How to preflight a paramotor
Preflighting a paramotor involves a thorough inspection of the entire apparatus to ensure it is in proper working order before taking off. Here's a detailed guide on how to preflight a paramotor:
1. Visual Inspection:
- Frame: Check for any visible damage, cracks, or bends in the paramotor frame. Ensure that all components are securely attached.
- Engine: Inspect the engine for leaks, loose bolts, or any signs of damage. Confirm that the throttle linkage is intact and functional.
2. Propeller Inspection:
- Check for Damage: Examine the propeller for any nicks, cracks, or damage. Ensure that it is securely mounted to the engine.
- Balance Check: If applicable, check the propeller balance to ensure even rotation.
3. Harness Inspection:
- Strap Integrity: Inspect all harness straps, buckles, and connections. Ensure that the leg straps and waist belt are securely fastened.
- Reserve Parachute: If equipped, verify that the reserve parachute is correctly packed and securely attached.
4. Wing Inspection:
- Visual Check: Inspect the paraglider wing for any tears, holes, or visible damage. Ensure that the lines are untangled and properly attached to the risers.
- Cell Inspection: Check each cell of the wing for proper inflation and symmetry.
5. Fuel System Check:
- Fuel Tank: Confirm that the fuel tank is securely attached and free from leaks.
- Fuel Lines: Inspect fuel lines for any signs of wear, leaks, or blockages.
- Fuel Primer: If applicable, ensure that the fuel primer is functional.
6. Throttle and Controls:
- Throttle Movement: Check the throttle for smooth and responsive movement. Ensure that the throttle cable is in good condition.
- Brake Toggles: Confirm that the brake toggles are free from twists and operate smoothly.
7. Exhaust System:
- Check for Leaks: Inspect the exhaust system for any signs of leaks or damage.
- Muffler: Ensure that the muffler is securely attached and functioning correctly.
8. Starting System:
- Pull Starter: If equipped with a pull starter, ensure that it operates smoothly and returns to its original position.
- Electric Starter: If equipped, test the electric starter to ensure proper functionality.
9. Ignition System:
- Spark Plugs: Check the condition of the spark plugs. Replace them if necessary.
- Ignition Coil: Ensure that the ignition coil is securely attached and functioning.
10. Safety Features:
- Kill Switch: Verify that the kill switch is functional. Test it to ensure it stops the engine when activated.
- Safety Loops: If equipped, ensure that safety loops are in place and functional.
11. Landing Gear (if applicable):
- Wheels: If using a trike configuration, check that the wheels are securely attached and rotate freely.
12. Reserve Parachute Deployment Check:
- Handle Accessibility: Confirm that the reserve parachute handle is easily accessible.
- Check for Tangles: Ensure that reserve parachute lines are not tangled or obstructed.
13. Helmet and Safety Gear:
- Helmet: Verify that the helmet is in good condition, properly fastened, and provides adequate protection.
- Safety Gear: Confirm that all required safety gear, such as a helmet, gloves, and eye protection, is in place.
14. Verify Weather Conditions:
- Wind and Weather: Reassess current weather conditions, paying attention to wind speed, direction, and any potential changes.
Regular and thorough preflight inspections are crucial for ensuring the safety and reliability of the paramotor. Pilots should be familiar with the specific preflight checklist provided by the manufacturer and undergo proper training to conduct these inspections effectively.