NTSB Identification: NYC05CA104.
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Accident occurred Monday, June 20, 2005 in Fredericksburg, PA
Probable Cause Approval Date: 10/27/2005
Aircraft: Piper J3C-65, registration: N33818
Injuries: 1 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.

After landing, the pilot waited about 15 minutes, and then "wanted to see if the Cub would start when hot." He planned on hand propping the airplane, and then performing a short local flight. The pilot stated that "instead of getting help propping the Cub," he put a chock under the wheel, attempted to start the airplane, and proceeded to flood the engine. He then increased the throttle setting, turned the mags off, exited the airplane, and turned the propeller by hand, several times, to clear the engine. He then leaned inside the airplane to turn the mags back on; however, he did not retard the throttle. The airplane "jumped the chock," crossed a field, and impacted a light pole. Federal Aviation Administration publication, Preventing Accidents During Aircraft Ground Operations (FAA-P-8740-20), provided suggestions to aid in increasing the safety factor while hand starting airplanes. The publication stated, in part, "No one should attempt to start an aircraft engine without a qualified person at the cockpit controls. The person turning the propeller should be properly trained in the technique of hand cranking. If you have in mind to try hand propping by yourself - DON'T. If you must hand prop - get qualified help to position the engine controls and switches during the starting procedure. If hand propping can be avoided - DO."

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

The pilot's improper engine starting procedures, which resulted in the airplane taxiing unoccupied and impacting a light pole.

Full narrative available

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