Safety

Safety is the most important word and paramount for our Paraglider Ground Handling exercise PGGHe propagation in order to prevent serious accident and preserve life.

The most dangerous part in Paraglider Ground Handling exercise (PGGHe) is the misconception of “some” fully qualified PG pilots that after several days of PG training (approx 5 days for Elementary Pilot (EP) course followed by approx 10 days for Club Pilot (CP) course), we are already capable to ground handle our PG wings safely – this is wrong. Paraglider Ground Handling exercise (PGGHe) skills are too impossible to learn for only approx 15 days at PG school to maintain safe operation within our local parks and specially on hilltop launch site during strong wind. All of us want to do it safely but the clear issue is that some of us don’t understand our limits in terms of PGGHe “skills” particularly during “strong wind” –  this is very dangerous. For this reason, the only solution is a continuous practice to build up our PGGHe skills after CP graduation.

For PG competition pilots, PGGHe skills will find them very useful in terms of safety specially if they are first in a cue during high wind takeoff. If PGGHe is mastered, pilot can safely control their wing during extreme condition from unwanted vertical takeoff or being dragged by their wings running over other PG pilots in a downwind cue or destroying others property and hurting ourselves.

For youngsters, pensioners and even disabled people, PGGHe is a very effective physical and mental exercise within our local parks but we need first to learn how to implement it safely. There is no need to fly for this type of ground exercise (flying might be an option in the future once PGGHe is mastered). It needs  a continuous practice to build up our PGGHe skills in order for us to do it safely.

PGGHe (ppg) is very important during search/relief/rescue operations within an unforgiving terrain when executing takeoff and landing sequence.  PGGHe is very useful for those ppg pilots who implement inspections, first aid delivery, relief operation within disaster area where road access is not passable. It is proven that after natural disasters, landing/takeoff area is not that user friendly therefore PGGH skills will play a lot of role when it comes to safety operation in this type of environment.

Situational Awareness:
Situational awareness is very important for our safety. We need to understand all dynamic factors within our PGGHe environment. The obstacles, wind directions, possible build up of mechanical or thermal turbulence producing rotors/vortex, intermittent wind cut-off and even dust devil. Knowing in advance where exactly are those rabbit holes or golf holes locations can prevent a broken ankle. Remember, most of the time, we are looking at the wing during reverse PGGHe. We very seldom look at the ground (1 to 2 seconds max during unstable high wind to avoid wing collapse and be dragged downwind). It is also important to check the previous issues within this particular environment and to be very aware of what is the current environment situation so that at least we can predict what will happen next. Situational awareness is one of the best way to avoid accident, today and beyond.

Copyright content notice: Unless otherwise specified, all actual video footage on this site are licensed as: Standard YouTube License 

See actual video footage example below as a proof why Paraglider Ground Handling exercise PGGHe is so important to practice it continuously and do it in a safe way:

Note: Author edited the first video showing only failed ground handling before takeoff to minimise time of watching. You just need to watch at least 20 seconds from this video footage to realise the importance of PGGHe in terms of safety. Video footage below clearly shows lack of PGGH skills. Those collapsed wing before facing forward can be avoided if PGGHe is mastered.

Actual footage below is a proof why A+C/D risers are the only controls during high wind and “never” ever touch brake controls. Both A risers on one hand and both C/D risers bundled on the other hand is “not advisable” due to “very limited” wing control during “high wind”. Based on video footage below, majority of PG competition pilots with failed takeoff were using brake controls. Two things will surely happen when using brake controls during strong wind PGGHe. Wing will drag pilot downwind or shoot up in a very high velocity considering that they are using a high specs competition wing – lucky pilots didn’t hurt themselves because their wings did not collapse more than 10′ above the ground.


We listen to those experienced/expert PG pilots like you who considered safety as paramount. You are in here for us to be as safe as possible by contributing your PGGHe ideas here…

Actual video footage below from one of our contributor  is a demonstration on how to safely execute a PGGHe – a technique being mastered by this pilot.

This PG pilot is safely executing PGGHe in strong wind. Yes it is not difficult to control PG wing within seashore or hilltop area but this one is not only standing, closing his eyes and let the wing fly itself due to constant wind supply – he is safely doing an “advanced active” PGGHe. See actual footage below as a proof why A+C/D risers are the only safe controls during high wind PGGHe. Brake controls is only used when flying away from the slope. It is also important to consider that in this strong wind condition, 27SQM+- wing is not advisable. 16SQM+- is fine.

Mike Küng (above video) is a multi awarded PG pilot.

Geti G (above video) a contributor is known to be one of the most experienced PG pilot.

See video below why brake controls are considered as evil instrument during high wind PGGHe:

Gavin McClurg (above video) is a multi awarded PG pilot. His contribution to the paragliding sector is very important when it comes to safety.


