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clivefreeman
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Ok im thinking of getting myself a reserve, considering the mayday 20. My all up weight is 135kg and the mayday is rated for 160kg with a sink rate of 5.5 mtrs a second. What i want to know is because im under 160 will my decent rate be slower, if so then this is the reserve for me. The slower the better.

Thanks Clive

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Ok im thinking of getting myself a reserve, considering the mayday 20. My all up weight is 135kg and the mayday is rated for 160kg with a sink rate of 5.5 mtrs a second. What i want to know is because im under 160 will my decent rate be slower, if so then this is the reserve for me. The slower the better.

Thanks Clive

you may come down a little slower but nothing much.

If your reserve is too big you risk getting blown about more/ dragged and kept in the air by thermals, so NO slower is not better. :)

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Everyone I know who has come down under reserve (mostly over water on S.I.V. courses etc) has immediately gone and bought a bigger size as they were shocked how fast & hard 5.5m/s actually is !! It is surviveable though ! 8)

Slower is better and the Mayday 20 is your correct size (perfect as it is rated 100-160 kg). The Mayday 18 is too small for 135kg.

I chose a Mayday 20, as it came out best in independent tests for opening time and sink rate. Only issue is it is a bit bulky for a standard front mount container so you may need an XL size mount. At 150Kg +, I would have liked a bigger size, but the next one up was for tandem and much too heavy & bulky for convenience.

Sorry Pete, but thermals would not be an issue - even if you were in the core of a monster 6m/s and not descending it would be smooth - the turbulence is only felt when flying through and across the edges of thermals. The big issue is controlling the wing so it does not interfere with and fight against the reserve - that's when things get nasty.

Of course you would get blown about more under a massively oversized reserve, but since the majority are not steerable it would make little difference to where you land - which is probably about the time you wish you'd invested in a hook knife and tree rescue kit !! :lol:

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Everyone I know who has come down under reserve (mostly over water on S.I.V. courses etc) has immediately gone and bought a bigger size as they were shocked how fast & hard 5.5m/s actually is !! It is surviveable though ! 8)

Slower is better and the Mayday 20 is your correct size (perfect as it is rated 100-160 kg). The Mayday 18 is too small for 135kg.

I chose a Mayday 20, as it came out best in independent tests for opening time and sink rate. Only issue is it is a bit bulky for a standard front mount container so you may need an XL size mount. At 150Kg +, I would have liked a bigger size, but the next one up was for tandem and much too heavy & bulky for convenience.

Sorry Pete, but thermals would not be an issue - even if you were in the core of a monster 6m/s and not descending it would be smooth - the turbulence is only felt when flying through and across the edges of thermals. The big issue is controlling the wing so it does not interfere with and fight against the reserve - that's when things get nasty.

Of course you would get blown about more under a massively oversized reserve, but since the majority are not steerable it would make little difference to where you land - which is probably about the time you wish you'd invested in a hook knife and tree rescue kit !! :lol:

Didn't mean it would be rough just that you might go up instead of down :D

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  • 2 weeks later...
Ok im thinking of getting myself a reserve, considering the mayday 20. My all up weight is 135kg and the mayday is rated for 160kg with a sink rate of 5.5 mtrs a second. What i want to know is because im under 160 will my decent rate be slower, if so then this is the reserve for me. The slower the better.

Thanks Clive

Hi Clive.

Generaly the smaller reserve opens quicker than the large so smaller may be suited for free flyers who spend time scratching lower down. Obviously the larger will have a more favourable descent rate but will take longer to deploy.

I weigh 100kg and have chosen Metamorfosi conar 20. http://www.towmeup.com/Conar.html The reason I chose Metamorfosi is that the lines are not sewn to the skirt but are un-broken and travel from pilot attachment, over the canopy and down through the apex back to the pilot and produce a stronger canopy that may survive rapid opening / fast descent. Down side is that it is a bit bulky and heavy.

I have described this event before so appologise if I am boring you with it again but it may be of use to some members here.

In 2006 my wing collapsed at 800ft, this was due to my poor pre flight and post take off checks and lack of knowledge on how to deal with a collapse. Eventually I threw my reserve which undoubtedly saved my life. The reserve was a Metamorfosi conar 20 so understandably I do like it :lol: .

Reflection on deployment:

Obviously improved pre flight and post take off wing check. :oops:

I have chenged to left hand throttle to allow for right hand deployment (dominant right hand). I found the left hand deployment weak clumbsy and difficult; For some reason I didn't have the state of mind to shut off the engine drop the throttle and use the right hand. I did have time to do this as the initial descent wasn't rapid, I removed the reserve from the container and paused slightly thinking "does the situation warrant a reserve deployment?". As the descent increased in speed and things developed for the worse I got glimpses of the ground speeding towards me I realised that it indeed did warrant a reserve deployment.

By the time I threw the reserve the main canopy was on my left and horizontal with me and I was in a fast spin. For some reason instead of throwing the reserve upwards into clear air I threw it left by extending my arm rapidly from my lap (front mouted reserve) outwards. This was an error as I watched the bundle of my reserve go into the collapsed wing. I think the reason I threw it this way was that I was new to PPG from Hangliding where practice reserve deployment developed muscle memory for a lateral / horizontal deployment.

As I tensed for an impact a parachute landing fall was the last thing on my mind (despite having parachuted before)!!! and I still hadn't shut off the engine. The reserve deployed and immediately after it deployed and before I had time to settle under the reserve I landed on my back in a large gorse hedge at full throttle. As for descent rate I really havn't got a clue because I was so dissorientated and the gorse landing was painless.

