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Motor failure on take off

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Pilot Details

Age: 66
Weight: 175
Highest rating held at the time of the incident:
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Gear Details

Wing Brand:
Model: Axis Power Pluto, 26 Sq. Meters
Paramotor Frame: SD 100 on trike, 120# with

Incident Details

August 27, 2017
Location of the incident:
Type of Incident

Nothing exciting in this incident; maybe some food for thought. Maintenance and mental issues can lead to blood and guts. Been flying PPG since 2004. It took several years before I could look in a mirror and say I feel confident there will be no more “accidental take-offs”. Mar 11/17, nice, calm, sunny morning. Good take-off but seconds later the motor started cracking like a string of wet firecrackers. Jockey the throttle; not much joy; those tall pines, power lines, houses, etc. are getting close. Hmm? I’ve still got some power so maybe things will pick up once I gain altitude. Stop and think for a minute. How stupid could I be? Fortunately, some instinct kicked in at the last moment and I aborted the flight. Several long, hot, tiring walks-of-shame to lug the wing and trike back. As of this moment I still get shivers thinking that I’d long ago considered myself inoculated against get-up-itis. Upon inspection, I determined that the spark plug was loose. It was a new plug, and although I’d thought I’d followed the procedure of giving it a good tightening to squeeze the washer flat, mea culpa. Motor still wouldn’t start. Turned out that the cylinder head was cracked, whether as a result of overheating from the loose plug or whatever, and one of the head-bolts was finger-loose. Draw your own conclusions. Me, I keep having flashbacks of how/where/why that flight could have ended.

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