Tag Archives: paramotor malaysia

Is Paramotor Dangerous?

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I was sitting at my favorite spot in Pantai Irama, Bachok, Kelantan when I saw a flying man up on the sky.

I grabbed my handphone, snapped a photo and posted it on Instagram. 10 November 2012: I said to myself while watching the flying man – “I want to fly like that man”.

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A year after that in December 2013 while mourning of the passing away of my beloved father coincidently a friend of mine, Yusuf Hashim asked me to join him learning to fly with an engine on my back and a big canopy wing on my head, exactly like the flying man that I saw a year ago.

I know this might sound crazy but yes! I took up the flying lesson for  6 months and finally fly on my own, solo for a few times.

This sport is called paramotor or powered paragliding.

The engine weight a total of 23kg with fuel and you have to carry that on your back while at the same time both your hands handling the glider or the wing.

It was hard for a super-light aka skinny girl like me to master this as the engine is very heavy on my back.

And, I don’t see the point of flying when I can’t use my hand to handle my camera, as both hands are busy maneuvering the glider. The view up there is spacious… a gigantic open space with no boundaries, the air smells freedom.

I love flying

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For a dreamer like me, flying shows me the romantic side of being peaceful with just yourself and the beautiful air around you, hanging and dancing 1000 feet up on air, minus the noisy engine sound of your machine.

The amazing feeling of being in a vast open space.

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In late December 2014, JanjiFly paramotor pilots approached and invited me as their official photographer.

My job is to follow them during flying events and help captured their best moves while on air. This arrangement continues almost every weekend for 4 years until today.

This is the reason why I love photography, this skill opens up so many doors for me to explore life. I had the best time flying together with the team, all over Malaysia.

Read my writings about some of our flying adventures, click on these links:

Paramotoring, is it dangerous?

Like everything else, paramotoring has its own risk.

Riding a motorbike is dangerous too if you are being reckless.

This sport is an extreme sport.

Yes, this is a dangerous sport if you are not well equipped with the right skill. It requires a high level of mental persistent, time and money to master this sport but the reward is beyond words. Not only that, you need to learn to listen to your senses, be ultra-sensitive with nature (the wind and the weather) and calculate the risk accordingly each time you decided to fly.

If you have all the safety measures and skills intact, I feel that paramotoring could be considered as a safe sport.

If you want to try paramotoring I have a few tips:

1 – Try tandem paramotor first. Fly as a passenger to a well-experienced tandem paramotor pilot. Get the feel of it and decide if it is for you or not. If you want to try tandem paramotor, it is important to observe these following tips:

  • Try flying with a well-experienced pilot
  • Look at the engine, it should be well maintained
  • Check the years of life of the glider aka the wing. The wing should not exceed its expected years of use.

2 – If you have a good feeling about this and want to fly on your own, then get a good Paramotor instructor. Contact JanjiFly u-Fly i-Fly team as they could advise the right instructor for you.

It always feels good to breeze through the air, flying like a bird.

And having the right team during each of our flying moment is a blessing. After 6 years of flying, I still adore this sport.

For those who are curious and adventurous, do try paramotoring… you won’t regret it.

Conclusion: Is paramotoring dangerous? With the right instructor, the right skill and the right mentality, this sport is not dangerous at all. The only danger is to fall in love with your respective tandem pilot, kidding! lol.

Do you want to try fly tandem paramotoring? Leave your comment below.

Cheers

Matsuda


Circling KLCC by flying Paramotor

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KLCC from my angle, 1000 feet up above the air

“If you can dream it, you can do it”

I guess my theory is right, that u can just be anything and be anywhere that you want to be with a camera in your hand. I had another unforgettable moment just recently, circling Kuala Lumpur city centre particularly KLCC and KL Tower on a flying machine, the lightest and the slowest aircraft ever … a paramotor.

It was totally unplanned.

My flying partner and I saw an opportunity and we decided to grab it. Our second time flying tandem together in a crowded city centre while our first experience was quite scary. We were new and inexperienced at that time while we took up a flying job to circle around Petaling Jaya area, a crowded highly populated city centre in the heart of Petaling Jaya.

We always wanted to fly circling Kuala Lumpur particularly KLCC, once was the tallest tower in the world. Who doesn’t want to do that? Had a goosebump though when we started our flight that morning. I smell fear.

Curiousity will conquer fear even more than bavery will

Flying in between congested building area is not easy. Wind in between tall buildings is unpredictably strong due to the funnel effect and obviously dangerous for a light flight aka paramotor like us. Yes … fear of the unpredictable.

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View of the city from the Royal Selangor Golf Club

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I love this!

We started with a good vibe.

The weather was good with a zero wind condition at our takeoff site, it added great confidence to both of us. We made our usual safety test while on air before heading to KLCC and KL Tower, we circled a few times around the Royal Selangor Golf Club and as we gained our confidence … we then proceed to the city centre airspace.

Uhhh … after years of taking photos at high altitudes while flying, I still had that ‘gayat’ or vertigo feeling especially if we were flying close to buildings. Scary but worth it!. Both my flying buddy and I love flying so much that little hurdles or challenges while on air so far couldn’t kill our spirits.

I set my camera at ISO 800 and put it on S mode and start framing my visual composition. Instead of my usual D810, I opted for a mirrorless camera with an equivalent of 24-70mm lens. For safety reason, I am looking forward to changing my photography gears to another lighter option.

