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”.
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
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.
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.