This was a first to me. Thanks to Sam for sharing his experience so we all can learn.

After mounting a motor on a frame, he started it on the ground, is the most common practice. At idle and half power it was fine but when he went to full power the prop flexed into the cage, sending a piece of shrapnel directly at his head, scalping him and causing brain bleeding.

My takeaway:He spent 9 days in the hospital and faces 3 more surgeries. The paramotor is destroyed and he’ll still pay thousands of dollars in medical costs after insurance.

  • Wear a helmet when starting.
  • Have any newly built machine checked by another experienced pilot to improve the odds of catching a risky situation.
  • Save full power runups for when it’s on your back.
  • Buy well-tested gear from respected dealers.