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Should Trike wings be rated just like Paraglider and Powered Paraglider wings?

Last updated by RizzyWizzy Comments (50)

Categories: Safety

Hi all,


While we discuss the reason behind John Farmer's accident. Many pilot were of the opinion that the cause of the accident was lack of transition training and the fact that just because you are capable of flying one wing doesn't mean you can handle a more advanced wing. So with that in mind I wanted opinion of the Trike pilots.


As you all may know that Paragliding and Powered Paragliding wings have ratings. And despite the fact that as far FAA is concerned sports like Powered Paragliding are under FAR 103 rules, so their is no license required.


However because the wings have ratings, it helps a newcomer and even experienced pilot to make the wing purchase decision. So,

1) How do you as pilots feel about a wing rating system?


2) Is it practical?


3) Do you think it will help Trike pilots?

4)What challenges do you see in implementing such a system?


Some while ago we had a blog discussing if Spiral recovery should be part of Practice Standard Maneuvers and with Pilot vote and opinions we were able to add that to the Practical Standard Maneuvers.

My hope with this blog is to see if we could reach a consensus on this topic and hopefully take a practical measure so no more lives are lost.


Regards,

Rizwan

Comments

  • Monty

    Rizzy, even though trike wing rating insn't practical,, neither is accepting that certain wings have an unrecoverable situation, easily reached and easily prevented.it would be easier to rate a wing skill required level before a fatal flight rather than explain to the family that the pilot was mismatched to the wing. And there was no matching system in existence. Are we that dumb that we couldn't come up with one? I accept that if i fly into a wall i'm gonna eat bricks, but one sloppy turn , (or irate sheep farmer )shouldn't kill me! We all need a second chance. If walmart start selling 'wingsuits' we'll expect bad results, without 'pilot skill level matching'. Is anyone else alarmed at the seemingly 'regular fatality reports, there aren't that many of us, but way too many fatalitys, often with a recovery system that is often only useful as a placebo in place of skill and luck., 'most bad stuff happens low down,i'm getting off track but anything that hurts this wonderfull thing we do i'm against! Long after i'm gone trikes WILL have a really effective life saving system aboard not reliant soley on our feeble initiating skills.

  • white eagle

    Rizzy ive been in exstreem sports for 40 years.Ive been flying scince i was 17 iam 62 now. And i dont mean to burst your bubble but you are never just by the nature of the beast going to make it where no more lives are lost.
    Lower statistics maybe but thats going to involved more pilots adhearing to information already made available to them not more regulation processes for manufactures. I challenge you to go spend a week with kameron belvins at north wing and see the headache process he already goes thru to sell a wing?

  • RizzyWizzy

    David, what if it was not a regulation but a mutually agreed upon standard between the Trike wing manufacturers. There isn't that many wing manufacturers. Would that work?

  • white eagle

    I do believe rizzy that manufacturers already do that and with their dealers. Your an aeros dealer arnt you , how are you going to demo a wing you sell, Are you qualified in the charactoristics of their wings and hold a cfi. What about private used sales and barnstormers.
    Really riz high risk sports have no place for those lacking in common sense. If i buy a wing iam going to investigate its chatacteristics, get a demo and make sure iam qualified in the skills and knowlege to fly it!

  • RizzyWizzy

    David,

    All valid questions, I agree with your common sense comment. As far your CFI question, I partner with the CFIs to help with the training aspect. It will further become easier because one of my pilot friend at the hangar is working towards his CFI, and with our partnership we will able to provide Sales, Training and Service all here in Idaho.

