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Fatigue and complacency = checklist miss, launched

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Model: Mojo PWR XL
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Paramotor Frame: Moster 185 with

Incident Details

August 5, 2019
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One of the things I *always* do as part of my preflight check-list is confirm that all four points of connection between my paramotor and trike are connected. One, Two, Three, Four. On this day, I was tired (lack of sleep) and had become more comfortable / less afraid of flying after doing so for 25 hours or so. As I was going through my normal pre-flight, I wanted to be as detailed as possible, so my eyes were looking at any/everything to see if there was something else I could check. As I went through my motor to trike connection checklist, One, Two, Three, “Oh, I should check those bolts too”. I never got to Four. Upon launching, I immediately felt my harness tighten up around my chest in a way I’ve never felt before. Immediately I looked down to check for some kind of tangle but didn’t see anything. Slowly letting up on the throttle so I didn’t surge/faceplant, I got back on the ground within 5-10 seconds where I found the problem, a set of connectors I hadn’t properly… connected. This could have ended very badly. The wing didn’t seem to be “behaving properly” as I taxied but I ascribed that to some minor rotor from a nearby treeline. I now think it was due to my swing arms not being locked into place as they should have been by the trike connections. This is the second time I have noticed something “odd” on taxi and launched anyway, and it only re-enforces the idea, which I don’t seem to learn for some reason, that ANYTHING out of the ordinary is call for an abort. Its a hard lesson to learn when you want to be in the air, but it’s not worth it. Be safe, anything out of the ordinary should mean immediate abort. If the time it takes to re-set-up means you don’t fly that morning, so be it.

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