Powered Parachute Flying Handbook

The information in this chapter is specific to the powered parachute land class. Refer to the Seaplane, Skiplane, and Float/Ski Equipped Helicopter Operations Handbook (FAA-8083-23) for information regarding operation of a powered parachute category sea class (PPCS) aircraft, as appropriate.

Normal Approach and Landing

A normal approach and landing involves the use of procedures for what is considered a normal situation; that is, when engine power is available, the wind is light or the final approach is made directly into the wind, the final approach path has no obstacles, and the landing surface is firm, level and of ample length to gradually bring the powered parachute to a stop. The selected landing point should be beyond the runway’s approach threshold but within the first one-third portion of the landing area.

So you may better understand the factors that will influence judgment and procedures, the last part of the approach pattern and the actual landing will be divided into five phases: the base leg, the final approach, the roundout, the touchdown, and the afterlanding roll.

The manufacturer’s recommended procedures, including powered parachute configuration, center of gravity, and other information relevant to approaches and landings in a specific make and model powered parachute are contained in the Pilot’s Operating Handbook (POH) for that powered parachute. If any of the information in this chapter differs from the powered parachute manufacturer’s recommendations as contained in the POH, the powered parachute manufacturer’s recommendations take precedence.

Base Leg

The placement of the base leg is one of the more important judgments made by the pilot in any landing approach. [Figure 11-1] You must accurately judge the altitude and distance from which a gradual descent will result in landing at the desired spot. The distance will depend on the altitude of the base leg and the effect of wind. When there is a strong wind on final approach, the base leg must be positioned closer to the approach end of the runway than would be required with a light wind. You should strive to fly a constant ground track on base leg.

Drift correction should be established and maintained to follow a ground track perpendicular to the extension of the centerline of the runway on which the landing is to be made. Since the final approach and landing will normally be made into the wind, there may be somewhat of a crosswind during the base leg. This requires the powered parachute be angled sufficiently into the wind to prevent drifting farther away from the intended landing spot.

The base leg should be continued to the point where a medium to shallow-banked turn will align the powered parachute’s path directly with the centerline of the landing runway. This descending turn should be completed at a safe altitude that will be dependent upon the height of the terrain and any obstructions along the ground track. The turn to the final approach should also be sufficiently above the airport elevation to permit a final approach long enough for you to accurately estimate the resultant point of touchdown. This will require careful planning as to the starting point and the radius of the turn. Normally, it is recommended that the angle of bank not exceed a medium bank because the steeper the angle of bank, the faster the powered parachute descends. Since the base-tofinal turn is often made at a relatively low altitude, it is important not to do radical turns at low altitude. If a significant bank is needed to prevent overshooting the proper final approach path, it is advisable to discontinue the approach, go around, and start the turn earlier on the next approach rather than risk a hazardous situation.

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