The commercial pilot was found lying on the ground under the nose of the Luscombe 8F with a fatal head injury from a propeller strike.
Normal engine start for this airplane required hand propping the engine.
The airplane was found with the left wheel chocked, and the magneto, throttle control, primer, and fuel tank selector settings as expected for an engine start.
It is likely that, during hand propping, the pilot inadvertently entered the path of the propeller.
The FAA advises pilots that hand propping should only be attempted with two properly trained people, and the pilot was alone when he was fatally injured.
Probable cause: The pilot’s inadvertent contact with the propeller while hand propping the engine, which resulted in a fatal injury.
NTSB Identification: CEN17LA135
This March 2017 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.