Articles The articles section of our site is intended to disseminate information that may prove useful to our customers. Sometimes it is hard to find information at the most basic level, and we often meet pilots who have had all manner of problems, simply because they had not gained access to important information.
For instance, one customer who was a very competent British Team pilot and represented his country at European level, complained that he really didn't like his new glider. Despite being on a different planet to us when it came to flying skills, determination and bravery, he was not the most technically minded individual. We were able to give him a tip on how to adjust his equipment to eradicate the problems he had been experiencing. It took him less than five minutes. This sort of situation arises all the time, and perhaps there is something in this section of our web site that will help somebody, somewhere.
Enjoy your flying!
Litespeed Wires Advisory Following a sidewire failure during aerobatics, Moyes have are changing the standard fitment of sidewires on Litespeeds, and have issued the following statement:-
"Moyes Side Wire Advisory:
Our Litespeed range of hang gliders have been DHV certified using 2mm (1 x 19) wire.
We recommend that all gliders with 2mm (1 x 19) wire should change their wires every 6 months or every 50 hours or with any sign of fatigue or kinking.
We recommend that if any pilot plans to do aerobatics or any high G maneuvers, they should change the side wires to 2.4mm (1 x 19).
All Litespeeds will now be produced with 2.4mm (1 x 19) side wires unless customer requests 2mm (1x19) wires.
Please ensure when placing an order for side wires that you provide the serial number and A-frame option."
SIMON'S COMMENTS: Any aerobatics are outside the normal flight envelope. Pilots wishing to perform aerobatics on any glider should consult the manufacturer for advice on whether strengthening is required.
Since 1999 Litespeeds have been certified successfully with 2mm wires, and they continue to be adequate for normal flying, within the parameters set out in the past.
DHV certification is not affected by the change to different wires, provided that they have been tested and shown to be at least as strong as the certified type. This is the case for Moyes-produced 2.4mm wires, so the gliders will retain their certification status when fitted with genuine Moyes wires.
Paul's CoMo Revelation
|Paul Williams, CFI of Paraventure, has discovered the Renschler CoMo.|
"What an instrument! I can't believe it has taken me so long to find out about this. They're ******* brilliant.
I'm just amazed that an instrument can make so much difference. In light evening lift I got twice as high as everyone else, just because of the sensitivity of the CoMo. Nick Roberts was raving about it, and now I see what he means.
It may not be exactly what competition pilots need, but for the average pilot it's bloody brilliant. People need educating, they think all varios are much the same, and they're not!
Paul is now stocking CoMo's. If you have a spare half hour, call him and ask him what he thinks of them...
STABILITY SETTINGS ON MOYES LITESPEEDS In recent months I have had a spate of customers complaining that they have checked their sprogs and found them to be set very differently from the manufacturer's settings. This seems to have arisen from the video on Youtube in which Gerolf Heinrichs, the designer of the Litespeed series, gave a fascinating lecture to the assembled pilots at the 2008 British Nationals.
This is familiar territory for me. Twenty years ago there was a flurry of activity surrounding the Airwave K-series, when sail deformation in a very few K4 and K5's was reputed to have rendered those gliders divergent. Airwave produced kits to enable owners to check their settings, and very soon reports were coming back of serious problems. These "problem" gliders were rushed back to the factory, where it was almost always found that the settings were within limits. It seemed that customers were then not capable of correctly checking their stability settings and, although glider design has improved enormously, I'm not convinced that situation has changed.
Let me explain what I think are the pre-requisites of correctly checking the settings on a Litespeed. (I do have experience on other makes of glider, but this article is aimed primarily at my Litespeed customers).
1) Time. (I reckon to take 2-3 hours for this job, despite having considerable practise and experience).
2) Level floor and a symmetrical base bar/A-frame.
3) Indoor area. (Any air movement will give you false and inconsistent readings).
4) Standard neutral frame adjustment. (Reset to your existing settings after measurement, if desired).
5) Obtain the original factory settings for your particular glider (they are specific to each glider, and should be written in the manual that came with the glider. If not, they are available from the factory if you quote the serial number).
6) The correct tools and equipment to adjust the setting in the manner originally prescribed by the factory.
