Powered Parachute Flying Handbook

Chapter 12 — Night, Abnormal, and Emergency Procedures

Gust-Induced Oscillations

Gusty headwinds can induce pitch oscillations as the lightweight wing responds faster and more easily to the wind gust than the cart. Crosswinds can also induce side-to-side swing oscillations. A crosswind from the right, for instance, tends to weathervane the PPC wing into the wind, causing an unexpected yaw to the right. Right crosswind gust also tends to lift the upwind side of the wing. When crosswinds are gusty, these effects vary rapidly as the speed of the crosswind varies.

Local terrain can have a considerable effect on the wind. Wind blowing over and around obstacles can be gusty and chaotic. Nearby obstacles, such as buildings, trees, cliffs, and mountains can have a pronounced effect on low altitude winds, particularly on the downwind side of the obstruction. In general, the effect of an upwind obstacle is the creation of additional turbulence. These conditions are usually found from the surface to a height 10 times above the obstacle. Flight in these conditions should be avoided.

Pilot-induced side-to-side swinging can occur as the pilot continues to over-control the steering controls. This usually occurs with new pilots during the landing phase, and typically begins after a side gust of wind during the approach. The solution is similar: relax your steering control pressures; realize the PPC wants to be centered (side to side, as well as fore and aft). Ease the pressure on the steering controls, and let your inputs balance the PPC pendulum movements. [Figure 12-10]

Cross-Country Flights

Preparation is essential to handling an emergency while on a cross-country flight. Carry your wing bag and line sleeve whenever possible. If you have these items with you during a flight, should you confront unexpected bad weather, you need not consider going around it or fighting it. Simply find a suitable landing site —preferably next to a road. Avoid private property and landing in crops. Pack up your wing and secure the canopy bag to the cart any time you are on the ground. You then have the option to wait until the weather passes or walk to a phone or shelter.

Emergency Equipment and Survival Gear

It is a good idea (especially at a fly-in) to circle a new flight park before departing, making a note of the local landmarks, so you can find your field (via pilotage) on your return. Be sure to file, open, and close a flight plan with Flight Service (FSS).

Carry a flight safety kit:

• Flashlight.
• Reflection mirror.
• Water and food (enough for 2 days).
• Matches.
• A utility tool: combo pliers, knife, and so forth.
• Your canopy bag and line sleeve whenever possible just in case you are forced to drive the cart back to civilization. Note: You should drive the cart to the nearest phone—BUT NO FARTHER.
• Tire repair can which includes a sealer and air pressure.
• Tape to repair small canopy tears.The manufacturer’s POH typically has specifications for repairs but as guideline, a tear less than 2" can be repaired with common duct tape.

However, cut lines will ground you and hence force you to drive the cart back or walk home.

Communication can be your radio, cell phone, visual, or audible signals. Signal mirrors, flashlight or light beacons at night, signal fire flames at night, sig-nal smoke during daylight hours, signal flares, and a prominent wing display are effective methods.

Search and rescue squads (SAR) are particularly tuned to signals of threes. Hence, three fires arranged in a triangle, three bangs against a log, or three flashes of a mirror—all of these will initiate a rapid response by search and rescue.

The aviation transceiver can be tuned to broadcast and receive on the emergency frequency 121.5 MHz or any other usable frequency that will elicit a response.

The wing can be employed to lay out a prominent marker to aid recognition from the air by other aircraft. The wing can also be used as an effective layered garment when wrapped around the body to conserve body heat or to provide relief from excessive sunlight.

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