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Reserve parachutes save lives.

Reserve parachutes are often thought of with a hint of fear. "I hope I never have to throw my parachute" is the common thought amongst the majority of pilots. And of course we do not want to put ourselves in a situation where we cannot control our glider. We may be wise to change our thinking a little bit and appreciate the reserve tossing process. We may find that throwing early has more benefit than throwing later. Most manufacturers say it takes about 250 feet for the reserve to open properly. I have seen them open in 80 feet, but I would rather see someone throw at 500 feet above the ground.

To throw your reserve:

1. Look at the handle
2. Grab the handle
3. Pull the handle away from the harness
4. Cock your arm and throw chute to clear air
5. Let go of the handle
6. Make sure the reserve opens
7. Pull a B-line stall on your main canopy
8. Adopt the PLF position (Parachute Landing Fall)
9. Roll your body through the landing
10. Gather your reserve quickly out of the wind

PLF (Parchute Landing Fall)

Keep your hands together near your face, keep your feet and knees together and bent. Roll the energy down the side of your body as you fall and roll the energy out by rolling your body and flipping your feet over.

When to throw a reserve:

1. Anytime you feel like you are completely out of control is a good time to throw.
2. Finding yourself deep in the rotor and the wing is not responding
3. Stuck in a stable spiral, anytime you have encountered 3 uncontrollable circles that seem to be getting faster
4. Mid air collisions
5. Structural damage to your canopy - tears in the glider or broken lines
6. Landing in trees
7. Over the water for fun in a maneuvers clinic
8. Crevatted spiral
9. Falling into your wing

Reserve Maintenance

1. Check your reserve pin before each flight
2. Unseat velcro from time to time
3. Make sure your reserve bridal is attached to your harness
4. Make sure when you pull the handle the pressure meets the pin first, then pulls the reserve
5. Air dry your reserve if your harness gets wet
6. Repack every 6 months to a year
7. Repack before travelling to another country or going to a competition

Reserve repacks are $30 and generally take 2 days.

Circling Hawk Paragliding

© Circling Hawk Paragliding • Santa Barbara, California • Bo Criss • 805-403-5848 • Bo@CirclingHawk.com



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