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I have swung many a Rotax , being geared they take quickly without any fuss , no big deal at all , just dont wrap your fingers around the bladeMrb13676 wrote: ↑Wed Jul 10, 2019 11:59 amJust an FYI - Never try to hand prop a Rotax.... it will kill you. A lot.
Unlike the Lycosaurus and Conti mills, you need about 260RPM to prop a Rotax - which, with a good pull you could get... But then you’ll be in the way when it fires on all cylinders immediately.
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Pieter de Necker
19 October 2017 ·
Never argue with your propeller...
This gentleman had done the preflight on a tractor type aircraft, on his farm, somewhere in SA, one late afternoon. The engine was on a very slow idle with the prop just lazily rotating at about 500rpm. However, dear reader, remember that a prop has 2 or more blades. In this case, 2 blades, which means that a blade is passing a stationary object 1000 times per minute, so, 16 times per second a blade will strike you. If you had the typical reaction time of a Ferrari Formula car of 0,3 seconds from noting danger to reacting positively to avoid a collision, you would still be struck 5 0r 6 times with a mindboggling force.
The gent in question, entered the cockpit, secured all, checked all and identified the cockpit as being a very clean and sterile area to operate in.
But... (and there is always a BUT...) The windscreen needed a good clean wipe, (not that it needed any cleaning at all!) BUT there is always a spec of fly dung bothering one, whilst in the air... So, our friend stepped out of the sterile cockpit area, strolled over to the workbench, picked up a brand new clean super wipe, did an about turn and walked back to the offending windscreen, with the best of intentions to wipe the fly dung spot away. He kneeled on the left-hand side and carefully started wiping the screen. The idling props airstream did a great job of blowing away the last remnants of dust... BUT... fly dung sticks better than superglue. So, one leans forward ever so slightly, very intent on pressing down on the dung, not even being aware that the prop is arcing past your head a few inches behind your neck.
" Just a bit closer, just leaning a polony skins thickness worth forward....'
The gent wondered why he was laying on his back, slightly to the left of the nose of the aircraft.
" Wel, well, this sure is odd " he murmured to himself whilst staggering upright feeling slightly drunk. The prop and engine were still idling along, smooth as ever. There was nary an indication of any matter that was out of order. Then he felt a wet, slightly warm liquid trickling down his neck and ears. Teetering towards the bench, as he felt slightly ill and disorientated, he reached behind his head to feel what it was that was trickling down his neck. In shock and horror, he looked at the bloody pulp that was stuck to his fingers. In a split second, he realized that the propeller had tapped him, oh so lightly, on the back of his head. Alarmed he reached back and his fingers plowed deep into something very mushy.
" Oh God, my brains are hanging out" He uttered loudly to no one in particular while noticing Jonas, the farmhand had turned a whiter shade of pale, eyes bulging in their sockets, mouth agape in a breathless silent scream.
Dear reader, the gent ended up at the only young lady doctor at round about 8 in the evening. She took one look and turned a shade whiter than Jonas, which was trying to explain to the Doctor what had happened.... however, no one understood a word of Swahili at that stage (nor do I think they ever will)
To cut the story short, the gent was rushed to the closest hospital emergency ward where an old hat doctor took the interesting photos of the gentlemen's injury.
Being a propeller manufacturer I state that the thrust face of the propeller gave him a gentle swipe. The leading edge, which does the killing work was, fortunately, a few mm further away from the gents head. If you study the photos you should notice at least 4 distinct oval-shaped patterns torn into the skin. This clearly shows the times the flat thrust face struck his head before he was thrown clear.
The hair, skin and shallow meat of the head had passed away and could not be revived, so the skin was peeled from his leg and stapled into place. As you can see the horrendous injury has healed well (sans hair.... resulting in the gent being renames " OLD BALDY" by the local patrons of the Horseshoe bar.
Me? I call it very lucky that he was not killed outright. I bet his guardian angel had a few tots at the local bar by ST. Peter as well
Keep well, keep out of a propeller reach... they are so pretty and work so hard and are many more times unforgiving than Charcarodon Carcarius ...
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