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Any paragliding pilots around here?

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Brian H
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Re: Any paragliding pilots around here?

Postby Brian H » Wed Apr 11, 2018 12:14 am

Powered paragliding is as safe as you make it. I've been kiting since 2001 and Ppging for 5 years now and have 800 flights with out a reserve chute , we typically fly in the morning and evening when the air is calm . If you want to take up the sport go to a local small airport and ask what the airspace is in the area you think you want to fly around and make sure it is class G airspace . If you have a beach near you that gets laminar sea breeze you can Ppg up to 12 or so kts so now my Ppg is over lapping with my foil boarding . It's an awesome sport and people ask me how high I can fly and say no , how low can I fly.

GTC
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Re: Any paragliding pilots around here?

Postby GTC » Wed Apr 11, 2018 12:19 am

Thanks Craz Z and Downunder! I really appreciate your responses.

Didn't know that PPG, PG and HG are so dangerous compared to kiting.

After so many years of kiting I've had lots of close calls. All of them because of my fault, other's fault or bc an unexpected factor. Or a mix of both (the worst ones). I also have friends who have had very serious kiting accidents...

I must say that I love kiting in extreme conditions and don't enjoy light wind days (I rarely kite with less than 18kt)... so danger factor increases exponentially.

That's why I thought PPG wasn't more dangerous... From the ground view doesn't look as extreme as kiting.

Hpr
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Re: Any paragliding pilots around here?

Postby Hpr » Wed Apr 11, 2018 2:34 pm

I've done a bit of paragliding and a ton of PPG. I'm not sure I agree that kiting is so much more safe than PPG (maybe PG yes). As someone said, it all has to do with your approach. If you stick to the rules you learnt during your training a serious accident is very unlikely to happen. PPG is usually done in calm onshore conditions. You need to know the local weather so that you dont get caught in strong gusty winds. Inland flying can be more dangerous. Don't fly over the sea unless you can glide to the beach if the engine stops, or have a flotation device. An engine failure is a non event, on condition that you can glide to a safe landing spot, so always plan for that. Most accidents happen when people push the limits of their abilities or show off (low turns, wingovers and other maneuvers) and when people fly in the wrong conditions or places. Unfortunately it is the nature of the beast that adventurous people with a high risk threshold will quickly get bored putting around with wings level at 1000 foot, which is the safest way to fly PPG. The real fun is in low fast flying cranking the glider around and through objects, but that becomes super dangerous. But really, its all relative if you play it safe. How dangerous is it to drive on the roads?

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Re: Any paragliding pilots around here?

Postby TheJoe » Wed Apr 11, 2018 3:00 pm

Hpr wrote:
Wed Apr 11, 2018 2:34 pm
I've done a bit of paragliding and a ton of PPG. I'm not sure I agree that kiting is so much more safe than PPG (maybe PG yes). As someone said, it all has to do with your approach. If you stick to the rules you learnt during your training a serious accident is very unlikely to happen. PPG is usually done in calm onshore conditions. You need to know the local weather so that you dont get caught in strong gusty winds. Inland flying can be more dangerous. Don't fly over the sea unless you can glide to the beach if the engine stops, or have a flotation device. An engine failure is a non event, on condition that you can glide to a safe landing spot, so always plan for that. Most accidents happen when people push the limits of their abilities or show off (low turns, wingovers and other maneuvers) and when people fly in the wrong conditions or places. Unfortunately it is the nature of the beast that adventurous people with a high risk threshold will quickly get bored putting around with wings level at 1000 foot, which is the safest way to fly PPG. The real fun is in low fast flying cranking the glider around and through objects, but that becomes super dangerous. But really, its all relative if you play it safe. How dangerous is it to drive on the roads?
I agree I started PPG back in Nov and it is as safe as you make it. Only go out in the right conditions and take things slow. I am lucky to be in an area with major airports near by so I can all ways check their weather stations. Good conditions with good visibility and the right mindset and it's super safe.

I would argue that kiting is more safe. Kiting is the same it is as safe as you make it. Lightwind kiting is pretty mellow with very few hazards out there. On the flip side going out in gusty storm winds to jump as high as possible multiplying the risk factor. Not too mention water conditions, over crowded beaches, inexperienced kiters or just random things that go along with kiting can make it more dangerous.

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Re: Any paragliding pilots around here?

Postby downunder » Thu Apr 12, 2018 4:52 am

Sorry to say, but I think we are all biased, tho. The reason is that you guys probably did not know people who are not with us any more. Also, no major dramas like almost not surviving (I did have that, twice).
As said, everything changes after a major crash. The perception of 'safety' changes. Mind you, I already fractured a clavicle kiting, BUT, I do 'extreme' tricks, 10m jumps in 50-70cm flat water, triple front rolls, etc...Number of gear failures, exploded LE, crashes, impacts into objects, collisions, legs wrapped, bla bla

I would be long dead if ANY of this happened with a pg or ppg.

Let me illustrate: a person I knew did emergency landing due to a petrol leaking. He landed badly, caught in fire and...That was it. 1000+ hours. Yes, this can happen in a car, but we discussing ppg.
Other person I knew from Perth, 2000+ hours landed badly, the end. The passenger survived with no injuries. Third person blacked out, due to a mild cold or ear infection (they think), while doing a spiral into the ground. Some would say, know your limits. Well, one strong loop or turn might knock you off. 5-10G not uncommon.

Forth, pro rider, 10000+ hours, a national champ, was cut short by unmarked power lines. Safe as you make it? Can't plan for unknown. And, it is almost always landing. A young guy died in Perth half a year ago, landing on parking badly.

