NYC01LA067
NYC01LA067

On December 24, 2000, about 1300 eastern standard time, a Rockwell 112A, N1307J, was substantially damaged after impacting a parked airplane while taxing unoccupied. The certificated private pilot was not injured. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no flight plan was filed for the planned personal flight conducted under 14 CFR Part 91.

According to the pilot, he was attempting to start the airplane's engine for flight. After several attempts, the starter gear did not engage. The pilot turned off the master switch and ignition key and exited the airplane in an attempt to start the airplane by rotating the propeller. As the pilot rotated the propeller "a quarter turn," the engine started and the airplane began to roll forward. The pilot ducked to his right and the airplane passed over him.

The airplane continued forward and impacted the right fuel tip tank of a parked airplane, rotated to the right and impacted the parked airplane again before coming to rest.

According to an airport official, the pilot stated that he had been "hand-propping" the airplane, when the engine suddenly started.

The pilot additionally stated to a Federal Aviation Administration inspector that he did not set the parking brake, reduce the throttle, retard the fuel mixture to full lean, or tie the airplane down prior to attempting to rotate the propeller by hand.

Review of the Airplane Flying Handbook, FAA-H-8083-3 revealed, "it is helpful if a pilot is familiar with the procedures and dangers involved in starting an engine by turning the propeller by hand (hand propping). Due to the associated hazards, this method of starting should be used only when absolutely necessary and when proper precautions have been taken.

An engine must never be hand propped unless two people, both familiar with the airplane and hand propping techniques, are available to perform the procedure. The person pulling the propeller blades through directs all activity and is in charge of the procedure. The other person, thoroughly familiar with the controls, must be seated in the airplane with the brakes set. As an additional precaution, chocks should be placed in front of the main wheels. If this is not feasible, the airplane's tail should be securely tied down. Never allow a person unfamiliar with the controls to occupy the pilot's seat when hand propping. The procedure should never be attempted alone."

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