NYC05CA104
NYC05CA104

On June 20, 2005, at 1500 eastern daylight time, a Piper J3C-65, N33818, was substantially damaged after impacting a light pole, while taxiing unoccupied, at the Farmers Pride Airport (9N7), Fredericksburg, Pennsylvania. The certificated airline transport 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, after he landed at 9N7, he waited about 15 minutes, and then "wanted to see if the Cub would start when hot." He planned to hand prop the airplane and then perform 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 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."

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