  • white eagle

    Well rizzy i was just using you for example meaning that wings can be purchaced from individual and other avenues. And who knows there history or credability.
    Now personally iam not a fan of the arrow wing. And as iam not a fan of the gibbo wing. Thats my choice. I know pilots who love both. I have lost two dear friends in the arrow s wing but i dont fully know all the facts surrounding that crash and probably never will.
    I have seen more fatalitys than i can personaly like to share in hang gliding and triking. One thing i can say most were predictable? Thats a profound and not to be underestimated statement.
    Human ignorance is vast and certainly not limited. If we want to reduce fatalitys in triking than we need to find a way to encurage self dicipline as whole. Just like automobiles what do you think statistics would do if people stopped driving like meniacs and encorperated common sense and curtesy?

  • Monty

    WE, profound statements you make, and analogies to driving understandable to all, yes, a national 25mph speed limit probably would reduce the 30000 or so driving fatalities, but we have to balance risk/reward, etc. i guess i'm trying to equate how a sport can result in far too many fatal results. We've had this same discussion before with the same final results, it's a dangerous pursuit, compared to golf and should expect the occasional bad result. Also, no one want's even more 'official' controls, i DONT, but there's gotta be a way for these sad events to be reduced. It's been done with driving, some of you other old farts can remember the steel dashboards of detroit iron ,and Tokyo tin, with hard pointy parts ready to impale whoever got slammed into them, no seatbelts, steering columns mounted at the front bumper, pointed at your chest, plate glass, etc,etc. The auto mfrs, resisisted bitterly, understandably , having to regard us occupants as anything other than 'neccessary' seat-occupiers, but were forced to start making crashes more survivable, after all, dead people can neither vote, spend or love. No, i don't advocate an 'official' rating system, but a 'wing and trike mfrs consortium', dedicated, whatever it takes to reduce our trike accident rate. Not selling granny a 600hp vette, till she takes the salesman arround the block! One size doesn't fit ALL.

  • Monty

    Rizzy sorry I didn't re-read the comments and I axerdentally. Re suggested your suggesttion, it does seem to make common sense though, were never gonna eliminate all trike fatal, but only reduce them, where possible.

  • white eagle

    Well spoken monty. Ps and i have been hit by a golf ball.what was worse was when i was younger me and my brother were using alum tent poles as spears. Some how i got coersed that we woild stand 100 ft apart and see who could come closer.that was a beggining lesson in common sense only by the sacrafice of my right big toe being painfully planted deep in the soil. Manufacturers already wont sell you any wing without training and niether will cfis. They will always be a need for advanced wings. With speed handling and stability something will be sacraficed. If your hairs a mess you go to a beautician.we are a well regulated sport already.
    People love to break rules. Getting a new wing got some bad landings going on! Simple best fix solution a competant instructor and a few hours of time or risk planting more than your toe in the ground!

  • Monty

    Yeah WE, during the war us kids tried, fortunately, unsuccessfully to derail a .train carrying thousands of soldiers, our own! Well, we had to practice, and we couldn't get to the 'kraut' trains. We didn't have tent poles but did have bb guns and had regular 'wars' with adjoining streets kids. Practice practice practice!

  • white eagle

    Az soon as i saw the word train i knew i was gonna like your post! Monty

  • Tussock

    Monty, during the war, whose side were you on?

    The reality of flying trikes is that no matter what you fly, there are situations where a sloppy turn can kill. Buying trike X may reduce the chances of some types of pilot-induced hazards, but it doesn't leave you immune to others. All trikes can spiral dive, for instance, which is after all only a 'sloppy turn'.

    Flying trikes isn't golf; to fly safely takes sound skills regardless of the type of trike flown. I believe that until we start taking the idea that sloppy flying can kill a lot more seriously, we're going to continue to see very high fatality rates in trike flying.

  • Ken

    Maybe we could just get a database together of really accurate writeups for trikes/wings in a place like .... alltrikes.com or [shudder] the dark side. I know when I started I read all I could to learn as much as I could....

  • white eagle

    I dont know ken maybe yes /maybe no
    We might be opening up to mpre drama.
    People get heated when someone says something about a wing design.
    Like ive made it clear iam no big fan of the arrow s.
    Wasnt a big fan of the gibbo wings. Dosent mean nessasarilly that in the right hands they were good wings. But me just saying that i could set myself up for drama. Bryan tuffnell said the really nice thing is we have a choice and i agree with that.

