The pilot hand-propped the engine, boarded the Aeronca 7BCM, and began to taxi. Shortly after, the engine “sputtered and stalled.”
He realized he left the fuel selector in the “off” position. He set the parking brake, turned the fuel on, exited the airplane, and hand-propped the engine again. The engine started and ran at a high rpm. The airplane moved forward and began to spin in circles.
The pilot attempted to get back in the cockpit, however the door had swung closed, and the airplane struck him, knocking him to the ground. The pilot was seriously injured in the accident.
The airplane spun a few more times before hitting a hangar at the airport in Connellsville, Pennsylvania, which resulted in substantial damage to the right wing.
Afterward, the pilot recalled he had forgotten to retard the throttle before attempting the second engine start. The airplane was not equipped with an electric starter.
Probable cause: The pilot’s failure to properly set the throttle and secure the airplane before hand-propping the engine for startup.
NTSB Identification: ERA16CA264
This July 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.