Any one of these factors, when ignored, can result in a glider that is incorrectly set-up. And now we come to the point from which the problem seems to have arisen - there are two different methods of measuring the sprog settings!
|Until Spring 2008 Moyes always used the "Strings" method, whereby the glider is suspended off the floor, VG full on, cords are run between the rearmost tips of four battens, and measurements are taken up to the keel in order to give the readings you find in your manual. This may sound rather Heath Robinson, and it is certainly a pain to set up, but it gives accurate and consistent results. If your glider is over a year old this is the method you should use.|
Another method, which might seem more attractive to the modern pilot, is to prop the glider on the floor on the keel stinger, VG full on, and to measure the difference in angle between the keel and the sprogs using a "Degree wheel". This might be an old-fashioned analogue device, or a more modern electronic digital one, which is what I have used with some success on some other makes of glider.
|Thanks to Gerolf's excellent lecture, it has been assumed by some owners that, when using the degree wheel all gliders should be adjusted to the same degrees setting. In my experience, however, that isn't the reality, and I have found absolutely no correlation between the degree settings that have been bandied about by pilots and those factory settings installed by Moyes when the glider was built.|
This week I checked a glider that had been pilot-adjusted using a degree wheel, and found that his sprogs were set hugely higher than they were when they left the factory. I returned the glider to factory settings, and confidently expect it will fly much better than it did when the owner felt obliged to return it for a check-over.
Please note that I don't claim to be an expert. I'm not a designer, just the mechanic who sets the glider to factory settings using the factory-approved method. Hot competition pilots may want more than this service, but I believe that normal mortals would be well advised to stick with factory settings, which can only be ensured using the method the factory prescribed when the glider was built.
Finally, the price of getting these adjustments wrong can be very high, so please tread carefully.
Pilot induced oscillations The dangers associated with trying a new hang glider.
Back in the 1980's, when Airwave (the original, Isle of Wight version) introduced the Magic, I called Rory Carter to complain that my brand new example was yawing about all over the sky. There must be, I reasoned, something wrong with it. He simply replied "Pilot Induced Oscillation. You'll soon get over it".
I thought that was bull, but Rory was right. Glider design has evolved since then, but PIO is still around and occasionally manifests itself in a scarier manner than it did on my Magic. I have seen one person almost die as a result of inducing PIO, and have heard of several similar events, so let's highlight the problem, before somebody gets hurt.
When you change to a new glider, you may be in danger of entering a series of massive and uncontrollable wingovers. I don't understand the complex theories behind PIO, yaw/roll coupling etc. and I rather doubt whether intricate aerodynamic knowledge would necessarily help. All you need to know is that designers have worked for many years to reduce the effort required to fly modern gliders, and that they have succeeded.
The two most visible results of their efforts are probably that A-frames are narrower than they used to be, and that we now hang from a "dingle-dangle" mounted above the keel. Those of you who flew in the bad old days will remember regularly having your body wedged into the corner of the A-frame with your legs kicked out to one side, all in the name of trying to make the glider go where you wanted. Nowadays it is unusual to touch an upright other than during the take-off and landing.
Whilst this progress is, unquestionably, a very good thing, the downside comes when a pilot first converts to the newer gliders. The scenario seems harmless enough: A pilot is having his first flight on a topless glider, and it is a fairly windy day. You can put him on a very pleasant site that he knows well, and you can give him an absolute gem of a glider. He can be as experienced as you like, he can be really current and you can give him a very thorough briefing. He can even take off and have a fly around without encountering any problems. There is no apparent cause for concern.
This happy situation turns sour at the same instant as something unusual happens, and the pilot reacts automatically. Instead of adhering to the briefing and only using light control pressures and small inputs, some external trigger causes him to revert to the level of inputs which he has been using on his old glider(s). A good hard pull on the base bar (Speed Is Safety!) that would have been appropriate on his old glider is a massively heavy-handed input on the new thoroughbred wing. In just a second or two he has gone from drifting serenely around the sky to hanging on to a yawing monster that is executing consecutive wingovers - apparently intent upon piling into the front of the hill.
If you have never seen this happen, you may be sceptical. I have seen it happen once, and I have heard of another five or six similar events. I once took a very experienced pilot to the easiest coastal site in the area and let him test fly my personal glider. I flew it first, then he had a twenty minute flight without problem. The wind had picked up a bit on his second flight, so as he took off and climbed out he pulled on the bar to move forwards. Unfortunately, this input was an automatic pull on the bar, appropriate to his solid-handling old kingposted glider, but not at all what was needed for the topless wing he was flying now. He careered down the front of this most benign hill in a series of terrifying wingovers, narrowly missing the ground several times. I thought he was going to die, and that he was going to kill my lovely glider, too. Eventually he slowed the glider down, regained control and flew out to a bottom landing - shaken and thoroughly stirred.
