Wojtek DOMAŃSKI (POL)
14 - Modification of Paraglider
In last few years a design of paramotor wings has gone through serious (r)evolution. The size of canopies has been significantly decreased, and riser system has become more complicated.
Risers are able to deeply regulate paraglider angle of attack and/or airfoil shape, thus even a subtle risers modification design can result in a significant change of glider performance and safety. If the modification is made by manufacturers, the results (including safety) are verified during factory test flights, and then in a homologation/certification test flights. Tests are inevitable as erroneous riser adaptation can result in unsafe flight modes. Paraglider might have a tendency to unexpected collapses.
Unfortunately, during few recent competitions, we could observe several cases of DIY riser adaptations made by pilots, resulting in an unstable wing behavior.
Pilots should not tamper with such mighty system as paraglider lines, canopy, and risers because results are potentially hazardous. On the other hand, because of their high skills, competition pilots are the best person to test and verify new solutions, not existing yet in a serial production. Thus, to no shut the door of progress and invention, there has to be a procedure of a legal introduction of new solutions if required.
The amendment puts on a pilot an obligation to fly only on serially produced paragliders, which dimensions and solutions precisely correspond to information and data included in a user manual, service instructions, and technical data. In case a pilot/crew flies on a wing amended by a manufacturer, the pilot/crew has to present a Paraglider Integrity Declaration in which:
- pilot identity
- paraglider serial number
- the nature of changes against serially produced wings
are specified, signed and stamped by the manufacturer.