Powered Parachute Flying Handbook

Chapter 11 — Approaches and Landings

Low Final Approach

When the base leg is too low, insufficient power is used or the velocity of the wind is misjudged, sufficient altitude may be lost, which will cause the powered parachute to be well below the proper final approach path. In such a situation, you would have to apply considerable power to fly the powered parachute (at an excessively low altitude) up to the runway threshold.

When it is realized the runway will not be reached unless appropriate action is taken, power must be applied immediately to stop the descent. When the proper approach path has been intercepted, the correct approach attitude should be re-established and the power reduced and a stabilized approach maintained. [Figure 11-11] If there is any doubt about the approach being safely completed, it is advisable to EXECUTE AN IMMEDIATE GO-AROUND.

High Final Approach

When the final approach is too high, reduce power as required. [Figure 11-12] When the proper approach path has been intercepted, adjust the power as required to maintain a stabilized approach. When steepening the approach path, however, care must be taken that the descent does not result in an excessively high sink rate. If a high sink rate is continued close to the surface, it may be difficult to slow to a proper rate prior to ground contact. Any sink rate in excess of 800 –1,000 feet per minute is considered excessive. A go-around should be initiated if the sink rate becomes excessive.

Use of Power

Power can be used effectively during the approach and roundout to compensate for errors in judgment. Power can be added to slow the descent rate to an acceptable rate. Some pilots use power rather than wing flare to land smoothly. After the powered parachute has touched down, it will be necessary to close the throttle so the additional thrust and lift will be removed and the powered parachute will stay on the ground.

High Roundout

It is possible to flare for landing too high above the ground. [Figure 11-13] If this happens, efforts need to be made to prevent the wing from surging forward. The power should not be reduced and the flare should only be reduced slightly or the wing could surge forward as the pendulum starts swinging back. Some pilots try to correct this situation by reducing the throttle too much and letting off the flare completely in order to land closer to their chosen landing point. This invariably results in the cart rotating back under the forward surging wing and diving towards the ground because lift has been dramatically reduced. Any surging forward of the wing above the cart should be slowed by increased flare. If the flare is performed too high off the ground, a go-around can be accomplished.

It is recommended that a go-around be executed any time it appears that there may not be enough runway to safely land the powered parachute or if the landing is in any other way uncertain.

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