Sp140 - zero ground speed

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You offered some nice demonstrations of go-arounds when your approach to the LZ was a bit misplaced from your marker, Phil. But your comments about minor turbulence caught my attention, and in particular the concern you seemed to indicate about the presence of a helicopter nearby shortly before your initial launch. Perhaps this might be a good opportunity to discuss the interactions between various kinds of aircraft. As I recall the FARs about right-of-way between aircraft, they can be distilled to a single principle that the more capable or maneuverable aircraft must give way to avoid the less capable. Now, in this case, that would mean that a helicopter would steer clear of a PPG – and a PPG would steer clear of hot-air balloons and dirigibles. Nonetheless, while that is fine to prevent collisions, questions about helicopter rotor vortex turbulence should be considered, because such vortices can persist to some distance from the craft even for a couple of minutes before they dissipate. The same concern applies to the wing vortices behind and below fixed-wing aircraft. The heavier the craft, the stronger the vortex winds. PPG might be particularly susceptible to unpleasant effects from any near encounter. But I have no experience with this phenomenon, to evaluate the severity or the precautions that a PPG flyer might be advised to take. Have you any educational observations that you could share with the PPG community, Phil?

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My landing are not set in concrete in advance. Need flexibility - sometimes I decide at the last second to target another spot. I do a lot of rock top lading at the north shore - love it. Over there, top landings must be very precise (small area), then the south shore beaches become a piece of cake to land on with your eyes closed and one hand tied behind your back😆 If one can’t make precise target landings to nail a bullseye consistently, one should stay on the ground and collect stamps as a hobby instead of flying😄 Just kidding! You do not need to be 2" away from the center of the bullseye… a foot will do😆 The USHPA says 10".
As for helicopters: they are around us all the time - we are used to them and they know we are there. We do not bug each other and keep our distance while flying in the correct air space and altitude. Everyone’s happy! We will be out of the place by the end of the month anyway and back at the end of Sept.

Phil; Thanks for the video - very interesting to see the preparation since I haven’t tried para-gliding yet. Glad to see there wasn’t an impossible amount of running with 27 kg on your back!
I’m interested in your preferences for “accessories” including the helmet, knee pads / braces…
Cheers, Paul

Hi Paul,

0 to 7mph wind speed bracket is what you want to learn in from the school you will go to. 7 to 10mph is requiring more experience and is pushing it. The SP140 is powerful enough to lift the average pilot under an entry level wing off the ground on very short distances assuming the cage angle is right and the thrust is not pointing downward or too much skyward. Your instructor will be able to guide you with that.
Any radio helmet that plugs into the radio the school uses will do. Icaro is a known brand - they have good models. Make sure to have the correct cable to match the radio you will be using.
You can make you own radio helmet. I made one for myself a few years back.
Here’s one of my students who made his own with a Bluetooth module:

Knee pads and miscellaneous choices are totally personal. I made mines out of a carpenter set and removed the hard shell - only keeping the thick hard foam layer fr more flexibility. I often adapt or change things on my machines. Comfort is upmost important to me. I will not sacrifice it for power.
I would say the 1/2 hour battery is best to begin with. I am not a bit interested in long flights, so a half hour battery suits me just fine - I can fly for a little while, land, the battery can be changed in less than a minute, have a drink or a snack and go at it again. I am not greedy for millage or altitude. I am a “crawler” - a few feet over the ground is what makes me tic. Everyone is different and this is why I cannot recommend too many specifics. I really dig the 3 bladed prop, and have a foot-rest I designed with which I can actually change my cage angle slightly in flight, but again it is a personal preference. The small mods I often devise are tweaks to make my life easier, from the custom rear car rack, to special buckles to attach the harness to the frame, or the riser connections to the swing arms, etc…

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Thanks for all the tips! I have the same flight goals so your reply is very useful. Cheers.