NTSB Identification: FTW97LA026.
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Accident occurred Thursday, October 24, 1996 in STERLING, CO
Probable Cause Approval Date: 02/01/1997
Aircraft: Piper PA-28C-180, registration: N9020J
Injuries: 1 Serious,2 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.

The pilot said she knew the starter was 'weak' because the engine had previously been started by turning the propeller by hand. When the pilot and her passenger prepared to depart, the engine would not start. An airport employee, who said 'it's been two or three years' since he had 'propped' an engine, offered to turn the propeller by hand. While hand-propping to start the engine, the propeller struck his head, inflicting a serious injury.

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

improper starting procedure used by the airport employee. Factors relating to the accident were: the inoperative starter, and failure of the pilot to seek proper assistance.

Full narrative available

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