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

When The Ship Hits the Fan

March 17, 2006, Chapter 4, 19

see also Wing Collapses and The fury of a dust devil video.

You're flying along in relative smoothness when, out of nowhere, wham! You hit some wild air. Feeling like a helpless marionette at the hands of a mischievous puppeteer, you instinctively pull on the only thing there is to pull on—those poor unsuspecting brake toggles.

That would be the worst thing you could do!

Your first response to an unknown situation is hands up, power off—but do it smoothly. Think reduce brake pressure, reduce power.  Act from that basic premise unless you know for sure what to do. If you're close to the ground, carefully (not abruptly) use whatever control is necessary to avoid hitting obstacles and steering reasonably straight. The key is to use least pressure required to do what you need. Next, if you feel like you're looking down at the ground then the wing has surged forward--add just enough brakes followed by going hands up.

As covered in Chapter 4 and 19, most accidents in turbulence result from the pilot's action, not the turbulence itself. Those reactions must be rehearsed.

If your instructor didn't have you rehearse the proper action to nasty air, rehearse it in your chair. Rehearse it in flight. Do something physical, like rocking in your seat and then go hands up. When the ship really hits the fan, only what you've rehearsed will spring forth.

In nearly all things control-wise, less is best. There are certainly a very few times when extreme brake pull is necessary but, even then, it's usually very briefly and when you know the wing is surging rapidly forward or you're starting a dive. 

If strangeness befalls your serenity, don't have a cow!

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