Return to the incident list: Incident List Accidental pressing of kill switch after takeoff causing landing in trees PPG Type: Type of Injury: No Injury

Pilot Details

Age: 54 Weight: 190 Gender: Male Highest rating held at the time of the incident: Advanced – PPG 3 Pilot experience level: 50+ hours

Gear Details

Wing Brand: Dudek Model: Universal Size: 25m Paramotor Frame: Nirvana F Light 200 with Nirvana

Incident Details

October 12, 2019 8:00 AM Location of the incident: Austin, Texas Type of Incident: Collision with terrain or ground obstacle, Pilot Error, killswitch is very easy to press

I was taking off and successfully left ground. At approximately 100 feet over ground I pushed up into my seat with my right hand but must have simultaneously flexed my left hand and pressed the start/kill switch .  The engine has a latency after turning off that lasts just a few seconds but prevents immediate restarting. I had sunk enough that I was about to brush the tops of  the trees off the end of the runway, so I was not able to restart the engine in time. I landed in the trees and was left hanging by my wing in the canopy of the trees. I was able to climb down and the engine sustained no damage nor did I.  It took me 2 days to cut away enough of the tree canopy to retrieve my wing which was also not harmed.   The design of the start/kill switch that is flush with the handpiece is very easy to press by accident and is a design flaw in my opinion. I have since glued a washer on top of the handpiece  to prevent this type of inadvertent pressing  of the button and it seems to have helped. I  have been flying this equipment without other problems since this accident 3 years ago.

Flight Window: Morning Wind Speed: Light Wind (1-5 mph) Type: Light and Variable Phase of Flight: Takeoff Type of Injury: No Injury Collateral Damage: Property (building, vehicle, etc) Analysis of the incident (additional input by the incident investigation team): Photos (if available):

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