Shipping your paramotor
Parajet can help getting a good price on the shipping if you send them as a group. The price will depend on the number of you who want to use this and how heavy your machines are.
You need to pack your machine yourself for customs and get it to Parajet for Thursday 24th of September. This leaves lots of room for customs to slow things downs. It will be sent with UPS and it takes about 5 days in transit.
Make sure you attach a clearly visible sheet of paper well stuck down (preferably in something waterproof) on the box with Icarus Trophy and Your name written down.
Based on 2 pallets taking 200kg each (about 5 paramotors) UPS have given a quote of £3,000 return. Which could be as little as £300 return per paramotor based on 10 machines going.
If you need packing material and a box, Parajet can sell them to you at cost. £50 for a V3 and £35 for a Zenith
If you just want to ship it back but will be flying in with it in the hold...
At the finish line those nice people at BlackHawk Paramotors will have packaging and boxes on hand at cost price. Customs rules mean that you must package your kit up yourself. BlackHawk will then organise getting your precious kit shipped back home.
A 'ball-park' figure for this is around $400 (plus packaging materials)- but this obviously depends on where you are shipping to..
As hold luggage
One way to transport your paramotor is as hold luggage. You will need to clean out all of the fuel etc... So speak to your airline before hand.
There have been some dramas getting machines into the States with customs wondering what the hell it is. They have the authority to impound it, but this is the cheapest and if it goes to plan the easiest solution.
If you are flying back with you paramotor this won't be a problem as they generally don't care what is leaving the States.
A quick guide to prepping your bird for stowing in the hold
(Much respect to the late Dean Eldridge who's advice most of this is)
Although not the easiest things to transport and get checked onto an airline, travelling with your paramotor is not impossible, but there are a number of issues worth considering.
Try to find a route with the least number of stop offs (less baggage handling and less opportunity for it to be thrown around like a sack of potatoes). Also check your airline’s baggage allowance. Usually 32kg per bag is the maximum so think about how you will dismantle your machine and weigh its various sections to work out how many bags you will need.
More than the usual amount of dismantling will need to happen. You may need to remove the exhaust, fuel tank, reduction drive and possible the entire engine.
Start with the box you are going to fly with. Obviously you can make it more convenient to handle by splitting it down into bags you can easily move, but that will take more unbolting.
You may already have the box the your machine was delivered in but if not your manufacturer can probably send you one at cost.
Cleaning and packing
Everything needs to be cleaned so absolutely no petrol can be detected by eye or nose. That’s not so easy. So start by running your engine dry before the stripping begins. It might be easiest to get a new set of fuel lines and priming bulbs to take with you to make sure they are free of any fuel.
Wash out the fuel tank with water and washing up liquid and leave to dry fully. This may take a day. Make sure there is no washing up liquid residue when it dries so rinse it well.
Clean the rest of the components with aerosol carburettor or brake cleaner. This cleans out all the oily shit without leaving a residue.
Take out the spark plug and leave the piston chamber to dry out before taping up the hole.
Bag up all the other parts individually such as the exhaust, carb, airbox etc… Try to use clear plastic wrapping or bags so any curious customs officials can see what you have without ripping up all your careful packing.
Make sure you pack everything into the bag or box with as much foam for when some bored baggage handler wangs it at a concrete floor.
When you check in go and get it wrapped by one of those hand cellophane wrapping machines.
It’s best not to write anything on the side saying propellers or engines that might make people curious. When you check in just describe it as sports equipment.
You may look a bit odd walking out of the baggage claim with a ton of giant unmarked boxes. This might make customs more interested in you. Just be friendly and honest. It’s your kit for personal use and they should only really care about people bringing stuff in to sell.
A warning about checking paramotors into U.S. bound flights
Although paramotor pilots in the states "get away with it" regularly, the intent of the law is that nothing hazardous be brought onto an aircraft. This is the specific document that outlines the FAA regulations about hazardous materials on airplane. Our friend Jeff Goin tells this story of a pilot who was traveling in from overseas and didn't get it clean enough, who had to defend himself from a violation of the law.