Aircraft: American Champion Super Decathalon. Injuries: None. Location: Leesburg, Va. Aircraft damage: Substantial.
What reportedly happened: The pilot went through the normal pre-flight inspection, then attempted to start the engine.
He told investigators that he set the mixture full on rich, fuel pump turned on for about three seconds, then off, mixture full off, put the throttle full open, and engaged the starter.
After the engine started the pilot pushed the mixture full on. The engine went to full power, and the airplane nosed down onto the taxiway, which resulted in the propeller striking the ground and the airplane’s firewall sustaining substantial damage.
The pilot stated that, after a review of the situation, it was apparent that he had not followed the starting checklist accurately in that the throttle should have been set to 1/2-inch open for starting instead of full open. He also stated that he should have placed his hand on the throttle immediately after the mixture control was pushed full on in order to retard the throttle after the engine started.
Probable cause: The pilot did not follow the engine start checklist.
NTSB Identification: ERA11CA488
This September 2011 accident report is provided by the National Transportation Safety Board. Published as an educational tool, it isintended to help pilots learn from the misfortunes of others.