WPR09LA418
WPR09LA418

On August 25, 2009, about 1625 mountain standard time, a Cessna 177B, N30715, was destroyed by fire while standing following multiple unsuccessful attempts to start the airplane's engine at the Chandler Municipal Airport, Chandler, Arizona. The private pilot, the sole occupant, was not injured. Visual meteorological conditions existed at the time of the accident. The proposed personal cross-country flight was destined for the Tucson International Airport (TUC), Tucson, Arizona.

The pilot reported that after dropping off a friend, he waited for about one-half hour before attempting to start the airplane's engine. The pilot stated that on the first attempt to start the engine it failed to start, and that he did not prime it. On the second start attempt the pilot gave the engine one stroke of prime, on the third attempt he gave it two strokes of prime, and on the fourth attempt he gave it three strokes of prime; each attempt to start the engine was unsuccessful. The pilot revealed he then called his flight instructor, who advised him to use the "flooded" procedure. The pilot tried the procedure but was still unable to start the engine. The pilot stated that after securing the engine, "…I tried to go through the checklist to make certain that I didn't do anything wrong. While I was going through the checklist I heard a 'pop' sound, and lifting up my head I saw dark smoke coming out from the engine, and soon after I saw fire too, so I exited the aircraft." The pilot reported that first responders were successful in extinguishing the first fire. However, after the second fire began "…the airplane's engine started and the propeller started spinning." The airplane was subsequently destroyed by fire damage.

Examination of the wreckage by a Federal Aviation Administration inspector revealed extensive fire damage to the engine and forward part of the airframe, which precluded determination of the reason for the fire.

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