This particular 03 seconds Mike Küng‘s actual video footage above is a highly proven safe technique to avoid being dragged downwind and prevent unwanted take off during high wind situation.

Note: The only way to learn this safe high speed technique is to repeat this video footage over and over again by clicking “Replay” button after every 09 seconds and “safely” implement it from low to high wind within your local leisure parks.

In this particular event, we only got approx 1 second to prevent us being dragged downwind or being lifted prematurely by the wing. Therefore speed is very important but do not over react when grabbing C/D risers because if we mistakenly included B riser during C/D control operation, then we will be lofted “sideways” approx 45 degrees downwind (left or right direction) OR sudden downwind high speed uncontrollable thrust when both Bs are mistakenly included resulting in a hard impact to the ground followed by being dragged downwind which is very dangerous on a hard rocky terrain.

If we mastered that high speed ground handling technique above, then we can safely implement takeoff/landing during high wind and avoid fatal accident.  Once again… even though we have mastered this high speed PGGH technique, wind velocity should always based on our “PGGH current skills”. For the sake of safety, simply don’t do it if wind speed is too much based on our ability to control our PG wing or we will experience the same PG competition pilot’s failures based on actual footage below.

We listen to those experienced/expert PG pilots like you who considered safety as paramount. You are in here for us to be as safe as possible by contributing your PGGHe ideas here…

Important note regarding Dust Devil:

Even the best PG, HG or any light metal aircraft pilot will be in great danger if being victimised by dust devil. The most dangerous part of it for PG pilot is, if the pilot is already hooked-up to the wing and unaware of incoming dust devil. Dust devil will (in split seconds) immediately inflate PG wing followed by radically shoot both wing and pilot upwards. This type of accident will result in serious injury or even death if PG wing is collapsed and failed to re-inflate before shooting back to ground.

Two sample actual video footage below is good enough to be watchful before dust devil takes place.

We listen to those experienced/expert PG pilots like you who considered safety as paramount. You are in here for us to be as safe as possible by contributing your PGGHe ideas here…

Delayed reaction is very dangerous during dust devil activity. Below is an example of near danger being lifted by dust devil. Pilots are too slow to bundle their wing. Lucky the dust devil horizontal velocity is too slow and almost not moving:

Things to do during dust devil activity:

If we are hooked up to our wings, and we noticed that there is an in-coming or active dust devil within the area, immediately put our wing in as small as possible rosette then quickly dive on top of our crumpled PG wing.  Execute a quick 360 degrees canopy check – making sure that dust devil doesn’t have an opportunity in penetrating our PG cells. Therefore it is very important to check open cells while on top of the wing and close it straight away by tucking those remaining open cells under our body.

If we’re not hooked up yet to our wings, assess (quickly)  the dust devil distance from us and estimate how many seconds before it hit our position. If there is not enough seconds left before it hit us, never attempt touching the glider or harness – just leave it alone and allow it to fly without you – saving yourself from disaster. If there is enough seconds left before it hit us, immediately put our wing in as small as possible rosette then quickly dive on top of our crumpled PG wing, then make a 360 degrees check – making sure that dust devil doesn’t have an opportunity in penetrating our PG cells. Therefore it is very important to check open cells while on top of the wing and close it straight away by tucking those remaining open cells under our body.

Important safety things to remember before going PGGHe:

Check current London weather report here. First important data to know is wind velocity. If wind speed is strong based on our PGGH skills, stay at home and try some other days.

Check if our physical body is in good condition for this PGGHe. Stay indoor if we’re not feeling well due to illness or hang over. We need a quick reaction in this exercise therefore state of perfect/conditioned mind is of paramount.

Note that urban leisure park is full of obstacles, creating rotor/vortex, intermittent wind supply cut-off etc that needs full brain attention, reacting “non-stop” to ever changing wind situation in just a “matter of seconds”.

We can never compare the mechanical/thermal turbulence of urban leisure parks with seashores or hilltops in terms of wind stability. Urban leisure park wind attitude is very highly unstable. As we have mentioned, beginners with approx two to fifteen days training on seashore/hilltop can even close their eyes once wing is on top of their head (see actual video footage below). This is due to seashore’s/hilltop’s almost constant wind speed. PG wings in this environment used to fly itself with only very minimal input from beginners. It’s the other way around in terms of urban leisure park PGGHe with full of obstacles- wing needs to control “every single seconds” or we will be lofted prematurely or being dragged downwind.

The rule of SAFETY is simple – this PGGHe is very dangerous when wrongly implemented… therefore let’s not make joke closing our eyes in this dynamic environment. Do it [closing your eyes] in a less dynamic seashore/hilltop area if we want but never within an urban leisure parks with tons of obstacles for safety reason and preserve life.

