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How good at ground handling do I need to be?


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So everyone says that ground handling is the number 1 thing I need to focus on before I do paramotoring. I don't want to fall over on my side or get dragged or trip due to the extra weight on my back and instantly do thousands of dollars worth of damage.

But just how good at ground handling do I need to be? Are there specific GH skills I need to focus on? Reverse kiting the wing left and right? Cobra launch? Asymmetrical launches? Being able to keep the wing up for 20 minutes straight? I guess I'm looking for a list of stuff I need to go out and practice. The last thing I want to do is trip while thousands of dollars of equipment is on my back.

Edited by fuzzybabybunny
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Hi,

Everyone's skills vary massively when it comes to ground handling the wing. I have seen experienced pilots which are not as good as some week 1 students. 

You need to get yourself happy with both of the main launch techniques (forward and reverse launch practice) 

my reccomendation is to practice forward launches in the lightest wind possible. (That's the hardest thing to do well) but the nicest time to fly! :-)

i assume your going to cap this ground handling off with some instruction? 

SW :D

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5 hours ago, admin (Simon W) said:

Hi,

Everyone's skills vary massively when it comes to ground handling the wing. I have seen experienced pilots which are not as good as some week 1 students. 

You need to get yourself happy with both of the main launch techniques (forward and reverse launch practice) 

my reccomendation is to practice forward launches in the lightest wind possible. (That's the hardest thing to do well) but the nicest time to fly! :-)

i assume your going to cap this found handling off with some instruction? 

SW :D

Yeah, definitely getting instruction. Actually that's the reason I ask. I don't want to spend money on instruction and also risk damaging equipment if my ground handling isn't good enough. I'm just a paragliding beginner with 70 flights and 20 hours. All the crash videos on YouTube have kind of put me off... they all look awfully expensive...

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Hi Fuzzy

 

As a PG pilot coming across to the dark side.. or as i always say A PG pilot that has seen the light.. ;-)   You will have to try and get leaning forward on takeoff out of your system.. It took me along time and i STILL do it sometimes..  Not to put down any PG pilots out there, But normally PG pilots GH skills are nowhere near good enough for PPG, Rushing the turn, taking off without the wing stable or even directly above your head swinging as they leave the hill, This is no good in the PPG world...  so as long as you can keep the wing stable above your head for while in most conditions you will be good for a day or 3 out with an instructor...  Keeping your head up and running like John Cleese (basil)  feel very odd at first... 

All the best in the cross over... If your local your more than welcome to pop down for a few hours of GH practise.. 

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Ah, I see. Ok, that makes a lot more sense. I've seen (and done at times) exactly what you described. Take-offs with the wing tilted to the side, putting the wing up and rushing the turn, etc. So I guess the number one thing that I need to always be working on is keeping things nice and slow and controlled - bring it up, make it stable above me, do a nice slow turn, etc. 

Once I have the wing up, is it ok to move my feet / body to keep myself underneath the wing? Or should I be at a level where my feet can remain planted in the same spot because all I'm using are the brakes to control the glider?

Yeah, I've seen videos of PPG launches and the not leaning forward thing confuses me. I don't get how it works. For instance, when I launch in PG, I feel like I *need* to lean forward because that's how I'm able to put enough pressure on the chest strap to tow the wing behind me up to proper flying speed. Standing straight up to launch simply wouldn't give me the leverage I need to tow the wing up to speed - in fact, it feels impossible to practice because when I try to run while straight up I simply can't go anywhere. But I guess in PG the push at launch is given by the motor and... all the body needs to do is to remain balanced and upright?

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So.... correct me if I'm wrong - I feel like launching on a paramotor is kind of like being a walking sandwich. You're upright and being squeezed from the thrust of the motor side but you're also being squeezed from the drag of the wing side. And you just need to stay on your feet and do the sandwich hobble until you get into the air.

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'The sandwich hobble' lol, that should go in the training manual.

Being squeezed is going to be very much dependent on your harness/swing arm/high/low suspension arrangement.

Having used high and now low hang point machines, it is easier to forward launch with a low hang point.

As far as doing damage to kit on attempted take off, it is always better to kill the motor and abort the launch as soon as you know the wing is going sideways and is past control. Been there and done that. If it's not coming up straight it is usually down to the wind having changed direction IME.

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On 5/16/2016 at 10:09 PM, fuzzybabybunny said:

 

Once I have the wing up, is it ok to move my feet / body to keep myself underneath the wing? Or should I be at a level where my feet can remain planted in the same spot because all I'm using are the brakes to control the glider?

In a way your correct... you should be able to keep the wing stable and keep you feet planted in the same spot... In reality this is near impossible...  I always say to new pilots Keep moving, movement of your body stepping forward back or sideways to correct and balance the wing rather than just pulling hard on the brakes.   A balance of both is far more effective! esp with the Larger Newbie wings.. :-);-) that are slower to react..

 

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Few things I've learnt , still learning'  keep your eyes on the wind sock if about to launch if it starts dancing around wait a few minutes keep watching the sock  .

dont snatch or drag the wing off the ground keep your forward motion progressive 

try not to just nail your throttle it'll throw you off line while your running . Also learn to kill the engine with out thinking about it if your launch isn't going to plan .

theres a shit load of other stuff going on aswell. .      Enjoy .

cas . 

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For me (very much a novice after only 5 flights) it is all very similar to learning to drive.

When you start you stall all the time, so you practise. Eventually you can pull away without stalling but you have to really think about it.

It's about then that you get taught about the indicators and having to think about two things at once means you stall again.

You can certainly do "enough" ground handling to make wing corrections something that you can do pretty fluently as you practise forwards and reverse launches. But stick a motor on your back, a throttle in your hand, the push from the engine, the torque on your back as you feed in the power and it becomes very easy to "stall".

In summary my thoughts - it is possible to do enough ground handling to get to a point where your instructor is happy you can take off safely. But it is pretty well impossible to do too much ! Watch some ground handling videos and the finesse some people have is amazing.

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