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Cage Netting


irm750
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Hello All

I hope this is of some help to you as it took a bit of research to pull it together.

My instructor was insistent that I apply safety netting to the cage of my Parajet Volution before starting training to protect my hands and more likely my lines in the event of a failed launch. The cage is very strong but the gaps would allow these and other foreign bodies to make contact with a spinning prop if you were unlucky.

I established that there wasn't an off the shelf product available from Parajet and so went in search of some appropriate netting. The best I could find is used in bird control and there are various sizes of mesh to choose from (ranging from sparrow through starling and pigeon to seagull!). The 50mm x 50mm (pigeon) black netting (High Tenacity Knotless black polypropylene with a 1mm twine thickness) seemed the best compromise between protection and drag (hope I don't have a sparrow/starling strike!). The minimum order was for 5m x 5m at a cost of £11.75 plus VAT (plus £4.90 second class royal mail). This is from The Pest Shop (see url below)

http://cart.pestsale.co.uk/index.php?p=catalog&parent=2&pg=1

I wanted to be still be able to disassemble the cage so that it would fit in my car, so I removed the 3 cage panels from the machine and proceeded to work on them one by one. I offerred the netting up to the panel and then cut off more than enough to cover it so that I didn't have the whole net to contend with. Using longer cable ties for the outer diameter and smaller ones for the inner bars of the cage I then attached the netting to each panel, making sure that the netting remained taut.

Pic of top section

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Pic of bottom section showing gap between sections to allow disassembly

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Close-up pic

Photo-0037c.jpg

To allow the lines to slide up the cage during a forward launch without getting snagged on the cable ties, I then stretched wide black tape (used to cover model aircraft - Zaggi tape) similar to packing tape over the cable ties on the lower sections of cage. This is effective, if detracting slightly from the aesthetics.

Pic of tape

Photo-0038c.jpg

To date this has worked really well and provided its first "save" the other day when it stopped the leg of my flying suit being sucked into the prop when I was stupidly carrying them to the take-off point while warming the motor on my back!

It obviously adds another element to the preflight checks, ensuring that it hasn't come loose but I feel that this is worthwhile.

Hope this is of some use?

Best regards,

Ian.

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Hello All

I hope this is of some help to you as it took a bit of research to pull it together.

My instructor was insistent that I apply safety netting to the cage of my Parajet Volution before starting training to protect my hands and more likely my lines in the event of a failed launch. The cage is very strong but the gaps would allow these and other foreign bodies to make contact with a spinning prop if you were unlucky.

Hope this is of some use?

Best regards,

Ian.

Ian,

This is very very topical :oops: :oops:

My cage and brake handle met last Sunday and I will be fitting netting to my Volution cage ASAP.

I've always known this was possible, but dismissed it as I thought putting the brakes home in their magnets made it avoidable.

My last flight proved to me that a combination of circumstances will make it inevitable. I've since heard of others Volution cage owners who have the same misgivings - their prop has eaten a brake handle/line - and have fitted netting.

Malc reminded me when I landed of the Thai (?) guy on another make of paramotor without suitable netting, who spiralled in when his brake line met the prop and wound in. Need we say more?

Thanks for taking the time to give a detailed 'how to' message.

Cheers

Paul

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Hi Guys.

Unfortunatally, I was another Parajet Volution owner who had a brake line go in the prop. I was on a very early Revolution, which had the weak magnets (now sorted) and put the brake in the holder. It came loose and was sucked into the prop. Luckily it only ripped the foam lining out of the thicker part of the handle and I still had a usable brake. Now that I am more experienced this is not likely to happen. Just be carefull you new guys.

Mikey

Fly Safe!

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If your harness is set up wrong and your arms are low( risers to far back) then the top of the cage can get very close to the brake handles on power and if it gets a bit bumpy.

Mine got hit by the prop due to the above ( risers to far back) but only removed the magnet no other damage.

To cure this I now have Velcro sewn on above the magnets

Pete b

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Yes prop strike of brake handles is very common on every machine out there! I have been collating statistics. There has been one fatal and one sus[ected fatal and two "wind ins" that released with height to spare.

Even netted cages with holes biggere than 40mm have the potential for a handle to go in. Setting up your hang point properly so that the cage does not tip forward at the top and also always parking your control handles helps, but I feel that these alone will not eliminate the porential for error or unforseen events.

My reaction has been tp use a very fine net with a mesh gap of 20mm. The air flow is virtually unnaffected but the danger is eliminated.

My present solution is not "pretty" and I and thinking of a more elegant one. I have done exactly as the originator of this thread but witha finer mesh for the reasons stated.

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Having not flown with a motor yet I too am finding this extremely useful. Thank you Ian and others.

Being someone who likes to plan ahead, I had noticed the inherrent potential problems, and also read various reports etc.

Ian's application of tape to ease a forward launch is very similar to something I had spotted early on, and had confirmed this weekend when I saw more than a couple of pilots have to abort forward launches due to line fouling, particularly around the neck in a couple of instances!

I was thinking about a method I have seen in videos of trike launches.

