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Frequently Asked Questions

If you can't find the answer to your question below, feel free to email me at faqs@parachutepilot.com.

Specific answers to many of these questions will depend upon certain variables including wind conditions, payload weight, temperature, humidity, pilot skill, field conditions and proper engine performance. Consequently, any reference to flight performance contained in the answers that follow is approximate data which may not apply to a given set of actual circumstances.

Q: How did powered parachutes get started?

A: Click HERE for the "History of Powered Parachuting".


Q: What is a powered parachute?

A: It is a self powered flying parachute. It is very simple to operate. Most important, it is a very safe way to fly.


Q: Do I need a pilots license?

A: No, and very little training is required to become proficient in the proper use and operation of a powered parachute. The powered parachute falls within the limitations prescribed in Federal Air Regulations 103.


Q: How long does it take to learn to fly a powered parachute?

A: Individuals without any prior flight experience generally require about 1 to 2 hours of instruction for their first solo flight.


Q: Why is the powered parachute so easy to fly?

A: It is basically stable and has only two controls - left and right steering controls and throttle to climb or descend.


Q: What makes the powered parachute so stable?

A: The pendulum effect provides self compensation stability and therefore makes it extremely difficult to stall or spin.


Q: How fast does it fly?

A: Basically, at a constant airspeed of 26 m.p.h..


Q: Can it stall or spin like an aircraft?

A: In conventional flight, an aircraft wing must have sufficient forward velocity to maintain lift. This characteristic is pilot controlled through both attitude and throttle. Unlike a conventional aircraft, powered parachutes are basically a constant speed vehicle. Consequently, it is extremely difficult to slow the speed sufficiently to cause the airfoil to stall.


Q: What inflates the canopy?

A: The forward motion of the vehicle combined with the wind, forces air into the openings on the leading edge of the canopy, thereby pressurizing the airfoil and giving the canopy the shape of a wing required for flight.


Q: Can you take off by yourself?

A: Yes.


Q: What happens if the engine quits?

A: In the event of an engine out condition, the powered parachute continues to glide forward at 24 m.p.h. with descent speed of about 7 m.p.h.. Directional steering is controlled through the canopy, therefore, not dependent on the engine power. The pilot steers the very same way with engine or without.


Q: How long can it fly on one tank of gas?

A: Although actual flight times will depend on pilot weight and atmospheric conditions, the typical time ranges from 1 - 2 hours with a 10 gallon tank for two seaters. And 1-1/2 hours with a 5 gallon tank for a Far103 single seat.


Q: How is the powered parachute transported?

A: Most people use a trailer.


Q: What is the altitude capability?

A: The vehicle's altitude capability will vary according to atmospheric conditions, gross weight and proper engine adjustment. Altitudes of several thousand feet are attainable, but most powered parachute pilots enjoy flying within 500 - 1000 feet above the ground.


Q: What is the maximum pilot weight?

A: Maximum recommended pilot weight is variable, depending on the type of powered parachute you are flying. Check with your local authorized dealer for recommendations.


Q: What are the maximum acceptable wind conditions in which the vehicle may be flown?

A: Non-gusting winds of less than 10 m.p.h. are recommended for beginner pilots. Wind conditions for recreational flying should not exceed 15 m.p.h..


Q: What is the wing made of?

A: The wing is a "Ram-Air" parachute made of rip-stop nylon which is specially treated to resist ultraviolet rays. The canopy has the construction to withstand the high shock loads of free fall skydiving, a stress far beyond powered parachute loads. With proper care the canopy should give years of service.


Q: How much room do you need for take-offs and landings?

A: The take-off and landing distance varies with environment, engine performance, pilot technique, terrain, wind and payload conditions. In most cases, a pilot weighing 170 pounds with standard humidity and at sea level can lift off within 200-300 feet after adding full power. Landings can be made in a much smaller area depending on the skill of the pilot.


Q: How does the powered parachute respond in gusty wind conditions?

A: In gusty winds, the vehicle will exhibit some rocking motion while the airfoil adjusts to the gusts. This adjustment does not require pilot correction and is a result of the pendulum effect.


Q: Can the powered parachute be flown in the rain?

A: The powered parachute is a recreational flying vehicle and should not be flown in any adverse weather conditions, including rain, snow, hail, poor visibility, high or turbulent wind conditions.


Q: Can the powered parachute be flown year round?

A: Yes. If there are skis available to purchase through your local authorized dealer.


Powered Parachutes & Sport Flying
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This site was last updated 12/08/17