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Powered Paraglider
Product Advisory / Safety Alert

We aim only to inform pilots about potentially dangerous situations. This is not meant as a slam on products as frequently the product is not being used in the way it was intended. But if that use becomes common, and problems result, the community should be alerted. Please submit potential concerns so that others will be able to take preventative measures.

Tiny Tach May Affect Kill Switches

June 4, 2008

Ken Johnston, Green Country PPG, shares that the new Tiny Tach Commercial model may be causing problems with paramotor kill switches. It has been confirmed on 3 separate paramotors using the Black Devil 172.

If too many wraps are made around the spark plug wire (using the red antenna wire), the kill switch will cease to function. The solution is to use the minimum wraps necessary to get a good rpm reading, often 2 will work. Then test the kill switch at several different rpm levels to insure its proper function.

It's possible that other engines could be affected so check your kill switch after installing this tachometer. Check it at various RPM levels.

 

Gin Safety Bulletin

May 29, 2008

Concerning Gin Boomerang, Boomerang Sport and Yeti Paragliders. As is indicated in the owner's manual:

  • Gin Competition Paraglider models (Boomerang Sport and Boomerang) should be checked regularly: at least every 100 hours of flight or every year.

  • Gin Yeti Paragliders should be checked every 50 hours

  • There are additional, specific instructions regarding Competition Level Boomerang models; please refer to the owners manual: GinGliders.com.

It is imperative that pilots respect these inspection intervals as these gliders are very sensitive to any changes in the line's breaking strength and/or total line length. The aerodynamics, performance and safety of these models can be negatively affected by these changes:

During inspection of some Boomerang Sports with 100+ of hours of use, it was confirmed that some gliders have lines that have changed length and are no longer within the 1-2 cm tolerances.

It was observed that some gliders with 100 hours+, experienced shrinkage in the middle lines constructed of "LIROS DC 120." The changes were seen mainly on the D and brake lines.

This line shrinkage can be easily detected during the normal line length check as part of the required 100 hours or 1 year inspection.

As a precaution, Gin have decided to offer replacement middle and upper line sets, free of charge, to all owners of Boomerang Sports and Yeti 08s that are fitted with LIROS DC 120 and DC 60.

Please take time to inform any and all Boomerang Sport and Yeti pilots about this notice.

Contact: Super Fly Inc., 801 255 9595, Sandy, UT 84070, 801 255 9595 for more information.

 

Old Style Starter Alert

Dec 14, 2006
Recent reports have indicated that the old-style recoil starter on Black Devil 172 motors may engage in flight. The indication is a momentary loss of power. If the starter self-engages, small parts may bounce around and possibly damage the magneto. 

The internal rope pulley gets torn up and the rope breaks in multiple locations. This creates a hazard in that the pull handle is no longer attached to the starter and can migrate into the propeller causing a premature end of flight. We've been told of at least two cases where this has happened.

The newer 3-dog starter is reported to correct the problem. Contact your dealer for replacement.


courtesy www.footflyer.com

Starter Mount Cracks

Nov 6, 2006

We've been told of several Black Devil 172cc starter motor brackets failing. If it breaks completely, the starter may go through the propeller and cause other damage.

Please inspect your bracket closely before each flight by cleaning it thoroughly and looking for cracks. Contact your dealer for a replacement. 

BDStarter_2Broken.jpg (65461 bytes)

Open Carabiners

Sept 29, 2006

Thanks to Robin Rumbolt for sharing this picture of a very scary situation. This pilot was quite close to a catastrophic situation on two fronts. One, a significant bump that unloaded that riser could have caused the riser to come completely out, leaving the pilot spiraling uncontrollably down on the remaining side. Two, the carabiner has dramatically less strength and a strong updraft could break it.

The carabiner's labeling shows it can withstand 20 KN of force closed and 10 KN if loaded sideways but this model does not show what it would be if open. Many do as the picture below shows (courtesy Stefan Obenauer and www.canyoneering.net).

 

open_crab.jpg (57434 bytes)

Cage/Netting Looseness

July 2, 2006

There have been 6 incidents where pilots, who were in their harnesses and either flying, launching or landing got their hand or part of a hand in the prop. Several of these involved netting systems that had become loose and one involved a brake line getting in the prop and pulling the pilots hand into the prop. If you can push 30 - 50 pounds against any part of your cage or net with an open palm and touch any part of the prop, your netting is too loose. 


Propeller Sap Defects

Mar 13, 2006

There have been two cases reported of sap coming out of a wood propeller. One flyer sent pictures of this one (made by Aztec props) because the seepage was so severe and included the bolt holes. Although no failure occurred, we consulted with two other propeller makers (and showed them the pictures). They suggested that such props should not be flown unless the defect was corrected and then thoroughly strength tested. 

One manufacturer said that these defects, called pitch pockets, do occasionally appear but they should be cleaned out and filled with epoxy. If delamination occurs from that repair then the prop should be retired. They further added that it is not acceptable for the pocket to go through a bolt hole as that will further weaken the prop.

We recommend removing any prop with such a defect and returning to the manufacturer for inspection. 

OozingProp1.jpg (72089 bytes)


Sky 100 Redrive Cracks

Mar 13, 2006

There have been at least 3 cases where the reduction drive on Sky 100 paramotors have developed cracks. In one case the crack was approximately 3/4 around the the case and was likely close to failure. This failure would result in the prop and back half of the redrive departing the motor. Your redrive should be inspected closely before each flight and, if a crack is found, not flown. 