On setting out of the wing and trike, I noticed that many of the pilots have a guide mechanism that seems to be nothing more than a short piece of drinking straw taped to the frame at each side on the 90 degree axis. The lines are then fed so they sit in the V between the frame and the straw.

The benefits of reduced line abrasion as they come up and around the frame are of course obvious. Having now done a few forward launches (without motor) I can see how a simple system like this could also help those who for whatever reason find it difficult to hold the lines far enough apart so they clear the motor frame easily whilst retaining adequate control.

Yes I am a beginner, so I recognise that others may have tried this and found it lacking. I await the input of far more experience than my own :D

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...On setting out of the wing and trike, I noticed that many of the pilots have a guide mechanism that seems to be nothing more than a short piece of drinking straw taped to the frame at each side on the 90 degree axis. The lines are then fed so they sit in the V between the frame and the straw...

Most trikes tend to use either a broad open cable tie taped to the cage to create the holder or a bent piece of metal coat hangar similarly taped.

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Yes prop strike of brake handles is very common on every machine out there! I have been collating statistics. There has been one fatal and one sus[ected fatal and two "wind ins" that released with height to spare.

Even netted cages with holes biggere than 40mm have the potential for a handle to go in. Setting up your hang point properly so that the cage does not tip forward at the top and also always parking your control handles helps, but I feel that these alone will not eliminate the porential for error or unforseen events.

My reaction has been tp use a very fine net with a mesh gap of 20mm. The air flow is virtually unnaffected but the danger is eliminated.

My present solution is not "pretty" and I and thinking of a more elegant one. I have done exactly as the originator of this thread but witha finer mesh for the reasons stated.

Hi Francis,

Where did you get the very fine mesh?

Cheers

Paul

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Mole Valley Farmers... I looked in lots of garden type places but nothing strong enough. I wanted to "not be able to break it" with my hands. I think it is called "fruit net" to keep birds off your cherries. And I'm guessing it is UV resistant as intended for outdoor use.

I have a great long roll and no further use for the rest so if you or anyone wants a bit sent an SAE with a quid in it and I'll post you a metre and a half!

You will need cable ties to secure it just like in Ian's pictures. I wont be back to IoW til tuesday 3rd so you will have to wait a week.

My next effort will use the same net but include a "hem" of thicker string to match the shape of the cage rim and "finish off" the edge neatly. This should reduce the number of cable ties needed and make the whole thing look like it was "designed" not just "added" ! I might even ditch the cable ties in favour of drilled fittings in the cage rim.

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I have a great long roll and no further use for the rest so if you or anyone wants a bit sent an SAE with a quid in it and I'll post you a metre and a half!

You will need cable ties to secure it just like in Ian's pictures. I wont be back to IoW til tuesday 3rd so you will have to wait a week.

Francis,

Thanks I will do. Can you PM your address? No rush as I'm away to Iceland tomorrow :lol:

I wondered about using just smooth gaffer tape around the outer ring. I've no paint to worry about.

Cheers

Paul

P.S. Might be worth keeping enough for all the Tip 2 Tip machines?

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My only concern for tape would be the break down of the glue over time, you would need to renew the tape or check it regularly?

It would make for smoother airflow than cable ties for sure.

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Hi All.

Glad this was of some interest.

Francis is right about the tape. I noticed after my last flight that the thin tape had split and left a cable tie exposed on the cage rim, so have bought some black gaffer tape to apply over the top instead. Will keep you posted with the results.

I check the tape along with the security of the netting as part of my pre-flight checks. I don't want any of this ending up in the prop, and I'm finding forward launches with the Revolution in light/nil wind are tricky enough without the lines snagging on a cable tie!

The offer of Francis' surplus smaller square netting is a very generous one. Once this is used up the "sparrow" netting from the website in my first post has the same size (20mm) holes.

Best Regards,

Ian.

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OK, so here it is. Francis was right - again!

The 50mm (pigeon) netting left a hole which is too big and allowed my left brake handle to make contact with my prop while I was climbing into the seat after take-off. This neatly pinged the magnetic stay off of the handle, took the end off of one tip and dinged the other 2.

On the bright side the prop didn't eat the brake line and wing, so didn't fly me into the ground! I actually flew for about half an hour without any serious vibration and only noticed the damaged prop after landing.

Smaller 20mm (starling) netting to be ordered tomorrow, and a repair on the prop is required.

Regards,

Ian.

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looks like back to the drawing board PARAJET???

why add another 3 elements to the equation that can FAIL????(netting,cable ties & Tape)

Hands off... YES you stand a good chance of loosing a brake handle Magnet (if your lucky).

It goes without saying, if you take your hands off the steering wheel.......just be ready for the worst.

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Back to the Drawing board?

What an odd comment? there are many people flying Parajets all over the world. I will pass the 100 hour mark on my own Parajet this year. It is the first Low hang point unit I have owned.

When in flight, my brakes are at least 12 inches away from the cage, and then the prop is 6 inches further away.

I think Pete hit the nail on the head in an earlyer post to set the harness up correctly.

It is interesteing that when we hear of this happening that it seems to happen to the same few people over and over again.

