Paramotor Prop Safety
Avoiding Propeller Injuries | See also A Better
Paramotor | Safety
Safety Cage Add-On
Safer Starting Stand
Here is a centralized location to learn all about the causes and cures
of our sport's most likely serious injuries: body contact with spinning
prop. It is broken down into several sections to ease the search.
There are a number of hardware improvements that would increase prop
safety. Namely, the cage should be able to prevent an open human hand
from reaching the prop at full rated thrust from anywhere on the cage,
including netting and the cage system should fully enclose the prop.
The easiest improvement that can be added to most machines is the safety
ring. Here are some other resources.
Buy or build your
body-saving ring here!
A Better Paramotor. This page lists a whole
bunch of ideas to improve the safety of paramotors besides prop safety.
SafeStart Under development.
A Better Throttle almost as good
as SafeStart but much simpler.
Safety Cage Retrofit.
Here you'll find details on adding a safety ring to existing machines.
Stopper. Here you'll find a simple method for pilots of
clutch-equipped machines to prevent their prop from turning during
Stand. This is a great way to reduce risk either out on the field or
at home in the shop without having to do any modifications to your
Safestart, Cage & Prop Intelligence. Here are a variety
of ways to reduce risk, including the SafeStart electronic engine
shutoff device. Among other ideas, this page has an animation detailing
how SafeStart would work.
Jeff Baumgartner installed safety
rings on several motors at the 2009 Holland, MI fly-in. These four
pilots now have dramatically safer machines regarding prop injury risk.
Machine "A" has the best protection since its ring goes all the way
down, possibly preventing a hand from whacking during a launch fall,
which has happened. The "B" machine prevents most of the prop-injury
risk but still has this bottom area vulnerable.
Shutoff Technologies has some other ideas,
besides SafeStart, for shutting off a thrusting motor during start.
Another element is that the prop should be fully enclosed by the
cage. Doing so reduces the chance for a reach-around injury. Just
because it's difficult to do that while hanging in a simulator doesn't
mean its impossible during launch when things are bouncing around or
during a fall.
Here we show the various ways that pilots have gotten whacked by a
prop and suggestions to reduce the risk. It is organized by phase of
flight. Although most accidents happen while starting before flight,
they happen elsewhere as well.
Example Accidents & Injury Types
Go to the USPPA incidents page for a full list but
these are some examples of those that reflect the variety of ways
props and people don't mix well.
Always start in such a way that you have good
leverage to hold back a thrusting motor.
Working on a hard-to-start
motor has proven to be high risk for a surprise.