Christian Genco

Cheat Sheet to Paramotoring

Finding an instructor #

Don't try to learn this on your own. It's temping because legally you totally can and there are people on YouTube that have done it. You're already tempting fate riding the thin line of risk and reward by doing this at all so don't cash in your luck points somewhere you don't need to. Find a qualified paramotor instructor close to you on the USPPA website.

Call them up and let them know you'd like to learn. They'll probably invite you to a facebook or WhatsApp group where they announce if the weather is good enough to train. Usually you'll get a day or two notice. You'll need a schedule flexible enough to take an afternoon off. They'll charge you $2k-$4k for training.

Alternatively, you can find a school like AviatorPPG in Florida that trains consistently year-round. My understanding is that in their part of the country (Lake Wales, FL) they get wind that's consistent enough to guarantee that you'll be able to fly while you're there. You can plan training at a place like this months in advance if you need that amount of lead time to clear your schedule.

Buying Gear #

You'll need a wing, harness, paramotor, helmet, and jerrycan. Optionally you can get a reserve parachute, wind sock, coms systems, and ski goggles.

Buy the wing, harness, paramotor, and reserve through your instructor. They'll be able to teach you more effectively on gear they're familiar with.

Don't buy any of your paramotor gear used. Top of the line new gear will be about $18k all in. Compared with a minimum of about $100k to get in the air with a 20-year old used Cessna you're already getting an incredible deal. Don't try to save money here. Dave Ramsay's rule is to keep your total amount of things with motors in them at less than half your yearly income. If this purchase would put you in an uncomfortable financial position you should first put your finances in order.

Nirvana Rodeo MK2 Revolution Subtotal $8,750.00 Sales Tax $721.88

It supports 3-3.5 hours of flight time per 10L tank.

synthetic two stroke oil

When breaking in, use 40:1 fuel:oil ratio. After break in, use 50:1. Syringe for measuring oil. add a splash of lead substitute?

If I'm not going to use the engine for a while, get fogging oil and spray it in the carborator while the engine is running until it shuts off. This will coat the inside of the engine with oil that will prevent rust.

Gear #

Your wing has kevlar cords that connect from parts of the wing down to a riser. The cords are organized into parts: A lines (sometimes split into two parts), B lines, C lines, D lines, and brakes.

The most important lines are your A lines (which you hold when inflating the wing) and brakes (which you use to steer and slow down the wing).

Helmet and coms #

Kiting and Launch sites #

Your ideal kiting and launch site is big and flat with no obstructions like power or telephone lines and no people around.

Trees and other vertical obstructions are dangerous because you might run directly into them and they cause turbulance for tens of yards around them.

Weather #

Ultralight aircrafts like paramotors are incredibly sensitive to wind. Ideal kiting weather when you're getting started is wind between 5-12mph and temperature between 55ºF and 105ºF.

Windy, WindAlert, and WindFinder are all platforms that can give you this wind and temperature data forecasted out for the next few days for your area.

I use the StormGlass API with a simple program I wrote to look at the next 10 days and highlight windows of perfect weather. The output from my script looks like this:

                |6am  |noon 9pm|
2022-02-17 Thu:        *********
2022-02-18 Fri: ****************
2022-02-19 Sat: ******OOOOOO===*
2022-02-20 Sun: *****===========
2022-02-21 Mon: ================
2022-02-22 Tue: O=**************
2022-02-23 Wed: ****************
2022-02-24 Thu: ****************
2022-02-25 Fri: ****************
2022-02-26 Sat: *************

In my program output * means "too cold," # means "too hot," = means "too windy," _ means "not windy enough," and O means "perfect." From this output it looks like I've got a nice window Saturday afternoon.

Learn to trust your gut. Gusty air that changes quickly can be deadly.

Ground Kiting #

Just like in climbing, rope and gear management is critical. Practice coiling your wing's lines in a rosette and carrying your wing over your shoulder.

TODO: rosette film

When you've found a good site to kite from, lay down your wing with the open cells facing up in a crescent shape.

Clear your A lines by checking that your A lines are on top and go directly from your risers to the wing without being tangled or twisted in anything else. There are many lines on your wing but as long as the A lines are clear it's difficult for anything else to be tangled.

Clip your risers into your harness making sure that when the wing is above you the A lines and openings of the cells will be forward and the brakes will be behind you.

Reverse kiting #

Sources #