The flight instructor and student pilot were parked at the airport in San Diego with the Cessna 172’s engine running when the plane began to move forward and to the right.
The instructor said that upon noticing the forward movement, he applied the brakes.
He reported that the right rudder/brake pedal was positioned further forward than the left pedal, and upon application of brakes, the right turn increased before the plane hit another occupied airplane parked on the ramp, resulting in substantial damage to both.
The student pilot reported that he noticed the airplane’s movement and tried to alert the instructor, however the instructor appeared to be distracted.
Post-accident examination of the brake system revealed no anomalies that would have precluded normal operation. It is likely that the airplane’s nose wheel was initially displaced to the right, which resulted in the airplane’s right turn.
Probable cause: The flight instructor’s failure to maintain awareness while parked on the ramp with the engine operating, which resulted in impact with another parked airplane.
NTSB Identification: WPR16LA063B
This February 2016 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.