My buddies, tandem kiting, a strap failed on a brand new pg, they spiraled with no chance to throw a chute, landed semi gently on trees. If that was the ground, both would end life there. The gear can and it will fail. This was recorded on a vid and analysed after.

All my pg buddies moved on or not flying any more after 20 years or so. Some are flying gliders, some are in kiting, some in sailing. Gliders in particular are cheap since most are close to the big cities. Launch is about 30Euros, for 1-2-3 hours flying that is not bad. In AU, it's cheap as well, it's capped to $60-100 per session I think. Fly as much as you can for that money.

Till now, extremely rare fatalities in kiting (I personally knew one, he was a risk taker as myself). Broken limbs, yes, me included. But that's so common in pg as well, ankles, legs, you name it. The next day after I broke my back, a semi pro broke his back on landing. We were like fcuk, how did that happen...Than, a week after, other semi pro broke his leg. Same hospital, other room :(

This was when pg was really picking up in numbers. Maybe this days the numbers are somehow low, hence looks more 'safe'.

Just have a look at the King of the Air, none of acrobatics ended in fatalities, I think. Water, even tho it's hard on impact, is still 'softer' than a concrete...

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Re: Any paragliding pilots around here?

Postby Laughingman » Thu Apr 12, 2018 3:25 pm

Toby wrote:
Tue Apr 10, 2018 3:24 pm
Bille is on here, big time paraglider.

Hope he reads this 😉
I don't think he is gonna see this thread.... He has not been active since Feb 28th... maybe he misses Starsky.... :rollgrin:

Adolfo
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Re: Any paragliding pilots around here?

Postby Adolfo » Thu Apr 12, 2018 6:42 pm

I have quite a bit of experience in both, kiting and PPG.
I started paragliding circa 1990, but then left it because most flying places were too far away from home.
Then in 2001 I started kiting and in 2008 picked up powered paragliding.
Nowadays I spend most of my kiting time foiling or surfing, with an air style TT session now and then.
About ppg I like the general feeling of flying, and just to look at nice places from the sky. I’m not into acrobatics or anything like that, but I reckon that I don’t always take of or land on the safest places, and I like low level flying in beaches with laminar wind.
I’m not sure why we started talking about the dangers involved, when you asked if it is as good as it sounds. But, if you want to know about dangers, my perception is that powered paragliding is 10X more dangerous than kiting. You have much more things that can go wrong, and when they go wrong they can go very very wrong. You can actualy die. Motors are full of parts that stop working or fly off and hit the propeller at the worst possible moments. The glider can fold on itself and stop flying because of undetected air currents. The equipment can fail, with much worst consequences than a harness fail with a kite. Human errors are way more cruel for the ppg pilot than for the kiter. And then there is the weather. If you are kitting and the wind gets turbulent, or switches direction or doubles it speed, it’s not a big deal; you may get tea bagged a little, or the kite may fall of the sky. So what? If that happens when you are flying, you are in serious trouble. You’d better find a place to land and pronto, and that is a huge problem on itself in that situations (I have a broken knee to remember me of that). And on top of that, paragliders don’t have a quick release and a leash as kites do. I can’t remember using my quick release on a kite since 2007, when I started using bow kites. But if I had been given the chance to pull something and land safely on a ppg, I would have pulled release many times while flying…

But now, if what you really want to know if it is as good as it sounds, for me it sure is. Most of the time I spend at the air, I have a smile in my face.

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Flyboy
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Re: Any paragliding pilots around here?

Postby Flyboy » Fri Apr 13, 2018 6:25 pm

I was interested in learning to PG. PPG seem less appealing because of the noise (I'm assuming it's really loud). The essentially appealing thing about PG is simply being up in the air - "flying" - never mind the aerobatic heroics. The question is: how long does the appeal of simply being up in the air wear off? If you are in a mountainous area - like around the Alps - the possibilities for "sightseeing" seem endless. Does that wear off?

I thought this was an impressive illustration of unexpected things that can go wrong:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0sqIkYcrlxQ

phpBB [video]


Or how about this one:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-83reY31qaM

phpBB [video]


:o

Adolfo
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Re: Any paragliding pilots around here?

Postby Adolfo » Fri Apr 13, 2018 7:38 pm

Yes, PPGs are noisy. But we use earplugs and you forget about the noise as soon as you are in the air. It’s just a part of the flight. Planes are noisy too.
It’s difficult to explain. But when I fly without the motor I enjoy the silence. One of the pleasures of flying is that the only noise that you hear is the wind whispering on the lines. With the motor you don’t have that, but the noise doesn’t bother me either. Does this make any sense?
Anyway, the closest hill is 500 miles from where I live, so flying without a motor is not an option. I’d rather take off a couple of blocks from home with the motor, than driving 10 hours for a flight.

Regarding the appeal of being in the air wearing off, fortunately I still like it. But I love flying. I’m a plane pilot too, and I used to fly small planes and ultralights. But the ppg is way more convenient. Is cheaper and I like to have the possibility to take my equipment in the back of my truck when going on holidays, and to fly in different places.
You have your plane with you, and you don’t need a runway. You only need a little grass field without trees or an empty beach and you are flying.

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Slappysan
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Re: Any paragliding pilots around here?

Postby Slappysan » Sat Apr 14, 2018 2:11 am

There are electric options for PPG if noise is a big issue. They will still be noisy when powered up but less so than a gas engine and once up there you can turn off the engine and thermal as opposed to letting the engine idle.


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