This is the 2nd article in a series of columns that will review step by step concepts concerning weather and flying pointers. Get together with your local instructor and club to discuss these topics in greater detail. Be sure and expand your library of books and videos. This column will recommend certain books and videos, realize that there may be some ideas that are arguable. Practice the weather concepts daily, even when you aren’t going flying. Begin to identify the trends that make for the best coastal flying, thermal conditions or exhaust heat sessions. Give your chums a call who flew on days you couldn’t and see how close you can get to predicting the conditions. Be thoughtful about going to new areas and how powerful some atmospheric influences may be in contrast to your home sites. There are some sites that become unruly by 9am in August yet others that can be flown all day. Remember – Practice is the Mother of Skill!!
Approaching “lows” and “highs” have powerful effects on the stability of the atmosphere and the wind intensity and direction. Be watchful of your barometer, information sources and the sky for evidence of a low. The low is basically a “puddle” of cool air descending from the poles into a warmer area which is the “high”. Weather maps indicate low pressure zones very clearly with an arced line with dangling triangles. The fine gray lines surrounding the “lows” and “highs” (isobars) indicate how steeply the pressure is dropping. Tightly spaced isobars, let’s say every 100 miles, generally indicate a high probability of regional wind flow. So, a weather map showing the jet stream over your area, a “low” and tightly spaced isobars isn’t promising. Study the weather maps for a couple of days and you’ll quickly notice how systems generally move and be able to anticipate the flying conditions.
If a “low” is approaching over night or early in the morning, you may notice earlier thermal activity. This is because the decreasing pressure and lower upper atmosphere temperatures allows thermals to release easier, particularly with direct sunlight. In the scenario of a “low” approaching late in the day, where you’ve had heating throughout the day, you may notice a thickening cirrus layer of clouds and that your barometer is on the decline. With this late day “low” you may notice more demanding and erratic thermals and strong windy conditions on the ground. The arrival of midday to late afternoon “low” can be of concern to pilots in some areas of the country because conditions can become very intense. In general, the approach of a low will bring winds from the Southwest.
Pilots looking for soft and easy conditions will find some “lows” where the flying is just fine. When a “low” is slow moving, without compressed isobars, there may not be much regional wind flow. If there isn’t much solar heating of the ground the air may be very pleasant, but be aware that even a few minutes of sunlight can start the thermals releasing. Be cautious with a “low” that a storm cell can develop and may create strong lift, sink or gust fronts. A thick mid level (stratus) layer of clouds may keep down the solar heating, but it can hide a towering cu nim (cumulous nimbus – raincloud).
As the “high” builds you may notice winds on the surface, and at altitude, more from the Northeast. The jet stream will most likely be far away, to the North is best, and the isobars will spread apart to over 300 miles between each gray line on the weather map. With the increase in pressure and warming of the upper atmosphere you should notice thermals taking much longer to develop and with ever increasing pressure tighter and more sharply edged thermals once they do release. Many pilots fly during “high” pressure systems as the conditions tend to be more predictable. You’ll find anabatic flow up East facing slopes in the mornings that can be very user friendly, to a point. Be aware that thermals are ever building and that a heated area (puddle) reaching just the right temperature will suddenly release its power. If you choose to fly as trigger temperature is reached you may need refined glider management skills in pitch and roll control, and be aware that landing zone conditions can be very unpredictable as thermals lift off and change the localized wind flow directions. Keep in mind that thermals will develop and release earlier in the morning in the Summer than in the Winter as a result of more or less sun exposure.
Facing forward while attached to a paraglider is very risky in anything other than completely “soft” conditions. Hooking-in to a paraglider while facing forward in “sporty” conditions can lead to a loss of control very quickly, thus damaging you or your glider. Since most launches are reverse launches, you should hook-in already facing the glider in the reverse position. Even if you plan to do a forward/front launch you may consider making this your hook-in procedure for safety reasons. If you decide you need to duck under your lines be sure and make a healthy bridge of lines using 2 hands so that you don’t accidentally turn without a line in hand, or drop some of the lines around your neck.
The reverse position hook-in technique is actually pretty simple. First, a right handed pilot should rotate left, or counter clockwise, from a reverse position and vice-versa if left handed. This will prepare you for doing reverse tandem launches without accidentally knocking open the reserve during the rotation. A pilot with 500 launches looking into doing tandem flight is going to be frustrated by re-learning a different rotation out of the reverse position, so you might as well learn this from the beginning. You’re probably thinking that you’ll never do tandems flights, but since you can’t be sure, you might as well develop the right skills as soon as possible.