  • Ken

    Yep I agree with choice. But lots of things get reviews, and there are whole websites dedicated to it! e.g. movies, books, appliances, cars, etc. etc. Seems like a "reviews" section might be a good thing. Could be for any product really, GPS, Camera, flight software, wing, trike, flight suit etc. Just a place where people can see what others think and experience.

  • white eagle

    Sure lets do it. But without being like a wing advertisement. You know ken like the dark side does.
    I like wings that are forgiving just because i know my own shortcomings. And i have no need to reach out to far distances and get their quickly. If i wanted that id get a fixed wing. I like getting up in the air exploring a bit and listning to some mind exspansive music. Or like my hang glider soaring trike just flying with birds , air and clouds amungst nature. Might be good ken if we put reviews with the type of flying you like to do?

  • Monty

    I don't care what it's called, review, ease of operation, granny suitability level, stability, continue-to-bank-more-and-more-after-you've-ceased-whatever-you-did-to-turn-left-or-the-other-left, or does it 'lock into that bank angle'. Wings aren't all the same, and even though we SHOULD all be, as trike pilots, in theory, able to operate any trike wing,( if you are able to ride a red bicycle, you should have no problem riding a green bike) but it's obvious that without a certain level of 'type instruction' many wing-combinations would 'do many of us in, quickly'. I agree with the 'pundits' that we ,the huddled trike- driver masses, all need to be trained to THEIR level, but that for whatever reason 'ain't necessarily 'gonna happen. WE are, at present solely dependent on the ' wing seller', be it mfrs agent, or private owner, clearing out his hanger, to convey all that he knows about that wings behaviour, once it's off the ground . ANYTHING that will reduce the sad news we all hate to see , glee-fully reported by our ever-vigilant media as 'yet another ultra-light crash',( if it bleeds it leads) i want to happen. I've read, in previous discussions on this ever-recurring subject where, even under VERY Competent use-age, a life-threatening situation can occur , very quickly, with tcertain wing-combos, and required more than average remedial re-action to 'save the day'. Who ever made the cessna to pitts correlation made excellent sense, i watched a pitts take off yesterday climbing like 'a gut-shot' angel, thinking 'i hope that guy didn't just trade his '150 cessna 'in on that.! hey, trassock, old fruit, i was on the winners side! Practice, practice, practice.pps, sometime when we're sitting sipping that ale you and WE owe me i'll tell you about us stretching piano wire accross streets tied to big glass bottles so whoever got the wire under his chin, riding his bike at night,( lights not allowed) would then be bombarded with glass fragments, practice, etc......we were informed nightly by 'lord haw haw', a traitor brit working for the krauts, that 'they' were coming for us! Tomorrow! Understandably, we kids were anxious to provide a suitable reception to our visitors. Luckily, nerve gas wasn't readily available to us! Though we all had gas masks, in case.( you were able to make really great 'fart' noises with them, which was all we used them for, fortunately!).

  • Monty

    Hey, tubsocks, old fruit, regarding golf fatalities, i'm informed from a 'reliable' source that more golfers die while golfulating than trikers while trikulating! Aledgedly statistics tied to age , arterial sclerosis, swinging ( golf club, not what you were thinking!) etc.

