An engine cannot last longer than its life span. It is expected to stop working, especially when it comes to a two-stroke engine. During flight, every pilot is scared of facing the problem of motor being failed at some point. Does he really have the remedy to what he should do when the engine totally quits?
If it all goes mostly, you will land safely on the ground like a normal landing. If you do not know what to do when the engine fails, you can have significant trouble.
Let’s discover how a paramotor engine fails and how you can prepare yourself for the situation. Also, please read how to stay out of trouble when it happens!
Behind the curtains of paramotor engine failure
Many symptoms can lead to the failure of a paramotor engine, and regardless of the situation, you will have to face these few things.
It’s quite clear that the engine will not function anymore once it stops. If the paramotor is still running on power, the wing might position forward.
The pilot can decide the launching spot. Then he can try to start the engine after spotting the launch area from enough height.
The last option you will be left with is to land if the engine doesn’t start.
Let’s look at these points to get an idea of what you should do if an engine suddenly fails.
1. The engine stops
It’s always a surprise when your engine fails mid-air, and you were not expecting it. As the control will be lost after the stoppage of the engine, the wind will try to get its speed back.
If there is enough attitude when this happens, recovery time for your wing will be more than needed; there is a good chance it will come back to its normal descent. However, if you are feeling low or recently launched, you must take immediate decisions and act accordingly for recovering the wing.
How can you recover the wing?
Your wing will try to move forward, and you must pull the break down so that you can dampen the surge.
You will descent usually after the recovery of the wing just as you release the power.
2. Descending of paramotor
The paramotor immediately descends after the stoppage of the propeller. You can keep your hands up and try to stay calm. Pull back the trimmers slowly if your wing is trimmed.
3. Decide the land spot
Without wasting time, you should immediately find the landing space and make sure it is far from obstacles. Check out the water, fences, hedges, power lines, and barbed wire.
Consider choosing another spot if you find these obstacles on one route.
Another common mistake is your landing spot can be too small.
A hedge can get in your way, and you may not have time to have a safe landing; even if you fix the engine while on the ground, you’ll need a runway to relaunch. Do not forget this when you are landing.
It’s best to get an understanding of the wind. Get a hold of wind and the direction it’s coming from and try to perform some turns.
4. Try restarting the engine
You can try restarting the engine if you have enough height to make it happen. For that, you must decide your launch spot from above a certain height. You can do it easily if it is an electric start engine; however, a pull start engine can also work mid-air.
In an emergency, it is easier to find a pull start record, and that’s why people should choose a pull start lanyard.
5. Time to land
If the engine still doesn’t start, it’s time for you to land. Begin with choosing a landing spot. Everything can be simple if you figure out the direction of the wind. In that case, the landing will be just like any other time.
However, when you cannot find wind direction, wrap the brake lines twice around your hand. This is because you have to pull the most massive flare to have a smooth downwind landing at a low speed.
After the neutral position, pull in the trimmers in step 2 to have the slow mode. Slowing down the speed is important. Once you are in an appropriate height, you can usually flare.
How to cope up with engine’s failure when you have no idea?
It can be tricky to tackle a situation you are unprepared for. To be always prepared and safe, consider your engine can fail at any moment when you are in the air.
If you always care about the engine failure while flying, there’s a good chance when it happens, it won’t be a surprise, and you will be prepared for the undesirable situation. However, pilots forget how unreliable two-stroke engines are. It can happen anywhere over a rocky terrain, trees, residential area, or even water.
I cannot imagine a safe place for an engine to fail, as all of them will have certain circumstances. It can be hazardous for a pilot no matter where he falls.
How can you be unexpectedly ready for the emergency landings?
Now that we know the two strokes engines can quit anytime without any warning, it is better to stay alert and prepare every moment of your flight as your landing position. Let’s look at what a pilot should Ideally do and what he shouldn’t do to stay safe from such dangerous situations.
Paramotor Engine Fails Mid-Air: What should a pilot do?
Have frequent practices for emergency landing
This is quite the given and most important step in preparing yourself for emergency landings.
You can try practicing by purposely facing the situation where the engine might fail. Go above and try to turn off the engine, but do it on a safe terrain. Slowly glide down and observe how you can land smoothly without hitting anything. Once you gain more confidence, you might want to try it under challenging fields as well.
Practicing this will train you on how to land safely. You can try this to sharpen your skills and see how you can work out in tight landing options when the engine fails.
Also, you can do spot landings whenever you find a chance. It will sharpen your skills and perfect your flight as you will have enough time.
