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Loose Spark Plug wire makes for unexpected landing

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Pilot Details

Age: 60
Weight: 190
Highest rating held at the time of the incident:
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Gear Details

Wing Brand:
Model: Dudek Nucleon 27
Paramotor Frame: FB Solo 210 with

Incident Details

January 14, 2013
Location of the incident:
Type of Incident

Motor started running rough upon starting, so I went into troubleshooting mode and in the course of that switched out the spark plug with a new one. I noticed at the time I put the spark plug cap on the new plug that it seemed not as tight as with the old spark plug, but paid it no mind (mistake #1). I forget now, what the fix was to the motor, but after a few minutes of trying this, that, and the other, my flying bud and I got the motor to running smooth and at full power. Yee-haa! It was a beautiful day and we were looking forward to a nice long, leisurely flight. A few minutes later we were both up and enjoying the countryside with it’s fields of corn and soybeans. I was skimming the corn tassels of one large field and decided to go back up top and hook up with my bud, so put the power on and entered into a right-hand turn. About 60 feet up (if that) and into the turn, the motor stopped dead. One second she’s at full power, and the next second it’s dead silent (except for me saying: “Oh S#*t!” Did I mention the corn was at full growth? I had just enough time to get out of my harness and, with the wind behind me, do a very nice face-forward, belly-landing that took out a length of about ten feet of corn. Now the good news was I wasnt’ hurt. I unhooked the risers and left the wing hanging on the cornstalks. My bud flew by and pointed at the road before leaving to get the car, so I knew which direction to start walking. I was able to keep the motor on my back and walk between the corn rows to the road. About 6 steps into my walk to the road, I realized I landed in a very large cornfield, so I marked a waypoint with the GPS so I could come back and get the wing. Turned out to be a quarter-mile walk to the road. No damage to the motor or wing or me, so that’s good. Mistake # 2 in this story was me not safety wiring the spark plug cap. Fortuneately for me, the cap came off when and where it did, otherwise the outcome could have been much different.

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