You can avoid this event by simply using small, light inputs to control the glider when you are confronted by an unforeseen problem. But reverting to flying "on automatic" is entirely natural, and that is the moment when everything goes pear-shaped. Getting out of the yaw is easy when you are above ground level - just slow down. It isn't so easy when your priority is avoiding the ground at the outward extent of consecutive involuntary wingovers. You still have to slow down, but how you do that is a matter of timing your inputs so that you don't hit the deck.
I've never been there, so I can't describe the technique. However, other factors that might exacerbate the problem are having the glider trimmed incorrectly, and having an unsuitable VG setting. Both of these factors are possibilities on your first flight on a glider that is new to you. It is best to avoid the problem by NEVER yanking on the bar as though you are a 1990 relic.
The sceptics will probably say "Hey, these modern gliders must be really tricky to fly!" Given their track record, that obviously isn't the case. Certainly, though, current wings do have very light controls, and do require small and precise inputs. If you come from some heavy-handed old kingposted glider then I promise you that you are very much at risk of experiencing PIO. Even if you are coming from a fine-handling hot kingposted wing, the differences are quite extreme, and it can happen to you.
A voice from the past, 70's Sky-God Taras Kicheniuk Jnr. once said: "Be sensitive at all times to small changes in direction and attitude, and apply small corrections early, rather than gross corrective effort later".
You have been warned!
Deployment in Verbier
|SIMON'S RESERVE DEPLOYMENT|
Mention a parachute deployment to a lot of people, and they visualise a Battle of Britain pilot baling out of his stricken fighter, surrounded by acrid smoke and licked by orange flames.
Fortunately, my experience wasn't quite like that. There are quite a few aspects of this deployment that may be helpful to anyone unfortunate enough to find themselves in a similar situation, and there are certainly a few lessons to take on board. It is interesting to note that, despite the relatively high number or deployments, not many articles are written about what has happened. Is it that the pilot doesn't want to appear to be a plonker? Or that he feels it might detract from the respect in which his equipment is held? Well, neither of those things are a concern to me, so here is a blow-by blow report of my experience. Read on, and take note!
Having been heavily involved with the design and marketing of reserve systems over the last thirty years, it has always been in the back of my mind that, should I ever have to deploy a reserve, any kind of failure would have repercussions. I played a supporting role in the design and marketing of the Zoot chute and Parazoot series, and have sold literally thousands of reserve systems as the UK importer for Firebird and Charly reserves over the last thirty years. I've also spoken out against political bodies that chose to criticise systems on offer from reserve manufacturers. Publicly announcing that these bodies are talking nonsense isn't likely to make you popular, so I knew that if I ever had a failed deployment there would be a queue of people pointing, and saying "Told you!"
My stance has always been that any successful deployment involves a lot of good luck, no matter how good your equipment. The moment that you throw your reserve is the point at which you give up control, and put your life in the hands of fate.
What follows is an account of my flight on August 2nd.
We woke to a bright and unusually cool day. We took of into a sky without other gliders, apart from those on the training slopes below. I was soon climbing out above take off. There seemed to be quite a bit of lift around, and it was slightly rougher than is usual for this time of year in Verbier. Not really rough, and not at all scary, but there was something of an edge which I hadn't felt before.
Harriet and I took turns to reach cloudbase, which was a couple of thousand feet above take-off, but still below the mountain peaks. At one point Harriet was high while I struggled, and she set off up the valley towards the higher mountains. Eventually I found a lively climb to 'base, and set off in pursuit so as to avoid going into cloud. I was slightly surprised to see her much lower, and heading back towards me. We tend not to chatter unnecessarily on the radio, so the fact that she didn't say anything didn't trigger any alarm bells. Unknown to me, my radio batteries had died, so I didn't hear her warning me not to fly up the valley, because it was very rough.