  • white eagle

    Good point monty and glad you were on the winning side.iam going to put a target on my back for a bit .Now i have been concidering caharacteristics of the arrow wing scince i flew it in austrailia. I know what i witnessed in austrailia from the backseat and that was a competant pilot! So iam not negating the uncordinated turn reasoning and i do believe theres truth to it. I also highly respect my friend tussocks input and certainly wouldn't want to buggar our friend ship up.One my friend buzzy and his wife being killed in the arrow s. And two more killed in the trike i flew in austrailia. Erin getting killed in the arrow s veering off the runway just after take off. And quite a few others with simular events. Now withstanding that i may not have all the facts the thought has still not eluded me that their still could remain a undesirable character in a trike wing? Statistics can be decieving an vauge when it comrs to crashes. And alot of them are seasoned pilots including cfis! Many in the last few years have been higher performance wings and engines. Go pro footage in fatalitys is almost never seen for public discression! So at what point do we say were trading off the safe image of the sport for speed and performance? Could we limit performance to an acceptable level of stability for public sales and the rest to the race track i know really good pilots that flown the arrow wing with np. I also know dealers who publicly say its a safe wing and privatly say they dont lile it. NO one wants to get stuck with a wing with a bad reputation. Fair or unfair! No manufacturer or dealer wants a bad reputation fair or unfair. And them theirs liability . When speaking on a forum information can be at best opinionated or ambiguous at best. What we need is true and acurate information from an independant very knowlegeable aerodynamical advanced test pilot? Who wants the job? Marketing may have a certain level of bias. Ok iam open to critizism! Be gentle!

  • Monty

    Wow, WE those fatal events are too real to be dismissed as all coincident or 'sloppy' flying. We can continue to bury our heads in the sand and ignore what's happening or wait till 'big brother' decides to 'intervene'. No one wants that. I feel as if i'm pissing against the wind', ( old navy saying) but this is serious, not 'tiddlywinks'...............no worries about trastocks deleting your friendship, you do have the local 'wide gumboot rental co' on speed dial, in case he visits?............?baa

  • Tussock

    Now, we're all mates and we all like a good discussion, and if everybody always agreed we'd have nothing to talk about! WE, it's not until you or anyone else disagrees with me that I can learn. Being wrong is fun, and because it often happens, and beer and steak, is why I have a great life.

    No wing is for everybody and I've recommended to some pilots that they definitely do not buy an Arrow! It's a flat wing, very sensitive in pitch, and if you're used to turning properly on a wing with less nose angle and more twist, it will feel wildly different - probably slower and stiffer and roll, and needing much less pitch to coordinate, and somewhat inclined to drop the nose in turns and feel a bit out of kilter if you don't coordinate. And if your turn technique consists of high siding, which sadly a lot of pilots are taught (Joe and David - but you guys knew better!), you might get away with it your whole life on many wings or you might not... but you're playing Russian roulette if you fly that way on an Arrow, and high siding technique is what I believe has killed so many Arrow pilots. An Arrow did a credible job of trying to kill me (passenger was flying, dutch rolled into slip... the wing could not be leveled without coordinating first, and the resultant maneuver was spectacular).

    But here's a scenario: you're coming in to land on that mild, safe, not-an-Arrow wing that you've always high sided for two thousand hours with no problems... phew, it's a bit rough today, and the wind is strong... better stuff the bar back to get through the gradient... oh, we're rolling right, better high side... now we're rolling left, bring her level again... oops, right wing is down... HEY, I CAN'T ROLL LEVEL - THE WING IS NOT RESPONDING! And we have another victim of trying to high side against slip induced billow, and because the wing isn't an Arrow the pilot thought s/he was fine. An Arrow, like any other wing, is safe if and only if you fly it safely, but an Arrow is hungry to bite if you don't. You have to know what 'safe' is.

    "Sloppy turns" have killed a lot of Arrow pilots, no question. But sloppy turns are quite capable of killing pilots of other wings. Monty, I'd take a stab that I could get your wing into a situation like that above where a sloppy turn - or more specifically, a sloppy roll level - just doesn't work, and without some decent corrective piloting the wing just rolls into the ground. Yep, we're not playing tiddlywinks - piloting requires sounds skills whatever we fly. A Piper Tomahawk and my paraglider won't always forgive a sloppy turn either. What kills most GA pilots? Stall/spin in the circuit, in other words, a sloppy turn. Same as GA - if we want to reduce our fatalities, we need to turn better.

