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MODIFIED THROTTLE-INSUFFICIENT MENTAL PREPARATION

PPG Type:
Type of Injury:

Pilot Details

Age: 53
Weight: 240
Gender:
Highest rating held at the time of the incident:
Pilot experience level:

Gear Details

Wing Brand:
Model: GRADIENT GOLDEN II L
Size:
Paramotor Frame: WALKERJET RR200, @70 POUNDS with

Incident Details

July 28, 2015
Location of the incident:
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Type of Incident
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I had put a metal pin on my throttle trigger to act as a “cruise control” and it stuck the throttle on full at launch. I panicked and DID NOT THINK to use the kill switch or fly the wing and it started swinging from side to side while I was trying to unstick the throttle trigger with my pinky finger. I left the ground in a big oscillation and then swung under the wing on to the dirt from 13 feet. The front wheel took most of the impact on the port side and then I rolled over (to starboard) on to the cage which crumpled the starbord side of the cage and the vertical mounts on the frame and the prop hit the dirt taking out all three blades. I have some parts (cage, propeller, and front wheel fork, and maybe the entire frame) to replace but the engine is still fine. Lots of lessons learned very expensively. This was my third flight with a motor in three months, and I had had only one lesson with a USPPA instructor four months ago. While I had tested the cruise-control pin and kill switch myself on the ground, had not practiced or visualized the use of the kill switch. I had also not tested my modification to the throttle trigger or the possible failure of it in the full-on position. I have flown PG un-powered for 12 years and HG un-powered for 26 years, but experience with the wings and weather does not make up for my in-experience with all the mechanical things. The books, videos, and friends I consulted before strapping in to a motor all said “the throttle can stick full-on” at some point, but my last thought before yelling “clear” was not “what if it sticks this time?”.

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Analysis of the incident (additional input by the incident investigation team):

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