|It should come as no surprise that
Dell Schanze has managed to define yet another low
in the business ethics of powered paragliding. Nobody
has even come close to being this clueless or classless
In an effort to dupe
the gullible into thinking there is, in fact, paramotor
certification he has created a sham powered paragliding
"association" that portends to test and certify
equipment. Of course the website is registered with
Dell's email and, as of Feb 28, 2011, the phone number
was the same as Dell Schanze's sales number. There are,
of course, no officers listed, no committees or names
listed, and nothing that would suggest that it's
registered as a corporation of any kind.
Records are claimed that have no bearing on what
either the USUA (U.S. organization tasked with
overseeing records under the auspices of NAA.aero) or
the FAI recognize. They're just Dell's own claims. Of
course this does a dis-service to the real record
holders who have actually earned their titles as
measured by someone other than the record claimant.
Paramotor flying is a remarkable undertaking -- it's
a shame when someone treads so disrespectfully on its
participants and potentials.
Not surprisingly, he lists his Flattop as the only
paramotor meeting his "standards" while many other
paramotors are listed as failing. How disingenuous.
Not only is there no data to suggest there is any
better safety in the Flattop paramotor, but there have
been serious accidents with the machine resulting in
serious injuries. The rate appears to be no different
than any other machine when flown the same way. The raw
data suggests it's less safe but that's likely
because of pilots trying to emulate Dell's risky flying.
Additionally, the higher power versions of the machine
have average to poor handling of torque which puts it in
another risk category. Not that it's worse than other
similarly powered machines, but it's nothing like how
Dell Schanze promotes it.
Sadly enough, people do drink Dell's Cool-aid and
some pay the price.
Another travesty is how he berates anyone who says
anything bad about the machine even when it's something
that needs to be publicized.
When the front arms cracked on several machines and
broke on another, the pilots didn't report it publicly
for fear of losing service. And, of course, Dell
certainly wouldn't report it. Things breaking doesn't
mean the machine is bad, it means there was a problem
and the manufacturer should point it out and offer a
correction. You don't have to offer the part for free,
either, but offer it as an improvement. That's the
responsible thing to do. That's not what you'll get with
Dell Schanze and the Flattop.
Jumping Out Of An Airplane
Amazingly, he claims that you can jump out of an
airplane with stock powered paraglider gear. This is
beyond dangerous. If the wing did NOT break on opening,
YOU probably would, and likely in a catastrophic
manner. The fact that it's illegal (skydiving is covered
under FAR part 105) is way less important than the
extreme risk. Paragliders are not designed for a high
speed opening nor is your body.
Suggesting that pilots can jump out of an airplane
with an unmodified paraglider and paramotor is absurdly
The Ultimate Paramotor Sham
Doing business with U-TurnUSA is an affront to every
business and school out there trying to be even remotely
honest in this game. Its a tough business and there have
always been those willing to push the truth in various
ways but never to this degree. Do yourself a favor, do
your friends a favor, do the sport a favor and stay as
far away as possible from dealing with this unethical
sham that is Dell Schanze, U-TurnUSA and Flattop
You can find certified instructors through the
US Powered Paragliding
Association which has officers and a training
committee that has developed a program modeled after the
US Hang Gliding and
Do us all a favor and don't be an enabler of this
incredibly unethical behavior.