NTSB Identification: LAX94LA136.
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Accident occurred Wednesday, February 23, 1994 in SANTA ROSA, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 11/14/1994
Aircraft: PIPER PA-28-140, registration: N20BS
Injuries: 1 Serious,1 Uninjured.

NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

PRIOR TO DEPARTING ON A TRAINING FLIGHT, THE FLIGHT INSTRUCTOR AND A STUDENT WERE SEATED IN THE AIRPLANE ATTEMPTING TO START THE ENGINE. THE ENGINE TURNED OVER SLOWLY, BUT FAILED TO START. THE FLIGHT INSTRUCTOR BELIEVED THE PROBLEM TO BE WITH THE STARTER. SHE DECIDED TO EXIT THE AIRPLANE TO REPOSITION THE PROPELLER IN ORDER TO FREE THE STARTER. IN THE PROCESS, THE PROPELLER ROTATED AND STRUCK THE HEAD AND SHOULDER OF THE FLIGHT INSTRUCTOR. THE STUDENT INSIDE THE AIRPLANE DID NOT MANIPULATE THE CONTROLS WHILE THE INSTRUCTOR WAS OUTSIDE. EXAMINATION OF THE COCKPIT CONTROLS REVEALED THAT THE MASTER SWITCH WAS OFF, MIXTURE AND THROTTLE CONTROLS AT IDLE, AND THE MAGNETO SWITCH WAS ON.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:

A failure of the pilot-in-command to ensure that the powerplant controls were configured properly before moving the aircraft propeller. Inadequate planning/decision making was a factor in this accident.

Full narrative available

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