KILLSWITCH: Kill your paraglider when landing in strong wind

so landing in strong winds can be a
bother it’s pretty dangerous if you do the wrong thing and you can get hurt
pretty quickly it’s also very easy to do the right thing with a bit of practice
I’ll show you the techniques to keep you safe.
so everybody’s out here today having a cracking day’s flying. It’s really lifty
because it strong. it’s fantastic even for the lower airtime guys who can get hours of soaring in these sort of conditions but the hazard on landing is
pretty high. I’ll show you the methods that I use to stay safe, how to kill the
wing in strong conditions. if you’re landing in strong conditions, if the wind’s
really strong, the first thing that you must look for is to try and find a big
open channel where the wind isn’t gonna pick up turbulence. it’s the most
important factor, so you are not landing behind some trees or a little village, you
can turn off to the side, get yourself into clean air flow, it’ll help a lot
with your setup. also make sure you’re not landing upwind of any obstacles like
a barbed-wire fence or trees or bushes.
little small bushes are quite useful to land upwind of because they can
grab your glider. so choose things that aren’t gonna hurt you, it is
good to use them to block your glider but you’re looking way upwind because
remember when the wind is strong the turbulence is a hell of a lot bigger. if
you double the wind speed you quadruple the turbulence. so make sure you’re
looking far upwind and you want a big open field, an area with no turbulence to
do your landing set up and somewhere preferably that’s got a big drag back
safety zone. use your speed bar to position yourself well before you get to
the ground turbulence layer where you might have to back off the speed bar. so
come in on the upwind side so you can drift back then you want to set yourself
up: get your legs down early as soon as you know you’re not needing your speed
bar anymore get your legs down so that if you’re going to have a collapse you’re in
the PLF position and you can also ski. If you’ve got lots of speed coming into landing I wouldn’t recommend doing a PLF, because you end up rolling. what you want to try and do is ski with your feet.
slide on the ground. that way you’ll keep yourself safe and
you won’t tumble. and focus on your kill technique. so get it in, line it up
straight and then as you touch down focus on your kill technique
and make sure you kill the glider as your feet hit the ground. you have three
methods. (1) Brakes: if you wrap them and you punch them especially on a high aspect
ratio wing that can kill the power it’s not ideal but it might work. I’m going to do a toplanding, with the first option, using the brakes, you want to get a wrap to make sure that you are killing the power properly I’m going to wrap just as I touch down I’ll try bend my knees a bit to take the power out So I’m touching down now, it’s pretty strong I’ve done a wrap, punching down really hard. (2) your back risers or your C’s: that’s a
good technique and it gives you a good way of killing the glider and holding on
to it after it’s down. You can see it’s pretty strong, because that’s trim speed, so the wind is about 35km/h here I’m going to do the same as I did with the brakes Touching down. Pulling in on the back risers and letting it fall down. The way this riser is
connected it stops you pulling when you get to there, so you might want to grab hold of the maillon so you’ve got a little bit more
pull. my favorite technique punching down on the A’s: a really aggressive punch as
much as you can do, punch down on the A’s turn run at the wing and pull the brakes
in. you want to try and run so you get onto the wing fabric, just put a
foot on the fabric and then you’ve got the wing under control. don’t flare, come in with a bit of a bump
deliberately so that it helps fold the glider and collapse the A’s and then
turn and run towards the glider with the brakes in or wrapping the brakes. That is
my method I use in the worst conditions when I’m drifting backwards on landing
and it’s really hectic that’s what I would recommend. So a combination of
those. so let’s watch this guy that’s top landing now, he’s landing, he’s getting
dragged, he’s getting dragged, he’s pulled one brake on one side, now the glider’s
hit its nose. if that was rocky he would have been pretty badly injured there.
okay so you don’t want to really do that. so now I’m just using weight shift to
try and even out the bumps. I’m doing a normal top landing approach just coming
in at an angle. remember as I touch down I’ve got those three options so
depending on what I feel I’m going to try one or the other. the brakes, I would only really do in the
milder conditions. the back risers are a pretty failsafe method
and the A’s are for extreme conditions. okay you can see I’m on speedbar and I’ve
got no penetration so I’m gonna say the wind here is 40 km/h. I’m gonna have to come off the bar as I get close to the ground release big ears, yank the A’s, brakes and the glider is down! so I hope that helps you keep you safe
when you have to kill the wing in strong conditions. remember the basics: at least
you want to bend your legs as you land to take some of the power out
and do an immediate wrap and pull full brakes, you’ve got to be very aggressive.
however that’s not the way I would recommend you do it I’m just mentioning
that because that’s what happens to most pilots they kind of forget to get ready
and at least if you can wrap the brakes and sink on your legs you’ve got a
slightly better chance but that’s the way to give you lots of power and a big
drag. the second easy method is to just do your landing approach using your
back risers. if you’ve got four risers use your C’s if you’ve got three risers
use your C’s, if you’ve got two risers use your B’s. so using your back risers,
same thing bend your knees bend your legs on your landing to make it a slightly
harder landing the normal and then be aggressive on the back risers pull them
in, punch them down and then ease off so you don’t smack the glider down on the
ground. run around the wing, try and get some fabric under your foot.
but the best method for me, I’ve used it for 20 years and it’s never failed me, is to use your A’s be really aggressive with it if
the wind is strong enough that you’re drifting back the wing won’t hit you, so
make sure you punch down on the A’s and turn and run at the wing and pull the
brakes. a mistake that pilots often make with this technique is they pull the A’s
weakly and then they do nothing. that’ll just give you a front tuck, the
wing will drop back slightly and then it will bang open and pull you so only do
this technique if you’re confident that you can give it a good punch on the A’s, make a big front tuck, an immediate turn, brake and run at the wing. cool as always
thanks to our crew on patreon we appreciate your support! pop over to Flybubble dot com and get some goodies otherwise I’ll see you in the next
episode. Cheers!

