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Take off - Need advice, please


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Hello,

I am a French paramotor apprentice, actually on the 3rd flight.

Since the 2nd flight, I have encountered a problem (not to be French !), I have an irrepressible, irrational desire to sit down from the start of a slight lift of the wing. So I stop running and find myself on the ground on my buttocks.

Of course, this is very dangerous, fortunately the engine is killed in time.

I don't understand this reflex,
- perhaps from the experience (2001) of the trike (take off sat on a seat),
- either from the seat of the harness which unfolds and goes down under the buttocks and the tilting which pushes me to sit down, ...

I do not know exactly but I hope it is not prohibitive.

Has this ever happened to you? How did you correct this instinctive movement?

Thanks for your help.
 
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Dont take this as instruction, as I'm only at a similar level to you.

But I tried lengthening the leg straps slightly and think it helped. This means when you feel the lift, the seat is already lifted that extra inch and not so 'underneath' you if that makes sense.

Lengthen too far and you may struggle to get in the seat, but I think it helped me.

Then maybe when you get used to the sensation, you can go back to how they were.

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It sounds like the harness is over-scooping you up. Have you tried a hang test? You should - you can adjust the harness for ease of getting in and out of the seat without overdoing it. 

Are you under instruction? If so then your instructor should be able to fix this easily with you. 

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"willy forward". You must run with your willy as far forward as you can get and don't stop that until well in the air. This mind set is designed to not only keep your legs under you, but also to make you stand up straight so the the motor is pushing you forward.

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Thank you for your advices, lenghten the strap ou bloque the seat in closed position, and  run even in the air !

I know now it's a step of learning ; but I never thougt I could have this unfortunate reflex

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I'll share my thought on that as I'm new to paramotor but quite experienced in paragliding itself - launching with a motor is completely different than without it in the mountains and I found it working good for me when launching with a motor: keep running until the wing and the harness lift you up from the ground without any work other than just running and controlling the glider above you (and adding  throttle of course). Be prepared that you will get lifted and fly while leaning against the straps, relax, they won't let you fall :) Then when you gain some altitude just kick your knees up firmly and you'll get sitting in your harness. Not saying it's the right way but works for me.

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28 minutes ago, HDY said:

Actually, the problem is I automatically (and irrationally) sit down to early, even if the veil is still not efficient.

Well that's an easy fix then, just stop doing it! Just keep running even when you feel you have left the ground. It's called running into the air and you just need to keep yourself focussed. 

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12 hours ago, Steve said:

Well that's an easy fix then, just stop doing it! Just keep running even when you feel you have left the ground. It's called running into the air and you just need to keep yourself focussed. 

Well, nothing to be added here, really :)@HDY run until the harness takes you up from the ground. When you start feeling a pressure on the leg straps is probably when you begin sitting down as your brain gets the message "uhhh, we are in the air". Well, you are definitely not, ignore this impression and just keep running and keeping the appropriate amount of throttle until your legs firmly lose contact with the ground. In mountain paragliding, especially in thermals, when you often have the ridge you've launched from right behind your back it's still not a right moment to sit down but instead wait to gain more altitude and distance from it just in case you get collapse or sth, and only then sit down.

Are you afraid of starting to fly with your body hanging on your leg and chest straps and not having your butt well supported by the harness seating? This is maybe why you want to get safely seated as quick as possible but end up doing that way too early.

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Does your instructor have a hang simulator?  It might be helpful to hang for a bit in the simulator WITHOUT getting in the seat.  It will help your body recognize hanging in the leg straps as a "normal" sensation and not fight it as it starts to occur on takeoff.  Even better if the simulator can lift you up as you stand straight.  A couple of those and your reflexes are unlearned.

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22 hours ago, HDY said:

I automatically (and irrationally) sit down to early,

You have a lot of things to juggle when launching.... Too many until the muscle memory eases the brains workload!
I am assuming your brain is reacting to the harness beginning to take "some" of your weight.
Tell your brain not to call "Gear Up" at all... you can switch the running off later.....  Your feet will eventually start missing the floor :) 
 

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my second ever flight I did the same. broke my first prop - this was in South Africa in 2005 - luckily we had a spare as there were no other spares in south africa at the time. The standing up straight (dick forward, head back - totally opposite of a paraglider takeoff) and keep running even when airborne trick worked for me. Get into the habit of not even trying to sit down till yer 200 feet up or so. After lots of flights this can change, but until then think about your legs as your undercarriage - and it doesn't get retracted till your pretty high.

I had a similar instinct I really had to work not to do with sky diving, where I couldn't stop landing on one foot then the other - as if I'm paragliding and running it off. That took a fair amount  of jumping off tables to knock my brain into doing it both legs together (so you can do a proper PLF) for skydiving. It's damned weird how you have to teach yer own brain how to do something by using your brain...

Don't worry about straps being loose and not being able to get in your seat - have them loose enough for early flights so there's no pull on your bum to tempt you to bring yer legs up. If that means you hang in the straps- no problem -it encourages you to keep running, land, and go again. Once you've got that in muscle memory, then you can tighten the straps so you can get into your seat easily.

 

Oh I should say - I constantly have to fight this on landing now - I have week knees (2 ACLs on each knee) - so i sort of default to bending my knees and landing on my arse on hard landings... problem is once you start doing that you start doing it all the time - even when the landing is fine, your brain says 'oh this is where i bend the knees and land him on his arse' - FFS brain - NO..run.. run you fecker.. I mean it does not harm - just looks uncool if got spectators 😛

 

stu

 

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Thanks guys.
Based on your advice, concretely I will continue to run aiming for the end of the field (70 meters), telling myself don't stop running until I reach this fixed point.
Even if my harness, loose at the legs, touches the back of the thighs and buttocks, I will continue to sprint with my back straight . Voilà. Good evening

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Might seem unorthodox...ive seen some guys try to drag their feet on ground after lift off (Tucker Gott comes to mind)

Perhaps this might help with the mind wanting to immediately pick feet up?

Of course if you sink back down again, feet can get caught underneath...so it isnt necessarily a great habit either.

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On 06/10/2020 at 08:51, adamjedgar said:

Might seem unorthodox...ive seen some guys try to drag their feet on ground after lift off (Tucker Gott comes to mind)

This trick really requires skills and experience and I can hardly imagine a non-trained pilot doing it safely....

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The usual teaching method is to instil running into the air....you don't stop those legs going into well into the air....at least 5 seconds after take-off.

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It is a normal reflex in the beginning. I personally got better at running around my 20th flight. I now have 34 flights. Learning to run is definetly harder than it sounds but once you master it you start to master the basic launch

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