DHV report on six pod harnesses  

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Pod harness

About this article

The DHV look at six pod harnesses and discover some safety issues. The report raises questions about the suitability of pod harnesses for recreational pilots. There's no date on the report but it was probably put together around 2012.

About the DHV report

Recreational paraglider pilots who don’t need top performance should “carefully consider” whether they need to fly a pod harness, the DHV has said.

In the report published on the DHV website the German Hang Gliding and Paragliding Union say they have tested six models of pod harnesses and conclude:

"The product concept pod-harness has several systematic safety problems. Recreational pilots without the need for top performance should carefully consider if the additional risks inherent in flying with such a harness are really necessary for them to enjoy the sport".

Pal Takats with G-Force trainerPal Takats endured 7.5g for 1m 45s on the G-Force trainer

The test pilots were slung from an indoor G-Force Trainer. The report includes videos. It's sobering to see a pilot struggle to get the reserve out of an Advance Impress 3 harness.

The leg loop systems and back protection also came under scrutiny.

Testing an Advance Impress harness
Testing an Advance Impress harness

The report discusses reserve deployment, harness closure systems and back protection in six harnesses, including:

Advance Impress 3
Woody Valley X-Alps GTO
Gin Genie Lite
Ava Sport Tanto Lite
Sup Air Sypper
Sup Air Delight

The DHV say:

"The latest pod harnesses are generally very expensive, are heavy and voluminous, more complicated to setup and adjust, and require more attention to detail when checking for airworthiness due to their complexity and the use of fiddly components. In addition, pod harnesses can hinder pilots during takeoff and severely influence (increased twist danger) reactions to collapses and extreme flight manoeuvres".

And add:

"Performance gains while flying through reduced wind resistance are only possible when pod harnesses are carefully setup and aligned to the direction of travel. At a glance the advantages may appear clear, but the non-trivial setup is often ignored and results in no effective gain".

Online the DHV website currently has - the full report with videos
If that's gone, then here's a home made pdf of the report.

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