NTSB Identification: ATL90LA083.
The docket is stored on NTSB microfiche number 40647.
Accident occurred Wednesday, March 21, 1990 in GULF SHORES, AL
Probable Cause Approval Date: 12/15/1992
Aircraft: CESSNA 172G, registration: N4373L
Injuries: 1 Minor.

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 WAS ON THE RAMP PREPARING FOR A BANNER TOW FLIGHT AND HAD LEFT THE COCKPIT UNATTENDED. HE REPORTED THAT THE PARKING BRAKE WAS SET, THE THROTTLE WAS AT IDLE WITH THE ENGINE RUNNING, AND THE LEFT MAIN TIRE WAS CHOCKED. AS HE WAS HELPING HIS WIFE CARRY THE BANNER TO THE PICK UP AREA, HE NOTICED THAT THE AIRPLANE WAS MOVING. HE CHASED THE AIRPLANE AND TRIED TO ENTER THE COCKPIT, BUT WAS UNSUCCESSFUL. HE TURNED THE AIRPLANE AWAY FROM A FUEL STORAGE TANK BEFORE HE WAS DRAGGED TO THE GROUND. THE AIRPLANE DEPARTED THE RAMP SURFACE, CONTACTED AN ADJACENT DITCH, AND NOSED OVER. THE PILOT'S WIFE STATED THAT THE THROTTLE MAY HAVE OPENED UP AFTER THE AIRPLANE STARTED MOVING.

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

FAILURE OF THE PILOT TO OBTAIN PROPER ASSISTANCE OR PROPERLY SECURE THE AIRCRAFT WHEN HE LEFT IT UNATTENDED WITH THE ENGINE RUNNING.

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