Learning to Fly a Powered Paraglider (PPG) in Australia
PPG are classified as the safest form of Aviation in the world.
No airport needed - no license - low cost - easy training..
Australian Legal flying requirements.
Cross over courses from Ultralight to Paragliders are available.
Refresher and Advance training courses are available.
There are three main types of paragliding training courses !
1. Foot Launched Paragliding (PG): Non motorised Paragliding was the first type of Paragliding, where traditionally you walk to a hill top or mountain to launch, these days you can get a towed launch behind a boat, vehicle or even ground based cable launch, but mainly these paragliders rides wind updrafts on coastlines or hills and use the natural force of thermals to carry them up to cloud base, from where they glide to the next thermal, covering great distances, a Godfrey Wennes from Manilla NSW Australia, flew his paraglider over 335 Km to set a new world record, a great achievement to pride all foot launchers. It is said he also took the Worlds Longest Tandem Open Distance of 223Km.
Once you have taken your first Tandem Flight, you will be impressed how easy it is to escape the ground. It is not a promise but a certainty that after your first flight it will burn into your memory and last forever. A non powered foot launch paragliding course will take from 7~14 day to complete as there are many ground handling skills as well as safety procedures to learn as you are reliant on wind and weather conditions more so than the following two powered methods of flight.
2. Foot Launched Powered Paragliding (PPG): Then came "Powered Paragliding" (commonly called paramotoring), depending on your Instructor, Location and Weather, a foot launch paramotoring endorsement course will also take from 7~14 day to complete as there are also many ground handling skills as well additional safety procedures to learn when using an engine & glider combination.
Most Foot Launch pilots use the HGFA (Hang Gliding Federation of Australia) Flight Training can be found on the HGFA web site: www.HGFA.asn.au, this link is the HGFA .pdf Membership file to download of there membership & basic charges.
NB: All PPG courses should include a HGFA Student Membership in the course cost.
The HGFA Student Training Membership is $22 (for 14 days of training over a period of 12 months) is usually included in most course fee.
Students should have a valid HGFA membership before undertaking any flight training !
Once you have passed the course and wish to be licensed, a Full HGFA or Short Term membership must be applied for. The full annual 12 months Membership is $270 plus a state levy of $22~$62 depending on the state you reside.
For those attending from overseas or who just wish to obtain a license then the 4 month Short Term M/ship is available for $150.
3. Wheeled Powered Paragliding (WPPG): In recent times Quads and the less stable Trike paragliding are rapidly becoming the new breed of paramotoring with specific Wheeled training programs fast becoming popular, they are designed to help speed the learning process and have you up in the air on your way with powered flights as quickly and as safely as possible, in Australia most wheel launch pilots currently train through the RAA (Recreational Aviation Australia inc) or the HGFA as they have specific Wheeled Flight Training courses, these can be found on the RAA web site: www.RAA.asn.au or HGFA web site: www.HGFA.asn.au this is a recent RAA .pdf file to download of there membership & basic charges.
A flying syllabus on Wheeled Launch & Landing procedures !
BREAKING NEWS: CASA's notice of Wheeled PPG Risk Management Assessment.
The principle difference with WPPG is less emphasis is placed on learning ground handling skills, you will have the ability to perform a lot simpler launches & landings as you don't have to concentrate on the inherent difficulties/problems of running, tripping, nil wind days etc..
In short, wheel launch paragliding would better suit a less agile, adventuress, frail, joint mobility problems or older type persons.
NB: Either way you should familiarised yourself with the Engine/Cage/Quad assembly, disassembly, starting, throttle control, power cut off, fuel/oil mixing (2 stroke), maintenance, torque and thrust effects, special dangers etc. As well as the practical work, you will have to learn some basics in the following subjects: principles of flight, meteorology, aviation law and navigation, most of these are covered in "The Powered ParaGliding Bible" ($50 inc. in every package deal purchase), this is a great book and a must-have have for any pilot.
NEWS FLASH: Previous HGFA accredited Wheeled Based Paragliders pilots have now been recognised as legally able to fly Trike's & Quads in Australia, after a undergoing a competency test, this means the HGFA can start accreditation again !
Some three years later, lets clap our hands for the incompetence of John Twomey, the current HGFA Operations Manager who gets paid by HGFA members, one of his duties is to write a "Wheeled Based Training Syllabus", feel free to send this email PERTITION to Mr Twomey and voice your opinion or concerns on this delay !
