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Landing Power ON


learner_driver
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Interesting one Simon,

Lambourn during a strong wind day a while ago; I had been kiting my wing but the 34 had become a bit of a handful so I stopped and watched proceedings - as you do.. The boys were launching from the brow of a hill and the wind was just a little on the high side. The undershoot was not a good place to end up with rough ground and trees beckoning the unwary. After several made an approach with power off it was obvious that it was turbulent and making headway on the approach against the wind was becoming challenging.

Francis had got airborne earlier and approached (flying my mighty Macro) with power on to land just a few yards away from me. He maintained penetration into wind using power to respond to gusts. After touchdown, he again used power to ensure he was not thrown backwards off balance. When stabilized, he shut down the motor and turned around. It was a very tidy arrival, completely controlled and it demonstrated beautifully the value of matching your techniques and power management to the prevailing conditions.

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I come from the PG arena. Hence I would always want to land power off.

Please state if you feel there are good reasons to land power on. Other than if you fluff it you can go round again.

I would say that in the early stages there are very good reasons to always land with power off from a good height (500feet). Particularly if you are a paraglidist you will then be totally in your element landing at your designated spot having made your carefully planned gliding approach. This not only hones your existing skills but enables you to practise "power outage" landings when going xc by always having a field in sight that you can glide into and with an approach plan formulating should you lose your power (standard procedure for all single engine aircarft) and another good argument to always climb above 500 feet for your flying.

I would say that power on landings are an advanced skill that you will start to acquire with hours in the log. Norman describes a particularly frisky day when most pilots would be thinking its time the pubs were open. I was using the conditions to experiment with a new motor and wing combination, (try before you buy).

The throttle must always be considered to be a pitch control and not a speed control. The speed is controlled by the brakes and the tabs and speed bar. The throttle controls pitch. So on a blustery day you can remain pitch stable by matching throttle position to wind speed changes. Norman will be familiar with landing in very gusty conditions and wind sheer, constantly changing thrust as the hundreds of tons of aluminium try to stay up in the froth at 25 feet and not spill our coffee on touch down!

You will find your glide steeper on a paramotor than a paraglider and in very light conditions or when dropping down through a wind sheer just before touchdown you may find your arrival quite swift! and often you would be thinking about a PLF on touch down in those conditions on a paraglider. Using some thrust all the way to the ground makes your approach shallower and gives you the ability to level off and "round out" as you flare. But this again is for later on once you are completely comfortable with spot landings from 500 feet in my opinion.

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