Exercises for New PPG Pilots
Test kite your wing. It's also a good idea to learn to kite your wing without a harness, to simply hold your risers in your hands. This way you make sure there are no lines twisted or debris in the lines or wing. This also helps you build a proper wall and lay your wing out in the most optimal fashion so as to make launching as easy as possible. It's very important to launch directly into the wind and kiting your wing before hooking in can also assure the wind direction or alert you to changing wind directions. Obviously, this can be more difficult in breezy conditions. One thought on safety is that if your wing is getting thrashed around too much for you to easily kite it for 5 minutes you shouldn’t be launching. Sometimes rotor and turbulence is difficult to discern and with the ability of the motor to take off pretty much anywhere you will often be flying from new untested launch sites. Launching and landing is by far the most dangerous time to take any type of fold, so get a feel for the air prior to flying.
Standing up from the ground with as much as 90lbs on your back can be tricky. If you use the proper technique with the proper leverage can help. Rock back on the motor to get your feet under you and then rock all the way forward onto your hands where as much as half your weight is on your hands. Straighten your legs out a bit and walk your hands back to your feet. Very few people can do low squats with 90lbs but just about everyone can do this type of pushup.
Right before launching lean all the way forward and rev my motor up to full throttle until it is running perfectly smoothly. By leaning forward vectoring the thrust up in the air you can also feel in your legs how much thrust is being applied. Very weak thrust is a definite indicator something is not right with your motor. Leaning forward allows the seat board to slip fully under your rump making it much easier to get in your seat after launch. If you don’t get the seat board under your rump it may be impossible to get into your seat after launch. This is an uncomfortable and possibly dangerous situation so make sure you get the seat board under you right before launch. If you can’t get into your seat after launch just climb to altitude, go around and come back in for a proper landing. The last thing you want to do is take your hands off the toggle and thrash around violently to get into your seat. If you have to let go of your toggles I might also suggest you snap them into the snaps or magnet attachments to further prevent them from flailing around.
The correct way to hook your risers into your carabineers or d-shackles for both forward and reverse launches is also very handy to know. This is something you really need to have your instructor show you and double check before you fly.
Motoring also brings up a new danger of prop wash. If you paraglide you are probably familiar with being waked by someone flying in front of you. Being waked is nothing compared to what prop wash can do to you. Make sure when another pilot is flying in front of you that you stay above them. Don’t attempt to launch or come in for a landing directly behind another motor pilot either. Don’t fly around in tight circles either or you can severely wake and prop wash yourself. If you do fly in tight circles make sure you are climbing at the same time.