This November 2008 accident report is provided by the National Transportation Safety Board. Published as an educational tool, it is intended to help pilots learn from the misfortunes of others.
Aircraft: Piper Vagabond. Injuries: None. Location: Pleasanton, Texas. Aircraft damage: Substantial.
What reportedly happened: Prior to starting the engine, the pilot tied down the airplane’s tail to a tie-down on the ramp with a rope because no wheel chocks were available. He started the engine by hand turning the propeller. The engine started and the rope broke. The pilot attempted to hang onto the airplane, however he was unsuccessful. The unoccupied airplane then hit a parked aircraft, a fence, and came to rest on its nose against the fence. The pilot was not injured.
Probable cause: The failure to adequately secure the plane while hand-starting the engine.
For more information: NTSB.gov