While facing the glider shake out the risers so that the lines are clear. Be sure and check for any snags or knots and lay your glider in a horseshoe shape in light wind or a symmetrical rosette if windy, be sure and pull out the tips so you don’t get a line caught. The A riser should be on top, facing upward, with no twists. A right handed person will then twist both of the risers 180 degrees to the left, counter clock-wise, the A will now be facing the ground. Put tension on the biner and make sure it isn’t twisted. Attach the risers to the biners so that they are crossed with the riser going to the pilot’s left hip on top. To double check the configuration pull on each riser so that the tension will prove that the “A” faces away, away from the pilot, and the “rear” faces near, towards the pilot, – all without any twists. The accelerator line is easily attached by bringing it from the harness pulley in a direct path to the riser attachment point.
Head to the local park and give this method of hooking-in a try for 10 perfect repetitions. Try this with the glider in a rosette as well, you’ll be surprised how easy it is to see that your lines are clear, despite the glider being rosetted. Remember that you’re trying to avoid facing forward while attached to your glider, so learn to do this so you aren’t compelled to rotate duck around and face forward to see if you got it right.
My next article in this series will discuss localized upper level atmosphere information and how to perfect the reverse launch. The videos “Starting Paragliding” , and “Weather to Fly” are my favorites, of course. You should read Whittal’s “Paragliding: the Complete Guide” and Pagen’s “Understanding the Weather”. When reading Pagen’s book you may want to try learning a new concept a day from the list of items in the glossary. Check the index for Isobars and Pressure systems to help further your understanding of the discussions in this column.
This is the first in a series of columns that will review step by step concepts concerning weather and flying pointers. Get together with your local instructor and club to discuss these topics in greater detail. Be sure and expand your library of books and videos. This column will recommend certain books and videos, realize that there may be some ideas that are arguable. Practice the weather concepts daily, even when you aren’t going flying. Begin to identify the trends that make for the best coastal flying, thermal conditions or exhaust heat sessions. Give your chums a call who flew on days you couldn’t and see how close you can get to predicting the conditions. Be thoughtful about going to new areas and how powerful some atmospheric influences may be in contrast to your home sites. There are some sites that become unruly by 9am in August yet others that can be flown all day.
There are a couple of clues in the macro view of the atmosphere that can help you visualize approaching weather as much as 3 days in advance. Planning ahead for the possibility of flying can sure make the “home” scene and relationship with the “boss” much easier. You may rather be at home getting through a list of “honey-do’s” instead of driving for 4 hours without any flying.
Through the Internet, television weather reports, and the National Weather Service you can find Jet Stream maps for as much as 5 days away. For example, you can select www.weatherchannel.com (www.paraglide.com has a very thorough weather section also) go to maps and find the Jet Stream forecast for the next 5 days. In general, it seems accurate for only 2 to 3 days out. If the Jet Stream is moving into your area, within 100 miles, there’s a pretty good chance that flying will be switchy (changing direction dramatically within seconds), demanding (gust differentials beyond the optimal) or impossible (just too darn strong). Although the Jet Stream is many thousands of feet over the ground it draws cold fronts, which can then drop the pressure and lower upper level temperatures thus reducing stability. The Jet Stream can have an influence on surface winds as strong upper level winds can mix to the ground once the inversion has melted. You may notice on some days influenced by the Jet Stream that surface weather conditions can change within a few minutes. You may also notice fast accumulating cirrus cloud cover with 2nd and 3rd layers of clouds appearing very fast, indicating degenerating stability. Keep in mind that flying sites at sea level, or near sea level, will be influenced less than high mountain sites. If you are going to fly in questionable conditions make sure your glider is user friendly as well as the site – avoid high performing gliders and sites in rough terrain. Keep an eye on the cloud development and landing field winds – land before conditions can make your touchdown eventful.
When hooking into your glider practice a determined routine every time.
- Always wear your helmet before attaching to the glider. There have been fatalities from people being picked up and smacked into obstacles, each other or the ground while kiting on FLAT ground, let alone at a launch.
- Check your reserve thoroughly from the shoulder attachment points to the pin and handle.
