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Instructor Alert: Student Equipment

March 7, 2020

It has come to our attention that an instructor may have flown his student on equipment that had not been properly tested and was not configured properly, which is obviously unacceptable. In this case, it was a wheeled machine where the front wheel(s) lifted off last, or “wheelbarrowed,” a dangerous condition that could cause a crash.

Student equipment should be hang-tested, and where possible, flight-tested by the instructor. A flight test may not be wise if the instructor is too heavy/lightweight to do it safely, and is less necessary if the product is flight-tested by the manufacturer (some wing makers do this).

The minimum standard is that equipment must be hang-tested to ensure proper behavior in all power ranges. This could expose unwanted hang-angles and unwanted twisting/turning tendencies. A simple hang test of the cart would have revealed the dangerous condition before exposing a student to risk. If running the prop would be too risky for a particular situation, apply force at the prop in the thrust direction to simulate behavior under power.

Although this advice is included in our Wheel-Launch syllabus, it has been added to the “simulator” section for better clarity. Instructors should download the newest syllabus from the “Instructors” page.

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