vs. PPC?
PPC is an abbreviation for powered Parachuting and PPG is for powered Paragliding.
How fast can I fly?
Your speed is determined mostly from the glider choice. Most student gliders expect 25 to 27 Miles per hour and some reflex gliders up to 40 miles per hour.
What is Airspeed verses MPH?
Ground speed or MPH is just that ground speed. Air speed is ground speed minus or plus wind. Example: Say my glider fly’s at a top speed of 25 miles per hour. If I have a tail wind of 10 miles per hour I can fly 35 miles per hour ground
speed but air speed is still 25. Same goes if I am flying against the wind. If my air speed is 25 but I am flying into a ten MPH head wind, then my ground speed is 15 MPH and airspeed is still 25. Sometimes confusing but your instructor will teach you so that you understand downwind turns etc. It’s not as important on slow flying craft such as PPC/PPG.
Is it better for the instructor to come to you or you go to them?
Only on special occasions such as you are already on an airfield, have your gear, and do not mind training on your own gear would I recommend that. The problem is the instructor if vested has equipment at his or her facility and is accustomed to the local weather and their location. Often traveling instructors spend their time trying to take you somewhere you can train and if you damage your gear you are grounded. It is best to go to the instructor’s environment in the end.
Does USParagliding cover PPG, paraglider, and engine maintenance in your school?
Yes we cover maintenance on all major brands on hands training with units on hand and your personal craft. You will know how to avoid problems change a belt and prop do minor repairs and know where to get said parts if needed on many popular brands. You will also learn paraglider care maintenance and repair.
Will you train if I already purchased someone else's gear, or another brand?
Yes we train on multiple gear as long as it’s safe. Beware of some good deals out there as we often find the engine seals and gaskets are cracked and dried form sitting too long and an engine rebuild usually negates the savings you might have got from purchasing old gear but we will still train on any gear.
Always consult your instructor before buying used gear making sure it’s capable of even appropriate for your weight and intended use.
How old do you have to be to fly?
We recommend 14 or older in order to make better decisions under stress. The older the better. If you grow up in the sport and master kiting and emergency handling maybe as early as 12.
Can I fly tandem first?
Yes and it’s a great idea to fly tandem first so you know if you will even like the sport before putting thousands of dollars into it.
I’m 350 lbs, is there something I can fly?
Yes you can fly a Green Eagle or a large Back pack engine rigged on a light trike with a tandem glider.
Do I need insurance?
No insurance needed and if you have a life policy older than two years you will still be covered.
Can I fly in the rain?
It is not recommended. You should not fly in the rain but if you are caught in the rain and cannot land, keep your turns very shallow as the water could collect in your glider and cause a collapse in your glider. So if possible land quickly in rain.
What if I don’t want to buy equipment?
You can train with us and we will rent you gear if we have your size on hand for foot launch. If you need a special piece of gear we do not have then we will train you on a Green Eagle