There’s a new trend forming for certification requirements at powered paragliding fly ins. This has been creating some stir in our community. Some people are for it, some are against it. Since we have no license legally required to fly our aircraft, certain pilots and individuals are very against the idea of being forced to obtain a certification or endorsement by an organization that they believe doesn’t need to be in place.
Here’s what I think about this topic: Any private event has the right to enforce certification requirements however they so choose. If you don’t like it, don’t fly there. The main reason the requirements have been set in the first place is because of poorly trained pilots that are causing risk to others safety and their own.
Some people just don’t like the USPPA – our official powered paragliding organization. So be it, most fly in’s are accepting ratings from USHPA which is the United States Hang Gliding and Paragliding Association. This is a bigger organization than the USPPA is currently but is free flight focused, there are no motor endorsements So if you feel there is some sort of one sided-ness, go get your ratings for free flight and let others know you at least have the basic skills. Coming from another country, your ratings are probably stricter than ours here in the USA so i’m sure yours will be accepted without issue.
This is not some sort of money making scheme for instructors (have been hearing that), it’s a safety concern for our sport – especially when there are hundreds of people flying around within reasonably close proximity. Small fly ins need to worry less about this concern but when there are over 100 pilots taking off and landing , it’s nice to know that they were taught a set of skills that were created as a standard for all.
Please voice your opinions in the comments section below.
Every once in awhile a product comes into a market that has the potential to safe and change peoples lives. The new SafeStart system from Scout Paramotors is definitely one of those devices. This system is a small electronic unit that has the power to kill your engine on start up should it rev past 3k rpms. Below 3k rpms, the motor is not putting out enough thrust to push back against you in a dangerous manner but if it goes beyond, the potential for prop strike is there. Your throttle could get stuck causing this, you could slip and pin your throttle wide opened or find another way to initiate a potentially catastrophic event.
So for the first 7 seconds, the unit keeps the paramotor engine from revving past 3k. If it does, the system cuts the motor off immediately. Prop strikes on start up are very dangerous, people have lost limbs because of this. This new system could potentially (pardon the pun) cut those prop strike incidents by a lot. As of right now Scout is going to have them come standard on all of there units. The one in testing above will be the universal version fit for every popular paramotor engine on the market. Scout Paramotors USA is saying the unit will be very affordable and I quote “less than your average insurance deductible” – very clever.
If you’ve had or seen a prop strike incident, let us know. Do you think this system could have prevented it?
This young pilot suffered a major collapse towards the end of the video. The cause looks to be heavy braking while in reflex mode while possibly getting waked at the same time. This is a major no no on most brands of reflex gliders. Unfortunately we see the severity of not adhearing to that. It is my understanding that the pilot broke both legs pretty badly but is otherwise okay. We hope for the best for him and hope this video can save others from getting into the same situation.
Sometimes things don’t go your way and your stuck with a ripped or cut up paraglider miles away from anyone that can fix it. Most gliders come with glider tape in the bag that you can use to keep the fun from stopping. Team Fly Halo’s latest motor minute shows us how to properly repair the wing with glider tape, definitely worth while to check out.
This is one of those videos that really makes you stand back and look at the world around you. In a country plagued by war, it is wonderful to see the freedom of flight can be shared although it sounds like being shot upon is still a major problem for this young paraglider pilot. I hope he can continue flying and spread his passion to more people in his country.
We may all have political, religious or other differences that get in between us but one thing is certain, we all share the same passion – flying. Flying is a bond stronger and more powerful than all of the others. Remind yourself about this young paraglider pilot in Afghanistan when you have a silly debate about the best gear with your ‘arch nemisis’ on an internet chat group!
I had a chance to attend Salton Sea this year for the first time. I met up with my two flying buddies and Team Fly Halo owners for a killer week of fun. We started off at Glamis for some sand dune flights, it was pretty amazing. I felt like I was in another world flying my paramotor. We worked with Ryan Southwell on filming out in Glamis and expect to have a really awesome video coming out in the next few months.
The main thing I wanted to talk about in this post though is about the flying @ Salton Sea. I’ve been to a bunch of fly in’s in the past and I hate to say it but it’s kind of amusing watching all of the carnage. Sitting down for a few minutes and watching usually resulted in a few botched take offs that led to prop strikes, etc. Definitely a good time for some popcorn.
On this trip to Salton though I was craving popcorn but never had a chance to get some going… While this was upsetting at first I quickly changed my mind and was really starting to be impressed with the improvement I’ve seen in pilots. Some of the improvements can be attributed to easier to launch gliders and stronger gear but I really think instruction is also getting better. Hats off to everyone in this sport for trying to make it safer and more enjoyable for newer pilots!
As most of you have probably heard, Mike Mixer had a very serious crash while competing in the second round of the bag drop. The weather conditions had deteriorated quickly during that time. I will not speculate on the equipment or weather causes, I just want to wish Michael and his family the best and I hope for a speedy recovery. We’re all thinking about you Mike!
Thank you to Mike Robinson and all of the volunteers for making the fly in happen, I can’t wait to go back again in 2014. There were so many great people at the fly in this year, I really had a great time meeting you all and sharing the air with you.
Team Fly Halo has the latest video out in there ‘Motor Minute’ youtube series. This week the guys talk about hooking up the speed system, allowing pilots to access that 4th and 5th gear they’ve been missing. Read more about the speed bar system here.