The pilot of the Cessna 172RG planned to fly from Abbeville, Louisiana, but when he went to start the airplane he found the engine battery was dead. He decided to hand-prop the airplane to start the engine.
He tied the tail of the airplane down via a brass snap-hook that attached to a metal fastener underneath the tail section. The snap-hook was attached to a rope that was secured to the ground.
The pilot set the parking brake and checked the throttle position, but did not secure the wheels with chocks.
The engine started on the third attempt. As the pilot walked back toward the cockpit, the RPM increased and the brass snap-hook broke and the airplane began to roll forward.
The pilot was unable to get to the cockpit and the airplane taxied away with out him. The airplane hit a parked airplane, resulting in substantial damage.
The NTSB determined the probable cause as the pilot’s failure to properly secure the airplane before hand starting the engine and the failure of the brass tie down hook.
NTSB Identification: CEN13CA282
This May 2013 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.