- Don’t leave your extra gear lying on the hill, pack it or stow it in your truck.
- Lay out your glider and get set up away from the launch area as a matter of politeness.
- Always do your leg strap first so you don’t forget. Any pre-flight checklist is good. You may use one where you run through a list R,1,2,3,4,R,T,S. The first “R” is for reserve, “1” is for helmet strap (actually pull on the strap to make sure it’s fixed), “2” is for squeezing the caribiners to confirm that they are closed, “3” is to remind you to tug on your 3 straps – chest and leg straps, “4” is for confirming that your risers aren’t twisted by looking at the 4 corners of the glider – 2 front risers and the 2 brake lines, the 2nd “R” is for a radio check, “T” is confirming that you will be turning out of your reverse position the correct way, and “S” is for making sure your speed bar is hooked up and routed properly.
There have been completely avoidable accidents for lack of a consistent and through pre-flight check list. Go to the park and practice getting in and out of your gear 10 times without a glitch in your preflight.
Look for the next article where we will review “Lows and Highs” and “Isobars” in the weather discussion and then how and why you should hook into your glider from a reverse position.
The videos “Starting Paragliding” and “Weather to Fly” are my favorites, of course. You should read Whittal’s “Paragliding: the Complete Guide” and Pagen’s “Understanding the Weather”. When reading Pagen’s book you may want to try learning a new concept a day from the list of items in the glossary. Check the index for Jet Stream to help further your understanding of the discussion in this column.
There are a couple of paragliding sites located in the CA foothills south of Auburn. One is located on BLM Land and the other is private property. Please contact one of the local pilots before flying either of these sites.
Here are site guides for both flying sites:
Coloma Paragliding site 1: Cronan Ranch
Coloma Paragliding site 2: Sagebrush
Local pilots have had fantastic flights out of both locations, sometimes landing as far away as Placerville, Cool, Pilot Hill, Foresthill, Pollock Pines and Shingle Springs.
I am avaliable for site intros most week days.
530 263 7558
This article was originally posted on justACRO. I’ve made a few minor corrections to the translation for readability.
The Full Stall (stalling the whole glider) is one of the most important maneuvers, you have to practice it a lot if you want to learn other acro tricks. Many times when you make a mistake, there’s no other fast and safe way to get back control of the glider. It’s also a very good way to get to know the limits of your wing. By learning and becoming confident with the Full Stall, you will fly and do acro much safer!
To prevent riser twisting, set your harness to the full sitting position, open the chest strap as much as possible and put your legs under the harness. Take one wrap if the brake lines are long.
Slow down the glider to minimum speed by gently and symmetrical braking. When it’s stabilized above you (it doesn’t swing anymore), immediately pull down the brakes as much as you can. As the airflow on the whole glider is gone, the wing stalls and falls back behind you. Don’t be afraid, you will feel like somebody pull you back. KEEP the brakes locked at least until you swing back under the glider.
At the beginning the glider will pulse heavily (because you keep the brakes very deep) and it’s quite difficult to control the Full Stall like this. To stabilize it slowly and symmetrically release the brakes to around the level of your elbows (of course it really depends on the type of the glider and your brake setting!), until you notice the canopy calms down, doesn’t pulse anymore, the brakes don’t yank, and it’s much easier to keep them under control. This position is called Stabilized Full Stall. Now the glider is mostly opened, only the wingtips are collapsed and facing to the front, whilst you are flying backwards (almost as a Tail Slide). You may need a little bit of practice to find this point.
During the Full Stall if it is not stabilized, the glider is pulsing and the pilot also swinging a little bit underneath the canopy. When the glider is above, or a little bit in front of you, quickly release the brakes up to slightly braked position By this the glider starts to re-inflate and shoot forward as it picks up speed. Just after the glider started to surge, brake it carefully to prevent collapses. The more violent it shoots forward, the stronger you have to brake to stop it.
From a stabilized Full Stall, it’s very easy to exit, because the glider is smoothly over your head. Just release the brakes quickly, than control the following surge by gently braking.
If you see the glider will shoots forward asymmetrically, brake only the faster side (which is lower) until the slower one accelerates and comes down to the same level. Than stop it with symmetrical braking, as usual.
