TEN TIPS ABOUT RC PARAGLIDING
1. LOAD BELOW THE CANOPY
Each canopy producer should be stating a recommended load the canopy can carry, so try to follow the advice of the producer. Always weigh the paramotor (or trike/harness) before flying and try to balance the weight to the correct ratio of the chosen RC canopy according to the manufacturer's recommendations.
The weight check of the paramotor is very important. If you choose the right weight, the RC canopy will be more responsive to controlling, will be more vivid and skillful. At a lower load, the canopy will be less stable.
In case you need to add additional weight to the paramotor, it is important to keep the correct center of gravity of the whole flight system and the right tilt of the suspended paramotor under the canopy, so the entire system must be balanced during flight. If this isn't the case, then the paramotor can get into the wrong position after the takeoff - either in the "leaning forward" or "leaning backward" position. A large backward leaning causes the torque to be transmitted from the propeller to the vertical axis, which may cause rotation of paramotor around the vertical axis, if the motor is too strong and the paramotor too light. Then the lines will tangle together and you will loose control - so called "twist". Such situation can not occur with a well balanced paramotor.
2. FLYING IN ADVERSE CONDITIONS
It is important to always take into account the current weather and current flight conditions. Just like in classic paragliding, RC paragliding models are not used in strong wind. Even in weather which might seem ideal for flying, it is necessary to think about the possibility of turbulence. Before each flight, it is a good idea to look around and think about which way the wind is blowing and check that you are not standing behind some obstacle, such as a line of trees, where rotor turbulence might occur.
3. WAY OF HOLDING THE PARAMOTOR DURING START
When throwing the canopy overhead, make sure that the lines isn't deformed because of the incorrect holding of the paramotor (trike) and that the paramotor is in the horizontal position (not sideways) all the time. It is necessary to keep the paramotor in the correct position throughout the throw.
4. TRAINING STARTS
The takeoff phase with throwing the canopy overhead can be the most difficult element for beginner pilots. That's why it's a good idea to learn this phase first and get the knack of it before the first flights. It's best to learn this in mild wind, when the canopy cells get easily filled with air and the wing keeps its shape well.
Due to the total weight of load suspended below the canopy, usually totalling ca 3 kg, the deployment of the canopy above the head can also be practised without the full load, with only a bar. Training on an airfield for half a day while holding 3 kg of load in your hand will inevitably become somewhat...cumbersome :-) It is thus better to practise starts with the canopy fixed to a bar which has the same spacing for placement of carabiners as the selected hang.
5. CANOPY STARTS
The biggest mistake beginners make when deploying the canopy is that if the wind blows the canopy to the left, for instance, a novice untrained in paragliding may have a tendency to try to “even out” the canopy by pulling it to the right. That is incorrect. In this case, do not try to realign the canopy by pulling to the other side, but by moving underneath it in the direction in which the wind is pulling, so that the line cascade remains in the correct position.
6. TOO MUCH ACCELERATION AFTER START
The glider is not a plane, hence the acceleration must be handled differently. Never start at full throttle, since that would cause the paramotor to overtake the canopy, usually resulting in a rapid fall. Start at one third or half throttle.
7. RESPONSE TO CONTROLS
When controlling RC paragliding models, it's necessary to fly with a soft touch on the transmitter levers, because the canopy always responds to the breaking with a slight delay, compared to other RC models (aircraft) when the aircraft's response to the controlling is immediate.
At the moment, when you pull the transmitter lever while flying with the RC canopy, the pilot's hand will react immediately, but the canopy will react only afterwards. If you were to pull the transmitter lever even more at that moment, because you would have thought that the canopy didn't react, the paraglider will suddenly answer with a sharp turn and if you will get surprised with this situation and will immediately so-called "counter" on the other side, you will swing the canopy from side to side.
The solution is to stop trying to straighten the canopy by pulling the left and right lever alternately, rather put the canopy to rest by slightly pulling (braking) on both sides, and the canopy will straighten itself to a calm flight.
8. COLLAPSE OF THE CANOPY
The canopy may collapse despite careful piloting, for instance during weather with thermal activity or when flying low to the ground in the presence of obstacles which may create rotor turbulence behind them. In the better case, the canopy may collapse in one half only. In the worst, the entire paraglider may collapse. If the canopy does not straighten out immediately on its own, it goes into a spiral towards the collapsed side. If this occurs when the canopy is low to the ground, both the canopy and the paramotor or trike will likely fall to the ground. However, if we have the height and therefore the time to deal with the situation, respond by braking on the “good” side of the canopy and pump up the collapsed side. It is important to get to a descending spiral using this manoeuvre and try to get the canopy into straight flight. As long as the collapsed side does not tangle in the lines, this trick should always be able to pump up the collapsed side.
9. CARS, PEOPLE, HOUSES
Never attempt to fly over people, cars, houses and so on. The canopy is not a fixed model and may therefore collapse at any time. A fall on the head of a spectator or on the windshield of a car may cause serious damage.
Try to land with the canopy against the wind ideally and with the motor off (in case of landing in wind direction, the canopy will inadvertently accelerate and if the motor is on during the landing, the propeller can collide with the lines and break them). So you are flying against the wind and at a moment when the pilot is about 1 - 2 meters above the ground, fully release the breaks and turn off the engine, if you haven't done so earlier. By releasing the breaks, the canopy will speed up and the fall to the ground will increase. When the pilot is just before the landing (about 20 - 30 cm above the ground), fully pull both sides of the brakes at once to experience the softest landing. The canopy will swing up with this move and the pilot will land.