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Nice flight! can I ask if you fly with floatation?
Not sure to understand your question? Ar you asking if I am using a flotation device? If the case, I do not.
Hi Phil. Yes personal floatation device on the motor or life jacket. I also fly coastal but never over the water. I have ordered a light weight pfd but if the risk of water landing is negligible then I may not use it. It’s good to know what safety kit other pilots are flying with. I have a front mounted reserve. If I never fly over the sea and always in on shore winds then I expect the risk of water landing to be negligible but my auto inflating pfd is only 400g so it’s there in the very rare case of say twisted risers causing inability to steer. What do you think?
If you have good skills, know your turf, and do not push the envelope, you should be fine. PG and PPG activities are as safe as what you will make them. There is the fraction of the 1% left encompassing bad luck and Murphy’s law and nobody can do anything about that. I organized 17 PG trips to the French Alps over a ten year period, and the locals knew the American pilots had arrived because they had every possible passive safety piece of gear a pilot could have - they looked like the Michelin Man. Over there, many pilots were not even wearing a helmet, never mind a reserve parachute. In the early day we didn’t have rescues designed for paragliding. They had not been invented yet, so everyone was flying without one. I flew off 7000’ glaciers with a harness without pockets, or dorsal protections, no speed-bar, no quick release buckles, self-locking carabiners had not been invented yet until SUPAIR came up with the first design - then every manufacturer jumped on the band wagon. My seat plate was a 10" deep plank,… and for the wings, that was another story😆 To say that it is good to have safety devices, but flying proactively and having strong skills is the nest safety one can get. I tried to convince myself to get a reserve and it didn’t work😆 But yes, if flying the mountains, I will have one onboard.
As for PPG, same as PGing my local cliff site,… I am a crawler and spend more time close to obstacles then higher up. That said a rescue would be totally useless. I know my turf, my wing and my skills and that’s good enough to keep me safe. I do not pull stupid stunts, know my limits and do not push my luck. Of course I always recommend my students to get a reserve parachute but honestly most of the pilots would not even know how to use one even after practicing during a hang-test. If serious about learning to deploy/repack a rescue, people should attend a reserve parachute clinic, but even after taking one within the boundaries of a controlled professional environment, it will no reflect reality. It will help for sure, but since we cannot control where the darn thing will land and are at the mercy of the wind, going down like a leaf in the breeze, unless you have a steerable model and know how to use it after jettisoning your main, giving you a slightly higher directional control.
I drifted from the flotation question you asked me, my answer: “It was a good move on your end”. They work quickly enough without the pilot having to do anything - assuming is an automated system that inflates on water contact.
I do not plan on landing in the water with an electric machine and always stay close to the shore line with enough altitude to make it to the beach in case of a problem. I experienced one hard cutoff last year and another when one tiny wire solder connection to the circuit board broke off. The results were the same in both cases, a hard cutoff effect, and was able to turnaround to land on the beach. I fly a tough PG site with sometimes little room to spare if the tide is high and the water splashing against the bulkheads. I developed my know how with PG which I was able to apply to PPG.
Sorry for the extended reply🤪
Thanks Phil. Good to know your thoughts on the matter. I also don’t wish to carry any extra grams weight that are not necessary.
Water landing: I have noticed the leg strap buckles on the X4 are impossible to release in the air (high tension) so as a minimum personally I will carry my hook knife if flying near water. Otherwise I will be trying to release myself under water! But of course I understand the risk of water landing is extremely low if we have a landing option at all times.
Reserve: my reserve + container is 1.3kg. (Yeti large Ultralight + advance front mounted). It just clips on the caribeeners. So depending on the type of flying I can choose to have it or not. It was about £900 so not cheap. I may use the same parachute for free flying also. Thanks again for your excellent advice. You have much more experience than myself.
Yes, the buckles the harness is equipped would be difficult to release in an emergency. In the early PPG days, I ran out of gas flying downwind about 50’ over the water in Mexico and was located beyond a giant surf line. I immediately knew I was not going to make it over it and too the beach gliding, so I didn’t think twice about disconnected the three quick release buckles made by Sup’Air at the time, steered my wind left to face the beach and jumped out of my seat just as I was over the rolling surf. I remember clearly seeing my PPG and wing continuing over me as I was getting swallowed by a huge forming tube below me. After coming out of this washing machine looking like a wet dog, my glider and motor were already waiting for me on the shoreline. It took three of us to get the whole thing out of the water as the wing was full with water and being pulled back away from the beach with every new retrieving wave.
The gear was dried and I was back flying that evening. The Japanese motor started after two pulls because it had not sucked any water in and the air filter was oil sealed (great design it was).
Though a bit heavier, the quick release buckles were way easier to manipulate. I also did not have the smaller strap with the plastic buckle all harnesses now have to keep the shoulder straps in place. Nowadays with have to deal with 5 buckles - I only had 3 (2 leg straps and one chest strap).
The evening flight in the video was after I had taken a bath in the Pacific Ocean😁 PHIL MEXICO 1996 - YouTube
I learned my lessons after that and made me more cautious about where and how I fly near water. It is all about calculated risk.