Powered Parachute Flying Handbook

Chapter 11 — Approaches and Landings

Final Approach

After the base-to-final approach turn is completed, the powered parachute should be aligned with the centerline of the runway or landing surface, so drift (if any) will be recognized immediately. On a normal approach, with no wind drift, keep the longitudinal axis aligned with the runway centerline throughout the approach and landing. (The proper way to correct for a crosswind will be explained under the section, “Crosswind Approach and Landing.” For now, only an approach and landing where the wind is straight down the landing area will be discussed.)

Focus directly down the centerline and steer right or left to remain on that centerline.

While aligning the powered parachute down the runway centerline, or straight down your intended landing area, slight adjustments in power may be necessary to maintain the descent.

Control the descent angle throughout the approach so the powered parachute will land in the center of the first third of the runway. The descent angle is affected by the throttle. More throttle means lower descent rate, less throttle results in a higher descent rate. The wind also plays a prominent part in the gliding distance over the ground. [Figure 11-2] Naturally, you do not have control over the wind but may correct for its effect on the powered parachute’s descent by appropriate power adjustments: more throttle is required in a headwind and crosswind, less throttle is required with a tailwind.

The objective of a good final approach is to descend at an angle that will permit the powered parachute to reach the desired touchdown point. Since on a normal approach the power setting is not fixed as in a power-off approach, adjust the power as necessary, to control the descent angle, or to attain the desired altitudes along the approach path. This is one reason for performing approaches with partial power; if the approach is too high, merely reduce the power. When the approach is too low, add power.

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