Powered Parachute (PPCs)



A powered parachute (motorized parachute, PPC, paraplane) is a parachute with motor and wheels. The aircraft's airspeed is typically about 25–35 mph (40–60 km/h). PPCs operate safely at heights ranging from a few feet off the ground (while ground skimming, a popular use of the aircraft) to altitudes as high as 18,000+ feet (5.5 km). But typical operating heights are between 500 and 1500 feet (150–500 meters). Equipped with the standard 5 or 10 gallon fuel tank, PPCs can typically be flown for about three hours.

They have very short take-off and landing rolls, sometimes less than 100 ft (30 m). PPCs are among the least expensive aerial vehicles. A new one-person powered parachute may cost as little as $5,000, though double seaters more typically cost about $10,000. Top end two seater PPCs usually cost $15,000–25,000. Empty weight is typically around 200–300 lb (90–135 kg) and payload can be upwards of 500 lb (225 kg). In the United States, most single place PPCs are flown under part 103 of the Federal Aviation Regulations and, therefore, may be flown without a license or flight instruction. Flight instruction is, however, highly recommended, and an average student can learn to fly a PPC safely with 5 to 10 hours of flight instruction. T

wo-place PPCs are light sport aircraft in the United States. The pilot must have at least a sport pilot certificate issued by the FAA to fly them. A minimum of 15 hours of flight instruction, and 5 hours of solo as a student pilot is required to obtain this certificate.