All Powered ParaGlider (PPG) Pilots are required to fly under the FAA FAR-103 guidelines. Any individual, young or old, male or female, may become a pilot. The FAA doesn’t require you to seek the training of an instructor, but it is highly advised as those that self-train typically spend more for equipment they damage and are a typically a hazard to themselves and others. There are launching and landing techniques and safety issues that many individuals will only learn from an instructor.
USWingNuts, specifically Beery Miller (USPPA PPG3 rating) assists another local instructor, Andy McAvin (USPPA Instructor rating) in the Houston, TX area in the instruction of Powered Paragliding. Instruction typically spans two or three weekends with full days at the beach learning to kite the wing and motor handling. During the weekdays, the student is encouraged to continue practicing and mastering the skills previously taught. Some students learn faster than others, or may have other aviation experience that could impact training time. The student learns at their pace, and when the instructor determines with the student they are ready, the student gets their first solo flight. Following the first solo flight, additional launch styles and landings are under the instructor’s control until the student is ready to proceed on their own.
All students are urged to continue flying with the local TXWingNuts club here in Houston, TX. This interaction with other new and advanced pilots plays a vital role in advancing the new pilot’s skills under a more controlled environment resulting in a much safer pilot.
Due to the nature of the sport, all PPG students are required to purchase their own wing and motor. Rental is not an option. Prior to the purchase of any motor, wing, or instruction, it is critical all potential students consult the instructor that will train them. There are many “deals” out there from less than reputable dealers or individuals that can result in the student using unsuitable equipment based on old technology, equipment without parts that can be serviced, worn out equipment with stress fractures, or canopies with poor porosity or other issues creating safety concerns.
Typical equipment packages with training can range from $5,000 for used equipment to $10,000 or more for top of the line new equipment. Generally, new packages are available around $9,500. As much of this equipment is imported from overseas, the Euro plays a major factor in equipment prices.
If you would like to learn more about Powered Paragliding, please contact Beery Miller at 713-204-7752 or email me at Beery@USWingNuts.com. I will be happy to discuss your potential options, and guide you towards suitable instruction.