Reserve Throw

Originally posted in Instagram.

Once again I have a post that I am a little unsure of sharing, social media is so full of the positives and lets face it, my paragliding pictures tend to show the beauty of the sport. I love flying and love being in the air, and naturally I want to progress. And, as a result have pushed. In November this led to me throwing my reserve, luckily over water and under training. But still, it knocked my confidence and made me question whether I actually have the skill set required to become a good pilot.

I was in Oludeniz for 10 days, the first few days were spent free flying and I absolutely loved it. The take offs were nice, the landing was fairly straight forward and I had so much height over the sea to practise manoeuvres. I felt the best way to progress was to do an SIV.

I paid per flight and on my second flight I was briefed to do a spin. The manoeuvre was to spin the wing (one side of the wing is stalled whilst the other is flying), let it do 3 rotations and then exit (I was not briefed on how to exit, so I went for arm up and control the pitch and roll).

On the second attempt I let my arm up pretty early on in the manoeuvre. I ended up getting twisted but managed to get the twist out, then I got twisted the opposite way, got a cravat, pulled the wrong brake and went into an auto-rotation. I looked at the many twists in the lines and couldn’t figure out which brake to pull to get out of it (that was if my brakes worked) so went for my reserve.

My reserve opened and I ended up in the sea with a boat arriving within seconds.

I was fortunate to have been over water, life jacket on with a boat at the ready. But I was left with so many questions, and was annoyed at myself for being naïve and not doing more research on the manoeuvre I was attempting to do as well as not having faster reactions to prevent getting into the situation in the first place. A lot was learnt and I am now en-route to rebuilding confidence whilst not pushing the progression so much and instead taking it a bit slower.