Aside from a reserve parachute, if there’s one other safety accessory that we can’t recommend enough it’s the Powerfloat. Just as the name gives away, the Powerfloat is a floatation device specifically crafted for paramotors, ultra lights, hang gliders, and other similar aircraft. Statistically, water presents a paramotor pilot with their deadliest threat. Many might think that ground crashes are higher, but it is actually water-related incidents that are the culprit. It’s important to understand that it is deceptively hard to free yourself from lines, soaking harnesses, and heavy metal components, all in the chaos of an unintended landing.
While you might be thinking, ‘Don’t worry, I’ll never fly over water,’ think again – like moths to a flame, the draw to fly over bodies of water is a natural desire experienced by most pilots. Even if it’s a small winding creek or pond, there’s something about water that entices the senses and almost unnoticeably pulls people in. There’s nothing wrong with it, on the contrary, flying over water is gorgeous and a unique experience in and of itself, but that being said, having this floatation apparatus secured to your paramotor is the safest way to proceed as well as get the most out of those flights.
Powerfloats – don’t fly without this safety device – because it could mean the difference between life and death. It’s a hard truth, but regarding safety, especially in the PPG sport, is the best way to go. Having that added security only enhances flight and lends to enjoyment because you’re actively working to avoid disaster. Being prepared, is undoubtedly, a good thing.
The Powerfloats offered through Aviator come in three different varieties: the Powerfloat 2BeSure (Twin System), 2BeSure XL (Twin System), and in a U-Shape. The 2BeSure models come in a two pack that mount on either side of you and deploy outward, with the XL size having a slightly longer width. The U-Shape comes in the form of a modified u-shaped vest specifically outfitted for a paramotor, making it larger than a normal floatation vest.
This device is intentionally designed to be lightweight and as unobtrusive as possible, and provides you with a massive element of safety when flying over water.
Powerfloats are additionally crafted to automatically deploy via a Co2 cartridge, as they are triggered upon immersion into water. Because of the auto-activation feature, it allows you crucial time to free yourself from your wing and harness and swim to safety. It’s no underestimation that Powerfloasts are a critical and lifesaving instrument for anyone who goes near water, as many of us do.
Something else to understand about Powerfloats is that these devices also have a five-year working life, and should be replaced within the time frame for safety, along with the Co2 package that activates the inflation. Exposure to moisture in the air affects the package, so it’s also suggested that these pieces be replaced annually if not sooner, depending on the area in which you live and fly.
Powerfloats are designed to be mounted to your paramotor in two different ways, so be sure to see our video for more an in-depth tutorial on how to do this properly.
The preferred method at Aviator is attaching a float onto either side of your harness – specifically onto each harness strap that goes over the shoulders. When you mount your floats, the float straps should be looser than the shoulder straps of the harness. If the float straps or too tight, they’ll end up carrying the weight of the paramotor, which could lead to tearing of the float’s holding case. Overall, this does not affect safety, but unnecessary wear and tear should be avoided.
The second option is that you can also mount the floats on either side of the frame, in much the same manner. The downside to this method however, is that it positions the floats slightly lower, meaning they’ll inflate more around your chest area. In attaching the floats onto the harness straps, they’re positioned closer to the head and should better keep your head above water in the event of an accident.
While both methods are proven, definitely take into consideration the different positioning and how it might help you should an emergency ever arise.
We can’t emphasize this enough, fear not! Again, as our other safety-centric blogs have highlighted, arming yourself with knowledge, skills, and the proper equipment make all the difference – in safety, most certainly, but also in the overall flying experience. Having an awareness of all possible dangers is simply a part of PPG, and for your own edification.
So, on the one hand, being prepared could legitimately mean the difference in life and death, but on the flip side that preparedness also means you have peace of mind. You aren’t weighed down by “what ifs” or fears, but instead you’re perfectly prepared to react should dangers arise. When you have that type of security, flying paramotors becomes that much more enjoyable because you’ve eliminated certain fears. Soar freely knowing you’re safe.
Of course, this is a principle applied to many different areas in life, making it all the more truthful. So, again, fear not, and simply prepare yourself for all circumstance, continue to pursue flight, and love parmotoring all the more.