NTSB Identification: LAX05CA024.
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Accident occurred Thursday, October 28, 2004 in Petaluma, CA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 01/24/2005
Aircraft: Champion 7GCAA, registration: N9081L
Injuries: 2 Uninjured.

NTSB investigators used data provided by various entities, including, but not limited to, the Federal Aviation Administration and/or the operator and did not travel in support of this investigation to prepare this aircraft accident report.

The pilot was adjusting the propeller's position by hand when the engine started, and the pilotless airplane taxied across the ramp and into a parked airplane. After numerous unsuccessful start attempts using the airplane's electric starter, the pilot examined the engine and adjusted the propeller by hand. When he adjusted the propeller the engine started. He had left the brakes off, the magnetos on, and the throttle advanced. After the engine started, the pilot backed away, and the airplane moved forward. The pilot attempted to arrest the movement by grabbing on to the right wing strut, but this action was unsuccessful. The airplane continued forward eventually impacting the nose onto the right front side of a parked airplane. The pilot's operating manual states in the before starting checklist to set the brakes, and in the starting checklist to crack the throttle open 1/2 to 1 inch. The shutdown checklist states the mixture should be idle - cut off and the magnetos off.

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

the pilot's failure to follow the published prestart, start, and shutdown procedures.

Full narrative available

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