While preparing for the flight, the pilot initiated the Cessna 185’s engine starting procedure, which included steps to advance the throttle and engage the electric fuel pump, in order to prime the fuel system.
A subsequent step required that the throttle setting be reduced to idle position before engaging the starter motor.
The pilot stated that for this step, he unintentionally pulled the propeller control out instead of the throttle control, and when he engaged the starter, the engine started and immediately went to full rpm.
The airplane then travelled across the ramp at the airport in Lewiston, Maine, and hit two parked airplanes, resulting in substantial damage to the 185’s left elevator.
The airplane then went through an opening in a snowbank and came to rest about 150 yards from where it initially started.
The NTSB determined the probable cause as the pilot’s failure to properly set the throttle prior to engine start, which resulted in a loss of control and collision with parked airplanes.
NTSB Identification: ERA15CA095
This January 2015 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.