Paraglider WOF Events
The Club has a WOF evening planned where members can get their Paraglider & Harness WOFs, on Friday 30th September 2022.
Subsequent ones may be coming as well.
Remember, it's a legal requirement (CAA regulations) to fly with a warranted glider.
The venue is Target Road Primary School, Wairau Valley, on the North Shore.
There'll be a sausage sizzle. But if you require steak, you're welcome to bring your own to cook!
BYO drinks, but the school has 'No Alcohol on their grounds' policy.
While we don't have the time slots like last year, it It is recommended that you check your gear BEFORE you get to the venue. This will greatly increase efficiency on the evening.
But don't worry, if you are a bit new to it all, or feel reluctant to do so, experienced inspectors/pilots will be present to brief and assist you on how to perform a thorough check of your glider and harness.
A good system is to pair up with a buddy pilot and check your gear together, or better yet, check each other's glider/harness.
Be prepared to spend a good hour and a half at least on the check of a glider. It needs to be very thorough, checking each line, each seam, each cell, each attachment point etc.
If you haven't done a WOF before, or need a refresher, see the section below on how to perform the necessary checks (links to the necessary forms are also provided).
Your equipment needs to be in warrantable condition when you bring it on the day.
For example, damaged line sheaths, unpatched holes in gliders etc. and any damage to gear that effects its structural integrity or functionality will possibly not pass a WOF.
We can advise pilots with regard to this but if you have any doubts about your gear, contact your supplier first. They should also be able to issue a WOF when any problems are attended to.
Where & When:
Friday 30th September, from 19:00
How to check your paraglider and harness
Here's a description on carrying out a thorough Warrant Of Fitness check for your glider/harness.
Print out the WOF Check forms from NZHGPA website
OPMF36 - Paragliding Warrant Of Fitness form
OPMF36a - Paraglider Harness and Emergency Parachute form
Find and print out a line diagram or line chart for your specific glider.
These can generally be found on the manufacturers website. Example of a line diagram below.
Allow plenty of time to do your checks. Completing a full WOF inspections should take you between 1 and 2 hours (per glider)
Prepare your wing by finding a place where you can lay out at least half your glider and be able to pull the lines tight. If outside be aware of any wind that may play havoc with your glider when it's laid out.
Use this opportunity to shake any sand and other debris that may have accumulated out of the glider.
Line Diagram Example
Checking your glider in detail
You need to check every part of your glider and harness in detail and not make any assumptions
Take each line, starting at the outside and run your fingers along every cm of the line, looking and feeling for abnormalities. Feeling the lines this way as you run your fingers over them allows you to feel for hard bits, damages or kinks inside the sheath that you can't see. As you do each line, tick it off on your line diagram. The smaller lines near the canopy take a lot of effort to not miss any. Pay special attention to your A and B lines as these are the main load bearing lines.
If you feel any abnormality, try bending the line to see if it bends in a smooth curve. If the line bends in a square, then it may indicate damage to the internal core and may need replacing. Mark the line with a sticker and note its position on a piece of paper i.e. side of the wing A, B, C or D line - lower, mid or upper level. These will then be reviewed by the WOF officer, or contact your gear supplier.
Check the attachments to the wing appear secure and undamaged by the lines.
Check all aspects of the risers in detail and make sure that no wear or abrasion is developing.
Check where each main line attaches to the riser metal maillons for wear on any, especially the inner surfaces.
Make sure the maillons are not loose.
Check that the pulleys are running smoothly. It's fairly common for brake or speedbar pulleys to bind up.
Trim / line length / symmetry:
The ability to check if your glider is in trim is limited during a WOF check. If the glider is not performing as well as could be expected, or you have reason to think it's out of trim, then you should bring it to a professional to perform a trim check. Gliders go out of trim when lines stretch or shrink.
Check every part of the fabric of your wing. This means looking at the top and bottom surfaces, and looking in the cell openings to look at the internal ribbing and cross-port venting holes. If the wing has ever been banged hard on its nose, it can split or rupture the internal ribs around the cross-port venting holes.
Check the plastic reinforcement rods are undamaged.
Check very carefully the leading edge and openings - then trailing edge, reinforcing tapes or seams.
Porosity is what is checked during a Club WOF night, or by your paragliding school. It measures the amount of time it takes for a fixed volume of air to pass through the paraglider canopy fabric. A new glider will start at over 15 minutes. As gliders age, UV and wear causes them to let more air through the fabric. This impacts the performance of the glider and will get to a level where the glider is no longer suitable for flight.
Check that your all-up flight weight, including the weight of the wing, is within the specifications of the glider. This is worth being aware of although not direct related to a WOF.
Inspect the harness - including all of its straps and panels.
Check where all the straps meet the buckles, making sure there’s no wear and tear in these places that could weaken them.
Check all the stitching on all parts of the harness, especially on the leg straps and all junctions between straps and the main harness body. Make sure they are all intact and not coming apart.
Check the main hang point loop where the main carabiner contacts it, and make sure there’s no wear and tear on this loop.
Open the harness up and check the seat board and make sure the seatboard is not abrading the leg straps or main vertical weight bearing straps. If the seatboard edges are sharp, they can wear through the straps that contact it - these need to be checked regularly (at least yearly at the WOF check), and the seatboard smoothed or the sharp edges taped if issues are detected.
Carabiners are recommended to be replaced every 5 years or 500 hours of usage.
Check your reserve repack date. If this is longer than you are comfortable with, book your reserve in to have a repack. The recommended repacking is once per year, because the rubber bands that are used tend to not last all that long.
Check the date of manufacture for your reserve. Most manufacturers recommend that a reserve is replaced after 10 years, even if it hasn't been deployed.
Check your reserve attachment to your harness.
Check the pins on the reserve are in place and the velcro is secure.
Manufacturers publish safety advisories about issues that have been found with gear. During your WOF it would be a good idea check if any of your equipment has safety notices you have not seen. Here are some examples of safety notices:
Ozone Safety Notices
Gin Safety Notices
Safety Notices on Flybubble
WOF Event / sign off:
Having completed all the checks you can come to the WOF event to have a WOF-accredited person sign you off.
At the WOF event the porosity will be checked. It may not be left to run for the full reading due to the limited time available and the number of wings that need to be checked. As long as the wing returns a pass this is sufficient for issuing the WOF. There may be opportunity though to run a full porosity check at the event if it's not busy. We're looking into other events where this check can also be done.
Any questions you may have or damage you have found should be reviewed with the PGSO, or you should have had it fixed beforehand.
A WOF sticker will be issued and must be attached to the wing.
Once WOF forms are signed off, the WOF Officer holds on to these, and they must be sent to the NZHGPA which keep them on record in order to meet CAA requirements.
Big thanks to Glen Ogilvie and Alan Hills for compiling this useful description of a WOF check.