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I’m 5kg under Paramotor wing recommendation


Ukshotter
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I’m a beginner & I’ve purchased a apco force ll 25.5 metre wing but with motor on & all my gear i weigh 120kg the recommendation for the wing is 125kg-165kg so I’m light on the wing I’m not intending on flying in over 10 mph winds I’ve done a bit of reading up on been over weight but not found much on under weight so what’s your thoughts on me flying this wing please.

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Personally speaking I would be wary about a beginner flying this wing full stop. Apco market the wing as an intermediate wing and from first hand experience it handles like one. I had about 150hours when I bought a small Force 2 and was within its recommended weight range. Take off was what you could expect from an intermediate wing, it required the correct handling and technique to get airborne. It was stable in flight and handled rough air well. I found that it was extremely difficult to brush off speed when landing, meaning a very fast run off in low wind conditions. 

After 25 hours on the wing I took off one evening in nil wind conditions and began to carry out a normal 180 degree right hand turn (with torque) about 15 seconds after leaving the ground. The wing span and I hit the ground from about 80feet, breaking 3 vertebrae in my lower back.

 Anyone who has flown with me knows that stunts are not my thing. I have the crash on video and some very experienced and respected instructors within our community have viewed the video and are perplexed as to why the wing behaved like it did.

I will take it on the chin that I probably pulled too much brake but it certainly did not feel like it, I did not feel like I was turning hard and was taken by complete surprise when it span. There was no warning at all that I was getting near to the wings limit.

I spoke with the Apco UK distributor, Paul Haxby, who said that the Force2 is an ‘agile’ wing and very sensitive to brake inputs from the pilot. He admitted that he too had span the wing whilst pushing its limits and would not be selling the wing to novices.

I was subsequently contacted by two other very experienced pilots who I shall not name. One had unexpectedly span the wing but had altitude on his side and was able to recover. The other had unexpectedly stalled/span shortly after take off and crashed. Both these guys have hundreds, if not thousands of hours in various aircraft and they were concerned with some of the wings characteristics for an ‘intermediate ‘ wing.

I am not unduly criticising the wing, or holding it fully to blame for these accidents but I would warn any beginner away from buying one.

As for flying it under weight, I believe this could only add to the problem and I would strongly advise NOT to do it.

This happened to me in August and quite frankly I am lucky not to have been paralysed or worse. As I said I broke 3 vertebrae in my back and had to take 3 months of work.  I had some very expensive repairs to my paramotor and I am just starting to fly again on another brand of wing.

Get yourself a more appropriate wing. There are loads of good wings out there and lots of good instructors to advise you. Believe me, it’s not worth taking a gamble on this.

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Sorry, I don’t mean to sound negative, especially after you’ve already bought the wing but I would hate to think of someone getting hurt unnecessarily. 

Get yourself a solid beginner wing and you’ll be able to build your skills and technique with confidence. And don’t ever be afraid to ask questions !

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You should always add the weight of the wing, this is how you count the total weight.

Is it this crash Bobbyf? If I'm not all wrong the airspeed looked very slow then the turn starts, and against torque, not sure about the propeller angle on that paramotor, but factors like that can make any wing collapse when close to stall speed.
And it's easier to pull more break when the speed is close to stall since you don't feel the pressure like you do when you have cruise speed, so it's absolutely possible that what felt like light break was in fact too much break. And even if it would be ok with the same amount of break when you have cruise speed, it's because the other side of the wing will have the correct pressure and AoA for the turn. 

Not saying that I'm correct since I didn't fly, but I think that I might be correct about the behavior for any wing in the situation I describe. Please correct me if I'm wrong since this is a very serious topic. Experienced pilots know that you sometimes can launch with a very slow air speed before it picks up. You still get up, and if you add lots of throttle you will feel much more torque then you would if you have a very high running speed and take off. 15 sec with climb is not much help if the initial take off is low.

For airplanes there are lots of V speeds for this to keep pilots safe. Some of them are just as important for PPG, but since we most times have no clue about them or know the air speed we fly we simply have to learn to do it the right way.

 

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That’s not my crash Casper, I have not publicised my video. I was aware of that one though. 

Like I said, I’m not holding the wing fully to blame. However in my opinion ( i won’t comment for the other two guys ) it has certain characteristics that make it very sensitive to brake input and the wing can spin/stall without any warning and without the pilot believing that they are anywhere near the wings limit.

 

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I wouldn’t recommend a force2 to anyone never mind a beginner!!!! I know one of the pilots who has had a stall on his force 2. He wasn’t doing anything silly, it basically just decided it no longer wanted to fly!  When he brought this matter to the attention of his Apco dealer he was basically told it was his fault and not the wings!! 

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Can I add my name to the list? I flew a Force 2 this summer and it tried to kill me. It’s not an intermediate by any stretch of the imagination, it’s a very advanced wing that although fast is in my opinion seriously outshone by top end wings from other manufacturers. It should never be allowed in the hands of someone without experience or you WILL get hurt.

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As I have already stated in the safety matters thread, In my opinion the Force II is not fit for my purpose the wing is very efficient but seems to be very brake sensitive (e.g. ready to stall unexpectedly) at slow speed.

I had two unexpected low altitude parachutal stalls on this wing and was very lucky to walk away with sprains bruises and damage to the paramotor.

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2 hours ago, Ronnieringding said:

How many force 2 wings are being flow in the UK? And how many have fallen out if the sky ? 

 

It was released less than 2 years ago and I don’t know how popular it’s been but I’ve only ever seen one other at the fly ins I’ve been to. It is very concerning that a fairly uncommon wing is a very common factor in unexpected stalls/spins for experienced pilots. 

I spoke to an Apco test pilot who viewed the video and his theory was that when I pulled right brake I was also unknowingly pulling left brake and therefore stalled the wing. 

I have two answers to this. Firstly, I am human, so it is not impossible that I may have had the left brake weighted slightly. I do not think I did though, I have never had a problem with this before. 

Secondly, if the left brake WAS weighted (and I don’t think it was) surely that should not be enough to stall a wing completely? The Apco pilot suggested that the weight of my arm alone would be enough to stall a wing but bearing in my mind that I could barely slow the wing at all on full flare on landing I do not know how this could be the case. 

Paul Haxby flew my wing and said it was no different to any other Force2 he had flown. 

He bought the wing back off me and I now fly an Ozone Speedster2 from CM Paramotors which I love and have full confidence in. 

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It seems that a few pilots have had serious problems with the Force II (and probably other wings) but not reported them.

The BHPA incident reporting system has been replaced by a pan European system hosted by the European Hang Gliding and Paragliding Union (EHPU).

https://ehpu-safetynetwork.org/plugins/form/235/en

Please report incidents past and present, names are not published but it may help save lives and advise other pilots so that they do not make the same expensive and painful mistakes.

 

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