2 Meters ? The New CB Band Of Interference?
There is a ?new? sport that is rapidly gaining momentum. Paramotoring or PPC (Powered Parachute). The sport involves a small gasoline engine w/propeller mounted on the pilots back by way of a harness setup and a seat, which is attached to a paragliding wing (parachute) that is rectangular in shape.
The sport is unregulated under the Part 103 FAA rules, which allows anyone to fly without a license. The problem lies therein ? just like CB radio operations, the PPC sport is attracting a large number of undesirables who do not respect the rules and guidelines of the sport, endangering others as well as themselves in the process.
This segment of the sport also does not respect the FCC or licensed amateur radio operators as evidenced by their use of 2 meter handhelds for communications ? without benefit of having first obtained an FCC issued licensed. They are aware of the requirement but just like CB?ers knowing it is illegal to use a linear amplifier, they simply don?t care.
I?ve conversed with a number of PPC?ers regarding this violation of the law.
Responses received include:
?I?m not interfering with anyone. What difference does it make??
?Well ? would the FCC rather I flew without communications and got hurt or hurt someone else? Using 2 meters makes it safer for me to fly.?
?The FCC gives a warning first. I?ll get my license after I?ve been warned.?
?It?ll be a cold day before I get a license.?
?That?s an abuse of their (FCC) power. They can?t stop me. Fine me $10,000 for talking without a license. Who the hell do they think they are? Someone should put a stop to that.?
Commonly Used Terms & Phrases
The PPC Sport has common phrases recognized by members. These are some of the phrases you may hear on 2 meters unlicensed PPC transmissions:
Riser : These are the chords running from the motor frame on the pilot?s back running up to the chute (wing).
Wing : The rectangular parachute is referred to as a wing. It has all the characteristics of an airplane wing and functions in the same manner providing lift while being propelled through the air.
Cage : The metal frame around the motor that protects the pilot from accidentally making contact with the propeller during operation.
Kiting : The process of practicing, on the ground without the motor/propeller, inflating the wing from a stationary position on the ground to a location above the pilots head.
Packing the Wing : When not in use, the wing is normally stored in a solid nylon bag.
Trimmer/s : Additional risers (chords) running from the motor frame on the pilot?s back up to the chute (wing). The trimmers perform a function of ?fine tuning? the performance of the wing (changing the angle of attack so it can cut through the air faster; altering the performance of the wing to make the flight safer; etc.)
Brake / Braking : These are the risers that are attached to the end of the wing. Pulling down on these, both sides at once, causes the wing to slow its performance in essence braking as you would a vehicle. Pulling the right brake cause the wing and pilot to turn to the right while flying ? pulling down on the left brake does the opposite.
Thermaling : The same process utilized by manned gliders. The PPC pilot can locate a rising thermal, fly over the rising heat and cause the wing to rise with the thermal.
Speedbar : A bar below the pilot?s seat attached to the trimmers. The pilot place both feet on this bar, kind of like stepping onto a ladder rung, and stretches his legs out in front of him. The speedbar adjusts the trimmers connected to the wing, altering the wing configuration so it will obtain a better ?cut? into the air and cause the pilot to fly faster. This same process can be done with the hands pulling on the appropriate risers but using the speedbar is easier because the legs are stronger and can hold the pressure for a longer time period.
Reserve or Reserve Chute : An extra parachute to be deployed should the main/primary wing collapse or become entangled in the risers.
Flare or Flaring : The act of pulling both brakes immediately prior to making contact with the earth when landing. It makes the wing act more like a parachute than a wing, safely lowering the pilot onto the ground.
Trike or Quad : A go cart looking vehicle that is attached to a wing and has a motor on the rear for propulsion. Trike has three wheels and the quad has four wheels. Able to carry one or two individuals.
SAT or SATS : Acrobatics performed with a PPC.
Foot Drag : Flying close to the ground, maintaining speed and dragging one foot on the ground, then gaining altitude again. Also done on smooth surfaced water.
Where Do They Fly?
Everywhere! And growing ?.
Training Sites :
Here is a list of training sites (not all inclusive) in the US where the use of 2 meter radio may possibly be heard: