A paramotor is a paraglider wing combined with an engine, which is attached to the pilot’s back. The motor (2 stroke or 4 stroke) provides enough power to make the take off run just a few paces long. The paramotor and paraglider are easily transportable, fitting into the back of a normal car.
Once airborne, if you wish, you can switch the engine off and fly the wing like a normal paraglider, using the power of thermals to keep you aloft. Should you need it, you can restart the engine to return home. Alternatively, you can use your paramotor for cross-country flights, landing for fuel (near a petrol station!) when you need to.
In sensible hands, paramotoring can be amongst the safest of adventure sports. The expertise you need to keep you safe starts with the school you learn with. Airways Paramotoring School is registered with the British Hang Gliding and Paragliding Association (school no. 313). At Airways Paramotoring School we aim to equip you not only with excellent flying skills but also with the knowledge to keep you flying safely.
Learning to Fly a Paramotor:
Good paraglider control is essential for safe paramotor flying and you must attain the level of Club Pilot rating (tow or hill) before adding the Paramotor. The advantage of learning using our winch towing method is that
- Being pulled by the winch gives the same feeling as being pushed by the paramotor so you become familiar with the technique from the start.
- You take off from flat ground, as you will once you start paramotoring – there is no new technique to be learned
- We can teach you progressively, adding one new thing at a time.
Airways Paramotor School is based at Darley Moor, near Ashbourne, Derbyshire. The airfield is flat and huge so it will take any wind direction. If you are new to paragliding you will learn how to handle a paraglider, mastering take-offs, turns and landings, being towed aloft by a winch so there is no need to climb hills. The paramotoring part of the course starts with learning the techniques of paramotoring and being given a guided tour of your paramotor engine.
Teaching is progressive, learning how to run with a paramotor on your back before adding the paraglider. Then the take-off technique is practised with the engine off, and when you have grasped this, the winch tows you aloft. This gives you the same feeling as being under power but without the added complications of having to deal with a throttle and cut out switch. Only when these skills have been mastered will you put all your knowledge together and make your first paramotor flight. Lectures will cover air law, meteorology and flight principles, culminating in the Foot Launched Powered Aircraft (FLPA) exam.
You will also need to complete a qualifying 30km cross country for your FLPA certificate. As a member of the BHPA this will automatically give you £2m of third party insurance cover.
Once you have learned to fly a paramotor, you can use it as you wish – to enjoy flying in thermals and travelling cross country or just getting away from it all by watching the sunset from 1,000 feet on a lazy summer evening. You are the pilot. You decide what you want to do. We will teach you – it is as simple as that!
Paraglider pilots wishing to convert to paramotoring will, on average, need 3 days tuition. Learning from ‘scratch’ requires a minimum of paragliding Club Pilot Certificate, and together with the paramotoring section of the course, generally involves a minimum of 11-13 days.
The British Hang Gliding and Paragliding Association is the governing body of our sport and includes third party insurance cover. Membership of the BHPA is compulsory for all students in the UK. The price for this cover depends on the time scale for the flying experience you want; for example, a one-day taster course will only require one day’s cover, whereas an EPC course will need a minimum of a training membership. We will arrange insurance cover for you on the first day of your course.
Good weather is a big factor in learning to fly hang gliders. We assess the weather conditions the night before a course is due to start. If, due to bad weather you cannot fly, we will rearrange your booking as soon as possible. Should the weather interrupt flying during your course, any unused flying may be taken at a future date by arrangement.
The Peak District National Park has plenty of hotels, B & B and campsites. Contact us if you need advice on local accommodation.
Basic Requirements for Paramotoring
You don’t have to be super fit. Your initial training will involve running around on open ground so sturdy footwear is essential (walking boots will do). In the summer it can get hot so bring lighter clothing and plenty to drink. If the weather is cool, bring an extra fleece and lightweight windproofs. We have a wonderful Bistro on-site, providing homemade food and cakes, with drinks etc
We sell all makes of paramotors including Parajet, Bailey, Fly Products etc.