If you’ve spent time on Pensacola Beach, you’ve probably seen paramotors flying near the crystal blue-green oceans of the Emerald Coast.  Paramotor sports combines elements of parasailing, hang gliding and kite surfing.  Linking those elements, paramotoring is truly a awe-inspiring experience.  These personal aircraft fly at heights of 10,000+ feet all the way down to “dipping their toes” in the water.

Paramotor is the generic term for a harness and engine used to propel a powered paraglider (PPG) or powered parachute (PPC).   Certainly, this ultra-light flying is a growing sport on the Emerald Coast.  Most noteworthy, the equipment is affordable, light-weight, portable, and easy to use.  Similarly, to Paramotor Pensacola, there are minimal regulations and no license is required.   Moreover, paramotoring offers the awesome sensation of safely flying in wide-open spaces.  Lastly, Paramotors can be controlled easily and with minimal risk.

If you’re looking for powered parachute rides or power paragliding rides near Pensacola Beach, you’ve found the best resource.  First, this article will outline two ways to paramotor Pensacola.  Secondly, We will also provide an overview and analysis of the type of equipment available.  Thirdly, we’ll analyze the skill-set required to pilot these ultra-light craft, as well as take a look at the risks involved.  Finally, we’ll look at the cost to paramotor Pensacola, and provide a directory of local businesses that offer paramotor training.

Paramotor Pensacola Beach

Table of Contents

Overview of the Powered Parachute
Launching System of the Powered Parachute
Propulsion of the Powered Parachute
Steering of the Powered Parachute
Cost of the Powered Parachute
Powered Parachute Training
Safety and the Powered Parachute
Overview of the Powered Paraglider
Launching System of the Powered Paraglider
Propulsion of the Powered Paraglider
Steering the Powered Paraglider
Cost of a Powered Paraglider
Powered Paraglider Training
Safety and the Powered Paraglider
Paramotor Pensacola Directory

Powered Parachute Overview

One way to paramotor Pensacola is by using a powered parachute, also called a motorized parachute or paraplane (PPC).  A PPC is a personal aircraft with a propeller-driven motor hanging from a parachute.  There are two types of powered parachute, the ultra-light or the certificated aircraft.  The single-seat ultralight are lighter, carry a maximum of five gallons of fuel, and may only be flown during daylight hours.  If the PPC has a cart, it can either be three or four wheeled.  For certificated aircraft, pilots need proper certification and training and can often carry more than one passenger.  For this article, we’ll focus on the ultralight version.

Powered Parachutes are becoming popular on the west end of Pensacola Beach toward the Gulf Islands National Seashore.  Traveling west on State Route 399, the protection given by the National Seashore has slowed commercial development on the west side of the island.  Because of this, paramotor lovers have plenty of room to launch and land their aircraft.  Better still, the wide-open spaces provide amazing 360 degree views.  Imagine being hundreds of feet in the air, where you can take in views of the island, the Gulf of Mexico and Pensacola Bay.

Powered Parachute Launching System

To launch a powered parachute simply lay the parachute behind the craft.  Secondly, verify all lines are clear and free of tangles.  Lastly, run or roll forward while increasing the power of the engine to complete take off.  The parachute will kite overhead lifting you off of the ground and lifting you into flight.

Powered Parachute Propulsion

Powered Parachutes fly at about 25 to 35 MPH and are most often powered by 2-cycle gasoline engines.  These engines use a oil mixture added to the gas.  The motors provide anywhere from 40 to 190 horsepower.

Powered Parachute Steering

Powered Parachute Pensacola

Steering a PPC is done by moving steers bars with hands or feet.  Pushing the steering bars out at the same time is called “flaring”.  Flaring is when the aircraft rocks forward, slowing the speed and lift.  Pilots use Flaring most often when landing the aircraft.  Powered Parachutes have positive stability.  Simply stated, when the pilot releases the steering input, the aircraft seeks to fly straight and upright.

Powered Parachute Cost

Buying a PPC is affordable for a person new to the sport.  A new one-person powered parachute cost as little as $10,000 though costs can quickly escalate up to $35,000 with additional options.

