“Ever since I remember, I wanted to fly,” says Eric Dufour, who runs Paratour, a business in Christmas, Fla. for paramotoring.
The aviation of paramotoring starts with acrobatic fabric wing of a paraglider then adds a small-engine prop on the back of the pilot. It allows for a controlled, exceptionally low-altitude flight experience.
The experience in the air is similar to other extreme flight experience like skydiving or hang gliding.
“The feeling of flying is like for everybody about the same; it’s freedom and feeling like a bird,” says Dufour.
The unique experience in paramotoring is in the takeoff. Since the pilot is standing on their own feet, they run with the engine started and then catch enough lift to start flying.
“It feels like Peter Pan,” says Dufour.
Paramotoring was popularized in Dufour’s native France in the mid ‘80s and has grown since then. At his east Orange County site, Dufour takes people on tours in two-person rigs or teaches them to fly on their own.
“There’s always a bit of butterflies for them and for me too,” he says of his solo students. But he has always had success in getting them airborne.
In the video above by Sentinel photographer Red Huber, one can get a sense of the graceful pace of the paramotor flight. Utilizing small video cameras mounted on the gliders, Huber captures the mesmerizing view a paramotor pilot.
You can find out more about Paratour, its tours, training and glider shop at http://www.paratour.com
Tom Burton can be contacted at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @twburton.