poz Posted June 30, 2010 Share Posted June 30, 2010 Yesterday evening I went to practice some ground handling and to run-in my engine on my own at a field near to where I live. This field is far from ideal, in that it's pretty rough, hard ground, with long grass and lots of weeds, shrubs, and rocks strewn around, but it's about as good as it gets around here and I haven't enough experience to fly from the soft sandy beaches yet. I had been up there a couple of days before with the strimmer and secateurs and did my best to prepare a launch area. Things went really well. The wing was popping up nicely, the engine was running very smoothly, there was a nice 4knt wind and I thought ...why not. So, I set up, did all my checks, decided to go for a forward launch and just went for it. The wing came up overhead nice and square, full throttle, run run run, just lifting off.....BANG...JUDDER, Ohhh shit! but too late, I'm airbourne with paramotor that is trying to shake itself and me apart. If I had really been on the ball and had some mental capacity to spare, I could have landed straight ahead, but the land is really rough, and to be honest I didn't know what was happening until I was to high to land ahead. So, I'm now up at about 300 ft with so much vibration that I can't see straight. I've decided to do a circuit and try to land. This is awful, disorientating and pretty frightening It's my first flight since training 8 months ago, having had a total of 8 short flights on my course. I'm on a very different machine and a smaller wing which seems to be travelling very fast. As I turn onto final approach I realise that this piece of land is a fraction of the size of my training field, so I've got to do a pretty good job of spot landing. I cut the throttle and plummeted at what felt like a tremendous speed. My nice friendly breeze had gone and it was all happening too quickly for me, so I decided to go around and try again...and again....and again. On the fifth attempt I managed to land on my feet although really shuck up, both physically and mentally. When I inspected my prop I found massive damage, but to one side only. (I just tried to post a couple of pics, but not sure how) The tips are intact, so there was definitely no ground strike. I can only assume that I kicked up a stone just as I took off. You can imagine the vibration. I feel very sad that this was my first experience of flying on my own not to mention the knock to my confidence. So, I'm wondering that if I had had someone with me, would it have made any difference, apart from a good YouTube vid? Probably not because I was airbourne when the problem occurred. I spoke to Pierre Aubert (PAP) tonight. He said he'd never seen damage like that to just one side of a prop and agreed that it probably was a stone, then he relieved me of €165 for another prop . But one of the guys at the factory is coming with me tomorrow evening and hopefully I will be able to report something a little more positive. There really isn't much that's worse than being in the air wishing you were on the ground. Dan Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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