NTSB Identification: FTW97LA057.
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Accident occurred Sunday, November 10, 1996 in OKLAHOMA CITY, OK
Probable Cause Approval Date: 08/25/1997
Aircraft: GILBERT RUTAN VARI EZE, registration: N18VE
Injuries: 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.
During hand propping of the airplane, the throttle is placed in the idle position with the ignition (magneto) switch and fuel on. However, when the engine is flooded, a clearing procedure must be used. For clearing the engine, the pilot turned off the ignition and the fuel and placed the throttle full open before pulling the propeller through backwards 10 blades. Subsequently, the pilot turned on the ignition and the fuel. However, he did not close the throttle. As the pilot pulled the propeller through a revolution, the engine started and the airplane went forward with full power. The left wing tip struck a steel pole and crossed the ramp, a taxiway, and a runway before striking windsock guy wires and coming to a stop. The airplane was not equipped with a parking brake, and at idle power a rubber parking pad at the nose served as the chock. On the Pilot/Operator Report the pilot recommended installing a hand brake, using full lean mixture for flooded procedures, and using a checklist.
The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be: The pilot's failure to follow proper starting procedures and set the throttle to idle before hand propping. Full narrative available
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