If you find a crack, report it to your dealer or Sky Engines.

Click the picture for a full sized view.

SnapRedriveCracks004.JPG (93828 bytes)


Fuel Tank Breach

Oct 175

There have been at least 4 cases on low-mounted fuel tanks where, after a fall on takeoff or cage hit on landing, the spinning propeller has contacted the fuel tank causing a large spray of fine mist. Although there has never been a fire, it would only take one spark from scraping metal or other source to ignite the combustible mixture.

If the tip of your propeller is within about 3 to 4 inches of gas tank, it may be susceptible. Possible corrective measure are: 1) install a thinner gas tank to improve clearance, 2) increase the motor distance/angle from the prop or 3) put a protective barrier strong enough to protect the tank from a prop strike. 

Contact your manufacturer to see if there are any fixes available if you observe this situation.


Snap 100 Prop Departures

Sept 15

On Snap 100 machines, the propeller assembly is held onto a spline shaft with one bolt. For whatever reason that bolt has proven prone to back out, allowing the prop to fall off the machine. Under power the prop is pushing but when the pilot throttles off the windmilling prop is being pushed backwards by airflow and can fall off.

Prop assemblies have fallen off at least 4 time under exactly these circumstances. We recommend this bolt have Locktite (or similar) applied AND be inspected for tightness before every flight.


Mult-Pattern Hole Prop Defects

Aug 125

On Aug 7, 2005, During a full power takeoff with a Bandit frame using a Black Devil motor, this Aztec propeller came apart just before liftoff. It caused significant damage to the frame and shed pieces nearby in the field. Examination revealed that the prop sheared along drill holes that wound up being in line with each other. These holes are done to accommodate different hole patterns used by multiple manufacturers.

If you have a similar propeller with this hole pattern, consider replacing it with one having ONLY the holes for your bolt pattern or using well under full power.

Click the picture for a full-sized view.

AztecPropShattered.jpg (36801 bytes)


Swing Arms That Go Inward

Aug 11, 2005

If you have an AeroThrust "Velocity" machine with arms that swing inward (allowing the two arms to come together) there is a simple change that should be made to your machine before flying again. Without the mod it is possible to twist around in the risers under some conditions (high thrust, especially during takeoff).  

The solution is to prevent the arms from coming in more than perpendicular to the propeller plane. They can swing outward, but should be stopped from swinging inward toward the pilot.

A recent incident that occurred on a prototype machine brought this possibility to light for some other models. For more information and a simple recommended solution, please visit Apex Para Sports.

Note: if you ever feel yourself start to twist around while in flight, immediately ease off the power (smoothly) and raise your hands to 1/4 brake then flare before touching down (if impending).


Throttle Setting

Jan 07, 2005

It has been brought to our attention that two new paramotors have arrived with the throttle apparently set to full. One was started, went to full power and resulted in serious injuries to a bystander who tried to help (see incidents). Both were Walbro carburetors attached to Black Devil motors. This likely has less to do with this particular brand but rather is the result of it currently being a very popular choice.

Please check your throttle linkage, only start your motor with it on your back (somebody else pulling it) or secured to something solid. Also, have the throttle grip in your hand in such a way that you have immediate access to the kill switch and the throttle cannot be activated if the motor powers beyond idle.


Black Devil Exhaust

July 26, 2005

Paul Williams, a pilot in England has reported that after landing to refuel he found the end of the muffler had rotated towards the pilot. The fuel tank and filler cap were destroyed and a hole burnt into the harness. 

He states: "THIS EXHAUST MUFFLER IS THE MODIFIED VERSION WITH THE POP RIVET TO PREVENT ROTATION. ONE RIVET IS NOT ENOUGH. I SUGGEST USING AT LEAST 3 AND MAKE CERTAIN THERE IS NO PLAY TO BE FOUND."

Further, he thinks that the pop rivet rattled loose and wore itself out. The full report can be viewed at the Paraventure.co.uk web site.

This should be fixed prior to the next flight as it represents a fire risk. Thanks to Ray McMahon for submitting the report.


Aero Corsair Muffler Flange

May 28, 2005

JPX Italia has discovered that a batch of mufflers manufactured for their Black Devil motor may develop cracks in the flange. They have taken the appropriate action of advising pilots and offering a repair free to owners who have purchased those serial numbers affected.

They immediately request owners to safety wire their mufflers (something that is recommended anyway) and will send a replacement part as soon as possible once properly notified.

Alex Varv, the US importer for the motor, has posted a complete description on the problem and it's cure. The temporary cure and complete advisory can be found here. For more information contact Alex Varv.


Locking Carabineers Opening

Apr 4, 2004

A rare circumstance that that allows a common type of locking carabineer to open unexpectedly has been identified by the German certifying organization, DHV. Just having the gate open dramatically reduces strength but, in this case, the riser came off the open carabineer resulting in an accident with fortunately minor injuries. 

While this one was a free-flying pilot, it could also apply to motored flyers as well. Click here for the DHV article in English. 

It occurred during a reverse inflation where the riser engaged the locking button, resulting in an open gate during flight. It was un-noticed by the pilot and subsequently came off in a turn, causing the entire riser on that side to go free.

One solution is to simply look at your carabineers immediately after launch to make sure that the gates are indeed closed and, if not, land immediately.

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