Our phones can do so much today, and that includes being able to help with your paramotoring experience. There are many applications that can be downloaded on your smart devices that can help you have a better paramotoring experience.
The best paramotoring apps are:
- PPG Finder (4 stars) (Apple Download)
- PPGpS (2.5 stars) (Apple Download) (Android Download)
- WindFinder (4.8 stars) (Apple Download) (Android Download)
- WINDY – wind and snow forecast (4.6 stars) (Apple Download) (Android Download)
- Flyskyhy (4.8 stars) (Apple Download)
Each app has their own strengths and weaknesses, but the best app of the apps listed is the FlyskyHy app. This is due to it’s popular ratings, and insane capabilities. Let’s talk a bit about each of these applications and what they each have to offer.
|Capabilities||PPG Finder||PPGpS||WINDY – wind and snow forecast||WindFinder||Flyskyhy|
(after buying the extension)
(after buying the extension)
|Cost||~$8||~$4||Free||Free||~$9 ( ~$13 adding the extensions)|
PPG Finder: Easy to Use Navigational Tool
PPG Finder is one of the most innovative apps out there. Primarily used for navigation, the PPG Finder app is great for paramotorists who want an inntuitive and easy way to know where they’re going. It has a dashboard with the following items:
- Map with your location as well as local airspace visible.
- Current Speed
- Riding Time
- Distance Traveled
All of these are pretty standard utilities of a paramotoring app. The thing that separates PPG Finder from most other paramotoring apps is the unique capability of being able to check, in real time, the locations of other pilots.
The app has a “live” view capability which can accurately show you where your friends are around the map. You can see their altitude, speed, and distance from you. You can use this information to either meet up and fly around with your paramotor buddies, or find someone on the ground who you may need to meet up with.
You can easily navigate to various locations you’d like to visit using this app. All you have to do is set the location, the compass will point to those coordinates, as well as giving you a distance and estimated time to reach the point you’ve specified.
The app will also help facilitate your landings by estimating the wind speed based on the maximum speed captured. When landing a paramotor, it’s important to have an accurate approach, and PPG Finder can help you accurately gauge wind direction.
This app is also great for people who are on the ground. Having this app not only lets you know the pilots location and altitude, giving you peace of mind that they are safe, but also gives the pilot your location, so if you need to move to a different place, they’ll be able to find you easily.
The only downside to this app is that is is now only available on iOS devices, as there were too many bugs and issues occurring on Androids to justify it being kept up on the Google Play Store.
I’d suggest this app to anyone who was looking to have a versatile and easy to use navigational tool while paramotoring,
PPGpS: The Paramotor Navigation App for the iOS and Android
PPGpS is one of the most popular of the applications listed. PPGpS has the the following features:
- Wind direction, and estimated wind speed
- Return home information (including time estimation and bearing)
- Airspace display
- A Google Maps/Google Street view overlay capability
- Way point Manager
- Sunset information
PPGpS is a lot like PPG Finder, but without the capability view the location of other pilots. It’s good for navigation, and has a more versatile way point system than PPG Finder.
The way point system has multiple way points, and can be set up well in advance from your flight. There is also the capability to import maps for offline flying in case you can’t get service while in the air.
The PPGpS app uses a system of getting maps to use for offline flight, as well as setting up way points in advance that involves importing KML files onto you android, or into the PPGpS file of your iPhone. This takes some comprehensive research, but it can be a useful tool to have a safe and well planned flight.
Something else that sets PPGpS apart from the other items on this list is that it is available on both iOS devices and Android devices. Cross-platform apps usually run into issues, but PPGpS has resolved many that arise from having an app on two different kinds of devices.
I’d suggest the PPGpS app for Android users specifically, but it’s also for anyone who wants a completely planned out flight before they ever leave the ground.
Windfinder: A Weather App for Paramotoring and Other Air Sports
Windfinder provides weather information all over the world about local wind, waves, and tides for the many different kinds of sports out there. Windfinder is a good choice for a weather app because it has the following functions:
- Provides a detailed display for wind forecasts and weather forecasts for over 40,000 spots
- Displays current wind measurements and weather measurements from over 20,000 weather stations
- Wind measurements are listed in knots, Beaufort, km/h, m/s, and mph
- Has Parameters of wind strength and direction, gusts, air temperature, “feels like” air temperature, current cloud cover, chance of precipitation, air pressure, and relative humidity
- Access to Topographical maps for planning flights
Windfinder also has many other sets of data for wind surfers, boat owners, regatta racers, pretty much anything that might need a weather prediction.
Using the wind tracking functionality of Windfinder, you can effectively plan safe routes to go flying on. Avoiding storms is important when paramotoring, and you can get accurate weather details for planning your next flight.
With a beautiful and comprehensive interface, Windfinder will be your trusty guide in paramotoring when it comes to planning routes for your next flight, and finding the perfect winds.
WINDY – wind and snow forecast: Another Weather App for Paramotoring and Other Air Sports
WINDY is another Paramotoring app that you can get, and it’s a useful one at that. While the Wind Finder App helps you plan for your next flight, the WINDY app can help you plan you next move while in the air, as well as plan your next paramotoring vacation away from home.