    In rating wings I see two different scales: passive safety, and ease of operation. The two are not connected. We could say that a wing that doesn't slip has higher passive safety. But it may be harder to fly. And the wing that's harder to fly might be a far better choice in turbulence, or...

  • white eagle

    Tussocks what an incredable knowelegable review. I learn as well by instagation.or playing the devils advocate.I think that cordinated turns is something that should of been well understood by the time you leave your instructor? I understand but would you put up a good disciption of high siding?
    For the sake of the distance between us id like to share a beer,,, ,,,, story. Iam working the top operator at a ski resort not paying attention reading your paragraph! So well written i failed to notice the newbie snowboarder who cartwheeled down my ramp! The meat thing is he was holding a plastic cup of beer from the lodge. How someone can cartwheel down a ramp and the cup didnt spill a drop is beyond me!
    For the steak theirs a skier who looks like sasquash who gives me a slice of the best smoked elk jerky i ever ate.I wanted to send you some but he said he was out. So i might have to search for some hopefully fresh road kill kill but if i find a sheep ill send it to monty!

  • Jozinko

    Hi guys. It was quite hard for me to read and to UNDERSTAND well to all in this article. I do not know how it is in US, but here everyone wing have to be certificated. Manufacturers determines what wing is good for training, floats, XC flights or competition. Pilots specifies what type of flight he wants to fly. With his instructor or inspector is going to do some flights if it is possible. If the wing is good he decide for it. I have a friend who is very experienced pilot with 19m area slow wing. He asked me how my wing flies. He flew my trike with my 14,2m wing and he was scared. It was out of his demands. Because too fast, very light to turn... For an other side I learn a fast wing pilot how to fly slow wing. I am CFI here and inspector (I dont know what it is in US) - I learn new CFIs how to learn flying new pilots, Im helping with accident and crash investigation.

    Ken, WE can be rememberd a lot of disscussions were here about "next Revo" crashed. It was about 3-4 years ago. I wrote there Revo cant be bad, because it coudlnt get a certificate. I gave an example: a long time car driver with Peugeot 205, 1,1i, 44HP bought a new Porsche 911 Biturbo 300HP... If someone used to fly one wing for a long time he made a subcousious habbit what could be fatal.
    WE know how many times we disscussed with YFT about OZ landing procedures and ours. It was more than 4 years ago. And in OZ many people could see that mine procedure was not bad... Larry is learning very similar procedure for about 3-4 years.
    We learn our sutdents to feel the moment when the wing tell you: warning you are near stall speed! Everyone student have to go through stall and have to know how to recover! We learn our students fly spiral and use it like emergency height decending procedure....ect We learn this for about 20 years.
    Then your questions:
    1 - Manufacturer gives the rating, then I accept it. If other pilots (test pilots, experienced pilots, technicians....) give different rating, I accept it, but i want to try it myself.
    2 - Yes it is. Min for newest pilots it should be an alpha and omega.
    3 - Sure! If he wants to get advice
    4 - to make a commitee. i know our country is veeeery small in compare to US or Canada or Australia. But our committee consisted of technicians, test pilots and Inspectors. Everyone had to do the same specific flights...

    Something little if anyone interested it...

  • Monty

    Trussbobz, as someone who has NEVER smoked i've never read the warning signs on the packet, though my dad died of lung cancer, heavy smoker all his life, so i'm not sure how many 'ciggy''s it would take to ruin my one good lung, ( i lost most of the other in a bout with pleurisy in 1953 in west africa.) .knowing that smoking is life-threatening is better than not knowing, or worse still, reading the label while puffing on a 'fag'. If you read on an ACCREDITED source that this particular wing will shorten your life if ' inhailed' wrongly, (you do get what i mean?) just once!!! Ok, i'm waxing theatrical here, and don't intend to lecture from a position of 'ignorance' but i, from your description would not survive long under an arrow! Without a lengthy instruction period, during which the instructer would probably give up and jump out. (my fixed wing instructor quite literally did that, on the runway, muttering 'teach yer 'damn' self to land!) Therefore some wings ARE more dependent on the pilot being better than average, in ability and luck, and SHOULD only be availabe to the relatively able and/or lucky. Like the wise old instructor said 'a piper cub will kill you just as surely as a p51, it'll just take a bit longer'. ps, if i can find a length of wool i'm gonna fit a yaw string on my faceshield, tubbslop, got any spare wool?
    .

