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Safety & Training

This sport is certainly much simpler than other forms of aviation but requires skills and knowledge not present in those other forms

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While no training is required for powered paragliding it would be incredible folly not to get any. This sport is certainly much simpler than other forms of aviation but requires skills and knowledge not present in those other forms.

Whatever training has been received can be compared with what is contained in our program.

The intent is to provide an industry standard of skills and experience with recommended weather conditions according to those standards.


Wishing You Were…

Jan 07, 2005

It is rightfully well worn, the adage “It is better to be on the ground wishing to be in the air, than in the air wishing to be on the ground.” This picture (above), by Jerry Starbuck of Blue Ridge Paragliding, illustrates the point grandly.

Jerry happens to be quite adept with Photoshop.

Safety Alert!

Jan 07, 2005

It has been brought to our attention that two new paramotors have arrived with the throttle apparently set to full. One was started, went to full power and resulted in serious injuries to a bystander who tried to help (see incidents). Both were Walbro carburetors attached to Black Devil motors. This likely has less to do with this particular brand but rather is the result of it currently being a very popular choice.

Please check your throttle linkage, only start your motor with it on your back (somebody else pulling it) or secured to something solid. Also, have the throttle grip in your hand in such a way that you have immediate access to the kill switch and the throttle cannot be activated if the motor powers beyond idle.

The Riskiest Part of PPG?

It says something about the safety of our flying…unfortunately, before the flying is the starting. A look at incident reports and other accounts paints a clear picture: 

The greatest risk for serious injury is 
an encounter with the 

The hardest part of avoiding this risk is complacency – we start this thing constantly and every time it pops and idles. No problem. Or maybe it doesn’t start and we begin trouble shooting – trying the throttle in different positions, using different holds on the frame, etc. but getting more complacent with each failed attempt.

Force yourself to check the throttle linkage before pulling it – verify that the carburetor goes to idle after releasing the throttle. 

Force yourself to make sure the throttle is in a position where a thrusting motor won’t push it more.

Force yourself to hold the frame in ready position to accept full power if it happens. Better yet, start it on your back with someone’s help. If the option exists, use it. This is where a fully charged electric starter is a benefit – start it on your back!

We want our members (and everyone else, for that matter) to keep their throttle fingers, heads and other extremities available for future fly-ins!

Last Chance

Dec 15, 2004

The experienced pilot was doing aerobatics with a Fresh Breeze “Flyke,” a bicycle-looking wheeled PPG craft. It was supposed to be a loop but he didn’t quite make it over the top.ReserveDeploymentLowRes-2After the cart flipped over and got some lines caught the pilot, Andi Siebenhofer, thought the glider would likely start an uncontrollable spiral and tossed his reserve.

The landing under reserve was cushioned further by going through the edge of trees and the craft wound up on it’s wheels, essentially un-damaged and with the motor still running (he shut it off immediately thereafter). The trees can also make such landings far worse if they collapse the chute causing the pilot to drop more quickly through them. 

This demonstrates both the risk of aerobatics and the value of a reserve. Understand that while the vast majority of reserve deployments succeed in saving their user, not all function properly and so they should be viewed as a last chance in scenarios where the alternative is far worse.

Also, proper installation and training are critical for successful use. 

The still series is excerpted from an upcoming book. The original video, used by permission of Fresh Breeze, can be found at


500 Westover Dr. #2384
Sanford, NC 27330
866-37-USPPA (87772)