It has been publicly stated by CASA; "it is the HGFA not them that is causing the delay in finalising a wheel based training syllabus", remember this is apparently a job that the Op's manager is employed to do by paying members !
If you don't want to wait for the current knuckle dragging HGFA Op's manager to to get his act together, then this page will guide you to a Quicker & Cheaper way to gain your Wheeled Launch Flight Accreditation and Training to enable you to Fly our LowBoy Quad via the RAA. We recommend you let your membership laps with the HGFA, as what is the use supporting them when it is known the OP's manager has said he has No intention of finalising there Syllabus !
Compare a bulky AeroChute Quad, our Safer LowBoy Quad is ...read more...
Existing Aviation background: If you already have a fixed wing aviation background, your learning curve should be accelerated and typically an established paraglider pilot (no engine) will be able to “upgrade” in a couple of days.
No Aviation background: A complete beginner with no aviation background may need upwards of 4~14 days of tuition depending on the course with plenty of reading to become proficient at powered paragliding flight. You should then accumulate another 20 hrs of powered flying before commencing cross-county flying. The only exception to this rule would be move directly into Quad training via the RAA with our LowBoy-II Quad Buggy (wheel launch) as this takes a lot of the essential ground handling skills out of the equation, but don't be fooled into thinking all is safe, however having 30cm of Suspension & Steering will make a hard landing easier with with less injuries if any, remember what ever goes up will eventually come down, incorrect pilot input in most occasions cause malfunctions to the wing, inherently a glider wing will self correct as that is the nature of a paraglider wing.
What are the legalities of flying a paraglider or paramotoring kit ?
Paramotoring operation in Australia is legislated by the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) and overseen by either the HGFA or RAA, but in effect this sport is unregulated. All aircraft must respect the Australian Air Navigation Orders and international aviation laws of CASA.
NB: Landowner’s permission is required for take off and landing.
Aviation law spells out the rules of how close one may fly to towns, clouds, airports etc. (.pdf file), and there are some special rules applying to Paramotoring which should be complied with.
Learning to Fly a Powered Paraglider:
Foot launch inherently requires a larger degree of fitness and mental agility, although a PPG's are relatively easy to fly, it is nonetheless still “Aviation”. The pilot’s attitude to safety and airmanship is what ensures an accident free flying career, remember “there are old pilots and there are bold pilots", look at this sport as if you have two bags, one filled with luck & the other is somewhat empty of experience, the idea is to gain all the experience before running out of luck !
For foot launch PPG you will especially need to learn to control a paraglider very well before you embark on any paramotoring, Inflation techniques (getting the canopy to rise overhead), launching, turning, controlling flying speed, landing approach, landing, and canopy handling once landed are all skills which need to be
mastered. When proficiency has been reached in control & inflation elements, then you should be able to tackle powered flight.
What Qualifications can I get ?
The HGFA (Hang Gliding Federation of Australia) and the RAA (Recreational Aviation Australia) are the governing body's which looks after the interests of this sport in Australia, ensuring that problems do not arise in training or operation, and thus ensuring that Paramotoring remains unregulated. The HGFA has a pilot rating scheme which allows you to achieve a rating in both paragliding and paramotoring, and also looks after the accreditation, training and licensing of instructors as well as guidelines for indemnity (waiver) forms etc.
A basic powered paragliding kit with options including engine, frame & cage, harness, pull start and propeller only cost from $5'050.00 or $6'050 with Glider +Freight.
Powered Paragliding Schools & Trainers are located around most of Australia, predominately the eastern coast Victoria, New South Wales & Queensland with many more opening in this infantile sport by the day.
Trainers should have access to ideal location(s) to teach Paragliding and Paramotoring, some of Australia's most successful paragliding schools have been established since the 1980 and have flight fields and areas they predominately use.
Accumulating people with a wealth of knowledge and experience is for the better of the sport, especially for your safety you should be learning from experienced instructors in the business.
There schools & flight trainers in Australia that arrogantly decline to train you unless you purchase there equipment as part of there package deal, this would be understandable if students wanted to use dodgy self made or unsafe secondhand equipment. If the truth be told it is all about making more money from you & not giving you the ability to genuinely shop around, that is a little like purchasing a Holden & being told another Holden dealership/agent we won't service it for you.
Lets hope this type of negative working class mentality will abate and those people that embark down the path of flight training will concentrate on what they say they do !
General Information on Powered Paragliding (PPG) Training courses..