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What is Paramotor and Powered Paragliding??

Updated: May 6

The first question everyone asks is, "What is that?!"

Paramotors are powered paragliders. They also have funny nicknames, like butt fan or flying lawn chair. A paramotor is a paraglider wing with a 2-stroke engine (sometimes 4-stroke) worn by the pilot or mounted on a wheeled frame like a trike or quad. Unlike skydiving or paragliding, paramotors do not require a jump off point to launch - we launch from clear and flat land, such as rural grass runways.

Under the Federal Aviation Association, paramotors are ultralight vehicles governed by FAR 103. You do not requires a pilot's license in the US to fly a paramotor! Two organizations offer paramotor training standards - the United States Powered Paragliding Association (USPPA) and Aero-Sports Connection (ASC). Though not strictly required, it is recommended that paramotor pilots receive training through an instructor with a rating through one or both organizations if you are in the United States. Requirements vary from nation to nation, so if you are outside of the USA, check the local regulations for the country you will be flying in.

Now that you know WHAT a paramotor is, the next question is WHERE? In the USA, we fly in Airspace rated G or E. We do not fly over crowds or gatherings without FAA exemption waivers and precautions are taken where we are flying over bodies of water. We can often be found at rural airfields and sometimes, launching out of our own yards. We stay clear of other aircraft. so you probably won't see many of us out the window of your airline seat. We gather together in parties at fly-ins, such as Endless Foot Drag every September in Fredonia, Kansas.

Finally, WHEN do we fly paramotors? As lifetime members of the Wimpy Weather Club, we fly 30 minutes before sunset until the thermals get too bumpy and again in the afternoons until 30 minutes after sunset, on clear and relatively calm weather days. If it is sunny, dry, and winds are hovering around 10 mph, keep an eye on the sky for the paramotor pilots!

If you are ready to learn more about paramotors and powered paragliders, contact Wichita Paramotor by email at or by phone or text at 316-932-0277!

A paramotor pilot soars against a brilliant gold and blue sunset with light clouds in silhouette
Paramotor flies at sunset

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