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With or without reserve


Bidochon
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Hi all,

I'm new to this sport and about to start my training. I bought a paramotor and was about to buy a reserve parachute.... but some people told me that if I don't do anything crazy with my paramotor, having a parachute can lead to more accidents (reserve deployed by mistake...) than not having one.... other tell me that I must have one.... I'm confused. do you have any recommendations for me?   Thanks

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You don't have to just be doing crazy things to need a reserve but if you fly safely and in optimal conditions then your odds are good. It's one more thing to pre-flight check and one more thing to be mindful about - but being mindful is what flying involves. If you intend to fly higher than just hedge-hopping then I see no reason not to have one. 

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There's a good account in skywings from this month about a paramotorist flying a few thousand feet up, trimmers fully open, on full bar and getting a big collapse that started to rotate. He threw his reserve and survived.

They aren't exactly difficult to attach properly and check.

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A couple of years back I flew my first handful of flights without one... no issue what so ever. That said as soon as I flew with one I was much more relaxed and definitely happier. I'll never fly without one now.

Exactly as its been said by aljken... they're easy to fit and check so why wouldn't you?

If you get one and can get yourself to a 'zip line reserve day' I would. In a pinch a reserve can be harder to detach and throw than you think (i.e. potentially spinning, G's and lines everywhere). You need to know how to use one as second nature, as well as how to look after one.

Enjoy your training.

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@Bidochon , I'm still a novice and after having completed all my training and some short range cross contry flights without reserve, I've now bought a reserve and completed a couple of medium range flights with it. Well, it's true what they say..... with a reserve you fly with a different kind  of "relaxed attention". You know that in any case you can have a last chance... and I think that this is well worth the trouble of having one more thing to check pre-flight and a couple of Kg. more with you.

But don't hurry in buying one. In the first training phases (that can last even some months) you will fly to low altitudes, where a reserve will hardly be effective, and you will already have many new things to concentrate on. One more thing to concentrate on could be a disadvantage, instead of an advantage.

Edited by calcifer
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Go to youtube, search for "paragliding reserve", "paramotor reserve", "paragliding crash", "paramotor crash", "paramotor mid air" and all other things going wrong. Do you need a reserve parachute? Nope, not if you are suicidal. But remember Murphy's law, it will go wrong!

Edited by Casper
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Hi, I would absolutely say you are just plain reckless not to take one - as everyone else here says it takes seconds to check them and repack once a year is no hassle. I would not be here giving this advice now if I had not had my reserve (while free flying) earlier this year. OK I was paragliding but the important thing is that after a whole weeks and 20 hours XC flying in Piedrahita, in June with strong thermic and turbulent conditions, I had not even had a tiny tip collapse. We go up for a non XC afternoon bible about on the mountain and within 5 minutes I had a massive frontal collapse, fell into twists followed by cravat with very fast and high G spiral dive! Had to throw my reserve as nothing was moving at all due to the high loadings. I landed on the mountain fine, went for a cup of tea, repacked and back up again!

I use a front mounted reserve which is VERY easy and quick (1 minute) to transfer between my PG and my PPG kit. its a Charly container with a zip on flight deck which is great. I use a front mount also because, when I did some sky diving, it was drilled into me Look - Locate - Pull - throw and I firmly believe this front reserve is the only one you can do this with either hand (maybe one is caught in lines or you have very high G) and see the handle clearly. I can clearly remember every second of my deployment and just thinking "time to get out of this" looking and gripping the handle easily and also how easy a really good throw was from this position (maybe a ton of adrenaline was helping I admit!)

So maybe I am biased but get yourself a reserve and never fly without it - I just think its negligent not too

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hmm hi you mentioned youre about to start your training?. youve already bought a paramotor? so i ask myself.. how can someone choose a type of paramotor if they are not trained.?  or did someone pick a paramotor for you? anyway. ask your instructor who will train you?.. my choose have a extra light reserve. the extra light reserves are light and compact= small. once youve passed your training.. and flown for est air hours then you and no one else can decide..and imagine its like wearing a seat belt for the first time it feels awkward... but after awhile youll feel uneasy without one.  so my advise with the info you have asked.   wear a extra lightweight reserve ;0) and  once fully trained preflight checks.  we are human and most accidents are pilot error. live and learn or learn and live

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Hi Bidochon. 

Early in my Paramotor career I had been flying with a large reserve that I had taken from a powered paraglider trike. It was a Metamorfosi conar 20.  It was a large heavy bulk of a reserve weighing 5kg.  In 2006 I entered a competition in France called Le-Raid which is a race across France.  I spent time with the Belgian Paramotor team, none of which at that time carried reserves.  Coming back from France I was seriously debating not flying with a reserve as I felt that by flying conservatively and safely I would avoid the need for a reserve. I was probably 1 or 2 flights away from taking my reserve off for good.

Then on 18.08 2006 I took off from a stubble field and was climbing out to about 800ft AGL when for no apparent reason my wing started turning left, this quickly increased and the left side of the wing collapsed. I attempted to pump it out with the right break which made things a whole lot worse. I was now in a fairly steep spin falling quickly with almost slack lines and horizontal to the wing.  With my throttle in my dominant right hand I pulled the reserve with my non dominant left, paused for a moment before realising that I was in big trouble. I was spinning and couldn't see clearly but the green bit was getting closer very quickly.  I tossed the reserve out,  I then watched the reserve bundle go into the collapsed wing, not good.  I braced myself for impact having nothing left to recover, then suddenly a swinging jerk followed instantly by impact into a hedge on my back.  This happened so quickly I hadn't even switched my engine off, I braced and in doing so was at full throttle landing in the hedge prop first.

 

When I climbed out of the wreckage I could see that the prop, and fuel tank had exploded, the reserve was neatly laid out next my wing. I was completely unhurt.  The reserve must have deployed at the very last second, which without any doubt saved my life.  Unknown to me someone had seen me come down and called 999. When I was walking back to my car both police and Ambulance turned up.  This was handy as I knew the Paramedics, they took me back to my machine and then conveyed both myself and my machine back to my car. 

 

Needless to say I have a reserve on my machine and will always have one. 

 

It took me almost a year to get over that.  I almost gave up flying.  The reason for the collapse was a knot in the D lines which I failed to see. There was a slight turn in the wing which I ignored.  Poor pre-flight and post take off checks was the cause. 

 

Hope this helps. 

Whitters XX

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