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Found my bottle...unfortunately :(


poz
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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 :cry: . 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

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Thats not a good start :shock::lol:

But at least there was nothing wrong with your flying, you took off ok practised your landings and landed ON YOUR FEET

all in all you should feel really good about it as every thing in your control went ok.

Try to find a better take off area and dont let it get you down if any thing you should feel even more confidant because you did not panic

and thought through your landing.

Well done :D now go and get up there and enjoy it

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Pete's right....Plenty of people take a while to land on their feet, you did it first time, while having other distractions. The fact that things did not go to plan, on your first flight alone but you didn't panic, just sorted things out, on your own, made the right decisions, on your own, got down safley, on your own, says plenty.

Shit happens.....you dealt with it....on your own!!! :wingover:

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Dan, although scary it sounds like you coped with it in a very level headed way, well done.

With good luck this will probably be your worst experience so you can really enjoy the flying from now on. Well done on landing on your feet with your faster wing.

Regarding the take off area it's always a good idea to firstly walk the broader area in front of you to check for possible hazards, holes, ruts, rocks :oops: etc. Best to remove all the rocks or maybe there are just too many and like Pete says find a better T/O area.

Be sure to give your motor a very thorough check over before your next flight.

Alan

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Well done Dan. You Just F***ing Did It!

Congratulations on your first truly solo flight. :D

OK it wasn't how you imagined or hoped that it would go, but if you can deal with all of that on your first unaided flight and still make a safe, considered and well thought out landing then it shows that you have some good piloting skills and that the training is well embedded.

Bearing in mind all of the differences between this flight and the tightly controlled training environment (i.e. different motor, wing, site size/quality, support) I think that you can be truly proud of your efforts.

I'm sure your next flight will be amazing!

Regards,

Ian.

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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 :cry: . 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

Hi Dan.

There are so many positive aspects from this experience and you shouldn't beat yourself up about it.

1.) An 8 month lay off is enough to make even high airtime pilots anxious unless they are oblivious or plain reckless which you clearly are not.

2.) You recognised that the take off field was far from ideal and made attempts at making the best of a poor area cutting grass etc.

3.) You were using a different machine and wing from the previous flights but still managed to get the wing up nicely and produce a take off and landing that sounds like it would have been peachy if the prop hadn’t failed.

4.) You kept full control of the wing and throttle despite mechanical failure at a critical moment of the flight. This is remarkable for a low airtime pilot having had a long lay off which no doubt created information overload at take off (consciously competent Vs unconsciously competent). Some pilots would have panicked pulling on brakes ect and face planted at take off speed.

5.) You made lots of decisions in the short flight recognising that you needed to take off and fly around again to give yourself enough room for a safe landing. You recognised that the first four approaches were not good, adjusting your flight and culminating in landing back where you wanted too, on your feet with no further damage to machine wing or you, therefore all those decisions were good ones.

It is easy to be too self critical when things go a bit wrong. All you have is a busted prop which most of us have done plenty of times.

Ask yourself; If you were on a nice large flat smooth grass field with the same weather conditions would you feel more confident to take off now after having had this experience.

The learning curve is huge in your early flights and the rewards for achieving good flying experiences are just as huge. When you become more relaxed and comfortable with your flying the rewards for all this hard work and stress will more than re-pay you.

I love this time of year for flying in the evenings low over the crops smelling the corn in buoyant conditions, lots of large cut fields with golden bales of hay. Watching the cricket teams playing in the English rural setting from our vantage point in the sky, as the train meanders down the valley following the stream. Looking down at the church with its ancient spire and grave stones wondering why a church was built in such a rural remote location. Flying the cliffs gaining advantage from the slight ridge lift the sea breeze produces allowing the motor to purrrr along nicely. Watching the kestrels dive away from their stationary hover as you approach. The sea gulls with thousands of years evolutionary advantage over you making you feel clumsy for a moment as they effortlessly soar the ridges. Flying for home over the towns and villages looking into peoples gardens wondering what stories are happening in the lives of those people below. Driving home after this amazing flight feeling so relaxed in the knowledge that you have experienced something only a few people have. And the wife just doesn’t understand what its all about.

Don’t let this thing put you off Dan.

Regards.

Whitters.

:wingover:

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Ahh Ive just seen your other post (lost bottle).....if its a carbon prop fitted to your machine Mr Pap is telling you a Porky Pie.......I know of another that did this ....and the prop fitted to my new pap

(shall we say ) it must have been made on a Friday afternoon at 5-55pm......Ive had to do a repair job on it to stop it delaminating...so I can keep flying.....(wooden one on order for a replacement)

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Ahh Ive just seen your other post (lost bottle).....if its a carbon prop fitted to your machine Mr Pap is telling you a Porky Pie.......I know of another that did this ....and the prop fitted to my new pap

(shall we say ) it must have been made on a Friday afternoon at 5-55pm......Ive had to do a repair job on it to stop it delaminating...so I can keep flying.....(wooden one on order for a replacement)

Hi Gary.

I've posted a couple of pics of the prop in an album called, funnily enough, 'Broken Prop' (Gallery, 2nd page in, at the bottom). I'm not sure how to get the pics from there onto this post. (if anyone can do it, please go ahead).

It looks like a stike of some kind, but how does it compare to your damage? I have a wooden prop fitted now.

Dan

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I just want to say thank you all so much for helping to make me feel something like I'd hoped to feel after my first flight :):)

I love this time of year for flying in the evenings low over the crops smelling the corn in buoyant conditions, lots of large cut fields with golden bales of hay. Watching the cricket teams playing in the English rural setting from our vantage point in the sky, as the train meanders down the valley following the stream. Looking down at the church with its ancient spire and grave stones wondering why a church was built in such a rural remote location. Flying the cliffs gaining advantage from the slight ridge lift the sea breeze produces allowing the motor to purrrr along nicely. Watching the kestrels dive away from their stationary hover as you approach. The sea gulls with thousands of years evolutionary advantage over you making you feel clumsy for a moment as they effortlessly soar the ridges. Flying for home over the towns and villages looking into peoples gardens wondering what stories are happening in the lives of those people below. Driving home after this amazing flight feeling so relaxed in the knowledge that you have experienced something only a few people have. And the wife just doesn’t understand what its all about.

Whitters...true aviation poetry. As I was reading your words, I could feel my heart rate dropping and blood pressure decreasing. Wonderful!

Dan

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I just want to say thank you all so much for helping to make me feel something like I'd hoped to feel after my first flight

That's what we're all here for isn't it, to share the joy of flying.

I can't be as eloquent as Whitters (wonderful posts Richard) but I can at least stick your picture up:

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ohhh....a lot more damage than mine....but then I always inspect my prop before and after every flight ....so repaired the lifted strands and made it smooth again.....the other one on another new Pap was closer to the route of the blade and if it had been run for any longer would have without doubt been as bad as yours and that one has gone back to mr Pap (porky)

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