Powered Parachute Flying Handbook

Chapter 5 — Preflight and Ground Operations

Line Twists

A line twist is when all of the lines on both sides of the wing are spiraled together. Sometimes it will seem that all of the lines on one side are twisted around the steering line. That is actually the case. [Figure 5-18] Trying to fly the powered parachute with the suspension lines twisted is unsafe and the pilot should consider the wing unairworthy until the line twist is removed. Line twists most often occur because the pilot inadvertently flips, or turns, the wing over while moving it from the stowed position. This is why it is so important to put your wing away and take it out the same way each time. The suspension lines can also get twisted if the wing flies over the cart accidentally, or if the wing is incorrectly repositioned behind the cart when the wing settles to one side of the cart during an aborted takeoff or during landing.

Unless someone has mistakenly twisted a single set of suspension lines while rigging the PPC wing to the cart at the attachment points, a line twist will happen to both sets of lines on both sides of the powered parachute at the same time. This stands to reason if you think of the entire configuration of cart and attached wing as a continuous structure or a complete circle.

To get rid of a line twist, you do not have to pack the wing back into the wing bag and flip the whole bag in reverse, although this is an option. You can actually flip the wing while it is out of the bag.

With the wing laid out behind the cart, determine if the twist is clockwise or counterclockwise in configuration. If the twist in the line is traveling clockwise as you face the chute, the wing edge you are working with will have to travel counterclockwise back through the center of the two sets of lines (or through the center of the circle created by the cart/wing configuration) and under the twisted group of lines you are holding. A counterclockwise twist will require just the opposite movement. The wing edge will need to travel clockwise under the line set and then up and over the twist via the center of the circle. Remember to maintain the clockwise motion for the counterclockwise twist, and the counterclockwise motion for the clockwise twist.

Disconnecting the wing from the risers or the wing from the cart is not a safe practice; the flight instructor needs to explain this to the PPC student in detail. The risers are specific to each cart. Refer to the PPC manufacturer and the operating manual for information.

Starting at the riser cables, gather all the lines in the group and walk toward the wing keeping the lines gathered as you go. Once close to the wing, you can easily manipulate the edge of the wing and not tangle the lines any further. The key is to remember that the lines are twisted as a group—not tangled individually— therefore they must be untwisted as a group to prevent them from becoming tangled. [Figures 5-19 and 5-20]


Lay out the half of the wing you just worked on. If that side looks good, it means you can do the same thing to the other side of the chute. The same sequence of checking for twist direction, gathering the lines and then twisting the wing edge in the opposite direction of the twisted lines is completed on the second set of lines. It stands to reason that the twist will be in the opposite direction than the twist on the other set of lines you just cleared.

There is a possibility that the side you are working on still doesn’t look right when you re-check it. If the lines still look twisted, then you probably flipped the wing the wrong way. The good news is that there are only the two types of line twists, clockwise and counterclockwise— with a little practice you will be able to recognize the twist well before you start handling the wing.

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