NTSB Identification: NYC01LA165.
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Accident occurred Tuesday, July 03, 2001 in Plymouth, MA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 11/04/2002
Aircraft: Piper PA-12, registration: N3042M
Injuries: 1 Uninjured.

NTSB investigators may have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The pilot attempted to start the airplane; however, the starter would not engage. He then exited the airplane and rotated the propeller. During the third rotation, the engine started, and the airplane began to roll forward. The airplane struck a parked, unoccupied aircraft before the pilot was able to shut down the engine. Examination of the airplane's magnetos, P-leads, and ignition switch did not revealed any abnormalities. The starter switch operated correctly; however, the starter motor gear would not thrust forward to engage the engine ring gear. The pilot stated he did not intend to start the airplane when he rotated the propeller, and in retrospect, he felt rushed and "probably forgot" to turn the magnetos to the "off" position, prior to exiting the airplane.

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

The pilot's failure to ensure the magnetos were off prior to rotating the propeller, which resulted in an unintentional engine start and subsequent unmanned taxi.

Full narrative available

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