55 thoughts on “KILLSWITCH: Kill your paraglider when landing in strong wind

  1. There are many ways to kill a paraglider, but we've concentrated on the main three that will cover all wings and all situations. We advise you practice this on a windy field / beach!

  2. * Since many years I use the D raiser technic as kill- switch.
    Never got pullen away even in backward driftend situations on Landung…
    For take off, I use the D technik as well – just in reverse order + A's 🚀
    Cheers 🍻

  3. So what do you recommend on windy landing and touchdown?
    a. risers up, ground speed 0+, fast descent
    b. risers down, ground speed 0-, less descent

  4. We sometimes find ourselves landing in wind strong enough that we touchdown moving backward. Brakes will just result in being dragged, and because we are controlling with the rear risers, it can be dangerous to let go to frontal the wing.
    Just before touchdown, we yank HARD on the rear riser on the side to which we turn, do a running pivot and sprint toward the wing. With luck, we can grab a tip. If not, take about 10 to 20 wraps on both brakes. That will turn the wing into a flailing wad of fabric, but it cant drag you in that configuration.

  5. As long as I'm not going backwards; I wait after my feet have landed. Hands up, chill out and then when I ready, one A and then one brake. I find that different wings need different timing between the break and the A. Pausing after I land means that I can bring the wind down when I'm ready and maybe in a bit of a dip in the wind. But, that's just what I do!

  6. Now I'm paranoid that flybubble release this video just after I, like a numpty, messed up my big ears landing right in front of Carlo! Nice work, guys – this will come in useful!

  7. I often pull one A and as that side collapses, I hard pull the other rear riser, stalling the opposite side.
    Love the videos. Thanks.

  8. I'm familiar with reflex wings, but why wont the pulling a's method work on a 2 liner? Do they have reflex profiles as well?

  9. Never heard of the A-riser method before, thanks .
    On the tandem i've frequently hi wind landings and i kill the wing , puling down the D's, very sharply as you said, Greg.:) That does the job on my Magnum 2

  10. I learned about this the hard way. I pulled the brakes just the same as I did every day before in very light wind but this time I was flying backward slightly. I immediately got ripped off the ground backwards tumbling my body and felt really like getting hit by a car. Validated that yes a helmet is a good piece of gear and I was glad I was wearing it. Would not recommend this type of learning (the hard way) and for everyone to be prepared because in any situation the winds may pick up before you get back to land. Took a few days for my neck and back to recover, thankful it was not worse. Flybubble thanks again for the great info you all share!!

  11. This tutorial is really outstanding, Invaluable information for Pilots of all levels. Personally I use the rear riser technique, but, at the next opportunity in the right conditions will try using my A risers. Thanks Greg and all at Flybubble, great stuff!

  12. I'm really confused about big ears in a situation like instincts tell me it increases drag therefore worsens your situation if you are not penetrating.. but I've seen very experienced pilots doing it. Can you explain?

  13. I've watched guys sitting three ft of the ground fighting to get down with brakes , they collapse the wing eventually and drop the three ft , it seems to work ok

  14. I like the video, however i have 2 liner wings (IP 6 and Boomerang 11) and both seem to respond well to full frontal technique for bringing down wing in strong conditions. I would be interested in reading what the issues are for doing this with my 2 liner wings?

    Hoe the guy in the scrub at the end is ok…looks like a landing down that in strong conditions must have been a nasty one.

  15. My fav is punch the A's hard on one side and C's hard on the other side – wing folds about the center and quits and stays that way. Beginner mistake is to hit both A's hard and /hold/ them in – wing will collapse and then explosively reinflates and proceeds to launch violently, probably lofting the pilot in the process and almost certainly entering a steep turn in the process – very dangerous. Must release A's and swap to brakes or C's, as shown in the video. Another bad one, is if wing flips over and dives at the ground – release brakes quickly or the wing will reverse-fly up – brakes will re-launch an inverted glider.

