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By Zheegool
#400557
Hi all - I'm a beginner pilot looking to buy a new harness.
I've been recommended the Moyes Contour harness, but am concerned this comes with a side chute.
Some pilots feel fairly strongly that a front chute is safer due to
- access to both hands
- easier deployment (which I witnessed in a practice session)
- some chest protection (secondary benefit).

Any views (this has probably been discussed before so happy to be pointed to any links).

Much thanks.
By dbhyslop
#400558
I’m also a new pilot. As part of a pre-buy I hung a used harness under my deck to check for comfort. It had a side-mount chute and I found I could only effectively grab and pull it down with one of my arms. I could reach with the other arm if I shifted my body significantly, but I didn't feel confident that I'd be able to do so if I was out of control. Every person and harness is different so you might be OK, but I wouldn't buy a side-mount without trying it first, at least as a beginner. The risk of not being able to reach with one hand might be acceptable to a more experienced comp pilot.
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By Rick M
#400581
Tormod wrote:
Fri Oct 06, 2017 4:02 am
There are 2 problems with front mounted chutes besides that they don't look so sleek. Drag and hang height. Must be considered also.
Drag (from a chest mounted chute) is only a consideration for top level competition pilots. For everyone else it's not worth the slightest consideration. A new pilot certainly doesn't need to worry about chute drag.

Hang height really isn't an issue. Many, many pilots fly with chest mounted chutes (myself included) without any concern for hang height.

Access with both hands, easier deployment, and potentially some chest protection on a bad landing are far more important issues to consider for 99% of pilots, especially newer pilots.
By Zheegool
#400583
[/quote]
Hang height really isn't an issue. Many, many pilots fly with chest mounted chutes (myself included) without any concern for hang height.
[/quote]
Rick - can I ask what kind of harness you use?
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By Tormod
#400587
"Drag (from a chest mounted chute) is only a consideration for top level competition pilots. For everyone else it's not worth the slightest consideration."

Deciding that it's not an issue is also a consideration.

Hang height is an issue for most pilots if you want better handling.
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By remmoore
#400589
Rick M wrote:
Fri Oct 06, 2017 6:23 pm
Drag (from a chest mounted chute) is only a consideration for top level competition pilots. For everyone else it's not worth the slightest consideration.
Rick,

I wouldn't necessarily disagree with the other points in your post, but I don't feel the above sentences are accurate for everyone.

I am in no way a "competition pilot" but I am an XC hound. Even more to the point, my home site is anything but a fishbowl, and reduced drag plays a major role in how much of the site I can fly. When I upgraded to a single suspension, side-mounted harness, I could tell the performance improvement immediately. The altitude loss flying from one point to another reduced noticeably, making it possible to soar longer and sample more air.

I'm sure there are plenty of fishbowl pilots who really don't need reduced drag, or feel it's not worth the effort. For me, I love the ability to do more with my airtime. and wouldn't consider stepping back.

RM
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By Rick M
#400590
Yeah, I accept I may have overstated that point a little. But for most people, the difference in drag between a side and chest mounted chute is negligible. Especially when talking about a harness with several lines, being used on a single surface or intermediate glider, and flown by a newer pilot.
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By Felix
#400591
I agree with Rick M on this.
Comfort is most important in the beginning (and safety, or at least the feeling of safety). A side mounted chute makes a little bit of a difference in reduced drag and it's the reason single suspension harnesses have them there. However, on a pod harness that is itself already more draggy (floppier design and many suspension lines) the feeling of safety having the chute on your chest (being easily reachable) is I believe more important, bringing more ease of mind. At least for me this was the case. And yes, in those circumstances where you find yourself late with the flare and on your belly, the extra cushion is kind of nice :)
#400594
There is more to this video than a guy reaching for his chute. The g's are high, it's getting bumpy, and the ground is close. I think the pilot may have been able to develop better muscle memory for the chute handle location as well. There is certainly no guarantee things would have turned out better with a front mounted chute but I can't help but think it would have been easier. I agree, there is certainly a place for side mounted chutes. But I think people who use them should be especially well practiced on deploying them. I also wouldn't recommend them for new pilots.

Hope the link works. Things have changed since the last time I linked a video.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EAEytMpNfGQ
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By DMarley
#400656


Here's Robert Booth showing how it's done on the chest-positioned 'chute. Love this vid!
I'd really like to get a side-mounted 'chute harness soon, though. Better Cg position, better body position to airflow, etc.
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By Takeo77
#400698
I just converted to a side mounted chute in a cocoon harness. I'm two finger width above the bar, where before I was one and a half fists. Very surprised at how different the glider flies, particularly with regards to precision in pitch control. I can feel the side chute with my elbow occasionally but so far it doesn't seem to be much of a problem.

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