Airparamo: Powered Paraglider (PPG) or Paramotor Instruction, Sales, and Service for Arizona.

Safety Notice

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Buyer Beware!
Learning to operate and fly a paramotor (also called a powered paraglider or PPG) requires significant training. We will not sell essential PPG flight equipment (i.e. wings or motor units) to anyone until we have verified that they have arranged for training with a recognized instructor.

PPG's look incredibly simple to fly. The truth is that PPG's are probably the most difficult aircraft to launch and get in the air. Although it certainly is possible and legal to train yourself, it is a VERY bad idea. It is very easy to bust up your gear or yourself if you do not know what you are doing. Unless you enjoy emergency visits to the hospital (or the morgue), being a test pilot AND a beginner pilot at the same time is a very bad idea. If you are looking to save money, consider that a visit to the hospital or replacing a chewed up wing will cost more than the entire training. At Airparamo we recommend for prospective pilots to find an experienced, qualified instructor, school, or company that you like. It is not a bad idea to ask for references or credentials. Additionally look for an instructor that has an established flying field that is wide open, free of powerlines and dangerous obstructions, free of hazardous vegetation (such as cactus and trees), and preferably with grass. You will be entrusting your life with your instructor. Airparamo conducts its training from huge, open fields at a number of flying sites around the Phoenix area.

The sport of Powered Paragliding is not governed by any consumer protection. Unfortunately there are manufacturers, dealers and instructors that sell PPG gear as perfectly safe for beginners, that is simply dangerous to take into the air or has not been independently tested to conform to generally accepted industry standards of safety.

There are two pieces of equipment on a PPG that can not fail in flight: the wing and the carabiners. The fact is, your life is hanging on this gear to not fail. Saving money on the gear that holds your life is not worth the savings. Reputable wing and carabiner manufactures obtain independent safety certifications on their gear from recognized testing organizations. It costs significantly less to manufacture gear that has not been independently tested and certified. As a beginner, avoid purchasing or flying uncertified gear since you have no way of knowing if the manufacturer is truthful in their advertising claims. Airparamo only sells and trains beginner pilots on certified wings and carabiners. Insist on nothing less.

For wings, there are several recognized certification bodies: The German DHV and DULV, Swiss SHV, or French AFNOR. The certification organizations have several functions:
  1. load and flight tests,
  2. rate wings according to recovery characteristics,
  3. regularly audit the manufacturing process of certified wings,
  4. test certified gear that is suspect of failure,
  5. make public announcements of safety and failure of certified gear
As a beginner pilot, look for "Standard" or "1" or 1-2" rated wing. Avoid ratings of "Performance", "Competition", "2", "2-3", or "3". And equally important, at all costs, avoid purchasing or flying uncertified wings claiming to be for beginners. Most instructors refuse to offer training on these paragliders. Additionally, many flying sites refuse to let pilots fly with uncertified beginner paragliders. Lastly, if you are considering resale value, uncertified paragliders may be difficult to sell since they hold little of their retail value.

For carabiners, look for a stamp that contains the markings "Kn" preceded by a double digit number no less than 18. For example, "18 Kn" signifies that the carabiner was tested to withstand 18 kilonewtons (or about 4047 pounds). Beware of hardware store variety carabiners or carabiners with no manufacturer listed. They are not suitable to trust your life to.

Lastly, be VERY careful of used gear. If you are considering used gear, be sure to discuss your purchase to a trusted expert before you attempt to buy it. The sad truth is that there are many people who have given up on PPG because they bought gear that was inappropriate for them or the gear was not in the condition it was advertised. If you decide to buy used gear, have a trusted expert inspect it over and fly it before you do. Expect to pay this expert for their time to review your used gear. In addition, if you are considering a used wing, have it independently tested by an reputable paraglider testing company. This normally costs around $150 and includes a full report on the performed tests and results. Expect to pay extra if any repairs are needed.

Disclaimer
Any form of aviation is potentially dangerous. In fact, many activities we partake in during the course of our daily activities have the potential to injure, maim, disable, or fatally wound the participant or spectators. Powered Paragliding is no different. We assume that those individuals who choose to participate in Ultralight aviation, including Powered Paragliding, are aware of the risks involved and are willing to accept the responsibility for their own actions and the results that may occur. As a pilot you fully understand that you alone accept all responsibility for your own actions. As a pilot it is your responsibility to insure the safety of your craft and see that the maintenance is properly done. As a pilot, you agree not to sue the owners, designers, suppliers, and pilots who helped design this site, or make information, training, or equipment available through it.

If you are unable to accept responsibility for your actions, and would prefer to sue anybody and everybody looking for a deep pocket in the event you get injured while participating in this sport; or you would rather partake in an aviation activity that is totally safe, try origami and be on your way. (Note: we have no connection financially to anything related to origami)

The owners, designers, suppliers, and pilots who helped make this site, or make information, training, or equipment available through it have used their best efforts in making the information and supplies available herein, and make no representation or warranties with respect to the accuracy and completeness of the contents of this site, and specifically disclaim any implied warranties or merchantability or fitness for any particular purpose, and shall in no event be liable for any loss of profit, or any other damage, including, but not limited to special, incidental, consequential, or other damages. It is the responsibility of the user of this site to determine if use, manufacture, or sale of any device that incorporates information contained herein infringes on any patents, copyrights, or other rights.
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