When the glider stalls because of your pendulum you will go further than your wing (the glider slows down faster than you can) and it will be far behind you for few moments. NEVER EVER RELEASE THE BRAKES WHEN THE GLIDER IS BEHIND YOU, BECAUSE THE FOLLOWING SURGE CAN BE SO STRONG, YOU CAN EVEN FALL INTO THE CANOPY!!! It’s easy to imagine why: the glider starts to fly and shoots forward very violently at the same moment you swing back from a big pendulum. This two effects together generates the dynamic movement, which can be easily strong enough to fall into, or even behind the wing!
It can also happens that one of your hands goes up unintended because of the heavy brakes (especially when the glider is pulsing). In this case you have to choose what to do. You can release the other brake immediately and lead out the Full Stall, or you can also try to pull it back quickly, but if you are not fast enough, the glider starts to Spin very fast and you can easily end up in a riser twist. Please read also the dangers of Spin and riser twisting. Anyway, the amount of the brake pressure during the Full Stall is various, from glider to glider.
Maybe the most critical part of the Full Stall is the exit. The glider has no horizontal speed (actually it’s even sliding backwards!) and it has to accelerate. Be careful, if you brake the glider too hard when it shoots forward, it can easily stall again (usually asymmetrically!), however if you don’t brake it enough you could get VERY big collapses and cravats! If you start to spiraling down with a cravatted wing, and you don’t have hundreds of meters below you, don’t hesitate to throw your reserve!
Don’t practice this manouvre if your glider is overused and its porosity is bad (anyway, don’t do ANY aerobatics with wings like that!), because you can easily end up in deep stall (parachutage) after the exit, especially if you release the brakes too slow, and you don’t let the glider to pick up speed! However if it happens, pull out your speed bar, or if it’s not prepared, gently pull forward the „A” straps with your palms to accelerate the glider and get out from the deep stall.
Les, Could be… but it could also be a few other things. I have spent a lot of time on a Bagheera and haven’t noticed it as a problem. I like to do really big wing-overs and frequently watch my wing from tip to tip just to see where the loading is on the wing. I suspect I would have noticed and saw these small frontal closures as you describe. I have a feeling that the real answer would be the pilots themselves and how they were flying the Bag’s. If you tell me who the guy was I can give you more definite word on the pilot vs. wing issue since I know the Marshall boys real well… One of the things that I did notice about the Bag was what seemed like a lot of tension in the leading edge of the wing, which protects it from a lot of symmetric collapses, and helps speed the process of asymmetric recovery. It also gives the canopy a better shape and allows it to maintain a cleaner airfoil by reducing the flutter you get in the leading edge. It also helps keep the canopy from ballooning especially when giving a lot of brake input. I am going to make a guess that these guys were giving a lot of brake, not using a ton of body, and not giving enough outside brake during the dive after turning past the apex of the wing-over. Without going through the very specific details of properly executing a wing-over we should examine a couple of the basics.
First off a let me say this can be a potentially dangerous maneuver and a lot of pilots get hurt when learning the timing and mechanics of a wing-over… so remember altitude is your friend. Please don’t try this on your landing approach, or straight off launch because you want to impress the guys. I always hesitate to explain these kind of things because I feel it promotes the idea of doing them to the pilot. At the same time, if you are going to give it a go… better to know the right way to do it.
Okay wing-over mechanics, then where I suspect the guys are going wrong. This maneuver takes a lot of practice because the timing is counter intuitive. That’s what most guys don’t understand, they try to do it by feel which is wrong… unless you know the timing. Okay I am flying straight away from a cliff, hill, mountain, whatever, and I want to do big wing-overs. I first have to pick a point I can center myself on. Often people do asymmetric wing-overs because they will apply more brake or lean on one side than the other. I have my point and I am ready to go. BTW, this is how I do big wing-overs, I recommend we start on small ones. I will start my wing-over by turning to the right. Okay, I take a deep breath and relax… I crank the right brake hard and fast letting my left brake up almost totally. Just the lightest amount of pressure in the outside wing, so we don’t turn negative from a collapse on the outside. This throws my body to the right side of the wing, which I want to accentuate as much as possible. This also makes that initial turn and dive with my glider. My glider is picking up speed and my body is also building up potential energy. Now I look up at the outside (left) side of my wing, because I want to try and keep my head centered throughout the wing-over. Lot’s of guys lean their head to the right, which does two things. Number one it gives them the false impression that the are doing big maneuvers because their head is leaning with their body, so the are not seeing the horizon straight. This will make a bank angle of 30deg seem like 130deg. Secondly, they can’t see if the outside wing tip is about to collapse. I am looking up and waiting till the wing reaches the peak of it’s bank angle. Then I give a little bit more right brake to turn the canopy from perpendicular to the ground to facing the ground. This is just a little extra pop with the right brake that angles the glider so that it is facing and flying down.
