Up, up, and away
Several years ago, Akira, my Son-in-law, bought equipment to take on the sport of Paramotoring, also known as Powered Paragliding. The term was used by Englishman Mike Byrne in 1980, and became popular in France around 1986, when La Mouette began adapting power to the new paraglider wings.
I did not know much about the sport so I researched the same on the internet and found lots of information and pictures of powered paragliding. It is considered a form of ultralight aviation where the pilot wears a motor on his/her back which can give just enough thrust to launch from the ground by the pilot alone. (a run of 10 feet or so, and launch)
The merits of this type of flight seem to be that it is minimally regulated, requiring no license, flying low and slow safely and giving the pilot an open and free feel to flying. They usually fly between 15 and 50 mph and most of the flying is done under 500 feet. Portability and minimal equipment and maintenance costs are a plus. The paramotor weight is between 45 to 90 pounds and supported by the pilot during takeoff. It should not be flown in conditons of high wind, turbulence or intense thermal activity.
Learning how to handle the paraglider wing takes lots of practice. After takeoff, the pilot sits suspended beneath the wing. Controls are available, brake toggles for roll and hand held throttle for pitch.
In picture shown, you see Akira practicing with his wing (sail/chute).
AUTHOR: SHARON SMITH
Sharon Smith was born and raised in the Pacific Northwest (USA) and owned a healthcare uniform business for many years. She also lived in Japan but presently resides in Michigan. She blogs about her experiences and observations touching on culture, lifestyle, and the people around her.