I was attached to the reserve by a home made bridle consisting of two climbers slings attached at each shoulder loop and again attached to a single climbers sling to the reserve creating an upside down Y configeration. I had used plastic cable ties to keep it all tidy and for staged deployment. This worked very well and occured without me knowing.

If I didn't have visual contact with the reserve deployment handle I am unsure if I would have been able to grab it as things were very dissorientating. (Food for thought)

If it occured again I would:

- Shut off the engine first instance.

- Attempt to recover the wing, time spent height dependant.

- Remove reserve with right hand and deploy into clear air upwards with a bit of luck.

- Gather in the paramotor wing if time permits to prevent the paramotor wing interfering with or even collapsing the reserve. (Also give you something to do to take your mind off events occuring) :shock:

- Prepare for impact: Elbows arms tucked in chin on chest legs slightly bent and try not to hold your breath and good luck.

Main point is to fly in such a way that you don't need to deploy your reserve. Good equipment checks, Understand meteorology flight and things that create messy air including terrain, bloody good look out when turning, NOTAMS and speak to people (aviators arround your location) when and where you fly, and fly reservedly within your own and the equipments capability. Can anyone add to this list?

Hope this helps.

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Thanks for that posting Whitters, I'd not seen it before.

As for adding to your advice list:

If there's any doubt, there's no doubt - don't fly.

Whether it's kit, conditions or state of mind, anything and everything.

I've followed this a few times, weather and not feeling 'up' to it; theres always another day :)

Cheers,

Alan

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Thats the first time ive heard of anyone throwing there reserve on a ppg, good to hear that it saved you. Must of been a terrifying experience, do you think the bush helped the impact. ?

I have now bought a mayday 20 and it is fitted to my pap in a large container. There was a good right up on the mayday and a lot of saves.

Hopefully never have to use it but you never know.

Fly safe Thanks Clive

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Hi Whitters.

Do you think upon reflection, that your landing on your back with full throttle, may have also slowed you down some?

I'm not saying anyone should keep the engine going (all training says turn engine off asap) but wondered in this case, if the 50 or 60 kg of thrust contributed to a slower landing?

Cheers

Mike :mrgreen:

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Great write-up.

Clearly there are some issues with killing the engine in an emergency - particularly if you have to let go of the throttle to throw your reserve, or if you have the type where you need to keep the kill button pressed until the engine completely stops.

I added a kill cord to my last 2 paramotors as they are standard equipment with powerboats, jet-skis, dirt bikes, quads etc. I've had 2 throttle kill switches fail - one through dirt getting in the switch, the other through a broken wire.

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ATV-KILL-TETHER-KILL-SWITCH-Deadman-cord-/250768504618?pt=UK_CartsParts_Vehicles_ATVQuad_Trike_Parts_Accessories_SM&hash=item3a62f7b72a

The kill cord is easy to reach with either hand while strapped in, or when starting the motor on the ground. It is bright red so easy for another person to see & pull if anything goes wrong. If I had to throw the reserve, the kill cord is routed over the bridle so automatically releases it and kills the engine. A cheap & simple mod that should be fitted as standard to all motors (IMO).

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi Clive: Yes I think the bush saved me from injury for sure, see GPS pic below. Remember your reserve is now part of pre flight check. Accidental deployment would make for a bad day!!

Mike: I guess in theory the thrust could have helped cushion the impact, who knows, but didn't sound good. Glad I was wearing a helmet.

aquatix: I like the kill switch idea.

I found the GPS track and put it to google earth as a matter of interest. You can see the hedge I landed in.

57336408da39a_paradeploy1808061.jpg.4c2b

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Whitters, really appreciate your story and food for thought.

To help me out further, would you mind saying what you feel you missed on pre flight / post take off checks?

Thanks

Stuart

Hi Stuart.

When I climbed out of the hedge I found the reserve laying nicely out in a line in the field and the paraglider all caught up in the hedge in a bundle. I immediately packed it away and sent it to the loft for inspection. At this stage i had no idea what caused the collapse. Someone had seen me fall from the sky and dialed 999 so when I was walking back to my car both police and ambulance came rushing to my aid. This was handy because my ambulance colleagues then loaded my machine into the ambulance and took me back to my car. :lol:

Cause

My take off field was a corn stubble field which makes viewing the lines pre flight difficult. When i took off I didn't look up at the canopy for symmetry and line clearance dispite having a slight turn to the left. When the left side of the wing collapse i looked up to see a floppy deflated left wing and pumped on the right brakes hoping to push pressure across to re-inflate the wing which promptly caused the right wing to stall and things went from bad to worse. beeing only 800 feet up i didn't have a lot of height / time to mess around.

Cause of initial left wing collapse was a knot in my D line which i missed pre flight and post take off. then ignored a slight turn during climb out. This was found at the loft.

Describing the event to wing designers I was informed the best cause of action in this instance would have been to pull the A risers instead of pump the brakes.

Front mounted reserve is my favoured option however I often have the reserve in the side pocket. On long XC's or bivouac flights like Ultra light single seat rally (USSR) I have front mounted due to the type of weather encounted and busier skies and it also gives me an xtra side pocket for Oil tools socks etc.

My line checks pre-flight are now thorough, also I always look up at the wing after take off and before I initiate a turn and study each line from me to the wing for knots and the symmetry of the wing. I have since landed due to a turn and again found a knot!!

It took me over 12 months of flying to get my confidence back after this event.

Regards.

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