As with any form of motorized ground transportation, engine failures are not uncommon in air sports. Since many of the aircraft used in air sports are single-person machines, often experimental, there is always a risk of engine trouble. While mechanical trouble is often unpredictable, there are ways to help prevent catastrophic failures.
When an engine fails in midflight, the only thing a pilot can do is attempt to land. Single-person aircraft and other air sports planes need regular maintenance and care, just like a car. Unfortunately, when something goes wrong, you can't just pull off to the side of the road and call motorist assist. You'll need to learn to diagnose problems before they happen. This means preflight tune-ups, once-overs and banging your wrench on anything that looks a little out of shape.
If an engine fails, you should have emergency precautions in place, which could include manual ejection if you're at a high enough altitude, or forced landing procedures [source: Goyer].