INTO THE VALLEY OF DEPLOYMENT
I'd been flying about an hour, and felt pretty switched-on. The plan was, as usual, to get high and cross the valley to get amongst the glaciers. This would have required a higher cloudbase, but I thought that would come with time. Thus I continued along the valley, slowing losing altitude, but knowing that the area I was heading for usually works well. There is a particular rocky spine, Becs de Rosse - as seen in Harriet's picture that heads this article - which almost invariably provides lift. So that is where I headed, drawn like a moth to a flame. It is scary terrain, but is the key to crossing the valley. Sure enough, as I reached the spine I immediately flew into a thermal, and set myself up in the healthy core, climbing up in front of the forbidding shapes of the spine. Although I was probably five thousand feet above the valley floor, it is worth noting that this translated into about a couple of hundred feet above the granite - sometimes more, sometimes less.
On the third or fourth 360 everything went wrong. I was suddenly aware that the canopy was somewhere out behind me, giving the impression of halting me in space, and tipping me over backwards. It should be noted that my lack of ability as a paraglider pilot (I'm really a hang glider pilot, so do tend to blunder about a bit when flying paragliders!) results in my never flying the glider very slowly. I fly actively, but rarely apply large amounts of brake. Whatever stopped the canopy, I doubt that it was me. Not that I'm denying liability - I just don't believe I stalled the glider.
My personal view is that I was probably too relaxed for the circumstances and, having flown into a spot of hefty turbulence, I failed to keep the glider inflated. I may also have put the mockers on any hope of recovery by putting my hands down as a natural reaction to falling backwards. This is pure guesswork. I haven't a clue what happened, but the behaviour of the glider was so out of character with everything it has done over the last twelve months that it is natural to look for reasons.
I was now in trouble. I could feel that the wing was turning rapidly above my head, and looked up to see a spinning mass of untidy cloth, connected to me by a twisted mass of lines. A feeble attempt to apply a bit of pressure through the brake lines was, of course, futile and I was very well aware that I was out of my depth. I knew the rocks were not far below, and though my heading did seem to be away from them, and I wasn't falling very fast, it was clear that this situation called for a reserve deployment.
NOTE! At this point I'd like to make a statement which might save your life. I had NO sense of falling, so if you expect to get a feeling of suddenly plummetting earthwards, and hence to realise that this is the time to deploy, you may be fooling yourself. I have discussed this with other pilots who have deloyed, and also with a very beautiful skydiver with whom I was (am) very much in love and they all agreed that there is no sense of plummetting until you get very near the ground. When soimething goes wrong low down, don't faff around - just deploy.
Back to the action:
Oh dear! It was time to put my money where my mouth has always been. Delay could be fatal, so I found the reserve handle (Instantaneous - make sure you know where your handle is!) and pulled it firmly. (The release system on Charly harnesses incorporates a special device to equalise release pressures on the two-pin system, no matter the direction in which the handle is pulled. It certainly worked in this case).
When writing the manual for the Parazoot I coined the phrase "throw the reserve as though your life depended upon it". I was rather pleased with that! But when it came to throwing my own reserve I only managed a half-hearted attempt, and was immediately dissatisfied with it. Even so, the reserve opened quickly, and immediately exerted a reassuringly strong pull on my shoulders. And there was my Charly Revolution 1 as I had never seen it before! Thank God!
Everything now slowed down a bit - not that the descent rate had seemed very high at any time. As the reserve came into play so the main canopy re-opened half-heartedly. They often do this once the stupid pilot leaves the brakes alone as he deploys, but in this case the brakes were held in the twisted mass of lines, and it was probably more a matter of the reduced wing loading allowing the canopy to re-inflate. I clearly remember experiencing a feeling of regret - if only I had waited a few moments before deploying, the canopy might have re-opened. I quickly realised that, even if it had done so, my twisted risers would have had to unwind before I could have regained control, and the rocks were too close for comfort.
Any doubts were forgotten as I realised that the main canopy and the reserve were beginning to interfere with each other. This is normal, but if it isn't checked then there is a risk of downplaning - an undesirable interplay between the glider and the reserve that results in an accelerating descent rate. I was able to reach up and grab a line that ran to the right tip of the glider, and pulling it in just a few feet deflated the wing enough to allow the reserve to assume full control. And didn't it just take control!
Everything smoothed out, and we settled into a gentle, slow descent. I'd been warned by several experts (real experts - people who have jumped and have been involved in the design and testing of reserves) to expect the descent rate to be scary. They said the ground rush in the last few feet would be positively terrifying for anyone unused to such things. The reality was that the descent rate was surprisingly low. This seemed to me to be A Very Good Thing, and may have had something to do with the fact that I still had an area of the main canopy adding to the drag. My grasp on that tip line ensured that it was not upsetting stability.
