April 16, 2020
In future there will be no new safety class tests for paragliders. The DHV wants to focus its security work on other areas. The DHV stops its safety class tests on paragliders. // Source: DHV The results of a last season of safety class tests of paragliders will be published in one of the upcoming DHV info magazines. After that is the end. The DHV board recently decided not to continue this special test program for the time being. Instead, the security department of the DHV should take care of other security-related developments. Among other things, it is planned to subject harnesses to a test procedure that goes far beyond the test procedures of sample testing. In addition, more resources should flow into security analyzes and training and further education. The DHV introduced the safety class tests around nine years ago and has been operating them systematically since 2014. The aim was to be able to better assess the safety behavior of class A and B paragliders even in flight conditions beyond the maneuvers defined by the EN standard or LTF. The classification into so-called safety classes with grades 1 to 5 should give the pilots assistance in choosing the wing when it comes to making it easier to distinguish between demanding and less demanding models. The safety class tests were well received by many pilots, but were also repeatedly criticized. Because they conveyed an objective comparability of screens reduced to grades, which was not consistently covered by the test system. Since the worst case always determines the rating for the SC-Note, umbrellas with a higher top speed, which inevitably aggravate the behavior when the rattles are fully accelerated, systematically underperformed. Safety class tests have had an effect With the introduction of the safety class tests, the DHV has of course initiated some good developments and can count this as a success. For example, special loggers were developed and used for the tests in order to be able to record cap movements more precisely. Such measurement technology could also be used in the official EN tests in the future. Many paraglider manufacturers also took the SC tests as an opportunity to align their glider developments not only in accordance with the EN standard, but also to moderate safety class classifications and to advertise with them. Historically, the introduction of systematic safety class tests came at a time when Gin, for example, presented a wing as the EN-B with the Carrera, which was generally perceived as actually "too hot" for this class. The Carrera got the worst grades in the SC test. Since then, many manufacturers have made an effort to push the design of their umbrellas less to the class limits, even in the high-B range. Especially with a view to flying high-B devices, the DHV does not want to continue to provide information in the future with safety class grades, but with targeted communication. The message should then be: Pilots who have not yet learned to intervene actively in the event of a malfunction should not fly a high-B wing or higher! For inexperienced pilots, beginners and pure pleasure flyers, the DHV strongly recommends umbrellas of categories A or Low-B. The end of the safety class tests has another aspect. It also relieves the DHV financially, because the test flights were associated with a considerable amount of time, personnel, travel and material costs.
This article has been translated for your convenience and was originally written in Deutsch.
A popular German Paragliding Blog written by Lucian Haas