Now my canopy is flying downwards fast, but my body is not positioned straight with it. I have a lot of energy built up with my body but I can’t use it yet. At just about the point I see the outside wing tip collapse, right after I pass the apex of the wing-over and have the wing slanted down facing the ground. I have to give my outside wing tip brake hard and fast (my left brake) to keep tension in the canopy (like a big pop), to slow my canopy down for a second so that my body can pass through and we have the extra speed and energy that my body has created. This pop will also get the canopy set for the hard left brake which I am about to do. Both hands raise a bit for a split second. Now I have to know my wing to do this and just before the wing starts to return the energy in straight and level flight, which it will seek to do, I have to drive the left brake down hard and fast, also throwing my body into the left side of the harness. Again I want to look up to make sure that the outside wing (now the right side) stays pressurized. Also look at your right hand for a split second and make sure that you have raised it up. A lot of guys get so excited, after the first turn they forget to raise the initiating break, which slows the wing down because we are increasing our drag. It also reduces our bank angle a lot. From this point, it is just the same as a right turn wing-over
Now recommendations and tips on wing-overs… after coming out of that second turn, in this scenario the left turn… check your center point on the horizon and make sure you are still centered. Make sure that at no point during the wing-over do you hang onto the risers. I have seen guys do this and go from wing-over to spin. Always look at the canopy outside tip when you are learning the timing, because it is not natural. Most guys initiate the next turn, when the canopy is at the apex. This can be very dangerous and will usually result in a side slip with a huge outside collapse. Don’t forget to pop the outside brake once the canopy has passed the apex. This will slow the glider for just long enough for your body to swing through instead of fall through which most people do and screws up the wing-over momentum. When you start with wing-overs don’t do more than four in a row… as a beginner you will loose your equilibrium and start to get a little confused with out understanding why. Also try not to practice for more than 10-15minutes in a row as a beginner, because I guarantee in a few weeks you will be banking over 90 and this will also distort your equilibrium. The constant rush and drain of blood to and from the head also adds to dizziness, which can be very dangerous. Lastly, please, please, please don’t do this close to the ground. When you are learning the mechanics of it, you will have a lot of outside collapses, because your timing is off, you don’t give a hard enough pop, or an inside collapse, because you tried to give brake when the canopy was at the apex instead of past it… so you side slip. All of these can result in huge problems including spin, flat spin, cravatte, and pilot falling into lines. So give yourself plenty of space. Of all the maneuvers I see guys get hurt performing spirals and wing-overs lead the pack by a huge margin. I guarantee that while you are learning you will have some big collapses and you may need some time to recover. So Marshall guys probably did two or three things wrong. Not giving a little extra pop to get the glider turned downward after the Apex. This will often result in a collapse on the inside wing as the pilot falls downward past the glider, sometimes the wing will automatically try to return to equilibrium and level flight and will turn past the apex with the energy it has built from a previous wing-over, especially if the body is leaning into it. This could result in temporary loss of pressure along the leading edge as the wing charges downward and the pilots body is not yet on the same path. This leads to the second more likely occurrence, which is that the pilot did not apply enough outside break pressure after turning past the apex, to slow the glider momentarily as the pilots body regains downward momentum. This outside break and inside break will pull the tips back slightly as the pilot’s body catches up with the glider, which keeps the leading edge solid. Without this pressure, big frontal collapses are a possibility… or little ones as the Marshall guys may have demonstrated. Finally, they could have been using a ton of brake without much body involvement, which means they have to keep slowing their glider, then letting it shoot forward, without having drastic changes in their cg which would have kept the wing much more solid and efficient. These of course are just a couple of theories and I could probably come up with a few more. Tough to do without having seen it first hand. I don’t believe that these wing-over frontals where a result of a design flaw in the camber area, pressure center of the Bag. I tend to think it was more of a pilot error, or timing problem. Hope this helps, would love any feedback.
by Gabriel Jebb
Here are a few tips to help improve your thermal flying.
