Powered Parachute Flying Handbook

Chapter 7 — Takeoffs and Departure Climbs

Takeoff Roll

The technique used during the initial takeoff roll in a crosswind is generally the same as used in a normal takeoff, the wing should be turned approximately into the wind; this is done with steering bar control held to the side from which the crosswind is blowing. This will help keep the wing from pulling the cart to the down wind side. It is important there is sufficient airspeed over the wing to create lift. Otherwise, the wing will have a tendency to fall towards the downwind side of the powered parachute. This exposes the powered parachute to a rollover since the wind will be blowing into the bottom of the wing that is now acting as a sail, thereby pulling the cart over.

The sequence of events will usually be moving fast during a crosswind takeoff, but it is still important to do a rolling preflight: LOC.


As the nosewheel is being raised off the runway, the steering control for the powered parachute is transferred fully to the wing flight controls.

If a significant crosswind exists, it will take longer for the powered parachute to take off because the steering control adds drag to the wing. This may be naturally compensated for by the headwind component of the wind as well as the tendency for the deflected side of the wing to act as a flared wing.

As both main wheels leave the runway and ground friction no longer resists drifting, the powered parachute will be slowly carried sideways with the wind unless you maintain adequate drift correction. Therefore, it is important to establish and maintain the proper amount of crosswind correction prior to lift-off by continuing to apply steering bar pressure.

Initial Climb

If proper crosswind correction is being applied, as soon as the powered parachute is airborne, the cart will rotate so it is lined up with the wing. Firm and aggressive use of the steering bars may be required to keep the powered parachute crabbed down the intended takeoff path. Continue the climb with a wind correction angle to follow a ground track aligned with the runway centerline or takeoff path direction. However, because the force of a crosswind may vary markedly within a few hundred feet of the ground, make frequent checks of actual ground track, and adjust the crab angle as necessary. The remainder of the climb technique is the same used for normal takeoffs and climbs.

Common errors in the performance of crosswind takeoffs are:

• Failure to adequately clear the area prior to taxiing into the staging position.
• Poor selection of a staging position.
• Not allowing for enough takeoff area.
• Not allowing for enough area to kite the wing and turn to the intended takeoff path.
• Failure to set up the powered parachute into the wind.
• Not using enough power to kite the wing.
• Failure to observe the wing during inflation.
• Failure to perform a rolling preflight (LOC).
• Failure to maintain enough thrust to keep the wing properly loaded during the turn and alignment with the intended takeoff path.

Rejected Takeoff/Engine Failure

Emergency or abnormal situations can occur during a takeoff that will require you to reject the takeoff while still on the runway. Circumstances such as a malfunctioning powerplant, inadequate acceleration, inadequate wing kiting, runway incursion, or air traffic conflict may be reasons for a rejected takeoff.

Prior to takeoff, you should have in mind a point along the runway at which the powered parachute should be airborne. If that point is reached and the powered parachute is not airborne, take immediate action to discontinue the takeoff. Properly planned and executed, chances are excellent the powered parachute can be stopped on the remaining runway without using extraordinary measures, such as excessive braking or trying to stop by using your feet as brakes. Neither of these measures should be used and may result in powered parachute damage and/or personal injury. In the event a takeoff is rejected, reduce the power to idle and shut down the engine. Immediately, pull down the trailing edge to collapse the wing so it can be used as a drogue chute, semi-inflated behind you.

Urgency characterizes all power loss or engine failure occurring after lift-off. In most instances, the pilot has only a few seconds after an engine failure to decide and execute the proper course of action. In the event of an engine failure on initial climb-out, the powered parachute will be at a high pitch angle, with the cart well in front of the wing. When the engine fails, the cart will rock back under the parachute, possibly causing a temporary but potentially dangerous dive. The level of danger in the dive is dependent on how high the PPC is above the ground when the engine fails. The best situation is if the pilot can establish a normal glide and execute a normal engine-out landing (see Chapter 12). However, if the engine-out occurs close to the ground, it may be necessary to immediately flare the parachute so the parachute does not rotate over the cart and into a dive which will increase the descent rate.

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