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Rapid Decent.


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Have you ever been taught a Rapid Decent Technique  

23 members have voted

  1. 1. Have you ever been taught a Rapid Decent Technique

    • Yes and used it for real
      11
    • Yes but never used it since
      6
    • Never used or been taught one
      10


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All,

I am just interested ( and the vote is 100% anonymous )

How many of you AND PLEASE CLICK NO if you have not, rather than not voting, have had any form of Rapid Decent training. Big Ears, B Line, Spiral.

I ask because I know that the BHPA ask for a Big Ears an Asymmetric tuck not greater than 30% and cover the theory of a spiral dive and the B-Line Stall.

I am not 100% sure but I think that the BMAA do not cover this in there courses (this is not a dig, and indeed I may be wrong) but I do think that EVERYONE needs to know this vital safety stuff.

The first time you want to do a Big Ears or a Spiral or a B line is NOT when you are in a cloud getting sucked up to 30,000ft.

SW :D

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All,

Indeed as Pete suggests, the above are not at all difficult to learn or do. The very fact that 40% of the people who have voted HAVE used a rapid decent for real, and 46% don't know how to should ring some bells. I know which % I am happy to be in. ( % may change of course)

Ask your instructor to cover it at the end of your training please. (Even if only the theory) it may save your life one day.

Please continue to place your votes.

SW :D

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All,

Here is a short Video (taken by the Green Dragons a BHPA School) of a short but sweet Big ears. Once the practice of a Big Ears is done, you can control the amount of 'Ear' by pulling more of the line. (check your wing manual to ID the correct line, normaly it stands out in some way)

The thing to notice here is the lack of 'event' I dont want to start Online teaching 'go to your instructor' but I have been asked twice already how you turn during a big ears...

The answer is weight shift, so think about where your hang points are.... if they are super high you will not be able to turn very well at all, if they are low you will be able to turn it as fast as during normal flight (consider this factor).

Also notice how quickly the Big Ears comes out, This will of course differ from wing to wing.

SW :D

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I have just watched the video showing big-ears being carried out very near to the ground. I recently attended a course with Sunsoar and instructors Ian Currer and Ian Brown (Ian Currer is co-author of 'Touching Cloudbase'). They did not recommend practising big ears close to the ground due to the fairly obvious risks that may result. With no brakes to steer or flare IF big-ears does not pop out in time it would be easy to have an accident or cause yourself harm. Practice higher up!

John Coutts

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All rapid descent techniques need to be acquired with the aid of a suitably qualified instructor. Anyone coming from paragliding will have done these skills. All are essential safety skills, and are easy to do. However different wings react differently. i.e some DHV 2 / 3 need to have the Big ears pumped out, rather than spontaneous recovery.

Information on reflex wings seems a bit sketchy. I've seen film of such wings refusing to collapse the tip, even when you can see the cell's closed.

Has anyone tried these with a reflex wing. I get mine in about 4 weeks and would be interested in any information. I will be using an Apco HP.

PS you can land in Big Ears provided you can wgt shift to steer, release the ears and flare at the normal flare point.

Many instructors appear not to cover these skills, some don't even cover the theory. why not ? Our group members lives are being put at risk, and probably don't even know it.

what do you think about posting a section for newbies to indicate what a training syllabus should include. This would help many choose a suitable instructor

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Ask your instructor to cover it at the end of your training please. (Even if only the theory) it may save your life one day.

Hows about making use of the current bad weather to hold a classroom evening (in the pub) where we could cover loads of theory inc air law, air maps, meterology, etc

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How would you practise rapid descent techniques with reflex wings. With the synthesis and revelution it's very difficult to pull big ears. I'm not a supporter of a B-line stall, because of the lack of control. So that leaves only a spiral left.

If you open the trimmers completely and steer the glider in a soft spiral, it's already possible to create a rapid descent. With the action gt it's hard to pull a lot of G-forces when the trimmers are opened.

This is also an big advantage compared to normal wings.

It's strange people don't have any spiral experience. With a paramotor it's possible to climb to save heights and stay there for hours. Something you won't always get with paragliding. So there is never an excuse for not trying it. It's like parking a car in the reverse. If you never take the time to try it, you never will be able to manage it when it's necessary. :D

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I have just read one post encouraging people to try stuff that will add extra G loading and another post/thread about loose 'hangpoint' bolts.

Join them together and we 'virtually' replicate the situation that killed someone on a low hangpoint machine in 2007.

This official investigation results are not out yet, but one likely cause is the extra G caused a loose bolt to fail, then harness took the motor/pilot weight on one side making it turn so tight that it would not recover.

Please do a hang test before and after taking the bolt out. This will give you a good idea of the consequence, and one hell of a reminder to pre-flight check them.

Sorry if this upsets anyone, but I'd rather do that than risk losing another good pilot.

Cheers

Paul

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No upsetting here,

Two seperate things to look at.

A) Pre Flight Checks. (do them and do them well, whatever the motor!)

b) Rapid Decent, can save lives.

Great idea, hang check with hang point missing would give some idea of the effect of the lack of a good pre flight.

I am moving this thread to SAFETY.

SW :D

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Sorry I missed this one....

"How would you practise rapid descent techniques with reflex wings. With the synthesis and revelution it's very difficult to pull big ears"

But easily achieved by most. You will find the how to, in your wings manual. Below is the link for the Synthesis

Section 3.4 (page 23) explains Rapid Decent methods on the Synthesis.

http://dudek.eu/grafiki/download/SYNTHESISmanual.pdf

SW :D

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Hi Simon,

Sorry, I mentioned the reflex wings with trimmers neutral or opened. I tried ears with the synthesis the and revolution (both 28m2). I pulled the outer A-lines but the tip didn't collapsed inwards. With trimmers closed the gliders behave like normal gliders. Then it's no problem pulling ears.