  16. Video idea: your videos are so much fun to watch. Can you do another one on active flying with ridge soaring? Some ideas. Soaring and brake control, doing 180° turn is lift, why it's a waste of time to 180° in sink, turning away from ridge in lift for a 360° into thermal.
    I feel it's a great topic for mountain flying and new pilots to extend their flight even for a few minutes. Just an idea. Thanks for your amazing work!

  17. Very important to choose a landing place with lots of space down wind (that is behind you as you touch down), the moment your feet touch, fully pull down the A riser on one side and then the rear riser on other side as you turn around. My wing folds in half and is unlikely to re-inflate.
    If landing going backwards don't rush things but be nimble – walk backwards until you are ready to collapse the wing and don't panic or you can fall over and will get dragged.
    I liked the tip of landing on bent legs. I also find that reaching right back with my dominant foot and then pivoting on that as I turn around to face my wing makes things a lot more stable.
    Great vids, keep it up!

  18. As a beginner I will try the C's method first. It seems the easiest and is the same when starting backwards to kill it if things go wrong.
    Very helpful video, thx.

  19. I have just prepared and submitted Turkish subtitles for your video. I guess it needs to be validated by youtube before it becomes available on the video.

  20. I had problems with some of these techniques if its REALLY strong and you are going vertical or backwards.
    I found the best is to have no wrap or brake on at all (obvious I hope!) When I land, I let my legs go down, then I jump up. It unweights the wing and allows you to kill the wing with the brakes easily and it gives you a fraction of a second to turn as well.

    If you pull the brakes before you land, you just go backwards and fall over!

  21. When I land in strong wind, I turn my back as soon as I touch the ground then run to the glider while I pull full brakes.

  22. Thanks Skybubble. A good resource. Our Sydney club and school are coastal based and we experience a lot of strong wind, particularly when the sea breeze quickly picks up. A great flight can turn catastrophic in minutes. As there are often, people, trees, houses and busy roads behind many launch and landing sites we do not always have the luxury of finding large open spaces to run or be dragged. Every student learns the A/C riser technique for launch and the rear riser technique for landing. It becomes the default and preferred method so that a pilot does not get surprised by too much wind/lift during the critical phase. However, in stronger wind it can sometimes be hard to find an LZ with no lift as the only available space may be in front of a ridge or dune. Even a small one meter rise can create lift in strong wind. In these conditions even the trusty C risers can lift you up several meters and fly you backwards – right into what you wanted to avoid. That short backwards flight can take you high enough for a thumping landing, hard enough for significant injury. I fractured 6 ribs (2 flailed) and punctured my lung on a teletubby one meter high mown golf course mound doing just that. Your recommended quick but strong frontal collapse followed by big brakes and run to the glider is the best solution. I used to use A one side and C the other but I found too often that the wing flipped, hammering the ground hard and loaded, sometimes followed by upside down lift and drag. I changed to frontals for high wind landing a couple of years ago and have been happy with the result. BTW, your demonstration of using speed bar and big ears to land was as valuable as the frontal. Most texts, exams, etc are unequivocal that bar and ears should not be used in final or landing. Yes, that is the official position but I let students know that when required you do whatever you need to land, wherever you need to land. The risks of collapse may increase with bar and ears individually or together, but if there is only one landing zone that is safe and you need bar and ears to land then so be it. It's better than catching a bus, wave or power line still hooked into you glider. Final note in case someone piles on this topic: of course a pilot should only fly in wind strengths they can handle. Of course you are better on the ground than in the air during winds that are too strong. Of course you should land at the first sign that winds are getting too strong. This resource is what to do if you simply find yourself in the air, wanting to get down safely. Thanks Skybubble team.

  23. hmm 🤔 as about to do my training course for flying as love watching your vids you make things look so easy!! but will try my best to learne as this looks so fun 🤗

  24. I skydived and BASE jumped for many years, then had a pretty bad incident back in 2014 and this autumn I am going to start my paragliding course after many years of thinking about it. I love those videos as I really want to know as much as I can before I start. Any little detail can make a difference. Thanks for the great work you guys are doing :). Greetings from Switzerland.

  25. Just found this after watching your last video on the dragon hike n fly.
    I use the A's in high wind as taught by jess from flysussex. Amazingly simple and hugely effective. Its saved me a couple of times from being dragged backwards.

  26. @Greg Hamerton Super nice video! At 6:15, what kind of microphone are you using to record your voice? When I am using my insta360, the noise of the wind covers everything.

  27. Greg,
    So glad I watched this. I got caught at Firle this week. Got blown back even on full bar and was forced to top land going astern at about 5mph. I had Cs in my grasp ready (only because I watched this video a couple of weeks ago) and effectively killed the wing rather than getting dragged into the barbed wire fence as would surely have happened otherwise. Phew. Thanks!

  28. Years ago a German pilot in South Africa told me he was coming into land and getting blown back very fast so he did the same landing as for water; undo the straps and jump at about 1m and keep hold of a brake line. Thought it extreme but he assured me being dragged would have been ugly.

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