Clearly I have not been using my “blog” spot on the website…my last post was in 2012. I think it is high time that changed. Think I am going to start doing a bit
of chatting on here about different topics related to paragliding or our business in particular. Let me know if there are topics you want covered.
Today’s topic, safety. The focus of Peak to Peak Paragliding from day 1 has been safety. This sport and aviation in general can be unforgiving so the smartest thing we can do is to minimize the risk we take in the sport. Two things that can GREATLY affect the safety of our flights IMHO are doing a thorough weather check and then base your decision to fly or not fly on the evaluation you make. Secondly, a thorough preflight checklist is one of the greatest preventatives to problems at launch that I know.
Weather is a huge topic and probably requires many many blog posts so I am going to take the easy way out today and post our preflight checklist that we recommend using and explain each piece. Our checklist (which you MUST memorize for it to be effective) is:
R 1 2 3 4 R S S T B
R ~ the first R is for RESERVE and it is first because you MUST check this before you put on the harness. Check that your pins (be they plastic or metal) are in place, as is your reserve handle. Many a flight has been messed up by launching and having a reserve deploy just off of launch. Not cool.
1 ~ one helmet strap / helmet is ON and clipped prior to putting on other gear.
2 ~ two biners are locked (check the gates) and you are clipped in straight (A’s are forward or out)
3 ~ three points of your harness (or 2 if a 2 point harness connection) make sure each buckle is fastened and checked that it is closed properly
4 ~ four “corners” of your glider (if it were a rectangle/ya I know it’s a stretch!) NO tears, sticks or tangles
R ~ Radio check (always fly with a radio and be in contact with other local pilots in case of foul weather, accident or helicopter in area for example).
S ~ Stirrup between your legs
S ~ speed system (get this hooked up as soon as possible after getting your own gear) is connected AND routed properly
T ~ note direction you are set up to turn when doing reverse inflation (right over left you are turning clockwise or right/left over right you are turning counter clockwise)
B ~ Brakes go straight from your hand to the pulley and the knots are in good shape
CHECK this list every time you launch and if you abort a launch DO IT AGAIN before inflating and you will catch a lot of errors before they result in an accident. I promise you this will help your safety.
Cheers until my next post (hopefully in less than 5 years!) ~ Tausch (as my friends call me)