CAGE MANUAL – MANEUVERS
Assymetric Collapse-Small :
The pilot should maintain his direction, and. the wing will recover very quickly, more quickly than in a conventional paraglider. As the pilot steers the cage with the open wing, the acceleration of air towards the closed wing as well as the internal circulation reopens the sail. Normal, small collapses reopen quickly and automatically without any input from the pilot except keeping the cage horizontal.
It is important to note that flying the cage under half a wing is relatively easy. The wing can be sped up or a roll initiated towards the open side, accelerating the flow of air and reopening the closed side. By comparison, in a conventional paraglider the pilot can become unbalanced and need large efforts to produce any effect by weight shift, especially if a rotation develops. Also, the twisting riser phenomenon that can occur with conventional paragliders does not occur with the cage.
Assymetric Collapse-Large :
Larger collapses are countered by shifting your weight towards the wing which is still inflated and pushing the cage handle upwards on the collapsed side. If the collapse persists (as in a cravate or a massive collapse) and the wing enters a spiral, the solution is to pull big ears. Since your weight should be held towards the open side, pull the big ears handle with the hand which is on the collapsed side. Once the spiral turn is stopped and the wing is flying straight, a cravate can be pumped out with the big ears handle. It is important to understand that even though one should fly the cage with a light touch and fingertip control, in the case of a massive collapse and spiral, you should react quickly and aggressively.
Frontal Collapse :
Frontal collapses are usually due to the pilot encountering turbulence with the bar pulled in for speed. Generally the wing reopens spontaneously when the pilot lets out the bar, allowing the wing to adjust to trim speed. A very brief « push out » is enough to accelerate reinflation, if necessary. Of course, a frontal collapse is more complex if combined with an assymetric collapse.
Spins – Assymetric Stalls :
In ordinary cage flying, flat spins or negative spins are not encountered. A spin can only be provoked by extended action from the pilot when aggressive roll input is given while staying in a stall. Letting go of the cage at this point generally results in one wing sweeping forward followed by an assymetric collapse.
One should not engage in the types of extreme manuevers that have already been thoroughly explored by the test pilots, and which are outside of the normal cage flight parameters. These include:
(1) bank angles steeper than 45 degrees
(2) slowing and accelerating the wing (« porpoising ») to produce swings of more than 30 degrees from vertical
(4) aggressive, steep turns at slow speed provoking assymetric stalls
(5) pilot induced collapses
END OF CAGE MANUAL TRANSLATION
USE of BIG EARS
– 2/2000 – JLD communication through Karl Stice
It is strongly advised to NOT slow down in banking turns with « big ears » pulled in . Already that would contradictory to what you are trying to do, which is descend rapidly. For landings with small « big ears » it is usually no problem to flare adequately, except for the higher than normal sink rate which must be accounted for in touchdown and flare timing.
With large « big ears », landing with them on should be done with much caution to avoid stalling , and this type of landing should be done only in cases of strong winds or in lifting conditions , due to the high sink rate you will be in .
The Cage system allows for changing the angle of attack with small to large « big ears », and controlling the angle of attack still is dependent on the pilot and his personal skill. In conclusion , the possibility of stalling the wing with « big ears » pulled on does exist , and since the cage doesn’t give a strong feedback in that situation , it can come as a surprise ! So be careful about slowing the wing up too much when « ears » are pulled on .
Length of hang strap –
Most US pilots are hanging too low. Your hands should rest comfortably at the top of the black pads on the cage handles. The hang straps can slip and lengthen over time. Find your ideal position, mark and secure it. On the early harnesses that are not a continuous sewn loop, consider having it sewn in place. The limit of shortening your hang strap is to have it just long enough to lift the cage over your head for forward launches.
– Importance of proper hand position
The hands should be placed around in front of the bars , to pull on pitch only . Hands in front allow for
variation of pitch, and when the pilot needs to, he can let out on his hand pressure , and the wing naturally re-seeks its trim speed . Always remember to think of the pilot pulling the cage ONLY
through the hang strap.
Flying the cage with a light touch –
Except for rare emergency-type collapse situations where aggressive action is required, the cage should be flown with a light touch. You should be laid back in your harness, body perpendicular to the cage, legs horizontal, and hands at the top of the black pads. Since the glider is trimmed in pitch by your hang point, it will cruise hands off. (Realize of course that like a hang glider it is roll stable, and will not fly level hands off if started from a bank). Conversely, if you sit too upright and/or grab the handles and hold on tight, as might happen when attempting to get in your harness incorrectly, you could potentially force the wing into a frontal. If you are in a bank, you can force it into an assymmetric. You also cannot feel the wing properly when not flying with a light touch.
Hang Strap Centering –
It has been noted that the main hang strap that connects from the spreader bar tube to the carabiner can get offset, causing the glider to have a slight tendency to turn to one side. After recentering the hang strap, you can build up the tape on either side of the strap to hold it in the proper position.
Rapid Descent Technique –
The rapid descent technique for the cage is a spiral dive with ears. You must be comfortable in doing it BEFORE you are in the situation where you really need to be well versed in it. Learn it gradually and you will find that you can vary the bank angle and the rate of descent quite easily. Of course, always think ahead, plan your flight, and avoid venturis, cloud suck, getting behind ridges, etc.
Use of Big Ears in Collapse Situations –
In 3 years of flying the Lagon, I never encountered the need to employ big ears for collapse recovery. Since that time, flying the Paradigm, I have. It should be noted that the situation was completely related to being in the wrong place relative to the terrain and wind. But I also learned something and that is the following: Since it is rarely used, it is not intuitive to remember to pull ears for recovery. It should be thought about and trained for before you need to consider doing it. Your handle should be checked like your reserve handle is checked.
Cage Maintenance –
Hard landings or ground handling incidents with the cage can result in slop or play in the cage structure. What is actually happening is the two short tubes adjacent to the cam fitting on the top of the leading edge have a special bevelled end outboard. This end or « fuse », is designed to distort or fail and take the load, preventing catastrophic loads from occurring. If you look closely you can see the distortion. The bottom line is, if there is any play in your cage wiring, your fuse tubes should be replaced.
Regularly inspect the white plastic fittings on the cage for looseness, especially at the tips. They should be tight. Check your desnaggler and hang strap leech line knots for tightness. Check where the two hang straps attach to the spreader bar tube. There is a black rubber fitting which is designed to prevent chafing. If it is worn out it can be turned over, or replaced.