What Gear Do New Pilots Need?

Getting started in paramotoring involves an initial investment in gear but as soon as a new pilot has their gear, the ongoing costs to fly these craft are low, primarily the cost of fuel, oil, and general maintenance.


So what do new pilots really need?


Most pieces of gear are available at a range of prices and options depending on the brand, features, and other factors such as pilot aptitude and experience level.


THE PARAMOTOR ESSENTIALS


PARAMOTOR

The paramotor is what sets powered paragliding apart from paragliding. A paramotor can come in both foot-launch (backpack) versions and wheel-launch (trike) versions. A paramotor consists of the actual motor power plant, frame, and harness. There are different motors and frames with different performance, power, and weight that fit different pilots and applications.


GLIDER

The glider, also called a wing or paraglider (not a chute), is the most important piece of gear in the PPG pilot kit. Without it, the paramotor is just an expensive leaf blower. Gliders come in different sizes, different ratings from beginner to advanced and competition pilots, for trike or foot launch paramotors, and more. Going through training and trying different wings will help new pilots determine what they want and need for their first wing purchase.


FINISHING THE BASIC PARAMOTOR KIT


HELMET

At the most basic, a helmet can serve as head protection and with ear cups, hearing protection. Different helmet models can come equipped with connections to use radios or Bluetooth communications.









KITING HARNESS

The best pilots are the ones that spend time kiting their wing regularly after training ends. Kiting harnesses can be basic to accomplish ground handling or more advanced to be able to also be used for free flight (paragliding, non-motored flight).









WATER FLOATATION

The incredible views flying near water always attract paramotor pilots. Power floats with automatic and manual float deployment are important safety devices for flights over and near water.







RESERVE PARACHUTE

The reserve parachute is different from the glider. Where the glider gives a pilot forward speed, the reserve parachute slows a straight down descent in an emergency situation.


HELPFUL ADDITIONAL PARAMOTOR EQUIPMENT


GROUND HANDLING WING

A ground handling/ kiting wing is a great addition to a paramotor pilot tool kit. These wings are smaller and allow pilots to get kiting practice when winds are too high to safely use full-size wings.








TACHOMETER / HOUR METER

A new motor has to go through a break-in period. The first hour of time on the motor consists of cycling through different rpms to seat seals and break it in. A tachometer is needed to hit the different rpm points during the break-in. After the break-in period, the hour meter is used to keep track of time on the motor to ensure regular maintenance at 25, 50, and 100 hours are met. Our previous students have liked the below Trail Tech tach and hour meter.




STROBE

Paramotors are allowed to fly from sunrise until sunset. BUT, if a pilot's equipment is equipped with an "anti-collision light" that can be seen for 3 statute miles, we are allowed to expand our flying hours to 30 minutes before sunrise and 30 minutes after sunset.




WINDSOCK AND POLE

Paramotor pilots launch and land into the wind. There are multiple ways to determine wind direction and speed but a windsock is the most typical tool used by pilots of all levels. The 16-foot telescoping In the Breeze wind sock pole is a great option for pilots.






GAS CAN AND TWO-STROKE OIL QUICK MIX CANISTER

Paramotors use two-stroke motors so we run a premix of gas and two-stroke oil. Having a gas can and a quick mix canister helps pilots measure the appropriate amount of oil for the mix ratio they need for their motor fuel. The Quick 2 Mix oil mixing can is a popular choice for paramotor pilots.




EQUIPMENT FOR TRAVELING WITH A PARAMOTOR


HITCH / TRANSPORT OPTIONS

Pilots have a variety of ways to move their gear from their home to a field to fly from. This can be as simple as disassembling the frame and loading into a car, strapping it into a truck bed, using various hitch carriers, or some people will purchase enclosed trailers to tote their gear.


PARAMOTOR COVER

Covers will protect a motor from sun, dust, and moisture. Though, having a cover on a motor when it is in the back of a truck can turn it into a giant sail, especially when driving at highway speeds. Don't be the pilot that learns the hard way when the wind rips their motor off the back of their vehicle because their cover caught too much air.


EXTRAS TO A PARAMOTOR KIT


CAMERA MOUNTS

Pilots love to be able to relive their most epic views and flights. Camera mounts can be anything from a helmet or chest mount, magnet mounts for wings, chase cameras, and more.