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Take off levelBy Christophe Dubois

Take off level

Over the past few years we had to forbid a few pilots (B and C level) from flying because of their poor take-off skills. We would like to remind pilots that we are not a school and that we don\'t have a teaching hill available neither the time for it. All our sites have a correct take-off area; some are a bit technical but suitable for any pilot that has a correct launch technique. We don\'t ask for a \"perfect launch\", just for a \"safe\" one.

So, if you haven\'t flown for 6 months, or are not sure of your take-off level, it’s absolutely necessary that you do some ground-handling and take-off practice, either by yourself or with a school prior coming.

A dangerous launch is where:

  • The pilot seat down immediately, almost crashing into obstacles.
  • The pilot fall back into his harness, pulling his brake in the mean time close to the stall point, or bring his hands low to seat down, brake in the hands.
  • Let his brakes go while he is turning during reverse launch.
  • Hold his raisers, as soon as he is off the ground, not controlling his wings.

It is widely agreed by instructor, that one minute of ground handling is equivalent to one hour of flying at increasing a pilots flying skills and crucially also their safety.

I will add that two hours training in a flat field with 10 to 20 km/h, two weeks before coming (except if you been flying) will help a lot, by reminding about your gear, the air, and refreshing your move. Just remember not to stay all the time in reverse position, but from time to time, turn and simulate a forward launch, accelerating progressively, leaning forward. And why not put 5 balls on the ground and make slalom with your friend?

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