Product Advisory / Safety Alert
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:
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
Super Fly Inc.,
801 255 9595,
Sandy, UT 84070,
801 255 9595 for more information.
Style Starter Alert
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.
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
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.
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
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
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
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.
Sky 100 Redrive Cracks
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
Click the picture for a full sized view.
Fuel Tank Breach
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
Contact your manufacturer to see if there are any fixes
available if you observe this situation.
Snap 100 Prop Departures
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 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.
Swing Arms That Go Inward
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
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
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).
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
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
Black Devil Exhaust
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
Further, he thinks that the pop rivet rattled loose and wore itself out. The
full report can be viewed at the Paraventure.co.uk
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
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.
immediately request owners to safety wire their mufflers (something that is
recommended anyway) and will send a replacement part as soon as possible once
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
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.