What is a powered parachute?
A PPC or Powered Parachute, is basically a parachute with a motor and wheels--an unconventional looking aircraft that can take you anywhere a regular light aircraft can--only lower and slower. The maximum speed of a PPC is around 25-35 mph. PPCs can safely fly just over the treetops or up to 10,000 feet high and stay airborn for about three hours on a tank of gas.
The powered parachute uses a para-wing or airfoil parachute to produce aerodynamic lift. The chute is positioned behind the machine and as the pilot begins the take-off roll the parachute catches air and rises overhead. Once the parachute is full and all suspension lines look good, the pilot applies full power and lifts off.
Powered parachutes are easy to set-up, maneuver, and land. Take offs and landings can be safely performed within about 100 yards, about the length of a football field.
PPCs are considered by many to be safer than normal fixed-wing aircraft because of their inherent stability, limited response to control input, and resistance. In fact, some say PPCs are among the safest and most enjoyable forms of sport piloting. The average student can learn to fly safely in as little as 10 hours of CFI instruction.
A powered parachute is a great investment for farmers and ranchers who need to check fences, crops, sprinklers, or herds. The PPC's ease to set up and amazing maneuverablty turns cattle herding into an adventure in flight!
Search and rescue organizations and law enforcement agencies are also beginning to take advantage of PPCs for aerial surveillance, and for their ability to take off and land quickly.