Accident Prevention

The only way to prevent accidents is absolute conviction to take care of all the little things.

One of the more common errors is flying over hostile terrain with too little height. In case of engine problems, your height may not be sufficient in order to arrive to a suitable landing field. Always remain within easy glide of suitable landing oppurtunities. This may involve adjusting your route, your height, or both.

Initial unexpected power loss will rob you of as much as Five Meters altitude while the wing surges to re-establish its correct angle of incidence. After that, your glide-angle will be less than you may be accustomed to from free-flying, due to the extra drag of the paramotor framework.

Your Airspeed may be significantly higher than expected (if you are a free flyer too), due to the extra weight of the motor and fuel.

The wind speed and direction on the ground may differ reamarkably from your original launching field, so you need to think fast!

This combination may catch many pilots by surprise, causing bad landings, injuries and damaged equipment.

Leave yourself some surplus height for the unexpected.

The motor may die or lose power at any time for a wide variety of reasons. Always expect the worst and plan for every conceivable situation. This will keep you well prepared for when things do go wrong.

On of the more critical moments is right after the takeoff, so absolutely avoid takeoff towards obstacles, bodies of water, power lines, fences, traffic, orchards, etc.

When flying in turbulence, consider carrying an emergency parachute and fly high enough to be able to use the parachute.

Never fly over water, unless you can easily glide to shore and still set up a safe landing. Still, you may wish to carry extra flotation (inflatable Life Jacket), and a Rescue Knife (hook-knife for cutting free of harness and lines)

Water landings are almost always fatal. Should you find yourself in the unfortunate situation of an impending water landing, I hope you have been properly trained and done several refreshers regarding the special water landing techiques.

Prevention: Avoid flying over bodies of water.

Fire in Flight is usually always Fatal! Avoid spilling fuel onto the motor, harness and your clothing. Clean any fuel spills immediately. Clean any oil leaks on the motor. Prevent the gradual accumulation of oily residue on the motor and harness by regular cleaning.

While mixing fuel and refuelling, practice sensible precautions. Do not allow anyone to smoke nearby. Beware of running engines, electrical devices, and any other sources of ignition. Beware of tilting the motor during handling and transit that may cause fuel to run out of the breather tube.

Consider fire-retarent clothing, such as cotton rather than synthetics. Keep a small fire extinguisher with your fuel mixing equipment.

Landing in trees can be dangerous
The danger exists not only in the initial impact, but also in the subsequent fall to the ground if the wing does not support you.

More to follow