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The other side of KLCC

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Wefie on air while cruising at 1000 feet up on the horizon

This experience honestly inspired me to dream further.

I want more experience like this. Am adding a few more things to my “to do list before I go senile”… a dream of flying across the pyramids in Egypt, flying across the beautiful landscape of Yemen and exploring the airspace of the City of Dubai. In Sha Allah, if Allah permits.

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I like!

I hope that I would never get bored of this.

Maybe my life is not as perfect as the rest of makcik and pakcik bawang out there at the kitchen corner safely curling in their comfortable nest. How I choose to live my life might look a bit weird compared to the rest of the so-called ‘perfect’ people … but so far I feel alive, contented and blessed with whatever presented by the Al-Mighty to me. I don’t give a damn … It’s my life, I’ll have it my way.

Good night!

Cheers

MM


Land of the soothing wind

“There is a way that nature speaks, that land speaks. Most of the time we are simply not patient enough, quiet enough, to pay attention to the story.”

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I have been home bound for months now. My last trip outside Malaysia was to Mongolia and Lake Baikal, Russia in March early this year. I am still not sure where is my next destination yet. I am ok with just anything …

Yeah … I do miss my traveling moment for sure.

The quietness, the feeling of being lost, the discovering, the learning and breathing the air of strangers land but I do believe in not exaggerating or over indulging upon something. Maybe because I get bored easily, too much of anything could kill my interest.

Well … I was not basically just sitting at home for this past few months. That travel addiction still stings me badly and I have a ‘secret’ way to sooth it down before I turned mental. I tagged along with my other adventurous soul group … my paramotor friends of course.

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At Kuala Selangor … enjoying the morning light

Of late they are into cross-country flying aka XC flying with paramotors.

I didn’t expect to experience such a rich and raw exploration moments while hovering low in the airspace. The landscape from high above is dreamy and mesmerizing, the air smells differently … it felt as if I am physically not here in Malaysia but somewhere traveling across different continental within 1.5 to 2 hours of each flight.

We would be in a deep forest for 10 minutes, in urban cities in another few minutes, on acres of acres of orchard, on some mysterious island, in a blue looking lake and sometimes just hover around a small town around Antara Gapi for maybe 10 minutes.

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From Kundang to Bukit Beruntung, Kuala Selangor on 2017.07.23

We flew in a small group … most of the time with well-experienced pilots, around 4 to 7 of them. As usual … I would be in charge of capturing the moments of us, flying. We started very early in the morning before the morning light is out, took-off from our flying base around 7:00 to 7:30 am so that we could catch the early morning light from the horizon … morning light is always our favorite.

For me …. the best way to end a hectic week is not through snuggling on your bed for the whole morning on the weekend but to do all this lol … mental? Yes …

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Inside a cloud at Tekah Airfield on 2017.04.15

 Unlike paragliding, thermals are not our best friend. The wind tends to be calmer early in the morning and we would experience the heat around 10 am when the sun is fully out. The heat created thermal heat on the airspace and our wings would swing according to the heat flow which is not good (dangerous too) for flying low.

So, by 10 am we are expected to land safely at our starting takeoff base.

And yeah … sometimes we drove out of Kuala Lumpur to the east and west part of peninsular Malaysia with our engines and wings and join our local flying friends from those areas.

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Kuala Besut, Terengganu from up on the air on 2017.07.16

Is it dangerous? Hmmm …

As I mentioned earlier in my previous post about paramotor, any extreme sport requires you to have a certain level of skill to ensure safety. And that skill is acquired from hours and hours of flying training or flying experience. And planning is very important.

Apart from making sure that the engines and wings are in its best condition … we tried to minimize our risk by ensuring proper planning before and during each flight with the help of technology.

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Is it scary?

Honestly yes … sometimes lol … but when you are already up there on air, your thought mostly would be on how to ensure that we are well prepared for the worst. I call it the survivor instinct …

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The shoreline of Kuala Besut, Terengganu on 2017.07.16

Flying cross-country gives us the opportunity to see the world in a way that most people would never will and it is a privilege for me to be a part of it.

And, sharing the beauty version of layers and layers of landscapes from up above through my lens with my viewers is very self-fulfilling. Some might get personal seeing me mingled around comfortably among my ppg friends … get it over with, after experiencing life I believe that there is more to it than getting hitched, In Sha Allah kot ha ha ha.

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From Kuala Besut to Perhentian Island, Terengganu on 2017.07.17

I might appear bias or might have inhaled too much dust while flying but I think it is a privilege for a human being to be able to fly at will either with a light-aircraft or a wing and glide on air doing paragliding or with an engine attached to a wing like a paramotor.

And I am not sure when this flying privilege could last as air regulation might change according to technological change or cost hike on flying kill enthusiast or in an extreme case, political change – so I believe that it is very fortunate for us to be able to fly at our own will today.

Sharing some snapshots from our GoPros during a few of our XCs here in today’s post as an inspiration and motivation for ourselves … fly high peeps! create your own moment.

To view photos from this post in better resolution … please click here

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Sunset flight from our takeoff base at Pulau Indah to Jugra Hill on 2017.08.13

Gotta run … tc and bye

MM

ps- some of our flying videos on youtube at here:

XC Kuala Besut- Perhentian Island

Exploring Antara Gapi, Kuala Selangor

Exploring Bukit Tabur, Klang Gate, Selangor

Tekah Airfield Taiping, Perak at 10,000 Feet MBOR challenge

 

 


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