Passive starting safety for paramotor pilots, thanks to Randy Bridge

It’s inspiring to see pilots making this sport safer while realizing that choices will be made. Such was the case of Randy Bridge who implemented an idea that will work with essentially any paramotor.

Obviously it still takes an alert, responsible pilot minding his own safety—nothing is foolproof. You must be standing on the platform and insure the paramotor is securely hooked in place. And be prepared to bear the full weight of thrust in the event something goes awry.

Randy writes:

With prop injuries being a major problem in this sport I have tried to come up with a tool that might make it a lot safer to start a motor, do a run up or work on it while running. It is a very simple platform that the unit sits on and hooks over the back frame structure. I have three different motors and it works well on all three units.

I am able to go to full throttle on the Black Devil 172 and still maintain solid control, even with hands off as demonstrated in the photo. I have always feared tuning the carburetor on the high end without some kind of stability.

It is made of 1/4 aluminum making it lightweight and easy to carry around. Until someone comes up with an RPM shut down, this might help our sports safety. Even with an RPM cut-off, one will have to have an override to allow for adjusting the carburetor, I would think.

If my idea saves one finger it will be well worth the time, money and effort that I have put into the project. Being a prototype I am hoping someone smarter than I can come up with improvements and welcome the input.

Be aware that you must have sufficient body weight so that you and the motor combined are heavy enough to avoid being pushed back and over. Making the board longer reduces that chance at some tradeoff in ease of carrying.

See also Cage Intelligence and the many related articles on prop safety.

Starting Platform idea that keeps the paramotor from thrusting forward provided it is hooked and the the pilot is standing on it with both feet.