How to anticipate and counter them?
1. Under speed
This is a vast and complex issue, it is a major incident, which can only happen because of a piloting error. "A paraglider does not stall by the operation of the holy spirit", it must be put in a maintained brake situation so that it changes incidence and ends up stalling.
> 3 most frequent scenarios:
1. The pilot flies into the turbulence and gradually becomes stressed and does not realise that he is holding on to the controls. In this case, the pilot transfers his harness pressure to the controls, he does not feel the hard point that leads to the stall.
2. Another frequent case could be, following the stop of a surge, the pilot does not give back the hand for fear of having another oscillation, during its pendulum return to the vertical the wing stalls. This is the stall by increasing the wing loading!
3. The third case concerns the climb in thermal, each pilot would like to optimize his sink rate to climb faster. In rather weak or stable conditions, a received idea of the paraglider pilot is to fly at the "minimum sink rate", that is to say the lowest sink rate. In theory there is one, in practice it is impossible to find it. To do this the pilot slows the wing down, hoping to spend more time in the warm air stream, that's the feeling, but it's another thing to know about the performance of the wing in this situation. In effect the wing is slowed down, the wing loses manoeuvrability and the pilot insists on using the inside brake in every turn. This puts him in an underspeed situation. The hardness he feels can be interpreted as the increase in pressure of the thermal on his wing tip. A sudden change in incidence, for example the onset of lift, causes an asymmetric stall (a spin) and thus the momentary loss of control of the glider.
How to anticipate?
It is important to leave some speed to the wing, we have only 20 km/h of speed amplitude (arm high towards the stall point), if we brake 15 cm all the time, we have only 10 Km/h left, so we are close to the speed of a hot air balloon. Modern piloting and canopies make it easier to fly at high speed (hands on), so we have better handling and performance. If we have larger angles to deal with, it is good practice to increase the amount of brake input momentarily, and return to the point of contact once the action is complete. This is called active steering.
How to get out of it?
It is impossible to describe all the situations in this huge chapter. However, if you are paying attention and you feel your body sagging, a shoulder slipping back, a semblance of a flat spin or a relative wind dropping sharply... then put your hands on the pulleys and release your wing from the underspeed... WARNING it's not over, a surge will follow and you will have to brake it, otherwise you will continue with a collapse or a self-rotation.
Here is a summary:
1. Arm up (in the pulley)
2. Braking the surge
3. Arm up again
4. Return to brake contact
2. Getting caught in a cloud
You're going to tell me that this doesn't happen... well, think again, it's a common occurrence in mountainous areas.
The beginner pilot (20 hours of flight experience) is flying on the evening site and is happy to spend time in the air. His concentration is only on the mountain and the other pilots, the rest is not part of his analysis. He is therefore unable to observe the meteorological evolution in the surroundings, he does not realise that he is close to the cloud and that he is going to enter it... Not knowing how to anticipate, he finds himself in a situation of stress and lack of technical knowledge to descend.
The other scenario is the thermal pilot who climbs with his friends at equal distance from each other, they all have a good look at the cloud, but they have to optimize this lift. The first pilot decides to exit on the sunny side, the next one takes over, except that his initial 180° placement puts him in the centre of the thermal, so he will spend more time in a straight line to clear the lift, which often propels him into the cloud.
Different scenarios are conceivable. In itself, this is not an incident, it is the consequences of flying without a view that poses a problem to get out of it. I can't even imagine if the terrain is close!
How to anticipate?
It is always easy to anticipate when you are sitting in front of a good beer, but in real conditions, many disruptive elements force you to make choices in the moment (piloting the wing, avoiding other pilots, managing stress...).
The cloud is easy to avoid. Keep some margins, transit earlier, don't flirt with the "barbules".
How to get out of it?
You need to have expertise in fast descents, to reduce the time spent without visibility.
The big ears
The big 360
The Swiss method
Les grandes oreilles
Les 360 engagés
La méthode suisse