1. Listen to your variometer. As you hear its pitch increase, indicating stronger lift, straighten up your flight path a bit so that you fly deeper into the strongest part of the thermal. When your vairos pitch decreases, indicating weaker lift, tighten up your turn to get back to where you just came from. If your variometer indicates a constant rate of climb, circle as flat as possible.
Climb rate increases -> Widen your turn
Climb rate decreases -> Tighten your turn
Climb stays the same -> Turn as flat as possible
2. Fly with your GPS zoomed in to about 200m. At this setting you can easily see the circular track log left while coring a thermal. If you inadvertently drift too far in one direction and fall out the side of the thermal simply look at your GPS track log to guide you back into the thermal.
3. If you’re flying downwind and you enter a thermal start your turn immediately.The strongest lift is usually found on the upwind side of a thermal. By doing this you will avoid flying out the back side of the thermal and into strong sink.
4. If you are flying upwind and you enter a thermal continue to fly straight until you either fly into a strong core or fly out the front edge of the thermal. While flying upwind it’s no big deal to flying out the front edge of a thermal as you can simply make a 180 degree turn and with the aid of a tail wind fly back in the thermal.
5. If you need to reverse your direction in a thermal, wait until you are on the upwind side, then make your direction change by turning into the wind. If you end up flying out of the thermal it will be on the upwind side. As you complete your turn you will have a tailwind to help push you back into the thermal. See the illustration below.
5. Be aware of your chest strap setting while thermaling. In order to feel the thermals better, loosen you chest strap so that your carabineers sit farther apart. If the conditions start to get too turbulent you can tighten your chest strap up a bit which will dampen out the bumps.
There are a few other things to keep in mind in regards to chest strap settings.
- Less likely to getting riser twists.
- You will be able to feel the thermals better in your seat.
- If you take a asymmetric collapse it is even more important that you lean away from the collapse. If you don’t the wide chest strap setting will cause you to weight shift in the direction of the collapse, which will result in a significant change in heading and in most cases a more violent recovery.
- Dampens out the bumps.
- Turns less when recovering from a deflation (safer setting for beginners).
- More likely to get riser twists. Counter this by sitting up in your harness and being ready to turn with your glider if you feel a deflation is likely do to excessively turbulent air.
Powered paragliding is an increasingly popular form of sports aviation. A Powered Paraglider, also sometimes called a Paramotor, Motorized Paraglider or PPG is a truly amazing device. It’s one of the most simple and compact aircrafts ever invented. Most are so small that then can be broken down and put in the trunk of your car.
A powered paraglider typically take about 10 minutes to set up. After setting it up you simply attach the motor unit to your paraglider (with carabineers), climb into the harness and your ready to fly.
Very little training is necessary when you compare it to standard aviation. A good school will first teach you to fly a paraglider (without the motor). After you have learned all the basics, become comfortable with your wing and earned your USHPA P2 or Novice rating, which typically takes a few weeks, you will learn to fly with the addition of a motor.
There are lots of great school and instructors out there but don’t hesitate to ask for references.
Here are a few of the better schools in the country.
1. When thermalling, fly deeper in the brakes.. almost carabiner level. Better pressurizaton, less pitching, occillations. I was flying right through a bunch of the juicy stuff and getting tossed over the waterfall on the backside.
2. When on speedbar, fly with your fingertips on the stabillos. “Checking” the glider with the stabillo lines in the event of a frontal is apparently a better method than Ds or toggle pressure… all the comp pilots were talking about this “new” technique.
3. Search upwind for the thermals and don’t be afraid to push out front. The “yo-yo” technique was mentioned quite a few times, i.e. drifting with the core then pushing back out front if you fall out of lift.
~ Chris C.
As a paraglider pilot one of the most important pieces of equipment you may ever own is your reserve / rescue parachute. It is a piece of equipment that all of us hope we will never have to use and with a little luck and a commitment to flying conservatively chances are you never will have to deploy your rescue. But only the foolhardier would choose to fly without one. Think of it this way a good rescue parachute like the Apco Mayday will run you around $550, that is most likely the least expensive insurance policy you will ever purchase.
This applies equally to powered paraglider (PPG) pilots. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that just because you fly close to the ground you don’t need a reserve. Reserves parachutes have been successfully deployed with as little altitude as 75 feet. This means that as a PPG pilot if you ever plan on flying at an altitude greater than 75 feet a reserve could potentially save your life.