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Expecting the Unexpected

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Pilot Details

Age:
Weight: 225
Gender:
Highest rating held at the time of the incident:
Pilot experience level:

Gear Details

Wing Brand:
Model: Dudek Nemo, 27
Size:
Paramotor Frame: with

Incident Details

June 1, 2012
Location of the incident:
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Type of Incident
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I want to share an experience from last weekend that certainly made me think and one that might be beneficial to other pilots.

Sunday evening was beautiful and I was at 1100’, about 30 minutes into the flight. Out of nowhere, I heard a loud bang and my power was suddenly reduced to (at best) 1/3 of normal. I scanned the ground and had several options for landing if need be. I flew in the direction of the field – with the wind the whole way. I could not maintain altitude and thought that if I dropped to 300’ and still not back at the field, I would turn into the wind and land out. I did manage to make it back to the field and had an uneventful power off landing.

The culprit was a bolt that connects the tuned pipe to the engine had sheared off (going through the prop), effectively eliminating back pressure on the engine.

Had this happened while low to the ground and flying with the wind, the results could have been quite different.

I believe that unpredictable situations can and do happen but the outcomes related to our safety are always controllable.

Hope to be back out this weekend.

PS – As luck would have it, my helmet camera was on the entire time, allowing for a critique.

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