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Reserves


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Never fly without one myself! It may or may not save me in brown moment... but having nothing definitely won't. Christian put it so well... 'I owe it to my family'.

That said you need to look after it to ensure you can use it if you need to and that it isn't going to deploy when you don't want it to.

Oh, and buy a new one!

Lee

 

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Here in Italy most of the "experienced" pilots fly with a reserve.

Most does not mean all.... but let's say that abt. a 60% of the pilots use it.

Being a novice I have not yet bought my reserve, but will be my next purchase. If you fly at low altitude a reserve is nothing more than a dead weight, but once you fly over 1000 ft that dead weight can turn into something that can save your life.

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I flew for my first four years without one, working on the principle that we generally aim to fly in stable air. One day when it wasn't so stable I realised that the last thing I wanted to happen was to be wishing 'If only I had a reserve'. Never fly without it now. 

It's another thing which needs to be included in preflights, as well as checking and repacking every year or two and it needs mindfulness when flying (I've seen one accidentally deployed on launch). 

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very interesting site !

Well, this is only my opinion, but I think that considering all the involved operations, i.e. evaluation of the problem, decision to deploy, deployment, opening of the parachute, 1000 ft. are the minimum height.

but I may be wrong.

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That is not true. You are never "too low to throw".

The reserve does not have to deploy fully for you to have a benefit.

Even if it does not deploy in time it will still have an aerodynamic effect of slowing you down a bit. I have seen videos of people throwing reserves from 10m and it making a difference so that they survive as opposed to probably die.

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I always carry an emergency parachute when paramotoring, but don't generally when free flying on a ridge; it is more weight and bulk to carry up hill if you are only going to be scratching around at 100'.  If I manage to make it up to more than about 300' without the emergency parachute then I start to feel a bit naked and more vulnerable.  If I plan to 'go for it' then the emergency parachute is definitely part of the rig.

On one occasion I was winch launching and just managing to get to 500' for a quick circuit and land - no emergency parachute and no problems.  Next launch I hit the sweet spots on a succession of thermals and made it up to 1,500' in just a few minutes.  The air was boisterous and the wing was very active and I felt the absence of the additional confidence an emergency parachute brings (not a fully fledged Code Brown moment but certainly not f@rting with confidence...)

 I now have a small, compact emergency parachute with which I am more comfortable to fly with than fly without - it is good for paramotor and free flight.  How angry would my family feel if I frapped in and they found my emergency parachute neatly packed in the car...?

(Finally - I admit I'm a pedant and an ex-parachutist; as we fly wings we don't carry a reserve wing, in most cases it is an emergency parachute.  What you call it is isn't as important as carrying it in the first place...).

"If in doubt, whip it out!"

 

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I also fly with a reserve. I've done the 'Big Fat Repack' a couple of times, which involves deploying the reserve on a zipline before repacking it.

The experience of deploying the reserve is very valuable. They send you down the zipline, in your normal harness (not with the frame and motor!), wearing your normal kit including gloves and helmet. They also give you a bit of a swing / spin so you have to find the handle, pull it and throw the parachute in the correct direction.

I was surprised at how effectively the parachute deploys. At a mere 15mph or so on the zipline, I was expecting a gentle event, followed by some slowing down. The reality was an almost instant stop as the parachute opened.

I can easily see how a low altitude deployment can make a huge difference to arrival speed. If I were in trouble at low altitude, I can't see any reason not to throw the reserve.

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