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Wing Malfunction or Deflation

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Pilot Details

Age: 0
Weight: 0
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Gear Details

Wing Brand:
Model: Paramania Action 29, no speedbar fitted, trim setting for T/O at 30%
Size:
Paramotor Frame: Paramotor, SOLO 210, prop 120 cm dia, thrust maybe about 50 kg with

Incident Details

January 1, 2006
Location of the incident:
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Type of Incident
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I was at the T/O area with Jeff S, who launched first off, doing a reverse launch and had a text book launch. I decided to do a forward launch as there was only a slight breeze and all condiions seemed to be ok for a standard forward launch.

Layed out glider and checked all lines, pulled out brake lines to the sides as per my normal procedure. Started engine remote from glider and walked running engine to attachment points where I hooked in the glider. Checked my central position by tugging on A risers. Pulled up glider. Glider came up as usual, no problem, at 60 degrees I revved the engine to assist with launch. Glider came up further and I proceeded with the launch run. Glider showed normal lift during T/O. When airborne I noticed that the climbout rate was not good and I recalled that the Action wing needs to build up speed in order to climb out. As there were no obstacles I did not pull the brakes to increase lift and let the glider fly itself.

I noticed a slight drift to the left and slightly corrected this by increasing pressure on the right brake. By now I am around 10 meters up and still in hang position as I prefer to go to a sitting position when I am well up from the ground.

Suddenly, for a brief moment I noticed that I was loosing height rapidly even with full revs on the engine and within a split second I was hard driven into the ground facing uphill.

Jeff S was at that time flying behind me and watched the event, according to him the glider was, just before the crash, at 90 degrees with the pilot, the pilot turning clockwise from above, this was rapidly followed by a further turn to 180 degrees followed by a full rev smash into the ground.

Damage: I walked away from the crash site, although slowly and hurt. Paramotor is a total disaster, main impact side is at the pilots left side Jeff and I have tried to explain the events, without success and have not been able to pinpoint a cause Any suggestions welcome.

Supplemental info, the pilot answered questions:

Was the wing vertically above your head all the time?
“yes, according to the feel on the risers…did not have the time to look up)”

So your pressure on the right brake was opposite to the brake required for torque compensation – Was it light pressure?
“that is correct”

Please explain your torque compensation arrangement again. Do you normally need any left or right brake during climbout?
“before jumping to conclusions, I have to mention here that I have found with the Action wing that there is a strong torque effect to the right, this compared to my old wing. some pilots have a pulled in trim on the left riser to combat this, I have, some time ago, increased the height of the right riser attachment point instead of changing the trim, this stopped the torque effect, the height adjustment is 50 mm or 2 inches)”

So Jeff’s description is that the wing was initially yawed 90deg to the left, then yawed a further 180deg. Or was it you that was yawed 90deg initially, then turned a further 180?
“I felt that the wing was yawing to the left and compensated with a slight pull on the right brake…this, I think corrected the yaw to the left followed by a loss of climb and a fast rotation of the pilot under the wing”

Do you believe that the crumple zone effect of the cage collapsing saved you from major injury?
“Yes, as I landed on my side, I have to admit that the cage and prop absorbed a large amount of energy, the cage is a writeoff, not me.”

Ed: One likely scenario is an element of parachutal stall where a fully inflated wing stops flying forward and descends nearly vertical. The normal reaction to suspected parachutal condition is hands up, reduce power. The turning suggests a spin – the reaction to a spin is the same: hands up, reduce power. In both cases be prepared to brake the surging wing when it recovers into forward flight.

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