Powered Parachute Training

Most small single-seat PPCs fly under 14 C.F.R. § 103 of the Federal Aviation Regulations.  According to these rules, you can fly these PPCs without a license or flight instructions.  However, we highly recommend flight instructions.  Usually, it takes a student 10 hours of flight and 5 to 7 days of instructions to safely fly a powered parachute.

Powered Parachute Safety

Paramotors are safer and more stable than normal fixed-wing aircraft.  They have limited pilot inputs, are stall resistant.  The parachute provides constant lift while the pilot is always pulling to the ground.  The result is a large displacement of forces.  If a PPC stalls, the pilot can safely navigate and land the aircraft.  The PPC pilot can only increase or decrease the engine power, controlling the vertical climb rate.  They can also steer left or right by deflecting the trailing edges of the parachute.   It is difficult to cause the PPC to get into a dangerous altitude and stall.

It is not safe to fly during times of high wind.  This is because of the slow speed of a paramotor and the nature of the parachute.  The Federal Aviation Administration offers a powered parachute handbook that takes a deep-dive into the safety features of a powered parachute.

Powered Paraglider Overview

Powered ParaglidingAnother way to paramotor Pensacola is Powered Paragliding, or paramotoring.  It is a form of ultra-light flying where the pilot wears a back-mounted motor.  To launch a PPG requires the foot-power of the pilot.  To launch a powered paraglider requires the pilot to be on level ground.  Even in still air, the motor will provide the lift for take off and flight.

Powered Parachute Launching System

The most common way to launch is a foot-launched paraglider.  The second way to launch offers a wheel launch system.  Wheel launch systems come with three three or four wheels.  A trike is a three-wheeled system.  Likewise, a quad is a four-wheeled system.  Using the wheel-launch is easier for those who don’t want to carry the 45-90 pound motor on their back.  To prepare for launch, put on the harness and helmet and place the motor on your back.  Secondly, lay the parachute behind the craft.  Thirdly, verify all lines are clear and free of tangles.  Lastly, run or roll forward to while increasing the power of the engine.  Stay very upright during the launch and power the motor. When the speed provides enough lift for the wing you will become airborne.

Powered Parachute Propulsion

The motor is typically a small two-stroke gas engine.  These motors use unleaded gas mixed with 2-cycle oil. These engines can power the pilot to speeds of 15 to 50 mph.

Powered Parachute Steering

The pilot controls the thrust using a hand held throttle.  Likewise, using a combination of wing control and brake toggle, the pilot can control the pitch and roll.  Moreover, the wings incorporate a reflex profile which assist in controlling the pitch.  The design of PPG wings allow for high speed.  Pilots with experience and training can perform maneuvers like wing-overs, barrel rolls and loops.

Powered Parachute Cost

The costs of a new PPG system range from $8000 to $15,000+.  This include all the gear you need to start, including the wing, harness and motor.

Powered Parachute Training

Most small single-seat PPGs fly under 14 C.F.R. § 103 of the Federal Aviation Regulations.  According to these rules, the pilot can fly the ultra-light craft without a license or flight training.  However, flight we encourage you to take lessons.  The student can typically complete training in about a week.Paramotor Pensacola

Powered Parachute Safety

Flying a PPG is safer than riding a motorcycle.  Even still, some pilots carry back-up parachutes in the event of tragic failure.  Even if the engine does stall, you are piloting a glider.  A glider will allow you to coast to a safe landing zone without a motor.  Most minor injuries happen on the ground while taking off or landing.  Most bad injuries occur while starting the engine.  This is because of the large, exposed prop that spins at high speed.  These props typically aren’t wrapped in cages, and have been known to cause severe bodily harm.  Always keep the motto “safety first” in mind!

The complete guide to paramotor Pensacola will allow you to have the best vacation ever.  At a minimum, it will provide a life-long memory that you will cherish for many years.  Please leave a comment about you paragliding or parachuting Pensacola Beach experience.  If you have any questions, please leave it in the comments.  We’ll do our best to provide a great answer.

Paramotor Pensacola Directory

These directory links are not paid links. A site’s inclusion on this directory should not be considered an endorsement of their service.  All users should carry out their own due diligence before paying for any services offered.  If we missed including a local business in this directory, please contact us!

Further Reading

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Paramotor Pensacola Beach

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