05 May, 2009

Prop damage.

I've done it. I have managed to splinter/crack my prop. And no, it wasn't during take off, as one might think. It happened while landing (or shortly thereafter). Here is a short description of events: The air was a bit bumpy. While coming in to land, I did not switch my engine off as usual. It has a centrifugal clutch and when is idling, the prop is not engaged. However is still turning slowly (wind milling). Secondly, the right shoulder strap, which takes the weight of the engine while on the ground, slid off my shoulder. I noticed that just before touching down. I was not concerned though, after all the left side was OK. On top of this all, I come in a bit fast because of the fairly gusty wind and a poor final approach judgment. Somehow, in my subconscious, the right shoulder strap bothered me and I did not concentrate on the landing as usual. More so, after my feet touched the ground, I have instinctively tried to raise my right upper arm (where the strap was), to support the engine. In so doing, I did drop the left shoulder and unfortunately, this strap slid off too. A split second thereafter, the wing stalled as was supposed to, but with no shoulder straps to take the weight of the engine, the paramotor dropped to the ground. Unfortunately by this time, I was still moving forward a step or so and one of the blades scrapped the hardened soil. At fist I did not even realize the prop got damaged. The impact was not that hard and I am sure, on softer ground/sand, there should have been hardly a issue. The very next day, I went to a local airplane technician. He said the damage is quite extensive but it can be fixed. On the other hand, I am busy getting me a new prop. I will fix the old one too and keep it as a backup.

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