Overstress

When using the product there is always the risk of unpredictable overstress in flight, for example caused by flying conditions or a surprise bump in the air. In rare cases the product could suffer damage. This is especially disappointing in that, usually, neither the manufacturer nor the pilot can be held responsible. Light products tend to be more susceptible to damage due to overstress.

FAQ

MY PRODUCT CERTIFICATION INCLUDES A LOAD TEST. WHY CAN ANY DAMAGE OCCUR?

A load test during harness certification confirms that a product is not damaged by specific loads to an extent that affects safety. This mainly applies to the harness and its primary suspension system. Damage caused by overstress to harnesses basically affects the outer shell or fairings: for example, damage caused by reserve openings during SIV courses is usually the result of a combination of several factors such as the initial load on reserve connection lines and their suspension points, or shock openings e.g. at high spiral diving speed, position of the pilot in the harness etc.

Such damage is more likely to apply to light products than to “Standard products”. This does not only apply to ADVANCE products, but similarly to those of other brands.

For simple comfort the pilot does not sit directly on the load-bearing webbing; this runs behind the seat shell, which consists of foam and fabric, and carries most of the pilot weight directly. The causal factors described above can overstress load-focussed junctions on the seat fabric components. The same damage also occurs during a harness certification load test - a well-understood phenomenon shown by the test example. It does not affect safety in any way.

Both load and shock tests are carried out for paraglider approvals. During the shock test a paraglider is shock-loaded by a truck proceeding at a steady speed. Damage to paragliders in the air, however, usually occurs with the shock openings of collapses, or cravats. Unforeseen events like this cannot be simulated.

Of course we are constantly striving to improve our products and processing methods. New findings are constantly incorporated. Nevertheless, the possibility of damage due to overstress in individual cases cannot be excluded.

WHY IS DAMAGE CAUSED BY OVERSTRESS NOT COVERED BY THE ADVANCE WARRANTY?

Damage due to overstress is not attributable to construction or manufacturer faults. This is therefore generally excluded from the guarantee.

In most cases the pilot is not directly at fault, but without doubt this is a difficult situation for all. If damage is discovered please contact your dealer who will liase with us. In such cases, we strive to be accommodating and find the best possible solution together. This depends on the assessment of each case.

IN WHICH CASES IS DAMAGE DUE TO OVERSTRESS A SAFETY MATTER?

For harnesses practically never because the weight-carrying parts are not affected, only the outer cover.

With paragliders this depends on the nature and size of the damage. In every case the paraglider must be thoroughly checked by an Authorised Service Partner and professionally repaired.

MY PARAGLIDER LEADING EDGE IS DAMAGED: I HAVE NO IDEA WHY?

In exceptional cases paragliders may show damage, especially those with thin lines at the canopy. This occurs if the wing reopens very quickly after a collapse or cravat (shock opening). Friction of the lines on the fabric can cut or melt it. This damage usually occurs on the leading edge.

In every case the paraglider must be thoroughly checked by an Authorised Service Partner and professionally repaired.

DAMAGE CAN OCCUR DURING SAFETY TRAINING, ESPECIALLY WITH LIGHT PRODUCTS. SHOULD I STEER CLEAR OF THE SIV EXPERIENCE?

NO! Although our experience shows that during safety training, especially with light products, there are more frequent cases of damage due to overstressing of harnesses and in exceptional cases paragliders, every pilot has to decide for himself whether he wants to take the small residual risk of possible damage. Safety training is an important process for approaching unusual manoeuvres and simulating extreme situations. 

The following damage to equipment could occur during safety training:

  • Damage to (light-)harnesses by a reserve shock-opening
  • Damage to (light-)wings by a shock-opening collapse or cravat. In extreme cases the cloth at the leading edge can be damaged by the lines.
  • Damage to harnesses and paragliders when hauling the equipment out of the water. Water-filled harnesses and wings are extremely heavy and can be seriously damaged in various places if hoisted too vigorously aboard the rescue vessel.

Avoiding damage

  • Any reserve throw while manoeuvring basically includes unpredictable dynamic elements and in exceptional cases excessive, unaccountable forces can occur in the harness. This risk can be virtually excluded during a reserve throw from normal flight at a SIV session. 
  • If you want to practice throwing your reserve during a manoeuvre you could use a robust harness..
  • Another very sensible alternative is the G-Force Trainer. There, the deployment of the reserve at high rotation speed and g - therefore under difficult conditions - can be practised very well and repeated as you wish.
  • Beware of keen helpers when retrieving equipment from the water. Please brief them to be careful and patient.