Getting caught in the rain while paramotoring is dangerous. It
increases your chance of entering parachutal stall and may worsen the
paraglider's ability to recover from a collapse. When combined with
airflow degradation on the wing's surfaces, having enough rain
accumulated in the cells can cause spontaneous entry into parachutal
Just getting a wing wet puts you in the category of test pilot
because no certification program tests this condition. In a wing fold
it's likely the fabric will stick together to some degree, slowing
recovery. It may not be much, it may only only add a half second, but
that could be enough time to worsen a resulting bank and let Earth
intervene before control is regained. Or the wet fabric may not recover
Disruption of airflow on the surfaces may not seem like much
of an effect, given that airplanes fly just fine in the rain, but our
speeds are so slow that the effect may be worse.
Having a wing model
with holes in the trailing edge may help, but
water still accumulates in places the holes don't drain. Plus, surface
disruption still happens.
What To Do
if you get Caught In Rain
As rain accumulates in the aft portion of cells it may cause spontaneous entery
into parachutal stall. Even if it doesn't happen, parachutal stall is more
likely. These steps will help:
1. Land immediately. How
quickly you land depends on how good the landing options are and how
hard it's raining. With good landing options there's little reason to
continue. If it starts raining real hard, accept a less ideal landing
2. If your wing maker has guidance on this situation, follow
2. Set trimmers to fast, or apply speedbar while steering with the
tips or stabilos (not main brakes).
3. Avoid Big Ears. The extra drag of folded fabric can provoke
4. Consider using a steep turn (NOT a nose-over
spiral) to stay loaded during
descent. That lessens the chance for parachutal stall while getting out
of the situation quicker.
5. Minimize brake use. Consider flaring with
partial power instead of brakes. Use brakes only in the last few feet as
6. If it's turbulent, balance brake use to keep the wing
open with the need to minimize brakes.
Video of Parachutal Stall After Flying in the Rain
This video is the first good evidence of spontaneous parachutal stall
due to rain.