The WINDY app has the following functions and aids to help you have a safe paramotoring experience:
- Reports of changes in the wind, forecast, and statistics (wind map, accurate wind compass, wind meter, wind gusts and wind directions)
- The WindAlert Function can tell you of oncoming storms/tornadoes/hurricanes etc
- Local forecasting from NOAA, including current temperature, wind speed, chance of precipitation, and the forecasting out for 10 days with 3 hours increments
- An Animated Wind Tracker
- Storm and Hurricane Tracker
- Cloud base and Dew point Data
An interesting function that the WINDY app offers in access to it’s immense database of Weather History, stretching from 2012 to 2017.
The information on the database includes the wind data in different locations for both day and night time, as well as the data of the atmospheric pressure.
With this, you can see the patterns of history, and decide which months would be best to travel to go paramotoring in a specific location.
I would suggest the WINDY app for anyone who want’s to receive important updates about the weather, as well as plan for road trips to go paramotoring.
Flyskyhy: For Comprehensive Paramotoring
Flyskyhy carries all the tools needed for your in-flight navigation, but also records data for you to analyze later. Experiences paramotor fliers who use this app to it’s full capacity will have an amazing flying experience.
I’ve said that this is the best of the navigational apps on the list. This is because it has incredible capabilities that the other apps simply can’t offer.
Some of the amazing capabilities of the Flyskyhy app are as follows:
- Display of Altitude, Climb Rate, Ground Speed, Air Speed, Direction, and Glide angle
- Display of Wind Strength and Direction
- Moving map of the flying area
- Spots where you’ve had life (great for thermal coring)
- Calculates whether you can reach your landing spot with your current altitude and wind
- Live Tracking of your flight from livetrack24.com or loctome.com
- Shows the live location of your friends during flight
- Full Logbook of All your Flights
- Basic Flight Data Including: Start/Landing time, duration of flight, height difference, and distance flown, etc
- Calculation of 5-points, open triangle, and FAI triangle distances
- Graph of Altitude and Climb Rate
- Export the files of the flight to online sites, or relive the flight through google maps
There is a “Waypoints Extension” that can be purchased for this app. It allows for the following additions:
- Fully zoomable and scrollable map with way points and an optimized route. The map also shows start and landing spots, as well as restricted airspace (with the Airspace Extension)
- Customizable waypoints, that can be set as parameters instead of points
- Full route support with start time, goal, entry/exit points, etc
- Visible and Audible indication of when a way point has been reached
- Import and Export various way point file formats
In addiotion to the “Waypoints Extension” there is also the “Airspace Extension”. It provides useful information on airspace, such as:
- The Airspace of 30 countries
- A display of airspace on a map, with configurable colors and formats
- A display of your vertical position related to local airspaces
- Gives a visible and audible warning when approaching and or entering airspace.
One potential problem that some people have with the Flyskyhy app is how expensive it is. The initial cost is around $9, but the extensions cost a bit as well, making it one of the more expensive apps on this list.
Another issues with this app is that it is only available on the iTunes store, but plans are in the works to make it for Androids soon.
The Flyskyhy app with it’s extensions has all the navigational tools you could ever dream of having. I would suggest the Flyskyhy app for anyone who wants and in-depth and comprehensive paramotoring experience.
Apps to Avoid
Just like there are apps that are a must have when flying paramotors, there are apps that you should not rely on.
For example, theVariometer is an app on the app store that seems legit enough. However, when going through the comments, you can quickly see that it is a waste of $5. Many people bought the app however, so it places highly on the app store when you look up paramotor apps.
How to Avoid being Swindled
The first step to take when looking at an app is to see it’s rating. Never rely on anything with less than 2.5 stars as a general rule. Due to updates, apps with a rating of 2.5 stars or higher are typically a safe bet.
The next step to take when seeing if an app is worth buying is looking at the reviews. If more people had read the comments and customer reviews on theVariometer app, they would have been able to see that it wasn’t worth putting money towards.
Another useful tip to help you buy apps that work is to read the description. For example, theVariometer has a description which claims that it uses the iPhones internal pressure sensor as a variometer. Be wary, and do some research when seeing claims like this that are hard to believe.
After looking up “iPhone pressure sensors” you may find that a quick search does indeed confirm that an iPhone can function as a barometer. However, is a barometer really worth $5, if you can get the exact same thing from an app that offers more and is cheaper? Looking at the reviews for the app, there’s an overwhelming sense of disapointment in the app, many claiming “It doesn’t work!”.
Look at several options that suit your needs specifically. Perhaps you don’t need all the versilitiy of the Flyskyhy app, and you can get along just fine with the cheaper PPG Finder.
Consider the practicality of what you’re trying to buy as well. Does this app actually do what you need it to do, or will most features be redundant with other apps you have?
As you go on to buy a paramotor app, I hope you consider one of the apps I’ve told you about. If not, best of luck finding an application that suits your needs.
How much do Paramotors Typically Cost?
It’ll cost about $8,000 for a new paramotor and $3k-$4k for a wing. You can get them for a bit cheaper if you buy them used. They’re in the same ball park as motorcycles though.
What should I do if my Paramotor lines tangle?
If you are high up in the air, it’s best to play it safe and come down carefully and solve the problem on the ground. If it appears that a crash is imminent, consider deploying an emergency chute if you have one, and try to maneuver yourself for a soft landing if you can manage it.