According to the pilot, following his preflight inspection he attempted to start the engine with the electrical starter, but was unable to get the engine to turn over. He turned the magnetos to the off position and then got out of the Cessna 182 to “turn the prop through,” but was not attempting to hand prop the engine.
When he rotated the propeller by hand, the engine started and the airplane immediately began moving forward. He attempted to get into the plane, but was unable to stop the plane before it hit a building at the airport in St. Marys, Pennsylvania.
A passenger was sitting in the front right seat of the airplane and was able to evacuate the airplane after it hit the building.
The pilot stated he should have chocked the wheels, but he was not planning on starting the engine.
According to the airport manager who responded within minutes after the accident, he observed the ignition key selected to the left magneto, and then turned the key off during the post-accident emergency response.
The airport manager also reported that the throttle was in the full forward position and the mixture was in the full rich position.
During a post-accident examination, an FAA Aviation Safety Inspector found no anomalies with the ignition wiring system or magneto P-leads. The airplane sustained substantial damage to the left wing and fuselage.
Probable cause: The pilot’s decision to rotate the propeller by hand without properly securing the airplane.
NTSB Identification: GAA15CA057
This May 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.