DHV Safety Notice on Paragliding Harnesses and Parachute Deployments

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Judith Mole | 14th November 2013

The notice does not affect a brand of chute, but DHV approved SIV testing showed two potential harness problems.

1. Harnesses with under-seat containers where the parachute container reaches as far forward as the front edge of the seat board

If there is pressure from the calves on the outside container, then deployment is made much more difficult. As soon as this pressure is released, deployment is as intended by the manufacturers. For stability and control reasons many pilots prefer a sitting position with "broad thighs"/bent knees/calves folded away. The DHV wants to make pilots aware of the potential deployment issues when, due to a incident resulting in high G-forces, their calves are inadvertently pressed against the container.

2. Velcro cover over the Y-risers

In one case a female pilot deployed her chute, but the Velcro cover above her shoulder did not open fully. This left the pilot was hanging face down. She landed uninjured in the water, but over land this could have led to serious injuries. This affects harnesses with wide Velcro covers more than thin Velcro versions. Velcro closes more with time and pilots should open and re-seal any Velcro on their equipment from time to time. Particularly light pilots with less strength to pull the parachute should be aware of this.

To see photos of the types of harnesses covered by the safety notice see: http://www.dhv.de/web/newsdetails/article/sicherheitshinweise-zur-retterausloesung-bei-gleitschirmgurtzeugen-ohne-bezug-auf-ein-bestimmtes-mus/

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