Chapter 5 — Preflight and Ground Operations
Where to Fly
The powered parachute can be transported by trailer
from one flying field to the next. For as many benefits
as this provides, transporting the powered parachute
into unfamiliar territory also includes some safety and
Make contact with the airport management to inquire
about any special arrangements that may need to be
made prior to departing from an unfamiliar airport.
Check the Airport/Facility Directory (A/FD) for traffic
pattern information, no fly zones surrounding the
airport, and special accommodations that may need
to be arranged.
Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR)
part 91 states that powered parachutes are to avoid
the flow of all other air traffic. In addition, you should
inform local pilots about some of the incidentals of
powered parachute flight (such as flying low and
slow); the more information that other category pilots
know about PPC flight characteristics, the more
they will understand the specific needs of the powered
parachute in flight. Sharing the same airspace with
various aircraft categories requires pilots to know and
understand the rules, and understand the flight characteristics
and performance limitations of the different
The ideal departure area for a powered parachute is an
open grassy area clear of debris and obstacles with a
groomed, even surface. Concrete and asphalt surfaces
should be avoided, as well as lit runways, as the structural
integrity of the wing and suspension lines may
be compromised during takeoffs and landings if the
wing catches on the runway surface or surrounding
Powered parachutes do not normally take off where
the rest of the airport traffic takes off. This is to help
both the PPC pilot and the pilots of other aircraft. A
powered parachute requires time to set up and depart;
it is not polite or safe to tie up an active runway while
this is being done. Exceptions to this would be the
edge of a very wide runway or an undeveloped area
next to the active runway where setup can take place
well away from the centerline of that active runway.
Another reason PPC pilots typically don’t use standard
runways is that you want to set up into the wind
to avoid a crosswind takeoff. While slight crosswind
takeoffs are possible, they are usually unnecessary
due to the short-field capabilities of a powered parachute.
You should do your best to point the machine
into the wind before you lay out the wing.
Extend consideration to land owners that may own a
flight strip in their field. You need permission to use
private property as an airstrip. Locate the area on an
aeronautical sectional chart to check for possible airspace
violations or unusual hazards that could arise
by not knowing the terrain or location. Avoid loitering
around residential structures and animal enclosures
because of the slow flight attributes of the powered
parachute and the distinct engine noise.
While selecting a takeoff position, make certain the
approach and takeoff paths are clear of other aircraft,
or will be clear by the time the equipment is set up.
Fences, power lines, trees, buildings, and other obstacles
should not be in the immediate flightpath unless
you are certain you will be able to safely take off and
clear them during takeoff and climbout.
Walk the entire length of the intended takeoff and
landing area prior to departure. Look for holes, muddy
spots, rocks, dips in the terrain, high grass, and
other objects that can cause the aircraft to be damaged
or the wing to snag during takeoff and landing. Physically
mark areas of concern with paint, flags, or cones;
a pothole may not look like a pothole from the air.
There are a number of preflight actions you must
perform, mandated by 14 CFR part 91. You must become
familiar with all available information concerning
your flight, to include runway lengths at airport of
intended use, takeoff and landing distance accounting
for airport elevation and runway slope, aircraft gross
weight, wind, and temperature. For a flight not in the
vicinity of a conventional airport, this information
must include weather reports and forecasts, fuel requirements,
and alternatives available if the planned
flight cannot be completed.