Pro-course CHECK & REPAIR, Japan, March 2023 Manu Bonte (10914)
06 May 2023EDUCATION | paragliding
The professional training course "paraglider check and repair expert" which was scheduled for March 2020 in Japan could finally take place. It is an understatement to say that it was eagerly awaited! The selected participants, from Japan and Vietnam, had advanced knowledge in at least one of the four areas of study. Some even showed real expertise. Adding the seriousness and the Japanese organization, this seminar could only be a new stone in the APPI training system. All this exactly at the time of the cherry blossom, so everything started under the best auspices.
The Aerotact atelier provided by Hangai san, close to its schools in the north of Tokyo, is simply perfect to receive and train inspection and repair technicians. 7 sewing stations, two laser stations dedicated to line measurement, differential trimming measurement station, breakage bench, suspension and backlighting device... the best.
The training provided by Manu Bonte, Mrs Chin (thi to trinh Nguyen) and Naoisha Okada was programmed on a very... Japanese rhythm, but the over-motivated participants managed to pulverize the number of hours of practice.
The first part of the course (12 hours) presented the concepts necessary for a good understanding of the problems related to aging and airworthiness criteria. To this end, advanced notions dealing with materials, but also with design, development and approval were studied. Then the methods to be used to control the flight material and to repair it in an efficient and relevant way were exposed.
Then, a large place was given to the practice (70 hours!). The participants acquired a real know-how on all aspects of inspection and repair. Among other things: General inspection of the material – Trim measurement and correction (laser and differential methods) - Lines production (sewing and splicing) and strength measurement – Reserve inspection, folding and integration - Harnesses and connectors check...
The ACT (APPI Control Tool) that accompanies the technician at each step of his work, was at the center of the training and the participants acquired a perfect mastery of it.
They also acquired solid skills in canopy repair under the watchful, benevolent but ruthless eye of Mrs Chin sensei. The wide scope of application covered everything from repairing a small tear, to rebuilding a torn anchor point, to partially or completely changing a rib or panel of the outer skins. The most advanced students finished the course by performing particularly delicate repairs, as modern wings with their complicated architecture can require.
This training allowed the participants to acquire real operational skills in all areas of paragliding equipment inspection and repair. The team of trainers followed them during the early stages of their activity. At the time of publishing this report, almost all of them are about to obtain their APPI maintenance expert qualification. This qualification also allows them to show their control and repair center on the interactive map of the APPI platform.
This training is about to be officially recognized by some paraglider manufacturers. The information will be published in the APPI news page.
With these seminars, APPI continues to contribute to the safety of pilots and the professionalization of maintenance technicians.
The maintenance of paragliders is a critical point. Many operators improvise themselves as a control workshop, but have very basic, partial or even false knowledge on the subject.
Thanks to Hangai san and Miyuki san for the support, mrs Chin sensei sewing, Okada black belt in reserve packing and Ryota and Dow who run the Aerotact atelier.