Do your know what is a microlight paramotor? Simply speaking, it is a sort of paraglider equipped with a motor. The motor is not used to move forward like an airplane, but just to go up in altitude. It is actually the sail that will enable it to fly.
It did my first flight in a tandem paramotor with Luc Warth, a graduate instructor directing the school Alsace Paramoteur since 1997. I had never been on this type of vehicle before and I am sometimes prone to vertigo… I went torn between excitement and apprehension. Once I arrived on the field of Ostheim Maison Rouge, near Colmar, my fears were quickly eased. Luc is professional, very friendly and helped me not to think too much by showing me how to prepare the paramotor, attaching the sail to the carriage. On one side, there is the carriage where you will sit, with the motor. On the other, the impressive sail. It has to be properly unfold and its hangers (threads), have to be well untangled, so it can inflate properly.
I slipped into a combination that made me look like a real pilot (and incidentally kept me warm, as it can be quite cold up there), put on glasses to protect myself from the wind and a helmet to be able to communicate with Luc during the flight. Ready, set, go!
I was quite surprised by how short the distance was to take off (it seems as if you are going straight into the neighbor’s corn field, but thankfully not…) and by how smooth it was. I was even more surprised to notice that I did not have vertigo at all. It is because that my feet were not touching the ground. It is so great to be able to simply enjoy this magical moment without vertigo.
Even if the sky is a bit cloudy, this is absolutely stunning. The views over Alsace from the paramotor are amazing. We were flying above the plain of Alsace, with the Wine Route and the Vosges on one side and the German Black Forest on the other. By clear weather, you can even see the Alpes and the spire of the Cathedral of Strasbourg! We flew over fields, the forest, the river Ill, while Luc was making a radio commentary of what we were seeing: Colmar, Ribeauvillé, the Haut-Koenigsbourg castle, Illhausern… It is another world from up there! We went to 500m of altitude, which definitely makes the views quite different.
It was then time to go back down and Luc shut off the motor. We then descended slowly and I was even allowed to direct the sail for a few minutes, which is a very strange feeling. You have to pull right to go right and if you pull stronger you will turn around and go down faster. It is quite impressive! The landing was smooth.
My first flight lasted 20 minutes (it went by so fast, as there are so many things to see!), but Alsace Paramoteur offers first flights lasting from 10 minutes up to 1 hour. In 1 hour, you can go above the Haut-Koenigsbourg castle or of Neuf-Brisach fortified town! Something I would definitely like to try next time. This is the only problem of this first flight… you can get quite hooked! If it’s a passion you would like to pursue, Luc can also teach you how to fly a microlight paramotor.
- Flying and enjoying panoramic views over Alsace
- No feeling of vertigo
- Luc is very welcoming and professional and shares his passion with enthusiasm
I liked a little less
My pictures of my first microlight paramotor flight near Colmar
Opening days and times
Flying a paramotor is subject to the weather. For example, you can not fly if there is too much wind. When you contac Luc, he will first set a date and then call you on that day about 1h30 before, to tell you about the weather. If it’s not good, your flight will be moved. Otherwise, enjoy!
These first flights are really popular, so I would recommend you to book them early.
You will find here the prices of first paramotor flights with Alsace Paramoteur. Luc speaks German fluently and he can speak a little english.
The school Alsace Paramoteur offers flights from the field of Ostheim (Haut-Rhin), but also from the field of Kogenheim (Bas-Rhin).
To find the paramotor field of Ostheim, follow the instructions on the website Alsace Paramoteur. It’s in the middle of fields and there is no address! Ostheim is located:
- 10 km from Colmar (about 20 minutes drive)
- 52 km from Mulhouse (about 35 minutes drive)
- 65 km from Strasbourg (about 45 minutes drive)
Add 5 to 10 minutes to get to the field in itself.
To find the paramotor fiekd of Kogenheim, follow the instructions on the website Alsace Paramoteur. Kogenheim is located:
- 36 km from Colmar (about 30 minutes drive)
- 38 km from Strasbourg (about 35 minutes drive)
- 77 km from Mulhouse (about 50 minutes drive)
By public transport
It is not possible.