There are electric options for PPG if noise is a big issue. They will still be noisy when powered up but less so than a gas engine and once up there you can turn off the engine and thermal as opposed to letting the engine idle.
Flysurfer is working on one. Latest thing I saw on FB this week was looking like they're getting close to a really finished product.
I read a book a couple of years ago about a guy that learned to fly a PPG, and he said he made the mistake of first taking PG lessons and it was a waste of time and money since learning the foot-launched PPG was so different than PG. He said it was better to start out taking PPG lessons. There was a lot of things to consider with the equipment and also vehicle set up.
Aviation is expensive and dangerous. Research can be a big help and help you decide if it is worth the risk and money. I spent a lot of money getting a private pilot license years ago and had a lot of fun, learned a lot, and drifted away from it after the cost and seeing how deadly it can be when two instructors died in accidents. Reading about accident reports and forum posts can be very sobering and give you a different view than everyone that sells lessons and equipment telling you that it is safe.
I learned to Ppg first and flew for 5 years and then learned to Pg . It's all about learning to ground handle the wing and controlling it over your head in a little wind . The Pg guys like more wind to run off the hill or get lifted off from the wind coming up a ridge . The Ppg guys just walk forward in a little wind and control the glider over head then role on the throttle and up you go . This year I got an electric start motor and put a reserve on my motor and have been motoring up into the mountains and thermalling with the Pg guys .
Fascinating topic, and the last on my bucket list of to do sports.
Reading these posts, however, have introduced a new concern.
Maybe postpone until my doc says I have an incurable disease.
How about powered hang gliders?
Similar death rate?
None of the PPG accidents in these videos seem that serious ... although I'm sure there have been serious/fatal accidents. I'm supposing that a "power glider" is much more expensive & not easily transportable.
After posting to this thread,I discovered that there is a PPG school right in the next town - the nearest PG schools are hundred of miles away. It would be easier to learn on a PPG, which I could use locally, & use a PG when traveling to hilly/mountainous areas ... If the skills learned in PPG are transferable to PG.
As far as the risks are concerned, I imagine the major risk has to do with the weather. It's surely possible to be very conservative when choosing when to launch & not getting into risky aerobatics? The same is true with kiting. However, I do see that the fundamental difference is that any fall from a height greater than 30 or 40 feet is likely to be fatal when flying PPG or PG.