Another major improvement to safety can likely be realized with a
simple throttle change. Most of the injuries happen while a pilot,
facing his motor, gets surprised by high power while starting. It's
almost always caused by an undesired throttle input. SafeStart would be
ideal (because it's passive) but manufacturers have, so far, been
unwilling to implement it, probably due to expense. Here's another
Have a simple device that prevent the throttle from moving more than
a small amount until the pilot is ready for takeoff. It must work
whether or not the pilot has his hand in the throttle because several
accidents have involved accidental power ups where the pilot was not
holding his throttle. Here are the traits of a good throttle.
1. Must be ergonomic and provide linear motion of the carburetor/controlller arm
2. Should have a kill switch that is easy to use with the pilots
thumb but resistant to accidental activation. Having it recessed but
with an opening towards the thumb is the best implementation I've seen
3. Have an idle stop as shown in the animation below and images at
right. This device, when extended in the "safe" position, prevents the
pilot from throttling up more than 20% power or so until he's got the
motor on his back. He then retracts it into the "flight" position. It
should not be required for the pilot to be holding the throttle -- most
of the accidents have happened in that scenario. The motor powers up and
within 1 second the damage is done. Even thought the pilot had a kill
switch available it just happened too fast.
4. Lightweight, inexpensive & durable.
As always, nothing is idiot proof. A working pilot brain is still
required but this gives that brain one more line of defense when. And
whatever design is used, it's equally important that it not be easily
activated in flight where it would unexpectedly prevent throttling up.
There are likely better designs and I welcome anyone who actually
implements this or anything else to send me pictures and/or video.
This is one idea of
implementation but I'm sure someone can come up with something better.
Feel free to copy it. It must be easy, reliable, and not able to
accidentally deploy which would present an inflight risk.
Left image is the "Flight"
position, right image is the "Safe" position.