According to the pilot, when he attempted to start the Cessna 172B at the airport in Mt. Olive, N.C., “the battery was low.”
He exited the airplane, instructed the passenger to remain in the plane and how to turn the magnetos on and off, and he utilized the tail tie-down hook and secured the tail down with a rope on the ramp.
The pilot hand-propped the engine, it started, but he said the throttle was “too far in,” and the airplane accelerated forward.
The “old” tie-down rope broke, the airplane continued forward, and the passenger turned the magnetos to the “OFF” position. However, the plane hit a hangar and then came to rest.
The 172 sustained substantial damage to the firewall and right wing during the accident.
The NTSB determined the probable cause as the pilot’s failure to adequately secure the airplane before hand-propping the engine for startup.
NTSB Identification: ERA14CA176
This March 2014 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.