Harriet, who was watching all this from a distance, later expressed her surprise at just how slow the descent was. There was a slight drift (lady luck was smiling) which took me away from the rocky spine (and to the area on the left of the header photograph above). The GPS trace suggests that, having missed the spine, I actually descended around 900 feet under the reserve. How long did it take? Well, I really don't know, but it was certainly well over a minute, probably nearer two.
Once the descent was stable, and the most dangerous rocks were no longer a risk, I kept hold of that tip line and was able to devote time to thinking about other important matters. The terrain below me was still seriously unfriendly, but was only about 70% rocks. I sent out a radio transmission to alert everyone on my frequency as to what was going on, still unaware that my batteries were dead. It was now that I noticed, with some regret, that my deployment bag and handle were drifting away from me.
So far everything had been fairly serene, but the bad thing about a slow descent is that you have plenty time to take stock of your situation. Although the spine was just a horrid memory, the rocks beneath were still pretty jagged, and my drift was carrying me toward a cliff about the height of a house. A three-storey house. Remember that there you have no control over your landing area, it is just a place that comes up to meet you. So, although the descent was in itself rather pleasant, and technically very interesting, there was certainly a significant element of fear as to where we would end up, and whether it would hurt.
I was lucky, We drifted on past the rocky cliff and I was feeling Pretty Darned Chuffed because the ground beneath me now was mostly scrub. There was probably no more than 30% or 40% rock - The odds were improving all the time. I was in with a chance. All I needed to do was to put in the best PLF known to man, and all could be OK. We've all done PLFs, all felt really stupid while doing it, but at last the training was going to pay off! Knees and ankles together; bend the knees; hold on to that tip line; keep the body supple; wait a bit longer until the ground comes a bit nearer; hold that line; remember to make this the good one - no, the BEST one; bend those knees; get ready (wait a bit longer for the ground); not too many rocks here; here we go! PLF!
But nothing much happened. It is all very well doing effective PLFs when jumping off a solid object, but just you try it when travelling backwards while suspended by the shoulders from point 20 feet above you. Your legs just drag ineffectively behind you, and the PLF feels most unsatisfactory. Well, mine did. But my luck was in, and the landing was on level heathery scrub between the rocks. I remember thinking that the impact was harder than I expected during the placid descent, no doubt partly because I bit my tongue. No matter, I quickly realised that nothing was broken or bent. The impact was similar to falling sideways from a standing position onto solid ground. It was quite hard, but as I stood up I felt as though this was a spectacular success. Particularly satisfying in view of the fact that I pack my own reserves.
So far, then, I had done quite well. But a safe landing is not the end of a deployment, and from here on in I made some serious mistakes. First priority was to radio everyone to say that I was OK. I got the radio out and finally realised that it was dead. Harriet was flying along some way above me, so I stood and waved my arms around to signify that I was AOK. Unknown to me, she dared not come in too close, in case she hit turbulence, and she couldn't see my waving. Thinking I wasn't moving she got on the radio for assistance, which led to the helicopter being summoned. It is obvious now that I should have waved something more visible - the reserve, for instance. It would have put her mind at rest, and would have reduced later hassles.
BUSY, BUSY, BUSY.
The moments of relaxation after landing were immediately replaced by a hectic schedule of Things That Must Be Done and, remarkably, a hectic series of social events. I was now confident that everyone knew I was OK via Harriet. Being a thoughtful soul I thought I would send a message via my mobile. Being an idiot, I chose to do this by text rather than voice. My old phone was not the best for sending texts, and in the middle of composing a short message I was distracted by the breathless arrival of three walkers who had witnessed my descent and had climbed up to see if I was OK. Trying to speak French whilst sending a text message is harder than it might sound.
The next distraction was the sound of a helicopter approaching, so I quickly tried to bundle the canopy away so as not to be "rescued", with all the associated charges and costs. Then there was a telephone call from Harriet, but it cut off before I could answer it. I redialled her number, but it was engaged. I tried again, and got through. She was astonished (and relieved) to hear from me, having presumed I was seriously hurt. Had I simply made a quick phone call instead of sending a text, the helicopter might not have been summoned. Durrrrr
.. Harriet tried to call off the helicopter, but soon rang back to say they wanted to finish the operation, so would I pull out the canopy so they could find me? Bluddy 'Eck! I now started unpacking the kit again.
