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Unpaid test pilots


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A warning to others from somebody who has experienced major issues with the new

PapPA125 …..

I should Have waited until all the problems of a new model had been sorted out but

I was keen as ever to have the latest model so I bought one as soon as they became available

I have since found out that its a model in my view that is a major step

Backwards for the company..

I have been flying paramotors and microlights for more years than I care to remember

And although I have practiced forced landings until they come out of my ears I had never needed to really do one …in 11hrs on the new PA125 I had 4….

Due to mechanical incompetence during design and construction of this machine when the machine was first picked up I commented on the softer engine mounts than my old faithful Ros 125 but was told it was to lessen the engine vibration…..

As it turned out 3 times the prop was smashed into the frame whilst flying due to the

Excess movement in those engine mountings …..each time wrecking the prop…

It was then returned to the factory to sort out the problem several weeks later I got my machine back and despite it being an absolute bugger to start once running it ran ok

I didn’t feel the power was as aggressive as the Ros engined machine but also I am sure

It isn’t as powerful either….

The next failure was more dramatic

According to the people outside a Pub There was one a hell of a bang...people even ducked....and my silencer was lost (gone forever) was allegedly seen falling to the ground over a field I was at 600ft when this incident took place......I needed to keep some power on to get to a safe landing field away from any obstacles ....and I made a safe landing ....on examining the paramotor and discovering the damage I was shocked the exhaust bracket had suffered a catastrophic failure which let the silencer come into contact with the prop destroying another one

During this latest incident the paramotor nearly shook my head off I am sure that this vibration caused the clutch to destroy itself....it had worn away the friction material and started to wear away the steel bob weight....the gearbox drum had been heated up and could possibly have been warped. as it was now blue in colour and so was the end of the crank nut and crank shaft so that it had suffered extreme heating to a degree I suspected it was not designed to tolerate....the gearbox was smoking on landing and was still to hot to touch 3/4hr later.....BIG PROBLEM..

I reckoned ...as damage to all the seals engine and gearbox was also suspected

Enough was enough I wanted my money back…..so nearly six months on I finally got my money

But only after the help of trading standards and much dodging and weaving never again will I get the latest newest equipment and become an unpaid test pilot let my experience be a warning to others

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sorry to hear about that Gary :( so what motor next, I can still recommend my trusty Parajet macro and before anyone else mentions it YES I KNOW ITS HEAVY but it runs great :D although on a recent trip to the coupe icaire in France I nearly passed out walking up a hill with mine. :(

Will you go back to a ros 125? all the best Alan.

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While I am having a rant :?

other problems not mentioned in my first post include

Broken throttle and air filter bracket.

Gearbox bolts changed because the wrong ones were fitted...some people had it worse though they lost the half of a gearbox and prop.

and now there is another problem with the 1300 prop fitted to a 1400 frame it also is hitting the frame ????...................mine was a 1250 frame

what ever happend to pre release testing of these machines.....

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57336402da41f_CopyofP7113114.JPG.8fcf245

57336402dc5b2_CopyofP7113110.JPG.84f80d5

Edited by Guest
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No I still have my Ros125....apart from the usual gearbox leaks ( which I am now an expert at reparing ( Ive had three Ros engined Paps ).....its been a great paramotor and Ive been giving it a top to bottom service because I am going to keep it....But I am now reseaching the market for another make and one thats been tested for a while

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make sure you have the gearbox bolts checked....they should be stainless also if you remove the gearbox completely four bolts to check the clutch is operating correctly the pivot pin to the shoe will probably be stiff or siezed

(this causes the prop to not fully disengage as quick as it should ie the prop will keep turning for longer....mine on all three have had this problem including the PA125

also there was a mod on the recoil ....when you pulled the starter rope to nearly its full extent it caught one of the mounting nuts mine did if its one of these the rope will break sooner rather than later....

.the carb come air filter bracket should now be fitted with some rubber inbetween the carb and air filter bracket.....oh and the exhaust bracket should now be made of 2mm steel instead of 1.5 mm and a backup wire fitted....the Ros has one as standard why it was omitted on the PA125 was another wrong decision

although if the new thicker 2mm bracket breaks the position of the backup wire wont prevent the exhaust hitting the prop...

I will stop there ......enough to check for one day

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I have done the mods on exhaust and carb. Replaced the starter rope for a stronger one, have not checked inside gearbox. I have also had two new pieces of stainles steel replaced where

the prop hit them when i was forward launching. I also think that the engine mounts are to long and soft. And any small impact will see the engine bouncing about, as mine did. Did you replace your mounts for stronger ones ?

Thanks Clive

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No the matter was taken out of my hands when it went back to spain....when it came back it was a different frame... but the engine mounts were the same......after comming back from spain the prop didnt hit again...but in my experience when it gets old a mount will flex even more and this will probably make the prop hit the frame again....in time...

Ps dont strip the gearbox.....you just remove the complete gearbox to get to the clutch....you are supposed to remove it after 5 hrs to check the clutch operation anyway and remove any dust from the break in period....

after the last incident and me showing my photos of the damage to Pap

(still carnt get my photos to load)

a few weeks later I got a box of bits from the factory to fix it myself..... :shock::shock:

can you imagine that with anything else that flys...... :x

it was at that moment I decided to return the PA125

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I printed out this thread and took it to Pierre Aubert at PAP earlier today.

I was interested to see his reaction, and I have to say that the man impressed me. Maybe I'm biased because I know him, he's a good man and I like the fact that he is trying to push our sport forward. He was very humble about the ongoing developement of his new range and fully acknowledged that there have been some problems which the team have worked tirelessly to solve.

I think you will all agree that PAP has earned itself an excellent reputation over the past couple of decades and ranks as one of the worlds top paramotor manufacturers. This could not be possible without some real innovative passion behind the company and Pierre is at the heart of it.

However, class leading paramotors don't just appear, they evolve over a period of time, ironing out problems as they arise.

Most importantly, problems that are identified must be acted upon and rectified swiftly, the agents also need to react just as quickly.

Based on my experience with my PA125, I cannot fault the service that I have recieved. The modifications that have been necessary have been carried out expeditiously and with great attention.

Gary I think you have been particularly unlucky and it's a good job that you have a lot of experience that allowed you to pilot your way out of the mire. However, as you said right at the start of your post, maybe you should have waited until all of the teething problems have been ironed out.

Also, I agree with your title, I really do think that we are unpaid test pilots.....I think it's part of the thrill of our sport. Much rather this than flying a boring, safe Cessna that you are not allowed to tinker with.

Dan

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  • 2 weeks later...

I have a PA125 serial number 003.

Issues so far:

- Air box mount cracked - no biggie, pap sent a replacement & I strengthened it

- Had to replace the gearbox screws

- Replaced pull chord

No other issues so far - 15hours to date.

I'll keep an eye out for the things mentioned...

Nick.

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