Engine service by Southwest Airsports
On a *limited basis* Southwest Airsports can service paramotors and the various subassemblies but it must be done at our shop. Our priority is training pilots. Please be patient.
Study the material on this site carefully and you will reap benefits by investing time in learning how to service and repair your own equipment. You will save a lot of $$$ by doing the work yourself. Those who are inexperienced and believe they are not particularly handy can still do nearly all of the routine maintenance. There are plenty of introductory Internet videos on repairing small 2 stroke motorcycle engines.
Once we ship things back to you, we cannot provide further assistance e.g. how to correctly install a spark plug, reinstall an exhaust system, reconnect the throttle, adjust the carburetor, align the redrive, etc. If this kind of additional help is needed please contact your dealer, a competent local mechanic, or you may ship us the entire paramotor including the propeller and we can do it.
Estimates and labor are charged at $125/hour with a (1) hour minimum charge. Shipping and insurance both ways are not included.
2. What to send
Unless you receive explicit instructions from us to send parts of an engine, send the engine complete including the exhaust, air filter, covers, spark plug, etc. Pack your motor per the instructions in #4 below.
If you are not sure what service your equipment needs, send us everything that might be related. If you want us to test fly your repaired engine (usually a good idea) and it is any paramotor other than a Top 80 or Polini, send everything, including the frame and propeller.
If a single piece propeller needs to be sent, ship it in a separate box. Freight costs will be more economical that way because of its length. Be sure to protect the tips from damage.
3. Form to complete
Download this information worksheet, complete it digitally with Adobe Reader (preferred), and email it to firstname.lastname@example.org. If you do not how to digitally fill in a PDF document, follow these instructions.
It makes it more difficult (and costs you more) for us to repair problem engines if we do not have as much information as possible. Crystal balls are great but, sadly, we do not have one.
4. How to pack and ship your equipment
Clean up your engine/parts before shipping to us unless you wish to pay us to clean things up. The only exception are problem leaks on the engine where evidence of the leak can help ascertain its source. Engines have been destroyed in shipment by pilots who did not take the proper care in packing their equipment.
a.) Parts (other than an engine) – Make sure you carefully pack things so the box could survive a 3' drop. The pilot who shipped the redrive in the photo below luckily escaped having parts of his engine destroyed in normal shipping. He packed the engine with wads (!) of newspaper instead of hard foam/cardboard packing. The bottom of the tote was penetrated, of course, by the drain plug on the redrive and then dragged along somewhere. Note the damage to the drain plug. If the tote had *THEN* been dropped, it would have cracked the redrive and the pilot's bill would have jumped at least $600.
b.) Engines – If you are sending an engine, you *MUST* purchase this heavy duty plastic tote (see photo below). It is available from Lowes for about $13 (item #44066 27-gallon black tote with standard snap Lid). If you are shipping a Top 80, *do not detach* the muffler because it will help protect the engine from damage. On ALL engines: Detach the throttle, remove the spark plug, and remove the air box/cleaner.
A properly packed paramotor
The engine must be TIGHTLY PACKED in (and surrounded with) 1" hard foam (best), heavy cardboard, or old carpet or padding so that it *CANNOT* move inside the shipping container. If needed, use foam peanuts, empty water bottles, etc. to ensure that things WILL NOT MOVE inside the tote. A fuel tank may be used as padding if it is protected from puncture damage from a screw or sharp edge.
The packed equipment must be able to survive a drop of 3' from any position.
Secure the lid with heavy duty nylon zip ties. If we get an engine not shipped in a tote or in its original box (in good condition), we will buy one and add it to your bill. The tote will cost about 3X more if we have to order it online and have it shipped to us.
c.) Entire paramotors – If you have the original box that the entire paramotor was shipped in (and it is in good condition), use it. These instructions are helpful in how to ship the paramotor. The carburetor and starter are the more fragile parts of the engine and must be adequately padded. The spark plug, throttle cable, and air box must be removed.
Hopefully, you did not throw away the original shipping container. If you do not have it, you will have to find a shipping container that will fit your paramotor.
5. Who to ship it with and to where?
Send via UPS or FEDEX ground INSURED, signature required. We have had equipment severely damaged by these shippers, so shipments must be insured. Once you have submitted the form in #3 above, we will give you our shop address.
Once repairs are completed an invoice will be created and sent. We accept checks, ACH transfers (preferred), and PayPal. The invoice gives instructions on how to pay online.
If we are servicing a complete paramotor, it will be tested and tuned to run at our altitude (4,000' MSL). If you are at a different altitude above sea level, you must learn how to adjust your carburetor. Humidity, temperature, and altitude all affect how the engine runs so all pilots must be familiar with how to do this. This web site has detailed instructions. Failure to adjust the carburetor properly can burn up your engine.
WE ARE NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR ANY DAMAGE DONE TO YOUR ENGINE IF YOU FAIL TO PROPERLY ADJUST YOUR CARBURETOR!
Thank you – and fly safely, – Had