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warning - graphic content - propeller accident


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Hello to everybody.

As stated in the title, a couple of very graphic picture are to follow. please be advised ad DON'T continue reading if it may disturb you.

I take the occasion of a new propeller accident occurred last weekend here in Italy to a PPG pilot. I don't have much details about this accident, but I'm REALLY TIRED of continuosly reading about this kind of accidents. Many pilots consider a PPG to be dangerous during the flight, but... in my (short) PPG pilot career I've personally heard about 3 propeller accidents on the ground and ZERO accidents due to unusual wing configurations or pilot mistakes, or hardware failure during the flight .

According to this I would consider a PPG much more dangerous on the ground, than in the air.

Please, please, please, do a favour to yourself and DON'T, DON'T, DON'T turn your engine on except than when it is on your shoulders.

I know, it's a little bit harder, but a well tuned engine (you wouldn't fly without a well tuned engine... would you ?) and correctly primed carburetor shal turn on within the second or third traction of the starting cord.

And if you have to tune the engine, please do it only after you have uninstalled the propeller.

Returning back to the above accidents, as I told I don't have details on the last one, but I know about the other 2. Always the same story... engine turned on on the ground, throttle held in the hand to give some gas and ready to press the kill switch, too much gas, frame starting to move thoward the pilot that trying to hold it squeezes even more the throttle. A fraction of a second, not even to THINK to press the kill switch. And not even the strongest cage can avoid the contact with the propeller.

In the first case the pilot has lost 2 fingers.

In the second, to which the pictures refer to, my frind has experienced a REALLY bad injury to the right shoulder, that will leave him with a limited mobility of his right arm , and some deep cuts to the right wrist and hand. The engine was a vittorazi moster with 130 carbon propeller on R.ultralight T-rex frame. 

Please, think about it the next time you are going to turn the engine on on the ground.


safe flights, safe handling on the ground.


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I'll be the first to admit I am scared of my paramotor.

It gives me the ability to fly which I love, but there is something about the prop that just leaves me so aware of the damage it can do.

Being scared is a great place to be. I will (hopefully) never be complacent.

I start it on the ground, left knee on the seat, left shoulder in against the seat back, left hand holding the frame rotated such that if my hand slips it cannot go through. I'm lucky that I have an electric start so my right hand can be throtle/kill/start with the kill switch covered at all times.

The instruction I have received from Simon and Colin have left me in no doubt about the vital element of risk management when it comes to the motor and the prop.

Hope the injured guys above recover fast and well.

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Always a better option for sure :-) 

do the choke / prime bit and then sit in it :-) 

The other point to note is that if you are going to run in on the ground while holding it to warm it up and pre flight, (to see it while running is hard when on your back) just leave it on tick over or slightly above. Never to you want to be fighting the machine or even close to. 



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  • 4 weeks later...

I personally don't think that an electric start is a crucial safety optional.

I think that a well mantained and tuned engine, that if correctly primed starts at the first or second attempt, is a better way in order to avoid accidents. I have no problems in starting my engine on my back, since it ALWAYS starts at the first or second cord pull !


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Agree entirely. Normally start my pull-start Top80 on the ground first without the prop and just on idle power so as not to over-rev even though it's clutched. Provided you don't flood the engine, which is easy to do (stop the initial prime with the squeezer bulb just as the fuel enters the carb), it normally starts after a few pulls and often without any choke. Once the prop is fitted, always starts on my back first or second pull for the rest of the day.

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  • 1 month later...

The Top80 (and most other motors) will not over prime if you tip it slightly sideways so the carb slopes downwards whilst pressing the prime button, excess fuel runs into he airbox not the engine. A small hole in the bottom of the airbox let's he fuel drip out and tells you to stop priming. Simples!

The only place to start a motor is on your back. I know 3 people in the UK who suffered serious incidents from starting using other methods.


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