  • Tussock

    Munty, how's this for a warning label on most trikes:

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++MANUFACTURER'S WARNING+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    YOUR TRIKE

    YOUR TRIKE VERY PROBABLY WON'T KILL YOU IF YOU DO SLOPPY TURNS UNLESS THINGS GO PEAR SHAPED, BUT IF I WAS YOU I WOULDN'T BET MY LIFE ON IT. COORDINATING TURNS IS REALLY EASY - EVEN TUSSOCK CAN DO IT - JUST ROLL, THEN PUSH FORWARD A TOUCH UNTIL THE WING SETTLES INTO A CONSTANT SPEED, CONSTANT BANKED TURN IN WHICH YOUR POSITION ISN'T CHANGING. PULL IN A TOUCH BEFORE ROLLING LEVEL. IF YOU DON'T WANT TO LEARN THIS MANEUVER, GOLF IS FUN HOBBY. OK, GOLF IS A BIT TEDIOUS AND DAVID HAS BEEN INJURED BY A GOLF BALL SO IT'S A BIT DANGEROUS TOO. THE GENEVA CONVENTION CLEARLY STATES THAT IF USA AND NEW ZEALAND GO TO WAR, YOU GUYS GET MONTY ON YOUR SIDE. DO NOT INHALE YOUR TRIKE AND HAVE A NICE DAY.

    And for an Arrow:

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++MANUFACTURER'S WARNING++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    AIRBORNE ARROW

    YOUR ARROW WING MIGHT NOT KILL YOU IF YOU DO SLOPPY TURNS, BUT IT MIGHT TRY PRETTY HARD AND IN WHAT YOU THINK ARE RELATIVELY BENIGN EVERYDAY SITUATIONS - IF I WAS YOU I WOULDN'T BET MY LIFE ON IT. I'D JUST DO NICE, COORDINATED TURNS, OR ALWAYS KEEP IN MIND HOW TO GET OUT OF A SUSTAINED SLIP BY COORDINATING A TURN BEFORE ROLLING LEVEL. COORDINATING TURNS IS REALLY EASY - EVEN THAT DEADBEAT TUSSOCK CAN DO IT - JUST ROLL, THEN PUSH FORWARD A TOUCH UNTIL THE WING SETTLES INTO A CONSTANT SPEED, CONSTANT BANKED TURN IN WHICH YOUR POSITION ISN'T CHANGING. PULL IN A TOUCH BEFORE ROLLING LEVEL. JUST LIKE ON THE OTHER TRIKE. IF YOU IGNORE THIS ADVICE YOUR CHANCES OF DYING ARE REASONABLE ON THIS WING. YOU STILL HAVE TO HAVE MONTY ON YOUR SIDE. SPARE WOOL? WHO ARE YOU KIDDING? WHO NICKED MY PINT?

    High siding is where you roll into a turn, don't pitch forward, and stop the roll by weightshifting in the opposite direction. It's a bad technique because if you roll without pitching you get slip, slip gives billow shift in the direction that aids roll, and opposite weight shift is sometimes no match for billow shift. If you roll then pitch you cancel billow shift, and weight shift now works as Mother Nature (well, Bill Moyes actually) intended.

    WE, I have to go and clean the spray from my laptop. Man, I'd love to have a beer with you guys.

    Joz - really sorry about that, we find Munty hard to understand too! ;-)