Check the flight ahead of time
It’s always recommended to have a pre-flight inspection before taking off. For a good percentage of the time, you will find out the problem while checking it earlier. If you are lucky, you might even be able to discover the cause for the engine failure and repair it before you take off.
Here are a few things you can check ahead of your flight-
- Check if the spark plug is tight and the cap is secure
- Check if the bolts are tightly fitted on the engine and paramotor. Loosely fitted bolts can cause engine failure.
- Check the propeller
- Make sure the engine runs efficiently on full power
- Fill in the tank with adequate fuel before you take off
Make sure your gliding distance always has a landing option while you are flying. Just have a sight of what you will do when the engine fails. Question yourself if you can go to the nearest point quickly, gliding and landing smoothly. An ideal landing location would be a grass field free from other obstacles.
Carry a multitool
You will have to walk a long distance if you land at a longer distance from your field. You will have to walk the distance yourself and can fix the problem and relaunch the paramotor.
A multi-tool is essential. You must have it with you during your flight. It can help you in times of need to repair any basic dysfunctionality of the paramotor.The least you can do is fill your harness pocket with pliers, wire cutters, crosshead and flat head screwdriver, blade, etc. Here are some of the recommended tools when planning for paramotoring.
Paramotor Engine Fails Mid-Air: What not to do?
Do not blindly trust the engine
Two-stroke engines are often poorly reliable, and I had a bad experience with the distance and frequent breakdown during the flight.
With the help of modern technology, manufacturers were able to make reliable two-stroke engines. Still, the strung engines are not a very good means for lubrication. Meaning they can cease or stop anytime without warning.
Altough engine is not only responsible for an emergency landing. I have also suffered the issue because of the propeller. One time the propellor fell off. For the second time, boltnwas the issue. It will be safer if you expect a power failure at any time.
Fly away from water
Pilots have often lost their lives because of flying over water. Even if your wish to fly over water, do it at a height, so you get enough time to glide down and land safely. Another helpful thing is the floatation device.
Don’t fly over the surface where you cannot land
Water is not only a risky field to fly a paramotor. Any area having power lines, buildings, roads, trees can be dangerous to land on.
Other thing you might hurt is people. Do not fly over a crowded area as you can cause a human disaster very quickly. Failure of paramotor, regardless of the reason, can injure people and bring about enormous consequences.
Tips to stay away from emergency landings and engine failures.
There is no guarantee of reliability of the engine and that it doesn’t quit. However, by following some measures, you can lower the chances of such incidents.
It’s always recommended to follow the maintenance schedule and follow up with the engine manufacturer on how it works. You should change the problematic parts regularly rather than ignoring them.
I studied a lot about two-stroke engines over the year, and here is the list of parts I recommend you to check daily to stay safe.
1. Spark plug
The best time to check a spark plug is every 20-25 hours. Sometimes just a new spark plug can get a broken or quit engine working again. 2 stroke engines are susceptible when it comes to plug, so make sure you get the right one.
Always mix your fuel with secondary oils after talking to your manufacturer. The ratio of the mix should be accurate, just as recommended. You can risk the efficiency of your sparkplug if the blend is not correct, leading to overheating of the engine.
Inspect the spark plug and check the mixture often. A perfect mixture will look like a golden brown color. The black Or White plug and indicate that you must reset the mix according to the specification of the manufacturer.
This is how you can read the spark plug and the color.
Your engine can seize if the mixture is weak.
It is vital to keep a general maintenance. Bearings, piston, and other internal engine parts will need changing at specific intervals to last longer.
Pre-check the propeller before launching
Check if your propeller is tight before launching. Many pilots were distracted and lost their propellers while they were on the flight. Most of the time, it leads to an emergency landing, and if it hits hard, equipments can also be broken.
Check out the reduction belt
A loose reduction belt is also a significant cause of emergency landings. Unfortunately, I had a poorly designed engine with an eccentric shaft clamp that was always lost.
It’s better to Keep checking the paramotor reduction belts before flight to get loose once worn.
Is it the same with electric motors and four-stroke engines?
Many manufacturers are using four-stroke engines in their paramotors recently. All the four-stroke machines are most reliable; they can also suddenly quit.
Electric motors also run the same risk.
Even if the motor is reliable, one cannot fly ignoring the fact we mentioned above. There is always a chance of engine failures, especially while landing.
We pretty much covered everything you need to know about what to do when an engine fails. You won’t just drop out of the sky if the motor fails, although you will have to follow the procedures correctly to come out of the situations safely.
Pay attention to the training, especially on the risk chapters and how to tackle them. With the live practice of engine failures, you can learn in the best way possible.
This video will help you understand on how you can turn the disaster into a safe landing-