Powered Paragliding Truth

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Powered Paraglider over Utah

Powered Paragliding:
the History of USPPA, USHGA and power.

by Jeff Goin, Apr 20, 2008

The past is easily forgotten, especially when it's the recent past. And in the sport of powered paragliding it is all a recent past. This is a work in progress

This is obviously my perspective on our history but most of it can be verified by looking at writings in groups, magazine contributions, and other documents. If you know about any wrong facts, let me know. I welcome corrections and will update the information accordingly.

The full history is on FootFlyer's history section (Chapter 25) but what's covered below relates to the organizations.

Before 1990 there was paragliding. Started in Europe by climbers wanting a better way down, it grew quickly in popularity.


Powered paragliding enters the U.S. in some history that I don't know. The first paramotor was the LaMouette, imported by the fellow who taught James Miller to fly.

Alan Chuculate was an accomplished hang glider pilot, tandem paraglider pilot and then got into paramotoring soon after it came across. Other players included Canadians Eric Dufour and Francesco DeSantis, The


The sport was in its infancy, having landed on US shores in about 1990. Eric Dufour, Francesco DeSantis, Alan Chuculate and others were major players. LaMouette was the first machine imported with Adventure and Fly Products to follow in fairly short order.

When I was lured in by a friend who never did pursue it, I went searching for good training.

My background was (still is) flight instruction and airline flying with an interest in human factors—the study of how humans actually behave in real-world situations. I knew the importance of thorough training and went to seek it out. Lo and behold there was no program out there for paramotoring for solo pilots. The only powered program, from ASC, was really meant for tandem certifcation of powered parachute pilots. That's not what I wanted so, taking the advice of Nick Scholtes, I set out to use a recognized training program for paragliding with the intent to go to a paramotoring instructor.

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