Wednesday, March 17, 2010

2010 Muller Windsports Reserve Seminar Report

For the second year we had the reserve seminar at the French Community Centre in Calgary.  Thanks to Caroline Lampron for looking after booking arrangements. 

We had a very good turnout, over 70 pilots both hang gliders and paragliders.  Many paraglider pilots had previously had repacks due to winter travelling and this certainly helped the repackers.

Several problems were discovered during deployments.  

Damp lines and bridles.  
Usually due to storage in vehicles or unheated garages.  Fortunately the reserves were dry and they will be hung in the shop to completely dry before being repacked.  Make sure harnesses and reserves are stored inside to avoid this happening.  Also make sure that any camelbacks or water bottles are taken out of harnesses after each day of flying.

Incorrect packing rubber bands
One older hang gliding reserve had been repacked with incorrect rubber bands.  They looked much like those found in the veggie department at the local supermarkert.  This reserve would not have worked.

Older reserves
A few old time pilots have very old reserves.  Due to the age, they should be replaced.  No point having reserve that comes out and should work if the fabric doesn't hold up.

Dirty equipment
Many pilots (both hang glider and paraglider) have a lot of dirt in the reserve containers.  We had harnesses with dirt, grass and gravel.  Some pilots had harnesses that had water, juice and whatever spilled on them.  Please try and make sure that you keep your equipment as clean as possible.  

Deployment problems
With one paraglider harness, the reserve came out incorrectly.  It a real life situation it would have worked but not as fast as it would have if it was in the correct deployment bag for that harness.  The reserve was a used one and just needed the right deployment bag to work faster.

Some hang glider pilots had difficulty pulling reserves out of containers.  Problem was solved when they changed their method of pulling the handles.  Not all systems work the same and pilots have to adapt their way of pulling the various different types of handles to make the best deployment.

One experienced hang glider pilots decided to try a deployment using his left hand on a right hand internal side mount.  This was an exercise to see what would happen if he had his right hand trapped in the wires.  It took him twice as long to deploy but his time was still quite good.

Four paragliding students and three hang gliding students who don't yet have equipment deployed.
Having watched all morning, they did a great job.  

So the statistics are as follows:

34 hang glider deployments, 15 were new pilots
37 paraglider deployments, 16 were new pilots

Jean-Michel Wan had the fastest deployment time for both hang gliders and paragliders.  All pilots were hooked up to the simulator and spun.   Most pilots remembered to wait to throw after the spin, into clear air (in our case, the person catching the reserve), and most remembered to pull back the bridle.

Many thanks to John Janssen (HG) and Keith MacCullough (PG) who worked so hard with the deployments.  Keith did a great job with the new simulator which made it so much better for the hang glider pilots.  Thanks to our packers, Bernard Winkelmann, Ole Andreas Haddeland, Marty Quinn, Rob Clarkson & Clay Brauer.  Helpers Tina Haddeland, Doug Skye & Clint Doering.  Pizza arrived at 1pm and it was great!

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