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Questions About Propeller Strike


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I am looking to connect with anyone who has suffered or knows someone who has suffered a propeller strike.  I am trying to learn about causes, prevention, and unfortunately, their frequency within the paramotor community.  I come in peace!  Please email me at paramotorquestions@gmail.com.  

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4683fc616bf00bf25e07f45b004439ee1912e7dbI had a prop strike once. I was running this electric system you see in the picture and like a noob I had no cage on it.(first big mistake)

I stood it up outside(like how it is in the picture) I put my left hand up against the center intersection of the arms to prevent it from coming back on me, and I used my right hand to articulate the throttle. My intent was to just spin up the 4 motors at ~5% throttle to make sure everything was working.

My initial throttle was a bit more than I intended or was prepared for. The unit started to come back on me and in the confusion I accidentally increased the throttle from my initial ~20% up to about 50 or 60%.(65+ lbs thrust). From my perspective the top right propeller impact my right hand, except it slipped right between my ring finger and pinky finger impacting the overbuilt 3d printed throttle. Thisdistributed the force of the strike over my palm. The force was still so hard that my entire palm was slightly swollen for the next week and bruised for a while afterwards. On top of the throttle taking the impact, the prop strike also disconnected the electric throttle cable which brought the other motors instantly to a stop which saved me from any other injury.

I honestly believe that there was divine intervent involved as if the prop struck even one or two millimeters higher or lower I would have broken or completely lost a finger and had the throttle cable not popped out, the throttle would not have cut out and the bottom props could have contact my feet or the remaining top propeller could have contacted my neck. Instead I had a bruise palm and the top layer of skin removed from my ring finger where it contacts with my pinky finger. Just to put the cherry on top I only needed to replace $50 in props and plug back in the throttle cable and the unit still works just fine.

 

My mistakes:

First I was running it without a cage. This is about as stupid as it gets.

My hand placement holding the unit back was not good and there was no good place to brace it(once again, never should have run it)

I hadn't even finished securing the carbon fiber motor arms to the metal cage, so they could have come loose and caused even worse injury. (I hope you all are seeing just how stupid this whole situation was)

 

Even today I still get something like PTSD whenever I am within 10 feet of a paramotor running at high throttle, and because of this experience I won't fly anything but a flat top paramotor or a skytap as I don't trust the cages enough on the other brands.

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