Return to the incident list: Incident List Expensive motor malfunction, and dangerous high wi PPG Type: Type of Injury:

Pilot Details

Age: Weight: 175 Gender: Highest rating held at the time of the incident: Pilot experience level:

Gear Details

Wing Brand: Model: Size: Paramotor Frame: with

Incident Details

March 14, 2012 Location of the incident: , Type of Incident:

Decided to go flying over a frozen lake as the conditions were to be perfect that day…. Launch area was in a parking lot with 4 inches of snow/slush. After failing a few attempts at launching in no wind (couldn’t run fast enough in the snow to lift off) and waiting for 4 hours for the slightest breeze to make launching easier, I gave up, and packed it up to go home. At arriving at home 1/2 hour away, there was a real nice wind, 6-8 mph. So I drove to a school soccer field nearby. Set up, launched, and at about 50 feet up, the motor sputtered a little, but then recovered. I circled the field while gaining altitude to about 700 feet. Then flew east to the wasatch mountains and soon was in winds over 20 mph. A little bumpy but not too bad. I flew downwind (big mistake) about 2 miles (to fly near my house to show off) and then turned to head back and was in winds causing me to be parked and even flying backwards at times. I then heard a muffled pop and immediately lost 50% of power and started losing altitude. The motor was still running, so I held steady, looking for signs of something hitting the prop, cage/netting damage, etc., but all looked fine. Knowing the predicament I am in, I looked for an alternate landing site which would have been in the foothills of the mountains in 20-25 mph winds. I went to nearly full throttle, just to maintain altitude and 1/2 hour later, made it back to the LZ and landed without incident. I pulled the head and cylinder and there was a 1 inch chunk of metal gone from the piston, with slight damage to the cylinder. Pulling the rest of the motor apart, I found a mangled spring clip for the piston rod, which had somehow come loose and damaged the piston. Luckily I still had some thrust to land safely at the LZ. Lessons learned: Don’t be too anxious to fly, as you may fly in unsafe conditions. There were many dangerous variables that could have caused more damage and injury, but fortunately they didn’t line up all at once for me.

Flight Window: Wind Speed: Type: Phase of Flight: Type of Injury: Collateral Damage: Analysis of the incident (additional input by the incident investigation team): Photos (if available):

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