Designs » Safer Designs

Safer Designs

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Here are safer proposals, always with the symbols, and the corresponding current designs are on the previous page.

Round Helmets

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Simple designs like this one are adapted to flying with hang gliders or paragliders. They are far less sexy, but with less risk also to get lines or tubes caught by some protruding part in case of problem. The reasonable choice, and you can still have the helmet painted.
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Thermal Flying

Hang Gliders

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Geometry
: In some rigid wings, instead of hanging under a carabiner, the pilot is held in a cage, both for positive or negative Gs, and the wing tips are much wider than in hang gliders too. Flying wings of that type have been around since 1991 and none have tumbled yet. This model is available for close to 30,000 US$ (with trailer).
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Direct connection
: Without carabiner, you do not need to check it as you can not forget it. If a quick separation from the wing is yet needed, buckles like in the right picture enforce the pilot to close the leg loops and chest strap before closing the zipper. You must have your car key if you want to start the engine, always the same logic.

Paragliders

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Closed leg loops
: Skydivers don their harnesses first by putting their legs through the leg loops, which stay always closed (and get tighten later), so you can not forget to close them. Alternatively, some “anti-forget” systems are used on current designs, like T-buckles or safety straps, there is only to retrofit all harnesses already sold…

Flatland Flying

Releases

The most common one is the barrel release (left, straight pin), simple, light and mainly soft. A remote and sturdier version serves as primary release for the bridle thereafter. Other devices are also available: the spinaker shackle (right) must be prepared by a towing specialist (swivel welded, locking surfaces filed…), the 3-ring release must be professionally manufactured to reach a good enough mechanical advantage.

2-Strand Bridle

This bridle recommended for hang gliding is actually one piece of Spectra rope going from the keel through a ring on the towing line forward and to the pilot’s shoulders, with releases on both ends. Its advantages are to share the tension between pilot and wing and leave the pilot in an usual flight position during towing. Advanced pilots prefer direct towing at the shoulders, but have to accelerate frankly during that phase.
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Skydiving

Chest strap

The leg loops of a skydiving harness stay always closed. Enabling to don the shoulders into the harness despite the closed chest strap could be a way to go, either with a longer strap, or having it placed higher, or replaced by diagonal straps in an X shape…
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Cloud Flying

Helicopters

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Orientation in space: As the time available to recover from an unbalance is about 1 second, flying a helicopter with poor visibility (IMC) is theoretically still possible but needs a very serious equipment (HUD and velocity vector indicator), only sensible for “heavy” commercial operation. Here are the requirements of the FAA.
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“Extreme Sports”

› Plan B

Many outdoor activities can be practised with a plan B: skying with an avalanche transceiver and airbag, mountaineering under 7000 m roped in a group, sailing secured with a MOB-preventing line and life vest, scubadiving in shallow waters or always within reach of fellows, skydiving or flying with a rescue parachute etc. More commonly, riding or cycling with a neck-protecting airbag is a wise idea. As the saying goes: Prepare for the worst, hope for the best and take what comes. Preparation is the key!

Organization

Diversity

To have a group think better than its members with full efficiency (NASA test, previous page), the members should be as different as possible (sex, age, origin, education, profession). This diversity gives chances that some individual will find a solution of a complex problem, where a more homogeneous group might have missed it. The leadership must have a strong will to go against the natural trend (people prefering their peers) and promote a diverse staff.