You will rarely see a paramotor pilot rambling on about his paramotoring mistakes. No pilot will tell you what they did wrong and how they failed in any way. And if you think mistakes are not common, you’d be wrong! I made a bunch of mistakes in the initial period of paramotoring. I will be sharing them with you so you can be careful and not go through the same and favorable circumstances.
My first paramotoring mistake
I committed my first mistake during training and it gave me a broken propeller for the first time. Most of the propellers fail because of some unfortunate incident on the ground, but my experience took place in the air.
During the training process, we were required to check the equipments before taking off the flight. That includes the engine, wing, frame, and harness. Even though I was about to fly for just 45 minutes, I had checked all the equipments before the flight.
As it was such a short flight, I thought it wouldn’t make a difference to check again before the second flight. So I skipped it. That turned out to be a massive mistake as I didn’t know that the oil nipple was vibrating loose on the clutch.
I was flying in the air, and after 30 minutes, I hear a loud bang. I felt a sharp and sudden movement. Then I decided to land immediately and discovered that the oil nipple was fallen out and hit the wooden propeller. One screw and half part of a propeller blade was lost.
How to fix this problem?
Even if your previous flight was short, always check the equipments for your next flight. A small oil nipple is still not a very big thing to put you in danger. But you never know what you are missing and even a small bolt can cause the propeller to wear out and harm you.
My second paramotoring mistake
I made this mistake during training as well during the second phase of the course. I took this intermediate course four months after I finished the starter course. You can also read: Paramotor Training: Can You Self Train Yourself For Paramotoring?
I did a minimum amount of paramotoring this time, probably just 10 hours of flight. Ten hours may look like a delight for beginners, but I would say a hundred years as the minimum benchmark for any newcomer in the sport.
As I was the utter and complete newbie, I started flying in a calm evening in a sluggish beginner wing. I was getting intermediate training back then; I saw beginners launched below me by my instructor while I flew circuits.
I chose the launch field to fly, and that was the point of launch for beginners flying below me. One of the pilots was a fast learner, and he reached my lane in no time with full throttle. I approached The Other pilot had flown beside him. I didn’t even know I had got on his lane and flying parallel to him.
I was able to see that his seat was not very comfortable for him, and neither was his left brake. He was trying to get in the middle with the help of his left hand while holding the right break from his right hand.
Accidentally The pilot hit on the right brake way too intensely. It was my luck that I was observing him, and I saw him coming at me.
Sadly at that time, my wing was not fast enough to react on impulse. I couldn’t avoid clashing no matter what I had done, so I hit the throttle too! I was giving it a hard pull and full throttle. I reached to a height enough that he gets space to pass below me.
How to fix this problem?
It is advised not to fly on the same atitude as the other paramotoring pilot. Always give some space in the altitudes. But don’t just fly below them too close as there can be a loss of height by a sudden turn. The pilot can quickly drop in your way out of nowhere if that’s the case.
That’s why make sure you have provided enough space to take turns. The pilot next to me had no idea of my existence next to him right until we were close.
So make sure the pilot’s flying simultaneously as you in your area know about you.
My third paramotoring mistake
I committed the third mistake after flying for 25 hours. Its because of my lack of knowledge. As I acquired confidence during the training, I decided to get the experience in weather conditions.
I had a word with the paragliding pilot. He asked me to pull breaks every time there is turbulence and until shoulder height. This will keep my Wings inflated. Pilots who are using classic Wings can follow this advice, but unfortunately, I was on reflex wings.
The air was active at the time I took off at 4:00 p.m. in the summer. My paramotor hit huge thermals; that’s why I decided to pull on the brakes.
When I was done with being thrown around, I had already flown for a good 20 minutes. The best option for me was to land and wait till the air currents are smooth. I held a foot of break when I was holding the paramotor still. I then decided to flare at the usual height, although my wing was immediately stalled, so it was for no use. It was tough to land as it also broke my second propeller.
How to fix this problem?
If you need to fly flawlessly without tension in your mind, you must go through the user manual. Also, be confident about the type of wing you are using.
You should read everything about reflex technology if you are flying in a reflex wing. Training will not teach you everything you should know. That’s why you should thoroughly read blogs that I write as it is solely meant for paramotoring.
Read here more information about purchasing paramotoring equipments.
My Fourth paramotoring mistake
I made this mistake after 400 flights, and it only took two elements-
- I decided to land in a surprising field that I was not familiar with. Also, it was covered with trees and hills, which were a significant obstruction.
- It was almost sunset
Then what? My original land spot was 20 minutes far from that location via flight. I wanted to reach there soon because that was my vehicle spot. As I looked below, I noticed another paramotor pilot signaling towards me.
Even if it was almost sunset, we are eligible to fly for half an hour after the sunset in UK. So that made me think I had enough time to check if the pilot is ok. I also thought and have time to fly back home.
Before I decided to launch, I had a quick Chat after I landed. Sunset had almost occurred and I was hurrying to get to my location. As there wasn’t windsock, I got the wind reading by observing the grass.
Even if there were nasty ruts present in the ground, I got a clear reading from the grass. That means I will miss the dangers I will be facing in my take-off run. I ran ahead to launch, but I saw my wing turned to the left because of the wind. I could not set it all up one more time. It was about to get dark.
My running path was off by 90 degrees compared to my take-off run I had planned. This explains only one thing that I might have caught false reading about the wind because of the rotor on a nearby hill or trees. I was headed to the ruts, and I was feeling the lift. I continued my run, but I didn’t make it until after the ruts.
I tripped over by hitting the ruts. The propeller and cage had hit the ground hard. It broke the part of the propeller. It tore everything in the cage netting.
How to fix this problem?
Do not land at unfamiliar parts. If you unfortunately do, make sure you have time enough to fly back again to get back soon. It was because of my rushing habit, although I was also worried about the pilot flying below me. I later discovered he was trying to take off too throughout the evening.
This could be because of the rotor. So the moral is do not rush. Always take your time and walk a reasonable distance of a few meters to stay away from ruts. And I would have been back if it wasn’t almost sunset. If you see the evening the next time you think about it doing what I did, go home. You can go home and come back in a car to check up on the pilot. That would be a safer way.
This post was dedicated entirely to how a pilot commits silly mistakes and how you can learn from them. If you are still a newcomer and don’t know about the accessories you need for paramotoring, you can click here.
If you also have a set of mistakes you have made while learning paramotoring, please share them in the comments section below.