NTSB Identification: NYC97LA106.
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Accident occurred Saturday, June 07, 1997 in MANSFIELD, MA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 04/24/1998
Aircraft: Piper PA-17, registration: N4832H
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 and passenger had flown to the airport earlier to have breakfast. While preparing for engine start the pilot noted that the engine was still '...hot.' He stated that the engine was difficult to start when warm and that it flooded quickly if not started right away. The pilot said the passenger hand-propped the airplane unsuccessfully 8 to 10 times and the engine flooded. The pilot stated that he turned the magneto switch to 'off,' pushed the throttle in, and instructed the passenger to pull the propeller through backwards 12 times to clear the flooded engine. The pilot stated: 'At this point a guy walks up and says, 'I'll take it from here.' The guy yelled, 'mags off!', and I yelled 'mags off, but wait a minute!' He was way too close to the spinner. He pulled it through, I heard this 'clunk', and he fell down out of my view. The airplane did not start. We got out of the plane and saw that it hit his left knee. A witness who observed the pilot and passenger as they attempted to handprop start the engine described their actions as 'extremely thorough and conscientious.' According to the witness, the other person came over. The pilot waved him away, but he pulled the propeller through..

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

The inadequate procedure for hand-prop starting of the engine.

Full narrative available

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