Return to the incident list: Incident List Real Dumb – Complacency PPG Type: Type of Injury:

Pilot Details

Age: Weight: 170 Gender: Highest rating held at the time of the incident: Pilot experience level:

Gear Details

Wing Brand: Model: Size: Paramotor Frame: Walkerjet, but unimportant. with

Incident Details

March 17, 2012 Location of the incident: , Type of Incident:

(As posted in PPG big list.) An uneventful post about complacency: Recently, I decided that it’s time to sell my old Walkerjet RR, since I don’t fly it much at all anymore. Yesterday, I finally set aside an hour or so get it running again and get it all cleaned up ready for sale. I put some new fuel in it, and went to prime the carb and found the primer bulb to be hard and almost impossible to squeeze. Undeterred, I grabbed a pair of channel locks, pressed the flow button on the carb and a quick mechanically assisted squeeze and fuel was now in the carb. The whole primer bulb thing kind of threw me off, and I casually turned on the power and hit the starter button. Two full rotations and it started right up. I let it warm up for a minute and started to give it some gas… It was a couple moments after this that I started swearing at myself for making such a stupid amateur mistake! This motor had been sitting idle for over six months and in my haste I hadn’t given it a thorough pre-flight at all. There I was, ready to give it some gas, and I notice that the throttle trigger is much harder to squeeze that it should be. Somewhere, something in back of my mind is starting to wake up and think as I squeeze the throttle harder and then even harder. Finally it starts to move and the engine begins to increase rpm. My mind is catching up, more throttle. ‘Dang that throttle is sticky.’ The RPMS and my mind are almost running at the same speed. Not quite yet though, just a bit more throttle. Then the thought comes to fruition… In my victory over the primer bulb, I hadn’t taken the time to check the throttle linkage!(Or much of anything else!) I immediately release the throttle and although much slower than normal it returns calmly back to idle and I immediately hit the kill switch. Lucky. Very lucky. After much self chastising, my more considered plan today is to replace that primer bulb, to make sure that throttle cable is working smoothly, and practice never letting myself skimp on that ever so important pre-startup inspection. Brad (Grateful for the uneventful reminder) Addendum: It’s kind of funny (funny odd) in a way. When I am out flying or teaching, I doubt I would allow myself make this simple, stupid, mistake. There I was, out in the shop, all by myself, with no students and no intention of flying. My total mindset was just getting the unit cleaned up, taking a few pictures, and maybe even a video of it running to help with the sale. I allowed myself to completely slip into ‘tourist’ mode and did something really dumb. Really happy I don’t have prop shards and blood stains decorating my shop right now.

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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