Paramotoring adventure on ECR, Chennai by fly2day.in

Several months ago I had seen someone experimenting with a motorized sail off ECR. I didn’t know much about it back then, so had ignored it and continued. Sometime in March I saw their ads on the facebook, which promised a ride in the air. Out of curiosity I checked their website and even visited the venue one Saturday afternoon. But I took my camera without memory card and couldn’t take any pictures. After debating for a while if I should really try it or not, finally gave in and decided to try. I have already tried para-gliding in Khamshet,Pune, Para sailing in Pattaya, Thailand, Microlight aircraft flying in Bengaluru, Skydiving in Mysuru, Hot Air Balloonride in Lonavala, Pune. This adds to the list of latest adventures.
The experience:
In this mode of flying which the operator terms Para Motoring, guest sits in front seat, pilot sits in rear seat on the two seater setup with an engine in the back and sails attached to it. A team of 2-3 people form the ground crew, who assist in starting the motor and giving the setup initial push. As the wheels move forward, sail lifts up in the air and soon gets enough power to lift the entire setup up in the air, assuming wind is favorable. Once take off is successful, pilot can control the direction by pulling the strings connected to the sail. The motor on the back assists in forward motion by pushing the air back.

Above: the Para Motoring tricycle
Below: The sails attached to the above setup
 
Above: Full view of the Engine
Below- some more closeup on the engine

The ride lasted about 10+ minutes, a circle around the beach off ECR and then a controlled landing was done.
Above: A selfie in the sky
Below: View of Ocean

Above & below: riders in the sky
The experience was good but personally I like the paragliding better- no noise of the engine. But there’s no active para gliding operator in Chennai, so this Paramotoring is a good alternative to spend a few minutes in the air. Plus the location- ECR and beach makes for a nice background.

Cost of Paramotoring adventure on ECR, Chennai:
The para motoring experience operated by fly2day.in costs Rs 2500 per person onwards. Larger the group, lesser the per person experience. (If you have a group of 50+ pax then ride is at Rs 1000 per person.

Where is the venue?
Venue is about a km before Crocodile bank. Operates usually on Saturday n Sundays afternoon time.

Where to book? Is there a spot registration?
Only online booking. No spot registration option. Book at www.fly2day.in I hesitated to book initially because there was no option to select a date & time. But after speaking to the number provided there I confirmed availability and then made payment. They did promptly respond with confirmation. Many villagers gathered to watch the flight, with many of them seeking ‘local discounts’ or saying they have a budget of Rs 500 only. Fly2day team had tough time keeping locals/crowd safe distance away and managing their expectation and queries. While we were riding an entire tourist bus stopped, just to see the ride and they left only after watching 2-3 take offs and landing.

Weight limit: There’s a weight limit of 80 kgs or so. If you’re heavier than that, check with operator.

The para motoring seem to be operated by one person assisted by his family members. I am assuming they have all necessary permissions and regulatory clearance for this.

Concerns
There is no ambulance on standby. If anything goes wrong, victims need to be shipped to hospitals 15-20 kms away. Coming to accidents, I did some thinking on what all can go wrong in this. Below is the list
#
Risk
Probability
Impact/Severity
Details
1
Motor stops working
Medium
Very Low
Motor is not to ensure lift, mainly to control direction and move forward. Even if motor stops, sailing will continue, it should be possible to make a controlled landing
2
Ropes holding machine and sail break
Low
Medium
There’re several ropes. One or two snapping shouldn’t hamper overall strength. It should be possible to make controlled descent. If all ropes break at once, then it will be deadly, but such a possibility is very very remote
3
Damage to Sail
Low
High
Damaged sail will not be able to keep the set-up afloat. Depending on how bad the damage is and how high the machine was when damage occurred, pilot will get few seconds to few minutes to bring it down safely.
4
Other mechanical issues
Low
High
Assuming equipment is maintained properly, probability of mechanical or structural faults should be almost zero. But if it happens at the wrong time- like metal fatigue breaking the frame or a but/bolt coming lose etc, it can be dangerous. The fall will be immediate and if distance is high or drop is on hard object it can be deadly. This risk applies to all forms of adventure, including hot air balloon, paragliding etc.
The Pilot: Mr Mani Kannan
Our immediate next ride came down crashing within few seconds of take off-probably due to poor lift. Team had to bring back the setup to level field and retry.


Do try this if it interests you. I have some videos, which I will add to my youtube channel soon.

4 comments:

  1. Really interesting story. I enjoyed with your post. I am sure the experience with Para motoring will be great. Thank you for sharing this fascinating post here.
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    ReplyDelete
  2. This sounds interesting and dangerous at the same time. The fact that there is no medical personnel nearby is also a cause for concern

    ReplyDelete
  3. Any adventure sports carries a bit of risk. Not possible to avoid 100%. yes, a standby ambulance could have been great.

    ReplyDelete

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