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

Maneuver Mania

May 9, 2007 Salt Lake City, UT

See also Wing Collapses

A group of six pilots, myself (Jeff Goin) included, just completed a maneuvers clinic (SIV) with Chris Santacroce in Salt Lake City. "Throw Down" session he called it.

Each of us came for different reasons, all wanting to better understand flying our wings. My motivation stemmed from an event that happened during filming of synchro spirals and a curiosity about parachutal stall on the MacPara Spice. I motor with it, mostly, but also take it soaring. Half of us were fairly experienced and the other half were are newly minted. All but one were motor pilots.

A full report will appear in Powered Sport Flying magazine but, suffice it to say, we got a lot out of including a couple scary surprises, the most dramatic of which was caught on video.

Day 1 brought miserable weather. It was surprising that anything got done and indeed the rain, gust fronts and shifty winds put the kibosh on it by 5pm. It was a trying effort that included one ripped, but repairable wing that lost its battle with an iron fire ring. After being served a strong gust front with two sides of steady rain, we called it off.

Day 2 was so bad we skipped the entire thing. But we did get to hang out with Salt Lake paragliding legend Ken Hudonjorgenson, a treat on its own right. He's one of the earliest paragliding pilots to pioneer the sport in Utah. We even went to the movies—Spiderman III is good escapist entertainment although it does require stowing a bit more than the usual Comic book brainlessness. The script required imagination stretching that's excessive even for this genre.

Day 3 was insanely perfect. The amount and type of flying we did was intense. A welcome wrinkle was sunshine—the first since we'd arrived. Even Chris called this Marathon towing session one that rivaled his busiest day.

The Maneuvers

Lets put it this way, if you haven't done these, don't try them on your own. They don't always come out as planned and a reserve toss may or may not help. It's not so much that you'll die—apparently there've only two fatalities in all the clinics given—but you'll sure get cold and wet! The water on this lake was 55°.

There are certainly some maneuvers that an experienced pilot can build up to but anything that intentionally collapses part of the wing is playing with fire. Same goes for steep maneuvering. For me, it didn't help that I was flying a highly responsive, uncertified and heavily loaded MacPara Spice 22. The wing actually behaved quite predictably in most areas but didn't like being so thoroughly provoked in others.

Curiosity is a weak point with me. Besides wanting to explore the steeper face of spirals and collapses, I wanted to enter stable stall, aka Parachutal. Chris warned me early on that it can be a "sporty" recovery. As you'll soon see in the forthcoming article and accompanying pictures, sporty was an understatement.

The Group

The Outhouse

The Boat


Crosswind Practice

Yours Truly

The Tow

The Maneuver

It was so windy on day 1 that, just after Phil launched, he was instructed to pull big ears so he wouldn't climb higher and drift downwind. He was pulling line off the boat with the boat stopped.



Chris Santacroce, who runs the clinics through his SuperFly operation, goes through some of the maneuvers that we'll be doing the next day. At this particular point he's describing a SAT. A strange maneuver that's not that difficult with the proper coaching and right wing. But if done improperly, it can wrap the pilot up unpleasantly. My Spice is not apparently a good SAT wing but my arms sure hurt for the effort.



Day one was awful weather. That we got any towing done was surprising but the challenging conditions helped put 1 wing into the repair shop.

© 2015 Jeff Goin   Remember: If there's air there, it should be flown in!