Incident Details


General Information
Title: Heel prop strike
Date: 08/22/2021
Time: 18:00
Location: Syvrud Airport, Brooklyn, Wisconsin

Pilot Information
Age:
Gender: Male
Pilot weight (without motor): 160 US Pounds
Rating: Intermediate (PPG2 or Equivalent)
Experience: 10-50 Hours Solo

Incident Detail Information
Type of Incident: Body Contact with Spinning Prop
Primary Cause: Pilot Error on Launch
Contributing Distractions: None
Windspeed: Calm
Wind Type: Steady
Thermal Conditions: Not Applicable
Visibility:
Surface: Grass
Terrain: Flat
Site Elevation: 950 (feet above sea level)
Phase of Flight: Inflation
Purpose of Flight: Recreation

Safety Gear Used:
None
Helmet Full
Helmet Other
Protective Boots
Knee-pads
Elbow-pads
Wrist Guards
Reserve
Knife
Gloves
Strobe
Unknown

Communications: Not Applicable
Damage to Pilot's Equipment: Minor (Less than 20% of New Price)
Wing: BGD Luna 2 23m
Motor: Miniplane ABM Flex Cage with Atom 80

Injury Information
Pilot/Passenger Injury Severity: Minor Injury (No Hospital Visit)
Hosipitalization: Not Applicable

Injuries:
None
Head
Face
Neck
Chest
Back
Abdomen
Shoulder
Arm
Elbow
Forearm
Wrist
Hand
Pelvis
Thigh
Calf
Ankle
Foot
Knee
Unknown

Collateral Damage:
None
By-Stander
Other Pilot
Animal
Property
Unknown

Narrative: Takeoff was a forward launch on a very humid, hot, and calm evening down the runway, starting at the end of the runway. Approximately 30 feet down from the the point of inflation, there were some wide divots (~2-4 inches deep) in the grass. Inflation was fine, however there was a minor oscillation. I believe this oscillation on the surge, along with the runway ruts and a fairly long inseam (leg length) led to a prop strike with my right heel as the wing lost some lift (lines did not slack). I immediately aborted, did not fall over, and the paramotor never impacted the ground. One blade of the two blade carbon fiber Yueny propeller was destroyed on impact with my heel. Other than the propeller, there was minor damage to the netting from the propeller fragments. The shoe I was wearing at the time of the incident, Allbirds, do not have a rigid heel, and have very little padding. I believe this contributed to the severity of the injury, and I believe a shoe with rigid heel protection would have mitigated, or even prevented, injury. I've done some research and found the following post of a Paramotor pilot that had a heel strike while wearing Oboz boots, and walked away without injury. https://www.reddit.com/r/woodworking/comments/k9udqg/while_flying_paramotor_i_had_a_prop_strike/

Photo: