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Runaway Trike Spurs NTSB Recommendations

Sadly, runaway aircraft accidents occur in all types of aircraft.  Weight-shift trikes are also vulnerable due to their unique controls as shown in the following NTSB report.  Apparently the passenger inadvertently applied the foot throttle instead of the brake during the pre-takeoff check.  With both a foot throttle and a hand throttle trikes have twice as many chances for something to go wrong.

The remedy is close attention to both throttles and to good safety practices.  Many years ago a pilot was loading a passenger into his trike which was already running when the passenger’s clothing caught the hand throttle.  It taxied off with the hapless passenger until it struck another vehicle.  A competent person must always be at the controls when the engine is running.  More recently a mechanic started the engine of a weight-shift trike at a world championship before checking the position of the hand throttle.  It ran off on its own like an angry beast; damaging other aircraft and endangering spectators, its propeller flailing away until it could be stopped. Every pilot of weight shift trikes should read this NTSB report and consider strongly the three important safety recommendations given at the conclusion. View the report

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