Educational by Chapter of the Powered Paragliding Bible

I: First Flight

01 Training Process

02 Gearing Up

03 Handling the Wing

04 Prep For 1st Flight

05 The Flight

06 Flying With Wheels 

II: Spreading Wings

07 Weather Basics

08 The Law

09 Airspace   

10 Flying Anywhere

11 Controlled Airports

12 Setup & Mx

13 Flying Cross Country

14 Flying With Others

III: Mastery

15 Adv Ground Handling

16 Precision Flying

17 Challenging Sites

18 Advanced Maneuvers

19 Risk Management

20 Competition

21 Free Flight Transition

IV: Theory

22 Aerodynamics

23 Motor & Propeller

24 Weather & Wind

25 Roots: Our History

V: Choosing Gear

26 The Wing

27 The Motor Unit

28 Accessories

29 Home Building

VI: Getting the Most

30 Other Uses

31 Traveling With Gear

32 Photography

--- Not in book ---

33 Organizing Fly-Ins

34 Places To Fly

35 Preserving the Sport

36 Tandem

Chap 19: Spot Landing Risks  Stretching Glide  Stretching Glide II  Deep Stall / Parachutal  When Ship Hits the Fan  Wing Collapses  fury of a dust devil

Flying your Paramotor in the Rain

Dec 12, 2017 | Chapter 19 Situational Emergencies

Getting caught in the rain while paramotoring is dangerous. It increases your chance of entering parachutal stall and may worsen the paraglider's ability to recover from a collapse. When combined with airflow degradation on the wing's surfaces, having enough rain accumulated in the cells can cause spontaneous entry into parachutal stall.

Just getting a wing wet puts you in the category of test pilot because no certification program tests this condition. In a wing fold it's likely the fabric will stick together to some degree, slowing recovery. It may not be much, it may only only add a half second, but that could be enough time to worsen a resulting bank and let Earth intervene before control is regained. Or the wet fabric may not recover at all.

Disruption of airflow on the surfaces may not seem like much of an effect, given that airplanes fly just fine in the rain, but our speeds are so slow that the effect may be worse.

Having a wing model with holes in the trailing edge may help, but water still accumulates in places the holes don't drain. Plus, surface disruption still happens.

What To Do if you get Caught In Rain

As rain accumulates in the aft portion of cells it may cause spontaneous entery into parachutal stall. Even if it doesn't happen, parachutal stall is more likely. These steps will help:

1. Land immediately. How quickly you land depends on how good the landing options are and how hard it's raining. With good landing options there's little reason to continue. If it starts raining real hard, accept a less ideal landing site.

2. If your wing maker has guidance on this situation, follow it.

2. Set trimmers to fast, or apply speedbar while steering with the tips or stabilos (not main brakes).

3. Avoid Big Ears. The extra drag of folded fabric can provoke parachutal stall.

4. Consider using a steep turn (NOT a nose-over spiral) to stay loaded during descent. That lessens the chance for parachutal stall while getting out of the situation quicker.

5. Minimize brake use. Consider flaring with partial power instead of brakes. Use brakes only in the last few feet as necessary.

6. If it's turbulent, balance brake use to keep the wing open with the need to minimize brakes.

Video of Parachutal Stall After Flying in the Rain

This video is the first good evidence of spontaneous parachutal stall due to rain.



© 2016 Jeff Goin & Tim Kaiser   Remember: If there's air there, it should be flown in!