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Inflight Catastrophic failure of Redrive on Nirvan

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Pilot Details

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Weight: 175
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Gear Details

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Model: dudek nucleon
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Paramotor Frame: Nirvana Rodeo simonini 2 engine with

Incident Details

November 2, 2012
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equipment: Nirvana Rodeo paramotor with Nirvana Carbon Cruise trike. Engine is a Simonini 2 28hp 2 stroke. 30 hrs, perfectly maintained. Date October 2012 location Silverdale, WA 98383 cause of accident: Spontaneous failure Pinion shaft that holds big pulley onto the engine while in flight. Pilot was slowly climbing in Mid to high Range RPM on paramotor when a loud bang was heard, followed by instant RPM increase. Engine was shut down at that point and a safe-ish landing was made on a logging road in the forest. Upon landing it was determined the pinion shaft that holds the large Pulley onto the engine had failed. There was no warning or vibrations of any kind before this shaft sheared off—the failure was both instantaneous and catastrophic (complete failure.) The Engine only had 30hrs since new, and was perfectly maintained. When the Pulley sheared off, it departed the paramotor spinning at a high RPM and could have easily been fatal if it had struck the back of pilots neck or cut the lines of the paraglider. Note that this paramotor had NEVER had a prop strike of any significance. Since it is possible for this pinion shaft to fail in a machine that has never had a prop strike, it would be safe to assume any machines that have had a prop strike would be at a FAR greater risk of pinion failure due to stresses imparted to this shaft when a prop is stressed due to impact. For this reason, anyone who experiences a prop strike of any kind on a simonini engine should have their pinion shaft inspected very closely by someone qualified to spot micro fractures or simply replace the part.

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