Title: Heel prop strike
Location: Syvrud Airport, Brooklyn, Wisconsin
Pilot weight (without motor): 160 US Pounds
Intermediate (PPG2 or Equivalent)
10-50 Hours Solo
Incident Detail Information
Type of Incident:
Body Contact with Spinning Prop
Pilot Error on Launch
Site Elevation: 950 (feet above sea level)
Phase of Flight:
Purpose of Flight:
Safety Gear Used:
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
Pilot/Passenger Injury Severity:
Minor Injury (No Hospital Visit)
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/