No wonder Stu Belbas looked slightly perplexed as he arrived after a high-speed trip up the mountain roads on his quad. I must have appeared a bit flustered, and why was I unpacking my kit? He must have thought I'd had a bang on the head and was thinking of taking off again. With the diplomacy for which the Belbas twins are renowned, he humoured me, and I told him about the helicopter. Stu suggested the best bet was to stuff it and run for it! But the chopper found us before we could make our getaway it had decanted a doctor and a rescue guy who was covered in karabiners and ropes. They just waited as we walked up the hill to meet them, where the doctor asked a few questions and checked that my neck and back were unhurt.
At this point another helicopter landed, and out jumped a TV crew. This was too much for Stu, who grabbed my harness and exited rapidly, stage left. He muttered something about retrieving the quad, and he'd meet me up at the road shortly. The TV guys spoke no English, and I declined to speak French. They were clearly hoping to find a body perched on the rocky spine (and might well have done so had I not deployed), but all they got was an idiot Englishman smiling into their lens saying "I'm off to get a beer and something to eat". Surely that wasn't newsworthy?
I met Stu at the road, and everything began to return to Verbier Summits reality. Back at our luxury Chalet I started untangling the lines of the glider. It was indeed quite a tangle, and soon Harriet took over this job while I repacked the reserve. Stu provided a new deployment bag and handle, and when everything was ready we did the Verbier Summits thing - we went flying again.
We have all sat and watched those excellent SIV videos that show you what to do when things go wrong. They will NOT prepare you for the real thing. The guy in the video is likely to be a mega-talented pilot, flying at massive altitude over a lake on which is waiting a rescue boat with divers. He knows what he is trying to show his audience, so applies the correct inputs to get the canopy failure required. When it comes, he already knows what it is, and thus knows how best to deal with it. He also knows he has a relatively long time in which to sort it out. In the real world you don't know why your canopy has become a tangled mess, you may not be mega-talented, you probably aren't high, aren't over a lake, haven't got much height. The rescue boat is nowhere to be seen. So, videos are interesting, but they aren't the answer in themselves. By all means go on an SIV course - it won't do your glider any good, but it might be really good for you. More importantly, get a good reserve and make sure you know how to use it. Then cross your fingers.
Here is a summary of my mistakes. The ones in CAPITALS are those I will be trying not to repeat:-
1) I went flying
2) I flew a paraglider
3) I flew in thermic conditions
4) I flew to a likely source of lift which I know can be turbulent
5) I circled in a thermal that was relatively close to a rocky spine
6) I LOST CONTROL OF THE GLIDER
7) I MAY HAVE APPLIED BRAKE INADVERTENTLY, PREVENTING RECOVERY
8) Having deployed, my THROW WAS NOT STRONG ENOUGH
9) I BIT MY TONGUE. Perhaps this prevented broken teeth?
10) MY RADIO BATTERIES WERE NOT SUFFICIENTLY CHARGED.
11) I SHOULD HAVE WAVED THE WING ABOUT TO SHOW HARRIET I WAS OK.
12) I SHOULD HAVE MADE LIVE PHONE CALLS - not sent texts
But I did do some things right:
1) I went flying
2) I flew a paraglider, but had chosen excellent equipment
3) I flew in thermic conditions
4) I flew to a likely source of lift which I know can be turbulent
5) I circled in a thermal that was relatively close to a rocky spine
6) Having lost control, I assessed the situation and decided to deploy
7) I acted quickly and decisively.
8) I deployed my Charly reserve from my Charly harness. No problem!
9) I prevented the glider from interfering with the reserve
10) I enjoyed the descent despite very real fears of imminent injury
11) I survived almost intact
12) I apologised (repeatedly) to all those I had inconvenienced
So, that is the story of my deployment. You can learn some useful lessons from this event, ones which don't normally get much publicity. I've been flying for 30 years, and hope this will be my only deployment. I certainly have absolutely no wish to deploy a reserve when flying a hang glider, which creates a far less friendly environment for a reserve parachute. My deployment was remarkably friendly, but the end result is entirely a matter of luck. You have no control as to where you are going to land, and there is thus a very real risk of hurting yourself.
The bottom line is that if you have good kit you can usually walk away from potentially fatal incidents.
This is something which I have always known - but it is very satisfying to have proven it to be true.