How do I choose the right paramotor reserve parachute?

Choosing the right paramotor reserve parachute is a critical decision for ensuring your safety in the event of an emergency. Here are some factors to consider when selecting a paramotor reserve parachute:

  1. Certification and Standards:

    • Ensure that the reserve parachute meets recognized safety standards and certifications. Common certifications for reserve parachutes include EN12491 or LTF 3501. Check with the manufacturer for information on certifications.
  2. Size and Weight:

    • Choose a reserve parachute that is appropriate for your weight, including the weight of your paramotor and other gear. The reserve parachute should have a suitable size and weight rating to provide effective deceleration.
  3. Packing Volume:

    • Consider the packing volume of the reserve parachute. This is important for fitting the reserve parachute into the reserve container on your paramotor harness. Ensure that the parachute can be properly packed and deployed within the designated container space.
  4. Speed and Sink Rate:

    • Evaluate the speed and sink rate of the reserve parachute. Lower sink rates and moderate opening speeds are generally preferable for a smoother and safer descent. Manufacturers provide information on these performance characteristics.
  5. Deployment Method:

    • Reserve parachutes can have different deployment methods, such as throw-out, pull-down apex, or static line. The deployment method may depend on personal preference and the design of your paramotor harness. Some pilots prefer one method over another, so consider what you find most comfortable and reliable.
  6. Repack Intervals:

    • Check the recommended repack intervals specified by the manufacturer. Regular repacking is essential to maintain the integrity of the reserve parachute and ensure its proper functioning. Follow the guidelines for inspection and repacking provided by the manufacturer.
  7. Training and Familiarity:

    • Ensure that you are trained in the proper deployment and use of the reserve parachute. Familiarize yourself with the emergency procedures related to reserve parachute deployment during your paramotor training.
  8. Manufacturer Reputation:

    • Choose a reserve parachute from a reputable manufacturer with a track record for producing reliable and high-quality safety equipment. Research reviews and ask for recommendations from experienced paramotor pilots.
  9. Cost:

    • While cost is a consideration, prioritize safety and quality over price. Your reserve parachute is a critical piece of safety equipment, and it's worth investing in a reliable and well-designed product.
  10. Compatibility:

    • Ensure that the reserve parachute is compatible with your paramotor harness. Check for any specific requirements or recommendations from the harness and reserve parachute manufacturers.
  11. Customer Support:

    • Consider the level of customer support provided by the manufacturer. It's beneficial to choose a company that offers good customer service and is responsive to inquiries or concerns.

Always follow the guidelines and recommendations of the reserve parachute and paramotor harness manufacturers. Regular training, thorough pre-flight checks, and adherence to safety procedures contribute to a safer paramotoring experience. If you have any doubts or questions, seek advice from experienced paramotor instructors or other pilots with expertise in safety equipment.