See actual video footage below, why seashore is so fantastic, safe and perfect for beginners implementing PGGHe – closed eyes, wing on top of our head as long as we want and with very minimal input from pilot. This beautiful and perfect seashore PGGHe outcome is very impossible to implement in an urban parks with full of obstacles as wing needs continuous pilot’s input due to non-stop switching of wind speed every single second.

This seashore PGGHe is the exact replica of a PG wing on an extremely stable wind flow on-air  therefore we don’t need to ask ourselves why paraglider wing is very easy to fly by a complete beginners with only approx one to two hours toggle/brake control instruction, they can do a short or even long hops safely within a safe slope with stable wind speed but why PG fatal accidents and even deaths occur from time to time?

Again, it’s because of the misconception of “some” complete beginners and a handful of fully qualified PG pilots that after several days of PG training (approx 5 days for Elementary Pilot (EP) course followed by approx 10 days for Club Pilot (CP) course), we are already capable to ground handle our PG wings and launch safely – a very deadly misconception – when these people encountered turbulence (airborne or on the ground) and no idea what to do due to lack of PG ground handling simulation, then they will be included in the list of injured and dead individuals… net effect? This is the main reason why general public branded this hobby (sport if you wish) as deadly dangerous.

Talking to them (general public) is a good way to propagate this hobby and “educate” them that it is not dangerous and will only become deadly due to a handful of people who wish to fly instantly without proper training (adrenalineeeee freaks who only wants to showoff). Trust me… those idiots boils my blood because they are the ones who are destroying the good reputation of all safe PG pilots around the world who considered safety as paramount. Practice and tons of practice is the only key to safety.

Flying or ground handling paraglider wing is not a walk in the park when wind attitude turned horribly unstable from very stable calm state. The result is severe injuries or death due to lack of PGGHe knowledge to control PG wing during unstable turbulent and high wind condition – and again,,, the only solution is a continuous practice to build up our PGGHe skills as the word “safety” is always shouting at us from inside our curly brain,,, luckily protected by our coconut shell. 😉

Actual video footage below is one of the best example why beginners being trained in an area with intermittent wind cut-off etc, using A+C/D risers as controls is the best and safest future PG pilot. It is very hard and will take a lot of practice (not just approx fifteen days EP/CP course) to maintain wing over our head even within just a minute. Note that majority of students used small wings (and not 27SQM+- wings) to match the current wind velocity which is entirely based on their current skills. For safety reason due to erratic wind velocity, almost each students has got a dedicated human anchor preventing them from being dragged or lofted by their wings.

People might think that PG students based on actual video footage above are not that good compared to PG students within seashore environment. We have been both of these (parks with tons of obstacles and seashore/hilltop with laminar wind flow) training area and we can assure you that these PG students (above) can hold their wings over head for as long as they want within seashore environment with several stages of  “temporary obstacles” because they gained knowledge and already very familiar to “safely” control their wings during intermittent wind cut-off and rotor/vortex within urban leisure parks that has got tons of obstacles.

If wind speed is favourable “based on our skills”, then prepare everything: wing, harness, helmet, globes, ankle shoes without hook for laces, suitable clothing based on weather condition (winter or summer), drinking water, transceiver, wind cone and wind meter.

Upon arrival, check wind speed and decide if we want to wait or go home if it’s strong based on our skills.

If wind velocity matched our skills, then this is the right time to choose a location based again, on our skills.

If we are a beginner, position ourselves between our left obstacle and tree boundary on our right side – this area is marked as A – see actual map below. In this exact location, we will receive a less punishing intermittent rotor/vortex and wind cut-off from time to time but totally less eddies as it will die down before reaching us therefore we beginners are safe in this specific location.

Once again, this particular place is not a seashore or hilltop environment that has got a continuous and almost undisturbed wind supply. Therefore if we have learned our PGGHe within seashore or hilltop environment and can put the wing on top of our head for several hours, then I can personally tell you that your skills will not work with an environment like this with full of mechanical/thermal turbulence, creating rotor/vortex and intermittent wind cut-off. We should go back, training ourselves as a total beginner in this type of area.

If we have mastered PGGHe in this type of environment and not from seashore or hilltop with almost laminar airflow, then we can use area C which is situated right after our obstacle – see map below. We can expect non stop body movement here due to top and right side vortex/rotors with matching total wind cut-off for approx 0.5 to 5 seconds. See PGGHe technique “here” if we want to maintain our wing on top of our head during this wind cut-off. Area C is extremely tiring “dance floor”. Once exhausted, allow the wind force pushing us downwind to area B and when recovered, go back to C. If we have learned the whole safety reminders from this website and already “bonded/integrated” our physical body into this fabric aircraft, then I can guaranty you that this is the best and “safest” free physical/mental exercise that we can have and if you elected to fly in the future, believe me, you can safely use this PGGHe skills during extreme condition.

C/G London PGGHe locations