NTSB Identification: ERA09CA375
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, July 04, 2009 in Manteo, NC
Probable Cause Approval Date: 10/19/2009
Aircraft: WACO UPF-7, registration: N32132
Injuries: 3 Minor.

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 giving scenic rides in the vintage airplane. The airplane was parked on the ramp, with the engine operating, and two passengers seated in the front seat. The pilot stated that he set the parking brake, and exited the airplane to secure a baggage latch, when one of the passengers "bumped" the throttle. The passenger seated in the left front seat stated that he and his wife were escorted to, and seated in the airplane, while the pilot was talking with a passenger from the previous flight. He further stated that he was in the airplane for a few seconds, when he turned, and then heard the engine sound increase. The airplane accelerated across the ramp, and struck a parked airplane. Damage to the airplane consisted of bent left wing struts with the upper left wing bent downward approximately 30 degrees, and a bent left aileron. The passenger further stated that he did not receive any pre-boarding instructions or a pre-flight briefing. Examination of the airplane by a Federal Aviation Administration inspector did not reveal any preimpact mechanical malfunctions. It was noted that the engine controls were located on the left side wall of the cabin.

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

The pilot's improper decision to exit the airplane, with the engine operating. Contributing to the accident was the inadvertent throttle movement by the passenger.

Full narrative available

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