Maybe you got some other experiences?

greets,

Thijs

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Thijs, as it suggests in the manual you are correct....

The Synthesis decends quicker on 30% or even 40% trim and a big ears in and speedbar (where a big ears is easy) than not and on full fast.

SW :D

Edited by Guest
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a couple of points concerning rapid descent techniques, just my opinion....

I am not sure I consider a spiral dive is a rapid descent technique in all situations. If you attempt it in very strong lift you will only achieve a spiral ascent!

It is useful to lose height quickly (12ish m/s) in other circumstances but, as has already been mentioned, we are awaiting a report investigating the suitability of paramotor harnesses to withstand the considerable point loads imposed on some harness components in a spiral.

Another point on spiral dives is that some wings that were classified as dhv1 or 1-2 have been found to have non-spontaneous recovery from spiral and can "lock-in" requiring pilot input to recover, so I re-inforce Simon and others posts not to "try this at home" but rather do it under coaching and read up on your wing's behaviour at the DHV or EN websites. The theory lecture is a great idea followed by some club coaching perhaps?

With regards big ears, there is a "recommended procedure" for pulling them in and letting them out that includes modifying your angle of attack. Again some theory and coaching would be very helpful to understand the principles and associated dangers involved.

Rapid descent techniques are really to get you down from "very high" to 500ish feet, then you get into the turbulent, boundary air layer where the need for full control and a fully inflated wing outweigh the need to lose height quickly. With paramotors we have a huge advantage over PG trainees who have to make do with practising these tasks at quite low level to complete their training.

A B-line stall achieves the best controlled descent, in my view, about 6 to 8 m/s but, again there are issues in pulling it in and letting it out that need a theoretical understanding followed by coached practise. I have never B-lined a reflex so cannot comment on that but I expect it is recommended by the manufacturer as an approved technique. When the B-line comes out you can induce a parachutal stall if you let it out gradually and you need to know how to make the wing start flying again if that happens.

I actually prefer pulling an asymetric, one or two, even all three a-lines on one side only. This induces less drag and faster descent than big ears but you always have at least half your wing flying at its designed angle. This technique is not taught as part of any of the sylabuses I have seen but recovery behaviour from it is fully tested by the DHV on all certified wings! This technique can only be used on a reflex when set to mid or slow trim, I have tried that on a synthesis!

Last point concerning getting "sucked up". Cloud suck can be very strong, 12 or more m/s under a good cumulus and 20+ under a smallish Cunim! BUT always remember that if its going up fast over here its going down fast over there. If you try to descend over here in a b-line you still go up, but fly over there to the 12 down sink and pull a b-line.... you will be going down at 18m/s and that is a rapid descent! Main response is DONT PANIC and think yourself to safety, be aware of the features that create lift and their associated sink and use these to best advantage.

:oops: Sorry thats more than a couple isnt it!

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  • 3 weeks later...

I can understand the rapid decent needs for a paragliding wing, and I recall the forum/pub discussions of various techniques after the paragliding lady went to 30,000 ft in Australia.

As usual, my memory has lost the detail :? but the idea of using the reflex wing with trimmers out then full speed bar to rapidly fly away (not just rapid decent) from the early stages of cloud suck I liked.

From the little I know - as I have little rapid descent experience - if cloud suck started happened while I'm flying my Action, I will fly away as fast as possible. Only if that fails will I consider a rapid decent.

I have pasted below a topical write-up from http://www.flyparamania.com/Flightreport.htm

Thoughts anyone?

Cheers

Paul

_____________

Pilot: Chris Calthrop

Country: UK

Model: Action 27

Paramotor: Adventure Solo 210

I hope all is well with you. just a quick one as I am off to a kite event in Hunstanton today. Hoping for no wind to fly around a bit!

I had a cloud sucking experience couple of days back. I was thermalling up at 8ft/min toward a perfect cloud that rapidly turned ugly. I thought maybe time to exit the situation and straightened out to run away upwind as I didnt want to get any closer to the cloud and that was the only way "away" from it. But instead I was going up at 8ft/min+ backwards which got me panicking a bit. I then tried to spiral dive... I went to lock in but I was still climbing at 1ft/min.. I quit that and put the trims right up and yanked the speed bar out. Getting buffeted around I skimmed under the cloud and out the side, finally sinking at 1ft/min only...I ran and ran! I had climbed from 1500 to 2400 while trying to go down. Base at 2400. I noticed that everywhere I looked the wind was going toward this cloud at ground level... as I continued on my XC to canterbury I noticed a suck toward another "perfect" cloud.. I stayed well away.. For many this might have been the perfect thermal, but as my first cloudbase experience.. a bit nerve wracking. I write to say it was reassuring knowing that the reflex would stabilise the wing , giving the confidence to use full speed bar to get the %#$& out of there.

Cheers, Chris

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Thoughts....

8ft/min is a very slow climb. I think he may mean 8metres per second. If he was going up at 1m/s in a spiral dive then the lift was around 13 up which is quite strong.

"...perfect cloud .... rapidly turned ugly"

"I noticed another perfect cloud"

A very unusual day if perfect clouds are appearing suddenly and then growing strongly in that way. I am wondering how or why the pilot did not notice signs all around him well before these events overtook him and produced a difficult situation.

Only after trying to spiral down then "run upwind" presumably not on full fast trim did he go for the correct (IMO) response of going full fast and flying away. all that time faffing and climbing before going to "fast"

Very easy for me to criticise from my armchair.

Important lesson= have the response to situations rehearsed in your mind.

Understand your elements; lift and sink; be aware of the signs.

In this case flying fast produces both a faster sink rate and a move a way from the danger.

Good post Bathboy, makes you think!

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