We at Bulgaria Paragliding are paragliding enthusiasts and specialists, and we want to share all you need to know about this activity with you. That is why, in previous blog entries, we have described how to paraglide for the first time and the greatest paragliding spots in Bulgaria. We’re going to discuss paragliding launch tactics today.
If you want to practice paragliding with us in Sopot, Bulgaria, you don’t have to worry about anything. You will be accompanied by one of our skilled staff members on our tandem paragliding flights. However, if you’re an expert, you won’t have to worry, but you should keep in mind that launching is one of the most “essential” aspects of paragliding practice.
According to statistics, nearly 40% of flight incidents occur during the take-off phase. We know that with sufficient training and the development of flawless paragliding launch skills, this number may surely be decreased. If you follow our advice, the chances of having an incident will be reduced to a bare minimum. Let’s have a look at some paragliding launch tactics.
Launching Procedures For Paragliders
One thing to remember about the paragliding takeoff is that it should seem as much like an airplane takeoff as possible. We often see paraglider pilots making what we refer to as “jackrabbit” or “hopping” launches.
Consider yourself on a commercial airplane cruising down the runway, jumping and skipping over the ground as it prepares to take off. There’s no question that such a take-off would send passengers into a panic! That is why we describe the paragliding launch procedures that should be used in order to have a fantastic paragliding flight and experience.
What we need to understand is that taking off is determined by airspeed and/or lift over the canopy’s surface. Before you may take off, your aircraft must first attain a certain airspeed. To put it another way, use a decent paragliding launch method.
Pulling the aircraft yoke back before achieving a certain airspeed can allow a powered plane to lift off briefly, but without the appropriate airspeed, the plane will crash to the ground. This clearly shows that take-off is determined by airspeed and/or lift over the glider’s surface, not by brakes.
To further comprehend the lift factor, it’s important to remember that the paraglider may take off without any early running speed by just moving into the rising airflow. If the glider is at the apex—directly overhead—moving it into the rising air will simply result in a take-off.
If the glider is behind or ahead of the apex, or in a straight-up posture, the take-off will only be momentary, if at all. While velocity is vital for takeoff, a good takeoff requires the glider to be properly centred above.
Glider deflation is the most common cause of take-off accidents. A severe launch deflation near the ground will almost always result in the pilot twisting or stalling one side of the glider, forcing the glider to rotate backwards to the ground. If the glider is not centred above at take-off — behind or in front of the peak — deflations are more likely.
Because many takeoffs take place in turbulent or thermic air, the glider is particularly vulnerable to deflations when it is not completely laden and flying straight above. As a result, having the glider fully loaded and straight above are the two most important conditions for a successful take-off. You may reduce the dangers of paragliding take-off if you understand and follow these principles.
Take Off Straight Into The Wind.
Pilots must run off the launch straight into the wind, as this will prevent the wing from being pushed off the launch and will enable the wing to be flown off the launch directly into the wind. This exhibits excellent control and flying abilities, as well as an effective paragliding launch method.
Gradually Increase The Speed
Once the glider is above, we’ve seen some pilots take off sprinting. If you travel from 0 to 16 km/h in three stages, you will undoubtedly position the glider behind the apex. As a result, pilots must learn to accelerate such that the glider remains straight above at all times.
The Wing Should Be Fully Loaded.
Loading should rise in tandem with airflow and lift. The glider moves quicker in the air as a result of the additional burden. Furthermore, the glider will be more resistant to deflation if it is fully laden.
Get The Wing In The Middle Of The Sky.
As previously stated, having a fully laden glider and having it correctly centred above are the two most important criteria. The final one will provide the most deflation-resistant paraglider design.
The Process Of Implementation
To perform an effective paragliding launch method, gradually increase the forward speed once the glider has been inflated, whether forward or reversed. It’s critical to incline the harness – the worst way to load your wing is to stand erect and bend forward at the hips.
To put it another way, if you lean forward at 90 degrees and begin jogging in that posture, your body will naturally straighten up. You will lose consistent loading and your ability to maintain a constant running pace as a result of this.
During the take-off, gradually leaning forward to 45 degrees is the optimum strategy. The stress on the wing stays constant in this configuration, making it simpler to generate airspeed, which is why it is used during take-off.
This paragliding launch method may be done in a variety of ways. The launch is frequently referred to as the “torpedo” launch. In this form of paragliding launch, the pilot’s body is in a straight line, leaning forward, rather than bowed at the hips.
Because some pilots are unable to lift their arms from the back owing to past injuries or a lack of flexibility, the hands-up posture will be more comfortable for them. The head must be held high, with the gaze directed ahead rather than downward toward the ground. The belly harness clasp will most likely be pressed precisely on your sternum, which, although uncomfortable, is the right position.
Once the glider is stable aloft at the peak position, reverse inflation begins by softly going backwards into the wind. Frequently, the pilot remains still in the reverse position and then takes a stride or two backwards as he turns to face the wind, causing the wing to dip slightly below the apex. While moving backwards against the wind, the pilot makes a single continuous forward movement.
It will be extremely difficult to produce adequate airflow over the wing if you use your brakes too often. Learn to make modest adjustments to your wing while pushing it into the wind using your shoulder and body input. To perform a decent paragliding launch method, you must maintain your body centered beneath the wing at all times.
You must softly use the brakes so that the pilot can feel the wing. As airspeed and load rise, brake pressure will decrease. All too frequently, pilots mistakenly believe that braking affects takeoff. You must realize, however, that takeoff is a result of correct apex, weight, and velocity.
You must stay focused and avoid any potential distractions. Your first priority and major job is to get out and move as far away from the ground as possible. More ground clearance gives you more time to deal with any problems that may arise. When you take off, keep going straight out while rising. When you begin to stabilize, the outside edge of the lift band has settled, precisely as you have attained maximum ground clearance.
Either before or after the take-off, you must put on your harness. However, don’t be concerned if you don’t get into your harness straight away after take-off. Remember that climbing out and gaining ground clearance is your primary priority. You must return to the lift zone if you are still not in your harness after stabilizing. Put on your harness after you’re sure you’re safe.
The procedure of putting on the harness should be rather painless. Avoid swaying and swinging back and forth in an attempt to become seated if you wish to use an efficient paragliding launch method. These actions will cause uneven loads on your wing.
During the take-off, push your biceps or forearms on your risers and utilize them to force your back into your harness. Getting seated removes one significant distraction while remaining bent at the knees, leaning forward, and having enough velocity to accomplish a flawless take-off.
Ground handling is often discussed only in terms of inflation and kiting. We must spin smoothly and imitate sprinting off launch with the wing centred above and fully laden to perform an efficient paragliding launch method.
It’s important to remember that if you can fly off the ridge before entering the lift zone, your paraglider is in its most deflation-resistant state. When the glider is directly above, completely laden, and has attained the necessary airspeed, it is ready to take off.
Although it is commonly the least emphasized component of ground handling training, launching is the third and most critical aspect of ground handling. Even under the harshest circumstances, our expertise with paragliding launch procedures has resulted in more solid, safer, and deflation-resistant launches.
We hope you liked our article about paragliding launch methods and that it provided you with helpful paragliding knowledge. Please contact us if you have any questions or want further information. We would be happy to assist you at any moment! In Sopot, Bulgaria, we await your arrival!