launch at Valle de Bravo, Mexico powered paraglider launching from Evergreen Turf farms

SOUTHWEST AIRSPORTS

paragliding training center

SIV clinics

by Had Robinson

IN MEMORY OF JUDY KARPEICHIK

I recommend that all pilots attend an SIV clinic periodically.  A pilot needs to learn how to control his glider in various situations that might occur during flight.  Among these are wing-tip folds, frontal collapses, and major asymmetric collapses.  Pilots can practice wingovers, full stalls (Note: some think this is inherently dangerous to practice), extreme pitch and roll maneuvers, and reserve deployments at these clinics.  In the event of a mishap, everything is safely done over the water (for the most part).

Pilots of all skill levels can participate, including P1's with just an hour or two of airtime.  It is a modest investment for valuable training.

However, the dangers of SIV clinics may outweigh the benefits.  The following have occurred at clinics, even when run by the best instructors and crew:

As a new pilot, the most terrifying events I have ever experienced were at SIV clinics, including near drowning, nearly getting sucked into an extremely dangerous cloud towering out of control, caught in a gust front, watching someone get killed, having a winch jam with no weak link, etc.  I still wonder if it was all necessary or is it just how it all works?

 Pilots must thoroughly research the parties running the SIV in order to minimize risk.  Most instructors want pilots to fly as safely as possible at all times  But there can always be cascading events which, alone, are harmless but, when mixed together, can be lethal.  I know instructors in the U.S. who are very good and care about pilot safety but they do not host clinics in our region.  No matter how hard we try, sport aviation is in inherently dangerous and accidents will -- and do -- happen.

Please contact us for more information on SIV clinics and where you can take them.

vulture