From this blog, you will be able to learn about suitable weather parameters to fly a paramotor. You will also get to know what is safe, what is dangerous, and how to get out safely from an alarming weather condition while flying your paramotor.
Read on to have a safe and sound paramotor flight!
After completing your training, you will be tempted to take the paramotor to the sky for the first time. With so much excitement in mind, newbie pilots sometimes do not give attention to the trainer’s instructions. But one should never do this since, by doing so, you are going to put your life at stake.
You can also read: How To Choose A Paramotor For Beginners? 5 Things To Keep In Mind.
One of the most essential and crucial paramotoring tasks is to judge the weather conditions, whether weather allows to fly safely or not. Moreover, the pilot also needs to ensure that the same weather prevails until he doesn’t complete the paramotor flight. Once the training of paramotoring ends, a person has to make his own decisions regarding weather situations. Therefore, it would be wise to look at the weather before flying a paramotor.
You can also read our article: Paramotor Training: Can You Self Train Yourself For Paramotoring?
WIND LIMITS FOR PARAMOTORING
The first and foremost thing you need to examine is the wind velocity before operating a paramotor. Of course, one can’t determine the wind speed through eyes. Several applications are handy in the google play store to help you know the accurate wind velocity. A pilot should always have a good weather app on his smart device. One such example of a fair-weather app is Windfinder. This app is user friendly and gives you the appropriate predictions regarding wind velocities and gusts at a specific time interval.
Most of the applications give weather forecasts up to three days in advance. So, you should plan your paramotor flight accordingly.
With the launch sites, wind direction varies. A majority of pilots have a flying limit of 12 MPH. If the wind speed exceeds 12 MPH, pilots do not fly. One can fly above 12 MPH; the paramotor’s wings can also deal with that amount of speed. But this won’t cause any fun since the pilots will have to struggle with the wind to bring the paramotor to a greater height.
Wind gusts, too, are a potential element to look into if you want to have a comfortable flight with a paramotor. Wind gusts generate bumps and don’t give the pilots a smooth flight. Wind gusts are basically considered dangerous for paramotor pilots. It is concluded by paramotor experts that a sharp wind gust of 5 MPH above the average wind velocity is not suitable for pilots.
BTMETER BT-100 Handheld Anemometer Digital Wind Speed Meter Gauge for HVAC CFM Tester Air Flow Velocity, Wind Chill, 14℉-113℉ Wind Temperature
When you are preparing for a paramotor flight, observe the wind for at least 15 minutes. Alongside getting ready, continue inspecting the wind. If the wind is maintaining the limit, you can start ground handling. But if you are facing difficulties or finding inconveniences, abort your flight as the flying will also be full of obstacles.
CAN YOU DO PARAMOTORING IN RAIN?
The straight forward answer is No.
Operating a paramotor in the rain is dangerous and can lead to fatality. Something called a parachute stall might occur if you fly a paramotor in the rain. Flying at a lower speed in thermic conditions leads to a parachute stall, and the pilot begins to fall vertically.
This is because of the water droplets accumulated on the surface of the paramotor wing that possess a barrier against the airflow over the surface. Furthermore, the mass of the wing increases with continuous rain as the wings absorb more water. This increase in mass favors the gravity to cause a downward drag by lessening the lift further.
Stall occurs in almost every aircraft. But the prominent effect can be noticed in high lift wings like paramotor wings.
If you find out a possibility of raining or a lower cloud, consider putting your paramotor flight at a halt until the weather clears.
WHAT TO DO WHEN RAIN STARTS POURING IN DURING FLIGHT?
Sometimes, the weather forecasting may go wrong, and you may meet rain during the middle of the flight. It happens very often.
If such cases happen, you should land immediately without wasting a second. To keep a parachute stall away during landing, you can exercise the following points:
- The problem of parachute stall mostly prevails on slow high-lift wings. To prevent this, you can increase the speed of the wings. If your paramotor has an attached speed bar, you should apply it. Take the utmost care not to use speed bars when your wing is pruned to the stagnant position.
- You should not drive with the brakes but instead use the tip steering toggles.
- During turning, always take tight turns, but don’t go too aggressive on turns. A rapid turn causes a higher angle of attack, which fuels the probability of parachute stall.
- The average angle of attack that can induce parachute stall is about 17 degrees. If the wings are damp, it could stall at only 9 degrees. Therefore, one must be very careful in landing.
WHAT ABOUT PARAMOTORING IN THE CLOUDS AND FOG?
Flying a paramotor in the early morning fog or above the clouds is so amusing. But you need to learn some points before flying around in the foggy weather.
According to CAA rules of the atmosphere ordinances, or the FAA’s FAR 103, aircraft must retain some distance from the clouds while gliding.
There are specific cloud clearance rules too. High altitude cumulus and cumulonimbus clouds may cause cloud suck. A pilot encounters a tremendous lift during cloud suck, and it generally occurs in low-pressure weather or humid conditions. The accurate tension of lift can be gussed from the upright thickness of the cumulus cloud. Many pilots have said about their inability to descend while stuck with cloud suck.
Several events of cloud suck have been reported. Some pilots succumbed while some others, fortunately, remained alive.
The paramotor training schools should include the topics of weather and cloud safety in their training curriculum to make the students aware and equipped with such kind of problems.
FLYING IN THE NOON
Usually, pilots have been recommended not to take flight during the mid hours of the day. Pilots used to launch only 3 hours ahead of dusk or 3 hours after dawn. But flying in the mid-day is not that dangerous.
During hot summers, thermals become very powerful and uncertain, which makes paramotoring full of dangers. But the modern reflex wings are designed in such a way that they would easily fold classic wings and thus reduces the risk of paramotoring to certain extents. However, you still shouldn’t try flying in the midday if you don’t have any previous thermal flying experience. Paramotoring is the mid hours is only safe if the wind is gentle.
You should always hire a good instructor to help you learn everything about thermal flying.
Midday paramotoring in the winter months
Since the thermal activity is low and weak in the winter, flying is safe. One should also keep in mind the location before launching, as thermals can be intense at some sites.
By summing up, I want you to tell that learning paramotors are associated with techniques and are also accompanied by knowledge of meteorology. Paramotoring is full of fun and adventure, only if you maintain the necessary norms and precautions. If you do not pay any heed to the limitations of the weather, it may cost you your health and life!