SW :D

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Hmmm. More interesting that all but one want to add a secondary method to make their Parajet Volution cage safer.

Until it happened to me, after many hours of no problems, I was also saying to myself it is safe as I never let go of the brakes without securing them home first.

Better we act BEFORE an an accident or accidental death is caused by 'seat adjustment' or whatever.

On all forums, over six different people have recently reported this problem.

All are now modifying their cage, brakes or both.

What harm can physically preventing prop and brake handle meeting do?

Cheers

Paul

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All,

I am not suggesting that you dont do it, in fact the opposite, Parajet already offer it as an option.

BUT,

If it has happend to you more than once, look at your set up thats about it :D

I will be applying netting to the school motors as a direct reaction to this thread.

SW :D

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Make no mistake folks this is NOT a parajet issue! This is a serious safety problem for ALL paramotor makes. I have collected over twenty five direct reports of handles contacting the propellor on six different makes of motor, some with netting as tight as 40mm mesh.

The larger the prop disc the closer it can come to the handles (simple geometry). getting the hang point correct is very important for lots of reasons on all makes of motor but is not a "fail safe" to prevent handle/prop strike.

I have one report, not on a parajet, of a handle wrapping the blade and winding in to a spiral dive. the pilot survived when the brake "unwound" and the wing resumed level flight at 500 feet. There is a suspicion that this is what caused a fatal crash with identical symptoms last year.

The most likely scenario for "wrap and wind0-in" is when the motor is running slowly. When running fast it often spits the handle out again, with a chipped blade if you are unlucky.

How does the prop disc get close to the brakes? You can angle the disc when you put out your legs on speed bar. This vectors thrust upwards behind you and makes you "heavier" so you fly a little faster. this is an acknowledged technique for speed but any yawing of the motor (weight shift or fidgeting) can bring the disc close to the riser set on one side. This is particularly so with low-hang swinging-arm systems but is also true of high-hangers.

If your brakes are always a good distance from your risers then you have probably set up corectly, but if you do another hang check and stick your legs out and lean forward, then twist around a bit and watch how the disc comes nearer to the risers you may see the way it might happen to you....maybe as a result of fidgeting or turbulence?

In my opinion all cages should have a 20mm fine-line mesh in front of the cage in the area of the handles. However rushing to fit this without careful thought could end up being even more dangerous.

I am not yet happy with my own solution and have had many good discussions trying to find the right material and the best way to fit it.

Parajets look so lovely and I hate tape and zip tie fixes! Other machines with nets that are 40 or 50 mm could have finer mesh attached to that net at the area behind the handles perhaps but I reccomend you talk to your manufacturer to try and get a retro-fit opition designed for your make. It is their responsibility to evolve their designs in response to our identification of safety issues on their products. PPG are "experimental aircraft" and we are the guinea pigs (crash test dummies). :roll::roll::wink:

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Hi, everyone, I found this when looking for cage netting. http://www.allplaz.com/acatalog/Cargo_Netting.html

I have not ordered any yet as i was waiting to see if I was going anywhere near Letchworth, Herts. where they are based.

Sometimes it is best to see a product, rather than a photo. they seem to sell a lot of variations of netting most by the metre.

Paul

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Hi, everyone, I found this when looking for cage netting. http://www.allplaz.com/acatalog/Cargo_Netting.html

I have not ordered any yet as i was waiting to see if I was going anywhere near Letchworth, Herts. where they are based.

Sometimes it is best to see a product, rather than a photo. they seem to sell a lot of variations of netting most by the metre.

Paul

I was talking to Martin at RAD the other day and he's using the 50mm x 2mm cricket netting on all new machines. I like the look and think it'll do the trick so if anyone else is up for a joint order count me in.

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50mm netting will allow handles to go through. Please consider also placing 20mm netting over the 50mm netting in the area directly behind the control handles. The "wrap and wind in" report I described earlier was on a machine with high hang points and 50mm netting. And a member who recently placed 40mm netting on his machine subsequently had a handle strike the prop.

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:idea: Would a fix from the other end be worth considering. At the riser end place one (each side) of those 'wind your key chain and bunch in' jobbies. Attach the 'key bunch end' to the brake handle, if you let go of the brakes, the 'wind it in jobbie' retracts the brake handle and the magnets may well 'auto stow' the brakes for you. It should then be impossible to have the brakes go anywhere but back to the risers if you let go. Resistance at brake selection should be fairly minimal...

20080603-dd7hi4x8r9hwp1cujparqcb59k.jpg

The biggest risk might be getting hit in the face by the brake handle if you let go with a flourish... but we live and learn don't we - with a bit of forethought and luck.

Just an idea.... :roll:

Just tested it, with this device you get full arm extension.

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Another idea might be a piece of bungee of the correct length attached to the riser near the point of pivot on the brake line and the other end to the brake handle where the attachment doesn't alter the feel of the handle in your hand. The length would be such that it would prohibit the brake going far enough back to become a hazard.

It follows that during brake application you would, as you ran the brake out, hit the bungee and feel the stretch. Is that any bad thing when getting toward the end of you brake travel. A timely reminder and a little control feedback.

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