NTSB Identification: FTW00LA055.
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Accident occurred Monday, December 27, 1999 in NEW ORLEANS, LA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 04/06/2001
Aircraft: Cessna 172L, registration: N172GT
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.

When the pilot attempted to start the airplane's engine, the starter's bendix drive gear did not engage the starter ring gear. The pilot stated that he turned off the ignition, took out the key and put it in his pocket, pulled the throttle to the idle position, set the parking brake and got out of the airplane. He chocked the airplane and then slowly rotated the propeller until he felt one piston 'move to top center.' He then got back in the airplane and attempted another start; however, the starter's bendix drive gear still did not engage the starter ring gear. Once again he turned off the ignition, took out the key and put it in his pocket, pulled the throttle to the idle position, and got out of the airplane. As he manually rotated the propeller, the engine started. The airplane jumped the chocks, began traveling forward unoccupied and impacted a sea wall and hangar. The pilot stated that he thought that the mixture was off. During an examination of the starter system, an intermittent short was found in the starter switch, which allowed the magnetos to remain ungrounded or 'hot' with the switch in the 'off' position.

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

The pilot's inadvertent starting of the engine. Factors were the pilot's failure to set the mixture control to the off position, and the intermittent short in the starter switch.

Full narrative available

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