Learning to fly the Powered Parachute
It is still an AIRPLANE!!!
It is the most forgiving of airplanes, but it can still kill you if you don't know what you're doing!
To fly these wonderful machines safely, you must take instruction from a rated and certified instructor. You can safely fly by yourself after about 4 to 6 hours of instruction. You can earn an FAA Sport Pilot license after 12 hours of instruction (10 hrs dual - 2 hrs supervised solo). It is the easiest and least expensive way to learn to fly. Oh, and by the way, it is also the most fun way.
If you want to fly a single seater, true ultralight powered parachute (FAR 103 legal machine must be under 254 lbs, etc), you do not need a license. However, you still need instruction! It is still an AIRPLANE!
To fly a passenger (in a two seater, classified as Light Sport Aircraft powered parachute) or to fly a Light Sport Aircraft by yourself, you must have the aircraft registered with the FAA, and you must have at least a Sport Pilot license.
To get more information on the instruction process, see the two documents below. One explains the instructor and the student responsibilities while taking flight lessons, along with the costs and other procedures. The other document shows the general content of the lessons that comprise a full course to learn to fly safely.