Powered Parachute Flying Handbook

Chapter 5 — Preflight and Ground Operations


The line-over is one of the most dangerous things that can happen to the powered parachute wing. A lineover is exactly what it sounds like. Instead of the wing line going straight from the wing to the riser system, it takes a trip over the top of the wing first. This means that when the wing inflates, the suspension line that is over the top of the wing will pinch the wing together and prevent the proper inflation of the wing to produce the airfoil necessary to achieve flight. If a line is over the top surface of the wing, the pilot risks serious injury or death if takeoff is attempted. To recognize a line-over before you take off, look for a line that is twisted with other lines on one or both sides of the wing. If you see that, your next step should be to inspect the leading edge and top of the wing closely. If you see a line wrapped over the top, you have found your problem.

Sometimes using the “stacked” method of laying out the wing during the final wing staging before flight versus the “inverted” method can inadvertently produce a line-over on the top side of the wing as it inflates. Also, “stuffing” the wing into the wing bag versus methodically folding the wing for storage can cause a line to become wrapped around the top of the wing mistakenly. [Figure 5-21]

To correct a line-over, pull the fabric of the wing through the loop made by the line-over. To know which side to pull the noncompliant suspension line to, trace the line to its home line group (left or right riser) before you start pulling things around. Sometimes the side will be easy to determine because the line-over is either close to the left or right edge of the wing. When it is not, tracing it is the best way to save time and to determine the correct way to pull the wing fabric.

Preparing for Takeoff

Wing inflation and kiting procedures are critical to a successful takeoff. Refer to Chapter 7 for information on how to lay out the wing, wing inflation, and kiting.

After Landing

It is imperative to evaluate the field in which you intend to land, particularly because of the unique nature of the powered parachute wing, and what happens to it prior to landing. If the field is being used by other aircraft, taxi the powered parachute off the “active” area or runway surface while the wing remains kited. Ground taxiing with the wing kited takes a little practice, but the flight instructor will make sure the student pilot has adequately mastered this skill prior to takeoff instruction.

After the powered parachute has touched down, release the flare on the wing; this is done to prevent the aircraft from becoming airborne again. Not releasing the flare on landing is a critical and common mistake made by both new and seasoned PPC pilots. With the throttle at idle, the powered parachute begins to slow down to the point where the stream of air is not sufficient to maintain the wing’s pressurization. At this time, the engine must be shut down immediately; the consequences of not turning off the magnetos during the after-landing roll are detrimental to the wellbeing of the wing because the propeller will most likely chop the PPC lines. A turning propeller and the wing and its components do not mix. Once you turn off the magnetos, you will physically grab the steering lines from overhead and pull the wing to the ground to finish the deflation process. If the wing is allowed to “float” down on its own, a small gust of wind can force the suspension lines onto hot exhaust surfaces which can melt the lines, or even pick up the cart and instigate a landing roll.

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